Friday, June 29, 2018

Joan Crawford, 1941 Permission to move on

Fri Jun 29

Much as you may feel extremely sorry for someone with whom you have recently shared a close relationship, the planetary alignment indicates that it could be time to say goodbye. You realize that although there was a certain depth of affection between you, somehow you were not ideally suited in other ways. Rather than both mourning your losses, why not celebrate your newfound freedom?


Yeah, why not? I've been stuck for FOREVER. Time to move on.

Romanov vs Williams

I first read "Nicholas and Alexandra" by Massie as a 12- or 13-year-old in the '70s, from my parents' bookshelf. Ordered the book for myself a couple of years ago online, just re-read last week. (Perhaps inspired by the World Cup being held in Russia?) It is one of the books that weighs on my heart --- this, "In Cold Blood," "The Bell Jar," "Gone With the Wind," "Helter Skelter." What else? Rilke's collected poems. Mary Gaitskill's "Two Girls, Fat and Thin."

After finishing "Nicholas and Alexandra" on Thursday, I was so saddened and moved and steeped in that world...I needed something else, soon... I'd ordered other Romanov books earlier, but none had yet arrived... I had to start to read SOMETHING, so it was the Lahr bio of Tennessee Williams, of all things... After a couple of dozen pages of Williams' completely random and shallow search for pick-ups... A knock on my door... Amazon delivery: The Rasputin bio that I'd ordered. Back in the Romanov world, thank god. (Heavy, heavy, but at least meaningful. I like Williams and his work, but when I started to read something about him after the deadly serious world I'd been in --- he was a joke.)

Nicholas Romanov had hundreds of years of dynasty to worry about, along with saving his current empire amid a world war and anarchist attacks. And Williams was worried about how to pick up guys. Reading about Williams directly after reading "Nicholas and Alexandra" made me feel literally nauseous, like I've been wasting my own life.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Sorry, forgot to mention a happy thing...

Watching my Germany in Saturday's World Cup competition, counted out by all announcers... I was mildly depressed throughout until 90+ minutes, and then... Toni Kroooooooooooooooooooooooos! :)

BONEY M. "Rasputin" [Album Version]

Probably best not to mess with the occult (only because it's tricky)

I've been re-reading "Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert K. Massie for the first time since my teens. The first time, I wallowed in the seemingly inevitable horror of it. This time, I'm paying a bit more attention to the details --- still trying to figure out "what went wrong," of course, but trying to be a bit more realistic about it... (Yes, I understand the Marxist fervor sweeping both Europe and Russia. And, yes, Nicholas II was a relatively weak ruler --- whose rule also saw several mass shootings of protesters in an attempt to rein them in, which created antipathy among the people.)

The mystic Rasputin entered the Royal Family's life in 1905, during an especially life-threatening hemophiliac episode of their son Alexis. Formerly a hanger-on, Rasputin was invited in to pray over Alexis; when he did, the heir's pain miraculously subsided. From that point on, Rasputin was a welcome companion in the royal household.

Which was fine until the war. Nicholas went to the front to oversee the troops, and wife Alexandra was left at home with Rasputin in her ear. (Please, no jokes about "and other places.")

After Nicholas was away, author Massie documents letter after letter from Alexandra to her husband saying "our Friend [Rasputin]" thinks this, he thinks that. About various ministers of the country, about actual war policy. Most of the time, Nicholas acceded to his wife's wishes.

Insane. But the precedent: Rasputin actually HAD, on numerous occasions, alleviated the pain of Alexis simply by praying over him, a feat that no doctor had been able to accomplish.

Rasputin had also previously accurately predicted the deaths of several associates of the Tsar. Rasputin also predicted his own death, and the end of the Romanov dynasty, in a late-1916 letter: If he were killed by peasants, the Tsar and his family would survive; if killed by a member of the Romanov family, however, the dynasty would not only fall, but all would die within 6 months.

What was Nicholas to do? The sane members of the Russian government despised Rasputin and the hold he seemed to have over the Empress while Nicholas was away at the front. Every rational person wanted Rasputin gone. (A drunken, transvestite party-boy relative of the Tsar, Felix Yusupov, killed Rasputin on New Year's Eve, 2016.)

On the one hand, Rasputin helped the Tsar's son and was eerily accurate in many predictions. On the other hand, Rasputin was not helpful at all in determining who should be ministers of the Russian government (decisions, backed by the Empress, based primarily on who personally liked and respected him, Rasputin).

