Sunday, December 29, 2013

Is it?

When I saw the brain doctor last week, he said that he was really glad that I went and saw the play of It's a Wonderful Life performed at a radio show. He said that the moral (my word) of the play is so very important for a person like me. A person with my... mood. (I don't remember the words he used.)

The thing is, I've thought about this for years. It's a Wonderful Life is a great movie. Great cast that carries off a very earnest script with ease and believability. The direction is competent and the moral is very strong: a person with friends is always rich.

Although I think the brain doctor was more interested in the fact that life is worth living and we don't know how we have effected the world around us.

Again, I've thought about this for years. The only truly horrible thing that I can think of happening if I hadn't been born is that I don't think my brothers would have been born, either, because I doubt that my parents would have gotten married if my mother hadn't been pregnant with me. (Hell, on several occasions, and in less vulgar terms, my father has told me that he offered to pull out because he thought she would get pregnant that time and she told him to keep going. I could have been a smear on my mother's stomach. Or back.) The fact that my brothers wouldn't be born bothers me because I don't think anyone should have the right to take another person's life. Other than that, though, I haven't led a life that has drastically affected anyone. George Baily lived in a small city and gave out home loans to people; he was in position to touch many live in an important way and that's not even counting his family. I've only done work that anyone could do just as well as I do.

Then there's the thoughts about friends. If they're reading this, I'm sorry, but I don't know if I really have any friends anymore. I don't think I understand what friendship is. Did I ever? Is a friend someone who doesn't answer your letters or calls or ask questions even when you try to? Is a friend someone you used to spend time with, but don't anymore? Is a friend someone who you always have to go to, but he or she never comes your direction? I'm not sure anymore. And since I know I haven't made any friends since I left high school... well that leave me pretty screwed in that department.

Still, I do know that my meds are working. Thursday I found myself planning for the future. Not like when do I think I'd like to take vacation next year, but planning for years from now. I am going to quit my job and go back to school for an MFA. It will take me at least two years to get there, but probably three. I have to take the GRE and the subject specific GRE. I need to create a network so I can get references from people that are related to the MFA I want. I have to start writing fiction. And for the first time in I don't know how long this decision feels really real. I know what program I'd really like to get into for a Ph.D., but it only takes five students a year. Most of the MFA programs take more students and there are several out there that could pay my way through school. At the shortest it'll take me four years to be finished. If I go all the way it could take up to 10 years. And I'm okay with that. I really don't know the last time I was willing or able to make plans so far in advance and feel okay about it.

One more thing before I check out, probably for the year, these are decent in explaining how I have felt for more than a decade: Adventure in Depression and Depression Part 2. They're not perfect, seeing as how I'm a different person, but for the most part it's close enough. Especially the first one.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Christmas

The idea of me decorating a Christmas tree makes my stomach flip and flop.

And watching people actually decorate one makes me feel really uncomfortable.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Vomit Free Since 12/16/13

I am feeling very blargh right now.

Two Tuesdays ago, a cold caught me. That Wednesday, I stayed away from work because along with blowing snot out my nose, the membrane back there kept puncturing and my nose would bleed. I hate doing the bloody nose thing at work.

I'm fortunate that the cold never turned into a bad cough, but the thing is still with me, sapping what little energy my rotundness produces.

On Sunday night, sometime after midnight, I woke up to a bellyache. I told myself over and over that I would not throw up. My body said that if I wasn't going to head to the bathroom it would make me thin that the other side needed some relieving, too. I sat down and farted then got sick. I was holding the garbage can on my lap.

There wasn't much in me because I only at breakfast that morning and some cheese (harvarti) and crackers for dinner. Of course that didn't stop my body from waking me up twice more to heave up bile and water. Monday I didn't go to work or see my brain doctor or do much of anything.

This morning, I woke up, still with a bellyache, and went to work because I hadn't been sick for 18 hours and I felt well enough.

Which is kind of funny because that's one of my answers when people ask me how much I like my new job. "Well enough," I say.

One of the best things about this job is that I don't loathe going there. It's just work. The people are decent. I have a great boss and she has a nice number two. The work I do can be challenging, but is never so hard that I want to scream. This job, though, isn't something I care about.

I will never be passionate about posting jobs vacancies online, or collecting and reviewing applications, or logging the movement of hiring paperwork into an overstuffed binder. Never. I wish I were so that I would wake up excited to go to work. I wish I were driven to push myself up through the ranks. I wish I had a goal.

Once, I think, I mentioned that when I was in high school some of my friends had an assignment to show off/explain their bliss. I thought about the assignment for a long time, even though it wasn't my assignment, and came up blank. I still think about that assignment. I still come up blank.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A True Thanksgiving

We had a real traditional Thanksgiving this year. Not only did my
brothers, their spouses, and their children come to my parents' house,
but once again my grandfather ended up in the hospital.

I know that I've mentioned this before (and I would totally link to
the other stories if I was writing this from my computer rather than
at work where I can't get access to Blogger) but my grandfather,
father's father, has been in the hospital a lot around Thanksgiving.
It's like every two or three years he goes in.

The last time was 2011. He had an infection in his foot and wound up
having two toes removed. He was out of his house and either at a
hospital or in a "rehab" center until just before 2012 started. (I
know that the story in on this blog somewhere. I really do wish I
could link it.)

So, the Saturday before Thanksgiving I moved back in with my parents.
I got hired back at the prison in Cowtown out in the personnel
department. The brother who lives in Oregon and his family arrived in
Cowtown noonish that day, as well. On Tuesday, I think, it was
decided, that they were all going to visit my grandparents in the care
home while I was at work.

Around 9AM that Tuesday, my family family received a phone call from
the home asking how my grandpa was. My mom asked why. She was told
that Grandpa had been taken to the hospital in the early morning
hours. Everyone packed up, a little earlier than planned, and headed
to the hospital to see Grandpa and then over to the home to see
Grandma and then back to the hospital.

Of course, I didn't learn any of this until I got back to an empty
house that evening and called my mom to find out what was going on.

Grandpa was in the hospital, this time, because he blood was low. They
found no open wounds on him. His abdomen didn't hurt and his poop
wasn't bloody; they could have scoped his stomach for ulcers, but he's
93 years old. One thought was that he was bleeding internally, but
nothing was tender. There was talk about leukemia, but no tests were
run. And the doctor mentioned that when people get old their marrow
sometimes just stops producing blood cells.

The hospital gave Grandpa three units of blood. That's about three
pints. About six cups. About one quarter of the amount of blood in the
average adult human. The hospital wanted him to stay for a while after
the final unit was given, but Grandpa is such an asshole that they let
my parents take him back to the home. My brother's family drove back
to Cowtown. Our parents stayed in a hotel so they could take my
grandpa back to the hospital for tests in the morning.

I didn't see them until the next evening, but I got the full scoop.
The parents didn't take anyone to the hospital and instead they talked
to Hospice and introduced the Hospice person to Grandpa. This causes
my grandpa to freak out a little and he wants to get my grandma's
opinion, which is a huge problem.

If my grandma doesn't have Alzheimer's then she has a severe case of
dementia. She's lucky though because her normal personality is
friendly and sweet. She wants to get to know you and even if she
doesn't understand what you're saying she is truly interested in
listening to you. She smiles and handles small talk like a pro. Even
on days when she loses her words and can't speak in complete sentences
she stays pleasant. She doesn't always understand or can't communicate
especially when it's something that's hugely important and requires
critical thinking. When Grandpa started to talk to her about Hospice
and letting go, she freaked out.

