Thursday, December 05, 2019

(Just Like) Starting Over: August 1980 take

Stand By Me: John Lennon

"Me thinks thou dost protest too much." If you're truly in love with somebody, must you proclaim and proclaim and proclaim about it? Could this all be mere surface: "Oh, I've found my grand artistic love! Just like Stu and Astrid!" I loved Lennon as a teen, and I tried to buy it, but I never bought it.

Impeachment: Pamela Karlan

Stereotypical obnoxious Jewish intellectual female. A donor to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, yet claiming to be unbiased. (As an intellectual female, I'm embarrassed for her.)

Impeachment: Noah Feldman

I was home today and watched this. The Democrats brought out the most stereotypically "diverse" witnesses possible, spouting the most nonsensical arguments. 

Here's the stereotypical gay guy (though, according to Wikipedia, he's been married.) Six weeks after Trump's election in 2016, Feldman was posting on Twitter about impeaching Trump. Yet in 2019, he's supposed to be a reputable, nonbiased legal scholar.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Eye of the Beholder

I've been reading Lennon bios for the past week; in all of them, Yoko's second husband, Tony Cox, is described by everyone (authors, outside observers, as well as Yoko herself) as being "EXTREMELY good looking." I don't AT ALL see it (Cox is at left in below photo).

Reminds me of reading, during college, various accounts by contemporaries of Virginia Woolf---how allegedly EXTREMELY beautiful she was. I don't AT ALL see it.

Both, to me, look extremely lackluster and nebbishy. If I were to write about them for history, I would politely not even mention their looks because they're so plain. How in the world did they get elevated into "extremely good looking"?

"I look like fucking Stevie Nicks!!!!"

Travel Time

Had a job interview yesterday. Went pretty well (I talked with the interviewer for an hour-and-a-half). Got out of the interview at 4:30pm. Didn't get home until 5:30.

The interview was 11 miles away from my apartment. It took me a whole hour to drive 11 miles home (what I went through is EXACTLY like the photo, on Austin's MoPac).

Until now, I've only been READING about the terrible traffic in Austin. Thought people were just bitchin'. (For the past 5+ years, I've lived only 2 miles from my workplace. On a good day, took me 6 minutes to get there or back; on the slowest of days, 15 minutes.)

Turns out, they weren't "just bitchin'."

I don't think I could do this twice a day. I don't want to seem like a "snowflake," but, seriously, I would go mad.

MoPac traffic, Austin

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Fleetwood Mac: Gypsy (from 1982's "Mirage")

As an extremely callow young woman in the '80s, I used to make fun of Stevie Nicks as some sort of hippie holdover (my horror similar to the scene in "Sid and Nancy" [1986] when the punk Nancy runs down the street screaming in despair, "I look like Stevie Nicks!"). 

As I just now discovered, though, at a late age: This Stevie Nicks song is beautiful and profound. I got goosebumps, I thought about my entire life. (And what did Nancy Spungen ever do for me...)

So I'm back, to the velvet underground
Back to the floor, that I love
To a room with some lace and paper flowers
Back to the gypsy that I was
To the gypsy... that I was

And it all comes down to you
Well, you know that it does
Well, lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice
Ah, and it lights up the night
And you see your gypsy
You see your gypsy

To the gypsy that remains
Faces freedom with a little fear
I have no fear, I have only love
And if I was a child
And the child was enough
Enough for me to love
Enough to love

She is dancing away from me now
She was just a wish
She was just a wish
And a memory is all that is left for you now
You see your gypsy
You see your gypsy
Lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice
And it all comes down to you
And it all comes down to you
Lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice
And it all comes down to you
I still see your bright eyes, bright eyes
And it all comes down to you

Empire State: Fleetwood Mac (1982 from "Mirage")

Breaking up the Beatles

For the past week, I've been reading Goldman's 1988 "The Lives of John Lennon" and now Philip Norman's 2008 "John Lennon: The Life."

Goldman's is tediously written, filled with gossip that he presents as true, as in "John gave Stu Sutcliffe a heavy beating that later killed him" --- a hypothesis that Goldman picked up from an account by Stu's sister Paulene (but denied by both Paul McCartney, who was supposed to have been present during said beating, and Stu's German fiancee Astrid Kirchherr, who said that of course Stu would have told her had such a thing happened, but he didn't). Lots of prurient stuff, and everything has to be taken with a grain of salt. (Aside from the bad rumors, the bad writing is the most painful.)

Philip Norman also wrote the earlier "Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation," which I originally read in 1981 when it first came out. (It's since been updated a couple of times, through 2003. I have the latest edition but haven't read it yet.) I'm nearly finished with his 2008 Lennon book. I like it; I like Norman's writing, which I remembered from the "Shout" book---straightforward, honest, and fair. (For instance, he presents the "John causing Stu's death" story but provides, as Goldman did not, the follow-up from Paul and Astrid.)

Also interesting in Norman's bio: he's interviewed Yoko, and she's not being coy and fey, as she usually, annoyingly, is. For instance, here she is re the day that John broke up the Beatles in an accountant's office:
We went off in the car, and he turned to me and said, 'That's it with the Beatles. From now on, it's just you---OK?' I thought, 'My God, those three guys were the ones entertaining him for so long. Now, I have to be the one to take the load.'

Monday, December 02, 2019

Hidden Treasure!

Today, I performed a task that I'd been meaning to do but putting off for MONTHS because I knew it was going to be so tedious and sweaty: Dragging my 10 x 8 living-room shag carpet to the dumpster. It had seen floods at my last apartment, and cat poop/pee/hair at my current apartment. And I'm sure some of my food dribbles and toenail clippings were mixed in the shag. I'd also stopped vacuuming it months ago, in anticipation of my throwing it out any day... It was gross. And, as promised, it was HARD to drag out! (When it was first delivered new to the door of my last apartment in 2014 or so, it was even hard to drag a mere 5 feet inside the door! This time to the dumpster involved about 100 feet! But I did it myself! Phew!)

I bought a replacement rug a long time ago, which still sits unwrapped in my hallway. I kind of like the clean way the living room looks for the moment, though. (I especially like the idea of no poop/pee/hair/other bodily detritus lurking in the shag---though the current effect does also seem a bit cold.)

While getting rid of the rug, I had to move my couch... Honestly, I thought I'd find maybe 3 fake mice and 2 or 3 balls that the kitties had knocked under there, maybe a pen... Nope! The treasure was MUCH greater! What a big silly mess, you cats! (All the little paper balls are the silver inserts from inside the front of cigarette packs---every time I open a new pack, which is daily, the rustle of the outer plastic lures all three young'uns to run to my feet. They like it when I then crumple up the foil part and toss it for them to chase. Obviously, they've been chasing it right under the couch for 6 months!)

