Where I Reveal Myself To You In Terrible Ways

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's Time for Warmer Shirts

When I checked the temperature this morning, it said 38 degrees. I'm in the living room right now and the thermostat reads 63. I thought it was cold in my room when I woke up, but I thought maybe I was being a bit sensitive, and it would turn out to be something like 70. 
Nope! Was closer to 60, as I suspected but didn't want to believe.

I was thinking about how I was going to deal with the weather; I put all of my heavy coats in storage; after all, it was late August and it was disgustingly hot then. I sweated through many a shirt moving here. Now it's fucking freezing.

Quick rundown of my weekend: got home Friday night at 6:30 and spend the evening sitting in the kitchen with the landlady and the MEW, talking about movie plans for Saturday and relationships and then I was quizzing them on current events. We broke up at about 9:30 and I went up to bed and texted Nurse Friend, who I hadn't talked to all week, and she called me back and we were on the phone until midnight (which surprised me).

Saturday I got up and put in some wash, then hung around and took a shower and got ready and went to the movies with the landlady and MEW. The Landlady's car is in the shop, so we all took two busses to the mall. We got there about 50 minutes before show time, so we had lunch before we went in. 

The movie wasn't great; not worth $11.25, which is what it cost (damn; that's a matinee price now??). I had been excited to see it, but I should have known it was going to be dumb; it was a popular action movie based on an 80s TV show, so there wasn't much going for it.

There's more, but I've got to go. Bus and work and all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Night Before

It's the night before my first full time day at work and so of course I'm up too late and not in the mood to sleep. I napped for an hour or so when I got home; I changed because it was so hot (it got up near 80 today) and then lay down for a minute, which turned into an hour and a half.

I went down to the kitchen and finished the leftovers from Friday night's dinner with the family and watched one of the British TV shows I like (I'm actually seeing them just days after they air, rather than years later; it's kind of bizarre) and then the MEW came home and I asked her about her job interview and she banged around the kitchen so much it woke up the landlady who came upstairs. 

The landlady wouldn't usually be sleeping, but she apparently has had a lot of back pain today and took a pain pill and fell asleep. She's going to see an orthopedist but not for three weeks; I hope she's not in terrible pain until then.

We talked about jobs and online dating and the landlady showed me some emails she had exchanged with a military guy last year - last year! It seems crazy it was that recent - and I set up an account on a Christian site for the MEW. She seems to reject everyone, so that will probably be a fail.

(I sent NGG a text about it, which was probably a mistake; she feels traumatized by her relationship drama and so bringing it up was probably just a sore point.)(Thinking about her feeling traumatized annoys the shit out of me; I don't know how to be sympathetic about it. I feel like she has told herself a story so many times that she's made herself traumatized and now thinks that's just "how it is." But I can't help with that because I'm totally unsympathetic.)

I'd like to do something productive but I'm not really feeling that way (I'm now emotionally sidetracked) and I don't have a good chair/desk set up in my room for writing. Generally I end up on my stomach (like I am now) or sitting on the edge of the bed with a loose bookcase shelf on my lap (which is also ergonomically unfriendly).

I'm glad I hadn't gone to sleep yet; a car alarm across the way just went off for a minute. Oop, and now it's started again. It had stopped, but maybe that was an auto function. Ooo, this could get bad if it keeps going off and the owner can't hear it.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Surreal Tone That My Life Sometimes Takes

Sometimes I think about the movie The Matrix and the idea of life being a dream, an illusion. Sometimes I wonder if it's all a veil, and just behind it is "reality," whatever that might be.

But a lot of times this idea is self-serving; it's allowing me to be the center of the universe; "This whole thing is a movie set created to fool me," I think; only that presumes that I am the most important thing in the universe, and I don't know that this is a useful attitude to live with. 

Today I had that thought because of something that happened. I was walking home from the Metro; walking through a neighborhood where I knew no one, that I'd only been in a few times (to walk to and from the Metro!). 

Suddenly someone said "Hey, Mike," like a greeting. I looked across the street and there was a guy going down the hill on the other side. I nodded, I think, and he didn't really look at me and kept going.

What the fuck was that?? I don't know anyone here except my landlady and the people who live in my house? Who the fuck was that guy?? Is he related to the guy who waved at me from the car the other day? Am I living in The Truman Show? Am I in the middle of some kind of grand illusion (or hallucination)?

