Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Good Morning" ~ Singin' in the Rain (1952)

With thanks to Debbie Reynolds: 1932 to 2016.

Mother/Daughter Exits

[Pictured: April 1954. Joan Crawford at a premiere with Debbie Reynolds.]

I personally am more schlubby like Carrie Fisher (though much less drug-addled), who died on December 27, but I more admire Debbie Reynolds, who died the day after. Reynolds had actual talent and pizzazz.

Fisher, although she had immediate success in a lucky "Star Wars" gig (couldn't a hundred other starlets have been placed into that role?), went on to basically make a career (aside from marrying Paul Simon and appearing in "When Harry Met Sally") only of writing about her Hollywood life, received as daughter of Debbie Reynolds, usually told in relation to Debbie Reynolds.

Reynolds, on the other hand... The last of the truly talented Hollywood stars. Singer/dancer/actress. Entity/"force" unto herself.

Fisher often joked about her mother upstaging her. This is, perhaps, the ultimate "upstaging." Now I hear talk about a dual funeral!

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, indoor

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Never understood the Christmas complaints...

...until NOW!

I've always liked Christmas! ALWAYS! I'm 51! I have problems with my family, but I've always liked CHRISTMAS itself --- always bought gifts for mom/bro/sis-in-law/nephews, always gone over to whoever's house for the celebration. Never had any complaint whatsoever about the festivities, because I like the festivities and the color and the food and the gifts!

Last night, though, it all went bad very quickly.

Let me just say that I walked in my mother's door, heard a few words from her, dropped my gifts off in a chair, and then walked on out. Sad.

I think my mother and I are at cross purposes in our individual development. She, at 75, might be at the point where she feels that she can be the bitchy self that she's been throughout her adult life, multiplied because she's "old." I, on the other hand, at 51, am not in the mood to take the bullshit any more.

I write this at 9:45 in the morning, Central time, Christmas day. I've never in my life gone into Christmas after being up since midnight drinking, until now. I've always "respected The Day." Today, though: "The Day" is ridiculous. I'll drunkenly collapse on my bed around 11am Christmas day and then sleep 'til the evening, having seen no one. Not proud of that. But, nonetheless, proud of having avoided bullshit.

The key, of course, is to have your own person to be with, your own family. I don't have that. There's no Christmas or New Year's Resolution for that. What I do know now is: I don't have to put up with the current situation. I'm strong enough to say "fuck it," although that gives me no great pleasure.

This is the first Christmas that I've ever not looked forward to waking up to/on. Ever. In all the years that I can remember. What a shitty 76-degree Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I get knocked down, but I get up again...

"Pissing the night away..."
Hadn't thought of this 1998 song in years... Heard it today on an Austin radio station...  Goosebumps...rolled-down window so everyone could hear as I cruised back from my Taco Bell lunch... YES!

Donald Trump Victory Celebration Montage | We Are The Champions

I still can't get over it! 2017 is going to be GOOD! A repulsion of everything I'd hated so when living in San Francisco in 1994-95. After living briefly with that shit, I was momentarily comforted by my return to Texas. Only to discover that the irrational PC-shit had subsequently crept across the country... Thank you, Donald Trump, for at least attempting to put an end to the bullshit.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Donald Trump Makes Hillary Clinton Supporters Cry: Suck It!

Late December, and you still haven't gotten over it? Truly --- SUCK IT, Snowflakes. You didn't, for instance, see ME whining in 2000 (I thought Bush was an idiot). Or in 2008 (I thought Obama was completely unqualified). Why all the drama now?

First Lady Michelle Obama on husband's legacy of hope

Wow. Michelle Obama: "Now we're feelin' what not having hope feels like." I must protest: The last 8 years have been nothing but hopelessness --- for ME, at least. Prior to 2008, I had my pick of jobs. Post 2008 and until very recently, I've had to scrounge for work.

Stat-wise, prior to 2008, there were fewer people on welfare, more people in the job market. The ignorant Michelle Obama, her ignorant husband, and the ignorant Hillary Clinton (still making paid appearances to bemoan her loss) all need to shut up and go away. Their false PC definition of "Hope" failed years ago. Barack Obama was as incompetent as George W. Bush. To the Dustbin of History with both of them and their surrogates.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Annual Company Lunch 2016

Last year, I avoided the multiple annual company lunches that were scheduled for various groups. The lunches weren't as easily avoided as I'd thought they'd be: After not showing up for the first one in 2015, the Chief Exec's secretary rescheduled me and rescheduled me, and I ridiculously had to keep dodging, 3 times in total. I simply did NOT want to go last year. Why? Because I'd heard there was a "going around the table telling what you were working on and suggesting changes" THING --- THING being "perform" rather than actually giving ideas because they were really wanted. School. Judged on sucking up. That type of thing.

This year, I couldn't NOT go, because I didn't go last year. For 2 or 3 days before today's lunch, I actually agonized and re-visited the Excel chart of what I'd worked on all year, trying to memorize my "lunch speech" re all of the projects I'd worked on, what I was in the process of doing right now... Stressful to me. Although I know I can, indeed, "present well" when forced to, I don't like to --- just on principle. To me, that I do my work well is all that should matter.

What ended up happening was: There wasn't some big "explain yourself" speech required around the lunch table. I had to say my name and what I did for the company. Fine.

An hour or so later, the boss asked for "ideas." By that point in the lunch, I felt comfortable enough to mention casually that it would be nice if a recent major book that I'd edited for the company be listed on Amazon (instead of merely being hyped at local book fairs). The fact that I spoke up about this minor idea directly to the boss was a breakthrough for me, personally:  A minor idea that wasn't shot down. Wow! (Childhood, childhood --- When I knew I was smart, but wasn't ever allowed to open my mouth at home without being scorned for anything that came out of my mouth. Ugh. I, at 51, still am outraged at my parents for how they constantly, gratuitously, sickly put me down.)

So... minor as it may be to others accustomed to feeling free to express themselves to "authority figures" --- I had never before felt free. And today I was allowed to say a minor opinion without sanction. Thanks, Workplace!

