Saturday, December 31, 2016

31 December 2016 (Saturday)

Really, the end of this stupid year can't come soon enough. Not that I think there will be some magical boundary crossed and 2017 will be better. Probably not. In fact, most indicators suggest it will be the same old crap and probably worse. Psychologically, perhaps, I can put some of this. . . well, this shit behind me.

Anyway, I had a very odd thing happen last night: I don't remember going to the TV room. I don't think. I remember getting out of the bed to go there but then it seemed like all sorts of whacky stuff was happening on the way so I was thinking it was a dream. . . .but then I woke up already on the couch. My best guess is that I had a dream about going to the TV room after I had actually gone out there and just misremembered it all. Anyway, it was weird and a little disturbing. Ended up waking up again at like 3, tried the pink pill and a nub and eventually wound up back asleep until 4:30.

Ate breakfast in and then I went to the gym to work out. Pretty hard one, too, at least the cycling part. Chatted with Ashley a bit, she's very sweet. On the way out I told her to make sure NOT to behave herself tonight. She liked that. Went across and got some candy for the Spousal Unit to give her hairdresser. Then went down to the UDist for the hair thing, and I went to the U Bookstore and got some mechanical pencils, took a little nap waiting, and then had lunch. We went to Spam's Club, grocery store and then home.

Huskies played Alabama and didn't do very well. They had one good drive in the first quarter but that was about it. Bama wasn't that great on offense either but I don't know how much of that was good Husky defense; they had lots of penalties.

Raining so no walking, but I cleaned instead. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

30 December 2016 (Friday)

Kept waking up last night, almost once every hour until I took a decent whack of ambien (read: a quarter of the larger dosage) and that put me out for a while. I ended up sleeping until the alarm at 5. Workout went really well. All of the 'anger' of late was mostly gone, just a good disciplined workout.

I went to Cascadia and found I'd left the little space heater plugged in. !!! Doubt it would catch fire but it was a bit alarming. Nice and warm up there though. I just did some filing and some stuff on the network, and then came back. We met Janet (worked at Cascadia) and her Spousal Unit up at the Mukilteo Landing Ivar's. Meh. Food was only okay. But it was nice to chat with them. Then we went to see Norma's grave. Nice little area, at Holyrood. Her side of the headstone isn't engraved yet, but it was nice to see where she is.

Came home and practiced guitar for almost an hour, but with a little (5-10 min) nap thrown in. When we drove in the youngish female mail carrier came over to ask if Norma had passed away and she got a little teary when we told her. Norma was indeed beloved by many.

Dinner. Walked. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

29 December 2016 (Thursday)

Didn't sleep too well last night. Well, I take that back. From about 10:30 to 3 I did. Then I was mostly awake from then on out. May have dozed off a bit until 3:45, but I don't think so. Anyway, I got up then. Workout was pretty okay, but nothing spectacular. Cold in there again.

Came home and then went to Cascadia for a bit. I stopped off at the church on the way and dropped some stuff off. Margie was there and we chatted with the fill-in secretary for a bit (who I've met before but I don't know or don't remember her name). I lit a vigil light for the father-in-law. We went up to the UW to drop off a library book and get two others. Were going to have lunch at the HUB but everything was closed. Went down to UVil instead. Guts felt awful again this afternoon and I just watched some football and felt awful until about 3 when I went up and had a somewhat 'aggressive' and very productive guitar practice for about 45 minutes. More on that later. Bland dinner again and then walked at NGate because it's been raining most of the day. I'm not sure what's been going on with my guts; I haven't eaten anything terribly out of the ordinary lately. On the plus side, my cold or whatever it was has completely gone away.

The Spousal Unit's dad had the flu and he didn't spend the night in the hospital after all. I guess the rest of the family is mostly all ill though.

I also got some new suspenders in the mail. They clip onto a belt so I don't need buttons and they don't clip on and pop off all the time. I'm wearing them now and they seem to work okay. May be something worth keeping.

Also have an interview of sorts next Wednesday about a position in GH, data managing. Probably full time and I'm not sure if I would want to do that. What with going to Wisconsin every couple of months, I could probably only work a half-time thing and still do that. May not be able to do any research either. We'll see.

So. This is the last bit of emotional stuff I'm going to write here. First of all, I apologize to any readers and any future readers as well for all this stuff for the past few months. I don't feel particularly embarrassed about it and I'm not going to go back and delete anything or edit anything (note: I did edit some posts to ensure some anonymity). But I'm done with it now. I'm where I should be now. In truth, something did happen today to cement this in. Not going to say what, but I'm keeping it as a reminder. I've learned a lot about me and about. . . things. . . .the last few months. Too much emotion. I'm not good at it. And with whatever positives came with it, they were far, far outweighed by the hurt. So, I'm done with it.

I'm not bitter. I'm not resentful. Nevertheless, the word 'love' will never, I hope, pass these lips again. Perhaps. It's not me. How this will affect certain people, I don't know. But I can't make stuff up to say.

My new path, one that I'm comfortable with, is simply this: To be kind; to be thoughtful; to be unselfish; to be self-disciplined. No wacky imagination; no attention seeking bullsh*t; no chasing after 'happiness' since I don't know what it is or how to get it. As I believe I wrote earlier, everything for everyone else, for me, nothing. At least nothing having to do with trying to be 'happy'. I'll do what I think I need to do to improve myself -- cutting out a lot of crap as well -- but otherwise. . . .f*ck it.