Saturday, November 30, 2019

What Is Life: George Harrison (1970)

The Beatles: Help! (1965)

The Beatles: We Can Work It Out (1965)

Paul McCartney & Wings: Mull of Kintyre (1977)

God: John Lennon (1970 song with latter-day images)

7 Weeks of Unemployed Reading

Unfortunately, I don't think any of these folks are a good example of what to do with yourself when you have some free time! :)  (Workaholic Sylvia Plath the exception --- but then she tried to kill herself upon returning from her "New York Summer 1953"!)

Phew! One major chore DONE!

Back in August, my now-former boss said something that made my blood run cold (nothing THAT dramatic, just something like "I hope you have a long career here, BUT..."---I honestly can't remember what minor issue had come up, but something about her tone made me prepare to act). At that time, feeling extremely unappreciated, I immediately applied for another job (and got an interview but ultimately didn't get that job); and, obviously knowing that something wasn't right, I also immediately ordered a home printer. Why? Just for minor things like printing out an eBay sales slip, or a copy of a bill payment --- stuff I'd always just nonchalantly printed out at work.

I was thinking about the above because I'd also been wondering very recently if I'd been smart in quitting my job in late September after learning that a newly hired guy with 19 years' (!) less experience than me was making basically the same salary... Was the situation THAT bad? Couldn't I have just gone along with my $50K salary without complaining or worrying about what others around me made? Was quitting an unwise, snap decision?


(1) I remember from an old Sociology class (my minor) in college: Studies have shown that workers are content with a lower salary within their own company in comparison with salaries at other outside companies---as long as their salary was in line with other pay among their own co-workers. Even despite the new guy's undeserved high salary, my salary was also at the low end---below almost everyone else with fewer responsibilities, fewer overtime hours, etc. Fairness has always been important to me; what I was being paid wasn't fair, especially in comparison to the new guy, but also in comparison to others who were doing less and responsible for less.

(2) An earlier inkling that something wasn't fair or right: Back in April of this year, I found out that the new guy had immediately been given the same job title as me --- Publications Editor--- despite the fact that I was at the job 2 years before I was allegedly "promoted" from "Technical Writer" to "Publications Editor." A minor note: He was, after only 3 months on the job, invited to the "Publications Dinner" held by the company in honor of in-house authors; I wasn't invited until my 2nd year on the job.

(3) Before 2019, I had already contemplated leaving---back in 2017, when I'd sent myself e-mails of my electronic editing samples and took home hard copies of the latest Annual Report and the 2016 book I'd edited, in anticipation of my departure. At that time, I had ongoing complaints about two of the graphics people and their negligence. For example, if I gave these two a text, any text, with 20 items to correct, it would come back with 10 edits still not made correctly. 50% is a horrible rate of errors. (In my 20 years of experience working at publishing companies, a mediocre error rate is usually about 10%. A very good graphics person will be at about 5%.) So, yes, I complained to my boss. And kept bringing up the same lack-of-quality issue with her over and over again. And she then labeled me as a "complainer" and "not a team player" rather than talking to those not doing their job right.

So, no, I didn't just quit haphazardly. The problems had been going on for a couple of years.

Once I DID quit, however, I've been amazingly lazy about getting myself back on track. Drinking a lot, sleeping a lot, lying on my ass a lot. For instance, the printer that I ordered back in August has been sitting in its box until this Thanksgiving weekend. When it comes to eBay sales, you get a discount when you print a mailing label via eBay rather than just going to the post office and paying full price. Not THAT big of a deal, but it bothered me, nonetheless, that I hadn't, in 3 months, set the sucker up! OK, tonight I DID set it up! Was 2 hours of being a complete pain in the ass, as I thought it would be. But at the end of it all: I DID IT! I now have a working wireless printer! (A side-note: I initially moved my laptop into the spare room, next to where I'd set up the printer. But I just now tested printing from another room---it works!)

Next task: Clean the goddamn toilet and shower. I don't think there's an app for that.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Angst-Giving!

Wednesday, I got myself a roast chicken from the grocery store, and I already had a packet of flaked potatoes and a can of LeSueur peas set aside. Being my myself on Thanksgiving isn't a great big deal. The one constant throughout my life: The Dallas Cowboys game! :)

But still, to be honest, fantasy-wise, I was mildly hoping for an e-mail or call from my mother or brother, or a random e-mail from Sandra saying she had nowhere else to be and would be driving up...

Wow! Maggie Cheung in "In the Mood for Love" (2000)

Saw this film on TCM tonight for the first time.

#1: Cheung is a very beautiful and a very still/subtle actress. AND: She and her outfits in this movie are almost TOO distractingly, artistically beautiful. (The TCM film was part of their award-winning Cinematography feature for the evening. Camera angles when coming/going from restaurants and the apartment were great, yes, but half of the attention was aimed at this actress and what she was wearing. She, and outfits, were fantastic-looking!)

#2: The film is beautiful both artistically and emotionally... but a bit slow. At the beginning, not knowing what to expect, I laid down on my couch with a pillow, thinking I would be taking a nap, but... I ended up staying awake to see what would happen. (Turned out, nothing at all did! But it was very much worth watching.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Fleetwood Mac: Hold Me (1982 from "Mirage")

Can you understand me
Baby, don't you hand me a line
Although it doesn't matter
You and me got plenty of time
There's nobody in the future
So baby let me hand you my love
There's no step for you to dance to
So slip your hand inside of my glove
Hold me, hold me, hold me
Hold me, hold me, hold me
I don't want no damage
But how'm I gonna manage with you
You hold the percentage
But I'm the fool payin' the dues
I'm just around the corner
If you got a minute to spare
I'll be waitin' for you
If you ever wanna be there
Hold me, hold me, hold me
Hold me, hold me, hold me

Fleetwood Mac: Can't Go Back (1982 from "Mirage")

Standing in the shadows
The man I used to be
I want to go back
(can't go back, can't go back)
Melodies awaken
Sorrows from their sleep
I want to go back
(can't go back, can't go back)

She was just a dream maker
Dreamer of sighs
Shadow on the one who used to cry
A face as soft as a tear in a clown's eye
I want to go back
(can't go back, can't go back)

1935. "I Live My Life." With Joan Crawford and Brian Aherne.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Whenever you're sad...

Salvation sometimes comes via a good movie that reveals some humanity that you hadn't been seeing recently. This past weekend for me, thanks to TCM for The Last Picture Show. Human kindness.

Martial Law

My US Air Force father was stationed briefly in the Philippines in the '70s, during Marcos's martial law. Upon his return to the States, he lauded the lack of crime on the streets there.

Later, I found out that, in an attempt to win my mother back, he claimed that he'd "gotten all of his meanness" out of him in the Philippines via abusing Philippine prostitutes. What an argument!