Is it possible that I can, indeed, relax a little and be myself in an "official" setting? I don't have to get tense and combative to protect myself and my "inner feelings"? Wow.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Peace Through Nixon

I have about 800 books around my apartment. Am usually not reading or re-reading them because...I'm so concerned about what's going on online! But... I used to really like to read. This past weekend I made an attempt to "get back to my roots." Starting with a trilogy of Nixon bios by Stephen Ambrose. I'm halfway through the first one.

The childhood story that I will always remember: My mother (not pro-Nixon) says that whenever I was little (around 3, in 1968) and Nixon would come on the television, I would always stop whatever I was doing and sit down and watch him. Later, in 1974, when he was forced to resign (and I had more free will at age 9), I wrote him a letter telling him how sorry I was for what had happened to him.

Another Nixon side-note: The only book I've ever shoplifted (from a Ridgmar Mall bookstore in Fort Worth when I was 16 in the early '80s) was a paperback of Nixon's "The Real War." WHY???

A too-much-information p.s.: I had really bad sex on the day that Nixon died --- April 22, 1994. I remember this exactly because the man I was seeing and I had usually had really good, friendly sex. But on this day, he and I had gone from work to a bar, where we watched Nixon death coverage on news stations while we drank. We then went back to my place, had sex-by-rote, me sullen afterwards, him puzzled by why I was acting so cold. To the point where he asked me, "Why are you acting like this?" I don't think "Nixon" would have been the appropriate answer!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

(Just Like) Starting Over - John Lennon

Night of December 8, 1980: I was 15, went to bed listening to Side 1 of "Double Fantasy." My mother woke me up early before school the next day to tell me the news that Lennon had been shot. My first reaction: "Did Yoko do it?"

Thursday, December 01, 2016

President-Elect Donald Trump FULL Speech at Thank You Tour, Cincinnati

I LOVE Trump. In my lifetime of voting, I liked Gary Hart a lot in 1984, and Bill Clinton a lot in 1992. But I've never LOVED a candidate. This guy, in a hilariously overt way, EXACTLY nailed the intellectual causes of the malaise I'd been feeling.

My favorite meme from "The Dinner":


See this site for others:

Monday, November 28, 2016

If I were to die tonight...

...I would be sad. But not horribly so.

At 51, I think I've pretty much been through all of the shallow stuff there is to go through. The decades of upset over:

The shitty, hateful, immature parents; the first innocent love (Ginny) who left me when I went off to college; the first actual sex after I came out (the scumbag Mollie); the first workplace sex with a married boss (Bill); the first online obsession/being catfished by a tranny (Julie); the first online re-connection with a past college obsession (Sandra).

From childhood through age 51, I've pretty much run the gamut of shittiness when it comes to attempts at intimacy. I have felt momentary glimpses of closeness with each of the abovementioned, but... "moments" don't count. "Moments" are kid-stuff, like liking a band for a season.

This evening, I feel that the above are, rightfully, sloughed away. If I were to die tonight, I would die emotionally clean and clear.

Follow-up the next day: Upon waking this morning, I had a groggy but literal vision of pinching off the end of a balloon and then watching the balloon sail off into the sky. That's how I feel about the above people in my life. They lighten me with their absence.

I perhaps have been watching too many episodes of "The Dead Files" (which have actually spooked me, to the point of turning on lights). A main lesson that I've gleaned from the show and its accompanying lost souls: "Get yourself right with the world if you don't want to be trapped in some horrific limbo after you've left it." Got it.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Black Men Brutally Attack Old White Guy For Voting Trump

Who are the real racists?

Since Trump's election last week, I've received 4 global e-mails from leaders at my University workplace, all along the lines of: "...The Campus Climate Response team received multiple complaints about allegedly threatening signs and comments. We take these reports seriously and are responding to them. We are also watching the national events closely — including allegations of students at other universities being targeted. Such actions are intolerable, and we will do everything we can as a university to support any members of the UT community who feel they are being targeted. The university is already developing new policies to respond to bias incidents, and we will have a proposal to share with the campus for feedback soon. Already this year the university has taken several initial steps to facilitate a faster institutional response to bias incidents...."

What is most insane about the above is that the post-election (much as the pre-election) violence has come from ANTI-Trump people! Pre-election, Wikileaks posted proof that radicals were being PAID to intentionally infiltrate Trump rallies and pick fights! Post-election, it's the radicals marching and picking fights! Yet... I get a message at my university workplace stating that the same radicals are now feeling "threatened" and that we should "support" them....

It's insane. It's Trump people who are being "targeted." See the below post-election video shot in Chicago. I myself almost didn't put a Trump sticker on my car back in July because I was afraid of idiots damaging my car. (Nothing has happened to my car; but it's sad and telling that in America, I was actually afraid of something happening to it. Luckily, Austin is rather mellow. Imagine if I lived in Oakland or Chicago, though. THERE is where the real fascism resides.)

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Thanks, Susan B.!

Cool that people were lined up to pay respects at Susan B. Anthony's grave in Rochester today. As a feminist, wish I could've been excited about Hillary Clinton. Being anti-corporate, anti-globalist, anti-open border, however... No way.

"I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet." -- Susan B. Anthony

I'm Deplorable and I voted!

I went to my local precinct around 7:30 this morning before work. By the way, where my older nephew is a freshman in high school --- was hoping to spot him and yell out, embarrassingly: "Townes, Townes! It's ME, your auntie! Go Trump!" (He and his parents and everyone they know are for Hillary via Sanders. Unfortunately for me, not him, he was nowhere in sight!) :)

Only about 10 people in front of me; was out in 15 minutes. (51% of Austinites voted early, according to local stats.)

Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Lumineers - Cleopatra

Here's another song that I've been hearing on KUTX all the time. But I liked/like this one. Until seeing this video tonight, though, I thought it was just young rocker-guys being falsely sensitive. It's actually profound, poetic.


