Tuesday, November 25, 2014

To the parents of Michael Brown...

...now wailing about why their son is dead:

(1) If you hadn't raised him to think it was OK to rob convenience stores; and
(2) if you hadn't raised him to think it was OK to scuffle with a police officer and grab his gun...

then maybe your son would still be alive.

As the press conference last night made clear, autopsy results showed that Michael Brown was NOT shot in the back. And the gunpowder and injury to his thumb showed that his hand was at some point on the officer's gun. Why in the world should that officer have been indicted for shooting someone who first attacked him in the police vehicle?

All of the violent protests are ridiculous. All of the "crying wolf" has to stop. The protests need to be saved for those who have truly been victimized by police, not for neighborhood hoodlums. I also stared in disbelief at President Obama's press conference, in which he stated that race relations have a long way to go... I agree: until the black community stops teaching their young men that it's OK to steal and fight police officers and loot when they don't get their way, then, yes, race relations do indeed have a long way to go.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"You can't chop your poppa up in Massachusetts..."

2010: The now-aged Chad Mitchell Trio reprising their 1961 Lizzie Borden song at the site of the murders just for further hoots. 1961 song follows. (I'm curious about why anyone finds anything about the case funny. I, personally, find it incredibly sad. Why are you singing in this house, you disgustingly smug, snarky assholes-in-khakis?)

A Good Day, despite...

My post office used to be a few blocks away, a 5-minute bus trip away. A few months ago, that neighborhood post office closed; my new one is now up north, a 25-minute bus ride. No longer a "neighborhood post office." And the new one is in an utterly shitty neighborhood, full of multiple lone guys loitering on street corners, feeling free to come on to me, a lone women waiting on a bus, asking for cigarettes. Me, eager to show that I'm a "good sport," always give them a cig. (Why should I have to, though?)

Friday when I got home from work, had a post-office pink slip that I had a package waiting at the up-north station (open 9-1 Saturday for pickup only). I was irritated 'cause I knew pretty much that it was my Euro cartons of cigarettes: usually they deliver to my door, sometimes they make me go to the PO and sign for the package. I hate the latter.

Desperate for my cheap cigs despite the heavy rain, I got up early Saturday, got on the bus, got to the shitty post office a few minutes after 9am. Three other people were waiting. I asked a younger girl there: "Have you guys rung the bell?" They all had, and no one had answered. I rung the bell again. No answer. Two of the people left.

By 9:15, with just me and a Hispanic guy left, I rang and rang and rang the buzzer. And stood and stood and stood there. Finally, upon my billionth ringing, someone YELLED from the other side of the door: "I'm coming, I'm coming."

When the woman finally opened the door, I said: "You're supposed to be open at 9am, right?" She didn't apologize for being late, no nothing. She just blankly asked for the pink slips and IDs from me and the Hispanic guy standing there, then slammed the door again.

(My cohort thankfully laughed when I said to him: "Why is she mad at ME when SHE was the one who was late?")

Irritated as I was about my PO trip: I did, in the end, get my cheap foreign smokes that I'd been worried about not getting; I got home, I got to lie around at home on this rainy day reading my Lizzie Borden books, sleeping in between, waking up again and reading more... It ended up being a Good Day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I'll be living...

... Up North in a couple of months. Since I first came to Austin as a student in 1983, I've always lived South or Central. I don't know "North" at all. But it's close to work, and it's all I can afford. At this point, ANYTHING/ANYWHERE to avoid the 3 hours on the bus every day. Today I left work at 5:15 pm, got home at 7pm. From a work-site 15 miles from my home. I have no control over this kind of crazy.

This past September, the City of Austin initiated two "Rapid" bus routes, one of which took over the previous shuttle bus from the UT campus to my work campus.

The Austin Capital Metro hype for the new "Rapid" route: "It will take about the same time as the former shuttle. And it will be much faster than the '3' route." An utter lie. The former shuttle took me from campus to workplace in 20 minutes flat. The new "Rapid" takes 40 minutes. Double the time. Not even anywhere near "about the same time." As for being "faster" than the regular "3" bus also travelling the same route: The "3" takes 37 minutes. The "Rapid," with fewer stops, inexplicably takes 40 minutes.

