Friday, December 30, 2011

Wow! I'm the loud one!

A very handsome black man with dreds and a British accent just knocked on my door at 1am:

"I'm not sure if you're the one, but I live below and I think your music might be too loud." Now THAT is how to ask!

I was blasting K.T. Tunstall's "Eye to the Telescope" album, with "Another Place to Fall" at that moment. Happy to be feeling so loud. But then also happy to be a good neighbor and politely turn my stuff down.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sinead O'Connor's recipe for love

Just heard on Fox News (of all places!) that Sinead O'Connor has just divorced her 3rd or 4th husband (or something) after 16 or 18 (or something) days. This in light of her recent September 2011 call for a fuck on her website:


16.09.11 Revised advert for boy (man) friend.

Having at first in humour used words like "hump" , "banana", "yam, "aubergine" and "difficult brown" when advertising to find boy (man) friend I have attracted only the type of men I might catch crabs from even purely by e mailing them, so I now wish to make a clearer advert concerning exactly what it is I seek.

1. A man not under 44. NON-NEGOTIABLE

2. Has to live in Ireland. NON-NEGOTIABLE.

3. Preferably Dublin or Wicklow but other counties will be considered due to appalling desperateness of shit-uation.

4 Has to actually be single. NON-NE-FUCKING-GOTIABLE

5. Preferably sterile. (The lady doesn't want any more pregnancies)

6. VERY physically affectionate. NON-NEGOTIABLE (the lady needs lots of affection and will reciprocate. The lady HAS a lot of affection and wishes to give it)

7. Funny. (The lady is funny)

8. Eccentric. (The lady is a looper)

9. Interested in and capable of sex at least once a day.. (If the lady feels like it).

10. Sexually must be very loving, cuddly, affectionate, sweet, funny, and also reasonably filthy. (The lady is all of the above and will absolutely reciprocate)

11. There must be a LOT of kissing before during and after love-making (The lady likes kissing).

12.. Must provide me with Fry's chocolate cream bars (NOT a euphemism for anal sex) at least once a week and do all he can to ensure the Fry's people never go out of business. (The lady loves Fry's chocolate creams. Crunchies, peanut m+ms, and chili-chocolate may be substituted if Fry's are sold out)

13. Re-iterate.. Has to be blind/mad enough to think I'm gorgeous.

14. Has tell me I'm gorgeous at least ten times a day. (The lady will reciprocate)

15. Re-iterate.. No Nigels. NON-NEGOTIABLE

16. Re-iterate.. No hair gel. Hair dryers, or general hair faffery. NON-NEGOTIABLE

17. Must be hairy. No waxed or buffed need apply. NON-NEGOTIABLE. ( bald heads are however, acceptable as the whole man looks like an erection. Especially if a tiny 'eye' is painted on top of head)

18. Must be stubbly. ABSOLUTELY NON-NE-FUCKING-GOTIABLE

19. No after-shave. This ruins the delicious smell of stubble. (The lady LOVES stubbly man-smell and beard rash)

20. Must be employed NON-NEGOTIABLE. Re-iterate.. No vehicle clampers.

21. No pierced nipples.

22 No addictions other than sex, cigarettes or coffee (the lady loves all three)

23. No jealous psycho exes NON-NEGOTIABLE (the lady has had enough of those)

24. No homo-phobes. NON-NE-FUCKING-GOTIABLE

25. No 'right-wingers' of any kind.

26. No accountants (boring)

27. No stamp collectors (flaccid)

28. No Knob-cheese.

29. Must, when lady is 'moody' or 'cross' dis-arm her with love-making. This is the secret key.

In return, the lucky man chosen will be given the vast quantities of love, affection, kisses, cuddles, sweet-nothings whispered in ears, friendship, support, encouragement, compliments, and most importantly, regular sweet and filthy, loving sex.