I was Cleopatra, I was young and an actress
When you knelt by my mattress, and asked for my hand
I was sad you asked it, as I laid in a black dress
With my father in a casket, I had no plans

And I left the footprints, the mud stained on the carpet
And it hardened like my heart did when you left town
But I must admit it, that I would marry you in an instant
Damn your wife, I'd be your mistress just to have you around

But I was late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life
And when I die alone, when I die alone, when I die I'll be on time

While the church discouraged, any lust that burned within me
Yes my flesh, it was my currency, but I held true
So I drive a taxi, and the traffic distracts me
From the strangers in my backseat, they remind me of you

But I was late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life
And when I die alone, when I die alone, when I die I'll be on time

And the only gifts from my Lord were a birth and a divorce
But I've read this script and the costume fits, so I'll play my part

I was Cleopatra, I was taller than the rafters
But that's all in the past now, gone with the wind
Now a nurse in white shoes leads me back to my guestroom
It's a bed and a bathroom
And a place for the end

I won't be late for this, late for that, late for the love of my life
And when I die alone, when I die alone, when I die I'll be on time

Margaret Glaspy - Emotions and Math (Official Video)

I've been listening to Austin's independent radio station KUTX to and from work (too lazy to pick a CD for the day). And I hear this thing EVERY TIME! I HATE IT! But then I got curious about why I hated it so much. Initially, because the singer was trying to be hip and cool while singing about missing someone. It was phony. And the lyrics were bad: "Counting all the days 'til you're back / shivering in an ice-cold bath... " UGH. (Taking a cold bath to assuage desire? Did you read that in a 1952 romance novel?)

And I was so obsessed with how bad the overplayed song was, I had to go find this video and then look up Glaspy online. Is there some irony there? Is Glaspy secretly a really wild chick pretending to be an office-gal, singing in an office-gal's alleged "voice"? Well, no. She's not secretly a wild chick, she's an uptight leftist chick raised in California, later went to elite music schools. Now here she is being ironic about allegedly having a day job and singing songs for the masses. So fucking annoying. Like Sylvia Plath trying to sing a pop song.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

World Series, 10th Inning

Lessons learned from announcers while watching the last game of the World Series tonight: "Take what the game gives you." And "You can't show any cracks."

2016 UK Guy Fawkes Day effigy

This year's Guy Fawkes bonfire effigy in the UK is more appropriate than the usual casual celebrities featured, given that Trump really IS going to blow up the government. (Why, though, no pants?)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Michael Moore gives powerful pro-Trump speech (without meaning to)

"Trump's election is going to be the biggest F*** You in human history."

Early self-abusive deaths of Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and, yes, Pete Burns are depressing as hell: These men had a confluence of what most of us plebes wish for and dream of -- good looks, fame, wealth, creative ability. But it all meant nothing to them.

If life means nothing to those blessed, what are the rest of us to think?

(I'll add Sylvia Plath -- whose birthday is today, October 27-- to this list. In 1963, when she killed herself at age 30, she wasn't sexy or rich or famous, but she was brilliant and had had a noted scholastic and literary career and a meaningful love in Ted Hughes. All of which, apparently, meant nothing to her.)

Interesting to me what an individual chooses to live for, or not live for.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fastball - The Way (1998)

Initially bought this CD in 1998 based on this wonderful song. Rest of the CD was mediocre, aside from "Out of My Head." Quickly sold the CD months later, forgot about the band. Just today, though, heard "The Way" on Austin radio on the way back from lunch... CRANKED IT UP. Such a goose-bump-raising good song.

Then went and bought Fastball's Greatest Hits on Amazon, which included these 2 songs. Hopefully the "Hits" will be better overall than the initial mediocre "All the Pain Money Can Buy" CD that I sold off all those years ago. Whatever --- I want both "The Way" and "Out of My Head" in my collection.

2016: You Spin Me Round -- Pete Burns

Pete Burns singing "You Spin Me Round" in 2016.
What was interesting in 1985 had turned into utter psychosis 30 years later. The song remained the same, but the singer now nothing but a diminutive middle-aged man with a horribly re-done plastic face pretending to be a diva... then having to share the stage with whoever that random guy was. And everybody pretending that it was all still sexy and meaningful... Whatever happened to Pete Burns' EYES? They were so teasing and inviting and sexy in the '85 video; by 2016, they were dumb-nothing utterly blank slits embedded in a plastic face.
Try as the Gay Community might to reconstruct, "camp" will never equal true "sexiness." (Not "joke sexy" as the Gay World and Media present, but actual sexiness --- where you're too moved/struck by another person to make any sort of fun. Well, until later...)

1985: You Spin Me Round -- Dead or Alive/Pete Burns

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

the rolling stones - tell me (long version)

1964 Stones song played at every Trump rally.

America's Re-Boot

(For those reading from other countries, you have no idea what we've been experiencing since 2000. Bush and Obama exactly the same as far as incompetence and corporate globalist influence go.)

"Either we win this election or we lose our country."

Trump Fix Needed

While working on my Joan website tonight, had C-SPAN on in the background: Senatorial debates from (1) Florida, with Marco Rubio (R) and Patrick Murphy (D); and (2) Ohio, with Ted Strickland (D) and Rob Portman (R).

(1) Rubio and Murphy, in their 30/40s, were like aggressive, spastic kids raised on the Internet. Rapid-fire figure-spouting, each trying to prove he was the smartest guy in the room. But both utterly soul-less. Both operating on talking points, obviously believing nothing.

(2) Strickland and Portman, in their 60s/70s, were more staid in their speech. Slower, more considered. But both throw-backs to, say, 1984: Trudging along, repeating party platitudes. Both utterly soul-less. Both operating on talking points, obviously believing nothing.

Made me desperate for a Trump fix. I've been spoiled for over a year with the raw truth. What am I going to do without him?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Member of the Immoral Majority

In my senior year of high school, 1983, I was feeling my political oats and had at least two T-shirts made at the local Fort Worth mall T-shirt shop. I used to love going into mall T-shirt shops, and mall record stores, and mall pseudo-head-shops like Spencer's---although located in malls (which are much mocked today), these shops offered exciting promises of self-fulfillment to a teenager raised in a small town far-removed from any mall until able to visit one upon getting a car at age 16.

