Where I Reveal Myself To You In Terrible Ways

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

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I didn't make a plan

I didn't figure out what I was doing today about work and now I've chosen to stay home and that feels like the wrong choice but I had conflicting feelings and now I feel like I'm letting them down and I feel like shit and I hate myself and yet I don't want to change course and go in and I don't know why.

That last part is the part that doesn't make any sense. Everything in me is saying this is the wrong choice, you should go in, and yet something is telling me no, no, stay home and so I'm fighting inside and it feels horrible and I feel guilty for being and for making a choice that is technically available to me (supposedly this is my schedule; I'm off on Thursdays; there's been no discussion about changing it) but it's one of those letter vs spirit of the law things, wherein I know my presence would be useful today and so I should go in order to be part of the team and chip in.

So what's the disconnect? What's wrong with making that choice and going in? I don't know, but for some reason I've built a fear or a dislike or a discomfort or a dis-something around it and wrapped it in this technicality which is totally dickish. 

If I could let go; if I could accept that this is a choice I can make and it's okay (because that conversation hasn't been had) I might be able to feel better and enjoy today in some way (although I'm also half-sick about the whole moving process - which isn't happening - and the student loan thing). Maybe I could go see Best Friend and spend some time with her and get some value out of that.

But I'm all messed up inside. I'm too fucking stupid to be good for myself.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Monkeypox Instruction

That was the name of a contract I came across the other day; I don't know what it is about "Monkeypox," but it always seems funny.

I woke up at 3:30am to Nice Housemate doing something in the kitchen; I thought it was maybe 5-something and the other housemate was getting himself some iced tea (it's all he drinks) before smoking on the porch. But no, it was Nice Housemate, making himself something to eat. His door is open now, which means he's out, so I wonder if he had to work today and if so, if he's now been up since then.

I have to remember to call my student loan today; I wrote them the other day but there was no response. I'm going to call them tonight and see what that results in and then - worst case scenario - I'm going to make a payment on Friday in order to delay this whole process. It's one more complication I don't need.

So let's do the fantasy thing.

It's amazing how perspective changes your impression of size. I always dream about (and talk about) winning millions in the lottery, but right now, twenty thousand dollars would be a fortune to me. Here's what I could do with twenty thousand dollars:

I would split it up into five segments of $4,000 each.

$4,000 would go to my student loan, almost catching me up for this year.
$4,000 would go toward buying a car and paying for the insurance for a year, giving me greater mobility.
$4,000 would go toward housing, first through covering the first month's and security and then giving me an extra $200 to spend each month.
$4,000 would go toward paying off credit cards and some taxes.
$4,000 would go towards paying off personal loans to relatives and friends.

Shit, even that doesn't seem like enough.

When I think about saving, I never realize that any amount I make could be sucked up by something; there is no free money in my life. If I went full time, all of that money would be spoken for, in personal loans, back taxes, outstanding doctor's bills and student loans. Every dollar I have and can make is spoken for; there really isn't any for me (which makes my spending habits that much worse, because I'm throwing away money that I owe other people).

Here's another unhappy thought I just had: I might have to make a payment this Friday (on my student loan), because it might be that I haven't paid it since my last forbearance ran out and they can't just stack them on top of each other. So that's another unwelcome surprise.

Oh, Michael, what the fuck are you going to do with your life?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Piling Up

I'm not writing and the notes are piling up.

I watched the premiere of MTV's "Finding Carter" tonight and enjoyed it. It had flaws, like any TV show; they're trying to create drama and that can be difficult at times. A lot of the drama I like, some of it I don't. The whole concept of the show is fascinating, and while they don't address it in a realistic way all the time (she would have gone right home with her family?), I still like the way it's done.

My biggest problem with the show is some of the production value; even from the commercials I could see the lighting was really bright and the sets looked like sets instead of real rooms (or offices or stores)(no, wait - the stores look real, because stores are always bright as hell). 

I made notes but TV is on.

Why Am I Anxious Today?

1. Because I'm frittering away my time which means I'll get to work at the same time I've been getting to work, which is 20 after or so, and today there are people coming and I don't know who will be there to open the door for them and that kind of feels like my job so I feel bad that I'll get there late.
2. Looking at places to live even further out than I had planned and thinking about buses and finding bus routes that look okay but they only run during the weekdays so I would be cut off for the weekends unless I rented a car or something (which is ludicrous). (Still, the one place has a 12x12 room, which I could use for all my crap.)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Here's The Flip Side

This is the flip side to the "Then What?" entry. This is what someone who takes control of their life would say:

"When I move, I'll start putting ads on Craigslist and going on dates."
"If the job stays part time, I'm going to see if I can find some after school babysitting gigs."
"If the job goes full time, I'll look into volunteering in the evening, maybe once or twice a week."
"I'll start going to movies every week."
"I'll look into what concerts and events are happening at the local university."
"I'll check out what kinds of programs the local churches have and see if I can help out."
"I'll see what kinds of classes are happening at the local university and see if I can take one."
"I'll contact my alma mater and see if I can organize a meet up and reconnect with people from school who live in the area."