The lady is a woman FULL to the brim of love and affection. And un-happy at not having a man to give it to. So if u are out there please hurry. I'm lovely. U want me. U deserve me. I'm worth it. Oh.. And I smell really good too. And am a CHAMPION cuddler and giver of tenderness.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Despite all of the sad above... When Sinead O'Connor first came out in the '80s, she was startling and wild and interesting. What's happened to her in the meantime--marrying multiple times and having multiple kids and now begging for dates--is embarrassing and a shame. Here's how she was when I knew her, bringing her real, inspirational self to the self-satisfied Grammys in 1989. (She certainly ain't so inspirational 20 years later!):

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

These SHOES are dangerous!


I just bought these gorgeous $229 Sesto Meucci shoes for $92!!! The only problem with having something beautiful like this in my wardrobe...now the rest of my stuff looks shabby in comparison! (NOTE TO SELF: Get job. With job comes money for GREAT SHOES--not just "sustenance shoes"--on a regular basis. Hmmm.)

My favorite post-Christmas stuff...


My mom called me today, the day after Christmas; she'd gone to the Monday sales and bought a BED-PAD for me since I'd been complaining about how harsh the springs were on the bed that I'd bought for cheap just last year. (Seriously, all of my adult life, I've bought nothing but cheap mattresses, which have never bothered me at all, but the set I bought last year upon moving into my one-room apartment has been the worst EVER! The springs, after only a year, have literally poked through the fabric and have been constantly poking ME while I've tried to sleep!)

When my mom arrived with her gift bed-pad and I asked her to "feel, just FEEL" how bad the springs had been, her first thought was, "They're bad. But since the springs were that bad, why didn't you just turn the mattress over? This mattress isn't that heavy. You probably could have lifted it by yourself."

Aaargh! Yes, indeed, I could have! Why I didn't think of that, I do not know! :)

So we turned the mattress over, got the new thick bed-pad on, and... VOILA! A nice new comfy bed! (Or so they say; I haven't slept on it yet. We shall see, and I'm sure I shall report...)

After the bed-pad was on, I didn't want the fun to end, so I asked my mom if she wanted to go to the close-by thrift store, just to be out and doing something on this pretty day... OK!

And there I got ALL of these books for only $2.50!! Shopping for books is like shopping for SHOES to me -- extremely psyche-satisfying... Except when I just went shoe-shopping last week, I spent $210.00 for 3 pairs ($100, $70, and $40), while when I went book-shopping today, I spent... $2.50 for 7 books!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Horses are coming!



When I first heard this song, I immediately thought of Sylvia Plath's "Elm." Terrible when the horses have gone off, but... In this song, how wonderful the idea of them on their way back... How missed and still possible they always were/are.

Friday, December 23, 2011

On the Eve of Christmas Eve

Well, this certainly has been a year of doing nothing but treading water!

I was just looking over old blog entries for December of last year... There was stuff in late 2010 like, "Woooo! I just earned enough money for January and February rent!" (Exactly like I just posted a few days ago.) There was stuff last year about not having anywhere to go for Christmas Day itself, since we were having our celebration on Christmas Eve before my bro/wife/boys all went to Houston for her family on Christmas Day. (Same again this year.) There were gripes about a relationship that wouldn't work out. (Same again this year.)

At least last year, though, I was finding some holiday "sparkle" in shopping at Marshall's (with the store's perky Christmas songs). When I went to Marshall's yesterday, there was no music at all! And when I took a bus to downtown Austin this afternoon-into-evening, there were no Christmas lights on Congress Avenue! What the hell, people? Is everyone THAT poor that they can't afford even piped-in Christmas music or lights on the main street of Austin? Come on!

I also don't even have any mildly humorous stories about dilapidated Christmas lights from my mother... This year, just put up the old dollar-store wreath and ribbons that I bought last year. Ho-ho-hum.

Last year's Christmas o' 2010, and the weeks leading up to it, were, for me I guess, semi-worth commenting on because it was my first Christmas back in Austin, after being forced back against my will in March 2010 for financial reasons. I wanted to note the adjustments. But this year, 2011, has just been more of the same crap! Not just Christmas, but everything! A few moments of excitement with work gigs that paid the rent momentarily, but nothing else. No new love, no new creative projects, no new full-time job to enable me to get out of this one room. Like I said, just treading water. Not sinking, thank god, but... dang. This one-room life was kind of interesting for the first 6 months (how I used to live 25 years ago as a student...how would I cope at 45?), but is quite a drag at this point! Doable, but boring!