One of the T-shirts was hot pink, with "Frances Lives" in yellow and white letters. My best friend at the time, Ginny (whom I was also in love with), had a matching shirt made. (I remember that on the way home from the mall, she changed into the shirt in the car I was driving.) We were both enthralled with the movie "Frances" (starring Jessica Lange) that had just been released. And outraged at her treatment by "society." Unfortunately, that T-shirt of mine has vanished.

Another shirt, though, has survived. In '83, Jerry Falwell's religious group "The Moral Majority" was in full sway, supported by President Reagan and constantly in the news. I thought the group sanctimonious and obnoxiously self-righteous, and, again, headed to the mall to have a protest T made: "Member of the Immoral Majority." Which I paraded around my high school in during the spring of my senior year. 

I didn't take the T to college in the fall of '83; left it at my mother's house. Soon forgot about it. About 15 years later (in the late '90s), my mom presented me with the below Christmas present: My "Immoral Majority" T made into a pillow:

1990s "Immoral Majority" pillow made out of my 1983 T-shirt.

I appreciated that my mom took the time to make the pillow, and I had it with me for a few years, but by the 2000's, after various moves, I'd long relegated it to storage at my mother's house. On my birthday this year, though, my mother had dug it up, and she gave it to me again.

At 51, I was mildly interested in seeing it again. Wanted to keep it for nostalgia's sake, not sure where to put it. ("Rebellion" is cute in your teens and 20s, but it wasn't like I was going to have it as a throw-pillow on the couch in my home today.) I ended up tossing it in the back of my cute Mazda 2 that I just bought in late July---adding "personality" to the car (along with the yin-yang fringed symbol hanging on my rear-view mirror and my "The Donald 2016" bumpersticker).

And then I again forgot about the pillow. Until today, though, when I was in the drive-thru for a local Austin sandwich shop (Thundercloud, for those who know it) on the way to work. The very young, very pleasant girl at the window was peering intently into my car, then said, "I was just trying to figure out what your pillow said."

So I started out with, "Well, Jerry Falwell had a religious group in the '80s..."---not sure if she'd have any idea who Jerry Falwell was. Turned out she did know of him and the group. And then she really thought it was "cool" that I had had that T-shirt made when I was 18---and that my mom had made a pillow out of it --- AND that I now had the pillow in my car.

Nice that someone was perceptive. Also nice to be asked about something that I cared about. Lately, I've been trudging along in life like I was invisible. It was nice to be asked about.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Going Down On Love - John Lennon (1974)

The opening song of the first John Lennon solo album I ever bought ("Walls and Bridges").

Got to get down, down on my knees
Got to get down, down on my knees
Going down on love
Going down on love
Going down, going down, going down

When the real thing goes wrong
And you can't get it on
And your love she has gone
And you got to carry on
And you shoot out the light
Ain't coming home for the night
You know you got to, got to, got to pay the price

Somebody please, please help me
You know I'm drowning in the sea of hatred

Got to get down, down on my knees
Got to get down, down on my knees
Going down on love
Going down on love
Going down, going down, going down

Something precious and rare
Disappears in thin air
And it seems so unfair
Nothing doin' nowhere
Well you burn all your boats
And you sow your wild oats
Well you know, you know, you know the price is right!

Got to get down, down on my knees...

Weird New York Times video: Trump Groping Allegations 1979

"If he had stuck with the upper part of the body, I might not have gotten that upset." This is only a brief NYTimes-created/sponsored clip (unheard of by a supposedly serious US media outlet---did the Times offer a heavily-produced video clip for Paula Jones back in the '90s?).

If you watch the full 30-minute interview with Jessica Leeds on Anderson Cooper, she reveals: This make-out session happened in 1979. Trump was not yet famous or powerful. Trump was 33 years old; Leeds was 37 years old. (She says in the Cooper interview that she's now 74, which means she was born in in 1942; Trump was born in 1946.) 

I'm sorry... A 33-year-old guy making out with a 37-year-old woman on a plane isn't IN ANY WAY sexual harrassment. It's two people feeling horny at the moment. The Cooper CNN interview didn't include the "If he had stuck with the upper part of the body..." quote.

p.s. I was raped in 2000 by a guy claiming to be gay whom I invited home from a gay club hoping to just hang out. When I was in college in the '80s, I was sexually harrassed by both professors and grad students --- yes, actually promised better grades for "a date." I've also made out with a guy in a SuperShuttle on the way to New York City who was just in for the weekend, as I was. Today, I don't feel bad at all about the SuperShuttle "incident." But I am permanently psychologically marked by the rapist who claimed to be gay and the straight professors/grad students who suggested that I "date" them for a better grade.

This idiotic New York Times video demeans the actual psychological damage caused by actual rape and actual sexual harrassment. (Making out, on the other hand, is just making out.)

Friday, October 07, 2016

2005 Donald Trump Secret Recording

Sorry. I don't think a powerful guy who desires to kiss pretty girls (and self-consciously pops Tic-Tacs ahead of time) is bad.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Getting Up For Work

Up until my 40s, I had a drinking cut-off: 2am. Whatever I was doing, I had to quit at 2am in order to get at least 5 hours of sleep before having to get up for work the next day.

In the past year or so, though, the cut-off time has somehow migrated to... 10pm!! (OK, as I write this, it's 11:30pm, but this is an exception.)

Nothing set, but there ARE internal guides: 10 years ago, I could, indeed, drink all night and get only 5 hours of sleep before work the next day.

Today, though, at 51... I CAN stay up late drinking, but... there's no way in hell I can then get up at 7am for work after only 5 hours of sleep. Nor am I going to have a pleasant day on the weekend after waking up with a huge hangover. After several years of dismissing weekends, because I had no friends to do anything with, I'm just now starting to understand the potential niceness of weekends. (Kind of like the only time I've had Valium: I got my wisdom teeth out back in '87 or something. When the dentist shot me up with Valium, I suddenly felt incredibly calm and good ... "Wow! Is this how everyone else has been feeling all the time?")

