Monday, January 30, 2012

Familiar (chatoyant)

A couple of nights ago around 10:45 pm, I kept hearing "meow, meow, meow" outside my window. I'm up on the 2nd story, so I was wondering where exactly the mews were coming from... I peered out and couldn't see; kept hearing mews, so turned off all of my lights and computer and TV to see... There was a cat perched on the tree closest to my 2nd-story window, looking in at me! :)

What a pleasant and welcome surprise, a cat visit! (Since my cat Gracie died on April 15, 2009, I haven't had another cat, and miss the cat spirit so.) I talked to this visiting cat ("Hi honey! You sure are a pretty cat! What are you doing up there?") for about 20 minutes before she disappeared again...

FAMILIAR: "a spirit often embodied in an animal and held to attend and serve or guard a person."
CHATOYANT: "to shine like a cat's eyes."

(The cat was sitting in the nook of the tree pictured here.)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cool job application

A marketing firm just advertised the following temp job (only 2 weeks!). What I liked about it was the last part:

"...If you are interested, please tell us something about you and, as a skills test, please write your own 1-sentence witty sayings (like what would be found in a Fortune Cookie) about the following 5 topics and include them in your email...

(1) organic farming, (2) golf, (3) the ocean, (4) Saab and (5) sales."

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

I already sent in my "skills test" but I'm curious: What would you guys have written for the above 5 items?

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

Later note (February 1):

What I ended up turning in to the job application:

(1) When life gives you manure... farm it!
(2) See what suits you to a tee.
(3) Today you will make waves.
(4) A Saab story to make you smile.
(5) There's a bridge you should see...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Family Values

When did "family values" start coming up as an actual electoral issue among Republicans? It's not so big this year, except with Rick Santorum, who has made "family values" a big thing for probably more than a decade now.

Santorum and other religious people define "family values" as a "man married to a woman." These folks say that "a man married to a woman" equals a happy family life AND a good America.

I beg to differ.

My mother and father were married for 15 years (1962 to 1977). I was born in 1965. During their marriage, I remember very little but hate.

One early memory was when I was 4, and my dad was trying to teach my mom how to drive a stick-shift. They didn't have a baby-sitter, so I had to go out with them... He screamed abusively at her constantly. After a few driving sessions and listening to him, I remember screaming myself at both of them: "I don't want to go! I don't want to go!" I still had to go.

That was at age 4. There were dozens of shitty things and moves in between then and the end.

The end of the marriage came when I was 12: Dad went out for the evening in his suede jacket. Came home. Wanted my mom to go to the bedroom and have sex with him. She refused. I was ordered to my room. Peeked out to see them grappling, her pulling his gold chain off, her on her knees before him and him then ordering her to PICK IT UP.

The next thing I knew, my mother was running off into the woods while my dad shot after her.

I closed my bedroom door that I'd been peeking out of. I got lucky that my drunken father went and passed out rather than choosing to shoot me.

How many families has something like this happened to.

To Rick Santorum and any other asshole claiming "family values" just because there was a "man and a woman" in the equation: It has NOTHING to do with "man and woman." Male/female marriages are at the 50% rate of failure. How dare anyone say that these things, just because they're "male/female," are what anyone should be aiming for? (Especially when what I knew as a kid as "aiming for" was my father shooting at my mother?)

I will never forget the night that my father shot at my mother. Aside from that most-major trauma, I will also never forget the time that my father gave my mother a black eye because she got home late from the dentist. I will never forget every possibly happy thing that he did with me that he turned into shit:

Like a high-school football game that he took me to... My dad taking me to a game! Only, he spent the whole time pointing out which girls looked like sluts.

And then there was my dad driving me to a skating rink: Per his instructions, I had to keep my hair in a pony-tail and I had to keep my coat on the whole time.

And then there was the one Dallas Cowboys game I got to go to: My dad got drunk by the end of it, and I, at age 12, had to steer the car home because he was so fucked up.

And the above were the supposedly GOOD things that I experienced while I was a kid. I'm not talking about the times he hit my mother or the times he terrorized me.

So don't talk to me about "family values" featuring a positive male figure. I had the shittiest male role model imaginable. That political figures are claiming that such "male-female-marriage" is automatically the ideal is psychotic to me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Loving Nixon


Spent most of this Saturday night watching the Republican returns from South Carolina! Which reminded me...