Number One: What sad males go to hookers?
Number Two: What awful males abuse the hookers who are desperate enough for money to have to sleep with them?
Number Three: What awful males then come home to their wives and say "I'm OK now --- I took all of my meanness out on the foreign hookers."

(And what sad wives think that's OK?)

This is the same man who said to me during the OJ Simpson trial, re Nicole Simpson: "She was bought and paid for." 

Get 'er done!

Friday, I saw a job posting for my old job. AND I got a job offer from the college temp agency. The latter was for 25 hours per week from December 10 through January 22 for $15 per hour, with no work/pay for the 2 weeks over Christmas.

On the surface, you'd think I'd be cursing myself for leaving my regular 50K+/year regular job with vacation benefits, etc., in favor of working piecemeal at a job that pays basically fast-food wages (and not even full time). Yeah, I thought about that... For a second.

At my old job, my boss disrespected my abilities (she came from a graphics background and had no idea what editing entailed or if I was doing a good job) and my work ethic (I worked more overtime than anyone else --- not because I couldn't get the job done during regular hours but because there was a lot of extra work to be done, and I was willing to do it). Aside from the new guy making nearly what I was making (which is why I quit), said boss was also paying two former editors $50 an hour (!) for freelancing... Just crazy, random payments to who she liked, not based on anything rational. She was also paying a friend of hers basically the same salary as me---and the friend was only working 30 hours per week.

So, yes, I'd rather work honestly for $15 per hour than work in the midst of the craziness where I used to work. I also plan on applying to Target during holiday hours. They also pay around $15 per hour. I'll get my rent done.

Friday, November 22, 2019


Last year, I had more than eight cockroaches in my apartment in every room --- kitchen, spare room, closet. This year, post babies in April, I've had maybe one. (Below, just a tiny bug that showed up tonight!)

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Tammy Wynette (1990s): Til I Can Make It On My Own

George Jones (1969): I Don't Have Sense Enough (to come in out of the pain)

Sleeping Cats

Now that the weather's turned cool in Austin, my four cats are sleeping on top of me and my cozy comforter. No photo yet because I don't usually lie down on my couch with a camera, but apparently there's a history of being a slave to sleeping cats:
According to Islamic tradition, Muezza (or Muʿizza; Arabic: معزة‎) was Muhammad's favorite cat.[8][9] Muhammad awoke one day to the sounds of the adhan. Preparing to attend prayer, he began to dress himself; however, he soon discovered his cat Muezza sleeping on the sleeve of his prayer robe. Rather than wake her, he used a pair of scissors to cut the sleeve off, leaving the cat undisturbed.
I'm comfortable with all cats on me for about a half-hour. It's warm, it's cozy, it's sweet. But then... I need to stretch my legs! Ergh, erghggggg. When I start twitching, Pete and Mama Hennessy usually get the hint and get off, but Sasha and especially Solomon STAY RIGHT THERE. I've contorted myself many times in a Muhammad-like fashion in order to accommodate the cats, but... sometimes... have I ever just kicked them off the couch? No... But I do sometimes wish they would GET OFF ME! :)

The grandest tail I've ever seen on a cat

Don't get too cocky, Pete (his beautiful big eyes not showing here) --- I knew you way back when.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

George Jones & Johnny Paycheck - "I'm Ragged But I'm Right"

In response to e-mail from former co-worker

Since leaving my job in October, have received mails from a few former co-workers wondering what I'm doing, which I appreciate. From my response tonight to one friend:

As for me: No new job yet. And sadly, I've barely even applied for anything (maybe 4 jobs total---in an entire month!). I can't seem to get motivated. One reason perhaps: My final check from UT for vacation hours not taken was a whopping $9,200!! What a cushion! I was expecting around $6,000. I know the money will disappear quickly, but I still can't seem to get off my lazy butt and hustle for a new job. I AM registered with UTemps but so far have had only a 1-day assignment, as a mock juror for law-school students---it was nice to get out of the house! ...

Going stir-crazy being home all the time! Too much maintenance guys hanging out loudly in their work-room right next door; too much neighbor playing stereo during the day; too much cats seeking attention constantly; too much ESPN-/Bravo-/crime show TV-watching! A couple of times, I've just hopped on a Rapid bus and ridden the whole line for hours, just to get out of the house and see people! :)  (Although much of the "seeing people" on the bus consists of aggressive homeless guys... Still, it was interesting to travel around campus, downtown, and South Austin to see what had changed since the last time I was there years ago...)

Monday, November 11, 2019

One of These Days: Tammy Wynette (1976)

I won't have to chop no wood I can be bad or I can be good
I can be any way that I feel one of these days
Won't have to answer to anyone I'll get up with the morning sun
But I'll be gone like the birds that fly one of these days

I might be a woman that's dressed in black be a hobo by the railroad track
Goin' any place that I want to go one of these days
Do anything that I want if I want to or if I don't
But I'll be gone like the wayward wind one of these days

One of these days it will soon be all over cut and dried
And I won't have this urge to go all bottled up inside
One of these days I'll look back and I'll say I left in time
Cause somewhere for me I know there's peace of mind

I might someday walk across this land and carry the Lord's Book in my hand
Goin' cross the country singin' loud as I can one of these days
But I won't have trouble on my back cuttin' like the devil with a choppin' axe
I got to shake it off of my back one of these days

One of these days it will soon be all over cut and dried
And I won't have this urge to go all bottled up inside
One of these days I'll look back and I'll say I left in time
Cause somewhere for me I know there's peace of mind
There's gotta be peace of mind for me one of these days

Tammy Wynette: Help Me Make It Through The Night

Not a desperate plea at 4am. Just happened to be listening to Tammy for the past 3 hours --- her version of this Kristofferson song is really beautiful.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

"I need to find a used dryer for sale."

On Facebook, looking at the page for the girl that my high-school love Ginny left me for:

"I need to find a used dryer for sale."

"Found some one who can change out the starter on my car. Yay!"

"I want someone to go to breakfast with me."

Plus multiple photos of her senile father sloppily trying to eat dinners at various places like Whataburger and Arby's. (Why in the world would you post such things? This reminded me of my brother's friend posting photos of his wife who was in a coma, right before she died after giving birth to their baby.)

Have a bit of decorum. A bit of respect. Had Ginny died in the Facebook age, this woman probably would have posted photos.

This woman is now married to another woman but wrote to me last year that Ginny was the love of her life. (I'm a bit more hard-core: If someone was the love of your life, then you don't get married again.)

Funny: What I'm feeling right now, I felt whenever I learned that Ginny had left me for her in 1983: "But, but... She's so stupid! I'm so superior in every way!" Obviously, Ginny didn't feel that way. Here's your girl with her new woman, Gin: "Live, Laugh, Love," et al.

