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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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.

Journal Entries (June 1-7, 2012)

JUNE
Friday, June 1st–I woke around 12:30am. I puttered, posted, tended to Belle, but did not get around to doing a tutorial. I ran across the street and mailed off my bills. I posted a chapter from “Withholding” which I predicted correctly would be very popular with readers, as it covered my dot-com days.

My friend D___ sent me a series of IMs telling me his mom is probably about to die. This comes less than two years after the death of his wife. His parents have been married for 55 years.

I also exchanged some IMs with James, finished Lawrence’s “Mornings in Mexico,” and read more in Sebald. It was probably close to 6pm when I got to sleep.

As for the Lawrence book, it was enjoyable enough, with some very nice passages, but still a strong dose of Lawrence’s silly theories. Lawrence has a habit, which I find extremely annoying, of using a few sentences or turns of phrase and then repeating them again and again in his pieces. As I tend to hate repetition of just about anything his practice gets on my nerves. His smug arrogance and self-righteousness also shines through everywhere. I am all the more convinced that Lawrence was one of the 20th century’s most over-rated writers.

Saturday, June 2nd–I woke around 1:30am. I’ve noticed it takes about two to three hours after I wake up to tend to all of Belle’s needs: two or more walks, feeding, treats, playing, scratching, belly rubs, general attention-paying, and such. Only after all that does she calm down and slide into another phase of long naps.

D___ posted the news of his mother’s death.

When I got up I found a notice on my door announcing that the Fire Department will be visiting the property Monday and may need to enter my apartment for a few minutes. Was this just about me or for the other residents as well? What did they want?

I felt very annoyed and threatened. What all would I need to clean up? Would they make a stink about all the stuff I have in here? Though there’s a lot of stuff, there’s quite a bit less than there used to be.

I calmed down a bit when I remembered that this Fire Department stuff happens at least once a year and many times they don’t bother showing up. If they do show up and come in, I think they may just flash laser sensors into my vents.

Even so, I’m so sick of always being interrupted in this apartment by grounds crew, construction workers, maintenance men, and whoever else. I wish they’d just leave me the fuck alone. And it doesn’t help that most of the buildings on the grounds are so arranged that most every apartment look into the apartment of someone else. It’s like a panopticon prison that costs $700 a month.

I started Quentin Crisp’s “Resident Alien.”

Sunday, June 3rd–I woke around 7:30am. I took care of Belle, then waited around for the businesses across the street to open, went to Petsmart to buy pet food and treats, and the dollar store to get stuff for myself. I did more posting, tutorials, and reading. I retired around 12:30am.

Monday, June 4th–I woke after 10:30am. I tended to Belle, puttered, and finally set an appointment to meet with that career guy from [Tek Skilz].
It’s been about three months since the apartment office warned me to clear off my balcony, that my premises would soon be invaded by workmen who would dismantle and replace my balcony. Since then, I’ve felt in a constant state of siege, and have been reluctant to leave my apartment out of fear that some slack-jawed workman would open my door and Belle would run outside and get run over.

But thus far, the workers have done just about everything but work on my balcony. There are over two-dozen buildings in this complex, and I think all have been worked on, but if there’s been an order to it, I’ve not been able to discern what it is.

They certainly aren’t working on them in numerical order. Some days they have three or more crews working various parts of the two phases of the complex, while other days they barely have four men working on just one secluded building. Other days, the only person around is the supervisor, a sour-faced, white-haired man who drives a white truck, stops, gets out, scowls, and re-arranges things, before getting back into his truck to drive off.

I think James suggested that perhaps the construction company has other jobs elsewhere that have more priority on certain days, or perhaps the number of available day laborers some days is fewer than on others.
Whatever the reason, I’ll be glad to get these cocksuckers out of my hair.

I called the MAP clinic and paid off my $5 balance which I could not afford to pay the last time I was there in person.

The evening was a goddamn ordeal. The afternoon was hot and miserable. The people on the bus and the streets looked like grotesques from the brush of Bosch, with a touch of Fellini thrown in for good measure.

My classroom is situated in a building that consists mostly of parking garage. Recently it was discovered that there was a leak in this garage, though I don’t know what was leaking where. The Powers That Be decided to start work on repairing this leak during my class.

Some sort of power device was used to grind at the concrete; the resulting sound was exactly that an airliner makes just as it’s taking off or landing, though a plane has the decency to make this noise only a few minutes–the workmen in the garage took all night.

Since hyper-sensitivity to noise is one of the side-effect of my Bi-Polar condition, this racket made my lesson hell. The instructor plodded on, and spoke so quickly that I missed several of his points, and quickly got behind in the procedures. Remember also that the instructors keep the goddamn lights off in the classroom, so it’s hard to type. The cadaverous weirdo was back, sitting at my left, rumbling into his cell phone, or sucking food out from between his teeth.

And on top of this one of the women sitting near me had a shrill Yankee accent and kept talking 90mph, just chattering and chattering away, JIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIB JIBJIBJIBJIBJIBIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIB JIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIB JIBJIBJIBJIBJIBJIB, on and on, trying to either explain the class work to those around her, or just tell them about cool things she’s found to do online.

I finally had to explain to her that when others were talking I couldn’t hear the instructor. She finally saw me slumping over my computer, looking helpless and frustrated, and asked if she was bothering me, and I said she was. But it didn’t seem to shut her up any.

I couldn’t wait to get home.

But there was another goddamn note on my door.

They want me to leave my fire extinguisher outside on the 6th for another inspection. (Didn’t they just do that a few months back?) And the Fire Department inspection has been re-scheduled for next Tuesday, and at 1pm–an actual specific time, for a change. This place is like a really shitty summer camp where they constantly schedule unpleasant activities every hour of every day. I wish they’d just leave me the fuck alone.

Belle was beside herself more than usual, even barking while I showered and ate my dinner.

Tuesday, June 5th–I got up, got ready, puttered, cashed a check at the bank, and got to the bus stop, expecting to be picked up around 4:15pm. The bus didn’t arrive until 4:24pm, and after a few blocks the driver pulled over for her break. For 20 to 25 goddamn minutes she paced around outside, talking on her fucking cell phone. As a result, the bus got a late start, and seemed to lose time the closer we got to downtown.

It also didn’t help matters that we had a lot of half-wits get on board that were paying with small change, or wilted dollar bills that the meter wouldn’t accept, or that there were slow people boarding with large, bulky possessions. I was in a rage the entire trip down, and the driver kept looking up at me in her mirror and giving me dirty looks, which I gave right back to her.

I got downtown, de-boarded at Sixth Street, went into an over-priced upscale grocery, hoping to get a sandwich. The sandwiches cost way too much, but I was hungry and didn’t have time to go elsewhere. I thought I could just grab the thing and go, but apparently they had to warm it up in the microwave first, and from all I could tell they did it in stages. It took a long time to get my sandwich ready, and the cashier and the sandwich guy didn’t seem to be in any great hurry. I finally got the fuck out of there, ate three-fourths of my sandwich on the way to class, got to the building pissed, and entered the classroom ten minutes late. The sandwich, I should add, was excellent.

Class was again confusing and frustrating. The construction noise overhead was unbelievable, only tonight it sounded less like an airplane landing or taking off and more like a raging storm at sea. At one point I yelled over it to the instructor, “Captain, shall I lower the life boats?,” and got a great deal of laughter in response.

I was very stressed out and angry all the way home, and was unable to stay awake for very many hours after getting home.

Wednesday, June 6th–About an hour into my sleep I was having an erotic dream, and quite enjoying it, when Belle went into the living room and started barking for some reason. I finally got her to be quiet, but I was permanently disengaged from the dream.

I went back to sleep, and woke a little bit before 11am. I dreaded having to go outside and go to class.

I left the house a little early and went to McDonald’s. I ate some fries and two apple pies there, and washed it down with ice water, and also bought two other pies to eat during the class break.

While I was waiting for my bus in the unbearable heat I saw a fat woman park her car under a tree near the bus stop, and walk all the way across the lot to Randall’s. I heard a noise that sounded like a dog barking. I heard it over the sound of the gentle instrumentation and softly tumbling surf of the New Age-y relaxation music I was listening to on my I-Pod.

I looked around. There was indeed a dog in the car, barking wildly. The woman had rolled two windows down maybe four inches, but she had left her dog to suffer in the heat.

I flew into a rage.

The woman was almost to the door of the store. I ran over to the hedge and yelled out, “HEY…YOU FAT BITCH!!!”

She turned around immediately, and pointed her hand to her chest. I was amazed at how, 150 yards away, she knew I was talking to her. She then brought her hand up to her brow, to shield her eyes from the sun and see who was yelling at her.

“HEY, YOU FAT BITCH!!! YOU LEFT A DOG IN THIS HOT CAR!”

She shrugged, turned, and waddled on into the store.

I started screaming, mostly to myself and the other people waiting for the bus, “THAT FUCKING WHORE!!! THAT FUCKING CUNT!!!” I ran around the hedge and up to the car. The dog was jumping around, frantic.

Obviously the woman knew she was doing something wrong or she wouldn’t have parked as far as she could from the store. There were other trees under which she could’ve parked that were much closer to the door, but of course, more people would’ve seen her dog that way.

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have a cell phone, and calling the fucking Austin Police Department for an animal cruelty case is like calling the SS to report someone beating up on a Jew. I considered smashing in a window with a rock, but I didn’t want to get arrested, plus the dog might’ve escaped and run out into the traffic and been killed that way.

Maybe I should’ve gone into the store and had them announce the license number over the loud speaker, but like an asshole, I didn’t want to miss my bus.

Unless I’m taking a shower, I always have a paper and pen within a few inches of my hands. So I left a feeble note, “IT’S CRUEL AND ILLEGAL TO LEAVE A DOG IN A HOT CAR!,” but I doubted that would do any good. I always worry when I leave note on cars with dogs inside that the owners will take out their rage on the dogs later.

The bus arrived a few minutes later, and I eventually calmed down. (And no, the fact that I was screaming angry obscenities while listening to relaxation music was not lost on me.)

Class went okay. The creepy guy with the rumbly voice didn’t show up. Hopefully that nasty cough of his finally felled him.

I understood the material tonight a little better.