In the summer of 1980, when I was 14, I stayed up til all hours to see who Reagan would pick as his VP (back when such things were excitingly up for grabs 'til all hours): Gerald Ford or George H.W. Bush. When the decision was finally made, my mother -- with whom I'd been noshing in daylight hours -- was asleep, yet I was so excited that I slipped a piece of paper under her door, so she'd see it first thing in the morning: "IT'S BUSH!" (Imagine getting excited about such a thing!) :)

From Wikipedia RE what was going on that night in 1980:

VICE PRESIDENTIAL SELECTION:

Ronald Reagan's choice for vice presidential running mate had been a subject of speculation since the end of the primaries. When former President Gerald Ford revealed in a CBS interview with Walter Cronkite that he was seriously considering the vice presidency, Ford garnered a great deal of interest. However, after Ford suggested the possibility of a "copresidency" and, in addition, insisted that Henry Kissinger be re-appointed as Secretary of State and that Alan Greenspan be appointed as Secretary of the Treasury, negotiations to form a Reagan-Ford ticket ceased. Less than twenty-four hours before Reagan formally accepted the Republican nomination, he telephoned George H. W. Bush to inform Bush of his intent to nominate him. The following day, July 17—the final day of the Republican National Convention—Reagan officially announced Bush as his running mate.

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

I really do seem to get off on stuff like this. For instance, when I was 3, my mother notes in my childhood scrapbook that I would --- as a 3-year-old --- stop and watch Richard Nixon whenever he was on TV! (At 3, I was apparently a weird savant of some sort.)

By the time I was 9, I was watching Nixon's resignation on TV and later writing the man a sympathy letter...

My only later political claim to fame came in 1984, when I was 18, driving in the motorcade of Gary Hart when he appeared at UT-Austin. The pollster Pat Caddell (now on Fox) rode in my back seat. Wooo!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Begrudgingly semi pro-Gingrich

From the FOX debate in South Carolina on Monday:

[FOX NEWS REPORTER JUAN] WILLIAMS: Senator Santorum, the Obama administration has not specifically addressed high levels of joblessness and a 25 percent poverty rate in black America. They say they want to fix the economy for all, but given the crisis situation among a group of historically disadvantaged Americans, do you feel the time has come to take special steps to deal with the extraordinary level of poverty afflicting one race of America?

SANTORUM: It’s very interesting, if you look at a study that was done by the Brookings Institute back in 2009, they determined that if Americans do three things, they can avoid poverty. Three things. Work, graduate from high school, and get married before you have children. Those three things…
(APPLAUSE)
SANTORUM: Those three things, if you do, according to Brookings, results in only 2 percent of people who do all those things ending up in poverty, and 77 percent above the national average in income....

This was followed only a couple of minutes later by Newt Gingrich's now-famous standing-ovation moment in response to Williams asking Gingrich if he was somehow "belittling" minority teenagers by suggesting that they work at any menial job. (Gingrich points out that his own -- white -- daughter worked as a janitor when she was 13 to earn money.)



Santorum was right, and Gingrich was right. Hate to say it. I hate both men's ignorant views on gay rights (and I dislike Gingrich back from the '90s when I was a huge Clinton fan), but their views on why some people are poor are right on target. It's not racist, it's just a fact that blacks, for instance, have a higher rate of unwed mothers, have a lower rate of high school graduation, and have a higher rate of unemployment than either whites, Hispanics, or Asians --- regardless of the current economic conditions of the country as a whole. As Santorum pointed out with his stats from the Brookings Institute, if you drop out of school, get pregnant while a teen, and don't work... you're most likely going to be poor. Duh.

Juan Williams asked Santorum if "the time has come to take special steps" to deal with the "extraordinary" level of black poverty... Not sure what he meant by "the time has come"! How long have we had "Affirmative Action" in the US now? Maybe the "time has come" for people to understand the cause/effect relationship of their actions: get pregnant while a teen, drop out of school, don't work... poverty. Why should the government be even ASKED to take "special steps" to help with a continuing problem that's based a good deal on personal behavior?

As for Gingrich's speech a minute or so later: We lower-middle-class whites started out working minimum wage jobs without complaint. I personally wasn't a janitor, but I earned the same minimum wage working numbingly boring jobs at a local drugstore and then the local K-Mart as soon as I turned 16, up 'til I graduated high school. Once in college, I worked a minimum-wage job at the school library to help pay for school. As Gingrich points out in response to Williams' suggestion that Gingrich was somehow "belittling" minorities by suggesting they -- gasp -- WORK: What's so insulting about suggesting that kids learn responsibility from working?

And then on to Gingrich on Thursday's SC debate... Again, I'm not a Gingrich fan, have never been; I was around when he, as it turned out, hypocritically went after Clinton in the '90s for fooling around. I saw him, rightly, voted out of power by his own party members. But... In the below he has a very good point: CNN's John King opening a presidential debate with a question about an ex-wife's allegations from 14 years ago is COMPLETELY ridiculous.