What's the point of a "Rapid" that takes longer than the "Regular"?

Monday, November 17, 2014

I walked around in a coat today...

... with a broken zipper, because I'd bought it back in 2007 in NYC, because I'd walked around with it on 7 years ago because it looked good then... It is "microfiber" aka "microsuede." It looked good back in 2007, especially when the zipper worked.

IT LOOKED LIKE SHIT TODAY. AND I WAS FUCKING COLD TODAY wearing it, zipperless, out of nostalgia. My nostalgia was gone after the cold, and especially after seeing a homeless woman on the same bus also wearing a similar "microsuede" coat.

Speaking of homeless people: I was on a couple of buses unfamiliar to me this afternoon in my quest to get to, before dark, the post office that had mangled a book I'd ordered. The PO clerk was an asshole; I got no money back or even an apology for how destroyed the book was by the USPS. What I DID get by the time I arrived home after my various bus journeys was a distinct odor. I REEKED OF PISS.

After leaving work at 3:15pm and doing my post office errand, I finally arrived home at 6:30pm. I washed my hands, I changed my clothes, I sat down at my computer... And I still REEKED OF PISS. The odor of the people I'd been around on the bus earlier had apparently sunk into my very HAIR, or my SKIN.

Disgusting. Don't enoble the poor from a distance until you've ridden on a bus with them for years, as I have.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Night Football

Kinda broke my heart the other day, reading on my journalist brother's Facebook page how he and his boys often spend nights in the stands eating popcorn and Skittles while he covers the games.

"Broke my heart" because the image of him and his boys is so sweet. When I was a kid, in the rare occasions that I got to attend anything, I was shunned for asking for popcorn or candy. When I read my brother's account, I felt happy for his kids.

On the darker side, because my own ONE memory of going to a high school football game with my father was a shitty one: While at the game, we saw a teen girl riding on her boyfriend's shoulders. My father pointed out to me what a slut she was.

I don't remember anything else about the game.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


A book I ordered last week from Amazon arrived on my doorstep looking EXACTLY  like this. No note. No apology. And when I tried to file an online claim with the USPS, got a message that my claim was ineligible.

My only intellectual sustenance: It was a book about Lizzie Borden, so perhaps it's appropriate that it should arrive so MANGLED...

(Pain in the ass though it may be, I will definitely be hauling -- by tortuous, probably 2-hour, bus trip -- this disgustingly mangled book into a post office that's now miles north of where I live and hard to get to. What the FUCK were they thinking delivering this to my door sans apology?)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"They just don't like you."

Simple, isn't it? But our egos don't want to let us admit it.

I don't want to admit that my sister-in-law doesn't like me. I don't want to admit that my brother doesn't like me. I don't want to admit that my mother doesn't like me. I don't want to admit that my father doesn't like me. I don't want to admit that Sandra doesn't like me. I don't want to admit that Kathy stopped liking me. I don't want to admit that Ginny stopped liking me.

But once I admit the truth... all the confusion becomes clear: If someone doesn't like me, no matter WHAT I do, it won't be right. NOTHING I DO WILL BE RIGHT. That's freeing.

It would be kinda nice if SOMEONE liked me, but I have no control over that.

And so, I carry on.

Sad Thanksgiving Prediction

I've always liked Thanksgiving and Christmas, even as I've always, for the past decade, been an "adjunct" relative. I like my brother; I especially like my nephews; I want to see my mother on the Big Days; I like talking to my sister-in-law when she's in a good mood and not going off about "education issues" (which has lately often been her wont).

As this Thanksgiving approaches, though, I'm seriously considering bowing out. At my brother's birthday dinner in late October, my brother's wife barely said a word to me, not even a "hello" when I was picked up. At my mom's house for the dinner, there was no conversation other than an argument over the "affordable housing" issue currently on the ballot in Austin: I said I was against government subsidizing of housing. My sister-in-law said (among the first words she'd spoken all day): "Even though you've been complaining about not being able to afford living in your neighborhood?" Me: "I don't expect the government to pay for me."

I will sit home alone with a fast-food meal and enjoy the Thanksgiving Cowboys game (as I did when I was alone in NYC) rather than subject myself to further Stupid.

In the future, I hope to have someone of my own to spend Thanksgiving with.