Tuesday, October 30, 2018

My inner voice has told me two things:

(1) At age 12 or so, re my parents: "They're not on your side." (A very clear voice that popped up in my head after a minor conflict when I was 12---at 12, who was I to know whether or not this was true, or whether I was just a kid feeling momentarily angry... but "the message" later helped me to understand why they were so constantly nasty to me. When you're a kid, you don't know why. Today, at 53, looking back at everything, I've discovered that the message was true.)

(2) Not so much a voice, but a gut reaction with physical goosebumps: Sandra loves me. (This one is rather ridiculous on the surface, based on the majority of her behavior. But, hey, who am I to argue with goosebumps...)

(3) Oh, yeah... Since 1987, Joan Crawford has never let me down. Three things.

Happy Halloween! Joan Crawford by Ruth Harriet Louise (1928)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Penny Family Update

OK, I've explained here before:

I started out feeding one stray cat back in July. I named him "Penny."
Shortly after, I spotted THREE cats lying around my patio.
And then after that, a total of FOUR cats were showing up:

Papa Penny (white with tiger-striped face and tail, ear partially sliced off; big, solid cat with flies buzzing around him; he likes to show up in the morning, when I've never put food out; he also shows up in the rain; not so afraid of people; he's either very old or retarded, because he never can focus on me when I open my back door to feed him).

Penny and Henny Penny (apparently siblings; Penny has a longer, smoother tail and Henny Penny has a short, bushier tail and a scar on his nose; both are afraid of people/me).

L'il Penny (smooth, young-looking cat, calm like Papa Penny --- these two will sit in front of my sliding-glass door and look at me, then not go very far when I come out with food. Whereas Penny and Henny Penny RUN when they see me).

I've never seen any of them fight over the food. Though the four of them all seem to know that the food will be put out around 6pm.

Tonight was interesting:  Papa Penny showed up first, and helped himself to the dish of food. While he was doing so, Penny and Henny Penny showed up... but didn't initially approach my small yard. They both sat at a distance. Finally Papa Penny quit eating...there was still food left in the dish, but he parked himself a foot away and just sat there. Penny and Henny both sat at a distance outside my yard. Finally, Henny jumped over the low fence and sat in the yard, but didn't approach the food. While Papa was sitting there (well-fed), and Henny was sitting there (hungry), Penny snuck around the edges and started eating the left-overs from the food dish. Papa didn't do anything aggressive, just kept sitting there.

Finally, Papa moved on. And Penny and Henny Penny were both now sitting across from my yard staring at the food dish... Normally, I just put out a certain amount of food, and whoever gets it, gets it. But since I'd witnessed all of earlier drama, I felt bad and went back outside and poured more food... Specifically for Penny and Henny Penny.

But then Papa Penny showed up again and chased the others off and started eating again!

What does it all mean??

(1) I really like how Skechers and (2nd from left) Sloggers look aesthetically.
(2) I'm planning on working out a lot more.
(3) I have too much spare cash on-hand for random stuff.
(4) I'm stockpiling the shoes I'll be wearing in my old age.


(1) The black ones look stupid here in the photo, but I actually do like how Skechers look. RE the Sloggers: I have a greenish pair and a solid black pair. It's been raining in Austin for 2 solid months. I got sick of wearing the same 2 pairs of rain shoes all the time.
(2) Walking a mile a day. Yes, I would like to do this. (From NYC in 2007 until I got my car in Austin in 2016, I walked over 2 miles a day. Since 2016 and the car, I've put on 15 lbs. I look like shit.)
(3) Yeah. They were all on sale, but I could have just bought two instead of four.
(4) They are all super-comfortable. Yes, since they won't be getting much wear from me "working out," I'm sure they'll all last for decades and come in quite handy in my old age. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

February 11, 1963

Sylvia Plath killed herself in London in the early morning hours of February 11, 1963. A few miles away, and only a few hours later, the Beatles entered Abbey Road studios to record their very first album. Life goes on.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Happy Birthday to Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932)

Poppies in October (written 10/27/62)

Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.
Nor the woman in the ambulance
Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly ---

A gift, a love gift
Utterly unasked for
By a sky

Palely and flamily
Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes
Dulled to a halt under bowlers.

O my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frost, in a dawn of cornflowers.