Probably Nicholas should have been a hard-core stern ruler/Man and utterly ignored his wife and her "feelings" and her "Friend."


Friday, June 22, 2018

"What? What?"

From Wikipedia:

Around midnight 17 July 1918, Yakov Yurovsky, the commandant of The House of Special Purpose, ordered the Romanovs' physician, Dr. Eugene Botkin, to awaken the sleeping family and ask them to put on their clothes, under the pretext that the family would be moved to a safe location due to impending chaos in Yekaterinburg.[90] The Romanovs were then ordered into a 6 m × 5 m (20 ft × 16 ft) semi-basement room. Nicholas asked if Yurovsky could bring two chairs, on which Tsarevich Alexei and Alexandra sat.[91] Yurovsky's assistant Grigory Nikulin remarked to him that the "heir wanted to die in a chair.[92] Very well then, let him have one."[80] The prisoners were told to wait in the cellar room while the truck that would transport them was being brought to the House. A few minutes later, an execution squad of secret police was brought in and Yurovsky read aloud the order given to him by the Ural Executive Committee:
Nikolai Alexandrovich, in view of the fact that your relatives are continuing their attack on Soviet Russia, the Ural Executive Committee has decided to execute you.[93]
Nicholas, facing his family, turned and said "What? What?"[94] Yurovsky quickly repeated the order and the weapons were raised.

You can find other accounts online RE how long it took to actually kill everyone, since the women had crown jewels sewn into their clothes, which impeded bullets.

When the bodies were on their way to be burnt, a Revolutionary peasant-guard stuck his fingers inside the mutilated vagina of Alexandra and then bragged about how he'd fingered the "royal cunt."

Monday, June 18, 2018

Trump: The U.S. will not be a 'migrant camp'

"Not on my watch."

Willie Nelson / Toby Keith- Beer For My Horses

Toby Keith - I Wanna Talk About Me (2001)


We talk about your work how your boss is a jerk
We talk about your church and your head when it hurts
We talk about the troubles you've been having with your brother
About your daddy and your mother and your crazy ex-lover
We talk about your friends and the places that you've been
We talk about your skin and the dimples on your chin
The polish on your toes and the run in your hose
And God knows we're gonna talk about your clothes
You know talking about you makes me smile
But every once in awhile

I wanna talk about me
Wanna talk about I
Wanna talk about number one
Oh my me my
What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see
I like talking about you, you, you, usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about me
I wanna talk about me

We talk about your dreams and we talk about your schemes
your high school team and your moisturizer creme
We talk about your nanna up in Muncie, Indiana
We talk about your grandma down in Alabama
We talk about your guys of every shape and size
The ones that you despise and the ones you idolize
We talk about your heart, about your brains and your smarts
And your medical charts and when you start
You know talking about you makes me grin
But every now and then

I wanna talk about me
Wanna talk about I
Wanna talk about number one
Oh my me my
What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see
I like talking about you, you, you, usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about me
I wanna talk about me

You you you you you you you you youyouyouyouyou
I wanna talk about me

I wanna talk about me
Wanna talk about I
Wanna talk about number one
Oh my me my
What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see
I like talking about you, you, you, usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about me

Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats (2005)

Just reminiscing back to 1989 or so... It's not so cute and pop-songy when you've busted your cheating lover's windshield and then she presses charges! (Thanks, though, Carrie, for helping me overcome my guilt.)

Right now he's probably slow dancing
With a bleached-blond tramp
And she's probably getting frisky
Right now, he's probably buying
Her some fruity little drink
'Cause she can't shoot whiskey

Right now, he's probably up behind her
With a pool stick
Showing her how to shoot a combo
And he don't know

I dug my key into the side
Of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive
Carved my name into his leather seat
I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights
Slashed a hole in all 4 tires
And maybe next time he'll think before he cheats

Right now, she's probably up singing some
White-trash version of Shania karaoke
Right now, she's probably saying, "I'm drunk"
And he's a thinking that he's gonna get lucky

Right now, he's probably dabbing on 3 dollars
Worth of that bathroom polo
Oh and he don't know

That I dug my key into the side
Of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive
Carved my name into his leather seat
I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights
Slashed a hole in all 4 tires
And maybe next time he'll think before he cheats

I might've saved a little trouble for the next girl
'Cause the next time that he cheats
Oh, you know it won't be on me!
No, not on me

'Cause I dug my key into the side
Of his pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive
Carved my name into his leather seat
I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights
Slashed a hole in all 4 tires
Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats
Oh, maybe next time he'll think before he cheats
Oh, before he cheats

How Do You Like Me Now?! (1999)

Toby Keith is rather a dick, but I love this song in the same way I love "Under My Thumb": Personal triumph sans gender.