My classmates got into a discussion about the things needed in the Austin workforce nowadays. They said that since Austin is such a high-tech city, a good collection of computer skills are expected. One woman said training in Project Management is also pretty well needed, but she spent $5,000-$6,000 on a course and even then found it wasn’t the magic key to a good job. Someone else said companies expect you to own or buy a cellphone and an I-Pad before they’ll even consider hiring you. All of this distressed me.

Jesus Christ, I will be glad to be done with this class and this week and that fucking appointment Monday. This week has dragged on like a night with a Jehovah’s Witness insurance agent.

The trip home and my time at home were uneventful.

Thursday, June 7th–The day was promising for two reasons: 1) I was finally getting my Food Stamps payment, and 2) my Access class was finally coming to an end after a four-day week that has seemed to take for-fucking-ever to get through.

I had a phone conversation with James. We discussed me and the computer classes. He said he was surprised I lasted so long. He was sure I’d quit after the first day. He then said that “as the Libertarians would say, you’ve been ‘boot-strapping,'” a sentiment which hugely pissed me off.

I left the house earlier than usual, took a bus to Sprouts, bought some good coffee, trail mix, banana chips, and stuff to make a meal of then and later on during the class break.

The ride south was fairly uneventful, though I had to sit in the very back, which is the hottest part of the bus. I think the seats there may be over an engine or something.

At one point some young hospital employee–maybe an intern, male nurse, or something else–boarded, and sat near me. He had deeply-sunken eyes, rather like those of local Congressman Lloyd Doggett, the sort of eyes that always have struck me as creepy and sinister, with dark, mascara-like rings about them. He removed from his bag two huge U. S. Military atlases, commissioned by West Point, which were in very poor condition, and held together inside and out with tape. He bent over the atlases, scanning the maps with his raccoon eyes, occasionally bobbing his head to the music on his I-Pod, or waving his hands along in time. I noticed he had longish fingernails, yellow to orange in color, jagged, unclipped, and unfiled.

I got to the [Tek Skilz] offices, used the last of the toilet paper in the men’s room (someone had finally, after several days, cleaned the shit stains off the seat), then had a leisurely meal.

Unfortunately, the creepy guy with the rumbly voice was back, coughing at my back, and muttering comments into his phone. At one point he left his snot rag wadded up on the desk between our two computers.

I only gave the course and the instructor a so-so review in the online class survey. The construction noise Monday and Tuesday nights was intolerable. I thought the instructor knew his subject well, but he needed to make better transitions between topics and sections of his lessons. It was easy to blink and miss a step or two and get very behind, which was hugely frustrating. I am so unsure as to my skill level after taking two weeks of courses on this subject that I’m not certain if I’ll list it on my resume.

During the break I took a walk around the next block, past the Christian Science Reading Room. I have to wonder how those places manage to stay open. Who ever even goes into those places? I can say that in my nearly fifty years of life I’ve never known a soul who was a Christian Scientist. Working in one of those Reading Rooms must be one of the least stressful jobs on earth.

The last hour of class went down as usual. By 8:50pm the instructor was still droning on. I got up from my seat, asked a classmate to hand me the stack of attendance certificates, found mine, and the instructor finally shut up, extended his hand, and said, with a smile, “I know you’re in a hurry to get out of here, so I won’t keep you.” I felt a little embarrassed. I wasn’t trying to offend him, but on the first night of the first week of classes he said if any of us needed to get up during class to go to the bathroom or needed to leave a little early to catch a bus or something, that we shouldn’t feel bad about doing so.

So I left.

This was the ninth class I’ve taken, and the last before a long summer break. Unless I find a job before the Fall semester starts in late August/early September, which is unlikely,….this might be the last class I take from [Tek Skilz]. If not, there are seven others left to take.

The bus ride home was fairly uneventful, except that I was seated across from a crazy old homeless man, toothless, bearded, his forehead covered with electro-shock scars, and who was wearing something that looked like a cross between a Nehru jacket and a bathrobe, loose, pajama-like pants, and slip-on shoes. He mostly just muttered to himself, but once turned around angrily, opened his disgusting maw–which looked to me like the mouth of the creature in the right-hand panel in Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion”–and bawled out a feral, atonal imitation of the laughter that the two big black guys in the back of the bus had been making.

The teenaged skateboarding couple a few rows up turned around; I was expecting an incident. If the old man went nuts and came after me, I was planning to grab one of those skateboards and beat the old fucker in the head, but he mostly kept quiet, and got off over by my church.

I got back to my neighborhood, bought some groceries at HEB, had the usual hassle bringing them home, then returned to my apartment, to sweet Belle, and air conditioning.

I had considered doing some tutorials, but as with Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, I was too exhausted by class and the commute and the hot weather, and my eyes were already starting to burn, so I marked the week down as a loss and went to bed.

Journal Entries for September and October 2011.

SEPTEMBER

Thursday, September 1st–I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Love & Monsters” and “Fear Her.”

Friday, September 2nd–I watched three episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Army of Ghosts,” “Doomsday,” and “The Runaway Bride.”

Saturday, September 3rd–I slept as late as I could, read, watched “Doctor Who: The Hungry Earth,” the incredibly long, boring, and annoying “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Doctor Who: Smith and Jones.”

Sunday, September 4th–I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who:” “The Shakespeare Code” and “Gridlock.” (The guy they had playing Shakespeare looked like Billy Ray Cyrus.)

Monday, September 5th–I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Daleks in Manhattan” and “Evolution of the Daleks.”

Tuesday, September 6th–James and Nyssa took me out to eat at Opal Divine’s, then we went by Fry’s and Wal-Mart. I watched three episodes of “Doctor Who:” “The Hungry Earth,” “The Lazarus Experiment,” and “42.”

Wednesday, September 7th–James and Nyssa took me out to eat at Taco Cabana. I watched three episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Human Nature,” “The Family of Blood,” and “Blink.”

Thursday, September 8th–I watched three episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Utopia,” “The Sound of Drums,” and “Last of the Time Lords.”

Friday, September 9th–James and Nyssa took me out to eat at IHOP. I watched “Sotheby’s Presents An Introduction To Antiques.”

Saturday, September 10th–I watched “The Madness of King George” twice, and “Doctor Who: Cold Blood” and “Knut and His Friends” once.

Sunday, September 11th–I listened to “The Big Broadcast” and stayed up through Monday.

Monday, September 12th–I stayed up, puttered around, got hyped up on coffee, and went to the Downtown Public Library, checked a bunch of books out, came home, attended to Belle (who was beside herself over my absence), watched “TMZ,” began Vonnegut’s “A Man Without A Country,” and retired a little after 1am, after being awake for well over 24 hours.

Tuesday, September 13th–I woke up after a much-needed rest, and though I’d not slept as long as I would’ve expected, I felt pretty good. I ate some rice (I’m really running low on food now), then got tired, and took to my bed and began Erle Stanley Gardner’s “The Case of the Lame Canary” and read most of Vonnegut’s “A Man Without A Country,” before taking a long nap. I got up, ate, watched a rerun of “Doctor Who: Cold Blood,” then TMZ,  finished “A Man Without A Country,” and went back to bed. My allergies have been troubling me the last few days, which might explain why I’m so tired.

Wednesday, September 14th–My thoughts, written down during another dull afternoon of unemployment, between rounds of reblogging pictures of puppies and kittens:

I’m sure I’m in the minority when I say that I don’t believe that mankind is fundamentally good, that when you strip everything away most people are basically nice, kind, reasonable, and decent. In fact, I believe the exact reverse, that most people are evil, vile, grasping, and self-serving, and most of all irreversibly ignorant. I think there’s no cruel or petty act a human has committed that won’t be topped by another cruel, petty human in short order.

I think there’s a good many people out there who won’t respond to reason. When you catch them doing evil, giving them a time out or locking them up to think about their misdeeds is not going to accomplish anything. There are some people who are so evil, whose wiring is so completely flawed, that the only thing that should be done is to drag them out into the streets and execute them. There are some people that really just deserve to be killed. Their offenses cry out for them to be permanently taken out of this world. (Michael Vick comes to mind.)

I should mention that the one problem I have with most religions is that they all seem to have a sentimental fondness for the human race. This is either a weakness or arrogance. They think mankind is the pinnacle of creation, the whole reason all of the world exists, and that everything else should be subservient to man. I do not regard human beings as special. They are organic matter—no more, no less—a very dangerous and stupid product line that deserves to be recalled.

And by the way, this is not specifically a rant about the criminal justice system, about capital punishment versus imprisonment. I’m actually talking about politicians, business leaders, and many others. What’s driven me to this kind of thinking is seeing the degree to which humans are willing to hurt and exploit their fellow man, other forms of life, and this planet for either momentary financial gain or to promote some wild-eyed, slobbering, ill-informed ideology. (Yes, Tea Baggers, I’m looking at you.)

I’ve never had patience with people who clutch their pearls and self-righteously declare, “Oh, we can’t do that! We can’t sink down to their level!” Well, quite often you have to sink down to the level of your enemies if you are to beat them. I would rather dirty my hands for a time and rid the world of the threat of my enemies, than sit in smug self-righteousness, before they destroy me, and think, “Well, at least I didn’t lower myself to their level. This is so much better than surviving.”
……………..

I think today was the day I finished Dorothy Sayers’s wonderful “Clouds of Witness.”

Thursday, September 15th–James came by and brought me a $50 Petsmart gift card so I could buy food for Belle. That was very nice of him.  Not long after that I went to Petsmart, bought two bags of dog food and some treats, and using some of the money the card freed up, bought myself a few items at the dollar store, though not really enough to keep me fed through the end of the month.

Friday, September 16th–I spent most of the day reading in bed.

Saturday, September 17th–James and Nyssa took off for a vacation that’ll run at least three weeks and take them to Tennessee, Nova Scotia, and Michigan. James, impractically, invited me along, though I obviously declined. I can’t leave Belle for that long–that’d be cruel. Plus boarding her for that long would cost $800 or more. I have no decent clothes for traveling, and since I’ve only earned about $2,500 the whole year, I have no money for expenses, and I wouldn’t enjoy their bare-bones, ascetic, self-denying, pleasure-avoiding way of traveling. And anyway, I’ve been starving for months–what business have I to go on a trip when I don’t have enough to even exist on?

I watched “Outnumbered,” “Doctor Who: Vincent and the Doctor” (which was very moving), and “Never On Sunday,” though I found myself dozing off during parts of that.