I am quite aware that I've been incredibly bereft, sans any love whatsoever, for a very, very, very long time--since age 8 or so? No one else feels bad for me; I now give myself permission to feel very, very, very bad for me.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

My malaise is my hairdresser's fault.


OK, not really. I've felt malaise since July. I've had the same hairdresser for a year and a half or so.

What my hairdresser extremely just fucked up last week, though: I've told her from the beginning: DON'T EVER do that "slicing thing" with the edge of the scissors on my hair. It has NEVER worked. After a year and half of explaining my hair to her, I hear that horrible, grating, slicing sound... When I said, "WHOA! No! Don't do that on my thinning hair!" she replied insouciantly, "Noted."

Yeah, you were told to NOTE THIS a year and a half ago! God...

The right side of my hair looks like shit.

Worse, I've been going to this Aveda salon across from my workplace for over 2 years. This hairdresser is the 3rd one, and she's just as mediocre as the first two. I've got to now change AGAIN. Where the hell do I go now? I liked the temple and hand massages a lot (the only time anyone touches me), but... what's the use of temple/hand massages if your hair ends up looking like shit?

(It's a deceptively simple "long bob" that I've been after.)

Monday, October 03, 2016

1938. Joan Crawford "Vogue" publicity by Horst P. Horst

10 more months!

Every month, I'm going to announce my counting down until August of 2017, when my lease at my current apartment complex is up.

I've lived here since February 2015. I sublet from Feb. 2015 to Aug. 2015 ($875 month), then signed my own lease from Aug. 2015 to Aug. 2016 ($925 month). In August 2016, the rent was jacked up to $1000 month, and I had just bought my first car since 2007. With the new expenses, I couldn't afford to move, despite my general unhappiness with the place (guy constantly yelling downstairs, neighbor next door either cranking up his music every couple of weeks or sitting out on the stoop having hours-long phone conversations, kids screaming outside).

Plus, when I first sublet the place, I didn't pay attention to the placement of the apartment: The complex is small (which I like), in a "J"-shape... I'm located at the top of the "J"; there's parking on every side of me -- front, right, back bedroom and study. Which means I constantly hear people coming and going and hanging out and jamming their music, no matter which room I'm in. There's no "inner/back room" that I can go to for quiet. I can rarely relax. "Relaxation" means to me: Nearly complete silence. Me and my own thoughts and feelings. Vibing/being in tune with what book I'm reading, what movie I'm watching, what music I'm listening to, my work on my Joan Crawford website.

Within months of moving in, I had to abandon what I'd planned for my "study" (the 2nd bedroom of the apartment) because the yelling neighbor downstairs had his headquarters in the room just below. Where I'd initially planned to go and read was scrapped because of the guy's constant screaming on the phone and his music; that room now just holds my bookshelves and books, and my unused desk --- I have my computer on the kitchen table in the front of the apartment, trying to avoid the neighbor yelling (but then being exposed to all of the coming-and-going traffic).

That's why I'm counting down the months 'til I can leave. (Only problem: I don't think that $1000 in Austin is necessarily going to rent me a more private place next year. Trapped.)

OK, I'm not going anywhere for the next few years.

Despite what I said in my last post. Honestly, I care more now, at 51, than I did at 42 (when I tossed over everything to move to NYC without a job) about giving up hard-earned stuff.

For one thing, I like my current job a lot. It's intellectually stimulating, I look forward to going to work every day, and the day passes quickly because I'm engrossed in what I'm doing. Back in '07, when I moved to NYC, I couldn't say the same about that job at Holt. The editing I was doing was tedious. And, a year or so before I left, the company had been bought by an international, British-based company and layoffs were going on constantly, every 3 months or so. (The Pakistani guy brought in to lead our office was an utterly clueless, rude dick.) In the 3 rounds of layoffs that I experienced personally: Survived 1st round (when long-time employees were literally escorted off the premises within an hour after being told they'd lost their jobs), was laid off 2nd round and brought back in several weeks later, survived 3rd round... Was disgusted and not about to stick around for a 4th round. The timing was perfect to get the hell out of that toxic environment and go try something completely new. I had nothing to lose.

Today, though, while I'm not completely happy with my salary, the company is relatively stable and sans chaos. And, as I said above, I like my job. And I've spent much psychological/emotional energy since coming back to Austin in 2010 rebuilding my place in the world over the past 6 years. I gave away and/or lost literally EVERYTHING when I chose to move to New York. ("Gave away" = selling car and all furniture and most books/CDs, quitting job to throw myself into a NY/national job market that was in the process of crashing; "Lost" = my cat Gracie died while I was there because I couldn't afford vet care.)

Since returning to Austin with my tail between my legs, utterly whipped, in 2010, I now in 2016 have a decent job in the field (editing) that I love, a car that I've purchased myself (the first sans help from a parent), furniture that I chose/bought myself (the first sans help from a parent). The thousands of dollars that I've spent on said car and furniture have been earned by ME over the past 6 years. I'm proud of it. And not so quick to toss all of it over just because I like the weather and architecture better in Weehawken, New Jersey.

I DO like Weehawken and New York City a LOT better than I like Austin. But I already took my chance there. I'm not doing that again without some sort of much greater financial cushion.

If I want to get my head completely clear (i.e., little drinking) and make a concerted effort to apply to jobs in the NYC area, that's one thing. I'll never again, though, just up and leave like I did in 2007. I learned that lesson.

Whoa! I just bought a lot of furniture!

I don't like Austin at all. After 33 years, I have the right to say: Don't like the slacker people, don't like the slacker politics, don't like being here, in a physical world sans any charm or interest.

In the olden days, there was at least cheap rent, and some quirky, interesting places to visit. Today, I'm paying $1000 a month for an apartment that I don't like, around people I don't like, in an utterly generic atmosphere. I gotta get out.