"I couldn't make you love me, but I always dreamed about..."

Thursday, June 14, 2018

World Cup 2018!

I'm glad the US didn't qualify because... (1) The US isn't about soccer; here, it's just a latter-day thing for PC parents to enroll their kids in; and (2) I want to root for some deep-down tribal stuff from my "heimat" that actually KNOWS soccer: Deutschland Uber Alles!

That said, World Cup Season is fun --- I work with a lot of people from different places around the globe, and I look forward to good-naturedly arguing with them about the upcoming events! :)  I just put up a "Deutschland Fussball" sign on my office door, hoping to spark some World Cup conversation!

Getting Dressed

Most days when I get dressed for work, I know there's a basic black shirt there, and various multi-colored pants from Old Navy to pair the shirt with. And multiple pairs of black shoes. (Plus blue and beige and brown, and clay-colored, just in case.)

Today I woke up with a happy spring-colored blouse in mind. It matched a peach-colored pair of pants. Which would have been fine, except the only pair of shoes was a gaudy fuschia meant for the fall. (The shirt did have some fuschia in it, but the shoes were too much.) Even though no one looks at me at work, I nonetheless felt embarrassed about how I looked. (Should have picked a pair of white shoes and my one white purse.)

Feeling sloppy and not-quite-right, I then went on an online shopping tear: Berry-colored pants, berry-colored shoes, berry and peach tanks. Oh, and I was also disgusted by my shoulder bag that I've been carrying around for the past few years, a scuffed-up brown that looks OK in winter but looks like shit in spring and summer: Bought a new earth-toned bag, a new wine-colored bag, a new black wallet while I was at it, and then reminded myself to take the time in the morning to plan my outfit.

Now, as a pseudo-intellectual with a Master's in English and all, what I wear should not be important... However: I despise how Austin hippies look, as I have for the past 30 years. I don't want to look like any of them. (If I ever own a pair of Birkenstocks or Tevas, please shoot me.)

NOTE TO SELF: Please take a little more time in the morning to get dressed. That's all. A couple of years ago, when you couldn't afford to look better, that was one thing. Today, though: Instead of buying a bunch of shit at Old Navy, et al., spend a little more on fewer nicer things.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I'LL MEET YOU HALFWAY ~ Partridge Family (1971)

Don't get old because this is what will happen.

David Cassidy 2017

The Replacements - Can't Hardly Wait (1987)

I'll write you a letter tomorrow
Tonight I can't hold a pen
Someone's got a stamp that I can borrow
I promise not to blow the address again
Lights that flash in the evening,
Through a crack in the drapes
Jesus rides beside me
He never buys any smokes
Hurry up, hurry up, ain't you had enough of this stuff
Ashtray floors, dirty clothes, and filthy jokes
See you're high and lonesome
Try and try and try
Lights that flash in the evening,
Through a hole in the drapes
I'll be home when I'm sleeping
I can't hardly wait

Songwriters: Paul Westerberg

Friday, June 08, 2018

Response to those who ask "Why didn't anyone do anything?"

After the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain this week, Internet cries out, "Why didn't anyone do anything?"

In truth, when you're around an actual potential suicide, that person is usually obnoxious and off-putting. You don't like them. You don't want to be around them.

Later you find out --- Oooops!

Myself, when I was at my lowest points maybe three times in the past 30 years... I was left completely on my own. 100% on my own. Had I killed myself at any of those times, people would have then come forward to say: "Oh, if only we'd known..." Bullshit. All of the people in my life at those times knew EXACTLY how bad off I was and didn't give one shit or attempt to help me in any way.

I survived. Sans any help from anyone that I knew. The only thing that saved me was my books and records and self-image as an intellectual winner in my small-town junior high and high school (which didn't translate to college and after, but, nonetheless, I still kept that image in my head). Oh, and Joan Crawford, whom I "discovered" in 1987 at age 22 --- I thought she was just a "coming out" fad, but Crawford's looks and self and life have remained a huge, profound inspiration to me for the past 30+ years. (Thank you, Joan. Fuck you, everyone else.)

