Books Read In 2015.

I didn’t get many books read in 2015.

Most of them were also fairly short.

Even that didn’t matter much because when I tried to read on my bed, I’d be asleep within ten minutes.

By the end of September I decided to take it easy for the rest of the year and mostly just read biographical articles about famous British and American librarians, book collectors, book dealers, and bibliographers, photo-copied from different volumes of the “Dictionary of Literary Biography.”

Some books that I started reading in 2015 are still in progress.

 

Susie Hodge–Why Your Five-Year-Old Could Not Have Done That: Modern Art Explained. (1/2/15–1/28/15).

The Infinite Moment: Poems from Ancient Greek. (Translated by Sam Hamill.) (2/2/2015–2/8/15).

Poems From The Greek Anthology (Expanded Edition.) (Translated by Kenneth Rexroth.) (2/2/2015–2/9/15).

David Lazar, editor–Conversations with M. F. K. Fisher. (10/14/2014–2/18/15).

Hans Ulrich Obrist–Ways of Curating. (2/2/2015–2/25/15).

John Berger and Jean Mohr–Another Way of Telling. (6/29/14–2/28/15).

Kristin G. Congdon, Doug Blandy, and Danny Coeyman–Happy Clouds, Happy Trees: The Bob Ross Phenomenon. (3/1/15–3/19/15).

B. H. Friedman–Jackson Pollock: Energy Made Visible. (3/1/15–4/9/15).

Bobby Byrd–Otherwise, My Life Is Ordinary: Poems. (4/10-15–4/11/15).

W. G. Sebald–A Place In The Country. (4/14/15–4/25/15).

Mary Beard and John Henderson–Classics: A Very Short
Introduction. (5/9/15–6/2/15 ).

Maira Kalman– My Favorite Things. (6/3/15–6/6/15).

Robert Walser–Berlin Stories. (6/13/15–7/15/15).

Robert Walser–The Walk. (7/15/15?-7/21/15).

Christopher Kul-Want and Piero–Introducing Slavoj Zizek: A Graphic Guide. (7/21/15–8/3/15).

Elisabeth Roudinesco–Lacan: In Spite of Everything. (8/5/15–9/10/15).

G. A. Cohen–Why Not Socialism? (9/13/15–9/19/15).

Darian Leader and Judy Groces–Introducing Lacan: A Graphic Guide. (8/4/15–9/23/15).

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Journal–September 2015

SEPTEMBER

Tuesday, September 1st–

Dear neighbors from that other apartment building:

Obviously it’s none of my business if you want to have sex.

It’s also none of my business if you want to have sex with the lights on.

But may I suggest you actually close your blinds before you start doing the wild thing? I was walking my dog and I don’t know exactly how to explain to her what she just saw.

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I forget when I got up, but not long afterwards I took care of Belle, I went to run errands. I dropped off my rent check, went to the UPS Store and made copies of my Food Stamps materials and some pages from a library book ($7.32), got some rawhide chews at Petsmart ($10.81), and some toilet paper and groceries at Dollar Tree ($4.33 and $10.00).

Once I got home, it took me awhile to cool off. I wanted to shower, but I was waiting for phone calls that didn’t come.

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Have you ever felt like everybody’s having a party or is about to have a party, but they’re keeping it a secret from you?

I was just walking my dog, and some young guys were looking at something on the roof of their car with a penlight. And I’m pretty sure they were smoking something, but it didn’t smell like weed. They complimented my Basset Hound, but I got the distinct vibe they were hoping I would move along.

Then more vehicles pulled up with fancy headlights, etc. The freeway three blocks away is notorious for late night street racing, and I think a lot of the street racers have started moving into my apartment complex, because there are some really sporty cars in the parking lots these days.

God, I’m such an old fart.

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Wednesday, September 2nd–

My vision is so poor that even with bifocals I have serious trouble reading the prescription numbers on my pill bottles when I call the pharmacy for refills. I have to bring the bottle very close, look over the top of my glasses, read part of the number, put the bottle down, pick up the phone, punch in a few numbers, then pick up the bottle again, put it down, pick up the phone, punch in more numbers, and so on. And I’m always panicked that I’ll mess up or not do it fast enough and that the automated thingy will either end the call or switch me to some service I don’t want.
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Dear downstairs neighbor:

If you absolutely MUST play that dub-step crap every fucking evening, at least put on a different tune now and then. Two solid hours of the same four notes repeated over and over and over again is really more than normal people should be expected to handle, and since I’m abnormal, my patience is decidedly shorter.

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Thursday, September 3rd–

I had trouble finding a library book, and looked everywhere for it, finally finding it stuck in a crack next to a huge tower of magazines at the head of my bed. I was unable to dislodge the book with a bent coat-hanger, so I had to take down the tower of magazines in order to retrieve the book.

I got to bed around 12:40pm, but I don’t think I ever slept. Belle kept moving around or would get up and rattle the papers on the floor, the bed got hot, and as usual, I was anxious at the prospect of having to get up to an alarm and run errands.

So I don’t think I got any sleep. If I got any it was brief and very light.

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I’m actually venturing forth outside my house today to run errands, do library research, and look at art. If you want to assassinate me, today’s a good day for it. You know my habits by now….

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I got up, walked and fed Belle, got ready, and took the 7:35am Express Bus downtown. It was already unbelievably hot outside. I dropped some books off at the library, then took a #7 Bus to the clinic, got my Lamictal and a prescription for another medication, then caught another #7 Bus to UT.

I walked a couple blocks to the Blanton Museum, which was just beginning to open. There was a long line of students going inside, which I was allowed to bypass.

I spent most of my time looking at the chief exhibit, “Impressionism and the Caribbean: Francisco Oller and His Transatlantic World.” At one point I interrupted an art class which was in discussion of the Oller painting “The Wake,” in order to give my own interpretations.

I made a rather quick go-through of “Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm,” because, while I liked Frank’s use of color, I found her subject matter too graphic and repulsive.

When I got to the “Re-envisioning the Virgin Mary: Colonial Painting from South America” exhibit, the last of my camera batteries gave out.

They’d re-arranged some of the modern and contemporary galleries since I last visited, but I was too tired to write up the changes in my art notebook.

I also made quick work of the Donald Moffett exhibition because the work really did nothing for me.

I went over to the Gift Shop, looked around, got a free copy of “Tribeza” magazine (later learning that a former student of mine is now the Editor), then went to Jester right at noon for lunch (a salad and bottled water–$ 6.13).

Next up was the PCL, where I put $20.00 I really couldn’t spare onto my copy card, looked at some of the new physical changes in the library, did some research and photo-copying, and finally rushed to a restroom to deal with explosive diarrhea.

At a bus stop the UT Catholic Students Association had set up a table, and I went over and talked with the students manning it about the Pope’s upcoming visit to the US, and got a bookmark featuring the times for the various services and sacraments at the Newman Center and St. Austin’s, as well as a Pope Francis holy card.

I was too tired and hot to go see the exhibition at the HRC (I gave up the idea of going to that as I was leaving the Blanton), and took a shuttle bus to the West Mall. I went to the Architecture Library, looked around for a few books, and made some copies.