Austin Water Mild Drama

Haven't been able to drink tap water in Austin for the past week because of rains and flooding and subsequent "silt alert." (Tap-water ban for the first time in Austin's history.) It's annoying but not crazy. Oh, unless you're one of the folks desperate to get to the supermarket to buy bottled water (see video).

I've been dutifully boiling two pots of water each day after returning from work, then filling up my several water bottles and refrigerating them to use the next day. I think I'll be OK. (Shocker: I accidentally used said bad water when I brushed my teeth, and then later drank a few swallows --- I lived!)

The worst part has been: One of the 3 pots that I own and that I use to boil water in, I also always use to make popcorn. Apparently, the oil has soaked into the pot lining. And my subsequent boiled water has a mildly nasty oil aftertaste. Sigh. I mildly miss my tap water. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

George Jones: The King Is Gone (1989)

Yabba-dabba-doo, the King is gone and so are you.


Ru Paul is not a woman. He likes to represent sometimes as a woman, but he has not undergone transgender surgery. Yet he constantly represents himself as a woman. Is The Orwellian Left now going to vilify him for falsely presenting himself as a woman? (As they vilify someone like Megyn Kelly for "daring" to say that dressing as a black person -- Diana Ross --  for Halloween is acceptable.)

Why not vilify Ru Paul according the The Left's Puritanical standards? According to The Left, no one should ever dare to pose as someone other than themselves. 

Do you see how ridiculous The Left is?

Megyn Kelly and Blackface

A bunch of completely fake-ass "conversation." What Megyn Kelly initially said was that dressing up like Diana Ross for Halloween was fine because there was nothing wrong with dressing up as cool people. But then it got turned into "Kelly supports blackface."

I'm a regular watcher of most of the "Real Housewives" Bravo shows, and Kelly was specifically talking about LuAnn De Lesseps dressing up as Diana Ross. As Kelly said originally: The point of Halloween is to dress up like someone you're not. I saw the Bravo show, and De Lesseps was dressed as Diana Ross as a tribute, not as mockery. 

That said: This Halloween, can no black person dress up as any white character in history? Every black person, and every PERSON, has to dress up as something SOLELY from their own heritage? What if someone wants to dress up as a ghoul or a witch? Is that "disrespectful" toward dead people or today's "Wiccan community"? Not the point of Halloween at all. I'm sick to death of the PC bullshit.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

What do the Saudis have on the US?

Must be something.

The September 11, 2001, attacks on the US were committed by 19 men: 15 from Saudi Arabia, 2 from the United Arab Emirates, 1 from Egypt, and 1 from Lebanon.

Post-9/11, the Bush Administration focused, bizarrely and blatantly incorrectly, on Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Informed "rumors" at the time were that the Bush family had deep business connections with the Saudis, thus official US failure to act against them:

9/12/03 from the American Prospect:

The links between the House of Bush and the House of Saud are deep, overlapping and notoriously opaque: the Saudi investment in the Carlyle Group, the private equity firm whose rainmakers include George Bush Senior; the Saudi bankrolling of Poppy's presidential library; the lucrative contracts the Saudis doled out to Halliburton when Dick Cheney was at the company's helm. The main law firm retained by the Saudis to defend them against the 9-11 families is Baker Botts -- as in James Baker, the Bush family consigliere. And, of course, there's oil, the black glue connecting all these dots.
In short, the Bushies have profited mightily from a relationship with a foreign government that can be indirectly, perhaps even directly, implicated in the September 11 attacks and other terrorist incidents and that has been the driving force behind a worldwide jihad.


From Wikipedia:

Saudi Arabia and the United States are strategic allies,[233][234] and since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the U.S. has sold $110 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia.[235][236] However, the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States became strained and have witnessed major decline during the last years of the Obama administration.[237] However, relations between the two nations have significantly improved under the presidency of Donald Trump, who has since forged close ties with many members of the Saudi royal family. .[238][239][240] In the first decade of the 21st century the Saudi Arabia paid approximately $100 million to American firms to lobby the U.S. government.[241] The relations with the U.S. became strained following 9/11.[242] American politicians and media accused the Saudi government of supporting terrorism and tolerating a jihadist culture.[243] Indeed, Osama bin Laden and fifteen out of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia;[244] in ISIL-occupied Raqqa, in mid-2014, all 12 judges were Saudi.[245] According to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups... Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide."[246] Former CIA director James Woolsey described it as "the soil in which Al-Qaeda and its sister terrorist organizations are flourishing."[247] The Saudi government denies these claims or that it exports religious or cultural extremism.[248] In April 2016, Saudi Arabia has threatened to sell off $750 billion in Treasury securities and other U.S. assets if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be sued over 9/11.[233]