Next yearly milestone up: New Year's Eve! Last year, spent it lying on my bed flipping between Anderson Cooper on CNN and Andy Cohen on Bravo. Not horribly depressed, just horribly BORED. And vowing then that the next New Year's Eve would be NOTHING like 2010... Ha! I'm pretty sure it's going to be exactly the same! ;p Sigh.

I know there's plenty to learn from being humble. But... I used to be better than this. "Better" meaning, I used to almost constantly have some kind of forward motion, SOME momentum, in my life.

Yes, yes, I get it: Better learn to be "content" with what I have, however stagnant. What I've learned over the past year: I can find stuff to appreciate in Austin: the library, downtown, going to the grocery store, working UT games, buying new socks, the trees outside the window of my one-room apartment. And I appreciate the sporadic jobs.

I GET IT. Can I move back ON now????????????????? I'm sure that outburst is not how it works, but...

Universe, I ain't gonna lie (as all the shirtless, mulleted males say on "Cops" as they're hauled away): I's bored to death with the high point of my day being a transient on a bus telling me I'm pretty after I've shopped at Marshall's for a 3-pack of new socks and am in the process of bussing home to write about it (the socks AND the transient) on my blog. Really now, Universe! Can I get a break and just move ON from this particular "life lesson"? Frankly, socks-n-stuff have grown quite stale.

How 'bout surprising me with something fresh-n-new? (I'm referring to "love" and "a decent job" as opposed to "cancer" and "death," in case you were wondering what "fresh-n-new" meant to me, Universe.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

RAIN! ("Who's gonna destruct me?")

Done!


First week of December (plus the last part of November) = 25 hours freelance (at $27 an hour).
2nd week of December = 40 hours in an office ($12 an hour) plus 25 hours freelance ($27 an hour).
3rd week of December = 32 hours in an office plus 32 hours freelance.
Today, the 4th week = Finished 6 hours of freelance. Tomorrow, do the last 2 hours of the project. And then........ FREEEEEEEDOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Well, at least for the rest of the year!

I just worked my ass off all month! ;p And now rent and bills are paid for January AND February!!

Merry Fucking Christmas --- I made it, goddammit! I got money to buy Christmas presents for loved ones, and then rent for the next two months!!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

U.S. "Defense"?

On Chris Matthews' MSNBC show Thursday, he closed by stating that the United States was NEVER an aggressor (!) and only reacted militarily when it was attacked, thus the name, "Department of DEFENSE." And Matthews is a Democrat, on a heavily liberal MSNBC!

I'm not that knowledgeable about the subtleties of American military interventions prior to WWII, but I do know something about what all we've done post-WWII.

Below is a handy outline that I copied and pasted from Wikipedia, which in basic form lists all of our country's ongoing military activities and interventions since post-WWII.

I'm curious: In which of the below was the United States acting "in defense"?


2.15 Cold War era (1945–1991)

2.15.1 Postwar Military Reorganization (1947)
2.15.2 Korean War (1950–1953)
2.15.3 Lebanon crisis of 1958
2.15.4 Dominican Intervention
2.15.5 Vietnam War (1955–1975)
2.15.6 Tehran hostage rescue
2.15.7 Grenada
2.15.8 Beirut
2.15.9 Libya
2.15.10 Panama

2.16 Post–Cold War era (1991–2001)

2.16.1 Persian Gulf War (1990–1991)
2.16.2 Somalia
2.16.3 Haiti
2.16.4 Yugoslavia

2.17 War on Terrorism (2001–present)

2.17.1 Afghanistan
2.17.2 Philippines

2.18 Iraq
2.19 Libyan intervention

-----------------------------------------------------------------

As someone pointed out a few months ago: We're ALWAYS at war. The United States has been CONSTANTLY at war for over 50 years now. There's NEVER a break from it. It's like the fucking Orwellian "1984" scenario!