That's it. Again, apologies. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

28 December 2016 (Wednesday)

Absolutely awful night last night. Shortly after signing off my guts started feeling awful and just got worse. No. . .errrmmmm. . . .well, whatever. Just felt terrible. I even went and laid in the bed at like 8:30. Slept. . . okay, considering. Still, I woke up at 5 and just sat around for a while instead of getting ready for the gym right away. I felt okay by then, just kind of weak. Workout mostly sucked because I was also highly irritated, the reason for which I shall not go into. But I rode the bike for about 35 minutes and really killed it. The cold I was coming down with went away, thanks to the zinc.

I went to Cascadia because I had to do some archiving. Got a lot done there. Came home, we went to lunch (bland) and then I took down the outside Christmas lights. Worked a little more this afternoon. Got things prepared for dinner and took care of the Spousal Unit who was feeling poorly. Went to UVil.

Yes, things still suck. Mightily. And absolutely. If I can work it, things will be as far as I go: For everyone else, everything. For me, nothing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

27 December 2016 (Tuesday)

Another blowup with the Spousal Unit, another threat to leave. I didn't even do anything. Sheesh.


Didn't sleep too well last night. Needed assistance a couple of times. Am getting a cold, too. Hopefully the zinc lozenges will curtail it. Workout was okay. Well, good, considering. Came home, ate bagel, went downtown. Very few people there. Rowena and Piri and I went for coffee and then later Rowena and I went to the hospital cafeteria for lunch. Not bad. Cheap, too. Made my guts feel awful though. Had to go get a hot chocolate later. Bus ride home was uneventful, although while waiting for it I helped a seagull get into a bag with some chicken in it. That was funny.

Monday, December 26, 2016

26 December 2016 (Monday)

Day after Christmas, big whoop.

Usual night sleeping: Out of the bed at 10:30, awake again around 2, pink pill and a nub, and asleep on the floor until. . . 4:30. Well, wait. I started out on the floor because the cats were taking up the couch. Had to go downstairs and get another blanket. New drugs aren't doing much. But Fiona gave me two 'reiki stones' that are some new age mumbo jumbo kinda thing that's supposed to fix me. Or something. I said it couldn't hurt as long as I didn't have to stick them in any orifices. I'll humor her by putting them under my pillow tonight.

Watch, I'll sleep like a baby.

I worked out later in the morning so had a decent breakfast in. Another angry workout which was good. Would have broke down later this afternoon but the Spousal Unit was around. I'm really trying not to look bummed or sad or anything, I just want to appear pleasant, but largely unemotional. Which is my ultimate aim, I suppose: Kind, thoughtful, pleasant, but unemotional.

Had lunch at NGate and then got our phones fixed up and some cases (bright pink again) and I exchanged some wrong-size pajama bottoms. Came home and took the cats to the vet. Poor Daisy peed. She ran around and when she knew she was trapped she went into the cat thing at the window and into the little bed there and peed. She did okay the rest of the time though. She had a small lump on her rear leg and it turned out to be a fatty thing so no worries (whew).

Also spent part of the day entering my contacts. I could have probably found some way to migrate them over, but decided to re-enter them manually and clean them up some. Not sure what all else I need to do with that, but at least I have all of my iTunes stuff on my phone now. Much easier that way.

Went shopping at UVil because it's raining.

Still sux.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

25 December 2016 (Sunday)

From Jean Clausen's diary:
May 26, 1936. A beauty of a lightning storm. Saw it from front of church steps. Ran at every bolt.
Christmas day. I woke up again at around 2:30 and laid on the floor for a while before getting a little pink pill and a nub of ambien and it worked fine. I define a 'nub' as 1/4 of a 5 mg tablet. Sat around until a little before 6 when the Spousal Unit got up. Made breakfast in, it being Christmas day and all. Opened a few gifts, tried to get my new iPhone (7) hooked up and swore a lot because it wouldn't. But I got it mostly fixed up. I still have some stuff to migrate over from the old phone. Stomach felt bad so I went and got some espresso shots and made a mocha.

Drove down to the in-laws' and for the first time I was neither looking forward to it nor not. It just was. I was pleasant and reasonably chatty and busy, again for the first time. Have definitely gone past the point of no return. My ultimate goal is to have little regard for myself and do everything for everyone else. I can feel. . . .good about that.

Had to walk after dinner, my stomach felt awful. Too much odd food.

Oh, my sister got us some sort of meal-in-a-box thing. Some place sends you a box full of an entire meal once a week and you're supposed to cook it. Not sure what she thinks about my cooking skills. Maybe she thinks I can handle more breadth. At least, that's how I'm looking at it.

Will only say one other thing: It didn't happen. It sucks. But the road is now taken. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

24 December 2016 (Saturday)

I didn't sleep all that badly last night. I think I only woke up twice, the second time at around 2:15 (maybe 2:45) but went back to sleep with minimal assistance. Slept until about 4:45. Which was okay. Went out for breakfast. Meh. I went to the gym while the Spousal Unit went and got some stuff at NGate. Decent workout. Ashley, the pleasant young lady who signed me up, called me 'Von Moose' at first. Apparently she called some other guy who she thinks looks like me who she called Tony. Heh.

