About thegreatindoorsman

I am a writer, editor, photographer, historian, columnist, critic, traveler, book collector, Basset Hound devotee, animal lover, and scold.

A Belated Summary of 2016

Though I enjoy being proven right at least as much as the next person, I’m sorry to see that my prediction that 2017 will be 2016 version 2.0 is turning out to be accurate.

2017 has not been without drama for me, but for the sake of the privacy of some of the people involved, I can’t really discuss any of that now. All I can say is I’ve spent January and February zonked out on anti-depression, anti-anxiety, and sleeping pills. So, for lack of anything else to discuss, let’s look at 2016.

2016 was the ten-year anniversary of one of the best and one of the worst experiences of my life: my trip to Paris and the death of my dog Fred, respectively. I thought the former occasion would make me seriously depressed and the latter would make me distraught, but instead I remained merely deeply sad and hopeless.

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Early in the year two serial rapists operated in Austin. One focused in my neighborhood. He hit my apartment complex in January and February, and his last reported attack was in April 2016 in an apartment complex one block from mine.

I spoke to the police twice, the second time when they did door-to-door interviews at my complex. I held forth on my theories and observations, some of which matched those the police had come up with during brain-storming sessions, but then again, the officer may’ve just been humoring me. I did tell her about a cold case she hadn’t heard about which I thought might have a connection to these rapes.

Neither of the rapists have been caught yet.

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In the spring a friend in Australia asked if I could explain the Presidential race, because he said it was the main topic of discussion among his friends all over the world. So every month I sent him summaries of what was going on. I’m afraid the reports were probably longer than he needed and my analyses and predictions ultimately were proven wrong, but at least his request kept me occupied.

I’ve lost a few friends because of my hatred for Trump, and have been saddened to learn how many of my friends actually support him.

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My mother came very close to losing her home in a flood that struck near Houston in May and June. Fortunately, her subdivision is fairly new and has a levee and a special water pump.

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Death, of course, was everywhere. Not only did several of my favorite celebrities pass away, but two college friends, Doug and Jay, did as well. I posted about Doug awhile back.

Jay was one of a rambunctious family of five brothers, three of whom I came to know. Jay looked a lot like Meat Loaf’s “Eddie,” the biker character in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and Jay had in fact been a biker for awhile after high school.

My chief memory of Jay is of the night we stayed up until sunrise in a dormitory TV room, sipping, out of one waxed paper cup, a bottle of Bacardi mixed with lukewarm drinking fountain water, while he told me of his adventures and his family troubles. In retrospect, Bacardi and drinking water was a rough mix, but we were indestructible beasts back in those days.

I also remember Jay for making one of those comments that have stayed with me my entire life: “My goal? To be middle-class. The middle-class has been very good to me and given me a very good life. So that’s my aspiration–to be a middle-class guy.”

In the 80s that sentiment shocked me. Thanks to my detachment from reality I couldn’t get my head around the idea that anyone would settle for anything less than vast riches. And now that even a low-class life seems out of my grasp, the goal of a middle-class life is well-nigh impossible.

A few months ago I learned of the death of the college English professor under whom I took “Creative Writing II.” I was one of only four students in a class of about thirty who actually could write, though the story I submitted for class review was sentimental garbage.

I contributed greatly to the discussion in that class, due in no small part to my omnipresent 20-ounce mug of rum and Coke. I’m fairly sure the other three good student writers were usually in a state of altered consciousness as well.

(And no, rum did not play as big a role in my college years as these stories seem to indicate.)

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For months I’ve been fighting a roach infestation in my apartment. One of the little buggers woke me up while crawling over my closed eyelids!

The worst part of the war has passed, but it would be easier to get rid of the few roaches that remain if my dog didn’t hide her food and treats in shadowy corners of our apartment.

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My disability case seems to have come to an end. My latest appeal was denied and my lawyers said there was nothing else they could do to help me. If I want to start the process over from Step One I can approach another law firm to represent me, but there will be no money available with which to pay them because a certain deadline has run out.

I’m still in no condition to work, despite what the Feds say.

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My medications really aren’t helping me. At any rate, they aren’t making me feel good, but I feel noticeably worse when I’m off them. They do keep me sleeping, however, and it’s not uncommon for me to sleep from fourteen to seventeen hours out of every twenty-four.

I’ve gotten very little reading done this year, because when I go to my bed to read I usually fall asleep within ten or fifteen minutes.

I’ve done very little painting, due to unhappiness and lack of ideas.

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The downtown public library has gotten rid of several sets of reference works that I used regularly, and the University of Texas is replacing their photo-copy machines with a scanner/printing process that is unnecessarily complicated. I’ve tried it on five or six separate visits and have yet to bring home a copy.

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My dog Belle is still alive and well, and we still have my apartment and library for now. That’s one of the few positive things I can say about 2016.

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I’m sorry this post is so depressing, but I don’t have much to say right now, and I have no motivation to go back and edit unposted journal entries from previous years.

Journal Entries (November 2015)

NOVEMBER


Sunday, November 1st–

I think everyone knows someone with an old, worn-out, poorly cared-for car that has something wrong with it (examples: the passenger door won’t open from the outside, and the driver has to reach over and open it from the inside; the car has to warm up for ten or fifteen minutes before it can go anywhere; the windows won’t roll down, but instead have to be pushed down by hand).

These are all half-assed, embarrassing, fucked-up, and temporary solutions to problems that would otherwise be fixed were the owner not so poor, lazy, or apathetic. And this is how I view Daylight Savings Time. We no longer live in an agrarian society, so we shouldn’t have to keep a farmer’s hours. Electric lights have been proven to actually work–they’ve had almost a century-and-a-half of testing–so we are not condemned to darkness just because the Sun God has parked his chariot for the night.

So why can’t we just pick a fucking time and stick with it instead of switching our clocks around twice a year? In the Age of Computers we ought to have a more precise and scientific approach to this ridiculously antiquated matter.

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Only one more day until my birthday (November 2nd), and here’s my Amazon Wish List link if you want to shower me with prezzies….

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I think there was a dream where I went with a large school group to lofty, old, two-story building that housed a flea market. I wandered around and looked at the stalls of the different vendors, naturally gravitating towards the ones with books. I feel, however, that I’m leaving something out.

I dreamt that I worked at an old school. Was I a teacher? The L-shaped building had, I think, two-stories and a basement, and I mostly stayed in one wing.

I think there was something about me getting bullied by some jocks, talking to front office staffers (mostly ancient women), then hiding and sneaking around in areas that were closed to students, including the dark, greasy mechanical rooms, one of which had a steel ladder that led down to the basement boiler room.

For some reason I had to report to the second floor of the other wing. In the hallway outside of the room I needed to go to was a curved depression in the floor, covered in tile and surrounded by a tiled curbing. There was also a little fountain hanging from the wall behind this, and there was a tiled surround on the wall. I think this feature has recently been rediscovered and restored, but the fountain wasn’t turned on nd the pool was empty. The entire tile composition depicted kitschy images of the sort that delighted children back in the 1940s and 1950s, such as children dressed up as cowboys and Indians, or possibly circus or farm animals.

From all this we can conclude I’d been summoned to report to the elementary school part of the building.

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Monday, November 2nd–

Belle and I got up at 1:25am, and I farted around, waiting for Petsmart to open.

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I’ve only been awake about 3 hours now and I’m already eager for this fucking day to be over.

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A friend of mine killed herself last night. She’d been struggling with depression and mental illness for years and had tried everything with no success. Please offer your prayers or good thoughts in memory of Jennifer D. She was a tough woman.

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I got lots of birthday messages, had a fun talk with D— over the phone, then called my mother.

I went to Petsmart for dog food and treats, then bought a stamp and mailed off my check for electricity at the UPS Store.

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Tuesday, November 3rd–

What an absolutely shitty, miserable, and pointless birthday that was. But then again, my birthdays have been pretty shitty for a long time now.

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I posted–Man Defecates Himself To Avoid Being Arrested

…”This was not the first time that Officers had dealt with someone purposely defecated on themselves to avoid being arrested….”

ME–I guess that’s one way to make sure you get a private cell.

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ME–  JJD –(June 2, 1971–November 1/2, 2015)

The impersonal cruelty of chance determined that your life would be marked by pain, struggle, and suffering, yet you fought like hell, again and again and again, to earn a small measure of peace. And while your friends and loved ones are sorry that we were unable to do enough to save you, we take comfort–albeit cold comfort–in the knowledge that your pain has at last come to an end.

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I am so obsessive, meticulous, call it what you will, that right before I visited the LA City Hall to go up to the Observation Deck, I photocopied the original floor plans from a 1920s architecture magazine so I would be able to make myself comfortable while walking around the building, and take the quickest and most direct routes.

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Someone posted–International Court Judge Says Dick Cheney Will Eventually Be Tried as a War Criminal —

ME–Even if he’s like one of those old Nazis–95 years old, confined to a wheelchair, barely able to hear or speak–I want him tried and imprisoned. I want to see that smirk wiped off his face and replaced by a look of absolute fear and terror.

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Someone posted–I used to think the years would go by in order, that you get older one year at a time. But it’s not like that. It happens overnight.–Haruki Murakami

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2015 was a shitty year, but not as shitty as 2014 and 2013 were. And I’m certain that 2016 will be awful as well.

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If I didn’t have a dog I’d probably try to sleep 24 hours a day, or as close to that as I could get.

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Wednesday, November 4th–

Belle and I retired around 1pm.

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Thursday, November 5th–

I woke up around 3:31am and we got up around 4am.

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I was asleep from about 1pm CST on Wednesday to about 3:30am CST today (Thursday). Did I miss anything?

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I think I spent much of the evening editing and fixing my journal entries back to September.

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Someone posted–The only real battle in life is between hanging on and letting go.–Shannon L. Alder

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ME, writing the staff of Andrew Jackson’s “Hermitage”–

To Whom It May Concern:

Is there an inventory of the books in General Jackson’s library that I might be able to examine? I’m not doing any formal scholarly research, but I’m fascinated to learn what books important people of the past had in their libraries.

Also, has anyone written more than a few pages on the subject of Jackson’s wards? There never seems to be more than a passing mention of them in any Jackson biographies I’ve seen.

Thanks.

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Someone posted–You are allowed to outgrow people.

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If the film “Balto” had starred a Basset Hound it would’ve been about seven hours long.

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Belle and I retired probably around 10:30pm or so–possibly as late as 10:50.

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Friday, November 6th–

We got up around 8am, which was much too early for me, did the usual, then napped from about 1:30pm to around 8pm.

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My Case Manager wants to get together next week to work on another goddamn evaluation, and that pisses me off. She’ll probably come up here, which means she’ll more than like hang around for close to an hour.

I just want to be left the fuck alone.

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I posted–Anthony Bourdain dishes on why Tex-Mex is only a good idea when you’re drunk

ME–This is a somewhat misleading headline, since Bourdain seems to mostly be talking about fast-food/chain Tex-Mex. Either he hasn’t had decent Tex-Mex, or he has no idea of what he’s talking about. But then again, to Texans, Tex-Mex is like mother’s milk.

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I’ve never understood why so many people like to go to certain restaurants “because everybody goes there,” but which serve food that is inedible at worst or bland and flavorless at best.

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I’m thinking of putting up an ad on Craigslist: “Wanted: Housekeeper/Vegan Cook and Valet/Chauffeur, for the household of a disabled former writer and editor. The job starts immediately. The successful candidates must provide their own uniforms, and will not be paid, but at least they will get to bask in the rays of their new employer’s genius.”

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Saturday, November 7th–

I shouldn’t have had vegetarian chili for both breakfast and dinner. I just experienced flatulence that sounded like the “Kill Bill”/”Ironsides” siren.

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I spent much of the night copying and pasting the stuff I copied and pasted yesterday, but which had been erased.

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I got tied up in a long Instant Messaging conversation with a guy who says he knew me in college, though I really don’t remember him. He says he’s been looking for me for years. He’s a big right-winger, so when he brought up politics, I steered the conversation elsewhere.

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We went to bed around 5:20am or so. We woke up several hours later, walked, ate, and quickly went back to bed.

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Sunday, November 8th–

I think we got up around 3:30 or 4am.

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So the weather’s finally chilly, the way I like it. I’d like to spend the entire day curled up in bed with my warm Basset Hound, but I’m running low on food. Still, I really don’t feel like running errands today. On the other hand, the only way I’ll not notice the scarcity of munchies is if I stay asleep….See why I need a housekeeper or something?

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Someone posted–Things I’ve actually heard college students say

“Look how pretty my notes are!! Too bad I’ll never study them”

“I might look fine in class but I’m dying inside”

“I’ve never seen frozen and at this point i’m afraid to”

“when the professor shows up I’m just gonna get up, make eye contact, and leave”

”shut the fuck up and eat your shitty frosted flakes”

”Is it acceptable to throw myself out the window after we take this exam”

“I need more gay people in my life I’m suffocating in straights”

”I think I’m just gonna sleep outside and let the snow bury me until I die”

“why the fuck would i pay 5 dollars for a grilled cheese? oh wait they’re delivering them? ok buy 3”

“i feel like a child but i look like an adult and i think it throws a lot of people off”

“yo look at this dog! i want this dog. this dog is straight g”

“I got super drunk and told everyone I was a lesbian”

“I’VE ONLY DONE ANAL TWICE OKAY”

“instead of studying art we should MAKE ART WITH OUR BODIES”

Someone posted–feel free to add anything you’ve heard

Someone posted–“small is too small and medium are super long, I need a smedium.“

“I lunge when I’m excited”

“just because I smoke doesn’t mean I’ll give you lung cancer.“

“I am drunk and approaching this whole thing like science.”

Someone posted–“You know what, I’m just gonna dress up as a condom.”

Someone posted–“Do eyebrows grow back?”

Someone posted-*running through the dorm’s hallway* “I GOT THE BIG O!!! I GOT THE BIG O!!!”

“How long can you collect sperm?”

“Is it too late to buy crocs?”

Someone posted–

“Do they check bags before you go into the exam? Because my water bottle is still full of vodka from last night.”

“I bumped into Daniel (our head lecturer) in a club on Saturday. His girlfriend had to carry him home.”

“I genuinely used to think lecturers lived in the school…”

“This bread’s a week out of date but there’s no mould on it – should I risk it?”

“I’m not a slut right, but there are some openings at the local strip club and I’m seriously thinking about applying. Can I borrow your push-up bra?”

“Shakespeare can suck my dick.”

Someone posted–“And if this year doesn’t work out, well, there’s always prostitution…”

Someone posted–‘…but I figured, if you have an orgy with christians, god should be cool with it right?’

‘I didn’t mean to sleep with her but when someone buys you three pieces of cake you don’t have much choice.’

‘Who’s bouncing on who now bitch!’ (to a space hopper)

Someone posted–‘Buddha died of diarrhoea. I know because I was there.’

I posted–

Older woman on the first day of my first college English class:

“Unfortunately, we buried Aunt Mildred last summer.”

Younger woman: “Oh, did she die?”

[I really wanted the older woman to say, “No, we just got tired of the old nag and buried her alive!”]

I posted–Ignorant college girl holding forth to a TV room full of students: “I’m a big believer in re-incarnation. In fact I was an Egyptian princess in one of my earlier lives.”

Me: “Well, I’ve always noticed that people who believe in re-incarnation invariably think they were someone famous and powerful, like Julius Caesar or Joan of Arc. I’ve never yet met someone who believes he was someone humble and anonymous, like a dish-washer at the Jerusalem McDonald’s during the time of Christ….So let me ask you this–you believe you’ve had all these past lives–how do you know who you were? Do you hear a voice or see it in a dream or what?”

ICG: “Well, have you ever experienced ménage à trois?”

Me: “What the hell does that have to do with anything?!”

ICG: “Well, that’s when you have the strange feeling you’ve experienced something before.”

[The entire room bursts out in laughter.]

John S.: “That’s not ménage à trois! That’s déjà vu!”

ICG: “Well, what’s ménage à trois?”

Me [after finally recovering my voice after laughing so much]: “That’s sex with three people.”

[ICG turned red-faced.]

John S. [Shouting with glee so he can get his line in.]: “And then of course there’s vu jà dé, which is the strange feeling that none of this has ever happened before!”

I posted–The same ignorant college girl, on move-in day in the dorms before the start of the Fall semester, after spending about an hour in my dorm’s lobby talking to a guy who had a very serious case of cleft palate: “Gee, you know, you really talk funny. Are you from England or somewhere?”