There are proactive things I can do if I choose to do them.

Avocados and Coke

That's what I just bought at the store. That, with the addition of crackers, is what I live on when I'm trying to save money. It's not too expensive; and it's nothing like the $20-a-pop take out meals, one of which I bought last night. I'm nervous to look at my bank balance because I'm sure it's shrinking quite fast. I still need first month's rent and a deposit come the first (if I find a place).

I miss chewing. 

I would buy a lot more junk food if I could chew normally, if I had more of my big old molars left. I've discovered noodles aren't very good with no back teeth; it's just not the same somehow. I mean, nothing is; it's all pretty lousy and you're aware it's a workaround that isn't really working, but you can still crunch into some things with those front teeth, your canines. It's just the heavy chewing grinders aren't there any more.
One more reason to feel infantilized. 

I should go respond to some housing ads. I found a few promising ones.

Then What?

Every so often the artifice of my life (my delusions, essentially) fall away and I am confronted with reality.

For instance tonight, as I was walking from the Metro, I checked the time and it was 5 o something, and I thought: the news comes on at 6:30, but what will I do until then? And the news will end at 7 and I'll watch another news until 7:30 and then I'll watch Jeopardy until 8 and then what?

And I'm moving to Virginia where I know no one and then what?

And I'll be cut off from my closest friends and then what?

And if I get a basement room of myself I'll be alone with myself for hours on end and how will I deal with that?

And I think I want my job to go full time but I don't know what I would do all day if it did and then what?

Say my job goes full time: who am I then? If I live in Virginia and don't know anyone and work all day at a job I don't feel I'm good at and then go home to spend hours alone with someone I don't care for (myself), what will happen to me? It sounds like hell.

And if I left that job? What job could I get?
And if I left that apartment? Where could I live? 

What is my future?
I like to pretend that I'm a leaf on a lazy river and I flow with the current and wherever it takes me is fine, but the truth is that I get caught up in the branches and the eddies on the side and stop moving or just go in circles and don't progress at all and then I look around at my life and go "why would anyone want to be friends with me?" "Why would anyone want to hire me? To house me? To trust me? To love me? To give me a chance? I fucking hate myself; why should anyone else give a shit??"

I don't have a plan for my life; I never did. My picture of my life ended when I was in college and that's why I keep trying to get back there; to live in a group situation with people who are bursting with ideas and life and fun and dreams; to get back to a family where someone will take care of me, and guide me and mentor me and tell me what I'm supposed to do and what I'm supposed to be instead of the lame-ass human I turned out to be.

Of course I'm supposed to be the adult in myself now, I'm supposed to somehow mentor myself and determine my needs and tasks and motivate myself to follow through; only I don't like myself much so I'm hard to work with.

Best Friend has called. I need to stop.

Today's Things

I went to sleep soon after twelve. I think I woke up okay because I slept so long Saturday night.

I'm already sweating this morning. I don't know if it's the humidity (which I can't feel yet), some internal process in me, or the poor quality of my t-shirt, meaning it doesn't breathe and so traps in heat.

I find that on days like this I want to sit in front of the fan for a half hour (I'm doing it now) and have some sort of contraption to cool my "undercarriage," where all the heat seems to emanate from. On days like today it feels like my intestines are some kind of power station, pumping out wattage, and I can't turn it down.

Part of me wants to change my tshirt before I leave; and having just folded wash here in the living room, it would be quite easy.

To dos for today:
1. Work, obviously.
2. Call student loan people.
3. Take dry cleaning in.
4. Take hangers to the dry cleaner.
5. Continue to pack books and organize my stuff for moving (which I have not been doing as of late).

This morning's main (intimidating and difficult) task is to respond to housing ads. Going to do a blitz of six or so and hope I get some nibbles.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Choice Time

I slept from 3am last night until almost noon, so I'm thinking maybe I'll stay up late tonight. Foolish, of course, but I'm excited by watching one of my favorite shows (Stargate SG-1) and feeling the rush of old familiar friends.

