Where I Reveal Myself To You In Terrible Ways

Most of these blog entries will be a record of self-loathing or depression.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

No News Is Good News

Generally it means I've been occupied with real live people.

On Friday I went north to a neighboring state with Best Friend to see a high school friend whose a musician play. We stayed overnight in a downtown hotel (on the square! We felt so fancy! But the room was small) and then the next day had breakfast, she dropped me at my brother's for about an hour and then came and collected me and we went and picked up the musician and had coffee with him. 

We drove home and I went home with her, where we had dinner with her wife and another friend and then chatted and then went to bed. Sunday was the only "bad" day because I had no reason to leave but I needed to leave but I didn't want to leave and so I didn't get out of there until after 3:30pm - and then because of Metro track work didn't get home until almost 5:30.

Last night I crashed after sleeping an average of 5-6 hours for the past four days. Now I'm going to be late if I don't get it together and leave.

The story of last night is the sexy climax. We'll see if I remember to tell it tonight. (Or if I write at all.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Result

...and Presto! it's me and the old lady and the kids.

Okay, it's cruel of me to call her "the old lady," since I'm closer in age to her than I am to any of the young attractive people (I think).

Turns out the "young people" had gone out to eat earlier and were just waiting on the son and the son-in-law whereupon we shuffled people and the young adults all went out to the movies and LH and I took the kids to dinner. 

It was okay, in that I got a free dinner. It was a little bit trying in that the kids have no manners and act like complete nut jobs a lot of the time. Later on this evening, the younger one threw a hand weight at the older one. I just heard the bang on the wall and when I looked to see what caused it, I saw the hand weight. What if that had hit him in the face? What the fuck?

The younger brother has a manic energy about him sometimes. Thinking about it tonight, I could imagine him stabbing his brother (in the next two years) if he got his hand on some scissors and was in the grip of a fury. It's scary how much he seems like a character from Law & Order. 

Maybe it's a fractured view that I have of them, but recently I've started to wonder how the daughter and her husband are raising the children. They still seem like children themselves sometimes, with the father laughing along to the son's favorite Disney show. The kids told us tonight they stay up until midnight sometimes, and this weekend they seemed to imply they see adult films - not pornography, but R rated movies - all the time, when their parents watch them. I'm starting to think that maybe my brother and his wife aren't doing so bad - their kids are polite and intelligent, even if they're a little disheveled.

So I spent the night hanging out with the kids and came up to bed at 11:30 and now I'm watching Comedy Central instead of sleeping. (I actually felt tired at 11 or so; it hit me suddenly and I wanted to come up to bed in that moment but was playing cards with the kids and didn't feel like I could get out. One bonus: kids taught me a new version of Go Fish.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

One of My Awkward Phases

LH said I was invited but now I'm hiding out in my room to give them the option of forgetting me in case they already did. They're going out to dinner and there are three young, attractive Pacific women and I think I am intimidated and off guard. 

LH said I was invited sometime on Sunday night, but maybe they forgot. I don't want to impose (never!) although I'll gladly go anywhere there are pretty girls. I'll feel awkward and stupid, but I'll go. 

I'm afraid of going and then staring at them and sitting like a stalk of white asparagus (which I had on Friday), looking pale and out of place while they all speak in their native (or family) tongue. Sure, I've gone to other events, but those were with adults; being around young, pretty women makes me uncomfortable. I want them, I want to impress them, and I know my wanting and desire to please is pathetic and betrays a lack of self-esteem and an emptiness inside me. 

I don't know how to act in these situations. Normally I'd be sitting in the kitchen right now, messing around on my iPad, but instead I'm hiding up in my room so they can leave without inviting me, should they not remember. I think they're just waiting for LH's son, who usually gets home around this time. (We meet up incidentally at the door sometimes.) They seem a natural party, and I don't want to be a hanger-on.

Scratch that. I just got a text letting me know what was going on. They're waiting on LH's grand kids, who I think a being brought over by her son-in-law (her daughter is already here). 

God, I'm so awkward! Why I can't just accept being accepted??

It's Self-Recrimination Time! [big Tv smile]

<u>What i Did Yesterday</u>
Watch movies and TV

<u>What I Should Have Done Yesterday</u>
Gone to work
Done work at home
Taken a shower
Gone for a walk
Gone to the bank
Gone shopping
Done laundry
Written

I had a pretty good weekend until yesterday, and then I was on my own and I didn't do anything. I stayed up until 4 the night before watching TV and the let myself stay in bed until noon. 