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Someone posted–
i love that charles dickens got paid by the word. like i cant even be mad when he’s boring and long-winded bc i would do xactly the same??? i wouldnt use contractions or colours at all. want to say the word red? too bad. we r now only using “the colour of freshly-spilled blood on snow; the hue of the horizon when the sun sets over the deserts of sub-saharan Africa” BOOM guess who can afford 2 eat now: me and my boi dickens

Someone posted–
What I love about Alexandre Dumas, in contrast, is he got paid by the line. So it’s not really wordy, it more like 80% dialogue which makes it sound pretty modern but also ends up like–

“Where are we going now?”

“We are going to the city.”

“Which city?”

“Paris.”

“We are going to Paris?”

“Yes.”

# can you imagine the kind of extended torture we would have been subject to if victor hugo had been paid by the pun

ME–Back before any of you were born I wrote term papers for college students. (I figured that if Winston Churchill and Truman Capote did it when they were in school I was in good company. And don’t lecture to me about my work being unethical; ethics goes out the window if you’re stuck for a way to pay for groceries or electricity.)

But yes, I padded the shit out of those papers.

And I still gave my customers far better work than most of them deserved. I even wrote one asshole’s entrance essay to law school.

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Someone posted–My cow thinks he’s dog…We left the door open for 5 minutes

Someone posted–OMG! 😂😩

ME–When my first Basset Hound, Fred, started getting old, he took up mooing like a cow.

I discovered this in the wee hours one night after he’d climbed out of bed and curled up underneath a desk. I was sleeping heavily, but was jolted awake by what sounded like a cow mooing in the bedroom. It turns out Fred was clever enough to put his snout up against the bed’s box springs, so when he started mooing, the sound was amplified.

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Monday, November 9th–

Let’s replace Presidential debates with sword duels. I’d proudly vote for someone who knew how to handle a sword.

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Someone posted–Tag! You’re it!

When you get this write 3 things your followers probably don’t know about you and then send it to 10 followers.

ME–I won’t tag anybody because I’m too lazy and the people I most want to hear from won’t respond more than likely.

1) If I’m in a bookstore or other business where they play classical music in the background, I always quietly whistle, hum, and sing along.

2) I have roughly 10,000 books in my library, but most are boxed-up, and I’ve not had all the books I’ve owned out on shelves since 1973.

3) I’ve had over thirty-eight jobs in my life, including museum guide, security guard, newspaper columnist, librarian, substitute teacher, bus boy, waiter, side-order cook, fast-food cook, restaurant critic, telemarketer, house painter, political campaigner, political opposition researcher, book appraiser, rare book scout, editor, and writer.

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Someone posted–How to Open a New Book.

To me, this post might be just as important as the bible.

Someone posted–One of my classes. My elderly teacher taught us this because he really cared about books.

Someone posted–Why does no one teach us these things anymore?

Someone posted–I get so uppity when someone breaks the binding on my books.

Someone posted–I’m just a terrible person and the first thing I do with big books is break the binding.

Someone posted–This needs to be reblogged. Just in case this manages to reach someone who might in the future borrow a book of mine, and who might otherwise bring my wrath down upon them by mistreating said book.

ME–When I was in elementary school we actually saw a short educational film on this topic. I’ve been trying for about 45 years to get a copy of the book they used to demonstrate proper book opening.

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Sometimes I feel like an over-protective mother when my followers reappear after long absences: “Where the hell have you been?! Who do you think you are coming in this late?! Keep it up, Mister/Little Missy, and you’ll get picked up by the Truant Officer, and then I don’t know *what* you’ll do!”

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Someone posted–Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.–George S. Patton

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I wish I had the same enthusiasm for life that my dog has.

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Tuesday, November 10th–

We retired around 11:15am.

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I dreamt I was back at the old Sam Houston Elementary in Conroe, Texas, where I attended Fourth Grade from 1973 to 1974. I’ve never gotten over my love for that old school building. In this dream, just as in waking like, the building was no longer an elementary school.

I was sitting in a second-floor classroom there for a detailed, comprehensive, guided study session for a college English course I was taking. The session was presided over by a young female professor. I forget what book she was droning on about, but it was an English or American book about which Roland Barthes had written extensively, so we were picking apart the main text and the Barthes as well.

All of the students were physically and mentally exhausted. I had taken brief naps in my seat. The exam for which we were preparing was all-important, and determined our final grade for the semester, and we had been told that we couldn’t pass the exam unless we went through this study session. The problem is the study session was scheduled to last eighteen hours. I thought that inhuman, inhumane, and unrealistic, and I finally stood up and walked out, to the shocked looks of the professor and students. I knew this meant I’d fail the course, but I just didn’t care. Nothing was worth sitting through eighteen hours of bullshit.

[In real life, I think I slept just about eighteen hours this time.]

I explored the school, wondered what was in the old Library now, saw the old Art Room at the end of the hall, with huge rolls of colored paper hanging from the wall to the right of the door. I looked for the stairs that led down to the basement Cafeteria, marveled at how one of the staircases on the ground floor started out as two flights curled around masterfully-carved white marble newel posts, then joined to form one flight.

Another staircase had about three steps up, a broad landing, a ramp in place of a flight of stairs, another landing, and then another flight of stairs to the second floor.

When I ascended the staircase with the marble newel posts I noticed that the new occupants had left unmolested the glass trophy cases that were set in the stairwell walls, thereby preserving plaques, trophies, and faded photos and newspaper clippings from eighty years before. This moved me to tears.

But before I left, I wanted to see my old Fourth Grade classroom, where I’d gotten into so much trouble, but also had learned so much. I also wanted to visit the restroom, where fights sometimes occured, but my motivation for that visit was more practical than nostalgic.

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I dreamt that my maternal grandmother, possibly my mother, and I were traveling to India. I was in the back seat of some elevated vehicle like a Land Rover, my grandmother was in the middle of the front seat, my mother (or whoever it was) was riding shotgun, and a little woman was our driver and guide. (I assumed Indian vehicles had left-handed steering wheels, but now that I think of that, it’s probably not true.)

There were also two dogs, but I forget whether they were in the front or back seats.

The guide started doing some Hindu ritual, and even stood up while driving and danced around in a complete circle a few times, but she still managed to keep the vehicle from wrecking. I was surprised to see my very Christian mother and grandmother doing another part of these rituals, which seemed to involve putting beanbags in the mouth of a semi-circular zippered pillow or coin purse, and then removing them again. I think I tried it a few times as well. (And yes, the symbolism is all too obvious to me.)

We finally arrived in some rundown city or town in India. The road came to an abrupt end in front of some buildings, and side streets branched off this tiny plaza.

It was very bright, dusty, and dirty. People were everywhere. I think I commented, “Well, at least we’re not still in Texas!”

The guide got out of the car and went either down a street or into a building. The dogs got loose and ran down a street. My grandmother went after them, ran down a street to the left, then came back and ran down the same street to the right. I told my mother we needed to find all of them (though I was most concerned about the dogs).

And the next thing I knew I was out in the Indian countryside somewhere with M___ C. walking trough the gate of a fenced property which looked like a Texas ranch. We stepped out onto a deserted country road and hadn’t a clue where we were.

Presently some cars and trucks drove up and pulled over. Just about everyone we saw seemed to be Americans or Western Europeans who spoke English. A tall, heavy-set man who was as brown as an Indian and may indeed have been one, who wore nothing but a long-sleeved white shirt, ran around waving his arms and howling. There was a slim English girl who wore pants and an open blouse, and she drifted around brainlessly. I forget who else we saw.

Someone–possibly an Indian–warned us not to catch a ride in a certain van, because the van belonged to a dirty hotel in a miserable town, and we wouldn’t want to get stuck there.

M___ confidently said he thought if we could get a car we could drive back to the U.S. before nightfall, but I looked at my watch and with some surprise told him it was already 6pm. I said my main concern was getting back to that first town and finding my dogs (if the Indians hadn’t eaten them), my grandmother, my mother, and the driver (in that order).

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Wednesday, November 11th–

We got up at 6:16am, walked, and ate. We napped for a few hours in mid- to late-morning, then I went to Petsmart for dog food and a treat, and Dollar Tree for grocery and non-grocery items. I went home and took a much-needed shower, and made reservations for my birthday dinner at Mother’s Cafe.

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I just got up and had to figure out how many hours I was asleep (18) and what day it is.

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I slept 18 hours and now I need a nap.

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We’re almost halfway through November and Austin is still as hot and humid as downtown Manilla. Did I mention before how much I hate Texas?

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I posted–“Show us your Manhole” campaign against Austin Water

http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-news/39558370-story

ME–Don Zimmerman, the guy behind this campaign is a clueless, grand-standing bag of hot air who is currently disgracing one of the seats in the Austin City Council. Not surprisingly, he is also a leading Tea Party nut case.

Tea Party members just don’t seem to have a grasp of contemporary slang or double entendres. If you remember, Tea Partiers originally called themselves “Tea Baggers,” and it took them quite awhile to learn what else that term can mean.

I hope thousands of people send pictures of Goatse to this idiot’s office.

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I had a lengthy panic attack while worrying about Friday–the radical change in schedule, the boring and lengthy meeting with my Case Manager, and the stressful birthday dinner that night.

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A friend sent me [a post] while I was having a panic attack and also trying to work on something else on my computer. The fact he was bombarding me with links to look up (actually only two or three), when I’ve repeatedly told him not to send me links, actually made my panic attack much, much worse. It took me at lest an hour to calm down.

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Thursday, November 12th–

We retired about 2am and got up around 11:30am.

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I’ve been awake just for an hour and am already pissed off and irritable.

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Someone posted–My son, believe me that the day you go yourself to the house of God, the day you knock at its door, it will open wide, and the angels will draw aside to let you pass.–En Route–J. K. Huysmans

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Someone posted–If it’s still in your mind, it’s worth taking the risk.

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I have been utterly miserable, stressed out, tense, anxious, and filled with dread for several days, but especially today, because tomorrow I have an 11am meeting with my Case Manager that I don’t want to go to, and at 7:30pm, I have my own belated birthday dinner…. I’m sick to my stomach with anxiety.

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We retired about 10:30pm.

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Friday, November 13th–

We got up about 8:30am.

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Someone posted–Walking around a bookstore with no money:

Me: *stroking the books* I’ll come back for you.

ME–And when I go to the public library and see a book I checked out from there and read, I stroke its spine and think, “I remember you fondly. Do you remember me?”

Yes, I tend to anthropomorphise things.

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So very sleepy. I hope I can grab a nap between my appointments for today.

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Someone posted–Uh oh, you just died and now your family is planning what your tombstone will say. They decide to use your last outgoing text message… What’s your tombstone say?

ME–I’ve never text messaged, and I’m leaving behind explicit instructions about my funeral and other arrangements. If I don’t have my ashes illegally scatted in places important to me I’m thinking about using as an epitaph the last line of a Sinatra song: “Excuse me while I disappear.”

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Someone posted–my least favorite activity is paying my electric bill.

ME–Mine would include leaving the house, interacting with any people in person, going to the clinic, going to the grocery store, dealing with my bills, dealing with phone calls, having to set an alarm, going to the grocery store….

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Someone posted–If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing thing you don’t like doing, which is stupid.–Alan Wilson Watts

ME–So rather than get money to survive and to acquire the things I really want, I should kill myself instead?

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My Case Manager came by at 11am and we went to Schlotzsky’s for a meeting. I bought a little box of apple juice so we wouldn’t look bad just sitting there. As I feared, my Case Manager kept me there an entire hour.

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Someone posted–It is an extremely common mistake. People think the writers imagination is always at work, that he’s constantly inventing an endless supply of incidents and episodes, that he simply dreams up his stories out of thin air. In point of fact, the opposite is true. Once the public knows you’re a writer, they bring the characters and events to you, and as long as you maintain your ability to look and to carefully listen, these stories will continue to seek you out over your lifetime.–The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Dir. Wes Anderson

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Belle and I napped from about 2:00 to 5:00pm.

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Someone posted–“Tacos Gay”

ME–Okay, I’ll go ahead and ask since you want me to so badly: How do you make tacos gay?

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We’re half-way through November, which means only one thing: I start complaining about the War Against Krampus. It’s insidious and an affront to all that truly matters in our society–namely scaring children shitless so they behave themselves.

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I’m reading up about what’s happening in Paris. I know what I think should be done, but I’m not mentioning it here.

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A group of friends took me to Mother’s Cafe for my belated birthday dinner. The evening was quite pleasant. I received some much-appreciated gift cards and a handmade saucer.

On the way home I got some eggs at HEB.

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Someone posted–Ste Geneviève, patronne de Paris et de la France, priez pour nous!

St. Genevieve, patroness of Paris and of France, pray for us!

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Someone posted–Sainte Jeanne d’Arc, patronne de la France, priez pour nous!

Saint Joan of Arc, patroness of France, pray for us!

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Someone posted–Our Lady of France, pray for thy children!

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Someone posted–Pray for Paris.

Praying for Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, and everywhere where this shocking violence and terrorism is occurring.

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My friend who lives in the 11er arrondissement in Paris, close to where one of the attacks took place, finally got home safely, thank God. Four out of eleven FB friends from Paris have checked in as being safe.

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Someone posted–Damaged people are dangerous. They know how to make hell feel like home.–Unknown

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Someone posted–Saint Louis Priez pour la France et la Nouvelle-France. Puissent les chefs d’état vous prendre comme modèle!

Saint Louis please pray for France and New France. May the World Leaders look up at you as a role model!

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Someone posted–Paris taxis turn off meters as they help get people home.

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Someone posted–FUN FACT: PEOPLE WITH DEPRESSION SOMETIMES DO NOT HAVE A “REASON” FOR A DEPRESSIVE EPISODE, SOMETIMES THEY OCCUR WITHOUT ANY TRIGGERS AND EVEN WHEN EVERY PART OF THAT PERSON’S LIFE IS GOING WELL. YOU. DO. NOT. NEED. A. “REASON.” TO. FEEL. DEPRESSED. STOP MAKING PEOPLE FEEL BAD FOR FEELING DEPRESSED THANKS

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Paris was still standing when the Third Reich lay in ashes. It will still be standing when all that is left of ISIS are a few paragraphs in dusty, forgotten history books.

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Someone posted–The first mix-tape I ever made was probably in the early ’90s because it had Ace of Base and Ice Cube on it, and it was the kind of mix-tape that you go and tape off the radio. It was funny, too, because I remember you’d have to wait for the song you liked to come on. You’d have to press play and record at the same time, and most of the times when you’d get the mix-tape, it’s like static, or you’d get the radio DJ’s voice, or you’d cut, like, halfway through the first verse. It was also nice because you learn to love it that way, like, “Well, that’s the song. That’s the song I know, so that’s what I’m accepting as the truth.” I would find that even with CDs. I had a Jimi Hendrix record that had a scratch in the middle of Crosstown Traffic, and I was, like, “Wow, that’s really cool! It’s ‘You jump from the front of my— you jump from the front of my—you jump from the front of my car.’” I was, like, “I didn’t know he was into sampling.” So you learn it how you hear it. I like the idiosyncrasies.–St. Vincent

ME–Very true. There were a number of songs I had with scratches or other mistakes on them, and to this day, whenever I hear a perfect version of one of these songs, I perk up my ears and wait for the mistake, and am always surprised when it’s not there. I had a friend who was a DJ who made my mix-tapes for me, so the quality was better than that of most mix-tapes, but he still owned some records with flaws on them.

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We retired around 5:30am or so and got up about 2pm.

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I fear that the true danger is less the threat of terrorism from without than the threat of greedy, fifth-column oligarchs from within. They care nothing about the future–they want only what they can grab today. Their insatiable desire for power and money is destroying the planet ecologically. Their control of governments has lead to policies that create the conditions that give rise to terrorism. If you’re young, poor, have no prospects for the future, are hated by many of the people around you, then joining a terror cell or movement might seem to be an enticing adventure, whereby you can shuffle off your hopeless conditions and go out in a blaze of perceived glory. That said, I hold all terrorists fully responsible for their crimes, and I hope to see the Seine run red with their blood for their crimes against Paris.

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“Rid God’s sanctuary of the wicked; expel the robbers; bring in the pious…. Let no attachment to your native soil be an impediment; because, in different points of view, all the world is exile to the Christian and all the world his country. Thus exile is his country, and his country exile.”–Urban II

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Let those who once fought against brothers and relatives now rightfully fight against barbarians.–Pope Urban II

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Someone posted–a list of cities that should be evacuated because they were rumored to be the next targets of terrorism.

ME–I have two kitchen knives, a filet knife, and a baseball bat. At very least I can take one of those fuckers out before they kill me.

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Sunday, November 15th–

We woke much too early. I had a snack, and went back to bed, getting up after 4pm.

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Someone posted–If you have been brutally broken, but still have the courage to be gentle to others then you deserve a love deeper than the ocean itself.–Nikita Gill

ME–I’ve been brutally broken, but I think it’s turned me into a mean-spirited asshole.