Unmerited Accolades

From Nurse Friend: "Lol. Omg u make me laugh." I had sent her a semi-inspirational text and she responded that sometimes I was so sweet she wanted to hug me so hard my eyes would pop out. I responded that it didn't seem like a very nice return, to which she countered "But all your other sense would be heightened." And then I went on this rift about "Did I tell you what my friend did for me? She heightened my senses! And all I took was HER BLINDING ME."

From Best Friend's brother: "U rock!" Because I had agreed to sit with his dog. The text before had been a simple "Thx," and then he had followed up with this. It seemed strange because all I had agreed to was to do a job for him; one I had done multiple times before. And he was going to pay me for it, so it wasn't like I was doing it out of the kindness of my heart; I was getting something out of it, too.

From Case #2 (last talked about her two or three years ago): "At least you are aware of what the issue is! I look at work as work, so even if they have me counting and bagging pens for 4 hours, it's okay because I'm being paid. Maybe just dig into those endless projects?"

I had been telling her how I felt I was cheating work because I wasn't going above and beyond and improving myself in ways that would be useful to the company. (At least, I think that's what I was talking about.) My response to her here was "But I don' WANNA!" which she laughingly acknowledged.

This is me trying to erase texts on my phone. There are a bunch more - from Best Friend, from VT Friend, from NGG, from my nephew - that just have a feeling attached to them and I don't want to erase them. They are my only evidence of connection, and they remind me to connect again. (Or that I can connect again.)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Nice Night

I just got in from my evening with Nurse Friend; we went to see Hercules because she's really into Dwayne Johnson and then we wandered out to an outdoor space by the mall where the theater was, where they were showing an outdoor movie, Dirty Dancing. 

We watched the movie and I made lots of comments, cracking her up, and we enjoyed it, and chatted and then she took me to the Metro and we headed home. 

Problems/issues: these boxers I'm wearing have huge holes in them on the upper thighs, so my legs rub together and I'm sore. I was sore from going to the post office this morning and before I left this evening I put a bunch of powder on my thigh but I don't know that it helped.

Second, we got these monster sodas and I didn't need any more soda, I drank three Cokes this afternoon and that was enough. But it was a deal and she was buying so I didn't say no and then after the movie, when I've still got a liter left, I felt guilty about chucking it so I was trying to drink it all. I eventually did chuck it before I was done (about which I felt bad because I would have rather dumped out the soda and recycled the cup) but the effect was delayed and for about ten or fifteen minutes my stomach was swollen and sore.

I also felt some soreness in my tooth when eating the popcorn but...I don't know what to do about that. As horrible as it is to say, that whole situation seems inevitable.

Now I'm home, and sweating, and thinking about turning on the TV although there's nothing on I need to see. I should keep reading the book I'm reading, although it's terribly depressing. It's called "Rule of the Bone" and it's by Russell Banks, and while I'm only about a fifth in, it's just terrible in terms of circumstances and downhill slopes and vulnerability of the main character and I wish I could step into the book and talk to him and help him and find support for him. It's heart breaking to watch his life going the way it is.

I also thought about going through my notes and doing some writing, but I find it such a pain to have to go back to previous thoughts. While I think they're worth writing about, summoning up the energy to write about something when the immediacy of the point has faded is like shoveling mud; it's heavy and it's drudgery and it's time consuming and it seems a waste.

Not So Productive

I've done two things today and norther of them feel like very big things (although one largely affects my future and one affects it strongly in a day to day way). Mostly I'm down on myself because I haven't done any housing related work. Three out of the last two emails didn't get responses; I think it's because I'm leading with my age. Maybe I should leave my age out of it, but I don't know how. I feel like that's fraudulent somehow.

In any case, I dreamed of paying only $500 a month but that probably won't happen. Back to the drawing board. 
I guess I need to look for a solo basement situation, somewhere where my age wouldn't matter to the other tenants. Don't know if I'll find it.

Things I've done: gotten my certified letter from the post office about my student loan. It hasn't gone into collections yet, but it's on the verge. I came home and wrote them straight away; we'll see what comes of it.
I also just put in a load of wash, which is helpful for this coming week.

I called Nurse Friend this AM and we're set to go see a movie tonight. She lives out in VA, like my job (but not in the same direction) so I always find it a pain to go see her. But oh, well; she invited me, I need to keep getting out of the house and there's no good reason I should stay home. So I'll make myself do it when the time comes. (When I get deadlines like this, it seems like they're always right around the corner. I'll probably have to go at five, and I'm already counting down and figuring out how much time I don't have to do whatever I want.)(Although "doing whatever I want" usually leaves me depressed anyway.)