Today, post the blatantly gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey, Trump is taking basically the same position as Obama did: We leave the Saudis alone because we sell them plenty of US-economy-helping weapons, they're countering Iran, and (per the last sentence in the above Wikipedia entry) the Saudis threaten to sell off US assets and hurt our economy if we "dare" to sanction them.

I'm pretty sure that the Bush Family was utterly corrupt in its personal business Saudi associations, which is why the US didn't condemn the country at the time despite its obvious connection to worldwide terrorism, including the 9/11 attacks.

Obama: Continued US economic/military deals with Saudi Arabia while giving public lip service (and lip service only) denouncing the country's terrorist ties.

Trump: I think Trump is taking the same Realpolitik stance as Obama --- sans the phony public lip service denouncing the country while simultaneously making deals with it.

We, as a country, are obviously deeply intertwined with the Saudis economically. And we obviously need them politically and militarily in the Middle East. Need their PUBLIC position, that is --- but why do we continue to ignore their ongoing behind-the-scenes monetary contribution to Radical Islamism in the area, which also spilled over into the 9/11 attack on our own country? I absolutely do not understand this. I comprehend the Bush Family's personal, reprehensible, corrupt relations with the Saudis (for their own benefit, and at the expense of the United States and the world). And I understand that Obama's hands were probably tied economically.

But WHAT IS TRUMP DOING sucking up to these assholes?

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Cold Hard Truth- George Jones (1999)

This is Sandra's fantasy song from her dream-male (Jim) in his old age that never got sung to her. (My own fantasy confession, also never received except vicariously, is Ted Hughes' "Birthday Letters.")

Monday, October 15, 2018

George Jones: A Good Year For The Roses (1970)

George Jones: He Stopped Loving Her Today (1980)

Flashback: December 2010

It was 85 degrees for a high in Austin yesterday; today, 45. For some reason, flashed me back to Christmas weather and Christmas, 2010. All pictures from my 400-sq-ft apartment over on Manor Rd. (then $545 per month, now renting for $856). I moved in June 18, 2010, at $545; when I moved out in February 2015, I was paying $700. In September 2015, it was listed on Craigslist for $925---glad to see the price has now shrunk to $856!

(1) I liked that place. Occasionally obnoxious neighbors, both next door/below and at the house that my apartment overlooked. But I liked the North Loop neighborhood, and the place, while small, was well-designed. I hardly felt stifled there. I felt like I'd chosen well for a "come-back" place to live.
(2) I liked my hair a lot better in 2010. And I remember those sneakers in the second picture; very proud of just having bought them because I hadn't bought new sneakers in over a decade and finally had a little bit of spare money from temping to splurge on something "decadent" like a pair of canvas sneakers.
(3) The Christmas-gift picture was, sadly, about as good as it got from family. (Gift cards, socks, and some minor things that I specifically asked for but could have bought myself.)
(4) Fridge contents look almost exactly the same! (Today, I find it kind of sad that I was so proud of having goods in my fridge and freezer that I took pictures. Probably, after living involuntarily with my mother for 3 months post my exodus from NYC, I was very proud to have my own stockpile of anything.)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Joan Crawford 1964 and 1965

I can't think of anyone more interesting, or interesting-looking, than Joan Crawford, at whatever age.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Tammy Wynette & George Jones: We Loved It Away (1974)

George Jones & Tammy Wynette: The Jet Set (1974)

George Jones: "I Don't Need Your Rocking Chair" (1992)

George Jones: I Always Get Lucky With You (1983)

George Jones: The Race Is On (1964)

Paul McCartney: No More Lonely Nights (1984)

I've had a recurring dream for years about missing a subway connection. I never had such a problem when I lived in NYC, with its actual subways, but in my dreams, I always get to a certain transit point between New York and New Jersey and then have great angst about how I'm going to transfer. Usually I'm standing on a platform and whatever incoming lines aren't running quite where they're supposed to, so I can't figure out which train to get on.