Then it didn't seem realistic to take a shower (although I had a strong, good impulse the moment before I left my room for the first time; but I pushed past it) and so I just went and ate and watched more TV, and more TV, and soon it was dark and seven o'clock and I was achy from having lain around in bed more than not in the past 12-24 hours. 

Then I wake up this morning - as I often do - thinking about all the shit that hasn't gotten done and all the work for work that needs to be done and I start freaking out. I should have told them about this thing on Friday, or at least yesterday; I should have done this other thing yesterday, at least for a few hours, to keep myself from being far behind; I could have gone through this other list as well, to try to keep up. But noooooo: "when I'm off work, I'm off work." What a fucking jackass. It doesn't make me a better person. It doesn't make me any happier. It just adds more stress and depression to my life.

And what about my home life, my room? Did I even think of doing anything about that? No, I didn't. It didn't even cross my mind. 
Fucking hell.
==
Weekend Activites:
Friday night went to Best Friend's, had dinner and watched a movie. Stayed overnight.
Saturday got up and had breakfast, the spent the day moving things from one storage unit to another with Best Friend and her wife. We got back that evening, and then another friend of theirs came over and we had dinner and then they talked, but I got bored and went to their bed and started to fall asleep. When he left I came out the couch and did fall asleep.
On Sunday we had breakfast and then Best Friend drove me home and she and her wife went to their sports club. I came home and took a shower and then went to Nurse Friend's, where I hung out and talked to her and then fell asleep on the couch for a while. I got up, we talked some more, she made dinner and we ate with her father, then we played a game and then she drove me home. That night I stayed up until 4 watching movies because I didn't have to get up on Monday, and you know the rest.

I was up until almost 12:30 last night, watching TV again. There was some good stuff on, but I wasn't fully engaged, as I usually am these days. I take out the iPad like I can do two things at once, when I can't. Maybe in the future when that happens, I should just turn off the TV (and or turn on the radio). Hmm. That would be a good idea. Listen to podcasts while doing puzzles on the iPad. That sounds like me. Nerdy intellectual.

Okay, time to go to work.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

As It Has So Often Been Said...

Life is a funny old thing.

On Tuesday, when I finally finished a document that I didn't have direction for and felt was probably a waste of time to do (or that the boss would think so), and then that got turned in with no chastising comments (probably because the boss was on his way to a meeting and couldn't), I felt immensely better. Then last night I got to borrow LH's car and drive myself around and I felt better still. (There was a bit of an issue with the pieces of tortilla chip stabbing me in the gums, but I got around it.)

So today, even though I had one document due and two to work on for tomorrow, I was in a good mood. And even though the document that was due today didn't get in on time (I gave it to the bosses too late and they had a meeting to attend), the other two that I had to deal with were both postponed, one for a day and one for a week. So that was a nice thing.

Tomorrow's going to be something of a crunch day, what with something due Friday and something due Monday (and Tuesday, too, I'm pretty sure). But it shouldn't be that much of a stretch because the  document due Monday has six simple requirements we can speak directly to and the one for Friday might be cancelled altogether (if it has too much stuff we don't do and aren't interested in). 

So it was nice to feel a bit loose and easy today, especially since I don't see this year being like that much anymore. I imagine this year is going to require a lot more production than last year and I'm going to need to be on the ball much more, both in terms of days and in terms of hours in those days.

Now all I need to figure out is how to track projects so that I actually remember and keep them all straight. I don't have a very good system for that just yet.

And I should go to bed. I've been sleepy for a while now and just delaying it. I meant to write cards to the ices and nephews but I wasn't inspired. I meant to write journal entries, but I wasn't inspired. I was going to make some online purchases but I forgot. I wanted to enter some Coke points, but I got wrapped up in the Internet. 

The ultra conservative woman said some crazy shit tonight that sent me off my rocker for bit, but I came back, and her response was much gentler than it could have been, so that was nice.

Okay: do Coke points or not? Rational brain says "no, go to sleep." Irrational brain says "Get more done! You're always behind!

Not Good

I made myself get up because I needed to not forget an idea. Now I'm not even sure if I remembered it.

I made a list and put it on my door; tangible actions I can take with stuff I've made or collected. There are so many more ideas. So many more. And who knows where the raw materials are now. I have two boxes downstairs I didn't even know were mine. I need to work on emptying out/rearranging my closet. I have a couple bags of clothes I've been meaning to give away that I've been holding onto for five or more years. I need to just go to one of those metal donation dumpsters and throw them in. I think I'm going to make a more targeted donation, but that's stupid; I just need the stuff out. 