Next I took an Express Bus to my neighborhood, waited about thirty minutes or so to get my medications ($14.00), and bought some cookies and trash bags ($10.46). It was after 7pm when I finally got home.

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Someone posted–Does anyone else have the hope of a small library in their future home

Me–No. I just want enough shelves for the large library I already have. (Plus many, many more books.)

Oh, and it would also be nice if I could have a home I could keep, with no threat of eviction.

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I’ve been awake since about 5pm WEDNESDAY!!!

My dog kept moving around in bed and keeping me awake, plus I always have trouble sleeping any night I have to set an alarm or go do things the next day.

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Oh wow, I actually started singing flat just now. That’s scary. That’s not like me. I must *really* be tired. I should go to bed soon.

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Today at UT’s Perry-Castaneda Library I re-enacted a scene from “Dumb and Dumber.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re probably better off not knowing. If you DO KNOW what I’m talking about you’re also probably better off not knowing.

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Friday, September 4th–

And now back to our regular program, “Belle and I Sleep All Day,” already in progress.

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Everybody inside of and around my apartment complex are driving like complete maniacs tonight. I realize it’s a holiday weekend, but these people are zipping around like it’s the biggest holiday of all time.

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Someone posted–Showtime prepping Theodore Roosevelt series

Me–Imagine if they did it like a trashy reality series: Alice could be a Kardashian-esque tramp. Or they could do it like “Arrested Development”…or do fat gags every time William Howard Taft appears.

And they could end it like “The Sopranos”–with the whole family gathered in a restaurant, the “Maple Leaf Rag” playing, and then suddenly the screen goes dark.

The possibilities are endless.

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Someone posted–reblog in the tags with who or what youd rather have president than donald trump

Me–#Wayland Flowers and/or Madame.

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Today, after weeks of nightmares, I finally had a really nice dream.

I had a lot of animals–Belle, my Basset Hound, but also at least one cat, hamsters, rats, mice, ducklings, baby chicks, and possibly guinea pigs and other critters.

I lived in a different place, and was either watching an old Western or listening to exotic (possibly Cuban) music. It was a warm, but not oppressive, summer night, so I must not have been in Texas.

Almost every square foot of my living space was occupied by an animal, their food dish, or their living quarters. I spent a lot of time trying to keep the larger animals from eating the smaller ones, or looking under furniture and into hiding places for missing animals. All of the animals expressed great joy when I fed them, played with them, or provided them with a home.

Belle kept escaping, which scared me. I’d always see her on our side of the front gate (the house was at the top of a hill), and when I called her, she’d run up the hill, with all the other missing animals dutifully behind her.

The animals and I never got tired of one another.

It was a really nice, happy dream.

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Saturday, September 5th–

Thursday I ate lunch in a college cafeteria. It was so crowded that I had to share a table with a number of people. Sitting closest to me were a gay white man and a Latina who were discussing politics. They agreed that even though they were more or less liberal on social issues, they tended to agree more with the Republican Party on everything else.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I managed to hide my shock because I was raised not to gape at people or keep my mouth open while eating. I didn’t even know where to begin in addressing them, so I said nothing.

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A bit of advice from an old fart to all you young ‘uns—Take good care of your feet, because if you screw them up they’ll screw up all sorts of other parts of your body. I leaned this the hard way, and now I can barely walk or stand up without pain.

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Someone posted-Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one, a moment, in childhood, when it first occurred to you that you don’t go on forever. It must have been shattering, stamped into one’s memory. And yet I can’t remember it. It never occurred to me at all. We must be born with an intuition of mortality. Before we know the word for it, before we know that there are words, out we come, bloodied and squalling…with the knowledge that for all the points of the compass, there’s only one direction and time is its only measure.–Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Me-I don’t know. Maybe you learn when your elders teach you to pray …“If I should die before I wake….” That’s a big clue.

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Someone posted–Possibilities
I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the color green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.
I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
I prefer the earth in civvies.
I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
I prefer having some reservations.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales to the newspapers’ front pages.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
I prefer desk drawers.
I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here
to many things I’ve also left unsaid.
I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.
By Wislawa Szymborska
From “Nothing Twice,” 1997
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

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This apartment complex is so creepy sometimes.

I took my dog out for a walk a few minutes ago, around 5am. Just as we walked outside, I saw a flash of red light on the other side of the parking light, then a tiny flash of white light from a pen light, and then darkness. I assumed someone was trying to break into a car. It’s not uncommon at this complex, and holiday weekends are a good time for thieves, since a lot of people aren’t home.

So I just pretended I didn’t see anything, and concentrated on walking Belle. But I could see the outline of the left side of the guy’s face, just barely visible in the deep shadow next to the car. I went on about my business, and eventually saw a guy walking into another apartment building. Perhaps he was innocent and I was just imagining things, but on the other hand, who has to do anything with their car at 5am?

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Someone posted–I don’t understand why everybody thinks that dressing casually is so much more comfortable. I’m as comfortable in a suit as I am in anything else.–Thom Browne (via suitmanden )

Me-Back when I was a restaurant critic I took a friend to one of the nicer restaurants in town because I needed to review it in less than twenty-four hours. (For some reason, he was the only friend who would ever accompany me on those evenings when I suckled on the company’s teat, but that is another story.)

For a spur-of-the-minute assignment my friend and I dressed well, or at least well enough. The evening proceeded at a relaxed, even stately pace: drinks in the bar, dinner in the main dining room, cigars and coffee in the jazz club.

But what do I remember most about this evening? Though almost everyone there was dressed properly, as if this occasion was the highlight of their month or even their year, one couple ruined the whole look of the place by showing up in T-shirts, shorts, and sandals. Their informality, crudeness, and sloth seemed a challenge designed to drag the civilized people in the room to indigestion and sporadic fits of vomiting.

My memory of that night’s food and drink is completely gone, my memory of the restaurant’s decor very nearly so, but I shall never be able to erase the picture of those vulgar people and their dirty, yellow, talon-like toenails.

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Someone posted-i wonder who my richest follower is

Me–Likewise, and what he or she thinks about my Amazon Wish List, a link to which is conveniently located on the right side of this screen.

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There is but one way to properly celebrate a national holiday, and that is by avoiding all human contact whatsoever. That’s my plan for this long weekend. (But it’s also my plan for pretty much every other day of the year as well.)

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Sunday, September 6th–

Someone posted–Never change, New Orleans.

Me–Back when I was in my 20s, during one of my trips to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, I went into the little A&P grocery store in the French Quarter to buy beer. Out of force of habit, I showed the cashier my ID. She began to laugh at me, as did all the other cashiers. She shook her head at me, waved away the ID, and said, “Son, you don’t need that. This is Mardi Gras.”