In both of the Gingrich clips, I admire his balls for calling people on their BS. It's a huge dilemma for me. I can't vote for Obama in 2012 simply because he's done a terrible job. Bush was bad and inept (I have never voted for Bush); Obama has continued the trend of bad and inept. Except Obama is more well-spoken, and, kind of, tows the accepted social line ("kind of" but not actually for gay marriage, for example) so he gets points... but why? His money-men are exactly the same money-men who back the Republicans. (Only, the Republicans admit it, while Obama does not. Obama is especially creepy because he pretends to be "purer" than the Republicans, who just outright admit their corporate loyalties! With Bush and the Republicans, you at least knew/know exactly what you're getting!) I can't in good conscience vote for someone who's allowed the country to deteriorate EVEN FURTHER than Bush did.

But who's the alternative? Romney, I think, would make a very good manager of the economy. And that is, actually, what we need... Kind of. But it's beyond a "good manager" problem right now. Things really have gone off the rails. Outsourcing is a serious problem for American workers, and Romney did just that with Bain. (As Obama has also allowed.) I'm all for "cleaning up" and "tightening up," but...no one is mentioning that Americans are losing jobs because we're allowing corporations to outsource jobs to foreign workers who earn $2 an hour!

Romney/Obama/Gingrich are all pro-corporation. Ron Paul, whom I like the best because of his intellectual honesty, is pro "let capitalism be capitalism" and is against "big capitalism" --- But, even with him... If we "let capitalism be capitalism," then we'll likely all (unless we're shareholders of a corporation) be making $1.00 an hour unless the government somehow checks their innate greed! (Seriously... When have workers EVER received a slightly-more-than-living wage under a capitalist system? One is post-WWII in the US and in Europe. The only other that I can think of is after the PLAGUE in the Middle Ages, when so many people died and the worker shortage was so acute that the plebes finally had a little leverage!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ghost of a Girl

Hi, Gin. Thanks for your spirit visiting me Monday night. I needed you.

There's so much we missed together. (I don't know if YOU missed, but I missed.) I wish I could have grown up with you and experienced Austin with you. It ended up a Wasteland for me.

I mourned you for 5 years before you died. Found out you had actually died when I called your Georgia house in November of 1988. Your father said, "I thought we told all the Azle people."

You were a Libra (October 11) and wore Lauren perfume. And liked Heart and Prince. And listened to my Lennon when you didn't really want to. Thank you for the matchbooks you sent me, after a song we wrote together. And for saying that I looked like Marilyn when I posed above the heat vent that blew up my dorky nightgown.

You ended up not loving me, but for a brief time I loved and knew I was loved in return. I am grateful.



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

GINNY Q (July 29, 1983)

I see you, my funny friend
And my heart laughs
Glad to be close again

A soul-mate comes once in a lifetime

So I'll run with the chance
To smoke and dance and sing
And let you know
that nine out of ten
are always there for the breaking!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bad Meat!

When the below study was released today, I was especially freaked out by just how bad processed meats were for you. I mean, I KNEW they weren't GREAT, but... just a serving a day can raise the cancer risk by 20%? Ick.

I just took a look around my fridge, freezer, and cabinet: sausage, hotdogs, all kinds of pizza, deli turkey meat, Beenie-Weenies, Lean Pockets, frozen beef burritos, canned chili, a frozen enchilada dinner... The only "real" meat I have around is hamburger meat. [See below about red meat.] I feel kind of nauseous thinking about it. I guess I thought that since I also eat vegetables and drink orange juice every day, they'd counteract the nastiness of the processed meat, but that's really "magical thinking"!

I don't really cook, but I guess I do need to focus on chicken, fish, tuna for meat when I HAVE to have meat (often beans/rice or a baked potato or spaghetti/non-meat sauce or a salad are fine with me)... Just seeing the above list of crappy meat in the house was really gross.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/DietNutrition/30661

"...[the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm] found that eating at least 120 grams per day of red meat ... was associated with an almost 30% increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men ... Red meat didn't raise the risk of pancreatic cancer in women, and the researchers said that men generally ate more red meat. That could mean there may be an association between the highest levels of red meat intake and pancreatic cancer risk, they noted.

Processed meat, on the other hand, was associated with a significant increase in pancreatic cancer risk all around. For every daily 50-gram standard serving [2 pieces of bacon, 1 sausage], relative risk of the disease rose 19% ...

