Where I Reveal Myself To You In Terrible Ways

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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yesterday's News: Tunnels In Gaza

Yesterday there was a story in the paper about the tunnels that Hamas has built from Gaza to Israel to perform attacks and abductions. The sentence that jumped out at me was: "Israeli forces estimated that Hamas had dumped $10 million and 800 tons of concrete into the two-year project."

Ten million dollars?? Do you know how poor and fucked up Gaza is?? And you built a fucking attack tunnel??

What could you have done for ten million dollars? Oh, I don't know: how about employ half of Gaza for a year. How about: buy solar panels and install them all over, taking away Israel's power over your ability to grow, learn and prosper? How about providing state of the art healthcare for the people? How about buying a fishing fleet? How about building your own fucking settlements so Israel would have a tougher time with their settlement arguments because they'd be tearing down massive complexes. How about buying properties in Jerusalem and setting up Palestinian families there? How about giving your population a world class education?

This to me speaks of fucked-up priorities. Yes, Israel's treatment of the Palestinian territories is oppressive. But creating a vibrant economy that the world respects and Israel can't control would be the best way to beat them at their own game. Instead, you choose death, and war. That says you don't value life, which means you don't value society or civilization and you don't deserve respect. 

In times last there was talk of Hamas as a decent civil actor - fielding medical care, running government, etc - but these actions just debase them. Claims of innocence by Gaza ring hollow; if the Hamas rockets rained down on them, they'd die just as easily (or worse) than what Israel is doing. 

Again, my knowledge of the situation is glancing, and who knows whether the Israeli estimates are part of their propaganda war or accurate. Still, Hamas' focus on killing and terrorizing others instead of building up their own people speaks to an emptiness of purpose, a paucity of spirit. 

I Was Going To

I was going to clean up part of my mess last night, but I didn't.
I was going to watch that detective show I like, but I didn't.
I told myself to respond to housing ads, but I didn't. (I looked up some new ones.)

I hope work today goes smoothly. There is something due tomorrow and two things due on Friday and I've got to clamp down and get them done or shaped. This is supposed to be my job.

There is a woman I know that met in the late 90s when a friend of hers lived in a shared house with me. I reconnected with her over a business website last year when I was looking for work; then I wrote her again this year because she's in the field I'm supposedly in. I talked about us having lunch because her office (might be) near mine. 
Then I never scheduled it and the writing lapsed.

I've been writing her name on my hand for the past few days, as if to say "reach out to her; get the lunch back on the schedule;" only I don't feel like I have the money or mindset to do it. I imagined writing her this morning, saying "my life is kind of in upheaval at the moment; can I get back to you when it settles down?" The problem with that is that my life never settles down; I've always got some crisis going on, whether imagined or real. Secondly, whenever I don't have a problem, I forget all my friends and obligations and sink into a fog and think I'm alone in the world. 

God, I'm so fucking stupid. I need to write to this housing opportunity. It could be pretty great; even if I'm no longer first in the house (which would give me some "seniority," in my mind).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Up and At 'Em (??)

It's 7:05 and I'm awake and ready to leave.

Although now that I've sat down I feel a bit tired, in general I feel like I have my equilibrium; nothing is imminent, life is in okay balance; yes, I can feel a nibble of anxiety when I think about what's still outstanding in my life, where the uncertainty lies, but in general I'm just present.

I woke up (on the couch; I'm back home and sleeping downstairs again) to my alarm, which was weird. I usually wake up to my housemate moving around; if that hadn't happened, why hadn't it and what might that portend? I immediately felt panic, felt The Anger chewing at my soul. Someone was angry at me; in this case, it was Nice Housemate.

Or he was dead.

Panic only gives you two choices, and both are bad. Either he had gotten up and left and I had somehow slept through it, or he wasn't moving because he was dead.

I then thought of third and fourth options (he has the day off, so he's not getting up as early; he's gone to New York, as he sometimes does) but I kept coming back to the first two - something's wrong and he's mad and it's my fault.

Eventually I heard him move and determined he was, in fact, here and alive, and that it probably is his day off and he's not getting up (although he still hasn't gotten up and that's not like him). But I was pretty awake so I got up and went about my business getting ready; I took a shower and dressed and here I was downstairs ready to go by 7:05. When's the last time that happened?