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Someone posted–This Woman Played Dead At The Bataclan, Then Wrote About Finding The Good Amid Horror

ME–Whenever there’s a tragedy, especially where death is involved, be it the death of one person or thousands, I always carefully watch and see how each person connected to the event behaves. It’s one of the best ways I know to determine who is a jerk and who is a saint.

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The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.–Rabindranath Tagore

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Someone posted–SOME OF THE MOST POISONOUS PEOPLE COME DISGUISED AS FAMILY.

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I got some gift cards for my birthday the other day–the first real money I’ve had in two years–and now I’m making myself nuts trying to decide what to buy. I don’t have enough to buy all I want to buy or even most of what I want, but I can buy a few things. That’s what makes my decision so difficult.

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I haven’t painted since May? Seriously? Well, that explains a lot.

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Someone posted–“If I saw a person smile, that to me was payment in itself. If I could make them laugh when they were very sad, it was the greatest payment to me.”—The Man of 1000 voices, Mel Blanc

“He devoted a lot of time to ailing children in hospitals. I think he really had a great affect in doing so, even if it just made them feel better for just a minute, he did. We had to try to get him to leave first of all, he would spend all day doing it. There would be times I would say, ‘Mel, we gotta go, it’s getting dark, we have to get back on the road.’ When there were children in that situation you couldn’t get him to walk away.”–Assistant to Mel Blanc, Sophia Sprock

ME–I left a pebble on his headstone. I actually had to wander around near the grave to find a large enough pebble, but I wasn’t going to leave that cemetery without paying a tribute to Mel Blanc.

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Monday, November 16th–

We retired about 5: 30 am and got up around 5pm.

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I’m still mad at my parents for not naming me “Waxing Gibbous.”

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Tuesday, November 17th–

We retired about 3:45am and got up about 6pm.

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I’ve got 767 notes on a post I don’t even remember making.

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Someone posted–being alive is very………..Not Easy

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Someone posted–if there was a way to make your blog have a smell, so that everyone visiting your blog automatically smelled it, what would you make your blog smell like?

ME–Old books, dog farts, and rage.

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Despite the events of this week, I’d still rather live in Paris than anywhere in Texas.

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The objective of life is to break every chain that holds you down, to hand them back to false masters and say with all self that you have only one Master.–Yasmin Mogahed

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Wednesday, November 18th–

Why on earth would I want a book in paperback or in hardback with no dust jacket when I could get one in hardback with a dust jacket? Why do so few booksellers these days know their trade or the very specific terminology that pertains to book condition?

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We went to bed about 9am and got up between 11 and 11:30pm.

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Thursday, November 19th–

I woke up 90 to 120 minutes ago after an ugly, dark, violent, and disturbing dream, and I’ve been having ugly, dark, violent, and disturbing thoughts ever since I woke up. I hate that mental illness has left me out-of-control of my own mind. At times I don’t feel I’m in the driver’s seat, that I’m merely a horrified spectator.

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I think perhaps the US and the countries of Western Europe ought to hold back on going after ISIS and leave the dirty work to Mr. Putin. Then, when ISIS goes to seek revenge, they can attempt it on his turf rather than ours. I also think Putin would be more ruthless and merciless than a Western leader would be, and that may or may not be a good thing.

On the other hand, merely killing as many ISIS members as possible will not solve the problem of radical Islamic terrorism.

I think the West needs to get out of the Middle East.

I think the various sects and schools of Islam should be left alone to argue and fight amongst themselves and decide which sect gets to be “King of the Mountain.”

I think if Israel wants to continue to exist as a nation it needs to stop oppressing Palestinians and work out some sort of solution with them as to who gets to live where. And yes, having Israel right there in the midst of things gives the US a great hopping-off point from which to attack other Middle Eastern nations, but the US/Israel “special relationship” is beginning to cost us more than it’s worth.

I think the West should stop giving weapons to people in unstable, shit-hole countries who later turn around and use those weapons on us.

I think if we didn’t let oligarchs with ties to petroleum- and automotive-related businesses run our governments, then we could finally lessen our dependence on petroleum and develop or use already developed alternative sources of energy. If that happened, we wouldn’t have to continue cozying up to Saudi Arabia and the other nations that are financing terrorists and promoting the spread of radical Islam.

As it is, we have allowed petroleum to become the most important commodity in the world, and we have ruined the world and its people because of it. It’s time for us to get rid of the oligarchs–permanently.

Also, if European nations are going to allow Muslim immigrants to live in their countries, then something has to be done to give those immigrants access to better jobs and services, because if these immigrants come to a new country and find themselves ill-treated and unable to obtain those things needed for a decent life, then at least some of them are going to become radicalized and seek to destroy the Europeans who failed to help them.

The only other option is to deport all the immigrants back to their places of origin, but I’m sure that would also enrage and radicalize at least some of their numbers.

European nations should either honestly embrace racist, exclusionary, anti-immigrant policies and drop all their hypocritical crowing about “multi-culturalism,” or they should welcome immigrants and learn how to peacefully co-exist with them as their new neighbors and fellow citizens, granting them all the rights and dignities such a status entails.

So to summarize, while I do believe that ISIS needs to be destroyed, and that doing so will be a long, arduous process, I think we need to immediately begin the much more difficult task of dismantling the systems, policies, processes, and forces that give birth to radical terrorism in the first place. This second task will be impossible unless we 1) wake up and realize that we in the First World are the root cause of these problems, and 2) remove, with violence if necessary, the oligarchs who profit from all of the chaos that is consuming and destroying this planet and human society.

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We retired about 1pm.

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Friday, November 20th–

We got up about 4am.

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Someone posted–UT student spat on for being Muslim

ME–And again we see Texans acting like white trash.

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Someone posted–dog: lets out the most genuine & affected sigh possible

me: what’s happened? who or what has brought such suffering upon your world-weary, furry shoulders? can i do anything? can anything be done? will you ever be at peace? please rest

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I’m bored. I slept 14.5 hours, so napping isn’t an option. I’m tempted to go shopping with my gift cards, but I don’t feel like riding the stinky buses. I’m also not sure if I want to use my largest gift card (actually two of them) online or at a brick-and-mortar store.

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I’ve been making myself a nervous wreck today trying to decide what books to get with my gift cards. I never have any money, so I’ve been trying to get this absolutely perfect, and I gave myself a panic attack.

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Being a bachelor means that at home I usually drink from cups that were thrown at me by some guy on a float during a New Orleans Mardi Gras years before most of you were born.

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Am I even capable of having fun anymore? Everything I do feels like I’m tackling some serious business matter or I’m performing a solemn and sacred ritual. I’ve been unemployed for years, but I still give myself projects to complete. And it’s almost impossible for me to have fun when I have no money.

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Someone posted–When Paul Ryan was elected Speaker of the House last week, he promised not to duck the tough issues. That promise comes with a few notable exceptions.

ME–Please let the day come when I can play a few chukkers of polo with his severed head for a ball.

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Someone posted–“you’ll understand when you’re older”

i am older and i understand absolutely nothing

Someone posted–#i actually understand less

ME–I’m 52. By now I should understand all that shit my elders said I would understand when I grew up, but I’m here to tell you that 90% of that crap was pointless nonsense. I knew it was bullshit when I was ten and I know it’s bullshit now.

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I GIVE JUST A LITTLE BIT OF A FUCK. JUST ENOUGH TO KEEP ME OUT OF JAIL. OR THE MADHOUSE.

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Someone posted–To Forgive The Terrorists Is Up To God, But To Send Them To Him Is Up To Me.–Putin (in what my co-workers say could be the best and most insightful quote of the year)

ME–I am so turned on right now.

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An art which isn’t based on feeling isn’t an art at all—feeling is the principle, the beginning and the end; craft, objective, technique — all these are in the middle.–Paul Cézanne

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If you cannot find a friend who is good, wise, and loving, walk alone, like a king who has renounced his kingdom, or an elephant roaming at will in the forest.–Buddha

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… in the last resort France gave freedom and civilization to the modern world. And if she falls, don’t let us delude ourselves, all our liberties and civilization will fall with her.–Giuseppe Verdi to Clarina Maffei, September 1870.

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We retired around 6:15pm.

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Saturday, November 21st–

We got up early (around 5am or a bit later) and did the usual routines.

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I got my backpack ready and went over to a bus stop on an access road a block away. I talked to a guy who was just coming back from the hospital where his wife was being treated for her most recent stroke.

I took the #383 Bus at 9:15am to Target, to use the $50 gift card J_______ gave me. I wasn’t able to find everything on my list, but I did buy some useful things–twelve pairs of socks, a knife (for my cedar knot project), six bottles of paint, and a can of deodorant. I had a long bus wait in the cold…. I then took the #383 Bus to the North Lamar Transit Center, and took a slow #1 Bus south to Half-Price Books. I think this was my first visit in two years.

I’d planned to stay there two hours, and wound up staying only ninety minutes. I’d gone to see if there was anything on my shopping list available there for less than I would pay online, but the pickings were slim. I saw some items that were on my list, but which were low-priority items, some things I wanted but were in unacceptable conditions, and some things I wanted that I could afford but which would wipe out my money supply or be too bulky to carry home (sets of the “Encyclopaedia Britannica,” one for $100 and another for $150, and a 61-volume set of the works of Erle Stanley Gardner, offered at $100 “as is.”

As is my habit at this store, I had a good number of books in my cart, then found a place to sit and weed most of them out for various reasons. I wound buying only three books and a calendar ($15.67).

I had a fairly short wait for the #1 Bus back to the Transit Center, and a long wait for the #383 Bus. By this point my clothes and body were really stinking from being around dirty people on the bus and going back and forth between cold and overly warm environments. I was also very hungry and gassy at this point….

I got to my neighborhood, picked up some meds and groceries, and had a difficult walk back home, trying to deal with a heavy backpack, bags on either shoulder, and warm-up pants that kept sliding off my hips.

Around 4pm, when I got home, Belle was sitting by the front window, waiting for me, but was facing the living room. She seemed to be asleep. Her eyes were semi-closed, and she was shaking. I got scared that she had eaten something bad for her and was fatally ill, but she woke up and I concluded that the shaking was the result of her sitting too close to the cold windows.

We took our walk, I took a much-needed shower, and then had a dinner of French bread, locally-made olive oil (which had a wonderful hint of pepper, and several cups of Sunny D.

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[Part of an Instant Messaging conversation with a friend.]

JRD–i was thinking yesterday about that detective novels where the guy describes sandwiches in great detail….

ME–sandwiches?

JRD–sandwiches?

ME–maigret is a big foodie

JRD–I think it is Lawrence Sanders The First Deadly Sin series.

ME–one of my mom’s favorites.

i think he did a series about a spoiled rich young dude who moves back in with his parents and solves mysteries in palm beach, FL.

JRD–didnt nero wolfe get into something like that too?

ME–well he was a foodie

he was very specific about how he wanted certain dishes prepared. i have a cookbook with recipes from all his books. i have none of the wolfe mysteries, however.

JRD–“Once he burned up a cookbook because it said to remove the hide from a ham end before putting it in the pot with lima beans. Which he loves most, food or words, is a toss-up.”

ME–also, spenser, the robert b. parker detective, is a big foodie.

i assume poirot is finicky about food, but ive not read any of those books either.

JRD–indeed….

 

ME–i almost bid on an old set of comptons encyclopedia because it was the same vintage that robert e howard had.

JRD–nice

ME–the britannicas i saw at hpb were $100 and $150

you can get some encyclopedias for fairly cheap, but the shipping charges are mofos.

ive seen some that look amazing that are from 1900-1940.

JRD–its odd…i dont really have a desire for encyclopedias like i did for the dictionaries.

ME–i still want a webster’s 2nd. they had one at the library bookstore, but wanted too much for it.

im afraid to go back there and find all the reference books i was looking for at the faulk a few mos. ago. bastards.

JRD–i didnt follow that.

ME–i went to the faulk a few months ago to look stuff up and all the reference books i wanted were gone and they said they are paring down for the big move. im certain i told you that because you said getting rid of reference is a mistake.

JRD–now i follow

ME–i tried to look the books online, but one has a paywall.

JRD–which one?

ME–the dictionary of national biography. it’s british. you can find some articles online, but not all. they give you a little taste.

JRD–it worked for me with just my APL card #.

ME–hmm

JRD–give me an example to look up….

JRD–nothing for me to look up in national biography?

I wanted to test it out….

ME–frederick james furnivall, frederick locker-lampson, and james halliwell-phillipps

JRD–“Furnivall, Frederick James (1825–1910), textual scholar and editor, was born on 4 February 1825 in Egham, Surrey, the eldest of the nine children of George Frederick Furnivall (1781–1865) and Sophia Hughes Barwell (1794–1879).”

about 4 pages on him.

ME–bully

JRD–Lampson, Frederick Locker- [known as Frederick Locker] (1821–1895), poet, was born on 29 May 1821 at the Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich, Kent, where his father, Edward Hawke Locker (1777–1849), held the office of civil commissioner, an appointment gained in part through Frederick’s grandfather William Locker, a naval captain and lieutenant-governor of the hospital from 1793.

only 1 page on him.

ME–that’s odd

JRD–Phillipps, James Orchard Halliwell- (1820–1889), antiquary and literary scholar, was born on 21 June 1820 at 94 Sloane Street, Chelsea, the sixth of the seven children of Thomas Halliwell (1777–1849), a prosperous linen draper from Chorley, Lancashire, and his wife, Charlotte Ann (1789–1849), daughter of Esau Marsh of London. He took the additional surname Phillipps in 1872, following the death of his father-in-law, Sir Thomas Phillipps.

bout 3 pages.

ME–sounds about right

JRD–interesting…

“Personal events now intruded upon Halliwell’s routine: on 6 February 1872 Sir Thomas Phillipps finally died, stipulating in his will that ‘neither James Orchard Halliwell … nor his wife shall ever be allowed to enter into Thirlestaine House,’ where the legendary Middle Hill library remained. By the will of her grandfather, however, Henrietta inherited the Middle Hill house and estate, and she and James obeyed the testamentary conditions at once, adopting the additional surname Phillipps—an ironic tag, after a lifetime at bitter variance.”

ME–phillipps was the guy who wanted to collect ever book ever printed. his son-in-law was a shakespearean scholar and a sometime book thief….

ME–so i was in hpb standing next to the collectible children’s books, with a fat stack of papers of book lists clipped together, checking to see what i did or didnt have, when this woman came up to me and asked for my help finding a certain book.

JRD–kewl

ME–i said, ‘well, actually i dont work here, but that guy (pointing to a passing guy in hpb t-shirt) does.

ME–we all laughed and the guy went to look it up–it seems they have their inventory online now–and i told the woman not to worry, that i get that all the time, and that i actually did work for the company years ago….

 

JRD–did you watch new new Bowie Major Tom video yet?

9 minutes long.

incomprehensible.

ME–ive seen gifs

JRD–but …since I dont get it….I will assume he is a genius and in 20 years I might catch up.

ME–well, when i watch it i’ll tell you about it.

JRD–warning it has a lot of christ-like imagery in it.

ME–so does my writing

JRD–i dutifully watched the whole thing in honor of Bowie.

or respect…yeah respect

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Dinner: about 14 inches of a $1.98 supermarket baguette, a good deal of excellent locally-made olive oil, which a friend gave me awhile back and which has just a hint of pepper to it, and several cups of Sunny D.

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Someone posted–wet dream: being financially secure with a career i enjoy

Someone posted–Tagged: God if I could just edit video all day and make enough money to support me and a dog, That would be my dream, Or to run a dog shelter, Fucking capitalism undervalueing my skill set.

ME–My dream is to find a benefactor for my middle and later years, so I don’t have to worry about bills, and have enough left over for books, DVDs, and occasional travel. And also have someone cook, clean, and drive for me. Then I could get on with the serious business of being an unpaid, unappreciated Internet entertainer and pompous pedant.

The dog I already have. But I would love to have enough money to regularly throw a good chunk of it at animal charities. If I ever get around to finishing my will I intend to have all of my stuff sold (basically my library), with the proceeds going to animal charities.

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Someone posted–

*sees dog* nice

*sees dog wearing a bandana around its neck* nice

ME–Someone sent me a doggie bandana awhile back, but I’ve not tried it out on my dog yet.

But I know people who dress their female Bassets in old-fashioned Laura Ingalls Wilder bonnets and dresses.

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I always get annoyed when I see conservative friends post formulaic messages on patriotic holidays thanking “the men and women of our armed services, past and present, for all the freedoms we hold so dear.” If these people actually gave a shit about freedom and their country in general, they’d get off their asses and destroy the systems and the people who are robbing us of our freedoms and generally fucking up the country. Love of country is a pointless activity when it’s preserved in amber.

