Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ok, Time for an Actual Post

Next week, I start going to therapy. Because of the Byzantine rules of Big University, through which we have our insurance, The Husband must go with me (most of the time) and we must do this as "couple's Therapy", but it's really for me.

You see, the paper bag is hovering near my head. The black chasm has opened a few yard away from me. I'm aware enough to know that when I think about killing myself, down to methods and means, more than a couple times a week, it's a signal.

Not that I would. Don't fret that. I have no particular desire to shuffle off this mortal coil. It's those damned demons in the chorus who keep making the suggestions. Bastards. Besides, I have a strong belief that when I do move along, I'll be coming back to learn some more, so if I cut class, I'll just have to make it up later. Feh. Nope, not going to do that.

Anyway, so now I'm going in once a week to reveal all my deep dark secret to a thin woman with lesbian hair and matching t-shirt/sock combinations. Actually, I like her, but there's no fun in it if I can't mock. She's not a doctor, she's a counselor and social worker, which makes me feel better -- at least I'm not that bad off. They can give me to someone who works part time. If I decide on anti-depressants, I can talk to a doctor at the clinic (probably the same one who prescribed the anti-inflammatory pills for my wonky knees, which seem to be working.)

The Husband is reasonably interested in this therapy, too. That's good. Again, it isn't that we are about to go separate directions. He and I agree on this -- prevention is a lot less stress than damage control. So this is preventative and perhaps improving.

Of course, the demon chorus is not that happy about it. Annoying dreams -- not disturbing, not upsetting, not nightmares, just annoying dreams where I can't accomplish what I want, which is mostly beating the shit out of someone from my dark, dark past.

Speaking of dark pasts, while working on a Tokyo project yesterday and looking up stuff online, I came across a picture and name familiar to me. It was my 7th grade geography teacher, a man who could not stand me and made me miserable for reasons unfathomable -- I, of course, was in the deepest part of my "please love me, I'm good, I swear" period and wanted all my teachers to like me. Anyway, there he was, 30 years later, and for a minute I imagined writing a letter to him telling him all about what he did and how I felt. Then I moved on to something else and more or less forgot about it. What sticks with me is not this teacher or 7th grade, but that it doesn't matter that much anymore. It's a story in my life, of course, but the emotional part is gone. It Just Doesn't Matter.

Lots of things are like that, which makes the things that Do Matter stand out all the more.

Chau Ram Falls

We spent Sunday visiting yet another local waterfall.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

By the Numbers

1) Back from Jammiesfest. Was fun. The drive back -- not so fun. I drove most of the way and my right leg/ankle swelled.

2) House is a mess.

3) Went to see doctors yesterday -- a therapist to see about possibly going back on anti-depressants and an MD to find out what is making my knees, especially my right knee, hurt so much on stairs and inclines. Going from mildest to most severe, we are starting with a diagnosis of "bursitis" and anti-inflammatory meds. If that doesn't work, next are x-rays to look for bone spurs or cartilage loss. As for the first, that remains to be seen. The psychologist we talked with looked straight out of 1968 -- long grey hair and beard, very relaxed clothing (no tie dye) but I liked him.

4) Have nifty thing/project, but now that I am limited going up and down stairs, it will have to wait.

5) Potential semi-social/total geekery in the offing.

Lots of catching up to do, and it's freaking damn HOT this week -- sort of like Florida all summer crammed into a few days.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More Walking, Less Water

The falls at Oconee Station. The water level is so low, all the rocks under the falls are exposed. What it loses in power and drama, it makes up for in delicate beauty.

It was a long walk, with bugbites.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Hate Being an Adult

OK, so I have finished (at last) a basic resume. Damn, but it's both difficult and disheartening to summarize the last 16 years of my working life onto one page in 12 point font. First, my 14 years at Tokyo were spent doing pretty much whatever showed up to be done. I never thought to write down the projects I completed and now I can't remember most of them. The ones I can remember sound so pitifully thin. How can I explain three years of analyzing outside sales activity? How can I, in one bullet point, explain that I had to print out data from an antiquated computer program into which the sales data was entered (but could not be manipulated), determine by hand and highlighter what portions of the data actually applied to the analysis ( actual sales, commissions, credits, and most everything else dumped into the same database, but the program could not select and extract one type of entry from all others), then separate that by salesperson and customer, divide it by product category, and assemble it by month -- all so Bosszilla could figure out which outside salespersons weren't doing diddly and bang them with a stick? And then, how can I explain how much banging I had to do (and begging and threatening) to get sames sales persons to actually report their forecasts to me each year? And how the whole thing eventually led to getting a not-so-antiquated software system so I didn't have to do it anymore (by which time Bosszilla hated all his outside salespeople and didn't want to know anymore)?

Yes, I've worked long and hard on a number of data gathering and analyzing projects that did not produce the information Bosszilla actually hoped to find, and so the project ended up ignored and unused. Oh, I did that a few times. I don't actually want to put that on a resume in quite those words -- "Specializing in data analysis that you will end up not wanting to know."