She'd already been having some trouble, anyway. She's restless in the
room she shares with my grandpa. She's up and down and moving things
and is generally disruptive when Grandpa is trying to watch TV or in
the middle of the night. She knows to go to the bathroom, but doesn't
always understand how to use what needs to be used and leaves messes
or throws used toilet paper in the hamper or sink or bathtub. She
wanders into other people's rooms and moves or takes things. She eats
off of other people's plates or smears her food on the floor and walls
of the dining room. The ladies at the home have taken to bringing her
along on their rounds so they can watch her. Before Thanksgiving, the
idea of moving her either out of the shared room or to another home
had been mentioned.

Thanksgiving Day there were no calls from the home. It was a calm day
on the grandparents' front.

On Friday my parents and my brother, along with his wife, who lives in
Los Angeles, drove down to the home to see my grandparents. Grandpa
had to go back to the hospital to have his blood drawn. My brother,
who is almost a medical doctor, spoke with our grandpa's doctor with
our dad. His blood level wasn't low, but it wasn't as high as it had
been after the transfusions on Tuesday. Grandpa would probably have to
go back in a few weeks for more blood or just let himself go.

Fortunately, things were good at the home. Grandma was personable and
my sister-in-law played the piano. Things were okay until the guys got
back and Grandpa, again, tried to talk about end of life issues and
get my grandma involved. Again, she got upset.

The next day, the brothers, their significant others, and the children
all left, four to the north and two to the south. In the evening
Grandpa called and spoke with Dad. He had decided that he was going to
get the transfusions and stay alive as long as possible.

My grandpa is an atheist. An atheist who is afraid to die. In college
he started out as a seminary student, but he's too analytical and
without any real proof or feeling of KNOWING in his gut he switched to
psychology, he was of the B. F. Skinner variety, and told himself that
there is no higher power and nothing after this life; if there was
something, he said he would be pleasantly surprised.

He was okay with this way of thinking until about 15 years ago. I
guess he just realized that he was old and would die one day, I don't
really know, but suddenly he was really interested in those TV
psychics, like John Edward, who spoke with their audiences about
family they'd lost, family currently in the afterlife. Grandpa didn't
obsess over these celebrity psychics, but their message that there was
an afterlife comforted him. He was skeptical, though. He didn't
believe with all his heart that an afterlife existed because there was
no physical evidence that had been confirmed by means he trusted. Deep
inside he still believed that there is nothing after we die. And this
scares him.

So, when my grandpa spoke with Dad on Saturday and said he want
extraordinary means to stay alive, I wasn't surprised, even though it
went against everything Grandpa had stated over the years. Grandpa
tried to rationalize by saying that Grandma needed him. Emotionally,
she may need him, but he doesn't notice the problems she causes unless
she's disturbing him and even when he does notice all he does is yell
at her and call in the ladies to get her out of the room. According to
my dad, Grandpa taking such extraordinary means to stay alive is
against everything my grandpa has said when talking about end of life

What makes it even harder is that my grandpa expects my parents to
drive him to the hospital and back each time he needs a transfusion.
Both of my parents said they can't do it. My grandpa lives over an
hour away from my parents and the transfusions would have to take
place on a weekday. One unit of blood takes about three hours to be
absorbed. With the pick-up and drop-off that's at least six hours. A
lost day of work. And since both parents work with students it's a day
of prep and appointments lost, too.

The week after Thanksgiving, Tuesday or Wednesday, the home called and
said that Grandma has to be moved somewhere else. She can no longer
stay at this home because she's disturbing the other residents too
much and she's upsetting my grandpa too much and there's no way to get
her under control. She has to go.

My grandparents moved into this current home at the end of September.
A new place has been found, but we have to wait for rooms to become
available. Grandpa is insisting on going to be with Grandma. They will
not be sleeping in the same room. The new place will cost twice as
much as the current place. Grandpa keeps talking about dying and
moving to Grandma, upsetting her.

I really wish I had a way to wrap this up. Something witty or
meaningful. I don't though. My head is stuffy from a lingering cold,
all this crap that I've been writing since yesterday, and my new job.

Besides, this is life. There really isn't an end.

Friday, December 06, 2013

You know the cold is bad when...

You blow your nose and you can feel the snot being pulled from your
sinuses, like a snake uncoiling to strike.

Sunday, December 01, 2013


I figure that if I had one million dollars I would not have to work for the next 20 years.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm Tired

The problem is: The sooner I fall asleep, the sooner it feels like I wake up and have to go to work.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Before the Giving of Thanks

Dear Blog Readers,

I am going back to work in Cowtown the Monday before American Thanksgiving. This means I will probably be moving in with my parents for a while. A much shorter while, this time, I hope.

My mother and I drove around looking at houses yesterday. Some were rentals, most are for sale.

The most significant factor in where I'll end up is the snow line. I feel mostly safe driving myself, but I hate most of the drivers out there. (I mean who thinks it's smart to stop while driving uphill in an inch of slush covered in two inches of snow?)

Also, there's the whole me just being me factor and sort of, kind of freaking out about nothing and everything over the job, over living with the parents, over the crappy neighbors that don't yet exist.

Yeah. Just wanted to share. Aren't I great?

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Sanctioned Fan-Fiction

I am usually in bed at this time. My meds usually make me yawny and that means get into bed. Tonight, though, I stay up to watch Elementary. The show is enjoyable, but not one that I have to watch see each week. This week Sherlock's older brother is back.

Mycroft Holmes is my favorite character that Conan-Doyle created. Sure, this Mycroft is different from the one in the books, but I still want to see what's done with him.

I love that fan-fiction can be loved by mass audiences and companies will spend millions of dollars on without slutting up any of the characters.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

10 Years

I started this blog 10 years ago. It is a success in that I've been posting for that long. I've never been a popular blog, though. I flirted with huge readship one time when I kept writing about comic books and made sure it related to gender issues in some way, but that wasn't ever what this blog was intended to be. The number of posts is nearly one post every other day, which is pretty good, especially since I don't get paid for writing. Even checking Facebook several times a day hasn't completly stopped me from posting. No regular interwebs connection and sever depression almost stopped, but I eventually came back.

So, yeah, 10 years. If I was someone else I would point you to my favorite posts. I'm too lazy for that, though, and the few that visit probably don't care anyway.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Hard Part

I've been watching The War. Ken Burns's documentary series about World War Two. Like his other documentaries it's full of images and film from the era. You see people of all sorts dying or already dead. The part that's the hardest for me to watch, though, is the people who were there talking about what they saw, what they did, and what they felt.

How these men have lived so long and so well with that war is baffling. One guy talked about how, after dreaming about a certain incident, he would lose the use of his right hand and his wife wouldn't say a thing she would just place a cup of coffee on the table with the handle turned toward his left hand. They got married right after the war and they never talked about it.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Inside My Brain

I found the 3rd season of 30 Rock for $10 and been watching it this weekend. So I've got to thinking:

A few years ago it was really popular for porn companies to make "parodies" of popular TV shows. If I remember correctly, 30 Rock is one of the shows they parodied; I think 30 Rock even made fun of the idea. I started thinking about the many combinations of characters they could go through and I bet that they had Liz and Jack get together. And that thought upset me.

One of my favorite things about 30 Rock is that Jack and Liz are friends with little to know sexual tension. They even refuse to kiss; they just can't imagine doing that together. And a porn that I haven't seen, but know exists bothers me because it, probably, gets a fictional relationship wrong.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Friday Nights

I seem to be watching Undercover Boss on Fridays. I don't particularly like the show, but I like how good the editors are at manipulating emotions and creating a story out of hours and hours of footage full of nothing.