Now... Financially, how to extricate myself and get back to Weehawken/NYC for my twilight years on this earth... When you're in your 20s/early 30s, such movement is relatively easy. At 51, I'm at the border of being utterly stuck where I am.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Paul McCartney "For No One"

And in her eyes you see nothing.

Joan Crawford, 1934

Crawford was 30 here. Who looks like this when they're only 30?

I've read that watching porn can de-sensitize viewers to sexual relationships with actual women, because said "actual women" can never replicate what's going on in the porn videos.

Similarly, I think just looking at, and reading about, Crawford since 1987 has spoiled me for "actual women." She is, as she once claimed herself, "just too much."


Saturday, October 01, 2016


Since about 12 or so, I've tried my best to look at things intellectually. Probably due to my parents' utter irrationality. (Had I taken the behavior of either of those people seriously, I would have certainly gone mad.)

Post-parents, in the search for love, I've initially believed what people told me. (Why would they lie about such a profound thing?)

Duh... People want any sort of attention, and they'll do anything to get it.

At 51, I've come to the realization that I've been attracted to some losers. Attractive on the surface, but deep-down defective. Not "defective" because they didn't love me, but because they were simply messed up. First-lover Mollie, a near-pedophile. (When I met her, she was 36, I was 23; she was obsessed with hanging out with club teens). Murrah, a lost soul (with a gay father) who hosted karaoke around town and claimed to "want to make a difference." (She made no difference to anyone and is now living in a tiny house outside of Austin.) Sandra, a sexually abused rich kid who grew up to write poetry in college (currently shuffling among Sugar Daddies in Houston). Julie, a confused transsexual (trying to be a woman, but with the mind-set of a gay man).

All of the above seemed so mentally interesting and attractive in the beginning... But then when I got to know these people.. They're fucked up in ways that I myself am not fucked up. I've got my own multitude of problems, sure, but... my own mental problems don't involve pedophilia or closeted gay dads or childhood abuse or transsexuality. Fuck. These things are beyond my comprehension. I understand them intellectually, but I don't understand them on a deep-down organic level.

Mollie (my first lover), for instance, an androgynous/butch woman, had male-on-male locker-room porno under her bed: Jock guys wrestling, etc. Now, good for her. But... don't bring ME into this deep-down scenario. Why would you seek out a young woman if you were into jock guys making out? Same with Julie: How did I get involved with your gay predilection for teens?  And Sandra: How did I get involved with your predilection for Daddies?

I was so curious once I left Ginny and Azle in 1983. So much shit since then. Nothing interesting or creative, or anything that made me feel good, as I had imagined sex was supposed to be. Since leaving home in '83 at the age of 18, I've, in my search for love and sexual connection, primarily encountered a bunch of people with profound hangups trying to project their own disturbances and creepiness onto me.

(How to attract interesting, sexual people who aren't creepy assholes?)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

a-ha -- Take On Me (1985)

Muscato on Twitter:
Hearing a-ha's "Take on Me" on a gray rainy Wednesday morning while riding on a shuttle bus = unreasonably exhilarating...

When I heard the same song coming home from lunch a couple of weeks ago, I noted it as "stupidly exhilarating."

(Why "unreasonably" or "stupidly"? Maybe because some of us are now middle-aged and long-time cynics... We first saw this video on MTV when MTV was new and fresh, and the video itself both cutting-edge at the time AND sweet. What a thrill to FEEL something again by accident 30 years later...What a thrill to be flashed back to when we had possibilities...)

Goosebump-raising for me, like hearing early Beatles.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

All In The Family: Edith's Problem

I first watched this when I was kid, little knowing... it would be my ONE guide to menopause 40 years later! :)

Monday, September 26, 2016


Throughout my life, I've been cursed with no one to talk to about anything. And so have learned a bit of stoicism. Earlier tonight, though, I broke down and asked someone that I've known for 8 years about the menopause that I'm now going through, that I had no one else to talk to about. At the end of the below is her one line of response.

At 51, I am used to this. But, nonetheless, I am still rather shocked by the utter nothingness.

On Sep 25, 2016, at 10:29 PM, SJ wrote:
In May (when I was 50), I went to my mother's house to pay my respects for Mother's Day. I hadn't had my period for 3 months, thought menopause was underway. The next day I got my period.

Haven't had my period since May. In June, I started having "hot flashes," but put them off as "oh, it's hot in Texas in the summer."

Said "hot flashes" have been really intense since June, not just based on the weather. (I haven't had another period since May.)

And not just hot flashes; I've been feeling low for months since the summer. Not just psychologically, but physically LOW, where I didn't feel like doing anything or thinking anything, where I felt physically weak.

What's going on? I asked my mom, but got only vagueness.

How long will this go on? Will my energy ever come back?

Is it low-energy for the rest of my life?


SSB response:  Menopause darling. Read about heat intolerance and stress on Internet.  It's   Hideous

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A nice Saturday

A big block on North Lamar in Austin: Book shopping at Half-Price, a visit to the Goodwill next door, and then taking home KFC at the end.

(Before I got my car in July, I had no easy access to anything on this block; my car has definitely improved my life.)

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Story of My White-Woman Police Stops

(1) Mid 1980s: In Austin, on Guadalupe, for driving a cheesy Ford Pinto and changing lanes too quickly. (The officer let me off with a warning.)

(2) Mid 1980s: In Austin, out wading in a lake after doing mushrooms with a couple of Middle Eastern guys that my friend had picked up. (I don't remember what I said; something about enjoying the night and the lake. The officers let all of us go.)

(3) Late '80s: In Austin, after an evening of partying at my own home with lesbian friends, I drove a couple of these friends home after one butch friend had said she couldn't drive because she would get stopped for how she looked. I was drunk myself and went the wrong way down a one-way street. When the cop stopped me, I honestly don't remember what I told him. (He let me go.)

(4) Late '80s: In Austin, I was driving a carload of straight friends home and didn't obey whatever traffic law. The cop that pulled me over asked where we were going. I responded that we were going home to play a board game, which we were. (He let me/us go.)