I've got to stop doing this...

... Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh! :)

At my old job, I edited the weekly story for the main page of the company website. Since leaving in October, I've still been checking... Just now I discovered:

Main subhead on main web page: "'s new state-of-the-art facility..."  [its]

First paragraph: "..a airy covered rooftop..."  [an airy...]

As I used to argue with my old boss: Mistakes like that make us look stupid. Now: Is anyone even going to say anything? What stickler of a reader is going to take the time to e-mail the company and point out grammar mistakes? No one.

Ugggghhhhhhhhhhhhh. (Yes, I know: I've got to move on!) :)

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Eric Clapton - Hello Old Friend (1976)

As I am strolling down the garden path
I saw a flower glowing in the dark
It looked so pretty and it was unique
I had to bend down just to have a peek

Hello, old friend
It is really good to see you once again
Hello, old friend
It is really good to see you once again

I saw you walking underneath the stars
I could not stop cause I was in a car
I am sure the distance would not be too far
If I got out and walked to where you are

Hello, old friend
It is really good to see you once again
Hello, old friend
It is really good to see you once again

An old man passed me on the street today
I thought I knew him but I could not say
I stopped to think if I could place his frame
When he tipped his hat I knew his name

Drive-thru freaky!

A good day Wednesday because I got out of my house!

Went to post office to mail off old pair of Vans sold on eBay; got my hair cut (my hairdresser and I bonding over "Vanderpump Rules" --- her dog is named "Stassi" after a girl on the show, and we both knew the East German "Stasi" reference!);  on the way home, went through McDonald's drive-thru... Two cars ahead, I saw a woman's face in her rear-view mirror. I glanced, then kept looking. And she kept looking back at me... I could swear it was my first girlfriend (broken up back in 1989)! In case it wasn't, I stopped looking and concentrated on getting my debit card out to pay for the meal.

Was it her? If it wasn't her, odd how I have a fetish for that kind of sharp Black Irish face (and how the person two cars up couldn't stop looking at me, as well---some people, oddly, like soft blonde Germanic faces!)

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

George Jones: Burn Another Honky Tonk Down (1968)

George Jones: You Better Treat Your Man Right (1984)

George Jones: Take Me

Go, cat, go! (Cowboys vs. Giants tonight)

Scott Van Pelt: Queer Coverage

Because I'm home all the time now, I've been watching too much SportsCenter during the day on ESPN. I'm old enough to remember how "radical" SportsCenter seemed in its early days, full of fresh, smart-ass (but also smart) commentary that went far beyond what we used to see for 5 minutes at the end of our 10pm half-hour local news broadcasts.

These days, though, I didn't see any Chris Bermans or Hannah Storms. Rather, lots of co-hosting women dressed up in night-club outfits. And tonight, in a discussion about the new college basketball season, commentator Jay Bilas said that the upcoming season was "going to be delicious." SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt responded to Bilas: "Did you get better lookin' in the off-season? You keep getting better lookin'..."

In my 54 years of experience of being around men, straight guys good-naturedly rag each other about their weight, their baldness, their "ugly" looks.... And there certainly aren't references to any season of sports as being potentially "delicious." Can the feminine men go back to discussing Broadway shows and leave the sports to the men who don't feel the need to tell each other how cute they look?


An 11/17/19 post-script:

I'd forgotten about the above post. And was sitting at my computer with SportsCenter on TV in the background re the San Francisco game. Heard SF quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo referred to as "handsome as ever." Huh? Who refers to an athlete as "handsome as ever"? Oh... Scott Van Pelt.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Don't be like me

A friend just e-mailed me out of the blue last night re her "toxic" family members. I responded:

I was just thinking recently:

In my life, I've known only about 7 people who were truly kind (i.e., completely understanding and forgiving of others' foibles; like Melanie in "Gone With the Wind"). One high-school friend and one high-school cheerleader. My boss at the library when I was at grad school in San Francisco. My boss at the UT Austin library. A male writer friend (who shares my birthday) whom I published a small Austin lit'rature magazine with in the early '90s. And two people whom I re-discovered on Facebook in the past few years: My cousin Lisa (whom I hadn't seen since the '70s) and my Austin friend Jeff (whom I hadn't seen since the early '90s).

The other 99.9% of people that I've known, including immediate family, are more complicated and "troublesome." You can either withdraw from them, as I've pretty much chosen to do with everyone (or they've already done with me), or you can join life and put up with imperfect people.

Don't be like me! :)

Here's $10,000

Because I was such a good worker and never took any vacation at the former state job that I held for over 5 years, I've now got $10,000 in my bank account because, when you quit, the university pays you for vacation not taken.

I still have my tiny cell phone that I first got in 2007 when I moved to New York. I think I'll get a new phone. Other than that, I'll just hang on to the money, which will tide me over for the next 3 to 4 months until I find an editing job that I really like.

I'm sorry that I can't think of anything more exciting to do with the money. It's not every day that you have $10,000 in your hands. 

Fear o' Fun

About 5 o'clock Saturday afternoon, some girls at a 2nd floor apartment above my backyard starting cutting up. By "cutting up," I mean that the windows of their apartment were wide open and music was blasting, and the girls were out front of the apartment ostentatiously singing at the top of their lungs to the music as they were putting up Halloween decorations like cobwebs and purple lights. Halloween decorations on November 2. But it's the Saturday of the time change; from my old party days, I remember that this used to be a big party night --- wooooo! an extra hour before the bars closed!

I immediately tensed up and prepared to be tense for the rest of the evening, thinking of the party and the noise to come. The decorations and singing continued until about 6pm. Then a bit of silence. Around 6:30, one girl again appeared outside in a long black gown talking loudly on her phone. (Her being dressed up so early gave me hope: Maybe it was a party that would start AND end early...) Around 8pm, the black-begowned girl left the apartment carrying out a bag of trash. I haven't seen her since, although she left the purple lights on and left the blinds to her apartment wide open.

It's now 1am, and she and her party buddies haven't come back yet, although all of the lights remain on in the apartment. What will happen? I anticipated a party starting around 10pm and lasting until about 3am, with me calling the police around 12...

Friday, November 01, 2019

Frank and Ava: Unloveable

Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner: Strangers in the Night

Supposed to look forward, but...

I quit my editing job last month because the newly hired editor was making $49.9K per year as opposed to my $51.6K. (As I discovered from the Texas Tribune salaries site.) A difference of only $1700 per year.

Me: 21 years of editing experience; 20 years at UT; 5 years at the company. The new guy: 4 months of editing experience.

I don't regret quitting.

I do, however, feel quite envious of the new guy. He's 32. He has no editing experience. Yet he's now making nearly $50K per year. When I was 32...