"V" is for Peace?

During World War Two, holding your first two fingers up and spread apart stood for victory.

By Vietnam, the same gesture meant peace.

When and how did the come to be?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Nights

I seem to be watching Undercover Boss on Fridays. I don't particularly like the show, but I like how good the editors are at manipulating emotions and creating a story out of hours and hours of footage full of nothing.

Monday, October 07, 2013

And the Tears Won't Come

There are times when everything wells up inside and I feel like crying. Not just a few brief sobs and then done, but real tears that just don't end. Usually it happens at work or some other time or place where it would be inappropriate, so I refuse to let myself. At those times, though, when it would be okay to cry I try to let myself, but the tears just won't come. I sit feeling scrunched up inside with no release.

Sometimes, those moments, or at least a reason for those moments is understandable. Today I got some news that was upsetting. Not just because something was cancelled (to be honest I wasn't that excited about a party), rather it was the mindset of the person who cancelled. And it scares me and I hope this person will be well. For a good long while I was scrunched up. Now, not so much, but behind my eyes feels very heavy.

Makes sense, right? Last night, though, I was reading Jess Fink's outstanding We Can Fix It: A Time Travel Memoir and it happened. The book starts out with Jess traveling back in time to keep herself from doing embarrassing relationship/sexual things. Then it changes to her looking at some horrible things that happened in her life. After that she decides to look at these little moments in her life that made her laugh or brought her joy. Thats when the feeling started and nothing could come.

Of course before I could sleep I spent an hour dwelling on it, dissecting everything I had thought and felt while reading. In the end I figured out the why and fell asleep.

I'm not going to write what the why is because it actually has to do with the last time I cried and I'm not comfortable putting it out there right now because when I did the crying I was mocked for the thing that upset me. I really don't need to go through that again.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

First Time Top Five

On Friday, The brain doctor told me that I am one of his top five patients. He then told me that I didn't want to be in that group because those are the patients he worries about the most.

Is it wrong that part of me feels flattered for being in his top five?

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Blackbird Singing

The best thing about Glee doing The Beatles is that I can sing along with all the songs. Although some of them are a bit odd. I think it's the voices more than the arrangement.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Strawberry Jam

Made strawberry jam this afternoon. One just popped. Hurray!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I don't see any stars.

The brain doctor keeps saying that my life seems depressing. Every time he says it I wonder what's the point.

He wants me to go out and do thing with people around. A class, maybe. Something where my mind is occupied on thoughts and things outside of myself and, he believes, eventually I will come to strike up conversations with the people around me and make friends and then start going out and doing things with people and eventually I'll be happy and I won't think how I currently think. He also says that this will take time and will be hard for me; he has no idea how hard.

The thought doctor jacked up my medication to the highest approved dose a few weeks ago. I didn't notice any positive difference. He doesn't want to put me on another drug because he's afraid of generics and what may be in the pill. (Generic drugs have to be + or - 20% the brand name levels of the active chemical and the FDA doesn't monitor what else goes into them.I looked it up.) I'd like something else, though, I've been on this drug for three months and while it has helped a little, it doesn't feel like much change.

A friend who is on a different medication said that she thinks more clearly and more purely herself. I envy her both. Over the last couple of days my brain has felt muddied and slow and sometimes I feel like I have to pull really hard to get thoughts out and then have concentrate even harder to make sure that I'm understood by others. As for feeling more like myself, I've been down so long that the only self I know is the one in a dark pit, so deep I can't even see the stars at night. I don't know if the medication she's on would do the same for me, but I'd like to spend a day feeling like she feels.

The doctor also said that if I am as depressed as I say I am he finds it to be incredible that I can function as well as I do at work. I tried to explain to him that if I couldn't get out of bed and make an effort to get to work and do my job that I may as well end it all and I can't do that because I made a promise about 25 years ago that I wouldn't. So I haven't. So I don't plan to. So I won't.

It's strange to be talking with someone about these things and being very specific, not vague like here. What's stranger is knowing that he's been doing this job for longer than I've been alive and he can still be surprised and shocked by some of the things I say. I assumed that someone who's been in the brain doctor business for this long has pretty much heard it all. He did tell me that he hasn't hospitalized one of his patients in 20 years, which, of course, sent my brain into overreact mode and I wonder if he's considering hospitalizing me. If he does I may just let that be the end; stop there.

I feel like I should apologize for putting this out there. I know that very few people read this and I've heard that getting your thoughts and feelings out is a good idea, but I don't want the few that read my thoughts to worry or think that there's something that they should do or something that they can do.

In time I'm supposed to enjoy the things that "normal" people enjoy. In time I'm supposed to be able to find a reason or reasons like "normal" people do. In time certain thoughts are supposed to fade away and I'm supposed to start thinking more closely to how "normal" people think. In time.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Increase Without Increase

Last week, with great hope, the brain doctor upped my dosage. The idea is that since there have been some positive effects with the lower dose the higher dose would, hopefully, give my brain a push to the next step and I could really start getting better.

Tomorrow I get to tell the brain doctor that it's not working. I don't feel any different this week than I did last week or the two weeks before that. Which isn't so bad because my insurance won't cover this drug.

Besides what I wrote on Tuesday about how those okay moments make me hate my job they also make me really want to get better. Having those moments of okay make some of the horrible times hurt, really hurt. I don't remember a time when I really wanted to be better. It's kind of scary.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Work Misery

The bad thing is that the more often I feel okay to good the more I realize just how miserable my job makes me.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Not Me

There is a job in a place that would be lovely to live. It has been posted for two months. I asked about it today and learned that there were interviews last week and I was not part of them. I an only a little disappointed, but not utterly destroyed. At least I have something to say to the brain doctor.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fighting Fires From Space

I am very bored.

Most of the work I have piled on my desk depends on other people doing things so that I can do things to complete the work that's on my desk. And it is a pain.

So, I sit here and do nothing. That's not quite true. I did download Emma to my computer and read the first twenty pages. The text is such a slog when I'm not in the right mood. The way characters speak is so unpleasant. Everyone uses five words when one would do. I'm also bugged by the way Austen bounces between calling her protagonist Emma and Miss Woodhouse. It took me way too long to figure out who Miss Woodhouse is.

The thing is... If I was in the right mood I would enjoy the pompous way in which the book is written. I've read this book before. I greatly enjoyed Jane Eyre when I read that. I hated the characters more that the writing style of Wuthering Heights. And Great Expectations is just sad. When I'm in the right mood the way the thing is written isn't as much the focus as the characters and plot.

I'm really tired, though. I got to work and started to yawn soon after my butt hit the seat and I've been yawning ever since then.

I go to see the brain doctor tomorrow. I think he's going to take me off this medication and put me on another one. I think that because I'm approaching week six on meds and not much has changed since week three. I do feel better than I did when I started this stuff, there are moments when the weight on my shoulders are lessened and I think to myself that I feel okay, like there could be a better way to feel, but okay is pretty damned nice. But this happens maybe once a day for a minute, if I'm lucky, but it hasn't gotten anywhere beyond that. I still spend a lot of time thinking about how nice it would be to not be.

Part of me doesn't want to switch because then it's a new waiting game for six more weeks. Yuck. But if I don't switch I'll stay this way or go back to how I was forever and the whole point is to not feel like that/this anymore. I'm supposed to feel more "normal," whatever that is.

Ultimately, though, it'll be up to the brain doctor. For all I know he'll want to wait another six weeks to see if this'll work out for me.

