Thursday, January 31, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019

George Jones - The Race Is On (Live at Farm Aid 1985)

Cryin' Time (George Jones and Tammy Wynette)

Julie London - Love Letters (1962)

I'm not alone in the night
When I can have all the love you write...

Nat King Cole - Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you
You're so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only 'cause you're lonely they have blamed you?
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile?

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there

Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art?

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Happy Birthday to my dad, age 79

Normally, if people online give good wishes to their fathers, it's for a public purpose of making themselves look like "good people." In my case, I'm recognizing that I remember that my father was born on January 24, 1940. And that he'll be dying soon, and that I'll, as his child, feel deeply about that.

He wasn't ever very nice to me, though. I still remember being 7 years old and him (1) Screaming at me and forcing my head to the floor after me and my brother had chased each other around and messed up the living-room curtains; and (2) Forcing me against my will to eat a big spoonful of peanut-butter on the day before 2nd Grade.

The abuse went on and got much worse after that, culminating in him shooting at my mother in 1977, when I was 12. After she divorced him that year, he kept on hanging around, threatening suicide, driving out to our home, etc.

I understand that he got better after 1977. (Well, not in 1980, when I spent a week with him in South Dakota when I was 15. He was as nasty as ever.)

I hear that later he got better. Good for him. Happy Birthday.


Austin's been a shitty, generic town for the past 10 years, at least. I nonetheless recently had a revelatory feeling of good will and fondness for the town... Nostalgia for something I haven't left yet.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Covington Catholic students on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

Taunts directed at white high-school students on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday: "Who the real cave-man." "Yous a cracker." "Go back to Europe where you came from." "You about to go postal." "When you gonna shoot up another school." "Dirty-ass crackers." "Incest babies."

I witnessed this type of anti-white propaganda first-hand while a grad student in San Francisco in the mid-90s. NEVER did I think the sickness would spread across the country as it has today.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Henny and Penny

I started out feeding the ONE cat I named "Penny" back in July. Pretty soon after, though, she brought along her brother, Henny. (Actually, I don't know what sex these cats are --- they're both so bushy, I can't see if they have balls or not!)

Anyway, after 6 months of the two of them hanging around at feeding time (around 5pm when I get home from work), the two lookalikes have very distinct behaviors. Henny (with the scar on his nose) gets uber-excited and aggressive once I open the back door. First thing he does when he sees me is jump at Penny and bat her on her nose. Every single time! Patient Penny always backs up slightly, lets him bat her, then sits and waits for the food. Once I step outside with the food, Henny then jumps at ME! No teeth or claws, but... nearly every single time, he almost immediately jumps at my leg, and sometimes he "gums" my hand ("biting" but not biting)! Such an odd little ritual. He can't help himself with his excitement and pseudo-aggression once the food is coming!

The two look very similar but act so differently. I think of these Joan Crawford pictures. Henny is the one on the left, from "Johnny Guitar" --- a little scruffy and agitated. Penny, on the right, better-groomed and much more patient.

"Savage Rhythm" by Mills Blue Rhythm Band (1931)

"Saratoga Drag" by Luis Russell and His Orchestra (1930)

"Swingmatism" by Jay McShann and His Orchestra (1941)

Charlie Parker's debut at age 20. Recorded April 30, 1941, for Decca in Dallas, Texas.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

2019: Sleeping in my bedroom regularly for the first time in a long time

When I first moved into this 1200-sq-ft apt in April 2017, I specifically asked the cable company for a second cable box so I could watch TV in my bedroom. They didn't bring it. So I kept sleeping on my couch in the living room, where I could fall asleep watching TV.

In my previous apartment (Jan. 2015 to April 2017), the cable company also couldn't figure out how to put a cable connection in the bedroom, so I also usually went to sleep on the couch.

Prior to that, I lived in a 400-sq-ft one-room apartment from 2010 to 2015, so it didn't matter, then, did it? No, it didn't matter from 2010 to 2015, but post-2015, when I finally HAD a nice bed and a separate bedroom, it DID matter! I wanted to go to sleep in my BED while watching TV, not crumpled up on the damn couch!

Well, as of late 2018, I finally figured out: (1) Ask tech guys at work for advice. (2) You're not desperately poor any more; buy a $30 Roku stick for the bedroom TV, and pay a guy from work $50 to come over and set up your goddamn bedroom TV since you can't figure it out yourself.

p.s. Self: You don't like your bed being so close to the wall and fellow apartment dwellers being able to possibly see through your porous blinds as they pass by... Then get a $30 wall hanging from Amazon to cover up the window. Voila. Jesus Christ. Now go to bed.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Like a Normal Person

Sunday, I finally figured out, by myself, how to get the Spectrum cable programs to also show on my bedroom TV with my new Roku stick! After 2 years of going to sleep primarily on my couch because of my addiction to television, I can now satisfy my TV addiction while sleeping on a more-comfortable queen-sized bed!