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Someone posted–Fate pushed Roland Barthes under a Parisian laundry van, and afflicted Michel Foucault with Aids. It dispatched Lacan, Williams, and Bourdieu, and banished Louis Althusser to a psychiatric hospital for the murder of his wife. It seemed that God was not a structuralist.–Terry Eagleton, After Theory (via plazadeperro)

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Someone postedTo achieve great things, two things are necessary: a plan, and not quite enough time.–Leonard Bernstein
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[Regarding a photo of a Texas cemetery.] This is in Mills County, Texas, where my mother’s family comes from. My grandfather took me to this cemetery in the 1970s. There’s at least one tombstone inscribed “Killed by Indians.” He also showed me the tombstone of a boy who was so fond of his wooden playhouse that his parents moved it out to the cemetery and set it up over his tombstone, where the playhouse stayed until it rotted away.

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Monday, September 7th–

I just spent the last hour or so in the bathroom trying to come up with a plan for a one-room cottage for myself that would accommodate all my books, file folders, magazines, DVDs, CDs, and so forth, have spaces for sleeping, working, cooking, bathing, laundry, storage, dining, and sitting, while also being affordable. But who am I kidding? I’ll never be able to afford even the smallest house at this point.

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Someone posted–thoughts on Eva Hesse

[Artist friend]–On principle, I will defend any lady artist who was working during the time Hesse was working and so Hesse is great.

Me–They had an Eva Hesse/Sol LeWitt exhibition here in Austin at the Blanton Museum last year. I took a docent-led tour the first time I went through it, and I tell you, a lot of those people just did not get Conceptual art at all. The docent couldn’t pound it into their heads, so like the pretentious ass I am, I explained it to those who were the most dense, and even then I’m not sure they understood.

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We went to bed around 1pm.

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Tuesday, September 8th–

We got up around 2am, walked and ate, but I really didn’t want to be up then, and it was still too early to go to the store. So we went back to bed and slept until around 8am. I went to HEB ($117.02), and came back in the unbearable heat, arriving home a little before 10am. I was so hot my hands were quivering.

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I posted–South Austin residents received KKK pamphlets on doorsteps

Me–Hey Klansmen,
Come on up to Northwest Austin! I’ve got an aluminum baseball bat that’ll make a beautiful ringing sound when it comes into contact with your empty skulls.

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Someone posted–Most of our childhood is stored not in photos, but in certain biscuits, lights of day, smells, textures of carpet.–Alain de Botton 

Me–The strange thing about photos from my childhood, adolescence, and youth is that everything about them–the people, their clothes, the settings, and even the aesthetic and technical qualities of the photos–seem so old-fashioned and disconnected from the present that they might as well be daguerreotypes.

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Someone posted–It only takes three generations for you to be basically forgotten

Someone posted– Tell that to my great-great-uncle, who is the reason that it’s illegal to drive a tractor while drunk in the state of Kansas.

Me–Or my great-grandfather, who was driven to church every Sunday in the sidecar of a motorcycle. This came to an end when he turned 98 and had to go into a nursing home. During his 100th birthday party, he got a congratulatory phone call from President Nixon.

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Someone posted–Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine.–St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy

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Belle and I went back to bed around 3 or 4pm.

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Wednesday, September 9th–

We got up around 2am. Went returned to bed around 4am. Then I think we got up around 10:15am, went back to bed about an hour later, and slept until 5pm or so.

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I spend so much time now completely knocked-out due to the meds I’m taking that I have to consult my Archive here to see what I did on any given day.

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Me–…[A] few years ago ___ __ posted, “I had 5 guys last night.” I wrote back something to the effect of, “Dude, you oughta be more careful. You could get AIDS or some such shit.” And he wrote back laughing that he’d gotten food from 5 Guys Burgers. (I was tempted to write instead, “It’s a wonder you can even walk.”)

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Thursday, September 10th–

I finally finished Elisabeth Roudinesco’s “Lacan: In Spite of Everything.”

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Friday, September 11th–

Belle and I returned to bed after 3:31pm, I read awhile, and probably went to sleep around 4pm.

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Saturday, September 12th–

I dreamt I was living in a rent house with a number of people. While it was sort of run-down, I’d grown fond of the place.

It was shaped sort of like a really broad “H,” with the dining room on the left, and the kitchen behind, the wide entrance hall and living room in the middle, and to the right, two or maybe three bedrooms with one bathroom in between.

I don’t think there was a front porch–only a concrete slab or terrace. The front door was off-center, at the right end of the central wing. The entrance hall also served as an extra living room. The back living room was larger, had walls of wooden slabs, painted chocolate brown and polished with wax, and possibly along the back wall, a fireplace. There may have been a “Florida Room” behind the living room. The whole place was poorly-kept and was almost dirty.

My maternal grandfather had been staying with us for awhile, and decided he wanted to stay longer.

I was young in the dream–college-aged, as usual, and had two or three roomies who were also in college.

At some point at least two of the roomies were outside, trying to install a green canvas awning onto the front of the central wing. This awning had two or three light-weight aluminum poles that would support the awning and would adjust to several different positions.

While my grandfather and I were standing outside watching the guys work, we noticed out long-missing cats had returned and were mewing pathetically by the front door. (Belle, my Basset Hound, was safe and sound inside.) There was a black cat, a grey-and-black Tabby, and three very small kitten, though one was in very bad shape, seemed barely alive, and already had a few flies buzzing around her. The cats and kittens were all brought inside and fed and cared for.

I think my grandfather and I went for a ride. We wound up in a run-down, poor small town. We parked on a street, but the ground rose up rather sharply from the street level, there were no steps or sidewalk, and much of the ground from the edge of the street back was either full of holes or blocked with garbage, wire, large discarded plastic toys, sections of metal fencing, and all sorts of other crap that seemed specifically designed to keep people from walking anywhere but in the street.

We went into a dark shop or store. I forget what the place sold. Maybe it was even a bar. But the owner was a foul-tempered, bitter, wrinkle-faced old crone. I think she may’ve been a religious nut as well, and she quickly told us that no one like me or my grandfather were welcome in her establishment or anywhere else in town. So we left.

I don’t know if there was a part of the dream devoted to me moving out of the house. I’m not sure how long I was supposed to be gone but at the end of the dream I was in a college dorm room, with a roomie who looked a bit like my first real-life college roomie, and wandering all over the room were Belle and all the cats.

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We finally got around 9:15am.

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I just woke up from an afternoon nap that wound up lasting 17 hours.

I feel like asking what year this is, who is president, do we have hovercars yet, etc.

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Someone posted—-The proportioning system of the Five Orders of Architecture.

Me-And let’s not forget, kids–if there’s a pediment involved, the width should be exactly two-thirds the height of the columns in order to look properly proportioned. This is something modern American “home builders” don’t understand when they make ham-fisted attempts at the Greek Revival.

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There are few things I hate more than being outdoors—at least when it’s even the tiniest bit warm or hot outside. Getting hot or sweating makes me very angry.

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I think the combination of all the meds I take, plus that marathon sleep session I had, has put me in a weird frame of mind: I can’t tell if I’m in a decent mood or a really bad one, if I’m on the verge of breaking down and crying or not. Usually I know one way or the other, but not today.