To go back to those moments when I've felt okay, I mean really okay, recently I have to wonder if that is how most people feel most of the time. If it is then I truly envy most people.

The brain doctor keeps telling me that I'm a bright guy, but I just haven't had any breaks. Now while I know I'm fairly smart, I'm not sure about the breaks. When I finally told my parents about the brain doctor this weekend and I mentioned the breaks thing my mother said that maybe he means like how hard it is for me to get a job somewhere but when I get there they love the work that I do but then it's just as hard to move on to somewhere else when it comes time to move. I'm not sure that's what he means though.

Not that breaks would necessarily matter. Part of feeling this way for so long is that I really don't know what I want to be other than fairly comfortable. The last thing I remember really wanting to be was a fire fighter/astronaut/president all at the same time. (Yes, I would lead the USA from my orbiting fire fighting super satellite. Where else would I do it?) For a time I wanted to make movies, but that was briefly during a horrible year and went away. Telling stories has always interested me, but how often does that keep a person comfortable. Still, I need something that's not this. This is not good. It’s soul sucking and often mind numbing.

Maybe my outlook will be different if my brain starts acting "normal" and I'm "normal." Maybe I'll want a somebody so much that I'll try. Maybe I'll know what I want to do with my life and make a change. Maybe I'll stop being a coward and just pick-up and go. Maybe I'll start to like being around groups of people and living within a short distance of thousands won't make my heart flutter. Maybe I just won't care.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Don't Have a Title

TV sucks.

It shows us all these perfectly beautiful moments played out by these perfectly beautiful people that rarely happen in real life. Especially someone like me who doesn't bother to try. And even though the moments on TV are impossible, they feel true and because they feel true people like me, who want the magic in the touch of hand as fingers entangle, we believe that those impossible moments are possible.

Yeah, I just watched the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Ted meets Victoria and my heart broke and ached at the same time.

Damned TV.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Embarrassing Truth

I have just watched an episode of Big Brother, a show I despise, because I think one of the women on the show is beautiful, despite the stupid way her name is spelled.

I feel dirty.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back, Forward, and Back Farther

Once upon a time a friend's nephew was born. When this friend saw her nephew, she knew that she loved the little poop machine (her words) fiercely.

At a later once upon a time, my niece was born. When I first saw her I felt nothing. I've seen her a few times since than and I think she's funny and smart, but I haven't felt, felt anything for her.

To be fair, I honestly don't really feel anything for any one. I like them, but I don't know if I love.

Once upon a time, farther back, I thought I loved, but there was no way I could share it with her. I knew her truths, her faults, her uglies, and her beautifuls and I thought I loved her because of all of it. I never shared it because I knew her. I knew what she thought about me and we were good together even though we weren't together. No one knew. The ones who saw us together were not my friends, and my friends did not see us together.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Here It Is

The brain doctor said that there are lots of studies that show that exercise helps to speed up the absorption of the anti-depressions meds. Plus, I'm very, very fat.

The brain doctor wants me to walk, which I would do if I lived on a street where people drove slower than 55 MPH. I don't, though, so he wanted to me to get a treadmill. I looked at the used ones and the new ones and wondered if I was too, too fat to actually use a cheap treadmill. And the treadmills that weren't cheap were very not cheap.

Then I saw a stationary bike like the one my parents have had for 15+ years, but much quieter.

I bought the thing yesterday and dragged it into the house. Today I put it together. Tomorrow I have no good excuse to not exercise.


Nice Dream

I dreamed that Amanda Palmer came to Thanksgiving with my family. One of my cousins tried to hit on her and failed ant it was hilarious. She thought I was laughing at her, but when I explained she was merely indifferent, but she liked that I could talk about the difference in her music since The Dresden Dolls ended-ish. She was excited about all my Dad's boxed sets of music. And she let me sing along with her and smiled at how we sounded.

It's been a long time since I had a dream that had me smiling when I woke up.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Troy, the Movie

I really want to like Troy. I really do. I remember watching it in the theater oh so many years ago and just feeling a sense of disappointment.

The idea of doing the Illiad as it may have actually happened, not the gods infested, joyous insanity that Homer wrote, is a cool idea. But the movie doesn't work.

It implies that the Trojan war lasted merely weeks rather than ten years. The dialogue is so clunky that even some really good actors can't speak it well. (Although the guy who plays Odysseus handles it perfectly.) Achilles is the person we follow, but he's an arrogant, whiny asshole, not a hero. I hate how inconsistent the accents are; example: the king of Sparta has a Scottish accent, his brother has an English accent, and his wife has a French accent. Now I could get behind the idea that Spartans are the Scottish of the Greeks, but Helen ain't French.

Still, for the most part, the movie looks good and I find myself watching it every few years because maybe one day it'll be a great movie rather than a disappointment.

Friday, August 09, 2013

How They Should Have Made Oz The Great and Powerful

Act 1: The Wizard (he should never have a name) crashes into Oz. He begins to use his knowledge to help and dazzle people. He glues china people. He pulls coins from people's ears. He touches fire to a powder and unblocks a river. His legend grows and Oz has been without a leader for a long time. It's been years since Ozma was on the throne. And through a growing consensus, the Wizard gets put in charge.
Act 2: The witches of the North, South, East, and West come to meet this Wizard. They can see that his power is nothing like theirs, but some of the things he does is just a powerful. The Witch of the North leaves, not wanting anything to do with him. The Witch of the East chooses to consolidate her power in Munchkin land. The Witch of the West tries to steal the source of his power, but ends up hurt and she joins with her sister in the East to recover. Glinda, Witch of the South, chooses to join with the Wizard because she believes that Oz needs a leader.
Act 3: The armies of the East and West march on the Emerald City. The Wizard uses science and illusion, and a little bit of Glinda's magic, to defeat the armies. With the battle won and the witches retreating to their homes. The Wizard is declared The Wizard of Oz and the movie ends.
Hell, that could make one good movie or a pretty decent trilogy. Oh the lost opportunity.

Locked Away

Today, the brain doctor said that back in the day, a person with my level of depression would have been placed in a hospital against his wishes until he got better. Somehow that knowledge makes me feel better and worse.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Horror Movie #3

The last time I did a horror movie day I made the mistake of watching the bes of the four early on. I decided to not make that mistake today.

The Exorcist is a slow movie, but everything that happens builds and builds until it comes to the confrontation that the title promises.

It's been a long time since I've watched this movie and it still creeps me the hell out. I especially like how, in this extended director's cut, the movie really builds on the possibility that the girl is simply insane. There are so many doctors and so many tests done to her and there is no logical conclusion found, so they have to move toward faith.

Horror Movie #2

The problem with The Lady in Black is that it's boring. Not just slow, because a slow horror movie should really build suspense as it ramps up to the ed, but very dull.

It's the story of a sad man who lost his wife when she gave birth to their son four years ago. The sad man is sent to a small town to settle an estate. There he is sad and kids die and he sees a female figure wearing black and that's about it.

Oh, and the movie ends "happily" with the sad man and his son dying but they get to rejoin their wife/mother in the afterlife.

Horror Movie #1

I remember hearing that the original Evil Dead is the worst of the trilogy.

I don't know, I thought it was pretty good. Sure it doesn't have the slapstick of the second movie or the shear joyous insanity of the third, but it's supposed to be a straight forward horror flick, and it succeeds completely. The blood flows, the makeup is great, the special effects are fun, and there were a couple of times when I jumped even though I knew what was coming.