I tried to explain it to myself: he hadn't said "Mike;" that's the simplest explanation. Okay, then what had he said? What might he have said that I would have heard as "Mike?" And why did he address me at all, a stranger walking on the other side of the street? Is that neighborhood like that; that they all just talk to each other at random?

Is it as incredibly strange as: there is a guy in that neighborhood who has a beard like mine, wears a hat like mine, and is named Mike?? Is that possible??

The last possibility is one of faith, one that doesn't make sense to me exactly but would fit with "the facts" (at least as I experienced them): it was God. God was reaching out to me; knew that I was thinking a lot about him lately and decided to say hi, to connect, however briefly. I know, it seems ridiculous, but I'm always one for the fantastic. 

Aha! Here's one more option I didn't consider, but which makes a lot of sense: he was on the phone. He was using an earbud or bluetooth that I couldn't see, and he was calling (or receiving a call from) someone named Mike. There's your modern explanation. Fits perfectly.

Still, as someone who likes to wonder, I enjoy the bafflement and mystery of my original interpretation.

A Text and The Message Behind It

"fun sounds good. let's have fun."

That text came from the girlfriend of the boss at the day labor job. She had texted to ask if I could help her move some stuff a couple of Saturdays ago, and was saying one of the regular guys probably couldn't make it, did I know anyone? Then she wrote back later to say he would be joining us and I said that he and I always have fun, so that it should be fun. That's when she responded with the above text.

It wasn't until then that it dawned on me what we would be doing. Her son's wife had kicked him out of their house, and while it hadn't been a permanent thing, now apparently it was going to be, and we would be taking his stuff out of the house and putting it into storage. After I realized that, I worried that it might be a bit awkward (especially if the wife was home) but I decided to go into it with a blank attitude, knowing only the people I was going with and relating to them as I always did. 

The day turned out to be a lot nicer - weather-wise - than I expected. By the time they were meeting me, at 1:30, I was warm in my jeans and shirt with a dress shirt over it. (Later, when we started moving, I wished I had worn shorts.)

On the drive over to the house we somehow go into a conversation about the downfall of the country and how it could be helped, with the other guy and I arguing that if we could rekindle the idea of "patriotism" in people, people would act in the interest of the nation rather than themselves and we could repair things. 

The boss' girlfriend was wary of things like patriotism and nationalism and said that instead, she lived by her religious faith, which was to change hearts one at a time.

We got to the house and, while it didn't look like much from the front (or I wasn't paying attention), it was pretty amazing inside. The right side of the ground floor was one long room that went from sitting area to TV room to dining room to kitchen, all painted in a pale yellow and with a gleaming hardwood floor. The master bedroom was maybe 30 by 15 (or more; I'm bad with estimations) and on the top floor (attic) were two more rooms and a full bathroom.

Then there was a basement!

While the floor was some kind of linoleum tile or something, it was pretty big - bigger than I even expected; it just kept going on and on. After we saw the space that I expected, we walked to a door in the back corner and there was another small bedroom-sized room! Incredible!

For a youngish couple, it seemed like a lot of house. Even Successful Friend didn't have a house this size when he was their age (I don't think). I don't know if his house now is the same size (although it might be). There only seemed to be three bedrooms in the house on the second floor (although the attic rooms were sizable; although they had pitched ceilings); Successful Friend has four bedrooms on the second floor and then a one-room attic. 

We started in the attic, which is when I regretted having jeans on; the steps were steep and narrow and the windows were all closed, meaning the generous sunshine made it quite warm. Plus a few of the boxes were full of books or paper and were a bitch to haul down stairs. 

I went around and opened up windows on every wall to get the air to circulate, and we moved the boxes down to the second floor for the moment, before we moved them out. Then the other guy and I split the work: I took the boxes from the second floor to the kitchen and he took them from the kitchen out to the truck, which was out back - out back! That reminds me! They had a small patch of grass, a generous driveway, a nice small back porch and a giant porch off of the master bedroom! It was insane! (I looked at the backyard and thought of the party you could hold there; how many people would fit in the space. It looked like a good area. I often do that, but never hold parties. I don't see myself as the focal point for a party, and I also wouldn't want all my friends together, it would make me nervous.)

After we were done with the attic, we moved to the basement. I had lost some of my steam, but the other guy and I kept up trading insults and quips, which made it all fun. We talked trash about another guy we worked with and each other. 

As we were close to finished loading the truck, I suddenly realized: oh shit, we've got to to unload this somewhere! I had forgotten about that part.