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I wish my brain would give me a break and let me have only pleasant dreams for awhile, or to be more specific, pleasant dreams that also end pleasantly instead of depressingly.

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Someone posted–“Just because I’m crazy doesn’t mean I’m stupid.”

Me–Something I wish my friends, family, and care-givers would remember.

While I may be crazy as a shit-house rat, I’m also usually the most intelligent person in the room.

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Sunday, September 13th–

Someone posted–I think moving on from one part of your life to the next is really hard, you aren’t ready to leave that comfortable state that you have grown to love. Venturing onward is really scary but can also be the best thing for you to do.

Me–Things have been going very, very badly for me for over five years now. I’m overdue for the cycle to turn and for things to get good again.

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I started reading G. A. Cohen’s “Why Not Socialism?”

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I can’t shake the idea that I’m missing one of my older Chinese cook books. I never, ever let other people inside my apartment, and when I do I watch them like a hawk, and anyway, why would anyone want a not especially valuable, 50-year-old cook book? I do have a Chinese cook book that came from the library of a Nobel Prize winner, with a dedication from the book’s author, but I doubt that it’s worth much. Either I don’t have the book I’m thinking about, and maybe just saw it a number of times in a bookstore but never bought it, or it fell back behind other books on the top shelf.

(Now if I could just get someone to cook stuff for me from my cook books.)

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Someone posted–It is needless; it is all over with me.–General Wolfe refusing a surgeon’s help after being shot during the battle of the Plains of Abraham, 1759.

Me–Same. Only nobody’s gonna paint a cool picture of me dying like they did with Wolfe.

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I may not be perfect, but I still think somebody ought to beat Taylor Swift to death with a tube sock full of wood screws.

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Someone postedI wonder how many strangers have heard stories about me.

MeI’ve always wondered how many people on the bus think I’m the crazy guy they need to avoid.
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Someone posted–YOU CAN NEVER BE OVERDRESSED OR OVEREDUCATED.

MeHere endeth the lesson.

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Someone posted—-PSYCHOLOGY FACT #10

You Reconstruct Your Memories As Movies.

Someone posted–My memories are movies.

Me–My dreams are superb films.

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Probably my favorite room in all of Austin is the Reading Room at Battle Hall Architecture Library at UT. I’ve posted pictures of the room decorated for Christmas and people thought it was the Great Hall at Hogwarts.

If I were famous and important I’d like to lie in state there when I die.

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Someone posted–today I learned that if you want to slash someone’s tires, don’t slash all four; only slash three because if you slash all four their insurance will pay for it but if you only slash three they have to pay for it all out of pocket

Someone posted–today on satan makes a blog post

Someone posted–Life tip: if someone slashes 3 of your tires, slash the 4th one yourself and blame it on the person who slashed the first 3. Now, your insurance will pay for it.

Someone postedLife tip: If you slash 3 of their tires, hide out nearby until they discover their slashed tires. Take pictures of them slashing their fourth tire. Show police when they arrive on scene. Convicted of insurance fraud and still have to pay for tires.

Someone posted--i feel like i’m reading a Spy vs Spy comic in text format

MeWhat if you slash their throat and the throats of two other members of their family? (Okay, I’m in a dark mood tonight.)

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Humans, you’ve been given a paradise in which to live. Why are you so determined to turn it into a toilet? I don’t mean that merely from an environmental standpoint—why do you see nice, lovely, pure, kind, beautiful things and decide, “I wanna destroy this.”

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Why there are people who intentionally avoid bathing or showering, just as a form of rebellion or protest, is beyond me. If you can afford to get clean, it’s one of life’s most delightful and refreshing experiences. It’s really the highlight of my day.

Once upon a time, when I stilled smoked, and you could smoke outdoors at Austin bars and restaurants, I was sitting on the porch of a coffee house, smoking a cigar, and there were two hippie chicks who took the table behind me. They didn’t bathe, and I could actually smell them over my cigar. You’ve gotta have some pretty strong body odor if people can smell you over a cigar.

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Someone posted–Join the movement to make two years of community college as free and universal as high school is today at HeadsUpAmerica.us/Act.

Me–I wouldn’t mind going back to school and studying studio art and art history.

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Someone posted–The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.

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Someone posted-Sometimes you have to smile and act like everything is okay, hold back the tears and walk away.–Richard Siken

Me–My whole life.

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Monday, September 14th–

Someone posted—A Map to Get Out of Writer’s Block via NY Book Editors

Me–My problem is I can’t figure out what book I should write next, if it’s worth the trouble, if I have anything left to say, etc.

The last book I wrote was in 2011 and ran to 920 pages. I thought the book was finished then, but I realize now it isn’t, yet I don’t feel like adding more.

And there’s nothing I care about writing about right now. I’m severely depressed and don’t feel I have a future, so why waste my time churning out yet another book no one wants to read?

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Someone posted–The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind.–Theodorus Gaza

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Someone posted-I’m the whole package: bitter AND petty!

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Someone posted–The Poet Acts — Philip Glass

Me-My life usually feels like it’s been scored by Philip Glass.

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I keep getting e-mails that are titled, “I’ve been waiting 20 years to send you this message.” You know, I really don’t think so. I wasn’t on the Internet 20 years ago. I was busy trying to keep my piece-of-shit Model T from breaking down and annoyed that President Wilson was such a wuss about foreign policy.

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1) Why did my Basset Hound poop on my lap desk? 2) *HOW* did my Basset Hound poop on my lap desk?

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I had another weird nightmare last night.

Now in real life there was this old German-American woman who was friends with my parents. (I never particularly liked her, and found her a busybody who interfered with my family.) She outlived her middle-aged husband, middle-aged son, and baby daughter, and died herself five years ago. She lived in a very old and peculiar farm house, some sections of which were kept closed-off.

In the dream she was dead, and I had to stay the night or longer in the house. The house was very different from the one on real life. The rooms of her children were sealed off, with strange decorations around the doors. There was a special kitchen/dining room used once a year for some special festival, and had special shelves to store the ingredients she needed to make the festival foods.

I tried to sleep in the regular kitchen, which was the main room in the house and had a wood-burning stove. Some sort of horrors visited me in the night. After the sun came up I began to explore the house, and discovered it was a lot larger than I’d realized, with some very bizarre rooms and hallways, and apparently some creatures in residence.

True to my real nature, the most important thing for me was to try and find floor plans of the house, so I could sketch them and take them home.

I think my parents came and rescued me later in the morning. There are a lot of details I’m forgetting.

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Tuesday, September 15th–

For the first two weeks of this month I felt okay to so-so. But the last few days I’ve felt crappy for no particular reason. I feel like I’d really like to break down and sob for hours, but I can’t summon it up.

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Another brand new day to get up, feel shitty, walk the dog, feel shitty, eat, feel shitty, go back to bed, and feel shitty some more.

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I just finished blocking several pages worth of spam followers. That’s the most exercise I’ve had in some time.

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Wednesday, September 16th–….

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Thursday, September 17th–….