Sure, most of the acting is over the top and bad in the only way that newish actor can act, but that's part of the charm. Most horror movies now feel too slick and polished. I like how Evil Dead is gritty and grimy. The way it's shot feels more real, more intimate.

The only thing that kind of bothered me is that it's the women who get possessed first. Why is that?

Horror Movie Day

I really like the $5 DVD bins at stores because I almost always buy something when I'm there.

Today I'm going to watch the three horror movies that I bought recently:
The Evil Dead (the Sam Raimi one, not the new one)
The Woman in Black (starring Harry Potter)
and The Exorcist Extended Director's Cut

I'll be sharing brief thoughts after each movie.

Friday, August 02, 2013

The Whole Truth

The hardest thing, for me, about going to the brain doctor is telling the whole truth about how I feel to him.

When most regular people ask how you're feeling, they don't really care or want a real answer. They just us it as a greeting because it has more words than "hello" and makes it seem like they care.  There's no reason to tell the truth to them. A noncommittal "okay" is all they need and they'll interpret that one word however they want to.

The brain doctor may not personally care, but it's his job to help and he can't help unless I give him a real answer. And since I want to get better I have to say more than "okay" when he asks how I'm doing. My instinct is to say "okay" and it's hard to break a decades long habit.

I'm trying, though.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Every breath I take feels like a sigh. It's uncomfortable.

I've been feeling flu-ish since Monday afternoon. Part of me wonders if it's a side effect of the meds or a small summertime flu.

I honestly don't know what I hope it is.

Friday I see the brain doctor again. Maybe he'll tell me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Black Hole

I feel like there is a dead, dark star in my middle trying to pull me in.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Crumbling Week

The last week has been really tough.

I spoke with the brain doctor last Monday and I talked to him more directly about things than I ever have before. I didn't feel good about it either, but it had to be done so I could reach for a place to start.

The next day, and for the rest of the week, I almost couldn't get out of bed. There has been a block in my mind, making it muddy, and a pressure on my lungs, trying to make my body collapse in on itself.

Before I saw the doctor I was keeping everything sealed inside, but since seeing the doctor the seal has been broken and stuff keeps leaking out. Hopefully the seal will get back into place soon.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The False Life

Sometimes I want to make up an entirely different life and post it to my actual Facebook page just to confuse the hell out of my family.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Another Day

The brain doctor has given me pills. I am to take the pill before I go to bed because some people get sleepy after taking them. Four to six weeks is the expected time for me to start feeling better.

The brain doctor is also very concerned with something that I told him, but choose not to discuss here. So, there may be another kind of brain altering pill for me to take, depending.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I keep worrying about what will happen tomorrow.

What will happen to me if the doctor decides that I shouldn't be on medication? If the way I've felt for years is normal depression then I don't know if I'll be able to… I look at people at work or at the store or in my family and don't think that they feel like this all the time, like I do.

And then there's the other side where I do get the medication and it doesn't work. What if this is normal for me? What if it does work and I'm a different person? Will I be able to recognize myself?

Hopefully it's just stupid worries. It's probably just stupid worries. Right?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Work has been really, really hard since my visit on Monday. Harder than it's been since I started. And I'm not talking about the actual work I do, rather work itself.

I haven't ever liked where I am working right now, but recently has been worse. I find my patients running short. I have an almost constant stomach ache. When I drive away from work my foot is like lead and I drive much faster than I think I should (though slower than some of the driver think I should). I'm also constantly very tired. I think the tiredness is more mental than physical. Either way I'm tired and concentration is hard.

I don't want to go back tomorrow, but I will because I won't be SICK-sick, just remain brain sick.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I spent a portion of the work day reading about the drug the brain doctor would like to put me on. The side effects are basically the same as every other SSRI I've read about.

I also did the 500+ inventory test he asked me to do. Some of it I wasn't to sure of. It was all true/false, which made most of it easy, but there are questions where the real answer is "sometimes," but there was no way to answer that way. And then there was the question that, well it went some like "I have spent a lot of time imagining I was a girl. (Or if you are a girl you like being a girl.)" I don't know how to interpret that question. There were more questions that struck me as odd, but that one seemed the oddest.

There's no lab test to tell if a person is has major depressive disorder, but the doctor claims that the test helps to figure it out. Still, after spending an hour with him talking about the horrible-ness of my brain and he doesn't think I'm very depressed, well I don't think a test would tell him.

Oh, well. I go back on Friday and I expect to get a prescription then pick up some pills and, hopefully, in four to six weeks I'll be a different me. A better me.

Monday, July 22, 2013

One Down

First day of head stuff has now ended. The doctor gave me a test. Over 500 true/false questions and I go back on Friday. I wish that I felt hopeful.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I just realized the ironical bent to the fact that I posted the last post on a public weblog, so I wanted to offer an explanation.

First, I created this blog to write. Write something, anything. Just write. Hence I write about me and myself a lot because I can do that more easily even while spinning 'round the drain.

Second, I know that my blog is really only read by one person. (Hi, bro!) Mostly this site is a brief stop while pressing Blogger's "next" button. So, it is unlikely that someone who is, or isn't, anyone will read what I wrote, no matter what was written.


Tomorrow I see the psychiatrist. I guess it's a try-out for him and for me. I choose him for two reasons:

1. English is his first language. I may be a little racist, but therapy will be hard enough without trying to wade through an accent.

2. His name. It amuses me. It's WWII/European slang for traitor, specifically a Nazi collaborator. That just tickles my nerdish side.

I am so nervous about this whole fucking thing. I have no reason to be, really, but I am. I'm supposed to somehow tell this stranger things that I've never told my family and people who might consider me a friend. Seroisly, how am I supposed to do that? I don't trust people I've known for years, but I supposed to trust this guy?

I'm not so conceded that I think he'll be dying to talk about my session with someone, but I don't like the thought that it might happen. Even in a general kind of way. I don't even want him, or his receptionist telling people that a new patient.

I know how bad I feel about that kind of shit, too. When I was doing the therapy thing before and the therapy people decided that the group thing was where I needed to be one of the people in the group told me that something I said the week before was good and she shared it with her husband. I wanted to vomit right there. I never really again and then refused to do the second part of the group thing.

Just reading that makes me feel like an idiot, but it the way I feel.

Part of the irony of growing up fat is that you do your best to hide, go unnoticed. I was never really bullied for being a fat brainiac because there were people who didn't know how to keep their mouths shut. They were the ones who got picked on. As an adult I still have a tendency to hide and I don't like to have the spotlight on me, in any way. When I find out that people talk about me I get uncomfortable, not because of what they are saying -- I'm sure that I think and say much worse things about myself -- but because they notice me enough to form opinions about me that they want to share with someone.

I am so concerned with this sort of shit that… Fuck, I don't know what. I just… You know?

Are there other people like this? Seven billion people in this world, I know I can't be the only one. Doesn't help knowing that there are people just as fuck up as me out there. Like it doesn't help knowing there are people more fucked up than me, either.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Is Done

Appointment with head shrinker has been made. Stomach is doing flip flops and my palms are clammy.

Yes, this is the way to start the healing.

Monday, July 15, 2013

You Know Somethings Wrong…

I feel so guilty for leaving work on time. There's a lot of work to do, but so often my brain feels like goop hours before the end of the day. Plus I spend the whole day constantly working, always busy, but nothing ever seems to get accomplished. Nothing is ever finished. Even when the hiring is finished.

Today I started looking for a mental health professional. Haven't made an appointment,yet, but by the end of the week I will.