In the latest dream, early yesterday morning, I was standing in the left aisle of a train and a group of 3 men were seated to my right. Two seated, and a guy seated right behind them. My stop was coming up and a seated man that looked like Paul McCartney, but wearing glasses, asked me: "Would you rather be moral or enlightened?" 

I responded, trying to please, "Enlightened!" ("I want knowledge" I was thinking, but didn't say.) But then I felt like I'd given the wrong answer. Probably "morality" was the right answer because being enlightened meant being moral... The guy seated behind started giving his opinion, joking around, etc.

As the train/subway, came to my stop, the Paul McCartney-looking man gave me a folded-up piece of paper. I smiled and took it, but still didn't acknowledge internally that it was Paul McCartney.

I got off, and "Paul McCartney" got off behind me. I didn't look back. I walked on a bit by myself and finally opened the folded-up note: I can't remember what the first half of the handwritten note said, but at the end was an actual phone number to call, with "Ask for Ginger," his personal assistant. It was for real; Paul McCartney had really given me his phone number.

Kanye West: Famous (2016)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Kanye West Wing

Kanye West Wing: Brave enough to go against 97% of other blacks and, probably, 97% of his fellow artists and 97% of the US media. I admire him for thinking and speaking for himself, despite the potential great loss to himself. Some issues he raised (while being called crazy): His support for US standing up to globalism and bringing jobs home, his decrying blacks relying on welfare, his acknowledging that blacks kill more blacks than police do.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

"Can you imagine if I had?" I love Trump.

Things to do on a Saturday

Despite my depression and sluggishness since September, this Saturday was actually productive for me:

(1) Woke up around 6am knowing the UT/OU game was on at 11am. Went back to sleep.
(2) Woke up again around 11am; turned to the game.
(3) Watched the game; in between, turned to C-SPAN to find out the latest about the Kavanaugh for Supreme Court vote.

After both the game and the vote were a given (both around 2:30pm), went back to sleep. Woke up again around 5:30pm, full of energy all of a sudden! Decided to do 3 weeks of laundry!

Did the laundry, which took 2 hours, then felt inspired to do other stuff, like open 2 months' worth of packages ordered from Amazon/eBay and hand-wash clothes/bras and then... get my classical music CDs in order.

I've got about 700 jazz-band/big-band/pop-music CDs (late '20s through today), all organized chronologically. But only about 45 classical music CDs --- about half inherited from my German aunt who died a decade ago (my mom brought home her CDs from Germany and gave them to me) and the other half ordered online when I felt inspired by reading about a particular composer.

I knew nothing about classical music as a kid (the only classical album in our house was Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik"). So it took me a little bit when trying to organize: Since I had no clue about chronology, should I just do alphabetically by composer? No, dammit. I must learn their chronology, also!

Here's what I've got in my classical collection, chronologically, and whether they're from me or from my Tante Barbel:

Harpsichord "hits": 1500s - 1700s  (me)
Praetorius: 1571-1621  (me)
Vivaldi: 1678- 1741  (me and Tante Barbel)
Telemann: 1681-1767  (Tante Barbel)
Bach: 1685-1750  (Tante Barbel)
Handel: 1685-1759  (Tante Barbel)
Haydn: 1732-1809  (Tante Barbel)
Mozart: 1756-1791  (me and Tante Barbel)
Beethoven: 1770-1827  (me/Sylvia Plath said she liked the Late Quartets)
Schubert: 1797-1828  (Tante Barbel)
Johann Strauss Sr: 1804-1849  (Tante Barbel)
Johann Strauss Jr: 1825-1899  (Tante Barbel)
Mendelssohn: 1809-1847 (me and Tante Barbel)
Chopin: 1810-1849  (me/Anne Sexton said she liked)
Brahms: 1833-1897  (Tante Barbel)
Tchaikovsky: 1840-1893  (me and Tante Barbel)
Dvorak: 1841-1904  (me and Tante Barbel)
Debussy: 1862-1918  (me/Maud Allan dance inspiration)
Richard Strauss: 1864-1949  (Tante Barbel)
Glazunov: 1865-1936  (me)
Rachmaninov: 1873-1942  (me)
Stravinsky: 1882-1971 (me/The Rite of Spring seminal)