And there's no way to say in business speak that I looked up racing data, hunted for particular styles of Tommy Bahama shorts, and ordered Amazon online for my employer. Another skill set that I can't market properly. Feh.

Anyway, the resume is done. Now to find someplace to send it.

Also, we are canceling a road trip (no, Jammies, not that road trip. ) My favorite book pusher is doing a show this weekend in Chattanooga, which is about 3 hours from here (because you MUST go through Atlanta. As the crow flies, it's maybe 2 hours. However, as the human drives, if you don't go through Atlanta, it adds 2 hours). It's her birthday and we wanted to spend some time with her. However, we have to have all our crap out of one of the storage units and into another by Monday, plus The Husband has a school project due on Monday. Also, gas is freaking expensive and, as you might surmise, I have no job at the moment.

So, we aren't going anywhere. Maybe to another park for another walk in the woods. It will depend on how much project work The Husband can complete. The short summer semesters are sucking up much time.

I must run errands today -- pick up cat prescriptions, take books to the library, mail things, etc. Then I should vacuum this nasty floor, mop, and *sigh* iron some clothes so that if I DO get an interview, I can show up with only my nature-given wrinkles.

I'm not enjoying my summer vacation.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I Fear For Our Future

1) I saw an ad for an upcoming television series (which will get no link at all) that I think presages the end of civilization (and possibly life) as we know it. The premises is thus -- a group of people participate in a gluttonous eating contest. As soon as they have overfilled their stomachs, they climb onto or into one of the many rides (popular in bars and carnivals) guaranteed to make one dizzy and sick. The last one to vomit wins $1000.

The show is called, oh so cleverly, "Hurl", and claims that I will want to watch even if I say I don't.

Wrong! I will not be watching this. I'm rather sorry I even know about it. I certainly don't think the money is much incentive and I can't imagine the kind of person who wants to watch this. I don't want to talk to that person. I'm sort of hoping the show's producers attract a law suit so others are discouraged

2) I've noticed a rise in another kind of show, of a slightly higher (apparently) mind set. Some young geeky guy is sent around with a camera crew to look at how common but generally little noted activities of human life are performed -- a big "how" sort of show. The latest addition to this particular category is "The Works" on History Channel. An earlier entry was "Build It Bigger" on Science Channel (which is chock full of similar shows -- check their main site page with shows like Hot Rocks and Cool Fuels - -the names are a giveaway).

On one hand, I rather enjoy these shows. I like peeking into how common, taken-for-granted items are manufactured. I like technology. This stuff really interests me.

On the other hand, I find I prefer the more impersonal shows of this type (like Modern Marvels and How It's Made) where a narrator more or less dispassionately explains what's going on. Those google eyed hosts getting all excited over big trucks and tall buildings seem to suck some of the intelligence out of the whole presentation. Yes, the building is tall. I get that. Tall buildings are, quite naturally, exciting to a lot of people. However, I'm not interested in the excitement. I'm interested in how it manages not to fall over. Can we get to that part? Can we see how they get concrete up 40 stories or more? That you, Mr. Google Eyed Host Guy, can't smooth a pad of concrete is Not Interesting. I don't care that you've never operated a bull dozer before and might run over a car in the parking lot. When I want to see cars destroyed, I watch Mythbusters. Get out of the way, please, and stop with the monkey noises.

Even my all time favorite, Mythbusters, has dumbed down its presentation. Whereas in the original pilots and the first couple of seasons the experiments were shown sequentially and consecutively, the last 3 or 4 seasons have moved to a cut-and-repeat format (I have no idea what the actual term for the editing style is). It's all aimed at the short attention span crowd, with the scene jumping back and forth between the various experiments, which means each segment has to be sandwiched between a rerun of something seen previously and something not yet seen. This means a significant portion of the run time which could be used to dig into the process or the science or something interesting is instead used to "catch up" those folks who forgot what was going on while waiting through the commercial break or cut to a different experiment.

I'm sad that even the smart shows are slowing down, as if they are trying to attract the audience watching Hurl.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


But brain I must, dumb or not. Teh dumb is no excuse.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Just Because

I took this with my phone a few months ago, while sitting outside the Greenville Airport waiting for The Husband to finish classes and come pick me up (it was a very long, long wait). Despite the wattle on my throat and the fact I was in a really depressed mood (air travel and waiting will do that for me), I like this picture. Mostly, I like my freaking expensive designer prescription sunglasses and I'm gonna take pictures of them until I'm tired of it.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Walk in the Woods

The Husband made me get up this morning and EXERCISE!

We drove up to Issequeena Falls and hiked along the trails there. It was damp and cool at first. Then, because there was no breeze once we got away from the falls and into the trees, that most strange of things happened -- it was cool and yet incredibly humid.