Suicides: Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain

Kate Spade: I was always poor and had no memory of someone giving me a Kate Spade bag in the '90s or having enough money to buy my own Kate Spade bag. Reading about her, though, she'd been with the same man for 30 years, and he'd 10 months ago moved into his own apartment. Her suicide note, addressed to her 13-year-old daughter, ended with "Ask Daddy!" (passive-aggressive as hell, but probably true)

Bourdain:  Asshole. I got that from watching his CNN show. He got some street-cred for being a longtime former drug addict and for being tattooed. He left his first wife when he got famous. He said of his second wife, "I married Sophia Loren and got Jean-Claude Van Damme." (She had become a mixed martial arts enthusiast during their marriage.) He was seeing a flaky actress in the last year of his life (who was photographed making out with another man in Rome a couple of days before Bourdain's suicide).

I feel sorry for Kate Spade; I don't at all feel sorry for bullshit-artist Bordain.

Weehawken Airbnb!

I didn't quite know what "Airbnb" was until recently. I knew that people rented out their houses, but for some reason I thought it was reciprocal. I didn't know that if, perchance, I wanted to visit Weehawken/New York City again, I could find a place on Airbnb for around $75 a night!!!!

I left NYC/Weehawken in 2010 after living there for 3 years. Been back in Austin for 8 years now. At first focused on finding a damn job, but after getting a good-paying one in 2014 after years of struggling, I'm now getting antsy again--- "Is this it?" and that sort of thing.

I loved NY a lot, but even the cheapest of hotels are $150 or $175 per night... and I wasn't going to spend $1000 or more (including the flight) just to go back and re-visit some of my places. But at $75 per night?? Hell, yessss!!

Weehawken!!! Just across the Hudson, a 15-minute trip by bus via the Lincoln Tunnel to Times Square... And the Airbnb places in Weehawken/Union City are super cheap because most people wanting to see NYC don't know about Joisey!

I tallied my costs to visit: @ $280 for 4 nights at an Airbnb. @ $225 round trip plane ticket. $200 for food and museum entries, et al. = $705. I can handle that. In fact, already $500 in cash stashed away in my apartment over the past year ($100 Trump victory bet, $100 birthday cash, the rest doing freelance work).

I'm excited. I want to go in November, when it's cold and the leaves are changing. Things to do:

Weehawken only (including seeing my old landlords [if they're still alive] and walking along the Hudson admiring the NYC skyline and riding the Jersey bus to the end of the line and eating at my old neighborhood sandwich and pizza places)
Cruise around the island of Manhattan
Chelsea/Union Square
Upper East Side/Upper West Side (Joan Crawford apartment, then crossing Central Park to John Lennon's Dakota Building)
Trip to Hartsdale to see Joan Crawford's crypt

Weehawken Airbnb

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

St. Kanye

Kanye West - Jesus Walks (2004)

Order, huh
Yo, we at war
We at war with terrorism, racism, but most of all we at war with ourselves
God show me the way because the Devil's tryin' to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me, with me, with me, with me, with me)
You know what the Midwest is?
Young and Restless
Where restless niggas might snatch ya necklace
And next these niggas might jack ya Lexus
Somebody tell these niggas who Kanye West is
I walk through the valley of Chi where death is
Top floor of the view alone will leave you breathless
Try to catch it, it's kinda hard
Getting choked by detectives yeah, yeah, now check the method
They be asking us questions, harass, and arrest us
Saying "We eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast!"
Huh! Y'all eat pieces of shit? What's the basis?
We ain't goin' nowhere, but got suits and cases
A trunk full of coke rental car from Avis
My Mama used to say only Jesus can save us
Well Mama, I know I act a fool
But I'll be gone 'til November, I got packs to move, I hope
God show me the way because the Devil's tryin' to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me)
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don't fail me now (I want Jesus)
(Jesus Walks)
And I don't think there is nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus Walks with me)
I want to talk to God, but I'm afraid because we ain't spoke in so long
(I want Jesus)
God show me the way because the Devil's tryin' to break me down
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don't fail me now
And I don't think there is nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
I want to talk to God, but I'm afraid because we ain't spoke in so long, so long
So long
(Jesus Walks with me)
To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers even the strippers
(Jesus walks for them)
To the victims of welfare for we living in hell here hell yeah
(Jesus walks for them)
Now hear ye hear ye want to see Thee more clearly
I know He hear me when my feet get weary
Cause we're the almost nearly extinct
We rappers are role models we rap we don't think
I ain't here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathie Lee needed Regis that's the way I need Jesus
So here go my single dog radio needs this
They said you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tape
But if I talk about God my record won't get played
Well let this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
Then I hope this take away from my sins
And bring the day that I'm dreaming about
Next time I'm in the club everybody screaming out
God show me the way because the devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me, with me, with me)
The only thing that I pray is that me feet don't fail me now