That increase is likely related to the nitrites and N-nitroso compounds found in processed meats, which have been shown to be carcinogenic and to induce pancreatic cancer in animal models, the researchers wrote."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

S. Said, S. Said (1966)

She said "I know what it's like to be dead.
I know what it is to be sad"
And she's making me feel like I've never been born.


Sunday, January 08, 2012

We Can Work It Out (1965)

John and Paul are so cute together! :)

It won't mean a thing in a 100 years.

I was in a sandwich shop on this pleasant Saturday, and this was one of the piped-in songs while I was waiting. I started crying. (I mean, not loudly "boo-hooing" but tearing up!) :) From 1990, when I saw things more philosophically rather than drearily, as of the past two years!

(Wonder if the sandwich shop chose this song because of the "my hunger is real" lyric?) :)



The sun is warm as the day is long
I just got the feeling I can do no wrong
I've got a long way to walk
Can't afford my next meal
I tell a few lies but my hunger is real

And it won't mean a thing in a hundred years
No, it won't mean a thing in a hundred years

Mademoiselle tell me do you play
Well, if she shakes her head, well then that's okay
I watch her walk away in haste
There's just no accounting for some people's taste,

And it won't mean a thing in a hundred years
No, it won't mean a thing in a hundred years

Big angry man in the doorway there
Just keep on walking like I don't care
Why you giving such an evil eye
Could it be you were ignored by every passerby

And it won't mean a thing in a hundred years
No, it won't mean a thing in a hundred years

Play in the park for tobacco and food
Then I excuse myself but they think I'm rude
Tourist don't want me to end his show
But this colorful attraction got places to go

And it won't mean a thing in a hundred years
No, it won't mean a thing in a hundred years

Sit at the pier watch the sun go down
Another lost little boy in a big old town
I want to laugh I want to cry
But no matter how hard I may try

It won't mean a thing in a hundred years
No, it won't mean a thing in a hundred years

It won't mean a thing in a hundred years
No, it won't mean a thing in a hundred years

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Republicans on a Saturday Night

Just finished watching the Repub debate on ABC. Last Q was what each would normally be doing on a Saturday night...

Rick Perry would be at the shooting range. (yee-haw/fake super-butch)
Huntsman would be on the phone with his two sons in the Navy. (yawn/fake super-patriot)
Gingrich: "I'd be watching the championship basketball game on TV. I mean -- football." (Even if you meant "football," Newt, the college championship is Monday.)
Santorum: "I'd be watching the championship game." (See above.)
Romney: "The football game. I love football." (See above.)
Ron Paul: "I'd be with my family, and if they went to bed, I'd read an economics book." :)

Thank you, Ron Paul, for the only NON-PHONY answer of the bunch! (I don't even mind the stupid "shooting range" and "Navy sons" answers in comparison to pretending to be into football when you're obviously not. Ugh.)

Like Kites

Today smells like kites,
mesquite trees, tumbleweeds; my spying the secret fort
(from the one two-story house on the block),
wrecked within weeks after I'd told and told.

Ice-cream, too. The Dairy Queen man, with his wife and kids,
ordering me a "secret" cone, despite my own sundae.
He stared to make sure of his gift, which I threw away.

And it smells like the rocks that I picked and picked
from our two-story front yard and tossed in paper bags.
Neighbors mocked: "You'll never get rid of all of those!"
I did, we did. Grass grew. And then we moved.

I like the smell of kites in January, a month
used to strings of things still hanging around, useless.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

In Passing

Back in the early '90s, I'd been in and out of college for years. Partly for money reasons -- I often had to drop out and take a full-time campus job to survive -- but also because I had a Romantic childhood notion about what I'd thought was "The College Experience." I.e., a "Great Enlightening," both intellectually, spiritually, physically (via sensitive college-boy lovers and/or professors). As I slogged on through school, I began to realize that there was no "Great Enlightening" gonna come. It was all a myth, like there being no Santa!

And so I sat down and figured out exactly how many credit hours I needed to graduate, and then just did it. Just slogged it out just to say I'd gotten my degree.

Same thing with grad school. Even after the whole drab undergraduate experience, I STILL Romantically thought that my writing grad school would be different: In a different town, I'd meet people serious about writing; we'd all gather after class to talk about writing; etc. In San Francisco, I'd really have a "Great Enlightening" in every way! Nah. It was more slogging out. The students there didn't particularly care, the professors weren't profound. (Blatantly liking only the type of writing that THEY wrote or, worse, writing that fit their "theory" of writing. Famously, one gay male professor initially mocked me for saying I liked Norman Mailer. He then ignored me for the first couple of classes. Then I mentioned in a poem something about being gay... After that, I was his favorite. Same with a female professor who disliked my verbiage in my poems. One day, I went to the library to look up her own work -- extremely stripped down. So, for fun, I edited one of my poems to look and sound exactly like hers... After that, I was her favorite.) Just slogged this bullshit out to get my Master's degree and say I had one.