Sunday, September 18th–I watched “Saving Fallingwater” and “Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned,” then read in “Ravelstein.”

Monday, September 19th–I slept late, watched “TMZ” and ate, then took some allergy medicine and went back to bed. I was really out of it today due to allergies–just exhausted.

Tuesday, September 20th–I had at least three dreams. In one I arrived in Chicago, possibly in the 1960s or early 1970s, and checked into a hotel downtown, where I spent all my time hanging out in the sunny lobby, eye-balling newspapers from all over the country, stacked up on side tables, and magazines for sale in the rather large news stand.

In the second dream I was in Conroe, Texas, walking on the south-bound side of Interstate 45 with my mother. We were approaching the bridge over FM 2854, the road down which we used to live.There was little traffic on the highway, but there was some, so we were trying to keep to the shoulder. My mother was dragging my father’s coffin behind her. I was shuffling through a stack of photo-copied pages, reading a description of Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying,” and decided I needed to read it. I looked to my right and way down below the bridge at the intersection I saw the old West End Grill, an old barbeque place and beer joint made of tin, which catered to a black clientele. I’ve not thought of that place in many years.

In the third dream I went back to my Conroe home in 1980 and met with all my family. I told them all about the future, who would die when, what stocks to invest in, how everything was going to go down over the next thirty-one years. But when I came to the younger me, I was unable to help him. I could tell him about all the shit that he’d experience in the next few decades, but I had no idea what to tell him to avoid it.

I went to the dollar store for some snacks today.

James called and blabbed right through “TMZ,” which naturally pissed me off. I watched “Doctor Who: Vincent and the Doctor” twice.

Wednesday, September 21st–Today’s big project was that for the first time in ages I stripped the bed and washed the sheets, pillowcases (over a dozen), and covers. The whole process from soup to nuts took a long time, and reminded me why I rarely do it. I mostly did it because my mattress has been slipping off the box springs for some time, and the sheets popped off long ago, leaving me to contend with the rough, uncomfortable cloth that covers the mattress.

James has gone from Nashville, through Kentucky, and on to Cincinnati. I suggested he check out the museum complex at the old Art Deco train station and sample the local chili.

I think it was tonight I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who:” “Partners in Crime” and “The Fires of Pompeii.”

Thursday, September 22nd–I watched “Doctor Who: The Lodger,” “Bill Cunningham New York,” and “Doctor Who: Planet of the Ood.”

Friday, September 23rd–I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who” tonight: “The Sontaran Stratagem” and “The Poison Sky.”

Saturday, September 24th–I watched “Doctor Who: The Lodger” again, as well as two other “Doctor Who ” episodes: “The Doctor’s Daughter” and “The Unicorn and the Wasp.” Was today the day I started E. L. Doctorow’s “Homer and Langley”?

Sunday, September 25th–Somebody has been moving out of my building and leaving furniture in good condition next to the dumpster, so I’ve swiped some of it. Over the last few days I’ve gotten a wine rack, a wooden IKEA table (that only needs a few screws), and two DVD shelving units. I set up the latter tonight, putting about one-fifth of my DVDs in the one in the living room, and some books and old videotapes in the one in my bedroom. In so doing I reclaimed about four square feet. I keep looking over from my desk at the handsomely-shelved DVDs, and feel great pride of ownership.

I watched two “Doctor Who” episodes tonight: “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead.”

Monday, September 26th–My allergies continue to give me trouble.

I watched “TMZ,” three “Doctor Who” episodes: “Midnight,” Turn Left,” and “The Stolen Earth,” as well as “After You’ve Gone” and “Outnumbered,” before going to bed and reading a bit.

Tuesday, September 27th–My checks came in. I went to the bank drive-through window, had fries, apple pies, and a smoothie at McDonald’s, and did some much-needed grocery shopping.

Wednesday, September 28th–

Thursday, September 29th–

Friday, September 30th–

OCTOBER

Saturday, October 1st–I went to the dollar store, finished “Loving Frank,” began “Two Gentlemen of Lebowski,” and watched some of “My Family,” as well as “Outnumbered,” “Doctor Who: The Pandorica Opens,” and “The Nun’s Story,” before retiring a little earlier than usual with allergy trouble.

Sunday, October 2nd–I was still knocked low by allergies. I finished “Two Gentlemen of Lebowski.” I made a fat joke on Tumbler that caused a bunch of feminists to criticize me, curse me, and send me nasty messages.

Monday, October 3rd–Today didn’t go well.

I went first to the UPS Store and made some copies from the books I was returning to the library, then walked a mile to the bus stop. It was just my luck that I got the mouthy driver that likes to lecture passengers and crank up the AC to uncomfortable levels. After a one hour ride, I got to the library, returned some books, looked at the floor plans and drawings for the new Central Library, then checked more books out.

I walked several blocks to a drug store, hoping to get a Drumstick ice cream cone. They sell them for a dollar in my neighborhood. But at this drug store they had them for three dollars in an extra large size with a cream topping, which was not what I wanted.

I went over to the Capital Metro office, in hopes of renewing my Disability Card. But the guard (why do they have a security guard there?) said that due to renovations the machine that makes these cards isn’t working, but I should come back tomorrow or later in the week “at [my] convenience.” Well, if it was at my convenience I’d get the goddamn card then and then. I rode for a fucking hour on a filthy, freezing bus with an asshole at the wheel and they didn’t even have their card renewal set-up working.

I then had a fairly long wait for another bus. I got on and asked the driver if he stopped by the campus, and instead of giving me a direct “Yes” or “No,” he went into a long explanation about how the campus is a big place, though he did drive by Guadalupe and 25th.

We finally got near campus, and the asshole parked the bus about two goddamn minutes about two blocks from where I wanted to get off. When I finally reached campus I went over to the Harry Ransom Center in hopes of seeing their latest exhibitions, but wouldn’t you know it–they were closed on Mondays.  I was angry and having a full-blown panic attack by this point.

I went to another drug store, found they also had the type of  Drumstick I didn’t want, settled on a different kind of ice cream, then crossed over to campus. I went to the Architecture Building to piss, and on the way out of the men’s room found that someone had wiped his snot or some other sticky substance on the bathroom door handle.

I went to the Architecture Library and made some copies, though two came out badly.

I then wandered over to what used to be called the Undergraduate Library, though now it seems to be all student computer lounges and offices. I looked around, remembering what the place used to be like, before most of the students there now were even born. I went up to the Fourth Floor, in hopes of seeing the reconstruction of Erle Stanley Gardner’s study, but if it’s still back there or not I couldn’t tell, because most of that floor was locked up, except for the hallway, where I looked at a cool architectural model of the planned reconstruction of UT’s East Mall.

Next I went to the Union, pissed, then continued my movie night tradition of ordering a drink and a baked potato at the Wendy’s. There were no napkins out and all the tables were dirty. The Union was, as usual, freezing. I pissed again. I went to a study lounge to kill time. When I got too cold I went outside and got into an interesting discussion about film with one of the Cinematheque’s organizers. I pissed twice more.

The film tonight was from Thailand: “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives.” It was filled with magical realism and some interesting and even frightening images. Some parts were a little slow. As usual, they started the movie late and I worried that I’d have to piss during the film.

Afterwards, I rushed, as I always do, to the bus stop. For a change I took 24th Street, and saw, to my sadness, that UT had torn down the old Wooldridge School Building. when I got to the bus stop around 23rd I saw that most of Rio Grande was blocked by more road construction and guessed correctly that the bus would be re-routed. (God-for-fucking-bid Capital Metro put up a fucking sign warning us of that!) I walked all the way up Rio Grande to 29th, got some Snapple and doughnuts at a convenience store, then waited for awhile for a bus on 30th Street.

I got home, back aching, and my whole body sore as a boil. Again, I regretted ever leaving my apartment. Belle was, of course, beside herself to see me. I took her for a walk, but even after that she didn’t calm down for awhile. We had a good play session on the living room floor. She’d run off into the kitchen, then barrel into the living room, right into my arms. I watched a little TV, showered, read, and retired.

Tuesday, October 4th–I had a Harry Potter-themed dream.

The bad guys were in charge, though not necessarily Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Harry and his friends were sneaking around this new world order, trying to figure out how to overthrow it. they tried to go from one country into another, had passport difficulties, and were put into holding cells temporarily, under the problem could be sorted out, though the authorities didn’t know the identities of the young people they had with them.

In a cell, in the presence of bad guys, Neville said something twice in a manner that Harry picked up on its significance. Neville had been quoting Dumbledore, and from that Harry realized that Neville was saying the Order of the Phoenix had been compromised and infiltrated by bad guys, and that Harry needed to start a new, shadow order.

Then Neville got into a bit of a rant about the people then in charge, eventually calling them “these mother-fuckers,” though in the film it was altered to sound like “mutha-thuckers.”  Still, I was surprised to hear such language in a family movie.  Also Neville complained, “After all, this is the United States. Isn’t this supposed to be a free country?” I thought that odd, since the Potter books take place in the UK.

At some point, Harry did a spell and called upon the help of a legendary pair of twins (not Fred and George), who appeared suddenly in the rafters by the ceiling of the cell. They were short, with dark hair, and had only appeared once before in the first book. I think they could fly. In the first book they’d looked like children, but now they were apparently adolescent. I think they were something more than human.

I forget what happened after that.

Wednesday, October 5th–I went to the Yarborough branch of the library today, returned a book I’d not finished, and checked out a duplicate copy, along with five DVDs. Later on in the evening I watched “TMZ” and “Viva Les Amis,” about the West Campus sidewalk cafe I used to frequent.

Thursday, October 6th–I watched two episodes of “Doctor Who:” “The Big Bang” and “The Waters of Mars,” as well as “TMZ” and “Vizcaya.” I also moved around some boxes and books in my bedroom.

Friday, October 7th–I did more moving around of books in my bedroom, gaining about two square feet in the aisle to my bed–more room for Belle to roll around in. I read more in “Homer & Langley,” and watched the amazing “East of Eden.”

Saturday, October 8th–We FINALLY got some rain. Apparently it rained a good bit during the day while I sleep, and then  in two big sessions at night. I watched “My Family,” “Outnumbered,” “Doctor Who: The Big Bang,” and “The Thin Man,” though I didn’t give it my full attention until about thirty minutes in, which means I need to watch it all over again. I also watched all of the “East of Eden” DVD extras.