Monday, June 04, 2018

Magical Bank

A couple of weeks ago, I got an automated call from my "other" bank (not my main one that everything is deposited to, yet the one that had given me a car loan and a credit card) that someone had been charging things to the account, but rejected for lack of funds, except for one item @ $20. (Charges were online for vitamins and for Cavendars boots --- certainly not me --- ha!)

After calling in to the 800 number after the security breach to get my debit card cancelled/get a new card and cancel the transactions, turned out the phone people (who, stereotypically, could not speak English) were (stereotypically) incompetent. The one item hadn't been cancelled, the new card hadn't been sent.

Hanging over my head for 2 weeks. Along with a  $1.75 refund check from a candy machine at work, and several rolls of pennies and nickels that I'd spent hours rolling up last year... Niggling, so I finally took some time off work in the middle of the day to go to the bank and get things straightened out...

Signed in at the door for an appointment re the fraud, deposited my $1.75 at the counter, was directed around the corner to the change machine where you poured in all of your pennies, et al., to a tray to have them magically deposited to your account ($7.36!). (Annoying that I had to unroll all of the coins, but magical that they all managed to sort themselves out and get deposited.) The second my penny collection was done, my name was called --- and I had my meeting with a bank rep who told me that the fraud problem was taken care of, and that my new bank card was on its way...

All of this took only about 1/2 hour. I'd been dreading all of it --- arguing about fraud, being embarrassed about a tiny check, trying to figure out what to do with a bunch of coins... And I walked out of there feeling very accomplished and calm for the rest of the day! :)

I don't feel good about not having a family Christmas...

After my mother told me about her Will decision last August, I've not spent any holiday or birthday with family members (Mom, brother/wife/two nephews).

Though, I'd also not spent the previous Christmas with family (2016) because of my mom's idiotic insinuation that I'd somehow wrecked my new car ("Where's your car? Where's your car? Where's your car?"), after which I walked out of the planned Christmas Eve "celebration."

Today, I was just thinking: If I had it to do over again, would I have reacted differently to my mother's announcement last August that she was only leaving me her house IF I shared ownership 50% with my brother, and that I was only receiving 25% of the inheritance, to be shared with brother and two nephews...

I do miss Christmas. I always used to look forward to it, to planning (and wrapping) the gifts for family. But today, I had a small flashback to 2015... I'd spent weeks scouring eBay and other Internet sites for vintage postcards from my mother's German hometown of Vorsfelde (later incorporated into Wolfsburg, which still exists today). I found and bought 5 cards, from the turn of the century through the early '60s, and had them mounted in a frame featuring each of the cards.

My mother's response when she opened the gift (in front of in-laws gathered around): "I've already seen these." She immediately put the frame aside, never hung it up. (p.s. She might have seen a picture from the '50s or early '60s, but she, of course, hadn't seen the earlier photos -- she was just being an utter asshole, trying to humiliate me. Story of my entire life with her.)

Who needs a shitty Christmas like that? Not having a Christmas is sad, but not as sad as that.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Elvis Presley - Baby I Don't Care

Truman Capote rates his lovers

In his later years, Truman Capote rated his lovers:

(1) John O'Shea (his completely dysfunctional fuck as of 1977)
(2) Jack Dunphy (his longtime companion since 1948 or so)

And then "Danny" and a couple of other bar people he'd picked up...

Nancy (I used to be a writer)

Your new teeth are too big for your dying face...

...Old woman whose door I only now hold open.


In the olden days, I could write stuff. Nowadays, I can only barely do the first and last lines.

Planning ahead

Psychologically, I'm well set for my old age: I've been alone mentally since I was a kid, so, after reading about how lonely most old people feel, and having experienced it already, I'm probably now fine for the rest of my days

Physically, my eyesight started breaking down in my mid-40s; and my right hand can't write correctly any more --- purely because of working the mouse since I first got online in 2000.

At 52, you've got to start planning ahead and planning around your ongoing/upcoming physical and mental breakdowns.