So we drove again, this time to the storage unit just outside the city near where the boss and the girlfriend (and now her son) lived, and we unloaded. 

Unloading wasn't bad and was much smoother as the storage place has rolling carts and dollies and we were able to pile stuff up and move it en masse instead of one at a time. The son (who for some reason was not involved in this project) brought us McDonald's to eat and then left after staying to chat for a short time. 

We finished up the "moving in" part without much trouble and then we drove to the boss' house, where the girlfriend went inside and the boss came out and drove us back to the city (other guy to his house, me to the Metro). On the way back in the boss talked to the other guy about work stuff some and we talked about car parts and where they were made (they're both car guys).

I got back to my house at maybe 8 or 9 (I don't remember now), and that was that.

Falling Behind

I'm falling behind in my own life.

I'm at my oldest brother's. I'm spending the night. I'm up too late. I was an asshole, eating the last of his chips and sitting at the dining room table, probably making too much noise after everyone else had gone to bed.

I'm staying here because I don't have to work tomorrow. I don't have to work tomorrow, but my brother and his wife do. But my sister is here, too, so it won't be weird.

I stayed here also so I could go to lunch with NGG tomorrow. It's not nailed down firmly, but we have a rough plan in mind. I'm going to call her tomorrow morning to try to figure out exact times.

I'm reading a book where people are horrible. Not in my perception, they are truly horrible people, you come to learn. You start out liking the narrator and thinking he's a normal, reasonable guy, but as you go on, you discover he's a twisted, sick son of a bitch, and so is his family. I kind of hated him near the middle of the book as I started to realize his view of things was off, but now that I'm near the end, things are about to climax and everything about him and his family has been revealed, so now I just want to see how it ends.

Here's how I'm falling behind in my own life: I don't write in here very regularly anymore. On Wednesday, I've been told, I'll start full time at my job. This is something I've wanted and waited for and now that it's here, I don't want it. I don't feel worthy of it and I feel like I'll miss my time away, doing manual labor chores in the streets of DC, having absurd conversations with other overly educated slackers like myself. 

Okay, so answer your own question: if you want to get outside more, then figure out a way to do that, either through exercise or participation in some kind of activity. 

Part of what I dread is the coming of winter and the darkness, the impulse to stay home and a house that is sterile and "un-homey" (even thought the landlady has taken me as part of her family quite instantaneously).

Speaking of that, I was playing with my brother's dog earlier and realized that I have a bunch of dogs in my life that I enjoy spending time with - Best Friend's dog, Nurse Friend's dog, my brother's dog and Successful Friend's dog. It's not so much my enjoying spending time with them as much as they all like me; three out of four of those people say I'm special to their dog. With Best Friend, it seems obvious: I'm her best friend, so I should be special to her dog, as well. With Nurse Friend I discount it because she rarely ever has people over to her home - much less males - so there's no real standard to compare it to. With my brother, his wife always says that I'm the favorite "uncle" of her dogs, but part of me wonders if she says that for my benefit. I realize now in thinking about it that they, too, rarely have visitors, and my siblings aren't here enough to usurp me. The dog likes me younger brother and sister just as well, but they're here maybe three times a year; my older brother has allergies and doesn't deal with animals (although he claimed this evening he likes cats, he just can't be around them).

In any case, I turned my usual insult into a compliment tonight and instead of saying I was half a person, I attributed my somewhat raw state to being the reason I get along so well with dogs and children; my mind is still partly a child's mind and open to love and silliness at their level (although, let's be honest, with kids the love thing is still iffy; committing to anyone who can change - or call on me for something - is still watery). 

Going back to life, the second part of the job situation is feeling unworthy. I feel unworthy because I don't feel like I do enough. I feel like I don't do enough because I don't - either out of ignorance, fear, or stubborn resistance to change. Ignorance: I can't write about things I don't know about; fear: I don't go to my superiors with questions or to have discussions because I'm afraid they'll be angry at me; stubborn resistance: I haven't tried to learn enough new things without being asked so that I can expand my skills.

Part of me feels like saying to the boss: "if you're doing this to keep me from leaving, you don't have to worry about that; I have no plans to go anywhere. But you don't have to give me more hours to keep me here, and if you don't have work for me to do in those hours, I don't want you to feel like you're wasting your money on me."