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I was at Half-Price Books today and I got really annoyed with this one father. He had a son that was maybe three or four, and he kept ordering the kid around: “Put that back….No, you didn’t put that back the right way. Go put that back the right way….Now go pick out a gift for [your sister]….No, that’s something you’d like. Get something for [your sister].”

But what really pissed me off was the little boy really wanted one book and this asshole of a dad said, “But that book’s for babies. You’re not a baby are you? You don’t wanna be a baby, do you? So put it back.”

I just wanted to slap the dog shit out of that guy and say, “Let the kid get what he wants. If you don’t think it’s appropriate for his age, who gives a shit? He’ll be grown soon and have to face the unrelenting hell of adult life. Let him have a little happiness while he still has the chance!”

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Sunday, November 22nd–

One of the apartments in the next building over already has a fully decorated Christmas tree in the living room. I’m coming to believe that the Christmas season in the US now starts at sunrise on November 1st, or November 3rd if you’re a Latino (due to the Day of the Dead).

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Though I was exhausted I wound up staying up until about 3am.

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I think I had a dream involving my mother and grandmother. They had saved the old farmhouse that used to be on our property in Bellville, and had enlarged and modernized it. I came to visit and was amazed by the changes, though the upstairs rooms still had creaky floors and there was an overall feeling that the place was going to collapse at any second. I think the house had at least three or four upstairs bedrooms.

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We got up around noon, walked, ate, then went back to bed around 2pm. We got up again around 8pm or so.

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My Basset Hound likes to play “Keep Away” with my slippers when I wake up. Usually she just sits on one so I have to grope around to try to find it. Tonight she upped the ante by leaving a large, cold, and coiled poop inside one of my slippers. Fortunately I had turned on a flashlight, so I didn’t step in it.

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Dear Donald Trump: I’m sure you could get Ted Nugent and Hank Williams, Jr. to record a kick-ass version of “The Horst Wessel Song” for you to use during your campaign if you only ask them nicely.

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Someone posted–When you get this, reply with 5 things that make you happy. Then send this to the first 10 people in your activity.

ME–
1) Books
2) Animals–especially dogs
3) To crush my enemies.
4) To see them driven before me.
5) To hear the lamentations of their women.

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Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.–Oprah Winfrey

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Someone posted–mentally crafting incredibly angry speeches that i will never say to all the people i hate is my favorite hobby.

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Monday, November 23rd–

It’s a shame Leni Riefenstahl isn’t around to film the Trump campaign. She’d know exactly how to cover it.

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Tuesday, November 24th–

We retired around 11am and got up around 7pm.

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I woke up in the middle of the night last night, stumbled into the kitchen to get a snack, and started quietly singing Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour,” only it came out as “My Sharia Law.” My brain is a strange place to visit.

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Sorry E-bay sellers, but I’m not paying $9.00 for an ex-library book of dubious condition and with no dust jacket. I’m not that much of a rube. I’ve probably bought more books in my life than you’ve had hot meals.

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Someone posted–‘They’re our babies:’ Dozens of dogs and cats killed in animal shelter fire

ME–This bothers me a lot more than any human tragedy ever could.

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Wednesday, November 25th–

We retired around 7:30am and got back up at 4:30pm.

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Someone posted–Joseph Goebbels being told the photographer Albert Eisenstaedt is Jew, 1933 via reddit

ME–I give people that look a lot, especially if they use “impact” as a transitive verb or speak with up-talking or vocal fry.

Really, there’s hundreds of reasons I give people that look.

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Someone posted–“Paracosm”

(noun) Psychology. Paracosm is an extremely rare word defining the imaginary world constructed in one’s mind, specifically by children. It is an infinite fantasy, anything can exist from animals to aliens and entities foreign to outsiders. Anything is possible in this fantasy milieu, one has their own language, experience, geography and history. Parcosm is usually developed as a result of high creativity, problem-solving, and others theorize: high intelligence.

ME–This was my life up to about age 13. Now it mostly just exists in my dreams when I’m not having nightmares.

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Someone posted–So, Apparently Giles From “Buffy” Runs Some Kind Of Animal Rescue Charity

ME–From ass-kicking librarian to animal saviour–that’s a career trajectory I could deal with.

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Someone posted–Praying for those who work 9 to 5’s. Praying for those who work night shift. Praying for those who work doubles. Praying for those who are working part-time but are in need of full-time hours. Praying for those who just lost a job. Praying for those who are ready to quit.

Someone posted–I hope you all are happy and your internal condition is adequate.

ME–
Praying for restaurant and supermarket personnel who have to work on Thanksgiving.

Praying for anyone who has to work retail on Black Friday and the Christmas season.

Praying for those who don’t get to have a proper Thanksgiving,
Christmas, New Year’s, or other holiday because they have to get up early the next day for work.

Praying for everyone who has to open.

Praying for everyone who has to close.

Praying for anyone who has been threatened with termination because the amount of money in the register drawer didn’t match the amount on the register tape.

Praying for anyone who has been threatened with termination for arriving to work two minutes late.

Praying for anyone who can’t afford to properly fix the car they depend on to get to and from work because they are paid too little.

Praying for anyone who is given only twenty minutes each shift for lunch, and gets indigestion from having to eat that fast.

Praying for those who eat lunch with the break room door closed because they don’t want customers of co-workers to see them crying.

Praying for everyone in the food services industry who is given a free meal before, during, or after their shift, which has smaller portions and lower quality than what the customers get in the front of the house.

Praying for anyone who has to deal with an obnoxious boss, rude, entitled customers, and shrieking children.

Praying for anyone whose job requires them to be constantly on their feet and risk foot, leg, and back problems.

Praying for everyone who is expected to do extra work off the clock, such as taking the business’s cash and checks to the bank after closing.

Praying for those whose burdens are increased with “work holidays,” which involve extra hours on top of their regular shifts.

Praying for anyone who is so exhausted from work they have trouble getting to sleep, and don’t get enough sleep to deal with the next day of work.

Praying for anyone whose place of business gets robbed, and especially for those whose bosses think it was an inside job.

Praying for anyone without insurance or who gets turned down for disability.

Praying for anyone who gets bullied by a boss, a co-worker, or a customer.

Praying for everyone whose family and friends suggest that if they’re not earning enough that they should take a second or third job.

Praying for everyone who has applied or interviewed for a job they didn’t really want.

Praying for those whose bosses suspect them of substance abuse for missing so many days of work, when in fact they just hate going to work and it’s taking a toll on their physical and mental health.

Praying for those who die a little every day they go to work or who would rather be dead than take another crappy job.

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Did we retire again around 6:30pm?

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Thursday, November 26th–

We got up about 7am. I was very uncomfortable and irritable because I’d been hot for much of the time I was asleep.

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I was trying to follow some sites, only to learn I was following too many. So now I’m unfollowing quite a few. If a site hasn’t had a post in three months or more, out it goes, through the door or out the window.

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It’s early Thanksgiving afternoon in Austin.

Two weeks ago I was sweating like a pig.

One week ago I was freezing.

Today I have the balcony windows open so my dog can go in and out as she wishes.

Across the parking lot a neighbor is rehearsing her piano with a window open.

This she seems to do every waking hour.

I don’t mind it.

I think she’s playing Chopin.

I am wired after drinking coffee for the first time in over a year.

The coffee was a gift from a friend who was kind enough to leave the package at my front door and not wake me up.

I am thankful today that I didn’t have to take a long, stressful trip by car, bus, train, or plane to go stuff myself with a meal that is about five times the amount of food that I eat in a single day, while painfully attempting small talk and enduring the blare of a football game from a nearby TV.

I am thankful that today I have twelve brand new pairs of socks—none with holes in them, a roof over my head, a full pantry, all my utilities still connected, enough medications to keep me knocked out for hours on end, and a big floppy dog and a library that love me.

I am thankful that I can’t remember the last time I cried or pondered suicide.

I am thankful I won’t be working a service industry job over the holidays.

I am thankful that the gorgeous, delicate pastel marks of Frank Reaugh are still sharp in my brain a months or so after last looking at them in person.

I am thankful I’ve retained my curiosity and have many subjects I still wish to investigate.

I am thankful I have six bottles of paint waiting for me to do violence on paper with them.

I am thankful for the contented Basset Hound snoring like a tugboat at my feet.

Things could be much worse.

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Time is heavy sometimes; imagine how heavy eternity must be.–E. M. Cioran, The Book of Delusions

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Someone posted–i don’t feel like i’m old enough to be my age

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“We all suffer for each other, and gain by each other’s sufferings; for man never stands alone here, though he will stand by himself one day hereafter; but here he is a social being, and goes forward to his long home as one of a large company.” — Blessed John Henry Newman

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Someone posted–Every socialist is a disguised dictator.–Ludwig von Mises

Unlike Engelbert Dolfuss, the austrofascist premier which Mises served as an economic advisor to, who was openly a dictator.

ME–Actually, anyone who reads my blog with any kind of regularity would know I’m pretty open about my dictatorial inclinations. I’m not really interested in hearing the other side’s opinions.

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I hate holidays so much.

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I’m sitting here getting angrier and angrier because I hate when other people are happy.

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Learn to be alone and to like it. There is nothing more freeing and empowering than learning to like your own company.–Mandy Hale

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Someone posted–I’ve found that a lot of non-pill treatments work for my depression. In the spring and summer months I can obstruct my anxiety and depression with exercise, weed, going out with friends, and ample time spent in the sun. The endorphins are good.

But during the winter, these options diminish or disappear. Netflix and Seamless are poor replacements for sunshine and jogging. And they make me lethargic and unhealthy: booster shots for depression. While I fight my internal will, I’m trying to commit to better methods of management.–Winter Is a Black Hole: How I Deal With Seasonal Depression

ME–
A friend who is physical and active by nature keeps getting upset with me for not getting out and doing exercise. But I don’t like going outside in any weather, at least here in Texas.

I feel dirty when I’m outside. I get angry when I perspire. It’s painful to walk, run, lift weights, cycle, or even stand up. I don’t know how to swim and don’t want to be seen in public in a state of undress or swim in the same water used by my filthy neighbors.

If I have to choose between being miserable all the time and breaking a sweat, I’ll choose misery.

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We die as we lived. Whatever was most important in life, will consume us at death. Whatever attachments we had will become evident then.–Yasmin Mogahed

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The last Thanksgiving my father was alive he dominated the conversation, holding forth about how a friend of his was murdered by his wife and the cops wrote it off as suicide for her sake because the guy was abusive. My dad said, “Usually, when men kill themselves, they point the gun at their temple or they stick the barrel in their mouth. Women either point the gun at their heart, or try to use pills, or other methods. But Tommie was gut-shot, which is a slow, painful way to die. And he was found in the doorway between his den and his garage, which is a strange place to kill yourself. The cops knew how Tommie treated Lou, because they were always getting called out to their house after they had a fight. I think the cops knew Lou didn’t deserve to go to prison.”

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We retired around 10:45pm.

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Friday, November 27th–

We got up about 8:45am.

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Someone posted–“Forever isn’t for everyone.”

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There are two ways of telling your story. One is to tell it compulsively and urgently, keep returning to it because you see your present suffering as the result of your past experiences. But there is another way. You can tell your story from the place where it no longer dominates you. You can speak about it with a certain distance and see it as the way to your present freedom.–Henri Nouwen

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Nap time!

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We went back to bed about 11:30am and got up again around 3:30pm. I’d been awakened by the heavy rain storm.

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Someone posted–“I’m dead, dear, not stupid.”

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I don’t want to have to be the one who mourns everything when everyone else has clearly forgotten. It’s mortifying. It’s mortifying to be the one who remembers.–Ryan O’Connell

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Someone posted–If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.–Juan Ramon Jimenez

ME–Funny you should say that. When I was in 4th grade, my school district had its own handwriting specialist. She drew up a handwriting model we were all to follow, and whenever we wrote anything on ruled paper we had to put a piece of cardboard under it that was covered with right-slanting lines.

Ever since then I have made a point of writing as different from that lady’s standard as I can. She’s why I write a dollar sign with two vertical strokes through the middle instead of one.

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ME–There’s nothing wrong with you that owning a Snuggie wouldn’t fix.

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To my great surprise, three of the books I’d ordered arrived today:

Sacheverell Sitwell–The Gothick North.

Dirk Bogarde–A Postillion Struck By Lightning.

Dirk Bogarde–Backcloth.

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Saturday, November 28th–

A little after 2pm I went out into the cold, paid my rent, then went to HEB, paid my AT&T bill, and bought some groceries. On the way down there and back it was very difficult for me to breathe, and I felt as if my lungs and chest were about to explode. It took more than three hours for me to feel normal, or perhaps I didn’t really feel normal until after I’d gone to bed.

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I just came back from walking two miles to the supermarket and back in the cold. The entire time I was outside I thought my chest was going to explode due to my difficulty in breathing.

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Someone posted–One time I used my retail voice on a coworker and she was like, “Don’t use your customer voice on me, I know you’re dead inside like the rest of us, it’s just frightening and weird”

Someone posted–The other day I asked for a table for two in my customer voice and the waitress squinted at me and I cleared my throat and said “Sorry, still in service mode” and she dropped hers and we swapped stories about our day and my boyfriend was like “You two just became two entirely different people in like .5 seconds…”

Someone posted–I can be bitching up a blue streak about a customer-from-hell while the store is empty, and when the phone rings swap over to my retail voice practically in mid-sentence. I even have managers and salespeople from other stores in the chain fooled into thinking I’m infinitely friendly and helpful, and my manager’s husband thinks I’m one of the most professional people in the store. One assistant manager’s daughter dubbed me Perky-Pants because she mostly dealt with me over the phone, and was shocked to the core when I dropped an F-bomb at her graduation picnic.

Someone posted–The acting required in the service industry is beyond the pale. My cousin freaked out when she came to see me at work because I was all smiling and nice while helping someone who was asking inane questions and who basically forced me to walk them to the product and put it in their fucking hand but I was nice as pie until I turned around to walk away and my demeanor changed back to normal and I muttered “what a fucking moron” under my breath as I got back to my cousin. She just looked at me shocked and said “no wonder you’re so exhausted when you get home.”

Someone posted–this is actually referred to as emotional labor in criminology, and is considered one of the hardest forms of labor.

Someone posted–This is 100% a thing in call centers too. Josh told me he’s basically invented a phone character at work.

Someone posted–Welcome to my life.

Someone posted–I accidentally slipped into “normal me” at work the other day when I was talking about some issues with another manager, and one of the customer just overheard had the audacity to leave a bad review for me and said I should be fired for being “unprofessional and unfit” for my job. No joke.

ME–The sales floor in retail is definitely a stage, while the office, stock room, break room, etc. are offstage.

Anytime I had to open, or my shift started, or I came back from lunch, I had to resume my stage persona:

“It’s showtime, folks!”

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I’m descended from a long line of guys named “Alexander Hamilton:” Alexander Hamilton, William Alexander Hamilton, James Alexander Hamilton, and John Alexander Hamilton, but I’m not related to the famous Alexander Hamilton.

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It’s been almost three hours since I was out in the cold and my chest is still hurting and I’m still not breathing properly.

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Well-informed booksellers can change lives.

I was worked in a used bookstore just before the Internet became popular, and an elderly man came into the store and asked if I could help him find a book. He had been ill for a long time as a child in the 1920s, but he regarded that period fondly because during his illness his mother read to him a novel about a mountain man that had appeared as a serial in “Scribner’s Magazine.”

He assumed the story had eventually become a book, and that the book had gone out of print. He had been looking for the book for something like seventy years.

I found the book for him in a few hours.

I can only imagine how good that made the man feel.

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Always act like you’re wearing an invisible crown.—Author Unknown

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TIME AND SILENCE ARE THE MOST LUXURIOUS THINGS TODAY.–TOM FORD

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Sunday, November 29th–

We went to bed around 12:45am.

We got up about 2pm, walked and ate, then went back to bed around 3:45pm.

We got back up again around 8pm (?), and I puttered around, doing laundry and such.

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Monday, November 30th–

We retired about 6am.

We got up about 5pm. During our walk, some Mexican laborers who were wrapping up work for the day gave us the fish-eye, and one looked like he wanted to take a swing at me.

Belle and I went inside and ate. Belle had some of my vegetarian chili, and since we were out of dog food I gave her the last of her birthday food–chicken fajita strips and chopped carrots with margarine. I went over to Petsmart and got two bags of dog food. When I got back home I sat on the kitchen floor for awhile and worked on my cedar knot project.

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Looks like this will be one of my bad mood days.

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Someone posted--You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat the people who serve them at restaurants.