The guy is very, very, VERY lucky. I can't imagine what my life would have been like had someone handed me that kind of salary at that age, based on nothing.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

George Jones & Tammy Wynette - Your Shining Face (1973)

Already posted this, but I love it again and again. Profound song.

What to do on a Tuesday

In my case, I got up at 2pm and showered after 2 days, and then went to the closest Target, buying cat food, generic Drano, generic paper towels, real Cokes, real beer...

A gray 58-degree day in Austin, perfect for coming back home and doing nothing but lying on the couch and reading an Ava Gardner bio.

For the past 3 weeks, I've been incredibly tense and fearful: What am I going to do without my job?! Then the realization: I've got money enough to do whatever I want for the next 3 months. And I hated the people at that job --- didn't hate the actual editing work, but I hated being around the sheep-like people.

I'm OK for the next few months. I can lie around and read about Ava and buy Drano in the middle of the day if I want.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Tammy Wynette & George Jones: Someone I Used To Know (1971)

George Jones Live (1986)


A great Tammy Wynette with a terrible '80s audience. (Stand up and cheer, MOVE, you stupid, sluggish motherfuckers.)

Tammy Wynette - Talkin' To Myself Again (1987)

God Help the Wolf after Whom the Dogs Do Not Bark (Ted Hughes)

There you met it – the mystery of hatred.
After your billions of years in anonymous matter
That was where you were found – and promptly hated.
You tried your utmost to reach and touch those people
With gifts of yourself –
Just like your first words as a toddler
When you rushed at every visitor to the house
Clasping their legs and crying: ‘I love you! I love you!’
Just as you had danced for your father
In his home of anger – gifts of your life
To sweeten his slow death and mix yourself in it
Where he lay propped on the couch,
To sugar the bitterness of his raging death.

You searched for yourself to go on giving it
As if after the nightfall of his going
You danced on in the dark house,
Eight years old, in your tinsel.

Searching for yourself, in the dark, as you danced,
Floundering a little, crying softly,
Like somebody searching for somebody drowning
In dark water
Listening for them – in panic at losing
Those listening seconds from your searching –
Then dancing wilder in the silence.

The Colleges lifted their heads. It did seem
You disturbed something just perfected
That they were holding carefully, all of a piece,
Till the glue dried. And as if
Reporting some felony to the police
They let you know that you were not John Donne.
You no longer care. Did you save their names?
But then they let you know, day by day,
Their contempt for everything you attempted,
Took pains to inject their bile, as for your health,
Into your morning coffee. Even signed
Their homeopathic letters,
Envelopes full of carefully broken glass
To lodge behind your eyes so you would see

Nobody wanted your dance,
Nobody wanted your strange glitter – your floundering
Drowning life and your effort to save yourself,
Treading water, dancing the dark turmoil,
Looking for something to give –
Whatever you found
They bombarded with splinters,
Derision, mud – the mystery of that hatred.

The Boy Can't Help It

From "The Badlands" by Ted Hughes

...The canyons cooled. Indigo darkened.
Oozing out of the earth like ectoplasm.
A huge snake heaping out. "This is evil,"
You said. "This is real evil."
Whatever it was, the whole landscape wore it
Like a plated mask. "What is it?"
I kept saying. "What is it?"
As if that might force the whatever
To materialize, maybe standing by our car,
Maybe some old Indian.
"Maybe it's the earth,"
You said. "Or maybe it's ourselves.
This emptiness is sucking something out of us.
Here where there's only death, maybe our life
Is terrifying. Maybe it's the life
In us
Frightening the earth, and frightening us."


Sylvia Plath and her new husband Ted Hughes took a cross-country trip across the United States soon after their marriage in 1956. In The Desert's defense: The British Hughes and the East-Coast-raised Plath weren't quite prepared for it! :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tammy Wynette: Starting Over (1980)

Her voice is so pretty and so powerful...

Wondering where the hours go
Catching up on TV shows
It's not easy, heaven knows
When you're starting over

Knowing that the phone won't ring
Back to being lonely me
Funny how I seem to be
Always starting over

Foolish me, I never mend
Almost heal then break again
Looking back, I've always been, starting over

So just when the hurt is through
I'll see a face across a room
And wonder if it's still too soon
To be starting over

But like a fool I'll give my heart
Then the same old thing will start
I'll watch it slowly fall apart
Then I'll be starting over

Foolish me, I never mend
Almost heal then break again
Looking back, I've always been, always starting over

Bussin' down South Lamar

Being unemployed and having nothing to do all day after sending out approximately two resumes (I'm still particular at this early stage), I decided to take the city's "Rapid" bus to the end of the line down south. (Last week for my meeting with the UT employment agency, I took it about half the way, to downtown, but I'd previously never taken it all the way.)

Aaaah, all of the newly sprung-up generic apartments for techies along South Lamar, with their 4 ft by 2 ft "balconies." They've now enshrouded the iconic Broken Spoke, for instance. (Last time I went there was in the late '90s -- see two photos below for the difference.) Opened in 1964, the Broken Spoke was still a bit rustic in the '90s, South Lamar still relatively undeveloped. When you went there 20 years ago, you still felt like you were going someplace interesting --- and not as a "tourist" intentionally trying to step back in time to say you'd been there, but as a person who liked country music and (watching) country dancing, and who liked the genuine old-school atmosphere and the feeling of being a part of your own Texas past.

Yeah, yeah, much has been written recently about the "Old Austin." It's true: Austin used to actually have a definite flavor and feel. Today, it really is pretty much generic apartments/bars for techies, with a very few pockets of Old Austin still stuck in there for the Finnish rockabilly tourists (some respect for their seeking out actual Texana) and Silicon Valley transplants (zero respect, you parasites).

Broken Spoke, 3201 S. Lamar, 2014.

Broken Spoke, 1997.

Aside from seeing all of the new apartments, was also, at the end of the bus line, treated to the multiple homeless camps/stacked-up garbage at the final bus turnaround:

Funny, but, contrary to liberal propaganda, I didn't see any mothers with children there, just a few men hanging around their shit. If you allow this, they will come.

Oh, as for bus behavior by my fellow travelers during my 3 hours on the to-and-back trip: The usual that I'd known from pre-2016, before I got my car: (1) A mentally ill black woman who stood by the stairwell right in front of me screaming at the top of her lungs about various "motherfuckers." A working mom with her 5-year-old son were sitting right in front of her; the little kid with his big eyes couldn't stop staring at her while the crazy woman kept shouting about people staring at her. (2) A black homeless guy on the phone recounting to unknown what a great worker he was: He just minded his business, Nigga, and came in and did his job, Nigga, etc. (I'm directly quoting the constant "Nigga" parts.). (3) A fat white student blaring his music sans ear buds out of his device. (4) A mentally ill Hispanic guy targeting a young student sitting across from him: Was she from Mexico? She looked Mexican. (No, she said, she was from here.) You're beautiful. Do you know you're beautiful? Has anybody told you you're very beautiful? Do you know how beautiful you are?