Getting all of this organized took hours (including cleaning the CD covers). And despite all of my ignorance, I still kept the Russians separate.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence's China Speech at Hudson Institute (Oct. 2018)

Wow. I've never heard the issues laid out so calmly and absolutely clearly before. I love Trump, but he is, to be honest, a hot-dog. Pence is intellectually serious, and an absolute indicator of where the Trump admin is going to go. Bravo to an incredibly bold and brave administration.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Rallying a Country

I was impressed throughout, until the end. Once the stirring national anthem stopped and Putin left the stage, though, the stadium seemed to go completely quiet. (Had the enthusiasm been innate, seems like the crowd would have kept cheering.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

The anthem of imperial Russia (hymna carského Ruska)

The Weirdo Penny Family

In search of kitty companionship, I started leaving food out on my back patio in July for a scruffy-looking tiger-striped cat that I named "Penny," whom I'd spotted for months earlier traveling randomly around the apartment complex.

Since July, I've been leaving out a heaping container of Friskies "Surfin' and Turfin'" plus a water dish.

For a few weeks, I'd set out the food around 6pm, and "Penny" showed up by him/herself (I can't tell) around 7pm.

Then, one late night, I looked out through my back blinds and saw THREE cats lying on the back patio. Just lying around casually. Kind of weird to see THREE of them. Reminded me a creepy bit of a low-rent duplex that I lived in in the late '90s --- whenever I'd go out at night and leave the porch light on, I'd come home to HUNDREDS of lizards parked around the light. I've never seen such a thing before or since. Kind of the same with the three cats!

OK, so there was more than one "Penny"... In later weeks, I identified the three members of the Penny Family:

(1) The original Penny. Long and lean, gray tiger-striped with long tail and hair coming out of her ears and around her neck. Looked up pictures online and discovered that she was probably a "Turkish Angora."
(2) Same coloring as Penny I, same hair out of ears and neck. But fatter, shorter tail, and a more sassy face, with a prominent scar on its nose.
(3) Younger and sleeker than the above. Skinny and long, like Penny I, but healthier looking fur, with a browner tinge. This one isn't as afraid of me as the first two. For instance: If #3 is in the area when I bang the food dishes to clear them, this cat might run, but then stop and park itself only a few feet away and then immediately come back and eat the food I've set out. Whereas Pennys #1 and #2, if they see me, will be freaked out and not come back for hours.

One sweet thing that I witnessed once: Penny I and Penny II arrived at the food dish at the same time, and then took turns eating from the same dish! One taking a few bites, then backing off to let the other take a few bites. They got mildly irritated with each other, but still managed to take turns eating.

And now there's Number 4, whom I just spotted yesterday for the first time --- From the parking lot, I could see a big-ass primarily white cat sitting in my back-yard. Who was this? He looked decrepit! He was old but muscular-looking. Gray tiger face and tail, with a torn ear, and then the rest of the body was white. (An ugly color-combination I'd never seen before ---non-aesthetically pleasing! But apparently it's a real breed, a "Turkish Van."). It was after 6pm -- the right time for feeding -- and #4 was sitting there so patiently facing my door (with flies buzzing around him), so I went out and immediately filled the food/water dishes. #4 initially ran a few feet away and then sat and watched what I was doing---then immediately returned once the food was set out. At 7am the next morning (I don't feed the cats in the morning), the same cat was sitting placidly facing my door.

Tonight, when I set out the food at the usual time, scar-nosed Penny II showed up first. 45 minutes later, Penny I showed up. I kind of missed Number 4!

Penny Family:
Penny I: Skittish gray tiger Turkish Angora. Skinny with long tail.
Penny II (Henny Penny): Skittish gray tiger Turkish Angora. Fatter, with short tail and scar on nose.
L'il Penny: Sleeker and younger, with similar coloring to I and II, but with a brown tinge to coat. Not as afraid of people.
Papa Penny: Primarily white Turkish Van with exact tiger face and tail of Penny I and II. Muscular build, flies buzzing around its dirty fur, not as afraid of people.