I Am Overjoyed

I found some old chips (crisps, Claire - hee hee!) in the cupboard! Huzzah! (I'm watching a British TV program so I'm talking in that style.) My cup overfloweth. Ask and ye shall receive. When one packet empties, another is waiting for you in the cupboard.**

All's right with the world (because stale chips* are better than no chips*).


*crisps, Claire
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
I crack myself up.

**Should be"When one door closes, another opens - and it's the cupboard door, and there's a packet of crisps in there." (In my head, all of this is being said by Dara O'Briain.)

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Am Disconsolate

I have run out of crackers to eat with my avocado. Dammit.

A Couple of Thoughts From Today

Even if I had six million dollars tomorrow, that wouldn't fix my teeth. Even if I had four million dollars, I couldn't get them back to the way they were. Even if I had two million dollars, I couldn't know that any kind of replacements would work or last. Even if I had a million dollars, it would still take six months or more to get implants and be able to use them.

I'd still like to have the money, but it wouldn't fix everything in an instant.

==

A couple of guys on motorcycles passed me at the bus stop; two of their bikes were black; but not a shiny black; rather a dull, flat black, almost dusty looking. 

It made me think of the photo in the paper of the Harley Davidson electric prototype. The story talked about how motorcycle purists weren't fans of an electric bike.

My thoughts went a different way. 

I can't say why, but things joined up in my mind and I suddenly thought: an electric dirt bike would be the perfect stealth vehicle for Special Forces types in places like Afghanistan. Especially at night.

I pictured someone in dark clothes on a matte black bike, zipping through the countryside - but without the zip; the bike silent except for a clunk here and there, and the sounds of the tires displaces rocks. 

Man, that's an awesome idea. I hope they're working on that.

==

A couple of times on my walk to the Metro station I passed parks. Now these weren't proper parks - to my mind - they were maybe a block or two in size; simple space in a developed suburbia. 

But as I passed each of them, something incredible happened: cool air seeped out of them. I could feel it - and I could smell it; it had that wonderful cool air smell; healthy, green.

I thought about how amazing it was that even these small little spaces still incubated pockets of cool air and puffed them out onto passers by. I thought again of one of my recent brainstorms, which was that celebrities should buy up fields in the center of the country and plant trees; fields and fields of trees. Reduce the CO2 and possibly cool down the planet. (Try to make up - feebly - for all those trees chopped down in Brazil and Malaysia (or Indonesia)). Maybe it would even help with the rain and flooding situations; who knows? But turn on those natural air conditioners, people. Build up the forests.

Long Way

It's 9:04. I just got home.

I left work three hours ago and I just got home. And I didn't stop anywhere, didn't go anywhere extra.

This is what happened.

I stayed late, because the lady boss needed my help with something. I had been about to pack up and leave but she was asking me about something I hadnt looked at in any depth and that we had talked about. Also, she wanted to work on it this weekend. I knew I didn't have any place to go or anything pressing to do at home, so I stayed.

I ended up leaving work just before six o'clock. As I hit the street it was 6 and a bus went by. The buses only come once every half hour, so I knew I was in for a wait.

I made a couple of calls and left a couple of messages, for NGG and Divorced Friend. I didn't really expect to get either of them, and that was okay. I don't know if I wanted to talk to someone or at someone. 

I hung out. I looked up every once in a while when there was a soft but full motor noise (the buses are natural gas powered). At one point the bus went by the other way and I thought "Okay, there's my bus; just a while longer to wait."

And I waited. 
And I waited.

At 6:38 I finally called the transit service and typed the stop number into the automated menu. 7:05, the system said. Fucking A.

So I decided to walk. I didn't want to, and I didn't relish it, but it was a lovely day, all things considered, and I had nothing else to do but stand there and fume, so I put my anger into my legs and I walked. I figured I could catch the bus further along the route, or beat it to the station altogether. 

Neither of those things happened. I underestimated the bus and it whooshed by me along the route, about twenty feet past a stop. At that point I had no choice but to keep walking or wait another half-hour by the side of the road and that really would have killed my mood.

So I kept walking. 

I had passed the point where it was okay or enjoyable; I was sweating a bit and my knee was a little sore. But I sang songs to myself and I day dreamed and I made notes on my newspaper once in a while and I kept going. My computer bag felt like an anvil on a strap, but there was nothing to be done, so I continued on. 

I looked at the houses and wondered if anyone had rooms for rent and wished I could have a big room in a big house. I looked at people in their cars and wondered where roads went and saw what almost became a road rage incident and finally I was at the station.