In any case, I need to stop focusing on worry. I don't know what else to focus on - or how else to think about life - but focusing on it as a constant horror show where someone is looking to tear me apart every day is no good. Thinking about everything that could go wrong and fearing it will is no good. I've got to find something else to think about, some way to meditate and forget the world and dream new dreams. It's sounding like Buddhism more and more; taking time away to focus on goodness and positivity and possibility - within and without myself. 

What I guess I can't figure out is this: I can only affect what is happening in my own life, and I understand that dealing with those things is the best way to bring strength and order to my life. So am I going to do that or am I looking for another avoidance mechanism in order to not think about what I'm afraid of? I worry it's the latter; I'm thinking about things to concentrate on besides whatever's making me anxious, but the truth is that I'll only be better if I'm able to face those things head on, with a realistic perspective.

So, for example, instead of trying to find something to think of other than my anxiety over not being able to find housing or no one liking me once I move, what I need to focus on is finding a place and moving there and then adapting my habits to a more productive pattern, so that cleaning and clearing is something I do. (I was thinking yesterday and today about schedules and putting them in my phone somehow so that I could refer to them; reminders of tasks to do. The real struggle is putting them in context, remembering the short term and the long term together; "you do this now even though it seems a pain because tomorrow and a week from now you'll be happier and can think less about it and won't have ammunition to beat yourself up." I don't know if that will necessarily work for me, but it's something to consider. 

I should probably make a document to put all these things in because I never come back to this and re-read it with any kind of productive hope. And I wouldn't be able to find all my productive notes anyway, nothing is tagged anymore because my old iPad makes it too difficult.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Yet Another Day Gone

I thought of something to write on the way home, but I've forgotten it. I thought of something to write when I was at work, but I've forgotten that as well.

What I can say is this: I drank four 20-oz bottles of Pepsi this weekend; two each night. Today and Friday I didn't eat lunch at work, I just ate chips and hummus that the boss had bought a week or so ago. I didn't go out today because I was afraid it would rain. Friday I don't know what my excuse was; it was a beautiful day.

On Friday the boss brought in bagels and cream cheese, orange and grapefruit juice. There were leftover bagels this morning. That was my breakfast Friday and today. 

I'm back at Best Friend's for the evening; I don't know when they're getting in. I'm thinking I'll leave between eight and ten depending on when they get back. They were north of New York City at four-thirty and they'll be driving in rush hour for the next hour or hour and a half. There might be another English mystery episode on tonight that I haven't seen and so I'll look forward to seeing that. If not, there are other shows I've told myself I'd like to see. 
Notice I don't mention my responsibilities at all. I glanced at housing ads yesterday, I think, but nothing more. There's one that's half-decent - two large rooms in a basement with a shared bathroom (I would get one of the two bedrooms) - but I feel like the price is a little high and it might be something of a walk to the bus. Speaking of which, I need to nail down the bus route some I'm not making assumptions about where it goes and then get a place nowhere near.

I'm attempting to clean up the aftermath of my visit a bit; I've done okay. Rinsed some plates, picked up my clothes, threw away trash and recycling; mostly everything is cleaned up. I have leftover takeout in the fridge to eat, the news comes on at 6:30, the dog was walked at 2 so I don't have to walk her until 8 (but I'll check the TV schedule and walk her at 7:30) and then I'm "free and clear." I put it in quotes because there is always plenty of work that I could do, but I put it off or ignore it. Soda caps, newspapers, housing, bills, receipts, etc, etc. 
Housemate told me yesterday he finished reading a new book he bought in a series we both like and he's left it for me; that's something else I can look forward to this week. 

In the "Should" column is contacting my aunt; I had one of my crazy ideas about networking to find housing; she lives in a retirement home in VA; I was going to ask if any of their neighbors have children or siblings who might want to rent a room. Worth a try (I guess/I think/maybe). (<-- Gotta maintain the positivity and not waffle Iike that; that's no good when you want the universe to work for you. You gotta believe.)

Morning Away

So I guess this is one of those times when I get all conflicted in my head and make poor choices; choosing the wrong thing even while feeling sick because....well, I don't know why. I think for some reason I'm imagining it will please me somehow when part of me knows it never does. 