I'd like a fucking break from the constant fucking Perpetual War, please!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And I thought my NYC story was sad...

A fellow temp worker, a 60-ish woman, was talking with someone else about being from New York. So I piped up with, "I lived there for 3 years! I looooooved it!" Then I mentioned that I came back to Austin because I couldn't find steady work and couldn't afford the rent up there, that I really missed it, etc. etc.

Well, HER story tops my Mini Tale of Woe, that's for sure...

She'd lived in NYC all her life. Born in the Bronx, moved to the East Village over 30 years ago. She and her 12-year-old daughter had lived in Stuy Town, a historic rent-controlled building that just about no one can get into any more. (When I worked in the Union Square area, I once spent a lunch hour walking to Stuy Town, since it had been in the news at the time after being sold to a major developer, and I wanted to check it out.)

About the same time I was having trouble finding work in NYC, she lost her longtime, relatively high-paying job (academic support staff). And then struggled along with temp work for a year or so... She ended up having to declare bankruptcy. And lost her prime apartment. And was going to end up on the street until a friend of hers in Austin said she and her daughter could come stay with her. She's been here for about 3 years. At one point had a full-time job at UT but was just laid off several months ago and is again temping. She now lives in a generic, cheap mega-complex way south. No little neighborhood shops and restaurants. No place to walk...

Her story puts my bitchin' and moanin' about my "loss" to shame. I was basically just an extended visitor to New York City before the economy forced me to leave. She, on the other hand, is a real New Yorker, with her whole life and roots there. She'd been in her historical, cheap Manhattan apartment for over 10 years... When I had to leave, I came back to a town that I'd lived in since the 1980s, to a neighborhood that I'd known for the past decade. My immediate family lives within 2 miles of me. I may not LOOOOOVE Austin, but I like it, and I know the place... She, on the other hand, was forced to leave everything she knew for a random city across the country that she had no connection to other than the one kind-hearted friend who offered a place to stay. My sense of "loss" of NYC was mainly aesthetic and psychological (it represented beauty and excitement and wonder to me); her loss was a much more real one.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Originally written in 1933 by Kern/Harbach for an "operetta" called "Roberta," and first appeared in the '35 film based on the same, with Irene Dunne singing it.



I like this Platters version best (1958).



Even more than the Bryan Ferry version from '74. Though I'm guessing that Ferry's version is probably closest in sentiment to the original, which then had to be cleaned up for the film, etc. etc. And the Ferry version plus any Roxy Music was my soundtrack of the summer of '91, a miserable summer, which Ferry captured completely in all of its awful hurt and masochism combined with a life-affirming desire for some, ANY, sort of beauty and order. Aw, hell. I really do like the Ferry version the best.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

You know you're really old when...

...you go Christmas shopping at Marshall's and, after the scented candles, the next thing that catches your (bleary) eye is... discount READING GLASSES! And the knowledge that you can also get discount reading SUNGLASSES! Wooooooo!

Jesus.

Well, I am excited about the candles. My place has smelled of smoke for the past 2 months, since I've been unable to afford any candles. It's only one room, and now that it's cold out, I only crack one window at night, when I do most of my smoking. When I leave during the day, I open both windows to air the place out, but it still stinks!

Once I got a new paycheck, the first thing I thought of after getting Christmas presents and a haircut was: CANDLES --- Pine-tree, peppermint, and cinnamon. I want CHRISTMAS SMELLS around me, dammit! And now I have them, at last.

As for the reading glasses: I'm actually pretty happy about finding those. On sale, 3 for $9.99. Up 'til now, I'd had one "good" (aka "semi-stylish") pair that I bought last spring and have been hauling along to job assignments, and then the one horribly ugly pair (given to me from my mom's '80s-90s collection) that I used at home. Now I have a whole boatload to disperse around the one room and the bags I carry to temp assignments, etc. Did I say "Woooooooo" earlier? ;p

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

In Memory (10/9/40 - 12/8/80)



BELOW: A poem for myself, pre-Lennon's death.