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Who will you be tonight in your dreamfall into the dark, on the other side of the wall?–Jorge Luis Borges, from Dream, translation by Alastair Reid

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Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.–Anne Lamott

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Doug

August 12th was without a doubt the hottest day in Austin this year, and I spent about ten hours of it out running errands. When I finally got home I only wanted to walk my dog, take a shower, then contact my old friend, Doug. It was coming up on the sixth anniversary of his wife’s death, and I wanted to make sure he was doing all right. (His wife had died the day or the day after I returned home from another friend’s wedding in Los Angeles, thus putting a sad ending on what had been a happy week.)

I went to Doug’s Facebook page and learned that not only was he dead, he’d died back on June 28th and I’d not been informed. I couldn’t find an online obituary, so I scrolled through threads on the Facebook pages of his family and friends to try to get some additional information.

Basically, all I learned was he’d been in the hospital only a shirt time, having checked himself in after one of his legs started bothering him. He contracted pneumonia, his heart stopped, and the doctors tried for thirty minutes to revive him, but were unable to do so.

I’d known Doug since about 1983. He was the Resident Assistant on my floor of my dorm in college, but quickly became a very close friend, as well as a sort of surrogate parent. Several times over the years he gave me a place to stay and food to eat when I had neither. He was my sponsor when I joined the Catholic Church. Had I ever married he’d have been a groomsman, had I ever fathered children he’d have been a godfather, and had I died first, he’d have been a pallbearer.

Needless to say, I was broadsided by the news of his passing.

Doug was a good man and a good friend. He had his share of suffering, losing his wife and both parents within an eighteen-month span. He battled weight problems for much of his life, and had two unsuccessful lap-band surgeries. Many a time when we were out in public I heard people mock his appearance behind his back, and he’d just get quiet, look off in the distance, and try not to let the insult get to him. But I could see that each jeer caused him pain.

Despite all this, he was a joyful person, a hell of a lot of fun to be around, and a central figure in my college life. He was passionate about music, especially the blues, southern rock, jam bands, or pretty much any music from the ’70s that was not disco. He was also an excellent cook, and a hilarious story-teller.

In the weeks that have passed since I got the news I’ve been thinking about all the things we’ll never do again: no more road trips, movie recommendations, political arguments, late-night conversations, or re-enactments of comedy skits. I’ll never get his opinion on that Rodney Crowell book and I’ll never again enjoy his corn bread or chocolate cheesecake.

But as I’ve thought about it, I’ve realized that I only saw Doug two or at best three times after August 1989. He was married almost twenty years and I only met his wife once. We kept in sporadic touch on the phone or through Instant Messaging, but our heyday was only a six-year period in the ’80s.

This realization has skewed my sense of time, as has the fact that Doug’s death, funeral, and all those related events were very much in the past before I got the news.

While the period before, during, and after a death and funeral often involves memories of the past and concerns about the future, it is mostly about the present moment, the harsh reality of now. We deal with that by getting involved, whether by attending the viewing, wake, and funeral, bringing the family food, sending flowers, or just remembering the deceased on the day of the funeral. If you don’t participate somehow in those acts and gestures, it’s hard to catalogue and categorize that person’s death as a real event that took place at a specific time.

I’m not necessarily talking about closure. I’m not even sure I believe in closure, because most of my past, especially the painful parts, are still with me, wide open, and unresolved.

I think what is confusing me is that I last spoke with Doug at the beginning of June. He lived and worked very close to my mother and was able to give me details about a major flood that was threatening her house.

He called me up on the morning that the floods were at their worst, and we had a long, leisurely, pleasant conversation. It was a low-key ending for us. Four weeks later he was dead.

The conversation seems very recent to me. Doug’s death does not. Since I was ignorant of his death for such a long time it seems an event removed from time, removed from my experience of life and time. I fall back on the banal question, “But how could he be dead? I just talked to him the other day.”

I don’t intend to write a comprehensive remembrance of Doug, partly because no description could do the self-styled “Round Mound of Sound” justice, but I keep coming back to one image.

Doug had been promoted to the position of Hall Director at another dorm. It was the end of the school year and since all the students and R.A.s had moved out and gone home the university rules regarding noise levels no longer applied. We were standing out on his front balcony, smoking, while the Grateful Dead’s “American Beauty” LP blared out of Doug’s stereo, out his front door, and out over a valley of dormitories, classroom buildings, and parking lots.

It had been a tiring school year and an annoying semester, and we were both glad to see it come to an end. It should come as no surprise, then, that while Doug was playing air guitar and singing along to “Truckin,'” he howled “What a loooooonnngg, straaaaaange trip it’s beeeeeeen” at the top of his lungs, like a lonesome, forlorn hound. He forced every particle of his energy into those lyrics. He wrung out all our weariness and frustration and replaced it with smiles.

That’s what he did best.

Journal–October 2015

OCTOBER
Thursday, October 1st–

I dreamt I went to St. Austin’s Catholic Church near the UT campus with the intention of collecting holy cards, programs, Bible study hand-outs, and the like. I came in the northern (side) entrance, and found a small class or something being held in the Main Sanctuary. I didn’t even bother to splash myself with Holy Water, genulect, prayer, or anything. I just headed to the Narthex on the eastern side of the building, which is separated from the Sanctuary by glass.

I found one program with Bible study inserts and the like, but nothing more. Almost hidden in the flyer rack, however, was a stack of Holy Cards. They were all antiques, and I wondered if a collector had left them there. Most of the cards were one-of-a-kind, though there were a few duplicates of a St. Patrick card that had actual shamrocks attached. Selfishly, I decided to take one of every card there.

I had been sitting up straight, but then leaned forward until I was horizontal, so I could get a better look at the cards. I forget if I was on chairs, benches, or pews. A nun passed by, asked me if I was all right, and kept walking. I sensed that she thought I was a homeless person who had come into the church to sleep. (I’ve had a lot of dreams about sleeping lately.)

I got comfortable in my reclining position. The Rector from St. Mary’s Cathedral downtown walked by. (He’s the one I nicknamed “Father Shatner” for his way of speaking.)

Presently the Narthex began to fill up with teenagers (though in real life there’s not a high school at that church). They were getting ready for some school event, a field trip, or something.

From my reclining position, I started talking to one kid, then looked to the south in order to mention the Confessional, but then I saw that the Confessional had been torn down, and there was a big hole in the southern wall leading outdoors. Then I noticed that the Sanctuary was being demolished, and a bulldozer and a Panzer tank were making their way through the rubble. I knew that there had long been plans to remodel the Sanctuary and build a new church elsewhere on the property, I didn’t realize that they were going to completely gut the Sanctuary.

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I forget when Belle and I got up and did our usual routine. We eventually went back to bed and napped until early afternoon.

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Wow, I just saw two African women in what I suppose you’d call “traditional dress” walking across my parking lot to another building. One was wearing an African head wrap, while the other was wearing a white hijab, and carrying a large box with between 16 and 24 bottles of water on top of her head. The box was perfectly balanced and she was not steadying it with either hand. I had not seen that done in real life–only in movies and books. Both women moved with an otherworldly, regal grace–I just stood there gaping. Since I assumed they were Muslims, I kept my dog well behind me.

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Someone posted–Are hipster beards really on the way out?

ME–I hope so. I’m sick of these fools looking like Paul Bunyan. If you can’t furnish proof that you’ve worked as a lumberjack, shave your damn face.

And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of those white men without male pattern baldness who shave their heads to look like bad-asses.

I get it if you’re already losing most of your hair anyway. But if you aren’t, say, Yul Brynner or Telly Savalas, both of whom, at last check, are very dead, then don’t shave your heads, because you look like fools.

Now this new rule applies only to white men. Men of other races can pull that bald look off perfectly. Pretty much any black man, for example, can look cool like that without even trying. But when a white guy who doesn’t need to shaves his head, he just looks like a silly teenager who’s trying to look like a tough guy and failing miserably.

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Someone posted–“No matter how hard life can get, go to bed grateful for all you have.”

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Friday, October 2nd–

I had an amazing dream. I was traveling with some people…. At first I wasn’t sure where we were going. but then I saw that the street was cut out between two sheer walls of shiny red stone, dizzying in their height. Clinging to these walls like the elongated, round-tipped, jar-shaped mud chambers of Dirt Daubers were several stories of shops. They appeared to have been made of earth or possibly adobe, and bore faint traces of having borne colorful external designs in the German style a century or more before.

I got excited and yelled, “Oh, man–it’s my city! L.A.!”

The street narrowed, the buildings got closer together, and edges of the cliffs leaned in and almost touched. When we got through this pass we were greeted by an amazing panorama of what was supposed to be the city.

We parked in front of three older buildings which were more of less connected side-by-side. There was a wide entrance gate with a lofty cross-beam. Atop the cross-beam was a sign that was virtually impossible to read because it was almost completely covered with vines.

We went into the middle building and ordered breakfast. The dining room had faded Art Deco touches. A number of people who were friends of one or more of our party kept dropping in, sitting at our long table, eating, visiting, and leaving. I lost track of how many people came by, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t get to sit down very long and I didn’t get a breakfast.

I was dressed rather flamboyantly, with a pearl grey, narrow-brimmed “LBJ-style” Stetson, a flowing tie or neckerchief, possibly a jacket, possibly jodhpurs and riding boots or maybe just normal boots, possibly a cape, the red silk fringed belt from my old smoking jacket (I forget if I was wearing this around my neck or waist), and I topped it all off with a walking stick and my camera.

It turns out this building was also to be our hotel, and I believe we were all to stay in one room. Though the hotel had seen its better days, it interested me greatly. The bed I was to sleep in had ancient stuffed animals on it.

The bathroom was, naturally, by the main door to the room, to the left as you walking in. Between the front door jamb and continuing into the bathroom were a number of buttons, switches, and dials, which turned on lights, blowers, fans, water, and other services and functions, but it took me awhile to find the switch that turned on the main overhead light in the bedroom.

We didn’t seem to have an actual door to provide privacy from passersby in the hallway. The doorway leading into the hotel room was not a straight line, but rather a ninety degree curve. After poking around a bit, however, I discovered a curved vertical metal panel that came out of the front door jamb right next to all those switches.

I pulled out the panel and discovered that it was the first of six or more curved panels, which were mounted on tracks in the ceiling and floor, connected to one another like a pair of clutching fingers, and which were brightly polished and served as a wall of mirrors on the bedroom side. It was a very elegant touch.

I don’t know if we slept first or just immediately went out sight-seeing. I was never entirely sure of the hotel’s name, but as we pulled our car out of its parking slot, I tried to make out the sign under all those vines, and I think the place we were staying was called “The Hotel Arthur.”

I noticed what appeared to be a warehouse, painted black, with several stories, a gambrel roof, and a general appearance of dilapidation, though at second glance I saw there were catwalks and platforms, several stories above the street and without handrails or safety features of any kind, and prostitutes, all walking like slinky cats, were going into the building but not coming back out again.

We drove out and down the street and were soon hit with another visual panorama–across the street and to the left was a multi-story building that looked to be constructed of rather flimsy pale yellow or beige poles and staves. (Picture a building built of match sticks, enlarge to a human scale, and you’ll have the general idea.) Latinos of all extractions were milling around in a mob, and just as I was about to take a photo of that big building, a Latin woman tugged at my left elbow and told me not to take any photos in order to respect the privacy of the people who lived in that district.

We soon found ourselves in a lofty, almost completely dark food market which looked like the one in “Blade Runner,” only this one was more crowded and there were only Latinos in there. The floor consisted of hard-packed dirt with a little sand and sawdust thrown in.

The whole space vibrated with a peculiar buzz, and it took me awhile to realize it was being produced by humans. They were doing something akin to Mongolian throat singing. It was very unsettling.

Our party got separated. I hired a pedi-cab to get me through the maze, the narrow aisles, the food sellers rushing around in a dizzying frenzy. I kept one hand on my camera and the other on my wallet.

When we got to the other side of the market, the driver seemed to be saying he wanted “fifty.” Did he mean fifty pesos, fifty centavos, fifty dollars. I said, “Well, I’m certainly not paying you fifty dollars for that short ride. I could get to the airport for that. I will pay you fifty cents, however, and throw in another fifty as a tip.”

There was a wide, empty space at that other side of the market, and archways that led to some space that may’ve been lit with sky-lights.

Our party began slowly to regroup.

I stepped through the archways and noticed Latinos placing white linen napkins over the faces of people, mostly children, who were lying in rectangular holes about six- to twelve-inches in the ground, with little mounds of dirt or sand pushed up against their sides.

Then all the other people in the market, as if warned by a siren or tolling bell, placed white linen napkins over their faces, bowed their heads, and increasing the volume of their buzzing.

My friends and I immediately intuited that we shouldn’t stay around any longer. We crossed the sun-lit courtyard which had piles of sand in its corners, and stepped into the next space–a broad corridor, that extended to the left and right beyond my range of vision, with floor, walls, and ceiling that looked like cloudy, opaque ice, which gave off a dull glow, and which exuded clouds, presumably from the cold. This space was lined with shops that sold gaudy, albeit expensive items–jewelry, clothing, and even less-functional items.

I found a replica of the bowl-shaped leaf of some tropical tree or plant, two-and-a-half feet across, cast in silver, and set into the floor. Someone told me to stand on the leaf; I did so, and water bubbled up from a fountain that was higher than my head, cascaded down a silver channel, and filled up the silver bowl in which I was standing.

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I forget when we got up and did our usual routine.

I finally dropped my past-due AT&T bill off at the UPS Store–something I should’ve done days ago, spent $46.23 at Petsmart, and bought non-grocery and grocery items at Dollar Tree ($5.41 and $8.00). Though the wind was blowing while I was out, I returned home hot and sweaty.

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Someone posted–The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd –The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.–Fernando Pessoa

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Someone posted–

LESSONS BY DOGS:

You pray for more.
I only pray for you.
–igor

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Last night I put a bowl of my leftovers down on the living room floor so my dog could eat what was left. And when I got up today I found she’d pooped in the bowl. It made for handy clean-up, but still….

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Someone posted–CARL GUSTAV JUNG IN KUSNACHT, 1959 HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON

ME–Jung smoked Granger, the same cheap pipe tobacco my grandfather did. So whenever I see a picture of Jung with his pipe I imagine him smelling like my grandfather.

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Someone posted–“My whole life is a dark room.”

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Saturday, October 3rd–

Someone posted—Erle Stanley Gardner – The Case Of The Baited Hook

ME–I read this a few years ago and really enjoyed it.

It’s a shame nobody seems to read Gardner anymore.

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Someone posted–I saw you post a what kind of rich person would you be quiz and then I lost signal. can you post it again? if that’s ok with you.

Someone posted–I’d be happy to c:

Someone posted–What Kind of Rich Person Would You Be?

UGH I NEED TO GET RICH

ME–Well, hell, I think we all knew this one:

You are a Crazy Recluse, like Howard Hughes

You’re going to be found dead by your only remaining servant, as your staff slowly dwindled during your long slow mental decline.

This servant will have tons of stories about your bizarre predilections—the tinfoil hat, the individually sorted raisins, watching “Ever After” 200 times in a row, etc.—and although your money will go to no one after you die, the servant will get a great book deal out of it. So it wasn’t a total waste.

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Someone posted–

so i keep seeing these mental illness support posts all over but i never see any for the “scary” illnesses

im here for the schizophrenics, paranoid and otherwise

im here for the bipolar people, especially those who are rapid cycling (believe me, i know how much it sucks)

im here for the people with borderline personality disorder who are constantly wondering if theyre being abusive

im here for the addicts

the people who dissociate

the people who have trouble telling whats real

the people whose minds are too scary to get their own support posts
im here for you all

we’re not as scary as we’re told we are

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Someone posted–To build up a library is to create a life. It’s never just a random collection of books.–Carlos Maria Dominguez (The House of Paper)

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Waking up, getting up, even existing is such a mistake.

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Sunday, October 4th–

I attempted to nap later on at night, but Belle kept rattling those papers and making noise.

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Someone posted–If you read one book a week, starting at the age of 5, and live to be 80, you will have read a grand total of 3,900 books, a little over one-tenth of 1 percent of the books currently in print.–Lewis Buzbee, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop

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Someone posted–ive seen a lot of saturdays and boy this sure is one.

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Wow, the street racers are really going at it now (1:22am). the freeway is just two blocks from here, and I can hear the cars screaming. I bet there’s a lot of out-of-town racers hear this weekend for ACL Fest.

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Someone posted–Sometimes the truth hurts because it uncovers the lies people are living.– Steven Aitchison

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Someone posted–Every dog you see has a story

Someone posted–what about humans..?