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Friday, September 18th–

I found out that a guy I went to intermediate school with, one of the few people there who didn’t treat me badly, got beaten in the head several years ago as a result of a complicated case of mistaken identity, was in a coma for 12 years, and died this May. What a world….

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Someone posted–whenever an american pronounces herb as ‘urb’ it shocks me. do you say elp as well  instead of help or like air instead of hair or like umour instead of humour wtf the h is there for a reason

Someone posted–Because the word is French and the H is silent at least we can pronounce our stolen words correctly

Me–What I hate is that in Texas, in the Houston area anyway, they always referred to the Humble Oil Company, and the town after which it was named, as “Umble.” I have no idea why this is. When I was a child, my mom told me I needed to be “more umble.” I countered by asking her why she said that, when we pronounce the “h” in the related word, “humility.”

Texas is such a stupid fucking place.

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I’ve only been awake a little more than an hour and I’ve already picked fights with two of Austin’s leading moguls: John Mackey of Whole Foods, and Michael Dell.

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Saturday, September 19th–

If anyone, especially my old regulars, is still paying attention to this blog, I’ve not been posting much because I’m on a hiatus or am bored with the site or anything like that. I’m just on a lot of medications for depression and anxiety and they make me sleep most of the day and night. It’s not much of a life, and the meds aren’t helping all that much, but it’s better than how things were—I guess–though I won’t swear to that last part. (Yeah, who am I kidding? I’m just as miserable as ever.)

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Someone posted–John Hughes – The Best Five Year Run in Film History?

MeI was just thinking last night how I miss that every February for several years in the 80s there was a new John Hughes film to enjoy.

A friend and I went through a driving rain storm just to be at the theatre for the opening night of “Weird Science” thirty years ago. The storm was so severe that it blew open one of the exit doors by the movie screen. Since this took place during the scene in which the boys make their dream girl during a rain storm, it only added to the effect.

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I finally finished G. A. Cohen’s “Why Not Socialism?”

I’m not sure when I got to sleep, but the sun was very much up and glaring through the blinds.

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We got up after 7pm.

I got a notice saying I’d been re-approved for Food Stamps.This is good news, especially since I don’t have to deal with one of those scary phone interviews.

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Someone postedGEORDIE GREIG remembers Brian Sewell

Me-I feel punched in the gut. Bitchy British art critic Brian Sewell was one of my favorite people.

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Someone posted—-Les yeux sans visage, 1960.

Me–One of the first films I saw as a child. No wonder I turned out like this.

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Plan for the rest of the night:
1) Brush teeth.
2) Shave.
3) Read about book collector and philanthropist Carrie Estelle Doheny while sitting on the throne.
4) Shower.
5) Take more anxiety and depression meds.
6) Go back to bed.

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Someone posted–
depression symptoms that need to be brought to attention, supported and not demonized:
not showering/bathing for days or even weeks. (this has nothing to do with laziness – a main symptom of depression is being unable to be motivated)
not engaging in any social actvities
staying up and sleeping in till late
not being able to eat
neglecting self care as a whole
spending entire weeks at home, in the same pajamas, in the same bed
disregarding help/support (nothing against you. we’re just really fucking down.)
don’t shame us. we’re having a hard time managing being depressed in general.

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I was bored, sad, and hungry for most of the night.

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Sunday, September 20th–

Thank you, Heritage Foundation for reminding us that the poor should only live under bridges and eat dirt, lawn clippings, and whatever insects they are quick enough to catch. And thanks for assuming that all poor people have been poor their entire lives and have never been in a position to buy nice things.

Thanks for reminding us that since the oligarchs are running the US now and shipping jobs overseas and certainly not creating any decent jobs here, that the poor will never again be able to lift themselves up and buy nice things again. Of course, if they don’t buy the shiny play-pretties your Third World slaves manufacture, then I guess you won’t make any money.

It’s a funny old world, innit?

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Well, if I planned a wedding people would fall to weeping because of the exquisite taste of every detail.

And if anyone started taking off some of their clothing in order to “relax” during the reception I’d have ushers quietly escort them off the premises.

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I can no longer tell if I’ve unintentionally offended specific people on here or not. Those that I *intend* to offend are another matter–I announce that sort of thing with brass bands and fireworks.

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Someone posted-I used to be a hardcore grammar fool until I realized that it’s racist and there’s multiple english vernaculars and nothing matters

like is that tweet even in proper english? who cares, we all die

i will fight someone over an oxford comma though

Me–Fucking moron.

A whole generation of dumb-asses who received piss-poor educations are now trying to justify their ignorance and laziness by claiming good grammar is a goddamn social justice cause.

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I have rage for pretty much everything. When I come in from walking the dog and have trouble getting the leash off my wrist I get irritated.

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Someone postedThere is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.–Dalai Lama

Me–And I’ve lost mine.

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Someone posted–There is a breaking of the heart which is gentle and makes it deeply penitent, and there is a breaking which is violent and harmful, shattering it completely.–St. Mark the Ascetic

Me–In my case it’s the latter.

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Monday, September 21st–

I’ve had the same much too narrow and short and uncomfortable mattress since 2004, and springs are busting out on both sides. I have to be careful where I position myself or the damned springs will pop out and cut me in my sleep.

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Someone posted–The best places to live in America: How college towns perfected the city….

Me–I love college cities because they have big academic libraries, which are necessary for my work (when I had some), research, and happiness. I’ve thought of moving to a cheaper city than the one I’m in now, but the one I was thinking about is under-served with college libraries, or to be more accurate, the college libraries it has are small and lacking in really old books.

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I feel absolutely like shit today.

First, the fucking grounds crew has been making noise since early this morning with mowers, trimmers, and those goddamn leaf blowers.

Second, I’m sick with dread because Thursday I’ve gotta get up early, go to a supermarket to cash in all my pennies because I don’t have money for bus fare, then take a slow regular bus because I won’t have enough for an express, put up with all the noise and odors on that, have a fucking hour-long wait in the heat, then get down to the clinic to get my meds, and probably get stuck there longer than I want to be doing stuff I don’t want to do, and then will finally be free to do what I want, but then too sweaty and stinky and tired to do so.

I’d like to devote at least two hours to an art exhibition on campus, but I don’t know if I’ll be up for it after all that shit. So I’m just utterly miserable at the prospect of doing all that shit.

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Someone posted–“DON’T LET LITTLE STUPID THINGS BREAK YOUR HAPPINESS.”

Me–I’m almost never happy, at least unless I have a decent amount of money and am being left alone.

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Someone posted–“The traumatized are unpredictable because we know we can survive.”

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Someone posted–Pick up the nearest book to you, turn to page 45. The first sentence explains your love life….

Me–“You cooperate with other people not because you believe that cooperating with other people is a good thing in itself, not because you want yourself and the other person to flourish, but because you seek to gain and you know that you can do so only if you cooperate with others.”–G. A. Cohen, “Why Not Socialism?”

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We went back to bed around 4:30pm, I read awhile, we slept, and eventually got back up at 10:15pm. I was still depressed and anxious about Thursday.

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Ah, now I remember why I was napping–-because I feel like shit. I did then and do now.

