And, in this upshot, purposes mistook fall’n on th’ inventors’ blogs. 

Hello and good morning.  I hope you’re all as well as you can be—which is sort of self-fulfilling, since you can’t in principle be better than you actually are at any given moment, and so you’re always as well as you can be, however disappointing that fact might seem.

I walked to the train station this morning—making quite good time, it ought to be said—because I had more issues with my new bike on the way back to the house yesterday evening.  It was raining, not insignificantly, when I arrived at the train station in the evening, but I was reasonably okay with that.  As I’ve written before, I’m a veteran of riding a scooter in thunderstorms and even tropical storms*, so the rain, though irritating, was not a terrible bother.  If anything, it can help one’s endurance, supplementing the cooling effects of sweat.  I also wrapped my computer quite thoroughly, and as you can tell from the fact that I’m using it to write this, my protective covering worked well.

No, the real issue was the bike seat—although now at least it rests on a post that hasn’t fallen into the frame.  But it simply would not stay level.  I had done my best to tighten the thing down when assembling it, but perhaps the rain made that tightening less secure.  So, all the way back to the house from the train, I had to perch myself just so on the seat to keep it from suddenly tilting backwards, and I didn’t always succeed.  This did not make the process of riding through the rain and puddles any easier.

By the way, there are no fenders on this bike, so there’s a fair amount of mud splash now on my backpack.  I don’t mind the cosmetics, but the grittiness is nearly maddening when I get it on my hands.  I hate grittiness and stickiness.  I always have, but I was raised, or trained myself, to avoid indulging in avoiding such irritations, though they make me feel disgusting.  I basically take the life approach that I don’t have any right to be comfortable.  This makes me able to endure a lot, but it probably contributes to the fact that I have needed to endure a lot, if you see what I mean.

Anyway, I had already noticed a little wobbliness to the seat despite my best efforts, and so ordered a decent socket wrench set—since I couldn’t find the one I used to own—which was supposed to be delivered yesterday afternoon.  Obviously, since I bothered to bring it up, and since I said, “supposed to be”, it didn’t arrive.

Perhaps the rain contributed to the delays in deliveries, but it was quite irritating, especially since one of the things that kept me motivated to keep riding was thinking that once I got back to the house, I was going to get out my new socket wrench set and tighten that seat into place until nothing would make it budge.  But I couldn’t.

The anger I felt toward the seat while riding probably helped with my speed back to the house last night.  I certainly didn’t feel as fatigued as I had felt the previous night or yesterday morning, though perhaps the rain helped that, too.

In any case, it wasn’t as though I could sensibly choose not to ride the rest of the way to the house.  At least, I couldn’t do that without just giving up on everything entirely, which I do consider on a frequent basis.  There are many times when I just want to be like the man in the video for the Radiohead song, Just, and simply lie down where I am and let the elements take me.  I still might do it someday.

Unless I’m going to do that, though, I have to get to where I’m going, and sooner is better than later when it’s raining, so I pedaled away.  I was soaked completely through by the time I got to the house.  And my new socket wrench set was not there.

So, anyway, now I’m writing this on the train, having walked this morning, and the train’s electrical system seems to have begun to have issues.  The air conditioning and some of the lights keep going out with a sort of humming groan as they fail, then popping back on after a moment or two, only to fail again.  It’s actually rather funny.  As long as it doesn’t affect the train’s ability to move, I’m relatively okay with it, but it is irritating that it keeps coming on and off.

At least the fact that I walked this morning allowed me to wear my new hat, which I rather like, but which couldn’t be worn when biking, since the relative wind would almost certainly make it fly off.  You have to take your silver linings where you can find them—if you can find them.

But so much of life is irritating.  It’s always been thus.  Maybe my tendency not to try to correct or avoid things that irritate me, out of some cultural tendency or implicit stoic philosophy or whatever, has led to the accumulation of more irritations than are tolerable, until finally they have worn me down almost completely, and soon I will crumble and blow away in the wind.  I can’t say that would be terribly disappointing for me.

I suppose, if I do give in and fail soon, you’ll more or less be able to tell by the fact that I’ll suddenly stop writing.  I wouldn’t think that would be much of a loss.  In the meantime, I’ll keep boring you with my idiocy, and you can indulge your masochism by reading it.


overlaid hat pic with distortion smaller

*No full-fledged hurricanes, though; even I am not that ridiculous.

Move along; there’s nothing left to see. Just a body. Nothing left to see.

Well, it’s Tuesday morning now, and I’m writing this while already at the office, because I didn’t leave last night.  I should have gone to the house on my new bicycle and ridden it to the train this morning, but unfortunately, there were snags.

First of all, the bicycle was delivered after our normal business hours.  Amazon allows us to put time constraints into the delivery instructions, and we have done so, so it would be nice if they attended to them and made sure to get things to their destinations during delivery hours, especially when they are expensive items.  I waited around after work for it arrive.  Then, unboxing it, I saw that it wasn’t technically the color I had ordered, but it wasn’t too far off, so that didn’t bother me all that much.

Then, after reading all the way through the instructions once before beginning, I then began to reread and do the necessary assembly.  However, the bike seat post clamp, or whatever it’s called, turned out not to be the kind actually described in the instructions, and as I was realizing that there was no slot in mine for an Allen key, I fumbled about and the seat post slipped and fell down into the frame of the bike.

It fell deep down.  And though it slid in quite easily, somehow, it does not slide out nearly as readily.  Indeed, it doesn’t seem to want to slide out at all, not even a millimeter.  The company’s website just recommends turning the thing upside down and using a rubber mallet or something similar to hammer at the base until the post falls out.  It hasn’t budged so far.