Went for lunch at McD's and then went to the UVil for a bit, which wasn't terribly crowded. Probably was yesterday. Came home and baked some stuff. My brother sent me a couple of old recipe cards (several in fact) and it had two pfefferneuse recipes. Here was one:
2-1/2 # brown sugar
3/4 c lard
1/2 c molasses
1-1/2 c hot water
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1-1/2 t baking soda (mixed in the hot water)
10-12 c flour

Made 1/3 of a batch this afternoon. Meh. Grandma's were very hard and crunchy. These were like softer cookies. Tasted okay. 

Walked to candy cane lane, meh. Looks nice, but the same thing every year. Didn't go to the zoo like every year for the past several, don't know why, just didn't feel like it. 

So, sucks. It just sucks. I hope I forget this Christmas. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

23 December 2016 (Friday)

Mostly slept like crap last night. I woke up again at 3:15 but decided I was NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE and took a quarter of an ambien. I did go back to sleep but I don't know for how long; I just remember dreaming.

Workout was pretty good. Not too many people there today. The showers had no hot water so I had to come home and shower because the water was just too cold even for a cold shower.

I worked for a while on the last report and started a new project, and then we went up to Spam's Club and then got some litter and then had lunch. We both went to meet Fiona at NGate and had a nice visit.

I want to buy a bottle of good whiskey and toast Norma tomorrow afternoon or evening.

Walked at NGate and I bought a new translation of Beowulf. Looks readable.

Happiness can still go f*** itself. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

22 December 2016 (Thursday)

Kind of a bad afternoon. Spousal Unit started crying when I got home from doing some things, and then I started because I started talking about Norma (more later) and then I had to go to the store and driving home I broke down completely and sat in the driveway and sobbed uncontrollably but the Spousal Unit had to come out and try to make me come in when all I wanted to do was sit there and get it all out.

Anyway. The reason I got on was because it occurred to me that Norma is probably the only person that I feel like I treated properly. Not that I'm a big selfish meanie or anything, but . . . . it's hard to explain. It was the right sort of relationship. Perhaps that's the only one I've ever been 'happy' with. I don't know. It's kind of the same thing with Margie, one of Norma's besties and who also goes to Assumption. Thanks, Norma. You taught me a lot.

Woke up at 3:30 and didn't get back to sleep. Had a pretty good workout (legs) and may be sore tomorrow. I worked on the report all morning except at 11:10 I went to Cascadia and got some folders and my check. Came home, went to lunch, and then I went to get my hair cut and did some stuff at UVil. Walked in the rain this evening. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

21 December 2016 (Wednesday)

Well, at least I had a productive day today. Didn't sleep really well for the most part. Woke up at 2:15 and had a heck of a time getting back to sleep but once I did the alarm woke me up. Workout was good, too. Kind of angry once again, which is helpful. Lots of 'scenery' there, aka, people who are hot and they make sure everybody sees that they are. Good facility though, so far, I have been able to do everything in a like manner that I do at the IMA. Kinda cold though.

Came home and then started writing the report for yesterday's work right away and kept at it all morning. Spousal Unit and I walked down to the Slaveway SBux. The idea of using my own chocolate milk with a couple shots of espresso works well, I drink the whole thing just like a regular mocha and I actually like the flavor better.

I went to UVil to meet Engi for lunch and we had a good talk. She's going to mention that I'm looking  for time to her mentor who already knows me somewhat through emails when I was providing data. I think she has a decent opinion of me so far, so that's good. I would be okay with up to 80% time spent with UW. When I got home a Schwab financial advisor called and we went over my IRA investments.  She said I had a mix of solid mutual funds but suggested their automated investor thing. It's a robe-algorithm that automatically reallocates for you depending on your answers to various questions. I've looked at some reviews and the most common ding is that it likes to put a lot in cash. Well, heck, I've got like 22% in cash now, so hmmmm. I will probably give it a try since I don't really want to actively manage it myself.

Anyway, I worked until about 3:30 and then did a few of the usual chores. Spousal Unit is being very quiet I think she's annoyed with me but won't say why. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

20 December 2016 (Tuesday)

Weird day. I'd set the iPad alarm for 4:30 and I woke up around 3:15, took some minor assistance, and then went back to sleep. And then woke up to find it 4:45. Harumph. The volume on the iPad was all the way down. So I just dressed and ate and then decided I had time to shave so I did that, too, but didn't shower. Made it to the ferry at Anacortes in time, but then said I was going to Friday Harbor instead of Orcas so they sent me to Lane 1 and I was the first and only one there. Didn't realize it for like 15 minutes. Got in line, blah blah blah. On the way I changed my reservation from the 12:25 to the 5:15 in case I went late, which of course I didn't, and was worried I might not make it on (I did). The survey was a pain. All rocky and hard to dig. Found nothing. It was mostly clear (raining a lot on the way up) but very windy so I was cold. Coming across the strait the boat was rolling quite a bit.

Other than that, not much else to report. Kind of sad today. Drugs still don't appear to be doing anything of significance.

Oh, I listened to something besides quiet piano or sacred polyphony in the car today. I put on Smashing Pumpkins. It's. . . .loud, obnoxious, and pretty dark stuff. I also finally took the record off the tuntable that's been sitting there since before I left for Wisconsin.Played an old Genesis album. Meh. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

19 December 2016 (Monday)

Didn't sleep too well again last night. Ended up needing assistance once. Cold again, too. I mean, I ended up getting pretty much enough sleep but it was kind of a pain.