I'm up, I'm dressed, I'm ready to go. All I need to do is walk the dog, come back and redress (in work clothing) and then leave. Only I'm delaying.

It doesn't make any sense. I want to get to work on time, so it's better if I leave earlier. But another part of my brain says: "Hey, you've been leaving at quarter of and ten of and that's been fine; why worry about it today?" Today it matters because I've got these extra complications - taking the dog out, having to dress again.

Now, strictly speaking, I didnt actually have to dress twice; I could have put on my work outfit, walked the dog, and left. But if it's going to be hot outside I don't want to start sweating in my work clothes before their shift. So I put on shorts and a t-shirt and I'll walk her in those, then come back and change. (I also worried about the dog rubbing her scent on me, but that may not be a real problem.) so now here I am on the couch, writing this, sweating a little, with a low-level of fear thrumming through me - because of all the general things I fear, and because I'm still not living up to "Responsible Adult" even now. I was thinking earlier about moving and being clean and thought: How am I going to change? What am I going to do different? That's the real challenge: breaking the old habits and starting new ones; changing one's behavior to be more responsible when your mind fights against it (for no good reason). 

I've got to do a lot of work today; I hope it goes well.

And now I've missed my deadline to go out with the dog, so I've got to go (7:20-7:30).


In the bathroom just now there was a twinge in my chest, on the left side, in the clock face area of my nipple. It also seemed to twinge at the same time in my upper arm. As is usually the case in these instances, I thought: now would be a terrible time to have a heart attack - on the toilet, in a locked apartment, taking care of the dog, and no one home for about 20 hours. That would be a horrifying thing to come home to.

Here is the report from today. I fought with myself, but I got up at 8am (after falling asleep after 3) and took the dog for a walk, took a shower, and sat down for some TV. I watched CBS' Sunday Morning, maybe 2/3 of the movie Flushed Away (which was brilliant if you didn't think about the reality of things at all), then a documentary about Prop 8, then something else briefly, then Constantine, then an episode of Inspector Lewis (love it), then I went home and picked up my work bag and clothes for tomorrow, then I spent a half-hour or so on the phone with Nurse Friend (walking outside made me long for human contact and I needed to reach out to someone), then I watched Endeavour, then I watched SG-1 until 12, I took the dog for a walk and now I'm here, writing this.

I feel guilty and angry for not living up to my plans; I should have done the work things I had planned to, and I should have done the assignment I gave myself: entering points for soda caps and writing journal entries from the past week or so. Going through my pile of newspapers and taking out the notes. 

But again I've given my time over to the television; the only good thing I can say about today is that I didn't watch any reruns - well, until the end there, with SG-1. Tomorrow I will just have to face the day and deal with my situation. I've got three clear tasks; I think I can accomplish two of them easily. I guess I should keep thinking positively like that. It will help me to be productive.

As I was walking the dog, I was thinking about the things I didn't do and the guilt and shame and anger I feel about myself. I tried to think about how I would have done things differently if I could have been productive; what that would have felt like and what I might have been thinking. I could see or feel the attitude I would have had, what it would have been like to have someone I was doing things with or some goal I was excited about. What I reflected on was: how can I identify and bring forth that feeling in myself when I need to? (I am reminded of Best Friend and the Buddhists; the idea of bringing forth your best self is very much a Buddhist idea.) I don't have a strategy for that and I don't know that I have any thoughts about coming up with a strategy. Unfortunately I am not very creative in that way.

Right now an old episode of The Outer Limits is on; some soldiers have been shot with bullets containing fragments of a meteorite and it's made them all super intelligent. It's always curious to see what the past thought the future would be; yesterday The Running Man (1987) was on and I was reminded again how taking over the TV broadcast signals was a big deal back in the day; no one talks about that now; with television and media viewing so fractured, it doesn't seem like it would matter much.

In this episode the four men become super geniuses; one works with chemistry, one works in finance, one works in metallurgy and the fourth works in something else. It's curious to see what their futuristic abilities/creations are, based on where we are now. It's always curious to see where the world was going then.