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Tuesday, September 22nd–

Why am I still having a panic attack and feeling on the verge of tears twelve hours or so later? Apart from the errands I have to run on Thursday everything is about the way it usually is. But I dread running errands the way other people would dread an IRS audit.

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Wednesday, September 23rd–

I finally finished Darian Leader and Judy Groces’s “Introducing Lacan: A Graphic Guide.”

I forget what else I did today apart from reading and sleeping. I had to go to bed early anyway in order to prepare for my errands tomorrow.

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Thursday, September 24th–

I woke up around 5:30am or before—an hour before my alarm—and got up a little before 6am. I got ready, headed out around 7:45am, went to Randall’s, and took all my spare change to the coin machine so I could get enough money to buy a bus ticket. At first, my coins got stuck in the little slit through which they were supposed to fall, but I managed to pry them loose with my keys. I think I got about $4.54 back.

I caught the #3 Bus at 8:20; it took about an hour to get downtown. I dropped off all of my library books (this is the first time in ages I have nothing checked out), then took the #7 Bus south. For some reason, though I’d carefully planned my morning, I arrived at the clinic thirty minutes early.

At the clinic dispensary one of the staffers said something about one of my prescriptions that made me think I’d not be able to pick it up that day. I really didn’t understand her, but fortunately I managed to get both prescriptions I’d come down there for.

I had to wait in the main lobby for thirty minutes. I really had nothing much to tell my Case Manager….

I took another #7 Bus downtown, and then another #3 Bus to UT, went to a CVS Pharmacy, bought orange juice, a honey bun, and two Star Crunches ($3.39), and had them for my lunch whilst sitting front of the Harry Ransom Center.

I toured the “Frank Reaugh: Landscapes of Texas and the American West” exhibition at the HRC, but only spent about an hour, whereas I’d planned to spend two hours looking at everything slowly and in great detail. I cut the tour short because of my sleepiness, my aching feet, and the enervating effect of the heat. Also, most of the works were behind glass, either with frames or inside of vitrines, and so, since I’ve not yet mastered the art of photographing objects through glass, even with the use of a filter, there weren’t that many photos for me to take.

All this said, I was impressed with Reaugh’s work, especially with the effects he could create with just a line or a point of pastel. I hope to see the exhibition at least once more before it ends.

Next, I took a shuttle bus to the Perry Castenada Library and added my last $7.00 to my copy card. (This money had been on my Pay Pal card.) While I was able to make some copies regarding the homes of Tom Mix and Oscar Wilde, as well as Quranic translation and interpretation, when I tried to copy articles from the “Dictionary of Literary Biography,” I came to grief. The regular copiers on the library’s 6th and 4th floors wouldn’t allow me to make two-page horizontal copies, and the one functioning copier on the 2nd floor was low on toner.

While I was trying to make the copier on the 6th floor work, I looked up just in time to see J____ D. and N____ going into an elevator not thirty feet away from me. By the time my brain registered their identity, the elevator doors were beginning to close. I didn’t call out because I’ve always been told not to yell in a library.

I began to panic and catastrophize. Why were they there? Had Belle been killed and my apartment burned down? Had they learned of this and gone looking for me in my usual haunts in order to break the news to me gently and prevent me from killing myself?

Then I tried to apply logic. They rarely come up to my part of town anymore, and when they do, they usually call me first. They never make surprise, unannounced visits.

But had they just driven by and seen a fire or seen a report on TV?

Though I usually run errands on Thursday, if ever, I don’t think J____ remembers this. I’d not told him I was going to be out. Had he called the clinic they wouldn’t have told him anything, and had they called the apartment office they wouldn’t know my whereabouts one way or another. And the apartment people probably wouldn’t have even answered their fucking phone in the first place.

I have only a few places that I still visit apart from the HEB supermarket and my clinic–the downtown public library, and the PCL, the Architecture Library, the HRC, and the Blanton Museum at UT. (There are a few other places I go, but those are the main ones.) It would take a long time to search every room and floor of all of those places, but then again, J____ D. has a peculiar fondness for always doing things the hard way.

Shortly thereafter, anger and frustration were added to my already existing emotions of fear and panic. I searched all six floors of the PCL for a decent copier and worked up an annoying sweat. I went to the Circulation Desk and explained my copier problem. The clerk told me she didn’t know the answer. She got her supervisor. He didn’t know the answer either and asked if I knew where the Copy Center was. “Yes,” I said as I walked away. “I’ve been there several times.”

I made the mistake of taking the stairs down instead of the elevator; my knees were killing me.

At the Copy Center the guy that waited on me, if you could call it that, didn’t get out of his chair, though he did take out his ear buds to listen to me. He also didn’t know how to help me. He passed the buck to his supervisor, who then took out her ear buds and had me repeat my problem. She asked if it’d solve my problem if she just replaced the toner in the copier on the 2nd floor, and I said, “Sure.”

She then asked a new employee if she wanted to come along and see how the toner-changing process worked. She came along, and the first guy went back to his ear buds.

The new toner did not fix the problem. The copy I made was washed-out and faint. The Copy Center gal tried to convince me that the image was all right, and suggested that perhaps the image in the book was faint. I flipped the book over to reveal a sharp, clear, strong image and text.

She seemed bothered that I was so particular about my copy quality and said that they could make copies for me in the Copy Center, but the cost was more than I could afford. Then I returned to floors 4 and 6, tried the copiers again, and finally gave up and left the library upset.

After rides on another shuttle bus and another #3 Bus, I was back in my neighborhood. (All day I’d also had to deal with bus P.A. systems that were ear-splittingly loud.) I bought $41.19 worth of groceries and struggled home, arriving after 8pm. Not surprisingly, Belle was upset that I’d been gone so long.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Belle was still alive and the apartment was intact. J____ D. had called, but as usual left no message. I called him back and joked, “What were you doing in my world today? Do you realize that at one point you were only thirty feet away from me? I could’ve killed you.”

It turns out that J____ and N____ just happened to be in the PCL to do research.

I walked Belle, showered, tried to re-hydrate, and generally farted around, but I forget when I went to bed.

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In the future, young days that aspire to becoming miserable, shitty days, will go to college and study how September the 24th, 2015 was for me. Dissertations will be written about this day. Scholarly journals will be filled with debates about the shittiness of this day in comparison with others.

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Friday, September 25th–

I was awakened around 6am by a peculiar and insistent noise. It took me awhile to figure out it was the smoke alarm in the living room, giving off chirps to indicate that its battery was running out. I climbed my step-ladder, tried to read the instructions on the device, took out one battery, but found that the goddamn thing still chirped. I went back into my room, shut the bedroom door (something I rarely do), and Belle and I slept until around 11am.

We got up, I took care of Belle, I got ready, and I tried to tidy the house in expectation of having some maintenance lout come in and invade my privacy. My main concern was to keep him out of my bedroom. I called the apartment office and, as usual, got a recording which stated that if I didn’t have one of several maintenance emergencies that I should leave a message on the maintenance department’s voice mail. I suspected that meant my problem would be given low-priority.