Workout at the new place went well. Was angry again. Lots of people there, but not too crowded. More 'showoff's than at the IMA,by that I mean people who are trying to look all hot and stuff. But they seem mostly okay. Came home and tried to do some work but not very successfully. I went to the SBux and got two shots o' espresso -- what they call a doppio -- and put it in with chocolate milk at home and nuked it. turned out okay. When I can I think I will just do that. A grande mocha is almost $5 and the two shots is only $2.36. Might even try making my own espresso shots.

I went over to Norma's house because Carol texted me yesterday to let me know they'd be there. They are already cleaning the place out. Kind of sad. Said we cold have whatever furniture we want. I kind of like a sideboard but it's a bit cheap and I fear we will just store junk in it and on it. Looks neat though. May see if there's anything else. Would like to have something to remember her by.

Bummed out again this evening. Frustrated and such.

I went to lunch at NGate and then went to the Dick's Sporting Goods and got some socks. Thence to Cascadia to get an auger but none were there. Went to Assumption after that to drop off some stuff, including a 12-pack of soap that they had at Norma's. Went to UVil after that, had a drink at the SBux -- oddly, there were open seats -- and got some foodstuffs and then home. Thought I might break down but was too busy to.

It all just still sucks.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

18 December 2016 (Sunday)

From Jean Clausen's diary:
Mother's Day May 10, 1936. get across. Followed our creek down to road about 3 miles. Played baseball. Walked off boat.
I like this chick.

Not a whole lot of sad today, probably because yesterday's crying fit got a lot of it out. Was fairly bummed and maybe a bit frustrated this morning though. I dunno. Didn't sleep at all well last night. My feet were cold the entire night, too. I took a nap around 9 for probably 25 minutes and then did a few chores. I checked the oil in the SuBAru and none was even on the dipstick so it's going to the shop at some point. Apparently these engines burn a lot of oil.

Came home and Skyped with mom and Jeff. She was doing okay. Not terribly understandable, but okay. Her left eye is open quite a lot. Made the green bean casserole stuff for dinner, but with brussels sprouts. Walked up to the tree lot to feed Juno the reindeer/caribou an apple.

I had something else to talk about but what, I don't. . . .oh yeah, I do. You know, the more I am trying to change my ways the more kind of disappointed I get in a lot of how I've lived my life. All the time I wasted not being with family. All the time wasted chasing things that I thought were supposed to make me happy (hence, the 'disappointment and frustration' I mentioned earlier), etc. This is different from when I was all anxiety-ridden (or whatever); then, I thought of all this as negatives that were ingrained in me and I couldn't do anything about them. In other words, my outside experiences were driven by my insides, my innate characteristics. Now I see that differently. I can change the way I act. And behave. And how I treat others. And I see these outer things as eventually migrating inwards and changing me that way. The inside eventually becomes the outside.

'Happiness' can still go f*** itself, too, by the way. I'm through chasing it. If I ever have any again it will be a by-product of what I do for others, not a result of what I try to do for myself. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

17 December 2016 (Saturday)

Today was. . . . .up and down. Slept not too well again. I woke up at 3:30 and was wide awake and could have sworn it must have been after 4:30 but the furnace hadn't kicked on yet. I took 1/4 ambien and went back to sleep for probably 45 minutes. Meh. Went out for breakfast. I decided to go to the gym, the 24 Hour Fitness by NGate so I would know my way around for early Monday morning. Kinda crowded, much more so than the IMA on a Saturday morning. I did a couple of leg things and then rode the bike really, really hard for 40 minutes. Sweated profusely. Good workout. Went to NGate and a couple of estate sales. Spousal Unit bought a glass bowl.

Came home and was sad. Broke down a couple of times, even with the Spousal Unit around. Mostly from yesterday when I showed little emotion, but also the usual stuff. . .but also. We ate at NGate and were facing a table with several older 'developmentally challenged' people. I felt so. . .I don't know, compassion for them. I've done that more the last few years, but this time it was particularly intense. I wanted to go to the people with them and just tell them they were my heroes for caring for them. And it made me feel so bad that for most of my life I had ignored or not thought much of them or were even annoyed by them. . . or fearful, in a way. That's part of what set me off this afternoon.

Neither one of us are particularly spirited for the holidays. I may suggest we just mostly ignore it, get our iPhones and maybe a token gift and be done with it. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

16 December 2016 (Friday)

Had Norma's funeral today. Many tears although, perhaps surprisingly, none from me. I have little left. Besides, I was 'angry' today for most of the day. Maybe 'dour' is a better word. I'll just go with angry and anyone reading this should take it as a somewhat mild form of that term.

Anyway, the service was very nice. My reading went fine. I patted Norma's casket on the way up. Chatted with quite a few people afterwards, including one woman who I recognized from my time in grad school. I think she knew some anthro people and we probably knew each other from various parties or something. We left about noon and went to McD's for a bit of lunch, and then I worked some in preparation for next week's fieldwork and then we went to UVil for some dinner and biscotti stuff. I'll attach Norma's biscotti recipe at the end of this. We made a batch and it turned out pretty good. Actually, quite tasty. I drank a beer. Made dinner. Walked.

Kinda slept badly again last night. New meds don't seem to be making any difference. But we'll see. Oh, this morning Daisy was being very affectionate and 'bizzy' but at one point I had placed my glass of soda on the bathroom cabinet as usual and she jumped up and knocked it into the sink breaking it, etc. Dangitall. I ordered a couple of Blatz ones from Amazon since I seem to go through them like popcorn.