This time, I was on the bus as a choice. My years from 2010 to 2016 in Austin, though, prior to being able to afford a car, were spent putting up with the above bus shit as a matter of course. Perhaps I should someday attend a City Council meeting regarding why people insist on keeping their cars... (The arguments are probably similar to why people insist on keeping their guns.)

Friday, October 18, 2019

Hunger Games and Sequels

Yesterday, the SyFy channel (what was wrong with "SciFi"?) was running all of the "Hunger Games" movies. Being unemployed, I was lying on my couch and watched all of them.

The first one (2012, directed by Gary Ross) was brilliant. I saw it at the theater when it came out (with my nephew Townes and my mother), and was impressed with it then.

The next three (2013, 2014, 2015, directed by Francis Lawrence), which I never saw at the theater, were mediocre.

With the initial Ross movie, I felt the horror that Katniss was feeling with every camera shot, with every scene of the decadent Capitol and citizens (typified by Tucci's host).

Every film after that, I felt nothing, was just watching to see what action went on.

Health-care: $634 per month

After quitting my state job 2 weeks ago, I now have no health-care insurance. So what, I thought. After 5 years at my last job, I'd never once needed to visit a doctor or dentist. Lucky for me.

In case I DO need a doctor in the near future, however: Just got a letter that I needed to sign up for COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), under which I must pay $634.47 per MONTH for health insurance. (Um... I'm unemployed. I don't HAVE $634.47 per month.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Austin is awful. Any escape?

Austin has been awful for the past 15 years or so. Now: Completely generic, tech-people-filled, rents jacked up by incoming Californians. (What the vibe of the town used to be: slackers who had not yet annoyingly labeled themselves "creatives.")

I'm stuck here for the moment. But, as exhibited by my recent quitting of a solid job, I will never be subservient to idiocy and illogical leadership. I can't escape for the moment, but I wish to. Can I come up with any way to get out? (Can't/won't leave cats.)

George Jones - That's The Way I Feel (1957)

Recorded at this speed!

My cats have grand tails.

Not Mama Hennessy; hers is spindly, but then she grew up a stray. The others: Almost too much tail for one apartment! They should be show-offs out on the street/alley!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Day [fill-in-the-blank] of Unemployment

My sleeping schedule is all screwed up, as I knew it would get, having nowhere to go and nothing to do. Today, though, I actually had something to do: Fill out paperwork at the university temp agency. Bus runs right from my apartment to the place downtown, so I, in a small way, looked forward to a peek back into my old bussing lifestyle. Trip uneventful; mildly excited to see LIFE again! Various people in various states of dress walking around on city streets! (My old workplace was 2 miles from my home; car trip took 6 minutes at its fastest [15 at the slowest]. Car > parking lot > ugly building. Voila. Mildly depressing.)

The bus stopped directly in front of the temp agency. Once there, I was met with a check-in screen at the counter, which I'd never seen before. I tried to touch various fields, to no avail, and finally had to ask, dumbly, "What do I do?" (In my defense, the last time I temped was early 2014, a mere 5 years ago. At that time, the temp office was located ON campus, and "check-in" consisted solely of greeting the receptionist and having a seat. So I don't know that my inability to recognize what I should do with the screen was THAT crazy! It's only been 5 years, not 50!) :)

After meeting with the employment counselor (who remembered me from 5 years ago!), 'twas discovered that I couldn't actually do any university temp work until I received my final vacation-hours check from my regular job --- allegedly scheduled to be deposited November 1. ("Allegedly" because my old place of employment screwed up my paycheck at least 7 times during my years there.) So I'll be twiddling my thumbs for the next couple of weeks. Although I HAVE had a small freelance editing job for the past 2 days --- just 10 hours' worth of work, but it's something... (And the work was done from around 5pm to 10pm --- seemingly great; "Wooo! I work whenever I want!" But no, I don't like working those hours stone-cold sober and chain-smoking. I previously liked working on my Joan Crawford website, and drinking beer, during those hours for fun --- AFTER coming home from 8 hours of getting paid!)

After the temp meeting, I considered jumping on the bus and riding to the end of the line just for "fun" or, more like "something different to do." Nah. I was just rather tired and depressed by the idea of no schedule/no money for 2 weeks, so just wanted to go on home. On the bus back, a crack addict asked me if I worked at the School for the Blind. I looked just like someone.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Beautiful Ones

Ginny: In case you didn't know:
 Your beloved Prince died of an overdose.
Your beloved Heart: Ann Wilson got really fat and adopted kids.
Our beautiful Jessica Lange ("Frances Lives" T-shirts): Aged into the exact same Grand Guignol characters that my own beloved Joan Crawford played in her later years.
The girl you left me for as a teen is now with a large black woman. (Facebook tells me this.)
I am with no one.
Nothing much else happened.
I remain posed over the vent in the upstairs of your parents' house, with my nightgown blowing up, and you telling me that I looked like Marilyn Monroe.

Three Letters from Ginny

From my poem for you in the Summer of '83: "A soul mate comes once in a lifetime / So I'll run with the chance / To smoke and dance and sing / And let you know / That nine out of ten / Are always there for the breaking." I still miss you.

I received 11 letters from Ginny between 1983 and 1986. Most in '83/'84. She died March 27, 1988.


Calligraphy on envelope: Ms. Stefanny Jones/W0354 Jester Center Halls/Austin TX/78784. Reverse side of envelope: "It's not as long as it looks - so remember while you're alone in this big, big world, looks can be decieving!"


      I talked to Mom about why they thought UT was too far, and she said that she'd like for me to be able to come home more often, but I wouldn't if I was living on campus at U of Azle. Daddy's in Austin now, so I'm sure they'll be able to come down for visits, cause he drives to Austin, and he goes pretty often.

     I've pretty much decided against a doctrate, it's too fucking much trouble. I haven't got the foggiest idea about what I want to do. All I know is I want to do something important. I want to be on the cover of the Rolling Stone - Maybe I could be Reagan's mistress!

     By the way, speaking of doing something important, the one & only, Joel V. Miller [my senior-year high-school boyfriend], still works at the big "K." God's on his side though, and it's his will that Joel is there. I wish I could be so lucky. Had you not denied the "Holy Trinity" maybe you could be so lucky as to still be working there.