Sunday, October 9th–Apparently it rained well into the morning. I puttered around and finally finished E. L. Doctorow’s “Homer & Langley.” It was enjoyable enough, though still a bit too long at only 208 pages.

Monday, October 10th–

Tuesday, October 11th–I finished “The Case of the Lame Canary,” by Erle Stanley Gardner. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and have decided to read more Gardner books.

Wednesday, October 12th–I began Vonnegut’s “While Mortals Sleep” and re-started Zane Gray’s “The Fugitive Trail.”

Thursday, October 13th–I watched seven episodes of “Mr. Bean” and got a check in the mail.

Friday, October 14th–I admit it—I love showing off.

I was in Barnes & Noble tonight, in the architecture and home decorating magazine section, thumbing through a thick and pricey Australian shelter magazine.

{Enter, Stage Right: 30-something YUPPIE, sweating, thinning hair, with the beginnings of a paunch, collar and tie undone, yakking into his cell phone.}

YUPPIE—Yeah. I’m at Barnes & Noble’s now….Yeah. I’m in front of the home section….The magazine is called “Interior Design?”…Okay. Well, I’ll look for it, but I have no idea how long it’ll take me to find it.

JSB—{Brain kicks in. Pricier magazine. Kept in back row of the middle or top shelf—usually the middle. He extends his right hand, barely taking his eye off his magazine, barely even utilizing his muscles. He pulls the top copy of “Interior Design” out of the closely-packed pile of magazines so the frantic Yuppie can see it.}

YUPPIE—Oh my God! How did you do that?

JSB—I haunt this section. I know where all the design magazines are. I’m a frustrated architect.

YUPPIE—Really? My wife’s an interior decorator. What kind of architecture do you do?

JSB—I don’t. That’s why I’m frustrated. I’m just really interested in architecture. I would’ve gone into the field, but I didn’t have the math skills. So I have to settle for looking at magazines.

YUPPIE—Ah, my wife was like that. That’s why she’s a decorator…Well, thanks!

JSB—{Nods.}

{YUPPIE exits Stage Left.}

…………….

I got up, walked Belle, deposited my check at the bank via the ATM, got Belle some treats at Petco, ate dinner at Elevation Burger, bought three magazines at Barnes & Noble, bought groceries at HEB, went home, walked Belle again, and watched “TMZ” and the last seven episodes of “Mr. Bean.”  I read before bed.

Saturday, October 15th–I slept late and watched “Outnumbered,” monitored “Doctor Who: The Next Doctor,” and watched “After The Thin Man.”

Sunday, October 16th–Around noon I took an anti-histamine and slept until after 1am. I got up, walked Belle, ate, showered, then went back to bed at 4am, exhausted still.

Monday, October 17th–I had a dream about an impressive section of Northwest Austin that doesn’t exist. It consisted of huge Art Deco former school buildings, and Moroccan Victorian warehouses, designed to look like circus tents, with rounded bronze roofs, the peaks of which were topped with bronze finials shaped like tongues of flame. Some of these finials had fallen off to the ground.

……………………………

The stupid jack-asses who run this apartment complex have yet to figure out that 1) the people in Phase II who have no dumpsters have been bringing their garbage over here to Phase I, where there are dumpsters, 2) that our dumpsters fill up within 24 hours after they’ve been emptied, and that therefore, 3) they need to increase trash pick-up here to daily instead of twice weekly.

I went to Petsmart for dog food and the dollar store for more supplies. I’ve already almost entirely run through the money I got Thursday.

My computer got infected with a Trojan horse virus that started sending spam to everyone in my e-mail address book. A friend sent me a detailed e-mail about how to address this problem, and I called James for more information. James told me what steps to take, but I fell into a deep depression, worrying about how much damage would be done and how long I’d be without my computer.

I went down to the campus, got some snacks at the CVS drug store, had a baked potato and drink at Wendy’s, then went to the Union theatre for the Cinematheque, where I saw to my horror some asshole had taken my regular seat, where I’ve been sitting for years. I tried to read before the film started, but the guy’s friend just kept talking and talking and talking, without ever pausing for breath.

The film was “Beau Travail,” which was like a cross between “Billy Budd” and a homo-erotic “Obsession for Men” fragrance ad. Afterwards, at the bus stop, I was so sad and depressed I was afraid I was going to burst into tears, so I overpaid for an express bus to get me home sooner.

At home, I walked Belle (she cheered me up somewhat), talked to James about the computer, showered, watched “TMZ,” had a beer, and retired early, exhausted.

Tuesday, October 18th–James and Nyssa took me to lunch at Chuy’s. “Momma C,” a Basset lover I know from online, called to say she is in town this week for a training course and would like to meet me and Miss Belle.

Wednesday, October 19th–I spent the day cleaning the house, especially mopping the kitchen and bathroom. Momma C came by in the evening, we went to the Arboretum park, down to the duck pond and back, and she bought me and Belle dinner at Thundercloud. She very much fell in love with Belle.

Thursday, October 20th–I think today was the day I finished Vonnegut’s “While Mortals Weep.”

Friday, October 21st–I watched “After You’ve Gone,” “Outnumbered,” and “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon”–among other things.

Saturday, October 22nd–When I woke today I had a message from James, saying my computer was shooting out spam again.

Today was Belle’s birthday.

Sunday, October 23rd–I finished Zane Gray’s “The Fugitive Trail,” watched “Miracle Dogs Too,” and six episodes of “The Joy of Painting, Series 4.”

Monday, October 24th–I made some copies at the UPS Store, had a long wait for the bus, then when the fucker arrived the goddamn driver almost didn’t bother to fucking stop, then I had to change buses, went to the Yarborough Library to drop off some books and DVDs, had another long wait for a bus, got that first driver again, had dinner at Veggie Heaven, realized I had no money for movie snacks, went to the Architecture Library, tried to make some copies, but found the toner low, then prowled the Texas Union and got a $1 cup of Coke.

I saw “The enigma of Kaspar Hauser” at the Cinematheque tonight, and God, did I hate it. I couldn’t wait for it to end. There was almost nothing in it that didn’t annoy or disgust me, and from the first few seconds of the film, I wanted the main character to hurry up and die. It didn’t help that the actor looked a lot like Jack Black. Still, the film reinforced my misanthropic view about the human race consisting of evil, conniving, useless, destructive, cruel assholes—just dirty bags of guts with no positive function.

Tuesday, October 25th–

Wednesday, October 26th–I woke up too late in the afternoon to make it to UT’s Diwali Festival. I had to wait for the bus, then, even though it was the height of evening drive-time, the goddamn bus went out of service three blocks away.  So I waited for another bus, got on that, had to wait for ten goddamn minutes for it to start again, then the driver went about 2 1/2 fucking miles before pulling over and going into a convenience store for five or ten more minutes. He returned, drove about a mile-and-a-half, then stopped again, and started talking on the phone.

Enraged by this point, I asked a fellow passenger what the problem was now. It seems someone had vomited in the aisle at the back of the bus, and the likely culprits–the two homeless people who were sitting back there–denied having done it. I was still too far from my destination–the Yarborough branch of the library–but I got out, walked two blocks, bought an over-priced pastry, and dropped off a library DVD at another branch library, then cross Burnet Road to wait for a return bus.  Shit like this is the reason I don’t like to leave the house–ever.

I watched the six episodes of “Black Adder I.”

Thursday, October 27th–I watched the six episodes of “Black Adder II,” then stayed up into the late morning to watch “After You’ve Gone” and “Outnumbered.”

Friday, October 28th–I watched “Doctor Who” The Stones of Blood.”

Saturday, October 29th–…I watched four episodes of “Black Adder III.”

Before going to bed I had a ceremony in honor of the fifth anniversary of Fred’s death.

Sunday, October 30th–Today was the fifth anniversary of Fred’s death.

I watched two episodes of “Black Adder III” and all six episodes of “Black Adder Goes Forth.”

Monday, October 31st–I watched “The Paul Lynde Halloween Special” and “Black Adder’s A Christmas Carol.”

Journal Entries from March and April 2011.

MARCH
Tuesday, March 1st–Worked on the book.

Wednesday, March 2nd–Worked on the book.

Thursday, March 3rd–Worked on the book.

Friday, March 4th–Worked on the book.

Saturday, March 5th–Worked on the book.

Sunday, March 6th–Worked on the book.

Monday, March 7th–I went to the Cinematheque and saw John Huston’s “The Misfits,” which I enjoyed until they started being cruel to horses. Then I went home and worked on the book.

Tuesday, March 8th–Worked on the book.

Wednesday, March 9th–Worked on the book.

Thursday, March 10th–I went down to campus, thoroughly explored the Modern and Contemporary sections of the Blanton (after giving a quick run-through of the special exhibition, “Recovering Beauty: The 1990s In Buenos Aires,”), then went to the Harry Ransom Center for a quick look at the exhibitions “Becoming Tennessee Williams” and “Culture Unbound: Collecting in the Twenty-First Century” (I’m going to have to go back and look at all those exhibitions again when I have more time), then went by the Architecture Library, and went home and worked on the book.

Friday, March 11th–Worked on the book.

Saturday, March 12th–Worked on the book.

Sunday, March 13th–Worked on the book.

Monday, March 14th–Worked on the book.

Tuesday, March 15th–Worked on the book.

Wednesday, March 16th–Worked on the book.

Thursday, March 17th–Worked on the book.

Friday, March 18th–I finished the book tonight–well, technically at 6:14am on Saturday. The final word count for the first draft is 215,678, which would translate into 863 printed pages. I celebrated by drinking some wine and watching “Bukowski: Born Into This” yet again. I always watch that when I need to be reminded to keep at it.

Saturday, March 19th–I had wanted to go see a free Bright Eyes concert tonight, but I didn’t get up early enough or feel like fucking with the long trip south or dealing with the crowds and the outdoors. Plus, I’ve been exhausted ever since I finished the book.

Sunday, March 20th–I keep napping and sleeping a lot. I can’t seem to get enough sleep to suit me now that the book is finished. I’ve been editing the book and it just keeps getting longer.

Monday, March 21st–

Tuesday, March 22nd–

Wednesday, March 23rd–Elizabeth Taylor died today. I commemorated this event by watching “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Thursday, March 24th–I went to campus–first to the new Visual Arts Center, only to find it was closed for an installation, then explored the new Student Activities Center. Then I went back to the Blanton to focus my attention on the older European art works, though I did spend a few minutes contemplating some Abstract Expressionist works.