Workout went really well, and Stewart was there. He's really a decent guy. Got back from Hong Kong last night.

Anyway, would probably have sobbed miserably this afternoon had I been alone. Not for Norma as much as the usual stuff. Because it still sucks. And will for a long, long time.

Norma's biscotti:
1 cup margarine — Cube[d]
1 cup butter — Cube[d]
2 cups sugar
1 cup almonds
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp amaretto
[4 eggs — guess]

1. Cream butter, add sugar, eggs, almonds, extracts
2. Add flour and baking powder
3. Make rolls (2 big or 4 little)
4. Bake 350 30 minutes
5. Cut about 1/2 inch, toast. (i.e., place cut sides up and cook more for about 15 min each side)

Note: Amaretto is utterly hideous straight up. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

15 December 2016 (Thursday)

I guess today was a decent sort of a day. Slept okay. . . .woke up with a nasty anxiety attack (or whatever) at around 2 and needed a couple doses of assistance to get back to sleep. So the new meds aren't exactly going gangbusters right off the bat I guess. Had a really good workout though. Back isn't complaining much. Went downtown. Only for a couple of hours and then went and had lunch with Lisa and we exchanged gifts. I finally asked her about her 'partner' but all she wold say is that his name is Scott, he's an attorney, and he's 17 years older than she is. She's very reticent that way. Nice time. Lunch was pretty good, too.

Took the train and a bus home. Played trumpet. Played guitar a bit. Looked over my reading for tomorrow (Romans 8:31-39). Meh. Not a very interesting one. Hard to read it in any way dramatically. I was trying to come up with a 'voice' for it, but couldn't. I usually try to think of some actor or someone else reading it and use that as sort of a guideline, but I can't come up with one. Part of it works with a Tom Hanks-type of voice.

Anyway. Walked. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

14 December 2016 (Wednesday)

First day in new drug. Meh. May have done something. I'm only taking one right at bed time since it's supposed to not last that long in its effects. I woke up the same number of times (2) and needed minor assistance once, but I didn't have much of any anxiety attack (or whatever). We'll see.

Still in a relatively. . ."angry" mood. I need a better word for that. My mantra these days has been "Happiness can go f*** itself" (more potty mouth, I know) which isn't exactly as bad as it seems. I'm basically saying I don't care about my own. I feel as if I've spent way too much of my life pursuing 'happiness' by chasing after unproductive/bad/whatever things that I thought would make myself 'happy'. So to hell with it. I'll try to make other people happy for a change and my own can go suck it.

Hopefully, someday, I'll figure out what it is and how to get it. In the meantime, well, happiness can go to hell.

Anyway. That sounds so dour. I went to Cascadia and worked on a report for a bit and then the plumbers called and said they could come by today instead of Friday so I went home and he fixed the one outside faucet and found that I hadn't been tightening the hose enough on the front one (which I swore I was doing). So those seem to be in good order. Had lunch at home, then went to look for an Xmas gift for the Spousal Unit at the Gate Macy's/Bon, which they didn't have anymore. Called up the Alderwood store and that said they had some, but when I went up there they didn't. And I found out the dumb things cost $300 anyway. Drove home. Practiced guitar for a while and then started reading and dinner. Went to UVil.

I dunno. I sound like I'm getting bitter but I'm not. Except maybe at myself. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

13 December 2016 (Tuesday)

I don't recall if I had a big ol' anxiety attack (or whatever) last night. I did wake up at 3:45 and didn't get back to sleep though. Was somewhat 'angry' again this morning, although it morphed into sort of a stern faced I-don't-know-what eventually.

Forgot to mention yesterday that I had come home and bawled like in infant for like 15 minutes. Just too much emotion over the last few days.

I worked on the last report this morning and then took some food donations to the church and talked with Carol about Norma's funeral service (Friday at 10 am). I got word earlier that they want me to do one of the readings. Blehh. Then went to NGate and got a mocha and sat there for a bit and then went to my doctor appt. We're quitting the Prozac Nation stuff and trying something else. I convinced her that I am a conscientious user of ambien and she wrote a prescription for a bunch more so I'm set.

Went for lunch and then did a little more work and then headed to NGate to get my prescripts filled and got new phones for us (mainly the Spousal Unit for Xmas) which she learned about because I LEFT THE STUPID RECEIPT SITTING ON THE BED. Oh well. Made dinner, walked to tree lot and fed Juno the reindeer/caribou an apple. She drooled.

There are two phrases that kept flitting through my head today that capture my feelings. The first is "Do you do this for His glory or for yours?" which is from an Indiana Jones movie and refers to Christ, but it captures what I am going through. I'm finding that the more I look away from myself and towards others -- doing things for them, making them a priority, trying to enhance their happiness, etc. -- that I have some worry that I am looking for the attention from that. I.e., more selfishness. I suppose it's a fine line, isn't it? I hope I have at lest begun the process of submerging myself in deference to others.

The second one is "Happiness can go f*** itself."

Yeah, I've gotten something of a potty mouth lately. Here anyway, I always have something of a potty mouth.