Now that I'm up, I want to work. I want to start tearing through stuff, figuring out what's where and making lists. But now's not the time. Now I should be in bed, sleeping. I haven't slept more than six hours the past two nights. At this point, I'm just being stupid. But I want some kind of reward. I want to be rewarded for having kept something, for having persevered with an idea. I want to be rewarded with someone's squeal of delight (my sister) or heady chuckle (Best Friend). I want to be validated.

Copy Shop

On my way home from the store tonight, I saw a no-name copy shop out of the corner of my eye. Do those even exist anymore? I couldn't tell if the windows were papered over or it was just stacks of reams inside.

Then I thought: it would be cool to win the lottery and open a copy shop as a kind of cover. Like, ostensibly it would be a copy place, but the real focus would be anything but.

I don't mean illegal shit, just something different and...open.

Like, how could I encourage people's creativity? Or just give them a place to hang out? 

Or would it be a music place of some kind, with secret shows? 

Then I started thinking about actual copy shops and what kinds of things they could do to alter their business and yet still keep people coming in the door.

What I thought of was paper-related workshops: maybe origami one week, paper making the next, painting the next week, then print making, then...something else. Make the copy show a lo-fi community center; close to its burnout job roots but also enriching in some way.

I was thinking that FedEx Kinko's could do all these things, but when thinking about the few that I know of, they just don't have the space to have any kind of event in them.

But what they do have are computers. So what if they had computer classes? Or - the thought changed - what if independent contractors held art classes in Kinko's in the middle of the night? 

Think abut it: somebody with expertise in Photoshop or coding of some kind meets someone at 12AM at a Kinko's and then sits with them for an hour going through programs features and giving them a basic lesson. They could charge $20-$40 an hour, depending on what the market will bear. They could  negotiate between who pays for the student's computer time - instructor pays, student has more incentive; student pays, instructor makes more. 

I suppose this idea seems ludicrous for a society (or a middle class) where everyone seems to have their own personal computer. And if you don't have a computer, where are you going to find out about these classes? And wouldn't you be better served by a non-profit teaching these classes for free?

The problem always comes back to: how do you connect services with the people that need them? When I think about free classes of that type, I then think: how do people find out about them? And are the people best served by them consuming any media that might advertise it? I almost feel like there needs to be "street teams" for non-profit ventures; groups who go door to door in housing projects talking to people about what opportunities and resources are out there. 

In fact, I'd love to try that as a grant-funded project. I mean, I still believe that most people's information comes from other people, and their trust is placed most in other people. 

Anyway, copy shops: ripe for transformation and innovation. Have at it.

God Help Me

I started arguing with the ultra-conservative woman on Facebook again. It's after midnight, I'm still awake and now my pace is elevated. Fuck, why don't I learn my lesson??

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Texas Is 5 Years Away

I realized to night that it's been five years since I went to visit my uncle and aunt in Texas. It was the second time I had ever been there, and the first time was probably 20-25 years earlier.

When we were kids, one summer we took a road trip and went to see my aunt and uncle in Louisiana and my aunt and uncle in Texas. We drove all the way and it took us at least two days to get there. One of my first big memories of the trip was seeing part of "History of the World, Part I" on HBO after everyone had gone to sleep. I think I was still too young to appreciate it. I think my father woke up during the scene of someone pissing on cave art and told us to shut it off.

My stay in Texas wasn't a very good one. They had a trampoline, which was initially exciting and then disturbing as I could feel and hear my brain lifting and falling inside my skull (at least that's what I perceived). Later I got a migraine ("blinding headache," I was going to call it) and spent half an hour or more lying in a back bedroom with a hot washcloth on my head. 

I don't remember much else about the trip. I don't know how long we stayed; in my mind we got there the first day around noon or so, played on the trampoline, stayed over, then left the next day. I don't remember the trip home. I don't remember doing anything outside of the house. I don't remember if we met any of our cousins. (They were much older, so they may have had jobs or been away at school or out of the house already.) (Side note: LH was telling me stories about her boss and his daughter today and she mentioned the daughter's age and it blew my mind. I've always known the boss was in his 80s, but I still pictured his kids as in their mid to late twenties. Today she said his daughter was sixty. What??? Maybe it's just my death-prone family that makes the idea of someone having a living parent at the age of 60 a crazy idea.)

In any case, back when I was a "thousandaire," I went to visit them for a week or so in January. It was awkward as I don't know how to be an independent guest, didn't have any kinda of agenda for my visit, and my uncle had a spinal condition that hurt when he walked and hurt when he sat down for two long, so it curbed a lot of activities. 