This is a problem that has been occurring frequently for some time, apparently—there are complaints or inquiries on their site going back three years and more—yet there has been no such simple preventative fix as to, for instance, put some kind of barrier in the structure so the post can’t slip past its top into the frame.

Of course, if I had put the seat on the post first, this wouldn’t have happened, but the instructions tell you to put the post in first.  I’m not sure why.  I’m not sure if there is a reason.  This does, apparently, occur often enough that people in YouTube videos advise putting the seats on first.

It’s maddening.  Anyway, I was working on the stupid thing, trying to figure out how to dislodge it, until far too late to catch the last train back toward the house.  So, I “slept” on the floor in the office again.  I just wanted to have the bike to ride home; it was the first thing to which I’ve looked forward in I don’t know how long.  My coworker said it’s literally the first time in 2023 I’ve said there was something I was anticipating positively.  He’s probably right.

Also, yesterday we missed another potential palindromic number sequence in our recording numbers for verifications.  Don’t worry about the specifics too much, just know that I decided that, if one would come up before too long a time had passed, I would take it as a message from the universe* to try to decide to live.  But the chance passed, yet again, not to my surprise.

And this last Saturday was the “anniversary” of the destruction of the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings.  I wish I had just killed myself then, as I considered doing.  I’m so frustrated.  I haven’t been able to get anything right in I don’t know how long.  Like the song True Love Waits says, “I’m not living.  I’m just killing time.”

And time is killing me, but it’s doing it too damned slowly.  I’m tired and I’m in pain and I’m trying not to give in, but it’s so much effort, and there’s no fucking payoff.  Am I just staying alive today so that I can just stay alive again tomorrow, then the next day and the next week and the next month and the next year…just staying alive because people think that’s what you’re supposed to do, and biology builds those drives into everyone?  What is the point?  I hate myself, anyway, and all that I’ve become.

Oh, and in case you’ve recently joined the readership of this blog, you should know, this isn’t about the bike, per se.  I mean, the bike is frustrating because it was an instance of me trying to do something proactive and positive, and then via fumbling, stupid mistakes I made it go wrong and made it more frustrating than it ought to be.

It’s not that I don’t think I can fix the problem.  Obviously, I can fix the problem.  I just don’t want to have to fix the stupid problem.  I’m tired of fixing problems.  I’m tired of effort, of trying to achieve…well, anything at all.  I feel like my life has been a constant attempt to build a sandcastle while the tide is coming in.  Oh, and there’s a hurricane coming.  And I don’t have any tools.  And the sand is basically really gravel.  But mainly, I’m just rotten at it, and I don’t seem to be getting better over time; rather, I am getting worse.

Oh, well, enough melodrama.  Sorry, everyone.  I really ought just to bring the show to a close.  It’s pathetic.  We’ll see, I guess.


*Though I don’t actually believe the universe sends messages; it’s just a conceit, a sort of reverse Russian Roulette.

Dreary is as dreary does, as we say in…well, nowhere. But it’s true nonetheless

Well, it’s Monday morning again, and I’m sitting now at the train station.  I seem to be getting in better shape.  Though I left at the same time as usual, I’ve arrived at the station in time for the train earlier than I usually catch—only to hear the announcement that this particular train has been cancelled.  That means I’ll be catching the next one, which is likely to be more crowded because of the cancellation of the prior one (and I really hate crowds) though there seem to be rather few people waiting at the station than usual.

It’s not an auspicious way to begin the week, though I suppose an optimist might think that it’s likely only to improve from here.  I am not an optimist, however.  Maybe I used to be, but I’m not one now.

Anyway, I’m on my way in to the office, one way or another.  The blisters that had formed on my feet when I wore the shoes that I’ve since thrown away have mostly resolved, or are on their way out, and they certainly didn’t trouble me on my walk this morning, though my right ankle is twinging.

That’s my old injury from college, acting up.  Ithaca, New York, it turns out, can be a perilous place to play an aggressive game of catch, because the land is hilly and irregular, and if all your weight comes down on your right foot after it’s reached an unexpected dip in the ground, well…let’s just say that when it happened to me, it made a sound that my friend, with whom I was playing catch, heard from where he was, quite a ways away.  We thought my ankle might be broken, but it was just a very bad sprain.

Of course, student health was partway up Libe Slope, so it was good that I had friends back then to help me hobble up.

Today my new bicycle is supposed to arrive, so I don’t expect to be walking back from the train station this evening, but rather to be riding.  I’m sure there will be at least some minor soreness related to using a bike for the fist time in nearly a decade, but at least it’s low impact exercise, and I’ll gain some time back from my walking.

I’m still listening to The Lord of the Rings as I walk, though I also listen to some podcasts sometimes.  This morning I heard the entire chapters relating Merry’s and Pippin’s meeting of Treebeard, all the way to and through the end of the Entmoot, and on into the beginning of the next chapter, to just before Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli meet “the White Rider”.  It’s an exciting part of the story, and we’re approaching the bit that I usually like best, the battle of Helm’s Deep.

Unfortunately, I found myself feeling very melancholy as I listened this morning.  That may be partly because I’m starting a new work week, even though Saturday was supposed to be a day of portent*, and I was really hoping for something momentous or dreadful or revelatory to happen to me.  But at least part of my melancholy is just that The Lord of the Rings was a love I shared with my ex-wife, and I have a hard time still enjoying the things we used to enjoy together.

That’s rather dreary, I know, but I’m just not the sort of person to make deep attachments easily, and especially not to be able to let them go easily, and without much severe pain.  Reminders of them make me rue my ongoing life.  Certainly it hasn’t been worth much since at least the time I was invited to be a guest of the Florida DOC.  I have experienced much more negative than positive since then, and really, it was mainly negative (though with more positive to counter that) for quite a long time before then.