      I've started saving to pay for that Goddamn call, I've got $4.00 (000000!) I figured I could have $100 save by Easter! Think the bill will come before then? I haven't the slightest idea what they'll do. Probably just make me pay for it, and take my phone privelege (for the rest of my life in this world)

      I told them you got a long weekend because of exams at the end of Oct., but that your mother might have to go out of town, but you wanted to come home. And she volunteered to let you stay here, so if you want to come. Then, by all means, do.

     You know the English test I told you I fucked? I fucked it, bad, I made a 30!, not good. But I hope it won't affect my grade that much. I just figured my avg, and it'll probably be a low B, depending on what I make on the Beowulf test & worksheet, and then my 6 wks. Well, now that I think about it it'll probably be about a 90, if I make a 90 on both tests, and 100 on the worksheet. My other grades are no prob. But, Mrs. Smith told us last week that the test we had today would be our last grade for the 6 wks. So I don't if Beowulf will be on this 6 wks or next.

     I hope it goes on this one, it'll bring up my grade if I do well on it. I know, now, what you mean & about her explaining everything over. It drives me mad!

     Did I tell you already I dropped out of band and started tennis? Band sucked out loud, Friday night games, UIL, Parades, and 7:30 practices were more than I could handle. Tennis is easy as hell. All we do is knock the ball back and forth, he doesn't even watch us or tell us what to do or how to do it.

    One more thing then I'll go We, I are doing an article for newspaper on stores selling liquor to high school kids. Me & Kim & Mary are going to go to some stores and see how many will sell to us. It'll be a blast. It was my brilliant idea, but with my luck I won't be able to buy any, anywhere, but still it'll be fun to try.


p.s. I'm having my score (ACT) to UT, I mailed the thing today.



Envelope addressed in calligraphy: Stephanie Jones/W0354 Jester Center/Austin, Texas/78784

Notebook paper. Circled on top: "I am not a sarcastic, smart-ass, bitch, thank you - and all your goddamn college friends that -
The Punker, the Burper, The Modal, the Satanic Worshipper And The Lesbo!"

Dearest Stefanny --
"The Gothic Hand" -- That's me! What can I say? What I do? To change your mind - I'm so in love you - Yeah, ah, yeah - Oh, excuse me, I just felt like singing -

       I'm taking the ACT 12/11, so get those brain waves ready. There is absolutely nothing happening, Azle's such a goddamn fucked up place - I finished my geometry test in like 5 minutes so I said, to myself, I said - "Boy howdy, wouldn't it be fun to write Stephanie a letter," and then this little voice went, "Why, it shore would!" So what the hell. I'm just havin' me a good ole' time, lemme tell ya. (Yeah, I know I misspelled sure, and I think I misspelled, misspelled) Can you dig it?

      Have you ever seen the Laverne and Shirley where "Squiggy" sings "If only I'd have listened to Mama"? Well, think about it -- and look at what he turned out to be - a real big time loser. I'm not preaching, and I don't really care what you do, well yes, I do, but that irrelevant, anyway - It's your life you can do what you want, it's your mind you can think what you want, hurt me sometime show me I'm wrong. Oops another song - back to the sermon.

     I really think your Mom's right - for once and only once - I mean, you told me when you were here that you had gotten used to getting drunk every weekend and had to - I know, I know, you don't really have to but you want to, I'm sure - And you've even gotten less considerate when it comes to drinking - I mean, when you opened the bottle as soon as we were upstairs when I was asking (or telling) you not too - Before you left, you were so concerned about me staying out of trouble with my parents, then after 2 months you come back and drink wine in my bedroom with my parents downstairs and liable to walk in - I know they didn't but they could've and they'd never have believed that I didn't want you to or that I wasn't drinking, too. But like I said before It's your life - you can do what you want -

    Now, to a happier note - hell, I don't know anything happy - Geometry's so fucking easy - it's ridiculous -

    I was reading Mom's prayers and she thanked god for your visit - I couldn't believe it -

    I haven't got any news at all - since you were just here I guess you've heard everything-

    I'll let you know about Dad coming to get you for Thanksgiving - closer to time -


P.S. Is Toe-2-Toe anything like Cheek-to-Cheek?



Stef -

    Just a quick note to let you know everything's fine at home - Mom & Dad have decided to let me go when I want so I'm going to get an apartment here in Azle around the 1st of the year.

    I got a letter from UT and there's no way I can go there, so I'm going to W'thford. I've made up my mind, that I'd rather go to a smaller college, anyway.

    I hope to see you at Thanksgiving. Write me and call when you get here.


Be Cool, Self

My last day of work was Wednesday. Thursday and Friday, I was cool. Got stuff done around the house, sent out resumes, made an appointment with a temp employer for next week.

Saturday (today), though: Slept most of the day, watched the Longhorns get beat(en), laid on the couch watching REELZ TV shows on dead celebrities. Judy and Elvis in prime-time, but the most interesting and well-done hour-long programs were early-morning, on a Russian actor/singer whom I now can't find the name of (terrible voice, bad Hamlet, looked like Russian Steve McQueen), and Austria's Falco.

By the time I finally roused myself off the couch, it was 5pm. I did manage to shower and dress and go for a beer/Whataburger run. After that, right back on the couch. (Flashback to unemployment in NYC and in Austin until 2014.)

By the time I got up again and made it to my computer, around 10pm, I was feeling surly, yelled at all cats to quit jumping on my lap (they'd been lying on me on the couch all day, and now that I was sitting up, I needed a break). At this point, the volume on my TV wasn't working, and I was fucking cursing my life and why things were breaking NOW that I was unemployed, etc. (I also had a barely heard phone conversation with the temp office last week; my tiny non-smart phone from 2007 is clearly not good enough in 2019.)

Be cool.

The volume on my TV has been sporadically fucked up since I bought it a couple of years ago (a shitty Samsung). If need be, I can move the bedroom TV (which I never watch) into the living room. I'm addicted to TV, but usually while on the computer, I put on music anyway... So I switched off the defective TV and put on George Jones's "Unreleased Duets," which I've been playing nearly every day for weeks and which immediately calmed me down. Then disc 2 of Essential Dolly Parton, now Essential Highwaymen. While transferring files from my e-mail to where they belong in my home Documents. (Sent from my work files over the past 2 weeks.) This was the real cause of tension: After I gave my notice at work, I had a butt-load of files such as 2014 through 2018 tax documents and 2016 car documents that I'd stored on my work computer to transfer over to my personal files. Plus dozens of editing samples that I'd now need for applying to new jobs. Oh yeah, and photos of Joan Crawford that I'd captured during free moments at work. Oh, and I had PhotoShop at work and not at home!

Sorry cats, I'm agitated.

Thing is, though: Sans any job whatsoever, I have money enough for the next 4 to 5 months. I can get a new phone tomorrow. I can get a new TV tomorrow. And PhotoShop is available for $19.99 per month.

Be cool.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Where to go?