I still got to see part of the city he lives in, and he took me to a couple of his regular hang outs, and the places he used to work and eat lunch when he worked there. We drove up to visit a nearby town and have lunch, and one day we went to large lake nearby that they used to go to a lot when their kids were young.

I interviewed my uncle the night before I left, asking him all kinds of questions about growing up and where he and my father's family lived and what he remembered about it. I remember he got real choked up about a friend of his that died when they was still young; when I think about it now, it reminds me of my father crying about a guy he knew as a kid who ended up with a dead end life. Apparently my father wanted to write a book about him, but he never got around to it. He asked me about maybe helping him with it, but it wasn't a very strong ask and I was always awkward with him (and with all people who want Real things from me). Maybe he had trouble asking for help. Like father, like son.

Sorry, doing the "Me" thing; in any case, after having been there I wanted to go back, partially to see and talk to he and his wife again, partially to honor he and my father by visiting with family. He seemed to enjoy talking to me and having me there and I think he'd like to have me again and talk to me again, because he's not really good on email.

But time has passed, my money ran out and now I'm working full-time and don't have the time to go. I supposed I could take two days over a weekend (or a long weekend, like this coming one) and take a trip to see them, but it doesn't feel possible or rational. I have other bills; I can't be taking off work willy-nilly.

On the other hand, how much longer is he going to be alive? How many more chances will I get to ask him my questions? (Why can't I live up to my fucking role already??)

Dear Madonna

Dear Madonna,

While I was driving to the store tonight, "Get Into the Groove" came on the radio and I wondered what you thought of when you hear that song. I thought of the younger you, but I was never you, so I wonder how you see that girl. I wondered what you would write in a letter to her, and then it occurred to me: maybe later songs of yours have been letters to her, or to other younger selves. 

I think to myself about how songs transport me back to my younger selves, and I wonder how that works for you, when the song was your "job," when the song was not only your heart but also work in the studio, possibly hours on end of re-takes and mixing. I think about memories and how people remember the past, what they sew their remembrances to. Usually, I feel like people remember good times with friends, vacations and nights out, things like that. I picture people hearing a song and thinking about a cookout, or being at the beach, or dancing with friends. I don't imagine them thinking of work.

Of course, your memories of a song aren't just the recording, it's the many, many performances of it, and you may have special memories about concerts you gave, the first time you a particular city or country. That hadn't occurred to me. Still, it's interesting to think about hearing a song that is yours rather than someone else's, and having associated memories.

When I thought of you writing a letter to your younger self, I was thinking about things you might not having known about the music industry, or things you might not have understood about fame. How did she see the world? What about relationships? What did the young Madonna think about love and life and marriage and children, and how do you see those things now? 

I wonder if, even though you are in an industry that seems to remove you from normal society life and rhythms, your progression about love and motherhood is much the same as every other woman's. That at 18 or 20 you thought it was a drag and wanted to party, but that at 45 and 50 you draw an incredible amount of joy from your children and find they inform everything you do, and keep you believing in the world. (Maybe not as much now that they're teenagers, but still something.) 

Maybe that's just the human journey and there is no way to escape it; we go from hopeful and naive to experienced and doubtful. I've wondered if the brain is actually wired to change that way.

In any case, I enjoyed listening to your song, and I enjoy your music overall, and I'm glad you've made a life out of it and made it work for you, even when society (or at least America) didn't want it to.

Best Wishes,

Michael

Did Not Accomplish My Goals

I did not do what I wanted to do last night.

The first thing I wanted to do was work, and I did not do that. At all. 

For whatever reason, I struggle to do work outside of the "work" space. Maybe because it's only when something's frustrating or stressful do I consider doing it at home, and I don't want to bring that stress into my home environment as well (which, in a way, is stupid, because I'm going to stress over it regardless and if I could do something about it while home, it would lessen the stress. Maybe I feel like I would concentrate on it, be just as blocked and stressed, and now feel bad at home and at work).

I did write cards to Successful Friend's kids. That might seem like an achievement, but I was unhappy with the messaging (I wasn't feeling inspired, I wrote things wrong, I remembered things I wanted to do after I was done) and I'm almost two weeks late at this point. 

MH came home last night and I think she woke me up this morning. Something woke up around six, and it's usually her. There was just a bunch of banging downstairs and I thought it was her, although maybe it was LH. 

I call her Miserable Housemate, but what am I in comparison? Happy-go-lucky? That's a no for sure. I'm stressed out all the time and not dealing with my life; I think one of the biggest lessons I'm being shown in the past year is what I look like from the outside, and NGG and MH are the examples. 