Alas, I have not yet been cast into a volcano, but we can always hope for something of that sort to happen.  There was a time, as I said, that I was relatively optimistic, but now I feel just worn out, and in pain, and even my attempts to get into shape cause issues for me.  And before me I face only the rolling, grinding, dreary passage of the weeks to come, doing the same pointless things, which bring no ultimate benefit to anyone.  I don’t write fiction or play music or draw or anything of that sort anymore, and I don’t have any friends, and I don’t see my kids, and the rest of my family is far away.

I really ought just to call it quits here.

Of course, I’m hopeful that I’ll enjoy riding my new bicycle enough that it’ll at least give me some fun for a bit.  I don’t want to get my hopes up too much.  But at least it should give me some extra time, and a bit of freedom to go farther in the time that I have, while still exercising, and that’s something, at least.

Of course, what I really want is to go very, very far from where I am, so far that I can never return, even in principle.  But I’m a bit of coward, and I also don’t want to be rude.  So, instead, I’m trapped where I am, hoping for illness and/or accidents.

It’s annoying.  And, again, it’s a dreary way to start the new work week—as is, no doubt, reading this blog post.  I can only apologize; but I can’t pretend to be other than as I am.  What would be the point?


*Nothing interesting happened then, though.

Bad ingestions and good intentions at the start of Spring (in the north)

I apologize, right at the start, to anyone who was disappointed that I didn’t write a blog post yesterday.  I was home sick, having gotten a bad GI reaction from some Chinese food that I ordered and ate Sunday night.  The food was the gastric equivalent of Rocky Balboa; it simply did not want to stay down.

I’m back now, though, and have just arrived at the train station after a morning walk, and am waiting for the train I would have boarded anyway had I taken the bus.  I’ve occasionally toyed with the idea of getting a bike—not a fancy, lean-over-the-handlebars type—to go to and from the train station.  But to do that entails thinking of something long-term, as a long-term solution to the problem of time in my daily life, and I have no desire to think long-term.  I honestly don’t really want a long term.  I barely want a short term.  I barely want a single day more, to be honest, especially when I’ve been feeling sick and my back is hurting especially badly.  Oh, well, that’s nothing new.

I suppose I should welcome you all to Spring, which officially started yesterday, when the equinox happened—or autumn, in the southern hemisphere, apologies for the apparent dissing.  I’m a little sad that I didn’t get to write about it yesterday.  In many ways, the equinoxes are more global than the solstices, because (although one is heading toward summer and the other heading toward winter) the two hemispheres all go through the same equinox at the same time, and it means, roughly, the same thing.

I was listening to an audiobook while walking this morning, as I often do, but this was a non-fiction book.  The author, a highly intelligent investigator, often refers to “authorities” regarding certain subjects*, sometimes seeming a bit tongue-in-cheek as he does so.  This raised for me a notion that I think is not reinforced often enough in the world:  when it comes to matters of science, there are no authorities.  There are experts, but there are no actual authorities.  No one has authorship of nature—no human or other mortal, anyway—and so no one has authority.

Stephen King can rightly claim authority over the works of Stephen King, as no one else can.  But nature, reality itself, is not subject to human authority.  And that includes other humans.  Governments also don’t really have authority, since none of them actually made society, nor do they “run” their nations.  At best, they are managers.

I’ve said this before, but no human civilization was ever created, nor is any such thing ever run, by individual humans.  They are spontaneously self-assembled and self-organizing systems.  Each individual member of the system is responding to local incentives, and this generates the overall pattern emergently.

This brings me to another issue that occurred to me while listening to the book, and that is the notion of intentions.  We all know the cliché that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and these good intentions are mentioned frequently regarding the people who have made scientific errors or presumptions as described in the book to which I was listening.  And it occurred to me that not only are good intentions not any adequate guarantee of good outcomes; they can be actively corrupting, in many ways more so than greed or lust for power.

While a person who is greedy and self-serving can certainly do great harm, part of their very impetus is to continue getting away with what they are doing, to continue to prosper, and so they tend to want to fly under the radar—at least until they begin to feel insecure in other ways, perhaps.  But ideologues, people who truly believe that what they are doing is right and is best for the greatest number of people, can justify performing horrible acts that might put off any but the worst of psychopathic sadists.

The perpetrators of various witch-hunts and inquisitions and reigns of terror and pogroms and purges and great leaps forward and killing fields and the like—and even the less-destructive Twitter mobs—are often people who are truly and thoroughly convinced that they are acting in the best interests of everyone in the world, and possibly even in the best interests of those they torture and murder in some cases.

But the desire to do good and the question of actually doing good appear to be almost orthogonal in reality.  Certainly their alignment is not reliably one-to-one.  Thus, any person who actually wants to do good—not just to be able to tell themselves that they are doing good—must always be amendable, at least in principle, to learning that they are wrong, in their methods or even in their ideals.

Dogmatism tends to be catastrophic.  Certainty kills, in the words of a person whom I cannot recall.  Or to paraphrase another source of which I’m not certain, good intentions can be and have been used to fumigate the worst of possible deeds, even the slaughter of a continent.

As Richard Feynman** said, reality has to take precedence over politics, for Nature cannot be fooled.

Anyway, that’s enough of that.  All these things apply in the long run—relatively speaking, anyway—and while I’m interested, in principle, in long walks, I can’t actually envision a future for myself, other than the inevitable one.  I have no goals or plans or aspirations, I desire no “beliefs”, and I don’t foresee any beneficial change in myself, whether beneficial to me or to anyone else.  If I could find the will to override the irritating biological drives that lead me to keep eating and drinking and all that crap, I would do so, and would consider it sensible.  But that’s not readily accomplished, so I am forced along other, sometimes potentially very long, paths.