Not much income, seeking to get away from Austin and its obnoxious tech influx: Where to go? I remember visiting and liking the East Texas pines of Memaw in my childhood and, according to Craigslist, there are cheap homes available there... but those homes are not my Memaw's home on Lake o' the Pines. How to get to where you want to be.

Day One of Unemployment

Gave my notice 2 weeks ago at work and have been sending out a few resumes since then, but today (Thursday, October 10) was my first day of actual unemployment.

(1) Last night and today, did laundry built up over the past 3 weeks.
(2) Updated various resume sites. Sent "goodbye" thank-you mails to a couple of nice people at my last job. Here's a sample:

Thanks for coming by my office to say goodbye before my departure on October 9. It was a nice thing to do, and I appreciate it.

Our conversations were some of the highlights of my time here! Many times I felt isolated, or labeled as "argumentative"... when in fact, I just liked to talk about things! :)  I enjoyed talking about things with you.

I also very much appreciate your permission to list you as a Reference. Your own writing was so precise, I hardly ever had to actually edit anything for you, but thank you. And thanks for hollering at me on the street over the years, whether by car or bike.

Go Hawks. [He and I both were raised in Iowa Park, Texas, home of the Hawks.]
My science editing job of 5 years that I just left was GREAT! It was intellectually diverse and serious and perfect for me. Unfortunately, my boss chose to give a newly hired editor practically the same salary as I was receiving, despite his 4 months of editing experience in comparison to my 20 years of experience. (Thanks to the Texas Tribune government salaries site for the information.) I debated, and some of my work friends debated, the wisdom of my quitting over such a thing... Some things are gray, but this was a black-and-white issue. There is NO WAY that someone with 4 months of editing experience deserves the same salary as me. The definitiveness of this fact made the decision to quit simple.

Self-righteous as I am, though, the fact remains: Damn. I've now got to drum up something else!

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Instant Karma! (We All Shine On) Lennon 1970

Heard this song for the first time at 15 in the summer of 1980 on a tiny radio while being miserable during a forced week-long visit to my divorced father at his Air Force Base lodgings in South Dakota. My father had been emotionally nasty to me the whole time; I remember crying to my mother during her phone call to see how I and my brother were doing and saying that I would NEVER visit him again. (I kept my word.)

I'd been reading about the Beatles and their subsequent solo careers in the months prior to hearing this song and had been curious about it. In the midst of my summer 1980 misery, it gave me a sense of strength and hope. 

(By the time Lennon was shot to death on December 8, 1980, I owned the "Shaved Fish" hits collection, "Mind Games," "Walls and Bridges," and "Double Fantasy.")

Monday, September 30, 2019

George Jones: Walk Through This World With Me (1967)

Waiting on a bus at Northcross Mall, circa 2010

One of the moments in my life that I remember:
The wind, the sun, the desolation.
The bus anticipation. Two JC Penney's shirts in my bag.

Good cop/bad cop

Workplace example:

One of the directors was trying to schedule a meeting with those of us in the Media Group who were involved with the upcoming Annual Report.

The director, for the past 2 weeks, sent out an invitation for 10am Thursday. EXACTLY the time of our only weekly Media Group meeting.

Each time, I declined the meeting from the director, responding: "This time is the weekly meeting of the Media Group. I can never make this meeting time. Any other time available?"

And, simultaneously, the boss of my Media Group was responding: "Sure. Perfect time."


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Saturday: Second set of cat spaying

Mama Hennessy and Peter two weeks ago went relatively easily. (No one was expecting anything, so the protests were only AFTER I got them into their cages.)

This morning: I dropped baby Solomon easily into a carrier, but Sasha...It got violent. She ran and ran and ran and ran. I'd already closed the doors to the bedrooms, but she crashed into the bathroom shower and knocked over every shampoo bottle, ran back out and hid in every spot available. After 15 minutes of chasing and grabbing at her throughout my apartment, I finally captured her in the bathroom, clutching her with a towel and then dumping her in the carrier. It was all very traumatic. For me, because I hated to be the violent "enemy." (And I did have to end up being violent with her --- clutching her seriously despite her struggles.) But much more for her, because she didn't know what the hell was going on, just running and running, blind and scared. Surprisingly, I only ended up with one tiny scratch. (Most of her struggles were muscular instead of with claws.)

After dropping these two off at the spaying place at 8am, I picked them up around 5pm. As with Henny and Peter 2 weeks ago, once home, I delivered the two carriers to the spare room, along with food/water and the spare litter box. Both Solomon and Sasha, as with Henny and Peter, immediately dashed instead to my bedroom, under the bed.

About an hour ago, I was going about my business in the apartment and all of a sudden noticed that Solomon had crept out to the living room for the first time... As soon as she saw me looking at her, she ran back to my bedroom. I'm sad, because she used to love me.

Update just now (midnight Friday): Solomon and Sasha dashed in tandem out into the living-room world! Sasha is jumping up on my chair, etc. (seemingly too soon after an operation), and Solomon is traipsing all over the place. Miraculous dual recovery! (Sasha just jumped on my lap and she's tensely quivering, so I think she's still on the ketamine they gave her earlier.)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Dolly Parton - I Will Always Love You - 1974

Unromantic as it may be: Parton wrote this as a farewell song to longtime employer/mentor Porter Wagoner.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Dolly Parton - 9 To 5 (Official Video)

Found out last Friday that a new editor, a 32-year-old guy with only 4 months' editing experience, was hired with the same salary as me (20 years' editing experience, same education level, etc.). Monday, submitted my official request for an appropriate raise (at least $5K above what this guy is making). We'll see what happens.

Friday, September 20, 2019


I think that my financial/work life is about to change. I've grown used to my 1200-sq-ft apartment and the rent that goes with it. I've grown used to being able to pay for stuff without thinking about it: car repairs, cat repairs. I've been able to order whatever cheap CDs, books, Old Navy clothes I wanted.

Question is: Am I willing to make a huge change based on principle, with the accompanying hardship, rather than continuing on with a mild level of comfort but at a place where I'm not fairly treated? At 54, do I have the energy to search for a new job --- knowing that the next thing could very well be worse? (At 30, 35, 40, you make those gambles---or, at least, I did... Into your fifties, though?)

Addendum 9/23: RE the above "mystery": A local paper, the "Texas Tribune," publishes exact Texas government-worker salaries every 2 years or so. A 32-year-old guy with very, very little editing experience was hired as an editor in my department 9 months ago (we were very busy, and the first four candidates turned us down). His annual salary, which I just learned from the Tribune last Friday, is only $1700 less than mine. Today, Monday, I requested a raise. (Based on credentials, I should be making $10K per year more than him, but I requested somewhat less.) We'll see what happens. I'm anticipating that they'll turn me down and that I'll leave.