As is usually the case, I don't understand what they see in me. I don't know why they like me or why they find me valuable; I don't know that I've proven my worth in any way except to make jokes here and there that amuse them; to keep giving them a silly perspective. The only thing I've allowed myself to maaaaaaybe think is that they see me as a central figure in the office, tying things together socially. I talk to everyone, I share with people, I make friends, and in that way I'm a central figure in the office.

Now, that's hard for me in some ways, because I feel (as usual) that everyone is more qualified than I am; that everyone is a hard-working professional and I'm just a fraud. And it hasn't panned out completely, in that there's a new guy there that I barely talk to because his professionalism (or experience, or something) just makes my ineffectual bumblings look all the more childish. He has worked to make the things I do casually - writing, linking, being social online - into a professional persona. It seems like a great - and, admittedly, somewhat easy - job, but it's not one I could do because I haven't sharpened myself in any way; I haven't made myself better or professional at anything. I'm still a slacker.

I lost the point getting hung up on myself, but that is kind of the point: my own feelings of inadequacy make me feel intimidated and so I don't talk to him; also because something about his stance - his physical posture - seems arrogant and snobbish and like he finds me lacking; which is probably all in my head, but I'm reluctant to open up to him for fear of showing how shallow and empty I am. I guess I somehow feel like he would turn to the bosses and say: "Do you really need this guy? Does he really do anything for you?" which is my worst fear but yet also something I expect them to think (or realize) at any moment. 

This good fortune is unexpected, and part of me worries that there will be a corresponding thud of bad news - the last top left molar will come out, leaving me almost completely unable to eat (or at least enjoy eating). Apparently it's already a crown and I found myself picking at it last night and I worried that I would start obsessively picking at it and then just pull it off, fucking myself over; but then: isn't that what I always do?

Let's close this on an upbeat note:
Today my oldest brother and younger brother and sister participated in a race, and after the race was overs, everyone came back to my oldest brother's house. All the cars were full, so I took the Metro across the city (which was fine, and something I expected to do). 

When I arrived at this end, people were still on the road, so first I took a quick trip to a Starbucks for a badly-needed bathroom visit and then I started walking towards my brother's house, thinking I could meet whomever came to pick me up halfway there or something. 

As I was in the midst of the commercial area downtown, Brother #2 phoned me and said he would pick me up. He asked where I was and I told him and then continued on my way. I was a block over from the road he'd be on, so I walked up to that road, crossed the street and then began walking on the grass at the edge of the road because the sidewalk was up against the buildings and I was afraid he wouldn't see me.

As I was walking along the grass, I saw twenty yards ahead of me a wide square of brick with a shelter; it was a bus stop. I decided I would wait there, as beyond it there were cars parked on the side of the road and I would have had to walk either inside or outside of them and outside was two dangerous and inside, he might miss me.

As I approached the bus stop, I noticed a group of kids playing on the sidewalk behind it. When I looked again, I suddenly realized that one of them was Successful Friend's older daughter; they were his kids. She came running over to me and then they all did. My only regret now is that my attention was divided; I was trying to not have my brother miss me and was worried about being on his schedule, so I didn't stop to really address the kids and go over to Successful Friend and his wife (who were by their van in that line of parked cars, maybe 20 yards away) and instead climbed in the van and drove away. The younger daughter ran over to say "hi" and then the two brothers, and I could have given them more attention and been more present for them if I hadn't been worried about my brother and his timetable. Which, looking back on it now, he would have totally forgiven, because he values his friendships and tries to do right by his friends at all times. But I live by fear, so I let it rule me in the moment.

Ah, great. Ended on a bad note after all. Fuck.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Faith & Me

Faith is odd. On the one hand, I'm completely trusting; on first blush, I take everything in as truth, I accept everyone at their word.

Then, sometimes when I turn around and relay that story to another person, my critical mind steps in and says "No, that doesn't sound right" and then I'm filled with doubt. And doubt is like a stain that it's impossible to scrub off. It just won't go away, no matter how much I wish it would. 

Maybe, though, the only thing I'm doubting is myself. Because I'm constantly afraid of looking like a fool or a rube or ignorant, I clamp down on anything that doesn't seem within the norms that I've been taught. And while I'm willing to accept anything that is told to me, as the teller of that tale I feel doubt.

Ugh, negativity, negativity, rainy, lonely day. I need to figure out how to make this not become my life, especially as winter is coming and there won't be much opportunity for wandering around during the day because it'll be too cold/rainy/snowing. I don't know how other people do it - but that's a lie; other people pick a passion and follow it, make a decision and follow through; pursue passions, live their lives, chance disappointment, embarrassment, failure; it's only me that's holed up in my house for fear no one will like me even as there's ample evidence they will.