RE all of the above: What if marriage is exactly the same way?! You initially, as a kid, start out thinking being with someone should be some sort of "Great Enlightening"... and then you figure out that, no, it's not, but perhaps you should just do it... just to say you had, just to show you'd jumped through the appropriate hoops. Just to make your everyday social life a little easier.

I gave in and did with college what I didn't feel, just to say I'd done it. Got some satisfaction out of it at the end, just the fact that I had degrees. So maybe I should give in and just do "the couple thang" now with whoever, just to have someone to go to movies and cafes with? It won't feel exactly right to my soul, but I will, at the end, have someone intelligent to talk to and there will be some everyday social satisfaction and comfort out of it: Here I am, WITH someone! We're a couple! AND I have a Master's! :)

What a hit. Especially at holidays. OK Santa?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year's Eve and Sex with Rick Perry

On the afternoon of the New Year's Eve, I did useful stuff: went grocery shopping, returned library books, went and got some little stuff from Marshall's with my $50 Christmas gift card ($4 worth of Jelly Bellies, a bath-mat for $5). Then came home and took out the trash, did dishes.

While I was out, did mind tricks: "What if I were out doing errands on the day of New Year's Eve and actually looking forward to something to do that night, too..."

Thinking "what if" put me in a better mood.

In actuality, I did feel relatively good. But I expected some brou-ha-ha, being New Year's Eve. Last night, for instance, the neighbors in the 2 houses next door started shooting off fireworks around 11:45pm, going on for the next 2 hours. I called the cops, I got so sick of it. Then tonight on New Year's, I called the cops again because the neighbors started their fireworks around 8:45pm. And went on. And on. And on. Not just little Black Cats, but loud stuff jolting me out of my chair!

There's an Austin ordinance against fireworks in the city limits. Matters not, apparently, since the cops never came, but at least I'm on record about being disturbed. Obviously, would much rather have had something to do tonight other than being at home and being officially bothered by neighbors!

Oh, re "sex with Rick Perry": The night before New Year's Eve, had not just one but TWO dreams about having sex with him! Have never liked him, not a Republican, etc. But the sex dreams were hot! ;p So much so that the next day I turned on C-SPAN just to see SOMETHING, ANYTHING with Rick Perry in Iowa!

Oh my god, I have indeed, in my utter isolation, gone completely mad! ;p Well, maybe not so much: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney sex dreams are still (barely) within the realm of normal, I suppose. (Hey, I did briefly have a Mormon boyfriend in high school.)

If I, in the future, report anything at all sexual about Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum, however... Ewwwww.

p.s. Just looked up both Perry and Romney on Wikipedia: Pisces, both. Their eyes. Sex.

p.p.s. Just yelled out the window at the assholes next door shooting off fireworks at 3:30am: "Shut the fuck up, you asshole frat-boys, it's 3 am!" (They're asshole wimpy HIPSTERS, so I thought the "frat-boy" thing would get their goat.) I got one yell back: "RELAX." To which I responded: "It's fucking 3 am! Shut the fuck up!"

I enjoyed going NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY on their dumb Austin asses. They're not used to screaming and confrontation. Just try me, stupid, loud fuckers. Just try me. I've called the police twice tonight. I'm just dying to go over there myself. God, I'm so mad and just drunk enough. Rick Perry-sex mad and drunk enough to fight because I have nothing at all better to do.

ppps: As of 4am: No other noise...

I do, though, think that in the very near future I need to be fucking -- yes, fucking -- some older, good-looking, take-charge Texas man. This silly Internet stuff for the past 3 years with so-and-so has been ridiculous! No more wimps!

pppps: I do like the fact that Rick Perry's favorite movie is apparently "Immortal Beloved"! That is sexy. His pick, and the others below, came from the conservative "Washington Times" from a story on 10/30/11:

• Newt Gingrich — Casablanca
• Michele Bachmann — Braveheart (Or Saving Private Ryan)
• Rick Santorum — Field of Dreams (among others)
• Ron Paul – Ron Paul does not really watch movies
• Mitt Romney — O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Barack Obama has listed Casablanca, The Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as his favorite movies.

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

Aside from "Immortal Beloved," I must say that I'm most enthusiastic about the non-generic choices of "O Brother, Where Are Thou?" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"!