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.