Also, I've started looking for a new job. I have got to get out of prisons.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Not Enough

I fell asleep yesterday sometime between four an five while I was reading. I woke up around eight. I think I brushed my teeth and then climbed into bed. Aside from a time or two when I had to pee, I didn't wake up again until 7:30 this morning. And I still could have used more sleep.

Oh, well, at least I get to see giant robots fighting monsters at the movies today.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


It is so fucking hard to get out and go to work. But I really should. Fuck.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Total Breakdown

I think that I'm close to a mental breakdown. It's getting harder and harder for me to fake it at work and I've never been good at lying to myself. I'm afraid of how I might be this weekend when Heels and Johnny Logic and their family come South and have a bbq. Just thinking about it is making my stomach flutter. All those people. Christ.

But I have to keep it together through the 8th of July. I'm going South myself to visit my brother and sister-in-law for that weekend. See some fireworks. Go to Anime Expo. Now my stomach feels worse and my heart is beating too fast.

I've been in a dark place for a while now, but I can feel it affecting me in a bigger way. Sometimes it scares me. Sometimes it makes me want to cry, but no tears come. And I'm not sure what's causing it. And I'm not sure what to do about it either.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Small Mistake

Taking a day off in the middle of the week was a bad idea. I really don't want to go back tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Minor Concerns

There is a job opportunity in one of the most beautiful places in this
state. It would be a promotion and now that I have experience in a
personnel department I would be more likely to be interviewed. And the
work they do is something amazing, important, and sometimes inspiring.

Yet, since yesterday, I've been only considering sending in an application.

I've never had an adventurous spirit (upside of the safe world of
books and role playing games, that is) and moving to a place that's
practically three hours from anywhere that I know, or want to know, is
way out of my comfort zone.

Then there's the weather. It gets quite a bit of snow up there and not
the dry stuff that can be brushed off a window like they get in so
much of the country. No, this is Sierra Cement: snow that comes down
heavy, hard, and wet; snow that is always 1/5th slush on the bottom
when the temperature's anything above freezing snow that weighs
branches down and cracks 'em off with little effort.

I can drive in the snow. I okay at it. I'm not so good at keeping calm
about the fucking morons that drive in the snow and ice with me,
though. They're the ones with bald tires who stop on a five degree
incline and get stuck. They're the ones who decided to slam on their
breaks in two inches of slush rather than down shifting (even
automatics can be down shifted) or gently pulsing their breaks.
Driving in the snow out here in the West is hard enough with idiots
and jackasses making it harder.

The idiot drivers probably aren't local, but the tourists who drive up
there to ski in the winter. Summer is even worse for tourists because
the weather up there is mild and sunny and the lake is huge and clear
and cold. There's gambling across the state line which encourage
drinking because the drinks are free as long as you feed money to the
long armed machine.

I'm not a fan of tourists crowding up the streets of a small town. I
grew up in a small town and there were insane days during the summer
when the streets were clogged with cars full of crap and the one
sidewalk was full of gawkers looking in the windows of "antique"
stores. Gah. I know I'm just a hick when I head into SF and stare at
the building along with the thousands of other yokels who end up there
each day. Still adding ten thousand tourists to a city of eight
hundred thousand is nothing like adding a thousand tourists to a city
of six thousand people.

Still, as much as I hate tourists it doesn't seem like enough of a
reason to not be willing to move there, but it's enough to make me
pause, for a really long time. I don't even know if I'd be given an
interview, let alone offered the job, but it's worth thinking about,
isn't it? Shouldn't one consider everything before applying to a job
that one only sort of wants in a place one isn't sure he's willing to
move to? For the right job I would move to a big city and there would
be no hesitation.

Hell, at one point I really wanted a job down in Los Angeles because
the place I would have worked would have been amazing and I HATE Los
Angeles. Too many horrible people with too little consideration for
the horrible people they live near. It's a terrible place, but if I
had been called to work at that job the only hesitation would have
been deciding if I needed a roommate.

So, I'm going to sit and think about maybe sending in an application
to a job that I sort of want at a place that does good things in a
city that's beautiful except for the people who visit but don't
actually live there.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

A Somebody

If I had a somebody I would do my best to convince that somebody to fly down to San Diego then spend a week, or more, driving up Highway 1 all the way to Seattle then fly back. That' what I would do with a somebody.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Emotional Manipulation

The fuckers killed Dr. Janet Fraiser! After seven years of saving lives they killed her!
And the worst thing is knowing that my reaction is exactly the kind of reaction the writers and producers wanted. Assholes.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

"I don't care much..."

I think that one of the main reasons I'm so bipolar about my job is
that I can't find a reason to care. Even when I was miserable in past
jobs, and I was very miserable in past jobs, there was something that
made me want to keep going.

Usually it was because I liked several of the people and knew that if
I failed they would fail and I didn't want to be responsible for that.

Here, I just don't care for the people. Sure, I've only been here two
months, but I just don't care. The only thing I care about is that
certian people don't get overwhelmed just because it just doesn't
occur to others that those at a lower level are being piled upon. And
that makes me sad and angry, too.

Recenly in interviews when I've been asked about a weakness I've been
answering that I tend to gather work to me. I pick up bits of work
here and there when I'm not busy or when someone needs some help and
then I just keep it all the while still gathering more. And while I
haven't done so well at stopping this behavior I have gotten better
about talking about it with my supervisor and they help to spread the
work back out among staff.

Here, I keep gathering work so that other's don't get too overwhelmed
and becuase I was promoted, sort of, I will be giving a lot of this
work up. When I talk to my managers they seem to grasp my complaint
while we are talking, but it's gone from their mind once I'm out of
sight. And I'm starting to get to the point where I just don't care.
I'd rather keep a rat's ass, thank you very much.

Today, I was caught in the middle of a situation that I had no
information about, but I was doing my best to get things settled. At
one point I went to someone who was directly involved for an
explaination and I asked if she would come up front and explain if a
more thorough explaination was needed. She told me that I have been
promoted and I need to start settling these things on my own. I told
her that I wasn't involved in the original situation, but thrown into
a small part of it on Friday. She just gave a shut-the-fuck-up look. I
left because it wouldn't have done any good arguing.

I've only been here two months and I'm sick of the bullshit and I
really don't care if we fail. In fact, part of my might be a little
happy if we fail.

Monday, June 03, 2013


If I could, I would stop myself from taking my current job. There are days when I'm getting close to work where I feel like crying and screaming at the same time. And there seems to be less of a buffer between days where I have that feeling. Of course I sometimes feel the same way when I leave. Too bad neither one does any good. Doesn't even seem to release the feelings building inside.

Sunday, June 02, 2013


They take a long time to make, but it always seems to be worth it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Future Passing Before My Eyes

Yesterday morning, around five AM, my grandmother was found wandering
the streets nearish to where she lives. She had a gash on her head and
didn't know where she was or where she lived. She did remember her

This will ruin my parents' summer. Fortunatly they both work for
schools and have the summer off, but they may have to give up their
June trip to the North to visit my brother, his wife, and their two
children and they may have to give up their July trip to the South to
visit my brother and his wife.

How do I know it will ruin their summer?

Well, it sucked up all of my parents' spare time from January 2012
through June 2012 so that we, I helped, could move my grandparents
into the assisted living place last August.

Wow. It hasn't even been a year since they moved.

The most selfish thing about all of this is that I can see my future
in my parents present.