(5) Early 1990s: In Austin, on loop 183, I was driving too fast and changing lanes too quickly and not stopping quickly enough. (I had a new stereo in my car and had been listening to Doris Day too loudly and so didn't hear or see the officer behind me. When the officer came to my window, he wasn't old enough to understand the appeal of "Doris Day," but he let me off anyway after I explained.)

(6) Early 1990s: I'd been at a party in the western hills of Austin and didn't quite know how to get back to town. At a stoplight near town, I was finally feeling my oats and got into a "drag race" with a guy next to me. That guy got stopped, and then I got stopped. (I didn't get off. I passed the drunk-driving tests on the side of the road, but ended up getting fined over $300 for speeding.)

The point being not a Confessional but rather: White people get into scuffs with police all the time, just as black people do. What, though, turns minor "scuffs" into major confrontations is people like Sandra Bland, for instance, freaking out and cursing at police; people refusing to get out of the car; people with actual guns in their cars making shady moves; people running, etc.

Some of us get stopped by police on occasion. 99.9% of us don't get shot.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Police use of force protests: Charlotte, Tulsa

Terrence Crutcher in Tulsa, who stopped his car in the middle of the street, was drunk and on PCP (found in his vehicle), and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte pulled a gun on police. Why are there riots when sleazy guys like this get shot? (BTW: The police officer in Charlotte who shot Scott was black.)

Perhaps riots would be better directed at Chicago, where 500 black men have been shot by black men in 2016 alone. 500 blacks shot by blacks in Chicago this year. Where are THOSE riots?

I have been "socially aware" since the age of 15. Today, at 50, I see that today's black protests are painfully "straining for meaning" and thus ridiculous. There's no real discrimination in American society in 2016, yet blacks stretch for something, anything, to blame why, in 2016, they're still behind every other segment of American society. Take a look in the mirror instead: Take a look at your crime rates, your out-of-wedlock births, etc.

When blacks were being hosed on the streets and forced to ride on the back of the bus, I had sympathy. I had sympathy with the "Black Power" fists-raised protests at the '68 Olympics.

Today, I have no sympathy. I have no sympathy for SF 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was raised as a baby by upper-middle-class WHITE parents and who makes millions per year, yet now pretends to be uber-black. I have no sympathy for black people who protest when criminals are shot by police, usually only because they have provoked police. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Bombs Away

Up until this past weekend, I'd never, in the past, been on the spot of a terrorist attack. The Islamic terrorist this weekend, though, planted a bomb that went off on W. 23rd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues of New York City. 29 people were injured by the shrapnel.

When I lived in NYC, from 2007 to 2010, some of my regular places to go were the Chelsea Cinema (23rd between 7th and 8th), where I saw at least 5 Joan Crawford films. The famous Chelsea Hotel was on the same block. The place I got my hair cut ("Chelsea Styles") was directly across the street from the Chelsea Hotel. More mundanely, there was a GAP a block away where I bought a few basic sweaters that I could barely afford at the time (I was very poor).

It was a beautiful, interesting neighborhood to walk around. I, as an implant from Austin, felt honored and excited to be there. I'd had a sense of the place from movies and literature ahead of time, and being there in person didn't disappoint.

And then this shitty guy, whose Afghan family was let into the country as refugees in 1995, chooses to bomb the country that took him in. His family had a food joint in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where another bomb was discovered.

All to say: Appreciation should probably be organic. This piece of shit and his family took their safe haven for granted. The family actually filed a lawsuit against the police for "discrimination" after their food store got cited for staying open after hours. The son ended up radicalized after several visits back home to Afghanistan.

Getting to come to America isn't a "right," it's a "privilege." If you don't understand what you've just received, then... go the hell home (of course, you can't --- get it? see how nice the US has been to take you in?). How DARE you spit in the face (and worse) of the country that rescued you?


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Bigger Basket

Les Deplorables

Character Strengths and Virtues

I copied the below from the weekly e-mail I receive from Rob Brezsny's horoscopes. Along with his weekly horoscope mail, he usually includes a preface on general spiritual issues. (On social media, when he's posting as himself, Brezsny's a rather simplistic, PC liberal, but spiritually --- i.e., "not in real life" --- I actually find him both profound and thought-provoking.)

The *DSM-V* is the manual of psychology that classifies human
personality disorders. The book *Character Strengths and Virtues* is an
alternative to the *DSM-V*: a text that defines human virtues and
strengths that have been recognized by many different cultures for 2500

Below is their classification system. Which virtues and strengths have you
cultivated? Which do you aspire to get really good at?

Included in the virtue known as Courage are these strengths:
* Bravery
* Persistence
* Integrity
* Vitality

Included in the virtue known as Humanity are these strengths:
* Kindness
* Social Intelligence

Included in the virtue known as Justice are these strengths:
* Citizenship
* Fairness
* Leadership

Included in the virtue known as Temperance are these strengths:
* Forgiveness
* Humility
* Prudence
* Self-Regulation

Included in the virtue known as Transcendence are these strengths:
* Appreciation of Beauty
* Gratitude
* Hope for the Future
* Humor
* Spirituality

Included in the virtue known as Wisdom are these strengths:
* Knowledge
* Curiosity
* Open-Mindedness


Based on the above categories, I was interested to learn that I'm:

COURAGE (bravery, persistence, integrity, vitality): 100%

HUMANITY (love, kindness, social intelligence): Probably close to zero; I'm more into what's "right" than feeling natural empathy

JUSTICE (citizenship, fairness, leadership): I'd give myself 50%; I'm big on "fairness" but am not a leader or a gung-ho "citizen" of anything

TEMPERANCE (forgiveness, humility, prudence, self-regulation): Mmmm...No prudence, forgiveness if asked (no one ever asks), humility at down times, self-regulation occasionally... I guess 33%.

TRANSCENDENCE (appreciation of beauty, gratitude, hope for the future, humor, spirituality): 100%  

WISDOM (knowledge, creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness): 100%

Monday, September 12, 2016

George Jones: He Stopped Loving Her Today

George Jones: He Stopped Loving Her Today

Stand By Your Man

A Master's degree and $44,000 a year...