Ah, well.  I’m stubborn at least, even if I’m not dogmatic.  Or so I believe.

It's spring!

*I’m not going into the subject matter because I don’t want to distract from my point.

**Of course I tend to remember when I’m quoting him.

In nature’s infinite blog of secrecy a little I can read.

Hello and good morning.

It’s Thursday morning once again, and so it’s time for me to attempt to create a simulacrum of what used to be my typical, once-weekly blog post, back when I used to do my fiction writing every non-Thursday morning of the week.  It won’t really live up to expectations, I wouldn’t think, since the situation is now so different.

For one thing, I can’t talk about my fiction writing, since I haven’t done any fiction writing since before I last posted The Dark Fairy and the Desperado, and previously, Outlaw’s Mind, both of which are uncompleted stories and are likely to remain that way until the end of the universe—barring, of course, the possibility that the universe goes on forever and every possible quantum state thereof is eventually realized somewhere, somewhen.

Indeed, if the universe is infinite in spatial extent, as seems to be the case, and if our understanding of quantum mechanics and the maximal entropy state of enclosed regions of spacetime are correct, or even reasonably close to being correct, then somewhere out there in space “at this time” there are an infinite number of versions of me who have completed both stories, and many others besides, and who are world-famous authors.

I used scare quotes around “at this time” because, obviously, given the finite speed of light/causality, and the flexible nature of time depending on relative motion, the concept of simultaneity is fuzzy at best.  Nothing outside one’s local light cones can be considered to be in one’s past or one’s future, but they are also not exactly “now”, either.

Still, we can give an overall statement about the age of the universe for things that have little to no “peculiar motion” relative to the cosmic microwave background and say that such things have gone through about 13.8 billion years since the hot big bang, on average, and it’s not nonsensical to do that.  So, if by “at this time”, I refer to other regions of a spatially infinite universe that have passed through roughly the same amount of local time since the big bang, I’m not incorrect in saying that there are an infinite number of “me” who have completed their stories—and there are an infinite number who have not, and there are an infinite number of every possible variation.

None of that does me (or you) any good, because—being outside my past and future light cones (and yours, which are almost identical to mine)—those distant regions are completely causally disconnected from us, past and future, especially given the accelerated expansion of the universe.  I suppose an Einstein-Rosen Bridge/wormhole could conceivably connect such distant regions, in principle, assuming such wormholes can even happen, which is far from certain.

There are those who hypothesize that quantum entanglement happens through wormholes (small ones), and there are those who have even tried to connect distant multiverses with the many worlds of a branching Everettian quantum mechanics, but I don’t think either of those things is close to having been rigorously described, let alone tested, nor are they generally accepted by the physics community.

Anyway, it still doesn’t help any of us, because clearly, if there are alternate versions of ourselves living better lives than we are*, they have no back-and-forth connection with the lives we currently are living—the wave function has split, the states have decohered, they are not the same beings, even if movies about multiverses win many Oscars and/or make a great deal of money.

What was I talking about again?

I don’t know.  I’m very tired.  I ended up sleeping in the office last night.  I did this deliberately; it had nothing to do with train problems or anything.  I just didn’t feel like going back to the house.  I was tired (still am) and there’s nothing at the house for me that is any more enticing than there is at the office, other than a shower.  And I don’t really care about a shower right now.  For whom would be grooming myself?  Whom am I trying to impress?  All is vanity, as it says in Ecclesiastes.

It’s a funny line for a religious text that some people say contains the infallible word of an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful and omnipresent deity that made everything, deliberately and specifically.  If that were all the case, why would it say all is vanity?  Of course, the argument could be made that these were the words of some ancient human (Solomon or David, one of those kings, is supposed to have been the author of Ecclesiastes, I think), not the direct words of the creator of the universe, but if that’s the case, then clearly the bible is not literally true in all its parts**.  But that’s hardly the only case of seemingly contradictory portions of religious texts, is it?

Anyway, it’s chilly here for south Florida—about sixty degrees, which feels cold when you’re used to 70’s to 80’s, but would no doubt feel beautifully balmy to people back in Michigan or Ohio.  It’s certainly far warmer than intergalactic space, which is only about 2.7 Kelvin (so it’s about 286 Kelvin hotter here).  Then again, it’s much cooler than the heart of the sun, and cooler yet than the heart of blue supergiant stars.  And those are all vastly cooler than just later than one Planck time after whatever initiated the big bang.

Of course, there is, in principle, a maximum heat that any local region can achieve, because if the local energy is high enough, it will form a local black hole, and also the uncertainty principle will kick in to separate things.  Although…if everything is uniformly very hot, such that there is no net curvature of spacetime in one local region relative to another…maybe that’s where inflation comes from?  If there is inflation***.

Anyway, that’s enough nonsense.  I’m just jabbering and chattering, because I don’t really communicate with anyone day-to-day in any way other than this about things that interest me.  I’m very alone and very tired, but I’m also very bad at doing the whole social interaction thing, so I’m kind of stuck.

I’m inclined to say that I deserve it—that’s how I feel—but of course, as Will (played by Clint) points out below, such concepts are really vacuous.  There are a functionally limitless number of possible variations of lives that could be lived by a being that matches my rough description and/or has an identical past that diverged at some point.  I’m just living one of those possibilities, because, well, I had to be living one of them unless I were dead, which I’m not, unfortunately.