Excuse #2: Everyone else has got a 20-year head start.
Answer: So?
Excuse #3: My brain is mapped this way; I act this way habitually now.
Answer: Again: So?

"Know thyself." If I know these things, that means I can work with them or counteract them. I can choose to make decisions that skew toward or away from them. 

In the car the other day my boss asked me "What do you want to do with your life?" My answer is always "Fuck if I know" (which I did not say to him). I feel like these days I want to find peace - peace within myself, to be malleable, to be able to move and bend and adapt to what is needed. 

Today I needed to do laundry, but I didn't, because I felt alone and trapped and felt like what I should do is what I've always done - even though that wasn't what I wanted to; but I thought what I wanted to do was out of the question, unreasonable, foolish. I made a mistake in thinking that; I couldn't open myself or my mind enough to get out of my own way and make some progress. And so I made none, really.

The only good thing (maybe) was that I didn't watch any reruns. 

Well, not too many. (I was flipping between a couple of movies this afternoon for a while.)

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

First Night

Well, I've got to say the first night was rather anti-climactic. I don't feel like I slept any better or harder or longer, and in fact I woke up again before my alarm and then struggled with staying in bed past my appointed time and deciding to go in late. I don't know what it is about me and getting up on time, but I'm paranoid about being on time and so can't relax even when I've given myself permission to miss a deadline.

Today will be an off day in the office. I don't know what I'm doing; something is due on Friday that I don't feel I have a handle on and if the boss hasn't worked on it, we're in trouble, and I should be pressing them about other things and scheduling a meeting but I don't want to, as it will echo back work on to me and I feel paranoid about responsibility.

Oh, well. Go to work. Let the day progress. Try to do good while I'm there. All I can do.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Been Away

So here's a quick update on my life:

Friday was kind of miserable; I had nothing to do after work and I didn't do any of my chores or anything productive and I don't think I watched any good videos, either. Don't know when I went to bed. Oh, wait! Maybe that was the night I went out to Arby's with my landlady, and I learned a little bit about her daughter (she doesn't dress up to her mother's satisfaction; when she wears dresses, they aren't attractive/don't suit her (according to her mother); her mother buys her dresses but she never wears them. 

I also talked to her about her health, because she had been having a lot of pain lately, from her back around to her hips and legs. The last time she had pain like that, she was constipated, so I asked if it was maybe that and learned that she's on medication for high blood pressure and she's gone through three different medications because each caused some kind of problems for her. Or rather, she's gone through two and is on her third, and she thinks the third might be causing the constipation - or she did know because she had discussed it with the doctor or looked it up and so she drank a particular tea every night and when she didn't, that's when she got stopped up. 

So she experimented over the weekend with not taking her medication and the pain seemed to lessen; but she also when to the doctor today to consult about the pain. I of course was thinking all kind of horrible things, various cancers it could be, or kidney disease, or spinal stenosis like my uncle has, but hopefully it'll be nothing. The doctor she saw today took blood to test for liver and kidney issues and wants her to have a scan or x-ray for her back. 

The first two medications she took had side effects that caused her to stop taking them; the first one made her dizzy and blurred her vision; the second one caused her to have a constant cough. "You're very sensitive to medicine," her doctor told her.

Also that night she told me the store of her family friend, a man she took in and took care of when she was back in the Philipines who then ended up taking care of her kids for a year while she was here and couldn't bring them over. 

He had been a poor kids from a rural area, and they had brought him in and the assistant manager or general manager drove him to work; but if he had to work late, he missed his ride and so he would be hanging out in the office. My landlady oversaw the company board elections, which went on several nights and they had to stay late for, so she saw him sitting in the lobby on several nights. She asked about him and learned his story and learned that when he missed his ride, he ended up sleeping in the office. 

So she approached him on one of those nights and offered to help him. At first maybe she gave him rides, or maybe in those first conversations she learned that, while the manager was giving him a place to live, he had also made him work for him, driving his kids to school, doing chores and feeding the pigs they kept for their pork business.

Eventually she - maybe with a few coworkers - found him an apartment so he could move out; but she knew he was supporting his younger brother's education and so every penny he earned was valuable. 