I live the closest to them and will probably continue to do so. If I'm
lucky one will move from six-ish hours away to three-ish hours away,
but I'm currently just an hour away and probably won't be more than
two hours away, ever. So, it'll probably be me. Although I do expect
more support from my brothers than my parents get from my dad's
siblings. What kind of support, I don't know, but at least they're not
assholes and cowards.

There is so much more to say, but I'm leaving work and am going to stop.

Be well.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


The first dream I can remember from last night involved me with a troupe putting on My Fair Lady on my parents' back porch.

In the final dream of the night there was a serial killer in my neighborhood who used the ground beef at a neighborhood barbecue to knock his victims unconscious then kill them in their sleep.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


This is a test from my phone. Expect more spelling mistakes than usual.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness (Short)

I'd've been better able to enjoy Star Trek Into Darkness if it didn't
have the words "Star Trek" in the title.

As a generic space adventure movie it's a lot of fun.

As a Star Trek movie it has the names of characters, places, and
ships, but doesn't really have the personality, themes, or
thoughtfulness of the original series or the first six movies.

The movie was a success and a failure. :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Old Job/New Job

My main job at my old job was to create daily schedules for Dentists
and Dental Hygienists. For most of my 18ish months we used a database
run through Microsoft Access. It was messy, but it worked well and
being an Access based database it was really fast. There were always
mistakes, but using the database wasn't exhausting or tiresome to use.

In the beginning of December I was sent to User Acceptance Testing for
a new Dental system. An Internet based system that would connect all
the institutions so everything would be shared right away. There were
some major problems. No one was able to complete the scripts we were
given and the system got delayed.

At the end of January there was a second User Acceptance Testing. This
one went better. The scripts could be completed this time. The problem
was that scripts were fairly useless. To test what the scripts wanted
us to test we had to create fake files or tasks right before we ran
the test. We always had what we were looking for to make the scripts
work because we had just created what we need. It was nothing like
real life.

There was one point when people were arguing over which columns should
be placed where when finally I got upset and told everyone that we
weren't looking at the new system from a real world view. We had no
idea how well things would run or what columns we needed most until
there was a real world test. And that real world test would come at
the pilot for the new system.

The pilot was, of course, at my facility. I knew things would be okay.
The system was messy, but I could see a lot of good in it. We had a
very strong team and I knew the two ladies I worked with would be able
to pick up how to use the system in a short amount of time. And they
did. Unfortunately, we realized quickly that even though the word
"Schedule" was in the name of the system, the system wasn't really
built for scheduling. It was like the first version had the scheduling
down then the guys in charge and the design team started adding to the
system, then adding more and more, but never checked to see how the
new stuff affected the scheduling part of the system.

Yes, in the strictest sense we could create a schedule for the
clinicians, but it was very hard. We had to export date into Excel so
we could sort and eliminate and then we had to check three different
places in the system to make sure it was appropriate to schedule the
appointment and then we could finally schedule the appointment. An
appointment that, literally, took two minutes to schedule in the old
database took ten or more minutes to schedule in the new system.

Our solution was to schedule the clinicians an extra day in advance
giving us a buffer and always allowing our appointment notices to be
printed on time. The buffer didn't help with stress though.

Stress levels were pretty high when we started using the new system
and they stayed the same, or increased, as time when on. As the pilot,
we shook the hell out of the system and revealed a lot of its
weaknesses, unfortunately the most common answer was to suck it up and
make it work. Yes, there were some fixes, but they were minor, and
nothing addressed the major problem, which was that the damn thing ran
slow and it got slower over time. They kept telling us that we needed
more RAM, but we were never given more all the way up until the day I

Part of the reason I was so eager to leave was the stress level.
There's only so long a person can take it and I was near my limit when
I interviewed for this position. I assumed that since I was moving
over to a place that was just getting started things would be
different. There would be plans in place and lots of extra help when

As with almost every time I expect the best in life, there were no
plans and there was no help.

I came in and was put straight to work. No training. The woman who
started the week before me was put straight to work without training.
The woman who had been here since December, working alone, didn't get
any training and only mostly knew what to do. Hence, lots of stress,
which doesn't go away.

Some days are slow because when I ask for things to do I'm not given
anything or I'm just waiting for responses so I can spring into
action. Some days are fast because I have a lot of phone calls to make
or letters to get out or mail to open and I have people over my
shoulder, watching me. Both kinds of days are stressful.

The stress has caused one person to be very quick to pass the blame. I
know she's tired, but twice she has tried to blame things on me that
the first time had nothing to do with me and the second time was a
misunderstanding. Both times, she was very quick to try to focus the
blame on me. The first time I had to pull documentation to show her
that I didn't cause any thing to happen. I hate being blamed for
things that aren't my fault and I really hate having to pull out proof
that lays blame with someone else. The blame game adds to my stress

The stress won't go away for a while, either. Yes, the level isn't as
bad as it was at my old job, but the stress is building. As more
people begin to freak out the closer we get to the opening day the
more they freak out on us and want us to do the impossible. The more
they get angry when we try to help and they don't want the help; and
the angrier they get when they think we're not helping enough. Can't

And part of me really wishes I never came here. Miserable here or
miserable there? At least there I liked more of the people, on a
personal level.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


Because I don't want to work I am sending this in e-mail.

For those who may want to know, I have moved from where I was to where
I am. I am now in A Valley where it has been unseasonably warm and I
do not look forward to the temperature in the summer. I live on a very
busy road where people, some in normal sized vehicles and some on
giant trucks, zip by going from there to there, often much faster than
they should. I live closer to dairies than orchards and sometimes the
smell is so bad I swear I can taste it.

I changed jobs. Originally it was at the same level as I have been at
ever since I started working for The State. A week and a half ago I
was interview by my current supervisor and her boss for a promotion.
On Thursday I was offered that position and I accepted it, of course.
The new position is only for a limited amount of time, December at the
longest. I've applied to a job of nearly equal pay back at the place I
used to work where the supervisor is someone who I really like and
respect. That is a full time position. I think I'd move back if I were
offered that position.

There is so much more that I want to write, but I am at work and I
should stare at the computer in ways that look like work. I don't
actually have much to do because we're supposed to move from this
temporary place to the permanent place. We were actually supposed to
move yesterday. I don't actually believe that it's going to happen,

Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Making Apple Pie

I saw giant piles of apples at the grocery store the other day and I decided that what I wanted more than almost anything was apple pie. Not just a regular pie, but a mile high apple pie.

When I make apple pie, I like to get the apples ready first so they can sit for at least 90 minutes gaining flavor.

Here's what I used:
Lemon Juice (I forgot to buy a lemon. The bottle works well, though.)
Ground Cloves

I used three Lady Alice, three Honeycrisp, and  nine Granny Smiths. The variety of apples was to help vary the texture and sweetness within the pie when it finished cookin.

The contraption is an apple peeler/slicer:

Nothing gets apples prepped for pies faster. Setup, peeling/slicing, and cleanup took about twenty minutes. (You can choose if you want the apple peeled, too. Oh, it's perfect if you're going to dehydrate apples because it takes out the core and all the slices are uniform.)

I like to use a bowl with a lid so I can shake the bejesus out of it.

I used a teaspoon of the nutmeg, a teaspoon of ground cloves, a tablespoon of cinnamon (I like cinnamon in my apples, most recipes don't call for this much.), two tablespoons of flour (this helps thicken the juices the apples are going to let go), two tablespoons of lemon juice (which was too much; one would have been better), and one cup of sugar.