I hope most of you are having a better morning than I am.  Heck, I’d be delighted if everyone who reads my stuff always has better days than I do.  That would at least be some good news.  And, of course, somewhere out there in infinite spacetime—if there is such a thing—that situation is instantiated.

Don’t be jealous, though.  There are also places where everyone reading my blog always has worse days than I have.

Poor bastards.



*And if there are, there are also infinite numbers of versions of us living every possible worse life as well.

**If in any of them whatsoever, which is a separate but related question.

***Well, by certain definitions, we could say with great confidence that there is inflation, since the universe is inflating now—that’s the “dark energy” you might have heard about—but it’s doing it quite slowly, doubling in size over the course of every about ten billion years, I think, at the current rate, assuming it’s a constant.  But if you change the time scale, it looks much the same as earlier, more rapid inflation…I think that’s the basis of Roger Penrose’s Conformal Cyclic Cosmology, but I haven’t read his full book on the subject yet, so I may be misunderstanding.

I don’t know what my point is (in many ways)

I’m sorry in advance.  I suspect this is going to be yet another boring-ass blog post like the two earlier this week.  Something about walking from the house to the train station seems to set me up not to write very well, or at least not to write in a very interesting fashion.

Maybe it’s just that I’m not writing anything new, but am just rehashing the same old garbage that’s always moving through my mind.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to do about that, though.  I can’t move anything through my mind but my own thoughts, and I can’t simply choose those.  If I could, I would probably choose not to be depressed, as I think anyone with depression would choose.

Of course, it may be the case that I would have a hard time choosing not to be depressed because—presumably as a consequence of my depression—I often feel that I deserve to feel depressed, that I deserve to hate myself, that I am right to hate myself.  But, of course, if I could choose to change my thoughts, then surely I could choose not to think that I deserve to feel depressed, and not to hate myself.  Here we see the beginning of a potential infinite regress, one that’s related to the fundamental ontological* problems with any concept of “contra-causal” free will.

We also run up against issues of fundamental identity, relating to the concept of “terminal goals” as discussed in AI research and the like.  There are instrumental goals—piecemeal goals, objectives, chosen as steps along the way to achieving terminal goals—and then there are the terminal goals, the fundamental goals, the things that are the root drivers of a system.

Could any intelligence with true terminal goals ever opt to change those goals?  How could it choose, as an instrumental goal, the changing of a terminal goal, when such a change would almost certainly lead it to fail in its terminal goal?  I think it was Robert Miles, in one of his Computerphile videos, who proposed a fictional example as a comparable choice to a human:  consider whether (if you are a loving parent) you would be willing, for any reward, to have your personality altered such that you wouldn’t care whether your child or children lived or died, and indeed, that you would be willing to kill them.

If you’re not a parent—not a loving parent, anyway—it might be difficult to see the bone-deep trouble with this, but I suspect that most reasonably normal parents would rather die than be altered so as not to care whether their children live or die, and for good, sound, biological reasons.  I certainly meet that description.

But the point at which I’m getting is to imagine if, somehow, I could once and for all cure my dysthymia/depression, but it would have the effect of changing my character, my nature, my personality—my terminal goals, if your will—would I do it?

It’s somewhat difficult for me to imagine, because I can remember times in my life when I was not depressed, and not all of them were that long ago.  I very much think that I was the same person at those times, fundamentally, as I am now.  There’s a continuity of thought, at least from the point of view of my present memory, which is the only point of view I have.  I don’t feel in any serious way that I was a different person either twenty years ago, or thirty years ago, or forty years ago, or whatever, back to as far as I can remember, to when I started grade school and a bit before.

Of course, I apparently have always had some form of ASD**—Asperger’s or whatever—though I don’t have a formal diagnosis.  Does anyone really have a definitive diagnosis for that, though?  The criteria are semi-arbitrary and are not based on a measurable, physical structure or quantity but a constellation of attributes.  Still, whatever the case, it is something inherent to the given person’s nervous system.  And it does seem to predispose one to depression (and presumably to dysthymia, and certainly to alexithymia), so maybe that tendency has always been there in me.

There are certainly many, relatively early times when I found myself feeling burned out or washed out, or just blank and empty and exhausted, but I didn’t connect it to anything or know why it happened.  By the time I started high school I was already having periods when I would be depressed and have suicidal thoughts.

But I didn’t hate myself back then—not most of the time, anyway.  I even put on something of a show of pretending really to think very highly of myself, to be egotistical and narcissistic in a playful way.  And I did have moments of somewhat megalomaniacal tendencies, but then again, I was good at a lot of things, and I got attention for it.

I definitely always felt different and weird compared to the people around me.  I tried to turn that to my advantage, to make it a defense mechanism—to make myself seem vaguely scary and dangerous because of being sort of crazy, I guess, to make sure no one messed with me.  But it is a fact that I did feel weird; I felt like I was strange, or crazy, and I also felt vaguely hostile and even borderline hateful toward many other people at least some of the time, because what stranger in a strange land of alien beings would not feel that way?

I don’t know where I’m going with this, or what point I’m trying to make.  Again, I’m sorry.  It’s not a very good blog post.  But if it helped you pass a few moments in which you would otherwise have been staring at a wall or—cat forbid—a TikTok video or something, then I guess it’s been worthwhile.

would i lie to you

*I think that’s the term for which I’m looking.

**Apart from the congenital heart defect, I mean.  That was definitely something I had at least until I was eighteen.

Sometimes jokes are expressions of desperation.

Well, it’s Monday again.  Welcome to another Monday.

I walked to the train again this morning, as I did on Friday, and since I chose to get up and go a bit earlier today, I’m actually now on a train that will arrive at my destination earlier than would have the one I would have boarded had I taken the bus to the train.