At the same time, she was having issues with the men in her neighborhood, who knew she was a single woman with no husband or man in the house (she had two kids). They would catcall at her when she walked to work in the morning, and it sounds like they would have broken in to rape her if they could have. One time, she said, they stuck a pole through a window to push off her blanket to see her sleeping in her underwear. She felt the pole and so kept pretending to sleep, then grabbed it and jammed it back at them. Apparently that never happened again.

In any case, she eventually asked the young man if he wanted to move in with her family and explained how his presence would be doing her a favor in return. She told a story of how some men came around one night (it sounded like they broke in) only to come upon this young man holding a sword! They took off running and never came back, and the young man also hooked up a live wire by the window to her bedroom and the steps leading up to it and she never had any problems again.

This woman has lived some kind of life.

On Saturday we went to breakfast: landlady, myself and the middle eastern woman. (I might start calling her MEW for short.) We went to a local buffet place; it had tons of food but looked worse than a college cafeteria; it was breakfast and the taco bar was open and every bar seemed to have chicken tenders on it for some reason. 

I got rice, some Mexican-style looking scrambled eggs (there was some kind of orange sauce on them I assumed was hot sauce), some french toast sticks and a couple of those chicken tenders. Most of everything looked gross and somehow undercooked. They had a "cook it for you" station, but you know me, I can't ask for anything; that would mean I am deserving.

After breakfast landlady and I went bed shopping. She wondered if the pain in her back and hips could be affect of her bed, so she wanted to look into changing it. We went to one store and then another and she got the deal she wanted and I even ended up getting a deal and as a consequence, I am writing to you while lying in my newly set up bed! (My brother's adjustable frame didn't work so the box spring is on the floor, but it's a bed and not the floor, which is a vast improvement. I'm curious how I'll feel in the morning.)

That afternoon I went to help the day labor boss' girlfriend with a moving job; I hadn't realized it until I received a peculiar text from her, but the move was a fairly sad one, as we would be moving her son's things out of his marital home because his wife had thrown him out and wanted a divorce. 

But I went into it open and expecting nothing and looking forward to seeing the guy I was working with (also from the day labor crew) and it went all right, although in the beginning it was a struggle because we were bringing things down from the attic, which had extremely steep stairs and not much air. 

I helped the air situation by opening a bunch of windows but it was still a pain to go up and down those stairs again and again. Luckily there wasn't too much stuff up there.

My and the other guy - let's call him Antony - talked shit back and forth in our normal way and that helped a lot to make the job go faster and for it to be enjoyable. I think the boss' girlfriend was probably struggling with different things (and the guy himself was not there, for what reason I do not know) but hopefully we made her laugh here and there and made the process much smoother for her. It was a good day's work and it ended up paying for the box spring I had bought just that morning.

Which I should correct to say my landlady bought, because she did, with the simple request that I pay her back with the next rent or whenever. She was very lax about it. She's pretty amazing, and really generous with me. When I got home that night, she said she had made me food, because she had asked me that morning or the day before what she could cook with a box of pasta and so I described chicken alfredo, saying she could make chicken and broccoli and then it turned out she had Alfredo sauce in the fridge and so she made it and offered it to me when I got home. So I sat down and ate some (although I had eaten McDonald's not three hours earlier) and the MEW joined us and we discussed love and relationships and pain and crying and one's view of the world and how that shapes our outlook on life. 

[It's raining rather hard outside. Not torrential, but the steady rain, like if you were to take a shower outside. It's even and steady and strong. It has been raining for about and hour now but it's just in the past five minutes or so that it's gotten stronger - there, it just picked up again. Before it was gentle and soothing; the tenor has changed to something more urgent.]

On Sunday I got up early for no real reason, dressed and showered and headed downstairs to sit around and watch videos on my tablet or read the latest book I started (something I got from VT Friend's wife). It occurred to me that it was just ten o'clock, so I checked the public radio schedule and rushed upstairs to turn on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and listened to that and then TED Radio Hour. 

After that I went back downstairs and the landlady came home from church and we talked and she or I suggested going to eat (maybe she asked her perennial question: "Did you eat?") and we were off to McDonald's. At McDonald's I learned that she's been to local casinos and even has a card from a place in Atlantic City. I laughed when she said that she would go on Sundays after church; or even that they would go to church on Saturday to go to the casino on Sunday. 

But I think she was talking about going with her brother that had cancer (who died; it was one of the first things she told me when I moved in; one of the first conversations we had) so it gave the trips a different tenor.