Gotta go.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Commercial Report: Pepsi On The River

There's a commercial on now with two guys floating on the river and their cooler full of Pepsi floats away and they chase it down. The first time I saw it, I was watching TV with Best Friend and we agreed that it was wrong because the guys in the river would never have Pepsi. Either A) they would have beer, or B) they would have water; because there are two kinds of people in this world that are outdoorsy: people that drink, and people who are healthy (and sometimes they overlap). But no one ever brings soda unless there are kids or it's a picnic. Or there's someone like me. Adults generally grow up and start drinking beer instead of soda. Trust me, I know.

Commercial Report: Cologne

Recently there's been a commercial for Davidoff Cool Water: Night Dive (what's with the epic fucking title?). When it came on, I said to myself: "Oh; I know what this is going to be; this is going to be Agua di Gio." And then I was wrong.

But the real question is: if I blended together all the Davidoff and Agua di Gio commercials, would you be able to tell? They're all about the Italian Mediterranean. 

Side note: the add for CW:ND says if you buy the $70 bottle at Macy's, you get a free towel. It makes me want to put an add on Craigslist that says: if you buy Davidoff Cool Water/Night Dive (what's the proper punctuation there?), can I have the free towel?

In The Ditch

I watched a couple of movies today, neither of them really great or special. Then I watched a bunch of Law & Order episodes that I'd seen before. I've been horizontal on the couch most of the day. I didn't take a shower, and I only went out to walk the dog around two o'clock. I'll be going out again in 45 minutes to walk her again.

I didn't go to the post office and get that certified letter, and I didn't do any work for work. I didn't call and places about housing or email anybody about it. I ate very little; a cookie, some crackers with cheese. My tongue is all fucked up; I'm not sure if that's because I'm deliberately rubbing it against the shards of teeth in my gums or if it's happening accidentally. No, incidentally. 

I'm tired. I'm not sure if that's because I didn't sleep well last night or because I've been inactive the whole day. 

I was thinking about taking a shower now, but I can't get myself to do it. For stupid reasons, like: I shower in the morning. And if I shower tonight, showering tomorrow morning will feel stupid. How dumb is that? I don't know why I make these arbitrary rules for myself. I feel greasy and dirty, I should just take a shower. I'll feel better if I do. Maybe I'm thinking I'll feel worse when I'm clean and feel free and then realize how I've ruined the day. Man, I need to work on myself.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Crack Den/The Golden Cage

I am in what could be called The Crack Den, or The Golden Cage. I'm at Best Friend's, dogsitting for the weekend.

It's The Crack Den because of the TV: it's enormous, HD, has Amazon Prime and some premium channels.

It's The Golden Cage because even as I'm excited by the TV, I'm saddened that I'm excited and I know that I shouldn't be excited and that I have other things I need to be doing instead of watching TV. Like: finding a new place to live. Time is running out and I've been fucking around. I had a few good places slip out from under me without ever finding out about them, and I haven't followed up on half the places I've found. 

There's also work stuff I need to do; this afternoon I faded out and didn't feel like I was accomplishing anything; it wasn't good. I was thinking as I left that my first real job taught me the wrong lesson: I got paid shitloads of money to work for two or three hours a day - and I got used to it. Now I'm in a position where I should be working non-stop (and keeping track of my time) and I'm spacing out). I feel like shit about myself.

And yet...that gets me nowhere. I don't have the encouraging side of myself that kindles the fires of interest and natural curiousity, that can separate the judgement from the work or study, that doesnt link the two together or try to punish me with what I've done in the past. Nurse Friend was talking to me the other week about self-compassion; I just can't seem to get with it; it seems weak and a cop-out. My role is The Punisher; I come down on myself like a ton of bricks because I always deserve it.

I was telling my roommate something else I realized while leaving work: when I feel good; I do nothing. And when I feel bad; I do nothing. So nothing gets done either way.

I thought of this because as I was leaving work I was thinking what a relief it was, and I thought: I don't have to do anything. I felt safe, and that meant I got to watch fun shows on TV.

But here's the problem: feeling safe is an illusion. At some point, I have to move, there's no two ways about it. So I need to get my shit together and find myself a house. But when I feel safe, I feel like: "That shit will work itself out." The problem with that is, I mean it literally; like: I won't have to life a finger. Something will drop into my lap.

Thinking like that is dangerous, because it leaves you vulnerable to misfortune. If nothing did come, I would be scrambling at the last minute and begging friends for favors and in trouble. That would not be good. I already know where all my safe zones are, but none of them are good options; no one wants me to come live with them. And I don't want to put them in that position; I don't want to put them out. 