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Attack on the Pennys

About a month ago, I got an e-mail notice from my apartment complex: A fellow apartment dweller was spearheading a campaign to capture the feral cats (by putting out cages with food) in the complex in coordination with a City of Austin program to capture said cats, spay/neuter them, then allegedly release them back to where they came from.

Initially, this sounded like a great idea: I certainly didn't want the Pennys to reproduce. Except for the actual results: I used to have four members of the Penny Family that came to eat in my back yard. Since "The Program" began, Papa Penny and Lil' Penny have completely disappeared. I'm sure they were captured. But NOT "released back to where they came from." The other two, Penny and Henny, are still regular visitors to my back yard around 5pm, when they know I arrive home from work and will then feed them.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail notice from the apartment complex (sent out to everyone). Basically: The feral cats are still being fed, despite the efforts of the "do-gooders" to have them removed. We should all stop feeding the cats or else risk being written up and kicked out of the apartment complex. Maintenance men will be on the lookout for food/water dishes and/or bedding left out for the said illicit cats.

I've been feeding the Pennys every single day since July. I'm not about to stop and betray their trust.

Fucking ridiculous and corrupt and downright evil how an alleged policy of "we'll spay/neuter them and then return them to where they came from" turned into the captured not returning and then us people feeding the few smart enough to avoid capture getting punished.

Today was the first day of the policy. I removed the food/water dishes at 8am before the maintenance men showed up. Fed Penny and Henny as usual at 5pm when I got home. Fuck the stupid snowflake do-gooder cat-police.

1949 Joan Crawford publicity

How beautiful.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Happy New Year to me!

A couple of weeks before Christmas, I bought myself a new 43-inch smart TV, a blu-ray player, and a Roku stick. (What I had earlier was one smaller TV in my living room with a discount DVD player that I couldn't get hooked up right.) The idea was to get the new big TV and new blu-ray hooked up in the living room, and to move the smaller TV and discount DVD player and Roku to my bedroom (where the Roku would be able to receive the cable channels that I was paying for).

The new stuff sat there in boxes for weeks because I was scared to even attempt anything, knowing that I probably wouldn't be able to figure it out and would thus get mightily stressed out. (Ten years ago, I didn't used to be so helpless/hapless! Ten years ago, I had the latest DVD player and subscribed to Netflix --- when Netflix involved mailing DVDs!)

I finally told a male work friend about my dilemma and offered him $50 to come over and set everything up for me! He'd anticipated that everything would take maybe and hour-and-a-half, but it ended up taking over 3 hours... mostly because of the Roku stick's password demands and my cable provider's password not agreeing with what I had written down!

End result: The new TV and blu-ray in the living room work great. The bedroom Roku situation, not so good. Can't yet get the Roku to hook up with the cable app to play all live TV stations on the bedroom TV.

I'm VERY grateful, though, to my work friend for coming over. I'd previously asked the apartment maintenance man during Christmas week if he wanted to earn some freelance money by hooking everything up. He first agreed, then was a no-show. The next week, when I saw him in the apartment complex office, he called out from across the room, "I was busy!" I said, "That's OK; I asked a guy from work to come over." Maintenance man: "When's he coming over?" Me: "Saturday." Maintenance man: "I can beat him."  !!!!  Luckily, he DIDN'T "beat him," because my work friend is an extremely precise, careful, tech-oriented guy --- just the right type for attempting to figure out the mysteries of cable/Roku hookups. Plus, he and I have an actual years-long comaraderie... once he was in my home, he was interested in my books, etc., and it wasn't weird at all. Whereas, spending 3 hours with the maintenance man would have been weird.

Next up in advancing to 2019: Getting a new phone. (Pictured: My current T-Mobile phone that I got for free in 2007 when I moved to New York City. I think this might be the world's oldest cell phone currently in use. Check with your grandmother first, though.)

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Being in the World

Weekly horoscopes by Rob Brezsny:

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Here are four key questions I hope you'll meditate
on throughout 2019: 1. What is love? 2. What kind of love do you want
to receive? 3. What kind of love do you want to give? 4. How could you
transform yourself in order to give and receive more of the love you value
most? To spur your efforts, I offer you these thoughts from teacher
David R. Hawkins: "Love is misunderstood to be an emotion; actually, it is
a state of awareness, a way of being in the world, a way of seeing oneself
and others."

I think that the last time I saw myself as being whole in the world was in 1983, when I was about to go off to college. Since then, I've always felt a loss of someone (whose loss I probably mostly invented): Ginny, Sandra, Kris, Mollie, Nancy, Bill, Murrah, Julie, Sandra again...

I have not been able to BREATHE, or "be in the world," for 35 years!

1932: Joan Crawford in "Rain"