Someone posted–Who cares

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I posted–If somebody ask you to do something, do it really bad so you never have to do it again.–Paris Hilton

ME–Honestly, that’s some of the best advice I’ve ever heard. That principle got me through many bad years of chores and yard work at home, and all the shitty jobs I’ve had ever since then. When the boss says, “You know, let’s just forget this,” then you can tell that you’ve won.

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I used to have these cop/buddy picture dreams where I was the older police detective, grizzled, cynical, and nearing retirement, and the young impetuous rookie cop was played either by Elijah Wood or the singer Beck, and we’d go around solving mysteries.

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I was irritable most of the day.

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Monday, October 5th–

Someone posted–“If it is unappetizing: Do not eat, date, or sign up for it. If the mere thought of it is depressing: Do not major in it, sit through it, or devote your life to it. If it is not important to you: Do not do it only because it is important to someone else. You will thank yourself”

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Someone posted–I don’t think people love me. They love versions of me I have spun for them, versions of me they have construed in their minds. The easy versions of me, the easy parts of me to love.

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I worked for two years as a part-time librarian and substitute teacher at a K-12 private school.

Among my accomplishments:

+Updating the library holdings for the first time in 25 years.

+Running a school library on an annual budget of about $2000 (or was it $4000?).

+Dealing with noisy classes by snarling, “Put a sock in it!”

+Teaching an art class the urban legend behind the recording of “Love Roller Coaster” by The Ohio Players.

+Giving MAJOR tongue-lashings to some obnoxious junior high girls who were mocking two boys who they insisted were gay.

+Recommending that a high school student watch “Pink Flamingos.” (He did, and it messed with his head.)

It’s a wonder I didn’t get fired.

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Tuesday, October 6th–

Someone posted–LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE WHO SUCK THE HAPPINESS OUT OF YOU.

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Someone posted–THERE’S NO POINT OF HAVING TONS OF FRIENDS WHO WON’T BE THERE WHEN YOU’RE DOWN.

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I’ve done my share, when working on political campaigns, of ripping down the opposition’s signs late at night before Election Day, but you have to destroy the sign or remove it from the premises, because otherwise your opponents might put it back up.

Also, as fun as it is to kick down a sign, you have to conserve your energy when you do black ops like that.

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Someone posted–[Dialogue from “Mr.Robot.”)

+What is it about society that disappoints you so much?

+Oh, I don’t know. Is it that we collectively thought Steve Jobs was a great man, when when we knew he made billions off the backs of children? Or maybe it’s that it feels like all our heroes are counterfeit. The world itself’s just a big hoax. Spamming with our running commentary of bullshit masquerading as insight, our social media faking as intimacy. Or is it that we voted for this? Not with our rigged elections, but with our things, our property, our money. I’m not saying anything new. We all know why we do this, not because Hunger Games books make us happy but because we wanna be sedated. Because it’s painful not to pretend, because we’re cowards. Fuck society.

ME–Kids, you know how much I hate tattoos, but if you insist on getting one, GET THIS DIALOGUE TATTOOED ON YOUR FOREARMS SO YOU CAN READ IT THE REST OF YOUR LIVES!!!

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Someone posted–pluviophile (n.) a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days

ME–That would be me.

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Someone posted–Working men are now left isolated and helpless, betrayed by the inhumanity of employers and the unbridled greed of competitors. A tiny group of extravagantly rich men have been able to lay upon a great multitude of unprotected workers a yoke little better than slavery itself.–Pope Leo XIII, AD 1891, Rerum Novarum

Someone posted–not much has changed

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Someone posted–To defraud any one of wages that are his due is a great crime which cries to the avenging anger of Heaven.–Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, 1891

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Someone posted–“I’m just tired; I just want the world to be quiet for a bit.”–Matt Healy

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Someone posted–reminder that your intrusive thoughts don’t represent who you really are

your brain is where you sandbox and process ideas, and not everything you think implies some secret underlying evil that you’re barely holding in, or something

it’s natural to think about things you don’t want to think about, because it lets you break down the ideas and understand them better, and help understand why you dislike those things and why it’s healthy for you to dislike them.

Someone posted–I needed this

ME–My problem is I proclaim my intrusive thoughts on my blogs.

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Wednesday, October 7th–

All right, this is ridiculous. We’re a week into October and Austin is still hot as balls outside. Let’s get a cold front–NOW!!!

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We went to bed around 4:04 am and got up at around 6:14pm.

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I have an ugly feeling that Trump is going to win the Presidency. Americans are just stupid and mean-spirited and cruel to allow that to happen. And when and if it does happen, the last few bricks will be put into place, establishing an oligarchy in every corner of government and society, and turning the U.S. into not only an international laughing-stock, but also a dying republic.

And good luck getting a decent job then!

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What you call “social constructs” I call facts.

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I really hope I don’t have to live in Texas the rest of my miserable life, but with no money, job, income, or prospects, I fear that I’m stick in this God-forsaken hell hole. I’m so ashamed I’m from this vulgar place.

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Thursday, October 8th–

We retired around 6:36 am and got up about 8:41pm.

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Someone posted–What is coming is better than what is gone.–Unknown

ME–It sounds rather like the J. M. Rodwell interpretation of verses 3 and 4 of Surah 93 of the Qur’an:


…”Thy Lord hath not forsaken thee, neither hath he been displeased.

And surely the Future shall be better for thee than the Past….”

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Someone posted–*white parent voice* i cant believe kanye and kim named their baby North West!! thats ridiculous!! oh no, its almost 4:30, i need to pick up my kids Mackaylikiah and Ashleighyie from their water polo practice!

Someone posted–I always reblog this post so fucking fast every time it comes on my dash my phone shuts down the app and reboots

Someone posted–Edythe

ME–Exactly!

I can’t take seriously people with silly or misspelled names, nor parents who bestow such names upon their children. It suggests to me ignorance, immaturity, and bad taste, not to mention a slavery to each passing trend and fad.

Parents guilty of such nonsense invariably say, “Oh, I want my child to be unique,” but their poor choice of name doesn’t spotlight their spawn as the Golden Child, but rather as a fool, a worthy target of taunts from the schoolyard and on throughout life.

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Well, there is *ONE* good thing going on, I guess–we’ve not heard a peep for several months now from those “Duck Dynasty” jack-asses. But I don’t think they’ve just faded away, though. I think the sons-of-bitches are regrouping and waiting for the chance to spring on us again when our backs are turned and we least expect it.
SO…

CONSTANT VIGILANCE, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS!

CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

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While I was walking my dog, I was trying to figure out how to describe this blog. It’s not a mood blog, a seasonal blog, fandom, art, music, photo, film, architecture, books, writing, cute animal, dog, animal rights, religion, politics, social causes, food, humor, vanity, history, mental illness, recovery, or rant blog. I guess it’s just a sloppily curated mix of all these things and more. (I think I must be a little too self-involved.)

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We retired around 6:36 am and got up about 8:41pm.

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Friday, October 9th–

Someone posted–micdotcom–Watch: A Texas mom called out textbook writers for erasing slavery — and won.

Someone posted–Teach your kids at home. Don’t rely on the board of ed!! “Only a fool would let his enemy teach his children.” –Malcolm X

ME–The late Mel and Norma Gabler were the assholes who started fucking up the Texas textbook adoption process.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_and_Norma_Gabler

http://ncse.com/rncse/19/2/texas-board-education-honors-mel-norma-gabler

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12430127

http://iloveyoubutyouregoingtohell.org/tag/mel-and-norma-gabler

Texas buys more textbooks than any other state in the US, so whatever changes the Texas Board of Education insist upon will appear in textbooks used all over the country.

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Someone posted–Why Dyscalculia awareness is so important

I’d like to take a second to list all the people I wish had known more about dyscalculia growing up:

My first grade teacher, who noticed when on a verbal counting test that I went from 99 to 100 to 200 and told my parents I just needed a little practice

My third grade teacher, who couldn’t understand why I would turn in a timed multiplication table test with absolutely nothing written on it, or burst into tears when asked to bring it home and have it signed by my parents

My school corporation, who placed me in advanced mathematics for two excruciating years based on aptitude tests, apparently unaware that aptitude and ability are not one and the same

My fifth grade teacher, who privately admonished me for “laziness” because I couldn’t stop making “silly mistakes”—like switching multiplication and addition, or flipping numbers like three and eight, or failing to follow every step of a math problem

My sixth grade math teacher, who publicly called me out for writing the formula for the Pythagorean Theorem on my hand, claiming I didn’t study, though I had spent five hours the night before preparing

My parents, who grounded me every time my report card came out, trying their best to discipline what they thought was laziness

My family doctor, who, once told about my math troubles, prescribed me ADD medication without any running any kind of diagnostic

My Algebra teacher senior year after I was diagnosed, who claimed that giving me extra time on my test would be “unfair to the other students”

Every teacher who ever laughed and pointed at the clock when I asked them what time it was

The boy in my band class that said I was the “stupidest smart person he’d ever met”

My former boss, who when I told I had dyscalculia told me “I probably have it too, I am always mixing things up!” (she was an accounting major and ran the accounting portion of that place of business)

But you know who would have really benefited from knowing about dyscalculia? Me. I wish I had known. I wish I could go back and tell my ten year old self that it wasn’t my fault, that I am extraordinary in the best way. I wish someone, somewhere along the way could have seen what was really going on.

That’s why dyscalculia awareness is so important.

ME–I don’t know if I have dyscalcula or not, but I’ve had math trouble all my life, even back to my early elementary school days. When I was in college I kept putting off taking the one math class that was required on my degree plan.

I tried Algebra, but only lasted two days. I was completely lost.
Finally, when I’d taken all the other classes I needed, I tried to talk the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences into letting the requirement slide. He made out like it would be a HUGE deal if he were to exempt me. I didn’t understand why. My classmates wouldn’t care, nor the Board of Regents, nor anybody else. I had a double major and neither major had anything to do with math.

He told me I had to get a certified educational psychologist to test me on my math skills. I took the test, and the psychologist wrote that I had a serious math problem that clearly dated back to childhood and that it would be almost impossible to fix at that stage.

So I was able to skip math in college.

A couple years later I was in a dead-end retail job. I hated the town I was living in, but my boss said if I did a good job over the next year, he’d see about getting me transferred to Austin, where I’d lived before and where I wanted to return.

One year passed. My manager was fired and replaced by another. One day the regional manager came by our store and I reminded her of what the previous manager had said. She said, “Sorry. He told you wrong.” Then she went into a whole list of reasons why I could never transfer to the Austin store.

“I see you use a pocket calculator when figuring out buys.”

“Yes, I have serious trouble with math and can’t do it in my head.”

“Well, the Austin store is the Big Leagues. You have to really have your act together to work there. And you have to work faster than you would with a calculator. You would have to be able to do math in your head.”

“I use the calculator faster than I could ever attempt to solve a math problem in my head.”

“Well, let me put it another way–if you went up to the register or the buy counter in the Austin store and took out a pocket calculator in front of your co-workers, it would essentially be the same as if you took out your penis in front of them and waved it around.”

I was shocked, not only because she was being unreasonable, but also because she was using vulgar and unprofessional language around me. I’m a vulgar, foul-mouthed man, but I never would’ve spoken to an employee, especially one I barely knew, like that.

At any rate, I’ve spent my entire life trying to work around my math difficulties, and I’ve found that carrying a calculator into a work setting has usually been good enough for me to meet most workplace requirements.

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Someone posted–I really hate the word ‘diversity.’ It suggests something … other. As if it is something … special. Or rare. Diversity! As if there is something unusual about telling stories involving women and people of color and LGBTQ characters on TV.

I have a different word: normalizing. I’m normalizing TV. I am making TV look like the world looks.–Shonda Rhimes at the Human Rights Campaign Gala in March.

ME–
Conservatives seem to regard diversity as a bitter pill to swallow, as something that is forced on them against their will, but at least as far as the arts and literature and history go (some of the areas about which I can speak with authority)–if students aren’t studying the works of cultures other than their own, they’re not getting a complete education.

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Someone posted–People only bring up your past when they are intimidated by your present.

ME–Old friends have a nasty habit of reminding me of stupid and embarrassing things I did in the past.

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The people in charge of factory farming, agri-business, and animal abuse and cruelty for profit really need to be executed, but I doubt the left will take up arms.

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Someone posted–There was a shooting at my Alma Mater, and my first thought was “thank God there was only one fatality when there could have been so many more.”

This is your America.

Fuck you.

ME–Well, a few years ago a student started shooting up the University of Texas, but oddly enough, didn’t aim at anybody. Then he went into the Library and killed himself.

Weeks later, at the State Capitol, which is in walking distance of that Library, Texas legislators considered passing a law to allow college students to carry firearms. They didn’t pass the bill that session, but they did during this year’s session.

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We went to bed some time after 12 noon, woke after 8:00 or 8:30pm, but didn’t get up until about 9:00pm. I’d actually wanted to go back to sleep, but Belle insisted that we get up.

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Saturday, October 10th–

Someone posted–If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half-alive. This leads to self-pity, suffering, and tears.–Miguel Ruiz

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After my previous dog, Fred, passed away I had a nervous breakdown that lasted about a year. For the first six months I had between one and four violent crying jags every day. I had to stick a bath towel in my mouth because I was screaming so loudly I was afraid the neighbors would think a woman was getting murdered in my apartment and would call the cops.

I sometimes broke down in public, especially if I heard a song that reminded me of Fred. Once I was crying at a bus stop, waiting for a bus, and the only way I was able to get it together before the bus arrived was to dig my fingernails into my palms until they almost bled.

For the most part my family and friends were very heartless and unsympathetic about my loss. I hated them for that and I hate them still.

I loved him so much that for years I hoped that he and I would die at the exact same time, or that at least if he died I would then drop dead of a heart attack.

I still wish that I’d died the day he passed–October 30, 2006.

After three or so years I got another dog, Belle, and now she’s my whole world, and I dread the day when we’ll part.

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I took apart my dog’s fort, vacuumed, removed all the hidden and forgotten chew bones and such from their nooks and crannies, and then rebuilt the fort. My dog is not happy with me right now.

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Someone posted–“WHY IS THE POPE KISSING ROTHSCHILD HAND?

Le pape Francis embrasse la main de David Rockefeller, John Rothschild, et Henry Kissinger.”

ME–
The only man mentioned that I actually see in the picture is Pope Francis.

If those important men actually visited the Pope, it would’ve been in the news. Had the Pope had some secret, sinister meeting, it wouldn’t have been photographed.

I’m fairly familiar with the Rothschild family tree, and I’m pretty certain there’s no “John Rothschild.”

The two men in the front row appear to be wearing kippahs. The man in blue seems to be wearing medals. I assume these men are Jewish veterans, possibly from a World War II underground group.

My conclusion is this post is just promoting another ridiculous conspiracy theory, and is also anti-Semitic garbage.

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Someone posted–The courtyard of the Palazzo Farnese, Rome.

ME–Clearly the inspiration for the courtyard of McKim, Mead, and White’s Boston Public Library.

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Someone posted–

simple tips to gain my friendship

have a dog
show me pictures of your dog
invite me over to pet your dog
be a dog
dog

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Sunday, October 11th–

Someone posted–The Ballroom inside the Astor Mansion, New York City

ME–Later knocked down and replaced by the Astoria Hotel, which later united with its neighbor, the Waldorf Hotel. Then they were both knocked down and replaced by the Empire State Building.

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Someone posted–Being able to respond with sarcasm within seconds of a stupid question is a sign of a healthy brain.

ME–And, failing that, a good, swift backhand across the face is a sign of a healthy body.

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Someone posted–“NOBODY FOR PRESIDENT.”
Odysseus has proven time and time again that his pride gets in the way of his leadership capabilities. He would be an awful president.

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Someone posted–It wounded him to think that he would never be but a shy guest at the feast of the world’s culture.–James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

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We retired around 4:08am (although Belle got up twice and paced around and rattled the papers), and we got back up around noon, walked, and ate. I read up on what it means when dogs pace around at night, and I read enough to get worried. I sent a message to Belle’s previous owner, then Belle and I returned to bed around 1:30pm. I forget when we got back up.

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I tossed and turned for hours last night trying to remember the name of Raymond Carver. I think the reason I was so obsessed was because I’m afraid of losing my memory and forced myself to figure this out.

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Someone posted–“I love the feeling you get when someone cancels plans that you didn’t want to have in the first place.”

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I posted–“Meth…It’s what’s for dinner.”

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Someone posted–“I hate when I plan a conversation in my head and the other person doesn’t follow the damn script.”

ME–All of my conversations are scripted. I rehearse them in the shower.

I’ve been told that it’s very wrong for me to script my sessions with therapists, but I want to make sure I express myself in just the right way, and can control every second, every nuance of the conversation, especially so I can keep the conversation from going into areas I don’t want to talk about.