I just don't want to have to deal with it myself.

And with that, let me go look at the listings and see what's out there.

Still Living

The meeting did not kill me.

While walking there, I realized I should have had a discussion with the bosses about what they might be talking about and how we might be relevant to that and what kinds of things I might say. I realized I had no idea about anything as I was walking up.

It was fine. When I walked into the meeting room, there were four women there. I introduced myself and sat down and listened. The rest of the people came in - three of the four women didn't work there (one was an independent consultant that worked for them) and everyone that came in was from the company whose offices we were in.

I didn't say a word. I just sat and listened and, for the first hour, tried to transcribe what people said. The conversation was mostly about a graphic and ideas. I had no idea this is what the meeting was going to be. I still kept my mouth shut so as not to betray my idiocy (not that anyone asked me any questions). 

I didn't contribute at all. I spent most of the time being paranoid that they expected something from me or would ask me a question I didn't know the answer to. I was petrified to be in a room of professionals, masquerading as one of them. I certainly look like a boring, mid-level guy, but I don't know shit. (See? There I go again, protesting ignorance.) 

After the meeting, I left with a guy we're working with and we went to lunch. I learned some more about him and the company we must met with and what they're doing. We also talked about another project we're working on with him and then went back to the office for a meeting on that. 

That was semi-short and he did all the talking. I didn't know what all these things were, but they made practical sense and he explained them pretty well; I think it was just the terminology that sticks in my craw. I haven't nailed down any of the terms and how they apply or make sense, so I still feel ignorant about them (and I feel ignorant that I haven't learned them and still am not learning them. This is one of those things where I should be researching and learning about these things because they are a fairly important part of my job. Only I can't be bothered. I find it all so boring, and I want to talk it through with someone rather than read about it and have to do my own analysis. And thinking about it, I probably have read about it some and it just hasn't stuck. I think the issue is that I need hard examples to work through the various aspects of the definitions, examples of how each choice is good or bad - Hm; maybe I need a quiz about it so I can put my problem-solving skills to work. Interesting idea.)

Anyway, after that meeting I caught the bus, read my book on the way home, then went to Best Friend's and watch our bad TV show and then later, some funny TV. I left there at about 9:30 and came home. Here I finished reading my book, ate some leftover Chinese and drank a Coke or two, watch the Daily Show and then fell asleep half-way through Colbert. I woke up at 4:30 when I heard my housemate moving around upstairs and went up to bed. I slept through quite soundly until 6:30 this morning.

Current anxiety:
1. I need to find a new place to live and I'm not working very hard on that.
2. There's that certified letter from my student loan. I'm petrified it's going to say I'm in default. I was going to call them yesterday but then I went to Best Friend's. The truth is if it's bad news, I don't wanna know; I want to dig a hole in the ground and jump in (that's what TV is). I'm going to be super paranoid about it until I get that letter this weekend, and the fear is going to fuck up my behavior all weekend.

I am still fucked up in all spheres of my life: work feels precarious, housing is precarious, finances are a disaster. Ignoring shit is making shit worse. 

And here I am dragging my feet to go to work. God, I feel sick and I have no one to blame but myself.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Could You Have Asked For A Better Day?

So I don't know if I mentioned it last night, but I have this meeting to go to today and I'm kind of freaked out. Yesterday I freaked out hard, like 3G freakout (the gravitational thing, not the phone thing). But I talked to myself about it as the afternoon wore on (I'm still talking to myself) and I've calmed down significantly. 

I'm still scared because I don't feel professional, knowledgeable or adult. I'm ashamed of the fact that I'm missing teeth and if I smile wide you can see (at least) one of the spaces. I'm ashamed I don't know more about the process or what goes on (some of which is my fault; I haven't done the research and reading that I should have). I'm afraid I'm going to be called on and not have an answer (let alone the right one).

In any case, what I meant to talk about was the weather. I'm wearing a suit for this meeting to at least look professional, and any other time I'd be miserable because it would be hot as shit outside and the suit would just be a sweat cage for me. But it turns out the weather is beautiful. It is currently 70 degrees outside and there's no humidity. My worst case scenario for this meeting is it'll be like my office and I'll be cold

So in some ways the gods have been very good to me and I've been gifted this opportunity to learn something new and gain experience and the difficult parts of the process have been dialed down.