...and the only place I can afford in Austin is a $1000 per month shitty '70s apartment with a rotating cast of "diversity" in neighbors:

Loud black guy downstairs who is constantly yelling either at his wife or into his phone. His headquarters is the room right below my extra room... I've since abandoned that room completely, taking my computer out to the kitchen table, where I don't have to listen to him for hours.
An ongoing, interchangeable loud 20-something group of white guys next door who are constantly blaring their music or hanging out on the stoop at 3am. (I've reported them 4 times now to the management.)
Two Hispanic families with at least 5 people stuffed into apartments the size I'm living in by myself. When I first moved in over a year ago, their kids were running amok, but they seem to have settled down now. (At least the kids aren't riding their trikes in front of my apartment any more; and the downstairs dad isn't playing his fucking TRUMPET out in the courtyard any more.)
A white biker guy who revs up his motorcycle every single time he either leaves the parking lot or comes home.

And this is in a $1000-a-month apartment!

You know, "diversity" is swell until you actually have to live around it.

What I think is even worse, though, is my mother's living situation in Austin's Mueller development. She likes it just fine, but I would be horrified by it. She had a house built from scratch in 2010. And now, as it turns out, the house behind her is something that some rich parents bought for their asshole 20-something kids who play in a band and practice in their (I'm-sure-shitty) band daily. Her ZIP code is also one of the two most burglarized districts in all of Austin --- the Mueller development is for middle-class people, but it was built in the middle of a bunch of poor low-lifes who rob Mueller. In addition, there's a dick-flasher on the loose in the development, and an actual rapist who's attacked women on the Mueller trails.

THAT is what is horrifying. I can't afford shit, so I have to live around shit. No surprise. But my 75-year-old mother earned the right to live in a decent neighborhood, yet she now has to live amidst this crap. I'm used to crappiness, but the Mueller situation is the worst. Purely because both the Neighborhood Association and the police won't crack down on everything that's been reported.

Move-Out Countdown

11-1/2 months until I can move out from this $1000-per-month shitty place!

At $1000 per month, I have to listen to the 20-something white guys next door blaring their music, the 50-something black guy below constantly yelling either at his wife or on the phone, the white biker across the way revving up his bike every time he comes or goes, the 2 Hispanic families with their screaming kids running around... "Diversity" at its finest.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Clinton ‘Basket of Deplorables’

I'm a lesbian feminist with a Master's degree (and a legal immigrant German mother in the States since 1962) who supports Trump and is disgusted by the below "Basket of Deplorables" idiocy by Hillary Clinton.
Clinton claims that Trump is "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic...."
Clinton is desperate and crazy. Trump has been on the American scene for 30 years. He's never been called "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic" until just now.
Asking for border control is hardly "xenophobic" or "Islamophobic." Trump sensibly asks for checks of those entering our country. How is this radical in any way?

Because I support Trump and think his America-first positions are completely reasonable.... I'm now considered a toss-off into Clinton's "Basket of Deplorables"? I'll not submit to that shitty, sanctimonious characterization.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Standin’ by My Man Like Tammy Wynette

This interview back in '92 initially made me a fan of Hillary Clinton's: I like sarcasm. Today, though, when re-listening: Heck, how creepily phony is that put-on Southern Accent?

As of 2016: Hillary Clinton has stood for nothing her entire life. Goldwater Girl in high school? Switch to Democrat when in college because it's trendy. Feel, as a feminist, you should keep your last name of "Rodham"? Switch to your husband's name after Arkansas voters complain. Initially against Bush's made-up war in Iraq? Eh, go ahead and vote for it when you're in the Senate --- you may be running for President soon and want to appeal to what you think will be The Middle.

And what did Hillary Clinton ever accomplish in either the Senate or in her few years in the State Department, other than resume padding? (Not to mention the actual disastrous Middle Eastern policies over the past 8 years: Egypt, Libya, Syria now in chaos. Hillary Clinton came in as a resume-padding place-holder, but she actually caused harm with her ignorance and negligence. BTW: I also think Obama caused harm with his own ignorance of the job: You don't raise a one-term Senator/"community organizer" to the office of the Presidency--and his accompanying lack of understanding of the economy and of world affairs--without detrimental consequences.)

Tuesday, September 06, 2016


 Interesting, also, that the US Statue of Liberty is clearly one aspect of Hecate.
(Those damn seditious French!) :)
Hecate or Hekate (/ˈhɛkət, ˈhɛkɪt/; Greek Ἑκάτη, Hekátē) is a goddess in Ancient Greek religion and mythology, most often shown holding two torches or a key[1] and in later periods depicted in triple form. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, dogs, light, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, ghosts, necromancy, and sorcery.[2][3] She appears in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and in Hesiod's Theogony, where she is promoted strongly as a great goddess. The place of origin of her following is uncertain, but it is thought that she had popular followings in Thrace.[4] She was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family.[5] In the post-Christian writings of the Chaldean Oracles (2nd–3rd century CE) she was regarded with (some) rulership over earth, sea and sky, as well as a more universal role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul.[6][7] Regarding the nature of her cult, it has been remarked, "she is more at home on the fringes than in the center of Greek polytheism. Intrinsically ambivalent and polymorphous, she straddles conventional boundaries and eludes definition."[8]
Roman Hecate statue.

Monday, September 05, 2016

"Nowhere Man": Germany, 1966

Whoa! I just got to the mental place...

...where I was ready to die sans anybody else. Is that a good or a bad thing? I feel like I've been completely by myself emotionally and intellectually since the age of 15. I struggled for connection from that age onward, with no success. Were I to die now, at 51, sans anyone whom I've ever shared my life with, it wouldn't be very dramatic or traumatic at all. Societally, it seems "tragic," but in actuality, trying to connect with various people over 3 decades has been both disturbing and annoying --- after 30 years of trying "to connect," I feel much better off today, at 51, by myself.