Friday, March 25th–

Saturday, March 26th–

Sunday, March 27th–I went to a company Meet-up Group at Austin Java on Lamar.

Monday, March 28th–I went to campus, made some copies at the Architecture Library, ate at the Union, and went to the Cinematheque screening of Chris Marker’s “Sans Soleil.”

Tuesday, March 29th–

Wednesday, March 30th–

Thursday, March 31st–I got up earlier than usual and went to the Arbor to see “The Last Lions,” then had lunch at Tino’s Greek Cafe, got Belle some treats at Petco, bought a magazine at Barnes and Noble, went back to the Arbor to see “Another Year,” went by the grocery store, and finally came home.

APRIL
Friday, April 1st–

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Saturday, April 2nd–I got up much earlier than usual, took care of Belle, and headed downtown. I went by the Downtown Public Library and got my income tax forms and checked out four books. Then I went down to the southern entrance of the State Capitol on 11th Street, to join my old college classmate Andy E___, his wife, and others in a protest to increase public awareness of the Governor and Legislature’s intention to cut off funding for the Texas Historical Commission and Texas Commission for the Arts.

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I was out there about two hours. I’m not used to being outdoors or on my feet that long, so I was hobbling when I left. I had a slice of pizza and a drink at Cozolli’s, then went to the Artspace gallery and got some interesting pictures. Indeed, I found the shadows cast by the gallery’s installation to be more interesting than the installation itself.

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After that, I went to the corner to wait for a bus. An old black man asked me for my last dollar so he could get some food. I gave it to him, then he suggested I take his picture.  Eventually, I figured out that the buses no longer stop at that corner, so I moved up another block and took more pictures.

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I got home, walked and fed Belle, but she started throwing up everything she ate. After she calmed down I began reading “Ask the Dust.”  

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Sunday, April 3rd–I slept heavily, exhausted from the heat and physical effort on Saturday. I got up, walked Belle, ate, then went back and slept some more. I worked on my book, as well as the notes I made over my years of therapy.

Monday, April 4th–I got up, took care of Belle, ate, went to Randall’s and converted some pennies into cash, then went to the bus stop. I was just approaching it when the bus pulled up. The open door was parallel to me, the driver was looking right at me, I was running/hobbling thirty feet away, calling out, and the cocksucker slammed the door shut when I got to within ten feet! I yelled again, then he opened the door. The cocksucker also shot past someone at another stop, then slowed down and stopped about fifty feet away. The person got on board, but then the driver pulled away again just as another person got to the door.

I went to campus, took some pictures, made some copies at the Architecture Library, then went to the Union, ate, then watched “Irma Vep” at the Cinematheque.

My physical pain was aggravated by the running. As is usually the case lately, I came home angry, wishing I’d never left the house.

I did a bit of writing tonight and was depressed quite a bit.

Tuesday, April 5th–More physical pain, severe depression and hopelessness. I worked on editing the book some more.

Wednesday, April 6th–I slept, finished “Ask the Dust,” and wallowed in depression. I think I may’ve started Knut Hamsun’s “Hunger” and worked on my own book as well. I watched “Chris & Don” again before bed.

Thursday, April 7th–I got up late. More sleep, depression, and reading.

Friday, April 8th–I slept, read more in “Hunger,” took a nap, and wallowed in depression. I feel like a zombie. I’m just sleep-walking, benumbed with depression and hopelessness.

Saturday, April 9th–I watched “Art School Confidential” and Parts 1 through 30 of “The Bukowski Tapes,” then read some in “Hunger.”

Sunday, April 10th–I spoke to my mother on the phone about my tax forms, then watched Parts 31 through 52 of “The Bukowski Tapes.”

Monday, April 11th–I’ve lost track of how many days over the last seven years that I’ve lived in this apartment have started with me shouting obscenities about the goddamn grounds crew of this apartment complex.

Apparently the apartment office has given them a standing order to make as much noise as they possibly can, while accomplishing the least good. It seems every other day those fucking workmen are out there, either mowing the goddamn grass down so short we’re practically living in a fucking dust bowl, or they’re running those fucking edgers or leaf blowers. If they’re not doing that, there’s always some noisy construction project going on. And invariably, if the grounds crew or maintenance crew does something, there’s little or no advance notice for the residents.

During the winter of 2009-2010 and into the spring, they were engaged in all sorts of annoying projects. I’d never had a problem with the old roof before, until they decided to replace it with a new one. They did a half-assed job, and didn’t finish before a big rainstorm arrived. As a result, I wound up with a huge stain, measuring four feet by three feet, on my living room ceiling. Then I got interrupted several more times by contractors and other assholes coming to look at my stain, and finally a crew of workmen who cut out and replaced part of my ceiling.

And during the re-roofing, the construction crew made a big goddamn mess out front–as construction crews always do–and naturally they didn’t clean it up. So what little grass we had left from the over-mowing was destroyed by trampling and by having construction materials dragged over it or left behind.

Well, Sunday night–technically Monday morning–I didn’t get much sleep, even after taking Valerian root. My tiny, uncomfortable bed got overheated. And I woke up two fucking hours before my alarm rang. So I was already in a bad mood.

And outside I heard the sound of something tapping on metal. I went out onto my balcony and saw a bunch of workmen driving three-inch tall metal dividers into the ground and securing them with stakes. Perfect–just the thing to fucking trip over in the middle of the night.

But at least I found out what that pile of white rocks that’s been in one of the parking lots for a week is for–the workmen were hauling these rocks and spreading them inside the grassless spaces marked off by the dividers. but god-for-fucking-bid they use small, normal-sized landscaping stones. Yes, some of the stones are of a decent size, but many are rather large–about half the size of a bowling ball–and they get in the way when you try to walk over the stone-encrusted space. So when I take Belle for a walk I make a point of kicking the large rocks out of the way so I don’t trip over them and break my goddamn neck.

Anyway, I went into town this evening.  The bus I took was one of those that seems to hit every red light along the way. There are definitely some drivers who get you into town on time, and others who seem to take all goddamn day about it.

I went first to the Downtown Public Library, where I got some more tax forms and checked out some books. 

Then I hobbled over to a bus stop and went over to campus and hung out in a study lounge in the Union for about an hour. My bottle of Dr. Pepper spewed sticky foam all over everywhere not once but twice! I used half a pack of baby wipes cleaning up.

I watched the Cinematheque’s screening of Woody Allen’s “Zelig,” then got a bus very quickly. The driver had the AC cranked up and I froze my ass off. I finally got paid for some page-view royalties I’d been waiting for since the beginning of the month. I went to bed fairly early, because I’d still not recovered from getting too little sleep the night before.

Tuesday, April 12th–I woke much too early, bought dog food for Belle, had a cheap lunch at Schlotzsky’s, then did some grocery shopping at the dollar store. I tried to work on my taxes, but couldn’t make heads or tails of them, so I e-mailed my mom to see if she’d send me the money to get the tax software I’d wanted to use all along.

Wednesday, April 13th–It was an exhausting day. I woke two hours before my alarm. I had a Meet-Up meeting for professional writers at 6pm, so I had to leave the house at 2:30pm, went over to Office Depot to get my tax software, waited a long time for the bus, rode into town to 38th Street, and waited awhile there too. I took a second bus that I rarely use, so I wasn’t sure how often it came by–apparently it’s once an hour.

The bus turned into my old neighborhood, just as a fire truck pulled out of it, which made me think of my 2004 apartment fire. Going through that neighborhood always makes me sad, as it reminds me so much of my dearly beloved Fred.

We headed over to East Austin. I saw the former site of Concordia University for the first time since its demolition. They replaced those lovely buildings with a fucking eyesore that I consider the architectural equivalent of Goatse.

I went by the Fiesta Mart where I used to shop from 1992 to 1994. It’s gone downhill since then. I got some groceries, then explored my favorite section–the international goods. I got some chocolate milk, some casavia chips, and a chocolate-covered wafer cookie and ate them outside. The cookie and chips were stale. Then I went over to the Cherrywood Coffee House for the meeting.

The group insisted on meeting outside. I hate doing anything outside. So at least I managed to get a seat somewhere the goddamn sun wasn’t in my eyes.

There was a good-sized turn-out, including several people who used to write for the company I’ve worked for sporadically the last few years. They had nothing good to say about the company and were glad to be away from it. They seemed to regard me as either being a fool for still being connected to the company, or some sort of scheming con-man who was out to screw them over by means of said company. Either way, I didn’t feel especially welcome.

I tried to be the old larger-than-life B___, telling stories, entertaining, and doing that odd trick I do, where I seem to blow my body up to twice its size, like a giant bullfrog, in order to dominate a gathering. But overall I felt a huge sense of failure. Everybody there was an excellent salesman and hustler, and seemed to have many irons in the fire all at once. They all seemed better at promoting themselves and their work.

They were all, like me, down on the idea of self-publishing books, but they didn’t offer any encouragement about getting published legitimately. They said it’s hard to get an agent, but even if you do, it’s a drop in the bucket and no guarantee of getting published. And then, even if your agent finds an editor at a publishing house that likes your work, there’s no guarantee it’ll get published then, especially with the publishing business being in the shitter right now.

One of the other attendees decided to get into a cock-measuring contest with me, so to speak. He seemed to be the young go-getter, who knew how to network and could write about anything. He took upon himself the role of group moderator (there were two tables of people–the main group leader dominated at one table, while this guy dominated the other), and he went around and asked everyone about their specialty. The vibe was that he was the model towards which the rest of us should conform.

He spoke about how he approached businesses to see if they needed writing and editing work done. That made me very uncomfortable, because I couldn’t see myself doing anything that extroverted. I finally said, a little crossly, “So, did you take a bunch of business courses in college or what?” No, but he had read some business books of which he was clearly enamored.

There is a writer and cast member from a popular cult TV show who belongs to the group. I wanted to meet her, but she didn’t show up. I would up sitting next to a man who wasn’t a writer, but rather an enthusiastic networker, who spends most of his days and nights going to Meet-Up groups. He wore a hearing aid, and the two of us were both straining to hear the people across the table as they muttered and mumbled like fucking golf tournament announcers.