I don't want to be all bitter and stuff, and I don't think I am, but. . . . .I feel like I've wasted most of my life chasing stuff that will "make me happy". And if you say the word "happiness" to me, the first words I am inclined to think of are "frustration" and "disappointment". They say that you get what you give. I really want to forget about myself for a while. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

12 December 2016 (Monday)

Norma's gone. Very sad. Got the call around 9:40 and I didn't answer it because I didn't recognize the number and I was down getting coffee. Just as well, Carol (daughter) was pretty broken up. Sad day today.

Last night I woke up at 1:30 and eventually was sobbing. When I used to have these anxiety attacks (or whatever) I though for a long time that they were showing me reality. As if all the layers of consciousness and such during the day had given way to let me see things as they truly are. After a while I figured out that they were not necessarily that at all and that I had to take whatever fears I was experiencing with a large grain of salt. Sure, I would use them as a general guide to see what exactly was bothering me at any given time and work on the issue, but I was wary of taking them 'literally' if you will.

I had a big one last night. Of course, it was awful at the time but this morning I decided, as usual, to just sort of take it under advisement. However, pondering it while working out I realized that it was accurate for the most part. . . .and also that I am on the right path. To what, I don't really know. Maybe fixing the basics of what I think is wrong with me? Or doing something to provide me with that Big Goal I've been going on about? Whatever, I'm at least confident that, despite all the pain, I'm in the right direction. Not chasing 'happiness' anymore. Not letting my imagination run wild. Not seeking attention. Those are the negatives; the positives I mentioned yesterday: Being a kind, thoughtful, unselfish, good man.

And saying "Oh, f*ck it" a lot. Silently, for the most part though.

Because I was in one of my "angry" moods this morning I had an exceptional workout. I'd driven myself so I came home, ate bagel, and then bussed it downtown. I only worked until about 1:30, because I was distracted (Norma) and also I wanted to get back and see if there was anything I could do. I listened to Victoria's Requiem Mass, and then because he was a Spaniard, I downloaded Verdi's Requiem and listened to that as well (vastly inferior, IMO; sorry, Norma). No one was at home, so I just rearranged the flamingoes so that they faced her house with their heads bowed.

Norma would not have been pleased with some of the language I used while trying to get the &($&%#$_&(@) things positioned properly either. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

11 December 2016 (Sunday)

From Jean Clausen's diary:
Easter Sunday April 12-1936 Marlene came over. got 10 baskets. Was in Easter Pro.[Parade?] Did O.K.
Not sure what all that meant. 

Rather sad day today. Spousal Unit was upset last night and I went to sleep on the floor, just because. She apologized this morning, but I told her she has nothing to apologize for. I'm the one trying to radically change my ways, and that is difficult for all involved. Honestly, I don't think I'm much the same person I was at the beginning of all this. I hope not. I hope to be someone almost totally different at the end. 

But yes, was mostly sad all day. Sometimes frustratingly so, other times. . . .just philosophically so, if that makes sense. About the only thing holding me together anymore is the desire or maybe even the need to be a kind, thoughtful, selfless good man. That's all. I sent my old crush Julie at Assumption a short email expressing my thoughts and prayers after her sister was listed in the bulletin for prayers. She thanked me for the kindness. 

I also told myself to "go f*ck yourself" a few times, too. Eh. You know. 

Slept okay. I woke up at about 3:15 and at 3:25 I went down to the floor and tossed around the idea of whether I should use some assistance or not. I did, a minor one, and didn't think I ever went back to sleep but when I sat up at one point it was 5:07 so I figured I must have been dozing in and out a lot. Felt okay. Didn't nap at all. I went to Mass, not because I really wanted to, but I wanted to see Marge, who wasn't there. I did feel better having done so though. 

Sat around the rest of the morning, went to lunch, shopping, then watched Green Bay pound the Seachickens. I would have been okay either way. 


Had a decent practice with the guitar today. I started learning Bach's Prelude To Cello Suite #1 and gained a tiny bit of facility with it, and then just practiced Dreaming' which I am also getting pretty good at. Felt good. 

I often wish I could just dry up and blow away. Well, sometimes anyway. Every now and then. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

10 December 2016 (Saturday)

Slept fine last night, no assistance and until a little after 5. Spousal Unit got up before 6 as well. Had nothing in the house so we went out. I ate six pieces of bacon. !!! Felt bad afterwards, too. I had decided to go to the gym anyway, which I did, but just did some ab stuff and then rode the cycle for 45 minutes. Really killed it, too.

We went up to Woodinville. Was raining really hard up there. Didn't do much except lunch and then some minor shopping and ice cream. I decided to make pfeffernusse, a spicy German cookie kind of like a ginger snap. So we got ingredients there. They turned out pretty well? I don't know, my grandma used to make it but I don't remember much about it except I thought they were not sweet and hard like dog biscuits. These were not. We were going to get a couple of top sirloins from the Metropolitan Market because we had a buy one get one free coupon but they were all almost $30 apiece. Ended up eating pork tenderloin we'd gotten in Woodinville.

Had some beer but not a while one. Got very sad this afternoon, mostly about Norma. Really don't like losing her, but I guess that goes without saying.

Walked up to the Hunter's tree lot by the post office and fed Juno the reindeer/caribou an apple. Spousal Unit is annoyed with me for some reason.

Friday, December 9, 2016

9 December 2016 (Friday)

Sad news: Norma the neighbor has gone into in-patient hospice and isn't expected to last the week. Which is good I suppose, at least for her sake. The flamingoes took up station at her house now for a vigil.