After the shake-up, it's time for the dough for the pie crust:

I use the America's Test Kitchen Foolproof Pie Dough, because I need the foolproof part and it's delicious. I'm not going to write the recipe out because they don't give it away for free. It's worth the price, though,

Also, I forgot to take pictures of the mixing process (I'm new to trying to blog cooking), but here are pictures of the only dishes I dirtied and the dough in balls ready to be put in the fridge for at least an hour:

After at least an hour, I pulled out the larger of the two balls, rolled it out, then put it in a 9-inch pie pan, mine is Pyrex.

After filling the bottom, I rolled out the top, laid it over the pie, trimmed and pinched the edges, and cut some slits in the top to let the steam out.

The pie went into a preheated 425 degree (F) oven on a half-sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. The half-sheet went into the oven as it preheated so it was nice and hot. This is to help the bottom of the pie cook a little bit faster so it won't be soggy when the pie is finished.

It cooked for 45 minutes and came out like this:
Usually, I use some melted butter on the top then sprinkle cinnamon/sugar. This time I used an egg wash and then cinnamon/sugar. It's pretty obvious where the wash was too thick and the cinnamon/sugar was too thin.

Here's the first slice, after it rested for an hour:

The dough was amazing. In the past I've rolled this recipe out several times and it's always come out flaky and tender and delicious. The apple had a great texture, but was a little tart; too much lemon juice added to the apples. I like tart, Granny Smiths are my favorite apples, but others would have liked it to be a more sweet.

Still, it was devoured pretty quickly.

After I put the pie into the oven, I collected the scraps of dough, formed them into a new ball, and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then I rolled the dough out, smeared melted butter all over it, and sprinkled cinnamon/sugar everywhere.

Then I rolled it up into a log and sliced that log into half inch pieces. After the pie came out, the mini-cinnamon rolls went into the oven for 13 minutes. Which was probably two minutes too long. Some got a little too browned, but they all tasted great.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I'm not one for hope. I want everything to turn out well, but I don't really believe that things will turn out well. I'm a pessimist.

I've been trying to get a promotion to an analyst for a long time. Five years now. I interview. I'm told they'll make the decision in two weeks. After four weeks I hear that I didn't get the job or I never hear anything at all.

So, when someone who used to work with me -- someone who knows how hard I work, someone who knows I can learn how to do anything, someone who knows me -- became the head of the personnel department, I let hope in.

She told me that there were going to be several analyst positions coming open in personnel early on. The day before the positions were opened for applications, she called me to tell me to get my application in. After I turned the application in, she e-mailed me to tell me that she got it, but that interviews wouldn't be for a while because she had to get approval to unfreeze the positions.

Great, I thought, at least one of the positions was going to be mine.

Now, there's a bit more to this story. Since so many people are getting laid off, or potentially laid off, they are getting letters to help encourage personnel departments to interview them. And, although I should have gotten one in this most recent round, I fell through the cracks and am once again without a letter.

I know that I have been over looked for at three interviews, two of which were at my current level, because I didn't have a letter. One of the jobs I would have been perfect for because it's what I did while I was in the nursing department.

Still, I had hope. That former co-worker was looking out for me.

Until today.

Today she wrote to me and asked me if I had one of those letters. She can only interview people who have those letters.

I cannot be interviewed.


And so, I continue to be stuck where I am. Never to be promoted. Never to see my pay increase. Never to get anywhere near my abilities in my work.

If I thought I was at all a useful human being I'd probably quit my job. Too bad I'm not useful. Too bad past experience has shown me that I can't be hired anywhere.

Too bad...

Thursday, February 07, 2013


Earlier today, my supervisor walked into the office to invite me and
my co-worker out to lunch tomorrow as some Chinese place. I wanted to
look at my co-worker with eyes asking, "What the hell is going on
here? Is this a trick?" I didn't look over, though. I looked straight
ahead and for a solid thirty seconds the room was silent.

Finally my co-worker said she'd go and then I said okay.

We still don't know what this lunch is about. We don't know if she's
treating us and we each plan on having cash because we figure she
won't be paying. We also don't know if she'll expect us to make up the
time used for lunch at the end of the day.

I think we'll have to stay late. On a Friday. Joy.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Maybe Again

I have an hour left at work and my supervisor has, as of last week,
returned the interblurbs to me. What to do, eh?

I'm just doing this through Gmail. I don't know how much this place of
employment tracks internet usage. I'm not afraid of them seeing that
I'm using my personal e-mail, but I'd rather they didn't know I was
using Blogger. I suppose that this level of computer paranoia isn't
normal at other work places, is it? I hope not.


A couple of weeks ago, NPR's Morning Edition did a series on early
thirty-somethings/late twenty-somethings and how that segment of
society is becoming less religious. Most of them still consider
themselves spiritual, but they aren't affiliated with any religious
sect. (They called the series "Losing Our Religion" because alluding
to R.E.M. is totally the way to nail this cross section of the US.)

The whole thing was fascinating. It seemed to me that the young-ish
people they spoke with were all once upon a time religious, but ended
up leaving it for various reasons and now they're all spiritually
adrift. Some were agnostic. I don't remember any atheists in the
group. Many of them, though, seemed to still believe in something
more, but didn't have a way to practice it. (I don't think I phrased
that correctly.)

The whole thing kept me thinking about my own religiousness. I wasn't
raised religious. My parents' had me and my brothers say an altered
version of the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep prayer each night, but it
was so different that I was shocked when I learned the real words. For
a while my parents took us to a Unity Church, but they stopped going
once the (pastor? preacher?) woman who led the service moved on to a
different community and the Sunday school wasn't about worship; I
mostly remember coloring pictures and walking around the duck pond. I
went with a friend to the Catholic Church a couple of times and one of
my brothers had some close friends who were Mormons, but we never
joined a religion.

For a long time, though, I never discounted joining a religion. I
found the idea of rebirth fascinating. Reincarnation was sort of scary
because you became something or someone other than who you were before
you died, but your essence went on living and learning from all the
experiences in the past and maybe, just maybe, there could come a
point when you become aware of all the yous that you have been and
embrace the greater universe. When I was little Heaven seemed like the
best choice. You were you forever in a place that was nice where
people were nice and everything was good. The thing that appealed most
to me was that I'd remain who I was. Which is funny because ultimately
it was a discussion about Heaven that turned me off from religion.

I was in my first year of college and had no friends except for the
one who had been my friend in high school. He was, and is, pretty
Christian. Not in your face about it, but he believes in Christ and
all that comes with that belief (except for a lot of the hate, his
belief in Christ encourages love and trust). I'd eat many meals with
him so I wasn't always alone, but on Fridays he had his prayer group.
15 or 20 people would go to dinner the head off to read and discuss
all the things they'd just read. To not be alone, I sat with all of

One day, before dinner, one of the guys, he lived in my building and
was a good person, asked me if I'd like to join their group. I said no
and we started talking. He questioned and I answered but didn't always
have an answer. I questioned and he answered and always had an answer.
Eventually, we started to discuss Heaven and he explained what it was
like and how I would always be happy in part because the bad people
would be left out. I asked how if someone I cared about was not in
Heaven for being a non-believer I could ever be happy there. He said
it wouldn't matter to me because I'd be so happy bathed in God's light
that I would never even notice people missing. And this appalled me. I
would be so happy that I wouldn't notice a loved one missing?

I asked him if Heaven was like a drug that created such bliss that
nothing except that feeling was all I craved.

He didn't have an answer. I told him that I wouldn't want to be in a
place where I would lose myself like that and didn't go to dinner with
my friend that night.

That was the moment that I knew I'd never be a "true" Christian and
started me on the path of not wanting to become religious.