The meeting lasted two hours. I had to wait over 45 minutes for the bus. I noticed that the neighborhood, apart from the Delwood Shopping Center where Fiesta is located, is now Hipster Central. I didn’t get home until 10pm.

Thursday, April 14th–So today I worked on my taxes. But I couldn’t find where the software had put a finished, final version of my return, because I was going to write the info on my paper tax forms. As it was, I only had incomplete figures, and when I put them on the forms there were a lot of blanks left empty. Nothing made any sense. I wound up doing my taxes four more times. My royalty income kept being counted twice. The amount I owed on my first go-round was a lot less than it was the last four times.

I’ve not had a working printer since Spring 2007, so I decided I’d e-mail my tax file to the UPS Store across the street and have them print it up. But every time I sent it the software automatically added the suffix “h10” onto the ending of the file name, and this prevented the UPS clerk from being able to open the file.

I called H&R Block Tech Support and they’d never had this problem before and were unable to answer my question. Finally I got ahold of James. He’d done his taxes on the same software and had the same problem. He quickly fixed things, and sent me an uncorrupted file. But by then the UPS Store was closed for the day.

Friday, April 15th–I set an alarm and got up around 3pm. I learned that the guy at the UPS Store had finally been able to open my file, so I went over there, printed out my tax return, checked it over, signed it, mailed it, made some photocopies, saw the mailman arrive and pick up the mail, which included my return, ate at Schlotzsky’s, went to the dollar store for some supplies, stopped by Petsmart to buy Belle some treats, but my card was declined because I didn’t have enough money to cover it. I finished Knut Hamsun’s “Hunger” and began his book “Dreamers.”

Saturday, April 16th–I slept. I got up and walked Belle and had a bag of popcorn. I was depressed and stressed out as usual. The temperature outside was so pleasant I considered going out and sitting on my balcony–something I never do. I left the windows open–unheard of for me–and decided to read on my bed instead. Belle climbed up and snuggled. I pulled up a blanket, and before long I was asleep again, and slept four hours or so. I farted around and read some more.

Sunday, April 17th–I finished reading Hamsun’s “Dreamers.”

Monday, April 18th–Today was truly awful. I kept waking up during the morning with nausea and a powerful need to shit. When I finally did get up diarrhea hit in a big way. Since I had plans to actually leave the house today, I needed to fix that. I read that I should take two of my particular type of diarrhea pills after the first loose movement, then one after the next movement, but not to exceed four pills in 24 hours.

So I took two pills, had another loose movement, and took a third pill. This proved to be a mistake. It stopped me up, for sure, but it gave me terrible gas and nausea.

When I got on the bus the driver babbled something. I had to take off my goddamn I-Pod to see what he was saying, and it turned out to be totally unimportant. I was tempted to say, “Thank you for slowing me up!” It took what seemed like for-fucking-ever for my bus to get me downtown. I went to the Library, and had no trouble there. Then I walked several blocks to Fed-Ex, hoping to print a document. But the computers at Fed-Ex charge by the minute, so naturally, the connection is really slow.

I sat there for five minutes and my simple document attachment still hadn’t opened up. No Fed-Ex staffers were handy, so I got up, went across the room, and found four of them lolly-gagging behind the counter. I barked that I needed help, and a guy who looked like the senior staffer came over.

He said Firefox was often slow on their computers, and that I should try Internet Explorer. I did that, and had no luck either. Finally, I just shut things down and went back to the counter, annoyed, and had him restore to my card the money they’d charged.  

I went outside and waited for a long time in the heat for a bus, and got even angrier. I had my I-Pod on when I boarded the bus, and swiped my bus pass and day pass, and walked down the aisle. Then I noticed a lot of people were yelling at me, which told me that apparently one of the card didn’t swipe correctly. I turned around, and there was this homeless guy sitting in the front seat, yelling loudly, and waving his arms over and over and over.

Since I still had my headphones on, I responded in a lot louder voice than I normally use. I really hate repetition and nagging, and this guy got me the wrong way, and I shouted, “ALL RIGHT, YOU CAN STOP WAVING YOUR GODDAMN ARMS AT ME!”  And he responded, “I WAS JUST TRYING TO TELL YOU THE DRIVER WANTED YOU, YOU IMPATIENT SON OF A BITCH!”  

I swiped my card…again. I took my seat and realized that I’d become “That guy,” the crazy screaming guy the other passengers were scared of.  

I got to the campus area, bought some brownies, went to the bathroom, and got a drink and a baked potato at the Union. I went to the Cinematheque for the last screening of the Spring semester: Samuel Fuller’s “White Dog.” It was awful. Like a bad 1970s made-for-TV movie. Cheap-looking and full of over-acting. Plus they killed the dog at the end. That was 90 minutes of my life I’d never get back again.

I went home in an over-air-conditioned bus, got some groceries at HEB, and went home. I was filled with depression and despair all night, not to mention gas and nausea.

After I went to bed, my gas and nausea kept me up for a few hours. I went to the toilet and strained, but nothing came out. Then my hands, on the palms and the backs, began to itch badly. The last time that happened I had really bad food poisoning and wound up in the emergency room.

I went back to the bathroom once again, tried one more time, finally broke through the blockage, the diarrhea returned, but soon emptied out, and I felt much better. I rubbed calamine lotion onto my arms and hands, and finally slept like a baby.

Tuesday, April 19th–I am in a severe depression.

I woke several times today to go to the bathroom, but got up finally at 4pm. James and Nyssa came by and hooked up my cable converter box, then took me to dinner at a Vietnamese place.

I got home, learned there was still no work for me from the company, and got even more depressed. I watched TV for the first time in months, but wasn’t too interested in it. It reminded me of how detached I’ve become from the world.

I wondered about pulling a bag over my head and killing myself tonight, since I can’t think of a way out of my problems.

Wednesday, April 20th–I wrote, read, and watched TV.

Thursday, April 21st–I think I may be having another nervous breakdown, though not as bad a one as I had when Fred died.

Friday, April 22nd–I wrote, read, and watched TV.

Saturday, April 23rd–I wrote, read, and watched TV.

Sunday, April 24th–

Monday, April 25th–

Tuesday, April 26th–

Wednesday, April 27th–

Thursday, April 28th–

Friday, April 29th–I got up around 1am to watch the Royal Wedding.

Saturday, April 30th–

Journal Entries–November-December 2010

November
Monday, November 1st–I went to campus and saw “The Seventh Continent” at the Cinematheque. It was about an upper-middle class Austrian family, bored and depressed with its consumerist lifestyle, that decides to commit suicide. My only problems were that it was way too fucking long–I missed my bus–and the director actually killed aquarium fish to make an artistic point, and left the camera to linger on their final gasps. That was totally unnecessary.

Tuesday, November 2nd–Today was my birthday, and as has been the custom the last few years, it sucked. I didn’t get much sleep Monday night–I never do any time I have to set an alarm. By the time I got to therapy I was flying on fumes. My therapist didn’t have a whole lot to say during our session.

I got home, nodded off with the lights on while waiting for an important call, then learned the call wasn’t coming, so I went to bed and slept for about six hours. I learned the elections had gone badly and that stupid cocksucker Rick Perry had been re-elected Governor of Texas yet again. Then I watched my traditional birthday movie–“Patton.”

Wednesday, November 3rd–I got my important call, which concerned my career and future, and watched another birthday movie, “There Will Be Blood.”

Thursday, November 4th–I watched “The Story of Petroleum” and “A Single Man.” I had wanted to go to the Diwali festival on the UT campus, but I didn’t get up early enough and I’d already set an alarm three times this week–I didn’t want to do it again. Plus it was a little too cold to do anything outdoors.

Friday, November 5th–

Saturday, November 6th–

Sunday, November 7th–

Monday, November 8th–I slept well into the night tonight, getting up around 9:30pm. The upside of this is I probably won’t be suffering from lack of sleep at my noon therapy session Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 9th–Well, this is a record for me–drinking a beer before 8am. But I have to kill the time somehow before I go off to therapy.

Today my therapist put forth the theory that I’m not really a misanthrope, that I don’t really despise the human race. He thinks if my life was in order, with money coming in, no one was giving me shit, and things were basically pleasant, that I’d probably be okay with my fellow man. I’m not so sure.

After my session I went downtown and saw a fascinating exhibition of Polish film posters in a gallery. And I also noticed an historical plaque on a building, which had a glaring error–it incorrectly listed the name of a former Texas Governor!

I went to bed fairly early after getting home.

Wednesday, November 10th–I woke earlier than I wanted to get up, puttered around, read a bit, then went back to bed for several more hours. My allergies were killing me. Later, James and Nyssa took me out for a belated birthday dinner at a Tex-Mex place. James said it sounded like I had a bad case of mold in the house, and suggested I spray some Lysol in certain spots. I did so, and it helped a good deal.

Thursday, November 11th/Friday, November 12th–Today’s crisis: I had a computer problem and apparently lost all my I-Tunes, as well as this document upon which I’ve been blogging since May. I tried to reach James and see if he could help, but he was incommunicado.

Saturday, November 13th–

Sunday, November 14th–I went down to campus, ate at Veggie Heaven, then attended Mass for the first time in three years.

After I got home I somehow managed to figure out how to restore this blog document.

Monday, November 15th–

Tuesday, November 16th–

Wednesday, November 17th–

Thursday, November 18th–So it’s back to doing one of those things I hate most of all: applying for jobs I don’t really want.

I spent the evening signing up for job boards and checking for job notices.  All the listings are pretty much the same, and not at all promising.

Friday, November 19th–I spent the evening signing up for job boards and checking for job notices.  All the listings are pretty much the same, and not at all promising.

I have a phone interview for a job sometime next week. The thing is, it’s a job I’d have to do in-office, rather than at home, and after looking at the company’s website I’m still unclear what the fuck it is they actually do.

Saturday, November 20th–Odd, isn’t it, that a former food writer is starving to death? Well, almost starving. If I stretch my food really thin, I may have eight days of it left. And no money. Much depends on if I get any Thanksgiving invitations or if anyone comes by with a plate for me.

Well, looking again, the food might last fourteen days, depending….Maybe if I drink more coffee it’ll kill my appetite.

Boy, this reminds me of the old days in Austin, twenty years ago, when I used to have to steal food in order to eat.