I want the therapist to think, as I leave her office, “Damn, he’s as crazy as a shit-house rat, but still he’s as witty as Noel Coward.”

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Someone posted–There were so many different moods and impressions that he wished to express in verse. He felt them within him. He tried to weigh his soul to see if it was a poet’s soul. Melancholy was the dominant note of his temperament, he thought, but it was a melancholy tempered by recurrences of faith and resignation and simple joy.–James Joyce, A Little Cloud

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Someone posted–Palace of Depression by wackystuff

Via Flickr: vintage linen postcard … “The only real depression is a depression of individual ingenuity”

ME–“Palace of Depression” sounds like it would’ve made a good George Jones/Tammy Wynette duet.

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Someone posted–At some point, it’s inevitable that a self-driving car will have to choose between killing you to save nearby pedestrians, or killing the pedestrians in order to save you. It’s also inevitable that a business will exist that will allow rich people to pay to ensure that the latter always happens.

ME–
I took driver’s ed in high school, though I haven’t had a driver’s license in thirty years, have never driven regularly, and have never owned a car.

In driver’s ed we had to go to something called “The Simulator” (which naturally we called “The Stimulator”). This was a long trailer, inside of which were several mock-ups of car interiors, with steering wheels, brakes, accelerators, etc. We’d sit in our fake cars and then the instructor would project a driver’s ed film across the back wall of the trailer.

The films would depict the point of view of a person driving through various conditions (rain, snow, heavy traffic, etc.) and a stentorian voice on the soundtrack would announce, “CAUTION! POTENTIAL TROUBLE AHEAD. WHAT WILL YOU DO?” And then we’d brake, swerve, slow down, and so forth. Our car mock-ups had some sort of electronic gizmos that would show the instructor what action each of us had performed.

In one film, we drove through a New England village, rather like the one in “Valley of the Dolls,” in light snow conditions, during the Christmas shopping season. A young woman, heavy-laden with bags of Christmas presents, stepped out from the middle of the block, tried to cross the street, realized she’d dropped some of her purchases, and went back to the middle of the street to retrieve them.

I floored it.

Another time we were “driving” through a school zone. A little girl ran into the street from the playground to retrieve her ball. Some asshole in the on-coming lane veered over and was headed straight at me. And a dog ran into the middle of the street. Again: “CAUTION! POTENTIAL TROUBLE AHEAD. WHAT WILL YOU DO?”

Well, I sure as hell don’t want to kill myself in a head-on collision. And I would NEVER THINK of killing a dog! So, as Mike Hammer once said, “It was easy:” I plowed over the little girl.

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Someone posted–Of course guns don’t kill people. That’s why America sends its troops into battle armed with feather dusters and colorful language.

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Someone posted–Obama’s not coming for your guns, you morons. The corporatist, right-wing agenda and climate change are what you should fear. Instead, you’re being played. The sick society is populated with aimless, infantilized young men. The sick society is pulled apart from the commons, whether spatially or through ideology. It metastasizes via a decadent culture of violence in “music” and video games, as well as hate on talk radio, television, and the great god social media. Growing inequality and a hustle neo-liberal economy has taken away so many good jobs while “disrupting” not merely venerable companies and the social compact, but the mediating entities — whether the union hall or individuals who lit our way — that helped hold us together as a civilization.–Rogue Columnist

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Someone posted–Wouldn’t it be nice to just live your life knowing that benefits for retirement, disability, unemployment, paid leave, health insurance, and education are there for you? Wouldn’t it be nice not having to spend your finite time on this earth trying to coordinate tons of different accounts and employment relationships (and bear the risk and uncertainty of those accounts and relationships) in order to meet these kinds of needs?–The Argument for Free College

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Someone posted–“What’s a Democratic Socialist?”

ME–I’m a little odd in that I’m in favor of most of these, but am also in favor of monarchies, and am a bit of a totalitarian in that I think the politicians, media mouthpieces, and oligarchs of the right-wing in the US should be given show trials, then executed for treason.

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Monday, October 12th–

If I had Brian Blessed’s voice I would rule the world.

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I woke up about an hour ago with George IV hair, but sadly, as soon as I took my dog outside for a walk, the humidity wilted it.

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I forget when Belle and I got up, or went back to bed for a nap, but I did spend most of the wee hours of the morning copying and pasting the various obituaries and appreciations I could find about Brian Sewell.

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Tuesday, October 13th–

Ah, the annual Nobel Prize for Literature! My chance to scratch my head and say, “Who?”

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Though Belle and I retired close to 11am, I tossed and turned until after 12:30pm, so I got up, had something to eat, and took two more sleeping pills. That did the trick.

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Incomplete notes from a dream:

I dreamt again that I was living in a version of New Guild Co-op in a version of West Campus. I got up and got ready for the day…

…cheated/stole from house -mate or fellow student. got caught. restored what i’d taken…

…but wound up close to evening in a wooded area north of the Co-op, in a stone pavilion that was probably octagonal, and was about ten feet off the ground, with openings on the sides instead of windows. It was sort of a cross between a gazebo and a tower.

Some of my fellow Co-op residents used the place to smoke weed; I went there to smoke cigarettes.

I saw a group of Asian soldiers creeping up towards the pavilion, skirting the edge of the wood. Because they were wearing fur-lined caps I assumed that they were Mongolians. The officer was armed with a pistol, while his men were carrying rifles.

They entered the pavilion suddenly, and though I realized I was in mortal danger, I felt that if I gave them no reason to suspect me of anything, they would leave me alone. They did a search of all the nooks and crannies of the pavilion, the officer asked me some questions, and I answered as best as I could.

Either I offered the officer a cigarette or he took the packet from me; either way, he grabbed the majority of my cigarettes, so all of his men could have a smoke. He left me about three.

It turns out these soldiers were Thai, and they had come to America to track down some Thai nationals who were guilty of treason or plotting revolution or lèse-majesté. The officer told me to keep an eye out for these people and to contact him if I saw them. Then the soldiers left and I returned to the Co-op.

As always when I dream about West Campus, the atmosphere was that of a street party, with lots of college students headed to this event or that bar. And as always, I was a young man.

I went into the house, wandered around in the kitchen, and noted that on a shelf or shelves in the southeast corner, between the entrances to the dining room and front hall, someone had set up a display….

incense gods

islam folders

picked up 2 thais

cath church?

rode around. how to sneak them in ? many thais in danger in austin

got out. got bearings. c-store. they got abducted? saw female thai spy outside watching. spies everywhere.

back to house. gotta lay low.

how to bring Belle and other dog upstairs. dont wanna lug several times a day. move to first floor?….

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We didn’t get back up until 11:20pm.

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Wednesday, October 14th–

Someone posted–Connect with people who remind you of what you truly are.

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I spent most of the night messing around with my cutting-and-pasting of online articles.

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I posted–Biblical city of ‘Sodom’ discovered

ME–This just in–Donald Trump to unveil new plan to deport Sodomites.

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Someone posted–What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.–Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

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Someone posted–“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”–Miles Davis.

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Today I dreamt I was much younger and lived in a large house with my parents. I dressed like Lord Baden Powell and swaggered about all day.

Then my parents went without me to a school event I wanted and needed to attend. Some friends suggested we walk there via a shortcut, and I nixed that, so one of them offered to drive me.

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I had more trouble getting to sleep.

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We got up around 7:00pm. I walked Belle, but didn’t eat. Instead I went to HEB, got sweaty and winded on the way to the store, spent $7.00 on my pills, $7.27 on non-grocery items, and $58.81 on groceries. I returned a little after 8:00pm, and within a few hours was so sleepy I was ready to go back to bed.

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Thursday, October 15th–

Someone posted–Isolation is a way to know ourselves.–Franz Kafka

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During the summer of 1986 I worked as a waiter at a Mexican restaurant that was a couple of blocks from The Walls Prison in Huntsville, Texas. The manager looked exactly like Anton Chigurh from “No Country for Old Men,” even down to the silly haircut. I think the main difference was the manager wore his shirt unbuttoned enough to show all the gold chains hanging around his neck. I think he even had a gold medallion.

He and I did not get along. At all.

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Someone posted–You’re ten and have an I-Pad? When I was your age I had a crippling depression.

ME–When I was ten I was a boy genius with a great future ahead of me.

Now I’m an unemployed madman with no future.

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Has anyone else ever watched the twelve-part “The Life and Times of Lord Mountbatten, a television history?” I remember watching it on late night TV forty years ago, and I’ve been humming the march from the opening credits ever since, without ever knowing what it’s called.

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I posted–Spasi, Gospodi, Iyudi Tvoya (O Lord, Save Thy People)

ME–Just before I woke up today, I was dreaming of the end of “The 1812 Overture.” And when it came to the part with this hymn, I dreamt I was an Orthodox Bishop, coming outside with a large Suppedaneum cross, or possibly an icon, to bless the people and the troops of the Tsar.

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Oh God, I hate dealing with appointments. I wish I could just stay in this apartment the rest of my life and let people drop things off at my door without knocking or ringing the bell.

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Someone posted–why the fuck do people have to YELL AT SPORTS ON THEIR TV I don’t wanna hear it ever again

I have to let the sportsmen know what to do they are lost without my guiding hand. the tiny men on the TV run for my enjoyment the least I can do is be a leader to them.

ME–I don’t understand why people yell at televised sports either, though I do scream corrections when someone on TV mispronounces a word or uses improper grammar.

To give an example–There’s a Lake Buchanan somewhere near Austin. Whenever the local weather men refer to it they always say “Boo-cannon,” and I turn away from what I’m doing, face contorted with rage, and scream, “IT’S ‘BYOO-CANNON,’ YOU STUPID COCKSUCKER!!!”

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2016 is going to suck. It will mark ten years since I’ve been to Paris (and I’ve not been able to return since), and ten years since my dog Fred died (something which I’ve not been able to get over).

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I agree with pretty much everything Bernie Sanders has had to say, but I have three main problems: 1) I think it’s more important in 2016 to prevent a Republican from getting elected President than it is to ensure that any particular Democrat to be elected; 2) I fear that if Sanders got elected, with both Houses of Congress being controlled by right-wing Republican lunatics, he’d face even more gridlock and titty-baby-style opposition to his policies than President Obama has; 3) While I like Sanders personally, some of his followers creep me out, and are little too zealous and insistent for my taste (but this is usually the case with followers of third-party or dark horse candidates).

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Just take a pledge not to use “literally” in every goddamn sentence for the next, say, two-hundred years, and I’ll be happy.

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For the last 3.5 fucking hours my trashy downstairs neighbors have been playing the same 5-note dub-step crap they listen to all the time. What kind of mindless zombie does that?

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Someone posted–The perfect clarity of all the images we see in dreams which is the precondition of our unquestioning belief in their reality again reminds us of conditions pertaining to earlier mankind, in whom hallucination was extraordinarily common and sometimes seized hold on whole communities, whole peoples at the same time. Thus: in sleep and dreams we repeat once again the curriculum of earlier mankind.–Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human

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Someone posted–
The same people who were questioning the school I picked for my girls and starting their own charter school, wanted to talk to me about the This American Life Podcast about segregated schools. They wanted to talk to me about things I already knew. Our schools are more segregated than they have ever been. Our educational system is deeply inequitable. Things are only getting worse. They shook their concerned liberal head in sadness wondering what they could do.

Then they made sure their child got into the very white, pretty affluent charter school that is not representative of their neighborhood. When one didn’t exist, they took their resources and began creating one.

When I am able to move past the anger, the frustration that people are talking about a school they know nothing about, I listen to what they say. Behind all the test score talk, the opportunity mumbo jumbo that people lead with, I feel like what is actually being said, and what is never being said is this: That school is too black.

The people who are moving into my neighborhood want their children to have a diverse upbringing, but not too diverse. They still want a white school, just with other non-white children also participating. They want to go to the Christmas pageant and not have their white sensibilities violated because the other parents are too loud and boisterous and it makes them uncomfortable, for really no good reason. They don’t want their kid to notice her whiteness in Pre-k […] They don’t want to have to wonder when the teacher calls, if they are getting extra attention because white parents are often perceived as overbearing. They want diversity, just not too much.–Abyy Norman –Why White Parents Won’t Choose Black Schools

ME–I worked at a K-12 private school from 1998 to 2000. I think there was exactly one black child in a school with 180 students, and her dad was a professional basketball player. There were a few wealthy Indians. I don’t remember any Asians. Two half-Muslims. And I once had a study hall where I was the only American citizen in the room–everybody else had either British, Romanian, or Russian citizenship.

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Someone posted–When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence.

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I’d like to play a few chukkers of polo using Taylor Swift’s severed head as the ball.

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I wrote a 930-page book in a month. I think I’ve earned the right to skip National Novel Writing Month.

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Friday, October 16th–

Someone posted–did u kno: ur icon is actually you in 20 years

ME–I wouldn’t mind ending up in exile if I could get a decade or two on the throne. [My icon is Napoleon.]

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Someone posted– “My mind is a mess.”

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Someone posted–“CAN I STILL GET INTO HEAVEN IF I KILL MYSELF?”

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Someone posted–You can tell a lot about a person from the way they treat people working in retail or the service industry.

ME–Well, having worked extensively in both I can tell you that most people are real shit-heads.

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Someone posted–i may seem like an angry person on the surface but deep inside im actually angrier

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I don’t think my care-givers understand that I’m not interested in changing my personality. I’m interested in changing my circumstances, in getting financial security, getting money coming in, having housing, food, and utility security, and being left the hell alone.

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Saturday, October 17th–

3:45am. I’m hating life. Time for a shower.

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Sunday, October 18th–

Someone posted–I create entire romances in my dreams.–Fyodor Dostoyevsky, White Nights

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ME–
To my asshole neighbors:

1) Do not approach or pet my dog Belle until you’ve asked for AND RECEIVED my permission. She’s skittish around some people and animals, and doesn’t like either to just run up into her face.

2) Do not say, “Man, that’s a really old dog you have!” Belle is not old, sickly, doddering, decrepit, weak, crippled, senile, or infirm. She is, rather, a “lady of a certain age,” and she has more energy and vitality than most humans I know. She just likes to conserve it for about 23 hours a day.

3) A Word to the Wise: If you hurt my dog I WILL bash your fucking skull open with one of the grapefruit-sized rocks that are used on the apartment complex grounds for landscaping.

Someone posted–We don’t use the word “old” when it comes to dogs, we use “distinguished lady” or “established gentleman.”

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Someone posted–Actually, it is amazing how much can be learned about people from the books they own.–Mitch Cullin, A Slight Trick of the Mind

ME–Definitely. My library is the blueprint to my mind. (Well, not the crazy part….)

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Someone posted–Let it die. Let there be a new beginning. It’s awful. Goodnight.—Charles Bukowski

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Someone posted–there are guys in my dorm who decided to play cards in the elevator

Someone posted–see what intrigues me about college isn’t the intellectual pursuit or the bonding or whatever, its the fact that people have the freedom to do random shit like this

Someone posted–Okay, everybody, I have a story about random shit in college. When I was in college, there was a particular class I took where, no matter what time you walked into class, if you made it into the room before the professor, you wouldn’t be counted late. I mean, that’s a pretty cool policy, given how some professors are really obnoxious about attendance.

Well, one time, a fellow student of mine was running late to class. As she reached the edge of the building, she saw her professor making it to the front steps (super long rectangular building here). He looks up from walking and he sees her. He then points to his watch, gives her a well-meaning “Look who’s late” face, and walks on inside.

What he didn’t know, though, was that this particular student was like freakishly good at bouldering and related climbing skills, so she was just like “Fuck it” and SCALED THE BUILDING!

She tapped on the window of the 4th floor classroom (the floors had like 20 ft ceilings, so, she was quite a ways up there), nearly making one student piss himself. They opened the window, she rolled through, onto the floor, and slid into her seat about five seconds before the professor opened the door to the classroom.

He did a double take, started to say “How the hell d—” when a security guard ran in, red-faced and panting, pointed at her and bellowed “STOP DOING THAT!”

Someone posted–Okay random college story of my dads. He was taking a history class and they were writing a timed paper during the class and when the time ended, the professor told everyone to turn in their papers or they would not be graded.

One boy in the class wasn’t finished with his paper when the time was up so he continued to write the paper until the class finished. When it did he went to the turn in the paper. The professor told him that he could not hand in his paper outside of the time restraint because it wasn’t fair to the rest of the people in the class.

So the boy went up to the professor desk and asked “do you know who I am? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM??” The professor calmly told him “no I don’t know who you are.” The boy said “good!” And stuffed his paper into the stack on the professor’s desk of all the papers that had been turned on time and then walked out of the class.

The professor has no choice but to grade his paper.