I called AT&T to discuss my bill, and to get them to stop leaving all those annoying goddamn messages for me. I couldn’t understand a fucking word of what the phone lackey said, but I did make it clear when they could expect to get paid.

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The battery on one of my smoke detectors has been dying since last night, resulting in an annoying, piercing cheeping sound. I took out one battery and the damn thing kept cheeping. Now I’m waiting for a maintenance man to come by and fix it, hoping he does so before the weekend (because maintenance men have the weekend off at this complex), and that he does his work quickly so I can go back to bed.

And not only this, but the device is connected to wires in the ceiling, and the instructions on the WHITE device are embossed in tiny WHITE letters and printed backwards, so if you’re on a step-ladder and you’re trying to read that shit nine feet above the floor with a flash light, you’ll find you can’t see anything.

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[Regarding John Boehner’s resignation.]

I guess this means the end of the childlike joy I’ve derived from referring to Speaker of the House John Boehner as “Boner.”

Oh well, I guess I can still call those corrupt oligarchs the “Crotch brothers.”

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Boehner, Cruz, and their ilk deserve nothing short of a firing squad for their treason.

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My care-givers and others have pestered me so much to get CBT or DBT that I’ve read up on it and become more and more determined NOT to pursue it. I was reading one column and thinking, “No way in hell would I do that.”

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Someone posted—just in case you need to hear this today:

you are not a failure

you are not a waste of space

you are loved

you are wanted

I believe in you

you can do it!!!!

Me–I’m worn out.

I’m sick of having to defend or justify myself to others.

I’m sick of self-appointed “experts” who insist they know what’s best for me, especially when they have no experience with the kind of problems I have.

I’m sick of this shit.

I’m sick of waiting for things to get even moderately better.

I’m sick of going to bed hoping I die in my sleep and waking up disappointed.

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I was still extremely tired from the previous day. I sat at my desk for about two hours, barely able to keep my eyes open, and then finally joined Belle on the uncomfortable floor. I tried to sleep—I don’t know if I did or not. After about two more hours I got back up again. I waited, a heavy, but brief rain storm came through, and when, by 6pm no one had come by or called, Belle and I went back to bed until around 10pm.

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Saturday, September 26th–

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

Me-I just don’t like handling change at all, because there’s always a few coins with corrosion or black gunk on them. I’d rather throw the money away than actually touch that. If I ever am really broke and have to count out coins, I put on latex surgical gloves before I do so.

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Belle and I went to bed a little after 12:06pm.

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Sunday, September 27th–

We got up around 5:25am.

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Someone posted—Arc du Carrousel, Tuileries Palace. Paris, France.

Me-It was under that very arch in 2006 that a Bosnian panhandler started pestering me for money. Clearly she assumed I was an American tourist, but then I started shouting at her in German and she ran off.

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Someone posted–I dream of a language whose words, like fists, would fracture jaws.–Emil Cioran, Strangled Thoughts

Me–My beloved Cioran–if only you had lived long enough to read my blogs….(I did leave a rose on your tomb one day. I hope you noticed.)

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Someone posted–“EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OK.”

Me–I saw the same thing painted on the inside of the door of a toilet stall at the USC Architecture Building in 2010, and things have gone dramatically downhill for me ever since.

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Someone posted–Garth Williams, The Rabbit’s Wedding

Me-I knew someone who was friends with Garth Williams in his later years and who said Williams was just the sweetest old man.

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There are few things worse for your self-esteem than to have government agencies refer to you as “indigent.” I know this from experience.

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Someone posted-Love does not die when the person dies. Despite all the pain for the survivor.–‘A Secret Affair’ by: Mary Balogh

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Someone posted–

don’t you dare

give up hope on this life.

not tonight.

not tomorrow.

not ever.

Me–

I gave up years ago.

I’m just waiting for my ride.

I’m tired of this shit.

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Belle and I retired around 5:30pm.

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Monday, September 28th–

Belle and I got up around 7am, walked, and ate. Later in the morning a maintenance man came by, gave me a new air conditioner filter, and changed the battery and stopped the chirping of my living room smoke detector. He took the hint of my closed bedroom door not to check in there for my other, dismantled smoke detector. He did his work quickly and got out of my hair, I replaced the filter, and soon the air conditioner was blasting.

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Belle and I went back to bed and slept until around 10pm or so.

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Tuesday, September 29th–

Someone posted–poor people: *buy food*

rich people: if you’re poor then why are you buying things 🙂 you should be eating rocks

Me–rich people: why do you even own clothes? why can’t you just cover your privates with cardboard and sell your clothes so my tax dollars don’t have to be wasted supporting you?

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Someone posted—“What if you wake up one day and you’re not angry anymore?”

Someone posted–I’d know I’m dead.

Me–Not bloody fucking likely.

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I made a terrible mistake. I took my dog out for a walk without looking in the mirror first. When I got back home I went into the bathroom and discovered that, for the first time in my life, I had TRUMP HAIR.

I don’t even know how the hell it got this way or how to do it again–-not that I want to–-and like with a car wreck, I want to look away, but I just can’t.

Maybe if I pour some Holy Water on my head or start speaking Spanish it’ll go away of its own accord.

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Belle and I retired after 3:31pm.

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Wednesday, September 30th–

Belle and I got up a little before 7am.

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Seeing as most people in the First World are no longer farmers, why the hell are we till expected to keep farmers’ hours? I was just walking my dog after sleeping for over 14 hours, and saw the school bus picking up kids around 7am, and thought, “Damn, why the hell does school start so fucking early?” I understand that a lot of parents need to take their kids to school before they themselves go to work, but why does the work day usually start so fucking early? What kind of work can you get done when you’re still exhausted?

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This is terrible, but I remember that last night I was crying in a dream, woke up briefly, and still continued to cry until I went back to sleep.

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Someone posted-“I have learned to give, not because I have too much, but because I have known the feeling of NOT having.”

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I’d like to hurt everyone who has ever hurt me, but some of them are dead or unavailable. I’d like to replace every material thing I’ve ever lost, but I have no income. But this much I do know: I’m not forgiving or forgetting or walking away from this. I’m going down with the ship, and with any luck I’m gonna take some of those bastards with me.

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I don’t want to get better. I want to get even.

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Someone posted–Lmao some customer just walked up to me to complain that we play too much “Mexican music” at our store and that, we “should not be alienating the people that live here and keep the shop alive.”

Like, I just wanted to laugh in her face, because not even half the music we play is in Spanish, and if we were going to actually play music as percentages of our customer base, than probably around 2/3rds of the music we play would be in Spanish.

Me–Forget laughing in her face-–you should’ve just kicked her repeatedly until she was unable to walk or move.

I wouldn’t wish a job in retail on my worst enemy. Working for the fucking public is the worst. I’d rather be a $2 whore in Tijuana than go back to life in retail.

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Most people know it’s time to go to bed because either they’re tired or they need to get up at a certain time the next day. I know it’s time for me to go to bed when I start having and expressing really depressing and suicidal or dark and violent thoughts and acting ruder than usual to other people online.