Sunday, November 21st–I was awakened by my upstairs neighbor’s stereo around midday. I got up to take Belle out for a walk. My neighbor was gadding about on his balcony with a friend. I grumpily commented, “Your stereo is way too loud.” “It is?” “Yes, you woke me up.” No further comments. No apology.

I got ready and went to Mass.

The problem with the contemporary Christian music used in the Catholic Church these days is it either sounds like the song the people of Whoville sang after the Grinch stole their Christmas or the music bed to a tampon commercial.

Monday, November 22nd–I went down to campus for the last screening of the Austin Cinematheque of the year, “Stranger Than Paradise.”

Tuesday, November 23rd–I tossed and turned in bed all night, thinking how much I didn’t want this job I was to interview for today. And as usual, I contemplated suicide. After four hours of that shit, the sun was beginning to come up, and I e-mailed my therapist, cancelling today’s appointment. I knew if I went to therapy then I’d be up over 27 hours straight by the time my interview ended. Then I took some Valerian root and slept like a baby.

I was awakened yet again by my goddamn upstairs neighbor’s stereo. I prepared for the interview, and sad to say, I did well. The guy I talked to seemed impressed with me and said he wanted me to come in next week for Round Two.

I know I need money and all, but I really don’t want to work outside my home.

Later I got together with my oldest friend, Jeff, and he took me to a nice restaurant named Jasper’s, where I had my first decent and full meal in weeks. I didn’t bother to tell him I’d been considering suicide a lot lately.

Wednesday, November 24th–The day began with another wake-up from my neighbor’s stereo.

I went down to Momo’s again to hear Don Harvey’s band, “A is Red,” but this time I brought my camera. My pictures were a mixed bag, but I don’t think I did any truly great shots tonight.

Later on, I talked to James on the phone, telling him of how well my job interview went and how much I don’t want an office job. He said, “How much would they have to pay you to make you like this job?” And I honestly couldn’t think of any figure that would do the trick. This job looks so fucking boring that I can’t imagine ever enjoying it.

Thursday, November 25th–Well, it looked like this was going to be one of the worst Thanksgivings ever, until my friend Matt came by with a big plate of food and another of pies.

Friday, November 26th–

Saturday, November 27th–

Sunday, November 28th–Today was the first Sunday in Advent. I was in church for two-and-a-half hours: one hour for Mass, one for Adoration, and thirty minutes for Vespers. After this I all but ran to the restroom off the Narthex and pissed like a horse on a flat rock, then let fly with a series of embarrassingly loud farts. When I walked out of the restroom, everyone who had been hanging around the Narthex had left. I wonder if they heard me.

I FINALLY bought some groceries tonight in anticipation of getting some money tomorrow.  

Monday, November 29th–For some reason I now can’t play DVDs on my computer.

Tuesday, November 30th–After today there will be no more therapy for two months, while my therapist takes his licensing exams.

[NOTE: This marked the end of my therapy. I never saw my therapist after this, nor did I go back to the therapy clinic to get a new therapist assigned to me. The money to pay for my therapy had run out.]

It was cold as a bitch today.

I got no sleep Monday night, worrying about this job I didn’t want. After therapy I went straight home and slept for maybe six hours, woke up, puttered around, and was still tired, and went back and slept some more.

December

Wednesday, December 1st–I woke up with Beethoven hair today. I’ve been trying to do my online job hunting,but just can’t get motivated. I waited for a call or e-mail about my second interview, but it never came.

Thursday, December 2nd–Still no word on the interview.

Friday, December 3rd–Still no word on the interview.

I’m still exhausted from all the sleep I’ve missed, and just can’t seem to get anything done.

A friend tried to convince me that my best option would be to become a Catholic priest. I thought about that several years ago, but dismissed the idea for many reasons, among them my violent hatred of the human race.

Saturday, December 4th–I’d thought about seeing “Harry Potter” today, but decided to go back to bed. Sadly, I tossed and turned all morning and afternoon, unable to sleep, too busy thinking about things such as how I wish someone would violently kill Michael Vick.

Sunday, December 5th–I went to bed around 8pm last night, and so woke at 4:30am. Belle had gotten bored in the bed and had moved on into the living room. She was so pleased when I walked into the living room that she began jumping and dancing and running from room to room in delight.

I went to a 7:30am Mass today, then spent two hours and fifteen minutes in the Adoration Chapel. After that I went to the Gateway Cinema to watch “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I.”

Just as old school Southerners couldn’t say the word “Yankee” without prefacing it with the word “damn,” I find I can’t say the name “Sarah Palin,” without prefacing it it with the phrase, “That ignorant cunt.”

I am a firm believer that if you cannot speak or write clearly that means you can’t think clearly as well.

Monday, December 6th–I e-mailed a secretary about that job I interviewed for two weeks ago, but got no reply.

Tuesday, December 7th–I left a voice mail about that job I interviewed for two weeks ago, but got no reply.

Wednesday, December 8th–I just couldn’t get motivated to job hunt today. I did, however, e-mail and leave a voice message again with that company with which I interviewed, and eventually their recruiter called me back.

He just started Monday and is trying to sort out where everyone is in the interviewing process. Apparently they’re hiring lots of people, and as I put it, “getting ready for a big push.”  I lied and said I just wanted to let the guy know I was still interested, and to check on what was happening on their end. I’m sure this inquiry will put me in good stead with them.

I then went downtown to St. Mary’s Cathedral. Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Holy Day of Obligation, so I went to the Latin Mass, which ran from about 5:50 to 6:38pm. Then I waited for a bus for the better part of an hour, got back to my neighborhood, and bought a few groceries.  

After I finally got home I found a message that I might be soon getting a new contract job.

Thursday, December 9th–

Friday, December 10th–James and Nyssa took me to lunch and I accompanied them as they ran errands.

Here’s a sample of the conversation:

JSB–Dammit!

James–What?

JSB–The last few times I’ve gotten together with ya’ll I’ve been meaning to take my camera and I keep forgetting.

James–What do you need your camera for?

JSB–Well, I’d like you to drive me by that adult bookstore across the freeway on the access road.

James–I don’t think they’d let you take pictures inside there.

JSB–No. I don’t want to take pictures inside. I’d like to get a picture of that sign they have outside…or HAD outside: “FLESHLIGHTS ARE HERE/MILITARY DISCOUNT.”

James–Ahh, you can just Photoshop that in.

JSB–[Whining] But I want the real thing!

James–B___, it’s not the real thing–it’s a Fleshlight!
……………………….

My new shower song is a Richard Nixon/Henry Kissinger duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” (“It’s especially funny when I have Nixon say, “But, Henry, you’ll freeeeeeeeze out there!”)

Saturday, December 11th–

Sunday, December 12th–I went to downtown, had coffee and a cookie at Little City, attended Latin Mass, then headed back to my neighborhood, bought a few groceries, walked Belle, and worked.

Monday, December 13th–

Tuesday, December 14th–

Wednesday, December 15th–

Thursday, December 16th–

Friday, December 17th–I slept late and worked.

Saturday, December 18th–I slept late and worked, and made plans to possibly play Santa at a Christmas party, for the benefit of some friends’s kids.

Sunday, December 19th–I overslept and missed Mass. Then I worked, and watched three episodes of “The Equalizer.”

I looked up my step-siblings, their spouses, and kids on Facebook. My eldest half-brother has a grandson, the only B____ male of the next generation. The child calls him “Pappy,” which was the name we called our grandfather. It was so strange to learn that, and to see my step-nephews and -nieces, whom I barely knew, now living as adults.

For some reason I decided to look up Wendy W., a girl I knew in Katy, Texas from 1966 to 1973. I think we were born on the exact same month, day, and year. She lived a block away from my grandparents and I had a bit of a crush on her before and during elementary school. In the 37 years since I last saw her she married some hick lummox, birthed a hick son, went to junior college, worked as a dental hygienist, and moved to another small town. Yawn.

From her friend list I traced other people I knew. There was Chris B., a guy from a prominent family, who had red hair and a speech impediment.

The twins–Amy and Beth R.–I think I had a crush on them in Third Grade. At least on Amy. Beth has five kids. Her uterus must be like a mop bucket now. Amy, like everybody else over the years, did not appreciate my interest. I bestowed upon her nicknames as badges of my affection: “Lady Bird,” after the most important woman in Texas in those days, and “Hera,” after the Queen of the Greek Gods. She always seemed annoyed at me. Her dad was a hunting buddy of my father’s. Her mom was a gossipy bitch.

Allison D.–I had a crush on her in Kindergarten. Her dad was a lawyer. We only attended school for half a day in Kindergarten. One day my grandmother and I were in downtown Katy and ran into Allison. My grandmother bought us both Cokes at the soda fountain at the Katy Drug Store. Then I made my move: I sidled up to Allison with a mouthful of ice, put my right ear next to her left ear, my right hand over her right ear, and my left hand over my left ear, and began to chomp. By means of this smooth move she was able to hear me chomping ice as if it was going on inside her own mouth. But for some reason she wasn’t as impressed with it as I was.

This was about as sexually sophisticated as I’ve ever been.

Allison now has rather large breasts, a largish butt, and admits to being a Glenn Beck fan.

I think I’m better off.

But it was very unsettling for me to go that far back into my past, when I was an innocent child, before I’d experienced much of the bad things in my life, before I’d even met my oldest friend. I should’ve left those kids back in childhood, where they belong.

Monday, December 20th–I e-mailed the company with the Travel Editor job, but they didn’t respond. I called the recruiter for the Social Media job, but she was in a meeting. She said that they are “moving slowly” on filling the position, and that she’d call back. She didn’t. Later on at night she e-mailed me, asking my availability.

Tuesday, December 21st–I woke up much too early. I ran out of titles to work on for my work project. My allergies began acting up. I went back to bed. The recruiter never called me back.

Wednesday, December 22nd–I got some Christmas money in the mail today and bought some much-needed groceries.

Thursday, December 23rd–I was supposed to go to a Christmas party tonight and possibly even play Santa Claus for the kids there, but it got cancelled because the sister of the hostess got “mildly ill,” whatever that means. Instead I stayed home and worked.

Friday, December 24th–I got up early today–2pm–so I could watch the Papal Christmas Eve Mass live.