Yes, there are still stressful things in my life, and yes, I'm probably going to make myself sick with worry over them as soon as this is over, but today I get a little bit of a break to balance out my insane, over the top anxiety with this lovely weather.

Unwelcome Guest

(I feel like I'm going to talk about my period.)

Have you ever had a mosquito in the shower with you? It's the worst. For some stupid reason I didn't want to smash him (it'd wash right off) and so he flew off again and I was never sure where he was. Mosquitos are just annoying in general.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Warmer Inside

I just got home. I stayed at work until almost six, then went and got my hair cut. I caught the bus at about twenty to seven and got off the train at 7:30. I missed the news but I thought something was on. I thought there were shows at 8 and 10, but it turns out there aren't. This means I have an opportunity to clean up (or go to the store and buy shampoo like I wrote on my hand this morning) but I don't want to. I want to avoid the things I'm supposed to do and veg out and forget about the world.

Why didn't I learn that there is succor in work? Why didn't I learn to find solace in washing dishes, in dusting or picking up laundry? Why do I avoid so hard and fight things that will be satisfying later? Why can't I break down tasks into parts and compartmentalize so that I don't get overwhelmed? Why don't I follow up? What the fuck is my problem?

The title refers to the fact that the weather tonight is amazing, and it's been pretty awesome all day. When I was cold at my desk, I went to lunch, expecting the heat to warm me up. Only it wasn't warm outside; it was lovely. I called Best Friend, she said the official number was 79. I was out in the sun but not hot and there was a pleasant breeze. That condition only improved by the time I got off the Metro; tonit would be a lovely night to sit outside with friends and just enjoy the weather. I should turn off the TV and go outside and read my book. I'm enjoying it and was doing a good stretch on the Metro. And all I'm watching now are reruns. But I'll keep sitting here. Stupid.

So I'm An Asshole

I was shitty to NGG (and still am, mentally, for being critical of her depression instead of supportive).
I'm shitty to my housemates (for never cleaning up).
I'm shitty to my job (for not putting the hours in to get things done).
I'm shitty to everyone for thinking of myself and how shitty I am instead of focusing on making it better and putting in the work every day to accomplish changes.

Right now I'm rending myself about my student loan and about how I have such horrible behavior and how am I going to live anywhere when I'm such a lousy housemate; I'll have to get a basement because I don't deserve to live with people. But then I double down on that because rending myself still isn't cleaning the table or doing the dishes (which I could be doing right now) or making any positive difference, it is instead whining about it and laying on the floor and flailing my arms and legs. And then I feel bad about that and then I feel bad about that and then I get overwhelmed and angry and nothing gets done.

This is what I keep wrestling with - how do I get things done? How do I turn the negative into a positive? Why is fear my only motivator? Or: how do I shut up and just do the work? People like me don't like people like George W. Bush because we feel he doesn't think enough about things; but his type of person just does the work, and there's a real value in that. My way obviously isn't getting me very far in life.

And with that I have to go to work.

What I'm Freaking Out About Today

Small - well, "small" - issues with work, but more:
1. A certified letter has come from my student loan company. Am I defaulting? Fuck! I don't have the money to fucking pay them, I would have! 
(That's my fault because I don't work full time, or even two part time jobs, to be able to qualify for a lower loan rate or be able to make payments.)
2. My housemate - the nice one - made it clear to me just how insensitive I've been about the mess and the clutter; all this time I've been struggling with myself and saying "Poor me, I can't get my shit together," but they've had to suffer the consequences, in a messy house. Makes me feel shitty - but it works against the productivity and turns into any excuse! It's fucking shitty. God damn it.

In other news, it's apparently not hot enough to trigger the air conditioning and so it's hotter and more humid inside. I'm sweating a lot more than I feel like I normally would. And all this fucking stress isn't helping. And I still have to move. Fuuuuuuuck.

Sleep Fail

Didn't do the newspapers, or the receipts, or the work stuff. Staying up after midnight to watch comedy TV. A/C doesn't seem to be on, so it's hot in the coolest room in the house. Bleg. Sucks.