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Someone posted–WHEN THERE’S FOOD AT LIBRARY SOCIAL EVENTS

I love food more than I love people.

Me–I love food more than I love people.

Hell, I love flesh-eating viruses and explosive diarrhea more than I love people.

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Someone posted– “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”–George Carlin.

Me–Because I believe Americans to be, by and large, some of the stupidest people on earth, I am very scared that Trump might actually get elected. Americans are just dumb enough to do that.

Don’t believe me? They elected George W. Bush not once but twice!

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Someone posted–Jorge Luis Borges with UT English professor Miguel Gonzalez-Gert outside Batts Hall. Via the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

Me–I always bow slightly when I walk past Batts Hall because Borges taught there.

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Someone posted–UT Tower

Me–The thing I like best about the main entrance arcade to the UT Tower is that it smells delightfully of its old wooden ceiling beams.

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Someone posted–“You are not accidental. The world needs you. Without you, something will be missing in existence and nobody can replace it.”–Osho

Me–Another unemployed, unemployable, poor, angry, fat, ugly, unpopular, useless, mentally-ill shit-head.

What would the fucking world do without me?

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Belle and I retired around 9pm.

Thoughts on the James Holmes Case.

I believe race played a role not so much in the verdict as in the fact that Holmes made it to trial in the first place. Had his name been James Washington, Diego Hernandez, or Jafir bin-Hakeem al-Hadj, he would likely have died in a hail of police bullets in the movie theatre parking lot or been subjected to a staged “suicide” in jail.

I believe the crime was premeditated and well-planned by an intelligent young man whose early promise was stolen from him by mental illness, thus rendering him a social misfit.

I believe the crime was a ghastly, horrific massacre and that the blood of the victims cries out for justice.

I believe in severe punishment when it is called for, mercy and understanding when it is not. I believe in vengeance and retribution. And I believe that the death penalty should actually be expanded to include rapists, child molesters, and animal abusers. I have no sympathy for murderers.

I do not believe, but instead know personally what mental illness is like, though thankfully my mental illnesses do not seem to be as severe as those suffered by James Holmes. Like most people who didn’t watch every hour of the trial, I had my own opinions about Holnes and the case; I assumed his more outré behaviors (naked somersaults, feces smearing) might be the actions of a cunning psychopath trying to convince others he was insane. But I am convinced now that Holmes is seriously mentally ill.

Holmes will likely spend the rest of his life in a private cell, separated from the main body of the prison population. Since prisons aren’t known for the high-quality of their physical and mental health care, he will probably just be given medications and see a therapist on a regular basis. Speaking from experience (No, I’ve not been in prison) I can tell you that such bare-bones care is an inadequate way for dealing with serious mental illness.

If you watched those videos of Holmes confined in any of a number of spartan white cells, you will have noticed how bored Holmes was, and boredom is dangerous for an intelligent person. (Contrary to the belief of many, mental illness and intelligence are not mutually exclusive.) So if Holmes is not kept doped-up to a zombie-like state, then the boredom will likely exacerbate his conditions.

In a way, Holmes might have been better off getting the death penalty, as it would not only have satisfied the families of the victims and the public at large, it also would’ve put an end to the mental illnesses that spawned his terrible crimes and put Holmes out of his misery.

As it is, James Holmes will probably spend decades being tortured by his own demons. There is no punishment his captors could possibly inflict upon him more painful, more cruel, more violent than that which is daily conjured up for him by his own profoundly diseased brain.

We do well to remember that Man’s most skilled and sadistic torturer is himself.

Explaining Bill Cosby to an eighteen-year-old.

Last month Micdotcom published a list of the thirty-nine women who had up to that point gone public with accusations about Bill Cosby.

I saw a thread about this post, and in it an eighteen-year-old asked, “Why do we paint him as perfect just because he’s famous?” Here’s what I wrote in response:

We saw Bill Cosby as perfect because he carefully cultivated his image. I’m 51–almost old enough to be your grandfather–and Cosby’s been a star nearly my entire life, first as a stand-up comedian, then with a series of hugely popular comedy albums, then as the first African-American in a leading role on the TV series “Eye Spy” (the first black TV character that wasn’t a servant or buffoon), then there was “The Bill Cosby Show,” “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids,” which I watched as a kid, the educational show “The Electric Company,” which I also watched, commercials for stuff we all bought because Cosby made them look so desirable, and then, the pinnacle of his career, “The Cosby Show,” which was the biggest TV show in the US in the 80s and which portrayed African-Americans who were non-threatening, attractive, normal, loving, and upper-middle-class. He gave lectures, set himself up as an expert on parenting and the family, not to mention morality, had a long and seemingly happy marriage, and was one of the first African-Americans that the majority of Americans–especially white Americans–genuinely loved.

Now we have learned that all that was bullshit, and that Cosby was a rapist who used drugs to take advantage of women. I don’t think there’s every been a celebrity this big who’s fucked up his career and legacy this much. (We have to wonder what other crimes other celebrities have gotten away with over the years.) It would be nice if these revelations served as a wake-up call to Americans about rape and about the deceptive and powerful nature of celebrity, but Americans have short attention spans and tend not to learn the big lessons.

I first read a story about one of the accusers in a supermarket tabloid, about two weeks before the story hit the mainstream press. My initial reaction was that the accuser was probably some Hollywood bottom-feeder who was never able to make it in show business, but had met Cosby a few times, and after failing to shake him down for a pay-off, decided to try and destroy his reputation.
Then more women came forth telling basically the same story as the first one. My thought then was, “This is fishy, but what does it prove? Anybody could latch on to this first woman’s story and say ‘Me too’ if they thought it would result in a multi-million dollar pay-day.”

But then I remembered Shawn Brown (one of the women listed above), who did manage to make it into the mainstream press in the 90s, I believe, when she successfully sued Cosby for support of a daughter he’d fathered with her. I remember being shocked at the revelation, because it was the first time I’d ever heard of him being unfaithful to his wife. (On the other hand, it was common knowledge that Cosby often went to parties at the Playboy Mansion–how many happily married men do that?)

But the Shawn Brown story barely registered on the public’s radar, because Cosby’s only son had been murdered shortly before the Brown story broke, and there was a lot of sympathy for Cosby’s loss.

My mistake, and the mistake so many other people have made, is that we let ourselves be fooled by the image Cosby had so carefully crafted for fifty years. We didn’t believe Cosby could do such terrible things because we didn’t want to believe it. We didn’t want a celebrity we loved and grew up with to be a rapist and a sleaze-ball, because we didn’t want to admit that the world is not the way it appears to be.

This power of illusion, this faith in the cult of celebrity, not only deceived us, it caused at least thirty-nine women to, by the accounts of some of them, trust a serial rapist because he seemed to be a such a wholesome, squeaky clean father figure.

Sadly, Cosby will not receive the punishment he deserves, but at least his days of committing rape are over.

I think we all need to re-evaluate why we trust celebrities so much and why our default judgments about them always presuppose innocence.