Saturday, December 25th–I woke up, gave Belle some of her Christmas presents, and worked two hours. (She got a stocking with ten different chew treats and a huge candy cane-shaped chew bone. She was delighted and her eyes bugged out with excitement!) I went downtown to St. Mary’s for a High Mass. It was quite nice. I got home at 6pm, worked an hour, had a heavy dinner and a beer, and got so sleepy I went to bed at 10:30pm. Thanks to Belle this was the best Christmas in five years.

Sunday, December 26th–I went to the 9:30  Mass at St. Louis and quite liked it. After that I was in the Adoration Chapel for a little under 45 minutes, before being driven out by the noise from the 11:30 contemporary/Tra La La/Hippie Jesus/Kumbaya Mass in the Main Sanctuary. I’d brought my camera, so I got pictures of the Main Sanctuary and the new Chapel decorated for Christmas.

Monday, December 27th–Christmas is over–time to get back to my real job of hating and being angry. Today Obama betrayed me. I’d stuck with him through many questionable actions, trusting his view of the Big Picture would work everything out in the end. But today he came out in support of Michael Vick, and that to me is unforgivable. So I’ll have to find somebody else to vote for in 2012–probably some third party loser who could win a school board election.

I went to Barnes & Noble this evening, then went to see the excellent film “The King’s Speech,” with wonderful performances by Colin Forth and Geoffrey Rush.

Tuesday, December 28th–I got two unpleasant e-mails, which totally knocked me out of the fairly decent mood I was in. My work project ran out of titles for me to work on.

Wednesday, December 29th–Still no work again today.  This means I’ll be at least two days behind if work starts up again tomorrow.

Thursday, December 30th–I had serious trouble with my allergies today, and learned that the work project I’ve been doing, which was supposed to last at least a month, may be finished now after only two-and-a-half weeks. That’s not good–I had plans for the rest of that money.

I also called and spoke to the guy I interviewed with back in November, to try to find out what’s going on with that job.

Friday, December 31st–My allergies continued to give me hell.

For years I used to spend New Year’s Eve watching the “Twilight Zone” marathon on the Sci Fi Channel and kissing Fred at midnight. Then Fred died and I canceled my cable. This was the first New Year’s Eve since 2005 I’ve had a dog. I ate a normal meal, watched the long version of Visconti’s “The Leopard,” and kissed Belle at midnight.

Some journal posts from July 2005.

Tuesday, July 5–I had the piss scared out of me the other night at Borders-a little Indian boy (Nehru Indian, not Sitting Bull Indian) was running through the store screaming, “KALI! KALI!,” the name of the Hindu goddess of destruction, murder, death, and motherhood (no comment there). It was the name the Thugee cultists screamed in the 1850s when they went out to kill all the white folks in India. Now maybe the little bugger was looking for someone named “Kelly” or maybe he was enthused about what breed of domestic dog was on the menu at home that night, but it sure sounded like “Kali” to me.

Thursday, July 7–I’m awake for the evening, catching up on the news from London. I took Fred out for a walk just before a rainstorm blew in. During that I noticed my jerk upstairs neighbor walking back and forth from his apartment to his car, loading the latter up with clothes on hangers. Could he be moving out? Lawdy, Lawdy, I hope so!

I’m not sure how long this punk has lived in the apartment above me, but I do know that any time he’s home he blasts his stereo. I’ll either hear it over my TV when I’m in the living room, or it’ll shake my walls and ceiling when I’m in my bedroom. Either way, that’s too damn loud. Then the last few weeks he’s started making another noise. I have to assume it’s on a synthesizer or something. It sounds like a rumbling, approaching thunderstorm, to the extent that whenever I hear it I go look out the window to check for rain.

And so, whenever he makes this noise I call the apartment answering service (because the office is always closed when this stuff happens), and they call the cops. But often he finishes up doing whatever he’s doing and goes out for the night before the cops arrive. Last week, though, he was cranking his stereo every day of the week, and I called and reported him every day.

Finally, I was in the office one day getting some packages from Ebay, and I asked one of the office girls what I could do about this asshole. She suggested I just go upstairs and ask the guy if he would please turn the music down, that if I called the answering service too many times they’d start recognizing my name and number and would begin ignoring me. That is not the answer I wanted.

Sunday, July 10th–I got bored and took a long nap, waking at 12:38am. I dreamt I went into that 1950s-style Christian Science Church downtown and wandered around. I found stairs to a basement level. About a half-dozen people were seated in folding metal chairs in one area beside some windows, watching a ten-minute introductory film about Christian Science. I was busy hoarding free booklets and brochures.

Thursday, July 14–In April I’d gotten a letter from my doctor, requesting I get a blood test so they could check the progress of my regular medications (now down only to sinus, thyroid, and cholesterol meds). I was supposed to get the test by May, but I never got around to it. I ran out of my prescriptions over a month-and-a-half ago. I decided to wait on the refills just in case the doc decided to change the prescriptions. But then, I didn’t get off my ass to get the blood test.

You see, they want you to fast from midnight on, the night before the test. The problem with that formula is that it presupposes you sleep at night and get up in the morning, which I don’t. Rearranging my schedule just for a blood test wasn’t gonna work. This naturally threw my mom into a frenzy of nagging, which of course made me put the test off even more just to spite her.

So Wednesday I was awake early and hadn’t eaten since about 10pm Tuesday night, so it seemed like the right time to go get the test. The blood clinic is too close to take a cab to, but far enough of a walk to be inconvenient. I got waited on quickly, but the nurse had a hell of a time finding a vein, as nurses always do with me.

One of the things I inherited from my mother and grandmother, in addition to a boxcar load of neuroses, was a case of “rolling veins.” This means when a nurse or somebody tries to find a vein to stick a needle into, it retreats or “rolls” away from the needle.

As a result, the nurse Wednesday had to squeeze and pinch around for several minutes before she could find a vein. The actual extraction of blood went pretty quickly, though I did wind up with a nasty bruise on the inside of my arm, though I’m not sure if it was caused by the needle, the tightness of the bandage tape she put on, or all the pinching and squeezing she did.

Saturday, July 16–Yesterday I decided to go to the Half-Price Books on 183. I was gonna take the bus down and a cab back. That was a mistake–I had another hour-long wait. I had planned to eat at a Chinese restaurant by the bookstore. I’d never been to this restaurant before, and at any rate when I got there I found it had gone out of business.

I went instead to a large Vietnamese restaurant nearby I’d not seen before. This place had a pull-down screen for a projection TV and a little stage. I learned they often have wedding receptions there.

I wanted spring rolls and “Com Bi,” rice with shredded pork. My waitress had a very thick accent and said,”No, you no want dat. Dat lice shred foreskin. You get lice glill forechop. You like better.”

Well, since “lice shred foreskin” sounded appalling I took her suggestion, but I was expecting shredded pork chop, and what I got was two actual pork chops over white rice, which seems more Southern American “soul food” than Vietnamese cuisine.

And anyway, I’ve never liked pork chops. The mother of one of my friends is the only person I’ve known who could ever make pork chops worth a damn, and I’ve not seen her in about 15 years. Plus, I’ve tried to avoid eating pork since I saw “Babe,” though I do have my lapses and succumb to bacon lust. So now I’m wondering just how bad the lice shred foreskin could’ve been.

[NOTE #1: I’m now a vegetarian, working on becoming a vegan.]

[NOTE #2: And there was this follow-up–]

Well, at my old doctor’s office, they did their blood work in-house, and I usually blacked out and was rendered mute a few minutes.

One time long ago, during my “Tropic of Cancer” years, I had just enough money for food but not enough for smokes. (I quit a couple years ago after smoking 20 years.) I resolved to go sell my plasma for the extra bucks.

I was too proud to appear desperate and poor, so I went to the clinic in a starched shirt and tie, with a copy of “Foreign Affairs” under my arm to read during the blood-letting. I wanted to appear to be slumming. After a lengthy exam, during which I complimented the doctor on his framed prints of a prep school, which I correctly identified as the Lawrenceville School (his alma mater, and which, I confess, I only know through the “Lawrenceville” stories of Owen Johnson), I was shown a cushioned table, three-and-a-half feet off the floor, upon which I was to lay down next to a wino. (A horror for a germaphobe like me!)

The attendant had to draw a little blood first as a test before the actual plasma-removal took place, but he had trouble with my veins and announced he’d have to do the test on one arm and get the plasma from the other.

After the attendant finished the test, he jabbed a needle in my left arm and I looked the other way, tried to ignore the pain, psyched myself up by thinking, “Jack London would ignore the pain–Jack London would work through the pain,” and started reading an article on America’s foreign policy as it related to Red China, written by Richard Nixon.

Fifteen or twenty minutes passed and the attendant came by an bent over me and frowned.

“What’s the matter?”

“No blood is going into the tube. You’re not bleeding.”

“Whaddya mean I’m not bleeding?! I’ve got a needle in my arm!”

He then began feeling around near where the needle went into my skin. Eventually my curiosity overcame my revulsion for needles and I looked over to see what he was doing.

Big mistake.

His finger got closer and closer to the point of entry.

“I wish you wouldn’t do that….I REALLY wish you wouldn’t do that….Please don’t….I’m getting naus….I think I’m gonna black….”

After the initial black-out I began convulsing. I was on my back, looking up at the fluorescent lights four feet above me. Then suddenly the lights were six inches from my face, then four feet, then six inches. It was as if the table was on a hyper-speed hydraulic lift, shooting me up to the ceiling, then bringing me back down just as quickly.

After this passed I was gasping for air. Every attendant, nurse, and doctor was standing around that table, looking over me with enormous eyes.

Someone asked me if I knew where I was. I didn’t know–I couldn’t talk.

Then someone asked me if I knew my name. And I had no idea.

That was perhaps the most frightening thing that’s ever happened to me. And though I didn’t know who I was or where I was, I had this grim certainty within me that said, “So…this is death. This is what death is. It’s all over now.” And I wasn’t sad or depressed–just resigned. There wasn’t time to feel anything else.

After some minutes I finally came to.

A half-hour passed, and a nurse asked if I could stand up, but as soon as I tried to sit up, I got woozy again.

I finally was able to get up and walk like a newborn colt after another hour on the table. The folks at the clinic apparently took pity on me and paid me about two-thirds of the “donation” fee. Clutching my money in one hand and my magazine in the other, I staggered home, somehow managing to not get run over by buses and hot-shot frat boys in jeeps. I collapsed on my bed, and slept for eight to ten hours.