Wow, that was a long and convoluted sentence, wasn’t it?  Sorry.

I think on Friday, after my first morning walk to the train, I started the day off a bit giddy, and I think that affected the quality of my blog post that day, so my apologies for that.  I think I was experiencing my first real endorphin rush from endurance exercise in many years, and it got me rather wired and a bit garrulous and—for me—outgoing for the very early part of the day.

That didn’t last, of course.  By early afternoon my general outlook was diminishing and deteriorating and various other verbs starting with “d” and ending in “ing”.  I don’t know how well that fact came across to others in the office, though.  I seemed to make people laugh a bit more than usual in the morning, and I certainly felt less tense than I usually did, but I can’t tell at all if my personality from their point of view was any different than usual.  Even when I’m profoundly depressed—in my immediate mood in addition to my general state of neuro-psychology—I tend to say sardonic things that people find funny a lot of the time.

I think this actually impairs my ability to convey the fact that I really feel deeply horrible.  People seem to assume that if you’re making jokes and are funny, you must be doing okay.  I can tell you from personal experience, this is not necessarily the case.  Sometimes jokes are expressions of desperation.  Just look at poor Robin Williams, if you don’t believe me.

But by the end of the day I felt tired and frustrated and grumpy and gloomy.  That was me on Friday afternoon, which makes me rather different—according to popular understanding, anyway—from most people.  Friday afternoon leading into a weekend in which I don’t work is not a prospect that meant much good for me.  I just sat around in my room at the house, alone—after walking home from the train, which at least caused another, if less notable, bump up in my mood.

I walked to local convenience stores a couple of times over the weekend, and I walked to Burger King on Sunday, and of course I did my laundry, but that was it.  I didn’t really do anything enjoyable.  I certainly didn’t spend time with friends, since I don’t really have any—though I did speak with my sister on the phone on Sunday evening, and that was very nice.

But really, I have a hard time being at all interested in anything much.  The YouTube algorithm is beginning to fail me with respect to offering me things I’m interested in viewing; but perhaps it’s me failing at the algorithm, in that I simply don’t have anything that interests me, and so YouTube can’t offer me much in the way of stuff I’d like to see.  It does occasionally offer me the little option box of being shown an assortment of things that I’ve never seen so far.  I’ve used that box once or twice in the past, but I don’t remember it being particularly beneficial.  I didn’t use it this weekend.

I wish I could find some longish-form fiction that I could enjoy again, like I used to.  Back when I was reading The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and The Belgariad, and later the Harry Potter books, and even things like The Sword of Shannara, and then The Elfstones of Shannara, or various Stephen King and related books, the books gripped my attention and could keep me occupied for quite a long stretch each.  Also, of course, in between reading books, I actually had a group of friends with whom I did things that we enjoyed.

Not so, now.  Now the only fiction that I’ve been able to stick with has been a few select Japanese light novels, most of them centered around high school kids, most of those being loners of some sort or another.  But these books, though I can stick with them, seem just to make me feel a bit more depressed when I’m done, as if they are surrogate friends or surrogate lives, and once they’re done, I’m even more alone than I was before.  And they are all ridiculously short, being light novels.

I have noticed a peculiar and rather amusing effect of reading some of these stories:  When they are written in first person, which is common, I often tend to think to myself in the fashion of the character for about twenty minutes or so after a bout of reading them, almost narrating my actions as if I were writing a first person story.  This goes away rather quickly, but it’s a bit unsettling.  It’s as though my sense of personal identity is so effaced that I just start mirroring the only identities from which I can get any inside view, which are those of first person narratives.

Oh, well, I think we’ve established already that I’m a weird person, so I don’t know why even I am surprised when I find new weird things about myself.  Maybe I’m just irredeemable—you certainly cannot save me up and exchange me for valuable prizes or anything of the sort.  If you save me up, so to speak, I just become wearisome.  Everyone who has ever spent a long time with me on a regular basis has ultimately found me not worth enduring.

I am one of those people.

I guess I don’t have an endorphin rush today.  I hope you have one, if you can.  They’re nice.

A turn or two I’ll walk, to still my blogging mind

Hello and good morning to everyone reading this, even if you’re reading it in the afternoon, or the evening, or at night, or if you’re fundamentally not a morning person and so you never see mornings as “good” no matter what anyone says.  Don’t feel bad about that, if it is the case for you.  Even Gandalf expressed his skepticism about the greeting “Good morning,” as we see almost at the very beginning of The Hobbit.

Most greetings are bizarre things, or at least many of them are.  I particularly dislike greetings that involve questions, because I have lost my former hard-earned skill, such as it was, at treating them as the vacuous, ritualistic bird-calls that they are.

If, on a Monday morning, someone asks, “How was your weekend?” I can’t simply reply with a ritual, “It was great,” and then ask about theirs, whether I care about their weekend or not.  I actually have to stop and think about the question*.  Often, I’m sorry to say, I can only shrug and quote Bart Simpson, saying, “Meh.”  This is me trying to avoid being too negative.  But, of course, humans—or at least Americans—don’t want to hear that sort of thing.  I don’t quite know why.

Similarly, some people will ask the rather grammatically suspect question, “How are you doing?” usually with some dropped consonants or strange contractions.  My first instinct, which I almost always resist, is to respond with, “How am I doing what?”  Instead, I tend just to go for the puzzled look followed by a shrug and, again, “Meh.”

The foreshortened version of the earlier question is “How are you?”  It is if anything more bizarre.  It sounds like the beginning of a deep, philosophical discussion, related perhaps to the old “Why is there something rather than nothing?”  How am I?  Does that mean “How is it that I exist?” which seems to be what it means if you take it at face value?