It had taken me roughly 40 minutes; I had left my bus stop at about 6:41 and it was now 7:23. Not too bad, I guess. 

Down on the platform I had to wait again; the conductor said the train was out of service; then two minutes later the doors popped back open again and the train sat there. People started getting on, but I was hesitant. But no one got shouted off, so I eventually got on, the train started up and we came back to the city.

About three or four stops along, I put my head on the window and closed my eyes and when I next opened them, I was seven stops past my transfer point. In fact, the doors were just closing at station six. I had to travel along to the next station, get off, get on, and come back. 

After that it was all fairly routine, but I still can't believe I didn't get home until nine fucking o'clock. What a day.

Let's Go

Feeling inspired this morning, even though I didn't sleep much. 

I watched the TV shows at 8 and 10 and read from 9:30-10 (I can't remember what I did from 9-9:30; I might have been writing here).

At eleven I turned over to Comedy Central and watched those three programs (Daily Show, Colbert, @midnight), and then I went back to the book (it was too good, and I was near the end). 

When I finished the book it was 1:36, by my phone.

I woke up at 5:20 to my housemate clinking dishes in the kitchen, went up to my room, and then struggled to wake up again at 6:50. I think I was having some pretty good dreams (strong ones, if not interesting).

I may be partly psyched because the week is over, and with it these documents I don't know how to deal with. I'm thinking about tasks I can accomplish and imagining new housing that's cheaper than this and I can pay bills better and maybe put some aside to go out once in a while (because why would I save? That's just stupid). I was imagining it working out, is what it was.

Now I should go do some productive stuff.

Today's News: Israel/Gaza Propaganda War

There was an article in today's paper about Israel and Gaza's propaganda war against each other, which I was mentioning yesterday. The general gist of the story was that Israel is slowly losing because most of the reporting is about death and destruction in Gaza; and I totally agree; that is happening.

But it's infuriating. Because - regardless of the politics and the reasons behind the fighting - Israel is being punished for being better at war.

If, as the story the other day said, Hamas is pouring tens of millions into digging tunnels and such, they could be producing a siren system to warn people. Of course, the problem is that Hamas uses civilian locations to launch rockets and shoot at the Israelis; I don't doubt the Israelis when they say this; I don't think I've heard Hamas dispute it. As an oppressed and weaker combatant, they need to use the means at their disposal, and this is one of them.

But like I say, Israel is being punished for winning. The coverage is all out of balance because Israel has created a defense system that is thwarting Hamas' rockets and their populace aren't dying. Israel would have a matching body count if they hadn't had to come up with a system to defend themselves against random rockets

Hamas fires random rockets into Israel for no good reason (arguable). (Reason: to create terror in Israel.)
Israel comes up with a defense against this terror tactic, defending their people and keeping them alive.
When Israel retaliates agains the rockets, A) the Gazans have no warning or defense systems because no one worked on that, and B) innocents get targeted because Hamas weaves itself into everyday people to fire rockets.
More Gazans die than Israelis. 
People see this as proof that Israel is somehow "torturing" or "brutalizing" Gaza and world opinion turns against them.

Here are two propaganda war tactics I would use to fight back against this.
1) Have supporters bring toy rockets for every rocket fired at Israel to Lafayette Square and pile them up so that people can see how many rockets Israel is actually dealing with.
2) Choose an organization - or two (I'm thinking a newspaper, or a Gaza friendly non-profit) - and send them something for every rocket Hamas fires. I was thinking a foot-long sub; that would get exhausting after a while. (It might seem expensive, but I bet Israel could crowdsource it.) 

Tonight on NBC News they reported on a UN school that had been bombed by the Israelis (although that seemed to be possibly in question) and one of the mothers in the hospital raged about being bombed by Israel. All I want to say to her is: why don't you go stand in the streets Hamas is shooting at? What, exactly, are the military targets Hamas is aiming for? How are you not reaping what you sow (by implicitly or overtly supporting Hamas)? 

For the Gazans to complain about civilians dying from Israeli bombs is hypocritical and despicable. Their people's death is through the transitive property: Hamas' rockets=Israelis bombs=Gazan death. If Israel could bounce the Hamas rockets back into Gaza, they would, which would have much the same effect - only it would be much more random, terrifying and deadly.

I think the Israelis should have a person come stand in Lafayette Square for every Hamas rocket fired. If I could, I'd have them stay there every day for days on end until people got the fucking point. 

The world wants to cry and moan over the deaths in Gaza; here's some simple math: work out how many people would be dead if Hamas' rockets had fallen on Gaza.

God, that's infuriating.