RINGS

once I walked in clear blue sky
waiting for the bus
my cheek against the ice-cold pane

Mama didn't work
she watched me at the stop
tearing the curls
she spent all morning fixing

who liked my dress?
all the boys, Mama
they give me their nickels
their jackets to wear

Raymond, Danny, Sylvester
we fly kites together
they walk me home
giving me rings
to wear forever

HELLO!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Makin' Friends

Working at a temp proctor job today, my supervisor asked me to proofread a long list of names and corresponding ID numbers.

I enthusiastically replied, "I love this kind of stuff. Aside from temp work, I'm actually a proofreader!"

She said, "I'm sorry. I really don't have time right now to learn more about you."

How bizarre! :0

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Dumb Blonde (Dolly Parton, 1967)



Don't try to cry your way out of this
Don't try to lie or I'll catch you in it
Don't try to make me feel sorry for you
Just because I'm blonde
Don't think I'm dumb
Cause this dumb blonde ain't nobody's fool

When you left you thought I'd sit
And you thought I'd wait
And you thought I'd cry
You called me a dumb blonde
Ah, but somehow I lived through it
And you know if there's one thing this blonde has learned
Blondes have more fun

You flew too high up off the ground
Hit stormy weather and had to come back down
But I've found new thread for my old spool
Just because I'm blonde
Don't think I'm dumb
Cause this dumb blonde ain't nobody's fool

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The poison just didn't take...



Here is what I failed to add to this post and picture of a couple of days ago. For the Daisy pup.

"So I say Live
and turn my shadow three times around
to feed our puppies as they come,
the eight Dalmatians we didn't drown,
despite the warnings: The abort! The destroy!
Despite the pails of water that waited
to drown them, to pull them down like stones,
they came, each one headfirst,
blowing bubbles the color of cataract-blue
and fumbling for the tiny tits.
Just last week, eight Dalmatians,
3/4 of a lb., lined up like cord wood
each
like a
birch tree.
I promise to love more if they come,
because in spite of cruelty
and the stuffed railroad cars for the ovens,
I am not what I expected. Not an Eichmann.
The poison just didn't take.
So I won't hang around in my hospital shift,
repeating The Black Mass and all of it.
I say Live, Live because of the sun,
the dream, the excitable gift."

The Merriest

God, it's mean to pay me $27 an hour for three weeks! The old spoiling comes back: "I once earned that much regularly, so why shouldn't I now -- ALL the time!" :)

What this brief $27 an hour means to me, though, is... CHRISTMAS!!! A week ago at Thanksgiving, I was apologizing in advance to family members for the presents that I wouldn't be getting them for Christmas since I was completely out of money... And I was utterly depressed at not being able to participate in Christmas shopping... That has been a lot of the fun of the season for me over the years --- the thinking about what to get people, and then being out in the stores amidst the piped-in Christmas music and festivity!

And this $27-an-hour gig --- pays EVERY WEEK, Baby! :) No waiting for months. Just got my first installment Friday... HO-HO-HO! (And new haircut to come next Friday for the first time in three months!)



Merry Christmas!

I'd like to fix this bag of tricks
and hand it out with a fleeting greeting:

Smiles for the frowners
Salutes to the uppers
Boosts for the downers
May the day be the bowl of cherriest
And to all, the Merriest!

Hope you swing during the season
Hope your days go great
Hope you find plenty of reasons all year long to celebrate

Sun for the mopers
A laugh for the criers
Luck for the hopers
To the strange and the ordinariest
Me to you, the Merriest!

Thoughts for the musers
A cheer for the winners
Breaks for the losers
To the Beats and the debonariest
Greetings like the Merriest!

Hope there's oil under your rosevine
Hope you get that raise
Hope you hope everything goes fine
the next 300 and some odd days

Friends for the loners
A song for the singers
Grins for the groaners
make the day the nothing can compariest
have the most, the merriest!