It’s an interesting thing—to me, at least—to think about the same question but changing “How” to various other words such as who, what, where, and when.  The first three make straightforward sense, the last one is an intriguing question calling to my mind the notion that, in GR, there is no time that passes, merely an extra dimension to reality.

They are all better questions and make more sense than the “how” one.  Then, of course, we could take our cue from the improvised, hilarious line given by Drax in Avengers: Infinity War, and ask, “Why are you?”

Okay, let’s move on to other matters besides my steadily atrophying skill at dealing with small talk in anything but a literal (and annoyed) way.

Today is the final valid day for my current bus pass.  These passes are really quite good if you ride the bus more than a few times a week in Broward County.  Unlike the Tri Rail, which charges full price for each calendar month—even if you buy the pass in the last week of that month—the bus passes start ticking (so to speak) only when you first use them, and they expire a minute before midnight thirty-one days later.  That’s it.  Straightforward.  So if you buy a bus pass and “sit on it” for months, you still have 31 days of use once you first use it.

I like it.  It’s a good system.

That being said, I think that after this evening, when I use this pass for the last available time, I’m not going get a new one.  Instead, if I can summon the courage, I’m simply going to walk to and from the train station every day.  That’s slightly under five miles in each direction.  If I can pull that off, counting the walk from and to the station up at work, I’ll be walking eleven or twelve miles a day.

I really ought to be able to do that.  Endurance is not an issue.  I just have problems with still-healing blisters.  But I can’t coddle myself with respect to those.  My blisters are all that’s holding me back, and they are annoying, but I have to push through to the other side of that barrier, because I have a task before me that I want to accomplish.

It won’t be a particularly useful task for anyone but me, and there will no doubt be those who will think it’s not good for me either, but that isn’t really my concern.  I want to try.  As I always say, I don’t want to inconvenience people I care about, so I’m thinking of something that hopefully will minimize “me-related” problems for them, though adjustments will likely need to be made at some level.

At least the number of people close to me personally and physically is small—it’s zero if you’re looking at the combination of the two attributes.  Also, at least my idea shouldn’t be messy or locally problematic.  That’s one advantage, at least.  Or is it two?

I feel that I have to do something though.  I don’t think I can endure much longer with nothing meaningful in my life in any serious way.  My foundations (metaphorically speaking) are crumbling; you can see the cracks widening if you know where to look, and when they give—I keep trying not to let it give as long as I can—the failure will probably be abrupt and messy and will cause trouble for the neighbors, so to speak.  I’d really like to minimize that if I can.  I cause other people enough unpleasantness just by existing; I’d rather not make it worse.

Of course, I’d rather do good for other people, especially the ones I care about.  I’d rather try to relieve suffering and cause joy, or at least to entertain.  I like to make people smile if I can, but I’m not good at it, and I don’t smile very well myself anymore.

I used to practice smiling in the mirror all the time, to try to get it right, but I’ve kind of stopped bothering with that anymore.  My smiles are usually façades and charades, at least in recent years.

Anyway, my bus will be here soon.  I’ll try to keep you all posted, and I’ll probably write something tomorrow again, whether you like it or not.  Have a good day, if you can, but you don’t have to have a good morning if you don’t feel like it, no matter what I said at the beginning of the post.



*Lately I’ve considered simply replying, “It was about sixty hours long”, but I always forget to do that when the time comes.

Though it’s Wednesday morning again, I’ll avoid quoting from She’s Leaving Home…

Though it’s Wednesday morning again, I’ll avoid quoting from She’s Leaving Home, or referring to my tied-for-favorite of Charles Addams’s characters.  I’m back at the bus stop, just as I was yesterday and the day before, of course, and I still feel very tired.

In fact, I feel a bit more tired than I did yesterday, though I had a nominally better sleep last night—almost five hours (it wasn’t uninterrupted, though).  For me, that’s middling to decent, but it’s very clear from the inside that it is not the amount of sleep my body requires for optimal, let alone maximal, function.  It may, however, be the most sleep my nervous system is able to accomplish without pharmaceutical intervention.

But, of course, with such interventions, I always feel more tired even after a long sleep than I would normally.  Actually, come to think of it, last night I took half a Benadryl™ before going to bed, so I did have some slight pharmaceutical influence, perhaps accounting for the fact that I got all of five hours of sleep.

Jeez, that’s all really boring, isn’t it?  I’m so sorry.  My life is boring, unfortunately, so if I talk about my life, things are generally going to be boring.  I appreciate your patience.

I also appreciate the people who commented and responded and so on to my previous two blog posts.  You’re greatly appreciated, I want that to be very clear, even if in supporting me I fear you are throwing pearls before swine.

I’m considering going back on Saint John’s Wort, which is an “antidepressant” that worked for me in the past, when I first took it (along with therapy, so it isn’t easy to separate variables).  I wouldn’t expect much from it.  I’m actually almost hoping to get that little bump in motivation that sometimes comes at the beginning of antidepressant treatment and puts a depressed person at increased risk for suicide, because before, they were too crippled by lack of energy to take action, but now that the will is growing, they can do it.

The last time I took it, though—which was far from the first—I just felt worse overall in general, even after several weeks, so I don’t even know that it’s going to do anything if I take it.  I can hardly be certain that the first time I took it the beneficial result was anything more than a placebo effect.

I’ve been on other antidepressants, of course, from Paxil to Celexa and Lexapro, to Effexor and Wellbutrin, as well as more old-school ones like Amitriptyline.  They clearly had effects (including benefits), of course, but I don’t know that they were for the better.  Coming off Paxil led me to experience the only two episodes of sleep paralysis I’ve ever had, which were utterly terrifying but still quite fascinating, at least in retrospect.  So in that sense it was worth the course of treatment.  The side-effects weren’t good, though.