I should go, even though I don't want to. I figured out a way in to part of the writing this morning (like a fingernail under a sticker) and maybe I'll be able to complete something this morning. Even so the boss will probably be unhappy and I haven't even talked to him about this, so he may feel I'm wasting my time. I'm definitely wasting it stressing over writing new content; I know he feels that way (only he doesn't know how much time I spend blocked and stressing over writing the new content).

I have to organize the old content in a way that makes it easy for me to grab it and use it. Right now I don't have a system for that, and I need one. If nothing else, it could inspire me to write the new content; I could work around it.

Okay, now I really have to go.

Monday, January 12, 2015

I Went To Work and Now I'm Home

I stayed until almost seven and I still didn't get near enough done. If we turn in all the documents I'd like to this week (minus today's, which I'm still upset about missing), it will be five documents. (Usually we're lucky if we get one together.)

Another contradiction: I'm constantly waiting to be fired; meanwhile my name - my name! - is being written into company policies. I am spoiled beyond belief and don't live up to a fraction of the trust and credit my bosses give me. I hope to God I'm cheap for them, because I'm so not worth it. (I know I'm doing the negative self thing, but I can't help it.)

Today's wins: 
1. I reminded a coworker to buy herself flavored seltzer water so she wouldn't drink the free Coke in the office (which she had been trying not to do).
2. I had a couple of fun conversations with my co-workers about random stuff - stomach gurgles, passwords; I don't even remember what else. I just felt like we did a slight bit of bonding, which can be hard in our office, because we're all in our own silos and working on our own computers. 

Okay, maybe I can't say that because everyone else is on a team of some sort except for me, and I'm kind of on the "boss team," doing administrative and business development stuff. But I feel like so is everyone else.

I had some other stuff I think I wanted to write about (something I remembered midday that I had thought about writing this morning), but I've forgotten it. This is why I should write things down.

Back Again

I spent most of the weekend at Best Friend's. My sister bought me an experience, and it was for me and a friend. It ended up being two friends, as Best Friend's wife came as well (which turned out to be a good thing).

After the experience (during which Best Friend got her period, so it was kinda miserable for her), we went to a shop and then went back to Best Friend's. Considering we had gotten up at 6:30am and Best Friend was laid low with her period, I just lay down on the floor while she lay on the couch and took a nap. 

I spent the rest of the weekend in a semi-miserable state thinking about work. There was - there is - a document due today, but it's not going to be done because it needs a lot of input from the boss and I was afraid to ask him for tons after I had asked him for tons on Friday and he couldn't do most of that. I suck at working before a deadline and scheduling and preparing for things. 

This second document I hadn't read all the requirements until Wednesday, and by that time I had two other documents on top of it I felt I needed material for. The amusing thing is (I realize now), had I handed it to him then, it might have been okay. Or given him two questions to answer, he might have been okay with that. But I didn't. I think linearly and was thinking about the thing that were due before that, and that he needed to do those first. So I never asked him about this, although it was weighing on my mind all Friday. But how could I spring something else on him; say: "Oh, by the way, can you now write up all this, as well?" I felt like an asshole. 

It took me until 9 o'clock last night to let it go, to realize: "You know what? It's not going to happen tomorrow; it can't happen tomorrow; so let it go and focus on the next thing. Focus on the next thing." And I still feel like I didn't do that. And I still feel scrambled and unprepared. And I'm afraid he's going to ask me about it and I'll have to confess. And I'm afraid he'll be mad at me for mismanaging my job. 
After all, we talked about these things on December 31st. If I had read them them, I could have known what the requirements were and ask him about them piecemeal along the way. (Of course, that would have meant asking him for favor after favor after favor, which would have been agonizing. But it could have been a process that worked. Instead I have nothing.)

I need to be out ahead of things. I need to be well aware of all the requirements. I need to know my business. It's my job to know these things. 

And now I'm going to be late and I have to leave.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

No

I am in hardcore avoid mode.
Avoiding my sister, whom I owe a call.
Avoiding Nurse Friend, who's been trying to get in touch with me.
Avoiding work, which feels overwhelming and like a disaster waiting to happen. 

I'm about to go upstairs and turn on the TV and try to veg out because I don't want to think about all the things that are fucked up right now.
1. Work shit. I almost think if this weren't fucked up, I'd be okay.
2. Not being able to respond to people. I don't know why this is (probably because my mood is depressed about work and tomorrow), but I don't want to talk to anyone.