Otherwise, it was an okay day for me. Slept well. No assistance. Had a killer workout. Came home and worked for a couple of hours and then went to lunch at McD's and then went straight up to Spam's Club to get a Hulu gift card for my sister. My online purchases are acting weird. I also tried to buy a 30-day pass to the 24 Hour Fitness but it didn't go through either. So after Spam's I came home and started to pack stuff up but realized I didn't have anything for the critters so I went to UVil to get that stuff and then found out my sister's old cat had died in August. Mailed that stuff and then hit the 24 Hour and got that and then. . . .I think I came home. Yes. Played my trumpet for a while. Spousal Unit came home and we went to NGate's California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. That's where Norma's daughter called. We walked a bit. Listened to a violin duet at the B&N for a few minutes, then came home.

Snowed overnight but was mostly just slushy by this morning so it wasn't a big deal.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

8 December 2016 (Thursday)

Slept well last night, without any assistance. Yay. Go me. Also had a great leg workout. Furnace is being buggy. It's set to be 68 degrees at 4:30 in the morning and it went on before then but when I got up at 4:40 it was freezing and was only like 61. By the time I got back from the gym it was only 63. Took all day and with the stove on to finally hit 68. So must have it looked at.

I worked at home all morning, then went to lunch, and then did some more work and met Fiona at NGate for a bit. Came home, broke down to Puff the Main Dragon (that last verse is really a killer), and then started dinner and stuff.

A transport vehicle came down the street at a little after 5 and stopped at Norma's house. We were concerned but I went over to check and she was being taken to the hospital because her meds were making her more confused than she should be. That was a bit of a relief.

There's a show called Westworld on HBO, a takeoff on the movie from the 1970s. It's quite good. The robots are more human-like and more like the replicants from Blade Runner. They're beginning to develop memories and some sort of artificial intelligence and one of them, Delores, whose "storyline" involves bandits repeatedly killing her "parents" had this to say to one of the managers about how she feels about that:

"The pain, their loss, is all I have left of them. You think the grief will make you smaller inside, like your heart will collapse in on itself, but it doesn't. I feel spaces opening up inside me like a building with rooms I never explored."
That's kind of what I meant when I was saying that all the hurt I was going through was good, in a way. It's the experience that brings you things you didn't know about before. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

7 December 2016 (Wednesday)

From Jean Clausen's diary:
9/24/38 Dorothy, Ginger, Mary, Helen, Luella, Cecile and I walked home. We had fun. Washington played and lost 15-0 but [Lincoln] swell.
'Luella', there's a name you don't see much.

Cold day out monitoring. Was at the west end of Penn Cove on Whidbey at 8:30 this morning although I didn't start until 9:30. Wasn't too cold, although it was down to about 25 overnight and only got up to around 33 out there (cold for around these parts). They were trenching again. I was a bit irritated when I got there because they had backfilled the trench with the potentially intact site stuff in it, but he said they covered it with fabric and sent photos to DAHP, etc. So that was okay. Was in the sun for much of the morning. I had on two pairs of long underwear, flannel-lined pants, two thermal t-shirts, a turtleneck, light sweatshirt, and a heavy hooded sweatshirt. Sheesh. Here is a view of the Cascades this afternoon:

Also found an intact Mason jar. Not terribly exciting or important, but we get so few intact ones that I thought we could keep it for reference. Other than that, mostly quiet.

Drive home was mostly uneventful. Oh, the drive there. While on Whidbey, this happened (copied from Facebook):
So I'm driving on Whidbey Island in a line of about 6 cars with a police car leading the way a couple hundred yards ahead. The cop puts on his lights for a couple of seconds but I didn't know why because there was no one around for him to catch. Turned out there were a couple of deer next to the road looking like they wanted to cross so he was letting us know so we could slow down.
Good for him.

Too busy to be sad today, although I was kind of angry for a while. Not like mad mad mad angry, just. . . .angry. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

6 December 2016 (Tuesday)

Sort of an odd day today. I slept fine last night, only woke up once and without assistance. The Honda was all frosted up inside and out and I quit trying to defrost/scrape it after a couple of minutes because I know it would take a half an hour. So I waited for the Spousal Unit to leave and took mine instead. I parked the Honda in the sun all day and drove around with the windows down a bit and the heater cranked up so I'm hoping it's dried out enough not to frost on the inside over night.

Workout went well. I was kind of angry. Just at the whole situation. Not a bitter angry, just anger at myself mostly. A productive anger.

I did some work on a report at home this morning but around 10:30 the computer was just making me furious so I kinda of quit before I smacked something and went and did errands. I went to a local coffee place and got a pound of coffee for Michele and family for Xmas, and then to Cascadia to pick up my checks, and then to a chocolate store to get some chocolates (nice ones) for Michele and family and Janice. Mailed that all out this afternoon, too. Went to a Paglicacci for lunch. Then to UVil to get some comestibles for tomorrow and drink a mocha.

I played my trumpet today and it went quite well. I'd like to play at least one thing at mom's funeral, maybe two. I enjoy playing it. Did the guitar for a bit, too. Broke down a bit. I dunno. I need to get it out every now and then, I guess. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

5 December 2016 (Monday)

Slept decently well last night. Still the usual pattern: Woke up at 10:30, 1:30, and 4:30. But good. Good workout, too. I did a low-weight hi-rep day today. Always tough.