Someone posted–My favorite thing about this post is that people keep adding college stories to it and they’re so much fun to read

Someone posted–When my grand-fad was in collage he did engineering and to prank his teacher he and his friends dismantled the teachers car and put it back together in the cafeteria.

Someone posted–My dad kept a pet snake (yes apparently its genetic) but the RA was a hard-ass. He knew there was a snake and kept trying to catch my dad breaking the rules, but the entire floor hated the RA so everyone just kept moving Slinky from room to room.

Someone posted–S l i n k y

Someone posted–Slinky the sneaky snake

ME–When I was in college some guys in my dorm put their mattresses on the stair landing about 10 feet below their floor and about 15 feet from the top step, then leaped into the air and tried to land on the mattresses.

Another time some guys discovered that there was a steel trap door in the dorm’s ground floor janitor’s closet. The trap door led to a crawl space that was full of dead rats. As it turned out, that day the janitor forgot to lock his closet door, so that night some of the guys decided to go explore the cellar.

I gave them a head start, made sure they were all well in to the cellar, then I took off my shoes, approached the closet quietly, slammed down the steel trap door, slammed the closet door closed, and ran away.

I forget how long I left them down there, but they all panicked and at least one of them started crying.

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Someone posted–Your future self is watching you right now through memories.

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Someone posted–I’ve always had a terrible weakness for beautiful but sad things.–Sylvain Reynard, Gabriel’s Inferno

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Someone posted–Thank you, slow walking family walking in front of me on the sidewalk. No, please, take your time. And definitely spread out, too, so you create a barricade of idiots. –Jimmy Fallon

I relate to this so strongly I got a little teary-eyed.

ME–That’s why I practice and practice, developing my voice into a finely-tuned instrument, so I can clear my throat so loudly that the slow-ass people in front of me will know to get the hell out of my way.

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In 2004 a friend saw a news report that my apartment complex was on fire. He came and got me and my dog Fred and put us up in his home. Now I just learned his condo burned down today. He does have insurance and a job and a place to stay. I just wish I could do something for him.

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Monday, October 19th–

All these beautiful photos of the UK on my dash are depressing me, because I’m pretty sure I’ll never get a chance to go there, and certainly not live there.

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Someone posted–“my mental illness is destroying me and i want to die every day but that’s not the kind of thing you can bring up at parties”
ME–Ah, but that’s one of the reasons I stopped going to parties.

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Someone posted–The facts that are very simple. Republicans win when there is a low voter turnout, and that is what happened last November.

Someone posted–Sixty-three percent of the American people didn’t vote, Anderson. Eighty percent of young people didn’t vote. We are bringing out huge turnouts, and creating excitement all over this country.

Someone posted–Democrats at the White House on down will win, when there is excitement and a large voter turnout, and that is what this campaign is doing.–Bernie Sanders

#please vote#vote vote vote#i dont care who you vote for#be educated#vote from your heart#and your ideals#but do it!

You can learn how to educate yourself on the candidates and what steps you need to take to vote in your state here.

ME–Also, an odd trend I’ve discovered in 35 years of political work: Republicans do better in elections when the weather is bad. This is because Republicans all tend to have cars and ample time to go and vote. Poorer people tend to be Democrats, and they don’t always have cars or reliable transportation, so they often can’t get to the polls–especially if it’s raining or snowing.

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Someone posted–“we all have that one person that we wasted just too much time on”

ME–Just one?

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Okay, I’m overcome with sadness and am still sleepy. Back to bed.

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Someone posted–does anyone else get really anxious when the cashier hands you change and you’re hurriedly putting it away in your wallet so that the next customer in line can proceed or is that just me

Someone posted–i don’t even put it in my wallet, i just crumple everything and throw it in the bag before the anxiety bomb goes off

ME–Checking out at the grocery store is absolutely terrifying for me, because I fear that if I don’t do every step of the process correctly and at lightning speed, I’m gonna have problems with the cashier, the sacker, and everybody in line behind me. And if the cashier asks me a question while I’m typing stuff onto the keypad I jump about three feet in the air in panic.

And yes, part of this is ingrained and residual fear from years working cash registers and getting chewed out by managers and customers for being too slow.

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Someone posted–lil bpd things

• eating a lil for a few days or binge eating at once

• picking up other people’s sense of style or the way they talk because you like them so much

•feeling horrible when you aren’t 100% the best at something

•constantly wondering if you’re being manipulative or genuinely needing help

•needing as many labels as possible so that you can identify as something

•wanting to die when ur fav person doesn’t text back

•impulses to harm urself or say bad things

•getting attached to anyone who gives u good attention

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I’m incredibly sad and filled with dread because I have to go see my care-givers at a clinic tomorrow. It’ll take me 90 damn minutes to get down there by bus. I hate going to that place so much, and I get nothing out of it apart from meds which only work some of the time at best.

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Someone posted–I always have meetings where people are like, wanting to talk about character arc and learning lessons and I’m like, no, people don’t really learn lessons. People don’t necessarily get better. A lot of people get worse.–Josh Thomas, on network notes for Please Like Me

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Someone posted–[shouting angrily] “I don’t like ‘em putting chemicals in the water! They turn the freakin’ frogs gay! [grunting heavily] “Crap!”

ME–Did someone order a batch of gay frogs?

But seriously, Alex Jones acts like a four-year-old who’s throwing a tantrum because his parents decided to go to the Olive Garden for dinner instead of McDonald’s. I can’t believe anyone takes him seriously. I’m not much for empathy, but I’m actually embarrassed for Jones because he doesn’t seem to realize how ridiculous he is. (But he’s also made a ton of money acting like a jack-ass, and lives in a gated community.)

Also, Glenn Beck stole his crying shtick from Jones.

And furthermore, Jones is from Austin. I remember when he started out with a cable access show. Still, it’s good to know there’s at least one person in Austin who is crazier than I am.

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Tuesday, October 20th–

We got up at 9am–thirty minutes before my alarm was set. Belle and I walked, then we came inside and ate, and I got ready for the day. I caught the 11:34am Express Bus, got off at the Library but didn’t go inside there. I took the #7 Bus down to the clinic, met with my Case Manager around 1pm and a nurse around 1:30pm, but was unable to get my prescriptions refilled because their on-site doctor recently resigned.

One of the schedulers insisted that I come back on the 29th to see the new doctor (and the nurse added I’d not seen a doctor since July). Privately I was livid and anxious about having to go back down to that goddamn place in a week. I have nothing to tell a fucking doctor that I didn’t already tell the nurse. This is such a huge waste of time–as I knew it would be. (At least the appointment they’d set on my birthday got cancelled.)

I took an other #7 Bus downtown and an Express Bus to UT. I got a little food for lunch at the CVS Pharmacy, ate in front of the HRC around 3pm, and went to look at the Frank Reaugh exhibition again, and see if I could get better photos (especially of those works covered by glass), with a filter.

From there I took a shuttle to the PCL, checked all the copiers on Floors 2, 4, and 6, found that the copier on the 6th Floor had a piece of paper jamming it up, preventing it from working, and so rather than waiting on some slow-ass, lazy library employee to make a half-hearted attempt at repair, I fixed the machine myself.

Next I got three volumes of “The Dictionary of Literary Biography” and copied articles on Wiliam Laud, Robert and Edward Harley, Sir Thomas Bodley, the Bridgewater Library, John Selden, Thomas Cranmer, Izaak Walton, Lord Brotherton, Richard Garnett, Sir Anthony Panizzi, Sir Sydney Cockerell, W. W. Greg, N. R. Ker, Theodore Besterman, A. N. L. Munby, William Thomas Lowndes, Robert Proctor, Charles Edward Sayle, Alexander H. Turnbull, H. G. Aldis, and William Blades. “DLB” articles such as these on librarians, book dealers, book collectors, and bibliographers have served as my chief bathroom reading for the last year.

After this, I took another shuttle to the Drag, and caught an Express Bus for home. And when I got home, goddamned if I didn’t have messages that my prescriptions were ready.

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I think it was 3:45am when we finally went to bed.

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Wednesday, October 21st–

Someone posted–You can’t measure the mutual affection of two human beings by the number of words they exchange.–Milan Kundera, Identity

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Someone posted–

Anxiety attacks aren’t always hyper-ventilating and rocking back and forth

Anxiety attacks can take different forms, such as:

Unpredictable bouts of rage or irritability

Nit-pickiness (obsessive behavior, which may be a part of OCD), and even a hyper-sensitivity to disarray, chaos, or any sort of change

Fast-talking, stuttering, stumbling over words

Not talking at all

Sitting rigid, staring into space, almost seeming “zoned out”

Understanding the way our or other’s anxiety works can help to decrease the stigma and help to calm a person faster and get them out of that state. These are just a few, but it gives an idea of the range in which attacks can come.

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Okay, I’m closing up shop. Time to take my meds, cuddle up with my hound, and hope the Hill Country gets some much-needed rain while we sleep.

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We got up in late morning, walked, and ate. Outside it looked like it had sprinkled overnight. We went back to bed in early afternoon, but I’m not sure how much, if any, sleep I got. The bed and I got very hot and uncomfortable even though I had the fan and AC on. We got up after 5pm and I got more and more irritated thinking about having to go back to that fucking clinic next week.

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Well, would you look at that! My birthday is November 2nd. (The Day of the Dead.) And the link to my Amazon Wish List is on the right-hand side of your screen. Funny how that works.

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Someone posted–How hipsters may be bringing back vintage language

ME–This article surprised me, because I’ve been using some of these words (bespoke, peruse, smitten, dapper, perchance, parlor, amongst, amidst, whilst, unbeknownst–-but not thou, thee, ere, and hath–I’m not a Quaker) as long as I can remember, and not as an affectation either–-it’s just the way I speak.

I remember when I was working on a political campaign, one of my co-workers, a lad of eighteen, laughed himself silly when I used “behoove” in a sentence.

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Thursday, October 22nd–

Happy birthday to my sweet Lady Dog, BELLE!!!

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Friday, October 23rd–

Someone posted–“I was waiting for
something extraordinary to
happen

but as the years wasted on
nothing ever did unless I
caused it….”–Charles Bukowski

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Someone posted–If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.– Thích Nhất Hạnh

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I watched the very first episode when “Sesame Street” premiered. I was in Kindergarten.

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Someone posted–“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.

The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.

If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign- body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.”—-Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life

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Someone posted–“It’s only getting worse.”

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Saturday, October 24th–

Someone posted–“everyone cares when it’s too late.”

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It rained most of the day. I think we got up in late afternoon/early evening.

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Today’s forecast: A seriously bad mood for the foreseeable future.

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Sunday, October 25th–

I’ve only been awake for a few hours, but I’m so overcome by sadness, depression, worry, anxiety, and just a general need to cry, that I would love to just go back to bed.

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I posted–“Everything just tastes like sad.”

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Monday, October 26th–

Someone posted–
If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next… don’t. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path towards happiness. Don’t waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present – each moment as it comes – because you’ll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart, where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again…

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Someone posted–Leave me alone. I’m only speaking to my dog today.

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Tuesday, October 27th–

I don’t really remember what I did today, so I must’ve been doing my on-going computer clean-up project.

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Wednesday, October 28th–

It’s 3am and I really want some Mexican food, but I’m broke, have no car, and my dog will bark her head off and wake the neighbors if I leave, so I guess no Mexican food for me.

Come to think of it, for the last two days I’ve been dreaming about hanging out in the kitchens of Latinos and watching them cook.

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Thursday, October 29th–

I remember about 15 or so years ago when blogging was in its infancy that some of the blogging sites (Blogger?) had things you could click to indicate what mood you were in when you posted a blog entry. I wish they’d bring that back.

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Someone posted–“I has a sad.”

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My favorite TV comedy–”Green Acres.”

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Someone posted–Marguerite ‘Peggy’ Guggenheim (1898-1979)

ME–I went to a wedding in LA five years ago, and a very drunk friend of the groom, and a supposed fan of my writing, cornered me and held forth on his rather peculiar theories of the arts, the most memorable being that had Jackson Pollock not possessed superb cunnilingual skills, then Peggy Guggenheim would’ve directed her all-important patronage to some other artist, and modern art would’ve gone off into an entirely different direction.

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Someone posted–bourgeois is a slur against rich people and it is wealth shaming

ME–I prefer “Plutocrat-American.”

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So a few hours ago I was grocery shopping and a guy wearing a T-shirt with this logo [Tyrell Corporation] almost bumped into me.

Thirty seconds later, he almost bumped into me again.

Then about seven minutes later I was checking out and I saw him directly behind me in the line! I was tempted to grab him, growl, “I WANT MORE LIFE, FUCKER!!!,” and then push my thumbs into his eye sockets.

(These are all “Blade Runner” references, by the way.)

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My new shrink thinks I’m a genius!!!….I like my new shrink!!!

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Are you fretting about what to get me for my birthday (November 2nd–The Day of the Dead)? Well, fret no more! Here’s a link to my Amazon Wish List….

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Friday, October 30th–

Someone posted–

Anthony Bourdain Says Trump’s Deportation Plan Would Bankrupt Restaurants

OCT 30, 2015 @ 04:18 PM 630 VIEWS

Katie Sola

FORBES STAFF

Anthony Bourdain arrives at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Donald Trump wants to deport every last undocumented immigrant from the United States. Anthony Bourdain claims Trump’s grand plans will destroy the restaurant industry. And data on undocumented immigrants in the workforce suggests Bourdain might just be on to something.

“If Mr. Trump deports 11 million people or whatever he’s talking about right now, every restaurant in America would shut down,” the celebrity chef and restaurateur told SiriusXM host Pete Dominick. Trump has promisedto deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

Immigrants are “the backbone of the industry,” Bourdain said, because they’ll take the jobs Americans won’t. Bourdain claimed he was a manager employer for twenty years and ”not once, did anyone walk into my restaurant — any American-born kid — walk into my restaurant and say I’d like a job as a night porter or a dishwasher. Even a prep cook — few and far between. Just not willing to start at the bottom like that.”

Immigrant workers helped Bourdain as he was starting his own culinary career. “I walked into restaurants and the person always who’d been there the longest, who took the time to show me how it was done, was always Mexican or Central American,” he said. You can listen to the interview below.

https://soundcloud.com/siriusxm-news-issues/anthony-bourdain-if-trump-deports-11-million-immigrants-every-restaurant-will-close

The numbers back him up. Undocumented immigrants make up 12% of the workers who prepare and serve food, and 28% of dishwashers, according to a 2008 report from the Pew Hispanic Center. They were 17% of cooks and 16% of bakers in 2012.

Restaurants have notoriously slim profit margins of 3% to 6%, according to the National Restaurant Association. It’s estimated that 60% of new restaurants close in three years or less. Bourdain is probably exaggerating when he says America’s one million restaurants would go bankrupt. But it’s easy to see how the abrupt loss of so many workers could bust businesses’ profit margins past the point of repair.

ME–Although I strongly disagree with Bourdain’s views on vegans and vegetarians, I think he is right on the money about this.

I’ve been a busboy, waiter, side-order cook, short-order cook, and restaurant critic, and I can tell you that Latinos are essential to the US restaurant business. Furthermore, Latinos are the people who plant, tend, harvest, load, process, package, ship, unload, and display almost every bit of food that Americans put into their mouths. Without Latinos, most of us wouldn’t eat.

That said, I think they deserve fair wages and good working and living conditions because many of them today live little better than slaves did two-hundred years ago. In those days Southerners insisted that slaves were necessary for the existence if the Southern economy, and in a way I feel that Bourdain and I are using the same sort of arguments to justify the use of Latino laborers.

But the difference here, and I think Bourdain would agree with me, is that while Latinos are necessary to the US economy, I feel we need to remake the current model so Latinos are treated and paid fairly, rather than continuing to use them as near-slaves or deporting them to their country of origin.

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I must be in a 60′s mood tonight. I was preparing my dog’s dinner while singing “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?,” in the voice of Jo Anne Worley.

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Frederick Fitzgerald Bankston (July 1991–October 30, 2006).

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used

Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

–- Canon Henry Scott-Holland

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Saturday, October 31st–

How dare that little pisant in the apartment complex front office give me the fucking high hat! I hope he has a car wreck on the way home this evening.

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It’s a good thing I’m going back to bed soon, because I’ve been awake less than thirty minutes and am already filled with rage.

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It’s a good thing I seldom act out the rage that life and the world inspire in me or I’d be in serious trouble. But God help me the day I finally flip out and completely lose it.

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Someone posted–Expressive action begins with sensing a rupture in existence. The desire to eliminate this gap and become fused with existence itself becomes the will to create art.–Lee Ufan

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Today’s the 40th anniversary of the Charles Whitman shooting, so I thought I’d drag this out again.

https://thegreatindoorsman.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/8166-a-charles-whitman-gazetteer-2-2/#comments