Alma Mater

One thing that I'm appreciating about being back in Austin and doing temp work on the campus of my alma mater, UT, is the chance to rediscover the place. I got my BA in English there in 1993, which took me longer than 4 years! I kept dropping out to work full-time because I was sick of being broke, then going back, then dropping out again. Finally, after all of my friends had graduated, it dawned on me that if I didn't just buckle down and get the damn degree, I was going to wind up working at K-Mart or someplace! (Funny, I'm making K-Mart wages nowadays anyway! Oh well.)

After getting the BA, I immediately went off to grad school in San Fran. After graduating there in '95, I came back home, and couldn't find any other job at the time than supervising at the UT library where I used to work... Ugh. I was sick of the low-paying library, of the campus. When a publishing company hired me full-time in 2000, I never wanted to see the campus again. And I basically didn't. From 2000 to 2010, I didn't step foot there.

Why? When I first went to UT in the mid-'80s, it was a haven for frat boys and sorority girls. All rah-rah loud and running in packs and conformist and hateful-seeming... I didn't intellectually like what they stood for, but they also just scared me. I'll never forget the time I stood on the Drag watching a parade of UT floats... I wasn't out of the closet yet, but when I saw the float for the gay students go by, I got goosebumps and felt proud of them and happy... Until a frat boy next to me yelled out, "Fucking faggots!" Similarly, during this time, there was an AIDS quilt displayed in the entry of my library, with a guestbook where anyone could leave a message. I saw too many "Die, fag" messages there to count.

It wasn't just the anti-gay stuff, it was the whole atmosphere: I was depressed by the huge, impersonal classes that had to be taken. I was depressed by teaching assistants offering me "A"s in a class in exchange for "coffee." (Happened twice.) Depressed by the "friends" I had then who only wanted to go out to 6th Street frat bars and/or generic country dance places, when I was dying to explore the punk and live music scene. Depressed because all the library people that I worked with seemed like big losers who had given up on life in favor of being shabby and pseudo-hip. Depressed because I didn't like the boys who liked me. Or the older men that I had to keep "double-dating" if I wanted to go out because my closest "friend" was always sleeping with some guy in his 50s and he always had a buddy... (I never slept with any of the "buddies." I usually ended up in a living room of a cheap borrowed apartment, making polite conversation with the friend, while the other two fucked loudly in the bedroom. My most unpleasant memory was of being drunk and throwing up in a restaurant bathroom one evening; when I came out, still reeking of vomit, I'm sure, the "buddy" was so desperate to make out with a college girl that the fact that I'd just thrown up didn't deter him at all... he insisted on kissing. Yum!)

It was just all a big downer. I couldn't wait to get the hell away from that. And for 10 years, I did.

When I moved back to Austin from NY in 2010 and was faced with the prospect of working around the campus again, I was psychologically horrified.

But... After my one-month gig there this past summer, the angst dissipated. There weren't right-wing frat daddies marching around, just a lot of kids with messy hair in T-shirts wandering around talking on their cell phones. They all looked incredibly young and un-put-together and non-scary. And the campus was nice. I liked my lunch hours people-watching under the mighty oaks. (The massive trees, I had not appreciated before at all! It wasn't until moving to NY and seeing different pretty trees and loving those that I opened my eyes to how interesting the prevalent historically big oaks in Austin were!)

This past week, I had another temp gig on campus, this time for just one day, being a test proctor for 3 accounting classes. I passed out the tests, walked up and down the aisles during the testing to scare kids off of cheating, then checked their IDs at the end when they turned in their tests. I used to feel paranoid and claustrophobic when I myself attended big classes like these. And I remember even being afraid of the proctors back then, assuming that they were all Ph.D candidates or something, there to sniff out anyone even THINKING of falsity (either intellectually or on the basic peering-at-the-neighbor's-test level)! :) It was funny! All of these messy-looking babies with their backpacks, some forgetting-their-pencils-and-calculators; the whiz kids turning their tests in first, then the masses flooding up, then the stragglers at the end... The complete lack of attitude, just the concentration on the test, the occasional unnecessary -- but cute -- charm thrown at the proctors! :)

Are kids different today, or was I just completely paranoid back then?! Most likely the latter! :) Working this test, like working the UT football games for the past couple of months, has been psychologically healing.