It was raining but I'd forgotten either a hat or umbrella so I got pretty wet, although I took some shortcuts to the Rotunda from the IMA. Raining now, too, with some slushy flakes mixed in. May get some snow tonight, but I hope not.

Work was okay downtown. I got quite a bit done and finished up with the Cytology data memo and such. Started on the biopsies today but didn't't make a whole lot of progress. The merging code also needed to be run again because of the lost to followup issue (I think I mentioned that earlier): some kids were being "exited" but in reality were just having their chart moved to the adult clinic but our code was flagging them as Lost. I had lunch with Rowena which was nice, and Ken was there, too. I like him. Decent chap. Kind of a nice little semi-productive day.

Bus ride home was okay save for the mess of high school kids. Well, they weren't that loud. Most of them got off before my stop, too. I don't mind them. Wish it was a bigger bus though. Went to UVil to get bagels. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

4 December 2016 (Sunday)

From Jean Clausen's diary:
July 24, '38. The Cash Lumber Co. burnt down -- Harold and I saw the best part of it from the ferris wheel at the carnival. 
That's hilarious. I like this chick. Couldn't find anything about a lumber company fire in 1938 though.

Kind of an okay day I guess. Slept. . . .okay? Until 4. Was tired so I didn't go to Mass but I did nap for probably a half an hour. Watched the Great! Big! College Football Playoff Show! Alabama-Clemson-Ohio State-Washington. I would have taken Penn State over Washington, not just because I'm from a Big Ten either. I think WA's schedule was wimpy and not just their pathetic non-conference one. But whatever. Wisconsin lost. I'll be rooting for OSU and then Alabama.

Lazy morning mostly. I did the litter and cleaned the toilets. Went to Five Guys at NGate for lunch and then the usual shopping. Sunny but only 46 today and it's getting colder tomorrow and then for the next two days. I raked some in the front when we got home and then did some more little chores. Fed the squirrels. Got a tree after dinner. A noble fir (ca. $50) about 6 feet tall. Looks kind of ugly, definitely not perfect. Like a real tree. I don't like perfect trees unless they're artificial. One needs some character. A conversation piece. Something that looks like you went out and just cut down a wild one.

No breakdowns today, mostly because around people all day. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

3 December 2016 (Saturday)

I just finished putting some glittery reindeer ornaments on the pink plastic lawn flamingoes. Also put one on the one I stuck over at Norma's. I hope she gets to see it.

Didn't sleep all that well last night, got out of the bed after only an hour and spent the rest of the night (unit 4) on the floor. Did some praying for a half an hour before getting up. I started making breakfast here this morning, but first one egg broke in one carton, then I knocked something on the floor, and then another egg broke in the other carton so I gave up and we went out. I went to the gym this morning, too. I needed to. Had a decent workout, too. Only one regular morning person was there.

I came home and actually took a nap. Then we went for lunch, a tiny bit of grocery shopping, and then home. I watched football, wrote a couple of cards, practiced guitar a bit, made dinner, walked at NGate.

Kind of a boring, but restful day I guess. I was planning on practicing my trumpet -- I would like to play it at my mom's eventual funeral -- but didn't feel like all the noise. Plus it's much more work to play that than the guitar. More rewarding, I think, but more work. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

2 December 2016 (Friday)

Missed a day because, well, lots of stuff going on. Wednesday I went up to Whidbey in the afternoon to do some documenting on the possible intact midden and while there the owner showed up and I told him I was checking it out and was going to send something to DAHP about it and he went nuts. Was very upset that I even talked to them without telling him. Which I guess was right. But he turned into kind of an asshat. Well, no, he was an asshat. Not too rude, but I almost left at one point. Anyway, he was all mad and DAHP wanted to stop all work, but after a couple of hours and many phone calls, we finally got the go-ahead to do that night's work. That started at 8.

And then a (apparently drunk) neighbor came by and was screaming at them to shut it all down. Sheesh.

I left the site at 9:15 and made the 10 pm ferry. Except there wasn't one. So I had to wait for the 10:30. Blehh. Got home about 11:30. Didn't even go to the gym Thursday morning, I slept until 6.

And then Meg and I went up around 11 to document the deposit, and that took about 3 hours in the mud and light rain and. . . .it was kind of fun. We drew a profile, took photos, I wrote something up, and sent it off. I enjoyed the profile drawing, it was actual archaeology, quite rare. But kind of dirty and miserable in a way. Well, definitely dirty, just kind of miserable. And I was looking forward to another night starting at 9.

But no! They cancelled the excavating that night! I was miserable for the previous 24 hours just due to all the driving and the angry owner (he was much calmer after Wednesday night) and the cold and the wet and the dark and late night. Then I was happy. I had gone to Oak Harbor to have dinner and wait around for the work, but Meg called and said it was off. WHEW. Drove around the top to get home and made decent time although there were a couple of accidents.

Slept like a log last night for the most part. Had a really good workout. Went to Cascadia for a while, took some flowers to Norma (sleeping), had lunch, came home and cleaned out the Honder, went to UVil to get a prescription and some SBux, and came home.

And broke down completely. Just some serious weeping there. For some odd reason, when I got back Thursday night Puff the Magic Dragon popped into my head and it was making me a little teary last night and today, so I played it this afternoon and just broke down sobbing. For like 15 minutes. It had just been building up I guess, but I don't know what that song had to do with anything. I mean, it's kind of a sad song and all, but I hadn't thought of it nor heard it in years. Weird.