That afternoon I turned on the TV in the living room and watched TV for the first time in a long time in the way I used to. I was sitting in a chair and not laying on the couch (it's further away from the TV than the chair is and it feels too far) and I watched a lot of OnDemand programs, premieres of new shows, but I hung out and got to catch up on some new TV which is nice. 

For part of the time the landlady was juicing vegetables in the kitchen and that made hearing things difficult, but she would do a little at a time over five or ten minute periods, so it wasn't too bad. 

Kind of the worse things was when I'd hit rewind to go back and catch a line I'd missed or stop playing to go upstairs to the bathroom and the show would jump back to a point 20 minutes in when I had just been at the 40-minute mark. I don't know what the deal is with that and it's extremely frustrating - especially when you're watching network programming and there's no fast forwarding.

That evening the house owner asked if we could come over and pick up (or help move out) some furniture that she had offered to the house - and to me - for free. We had no way to really move it, but her daughter was going to be there with an SUV so she was going to bring at least one piece.

The owner lady is Chinese and has that brusque way, so it was interesting to be with my two immigrant ladies and listen to them and consider how they talked and interacted. I drove landlady's car over and back and on the way over she told me how the owner's daughter had run off with some man and she (the owner) had called her (landlady) to ask her to be an intermediary and call the daughter and try to convince her to come back. She eventually did and was there at the house - she was cute; maybe in her 20s - although she came home as we were preparing to leave. When her mother introduced us, my landlady said "Oh, so you're [daughter's name]," and the daughter was like "What does that mean??" On the way back, she mentioned the story again (I brought her up 'cause she was cute) and she said "Yes, [owner] said she was living with a man; she think a dangerous man; he was black man." I wondered how much of it was solely about race (the mother is an immigrant). 

Monday I was supposed to go into work early to open up for a guy who was teaching a class at the office (using our space), so I went to bed stupid late. I ended up walking to work because the "real time" bus tracker said the next bus wasn't coming for an hour, although the fixed schedule said it would come at 20 after. Since I couldn't chance it and it only takes 30 minutes to walk anyway, I walked, and sure enough, when I was a block away, there went the bus. 

Last night I stayed up too late, too, and I decided to go in late; to catch the bus after the one I usually do that puts me near the office at five after, and then I'd go to the 7-11 before I went to work. I did that, but I didn't sleep well; I had chosen to go late because I woke up at 5:40 (checked me phone) and then couldn't fall back asleep before my 6:30 alarm, and didn't sleep anymore after that. 

They sent me downtown this afternoon to retrieve some data files from a government office; I was there for all of ten minutes; I walked in, they called the lady, she came down, handed me the files, and I left. Nothing to it. I came home and came home, as they had said I could call it quits and bring in the files tomorrow. I would have gone back to the office, but the way the buses ran it was just as well. I would have gotten back to the office around 4, which is when I usually leave.

I zonked on the train in; a woman was looking at me when I woke up; it occurred to me later I might have been snoring quite loudly.

Well, the laptop is going to die because it's down to 3% power, so I should wrap this up. The only other thing of note is that I called my younger brother yesterday and had one our marathon conversation/arguments. I got my exercise yesterday by walking on the office treadmill for 30 minutes and then later pacing outside the 7-11 for two hours while arguing with my brother.


Friday, October 03, 2014


1. Came in my room tonight to find my bathroom light bulb had burnt out, and discovered I'm not prepared for that. It's going to be a dark shower tomorrow (unless I swap bulbs, which is probably the smartest answer).
2. Went out to eat fast food with the landlady again tonight; it's not good for me food-wise but it pushes me to be social and keeps me talking and asking questions and learning more about her. 

I keep thinking I should look up the football schedule of the high school down the road but I keep forgetting. I'll do that now (although I don't know who I'd go with).

In the anxiety category, one of my coworkers didn't speak to me at all today, which I found odd. Usually she says hi or something. I didn't say hi, either, but I'm reactive; you have to look at me for me to say something, generally. 

As usual I filled in the silence with anxiety: she's angry at me, I did something wrong, she found this blog, she's disgusted by me, I did something in the office that was disgusting and she saw me (minor things depending on your viewpoint but both disgusting) - it could be any number of things; I find myself disgusting and I should be dead, so there's tons of things I could freak out about.

Maybe tomorrow she'll be in the office and I'll speak without being spoken to. And ask her about a coworker who was apparently in a car accident.

Going to look up football.