I can’t really take prescription antidepressants now, though, because I don’t have a doctor to prescribe them, ironically enough.  I have neither a general practitioner nor a psychiatrist (nor psychologist or social worked, either, but they can’t prescribe anything, anyway*).  I don’t even have a dentist.  My only interaction with any medical care since 2015 or so has been the time I went to an urgent care place with a respiratory infection/complaint and was sent to the ER and admitted because I was de-satting, and they thought maybe my congenital heart defect had reappeared a bit (based on an echocardiogram, not just my symptoms and the drop in oxygenation).

That was maybe five or six years ago.  They wanted me to get follow-up, obviously, but I have no interest in pursuing it, and certainly cannot summon the motivation to do so.  For one thing, I’m unconvinced that they’re correct, though that in itself is not a good reason not to pursue more information.  For another, I have no health insurance, and I certainly have no money to be able to get involved in paying for significant healthcare myself.  Also, I don’t want to have any more cardiac interventions of any kind, frankly.  I went through all that when I was 18, and I don’t want to go through it, or anything like it, again.

I also don’t have the mental resources—in terms of will, executive function, whatever you want to call it—to be able to seek out any kind of state or federal healthcare assistance.  I’m in Florida, anyway, and the public programs here suck.  Anyway, I’m no good at taking care of myself; I see myself as a nuisance, and I really want me to leave myself alone, but that’s obviously difficult.

Yeah, Florida really doesn’t make much very easy.  But, hey, at least there’s no income tax, so people like the Donald can enjoy living here.  The government is dicey at best, of course, at state and local levels, even relative to many other states and the national government—though our representatives there also aren’t exactly the cream of the mental or moral crop.  We really are the Mordor of the United States, in many ways, and not merely because it’s down here in the southeast.  Unfortunately, there are no volcanoes, and though we have big spiders, none of them are Shelob-scale ones.

Anyway, I probably won’t take any antidepressants, and I don’t expect to seek out any healthcare or mental healthcare.  It’s too much trouble, it’s too difficult, I can’t focus or concentrate on things like that.  I’ve been dealing with that shit too often in my life, and for too long, and despite my best previous efforts, I’ve ended up here in Mordor, all by myself.  I’m sick of it.  It’s not worth the effort.

I’m not worth the effort.

*I did get on BetterHelp for a bit, and it was okay as far as it went, but some difficulties arose, not anyone’s fault, certainly not my therapist’s, and I was off it after a little over a month, I think.

Ugh.  Here I am again.

Ugh.  Here I am again.  I don’t know why, but I’m here…again, still, whatever the proper descriptive term is.

I guess the part of speech would be an adverb, right?  It’s referring to how I am here, not to what I am like or something along those lines.  I think that’s a place for adverbs, that “again” and “still” thing.  If I’m incorrect, I hope one of my readers will correct me.

Do I have actual readers?  (Other than family members, I mean…not that I take them for granted…I appreciate them deeply; I just wonder how much and how often other people read what I write, even those who “like” the posts.  Though again, I do appreciate those people as well, since they apparently make it more likely that other people might read them.)

Anyway, I don’t know if it’s obvious, but I had a particularly bad night’s sleep last night, if you even want to call it a night’s sleep.  I think I was asleep for less than two hours total, with maybe a few extra minutes here and there after, maybe not.  I feel anxious and tense and stressed out.  Yet I have no particular crisis hanging over me, other than the fact that I really just want everything to be over, but I don’t want to be unkind or unfair to the people around me who might be temporarily discomfited or whose days might be disrupted if (when?) I catastrophically collapse.

I really don’t know what to do.  I sometimes take a bit of note paper that I keep in the office, at my desk, and write on it, “I don’t know what to do.”  It doesn’t help, but at least I’m expressing myself; that’s supposedly a good thing according to pop psychology, most (or at least much) of which is a load of (well-meaning) nonsense.

Not that I’m anyone to talk about nonsense.  I’m a pretty free with the nonsense.  I indulge in it regularly and almost constantly.

I’ve thought occasionally that I should stop trying to make clever titles for my daily blog posts.  I do that, in case it’s not obvious.  I’m sure that I often fail and simply make something incomprehensible and inscrutable.  Occasionally, I probably make something witty and even funny, but I think most of the time not.

I wonder if maybe I should just take my first sentence (or two) of any given blog post and make it into the title, then either simply continue from there, or perhaps repeat it in the body of the blog.  I may do that today.  If I do it, you’ll already have been privy to the fact, though it may or may not be obvious.  If you feel like it, do please let me know what you think.

I don’t know what to do.  I really don’t.  I feel more or less incapable of taking any kind of constructive action.  I’ve felt that way for quite a long time, but I think it’s getting worse, or perhaps there are merely fewer things to distract me from it.

I’m very nonhappy.  This is a term I just invented, as a form of contrast to unhappy, though I feel that way right now as well.  It’s a bit like the playful term I invented not too long ago, “unsane”, which I use to refer to people or things or notions or situations wherein a sense of sanity doesn’t really even apply, or never was present.  From a human point of view, most animals might be considered unsane.  So too might aliens, if there are any, or so-called AIs like ChatGPT, or governments (considered as forms of AI in and of themselves, see Highly Entropic Mind’s excellent meditation on this notion).

Anyway, nonhappiness feels like a good term for dysthymia (though I think they’ve changed the official term for the disorder to “chronic depression”, which at least makes it clearer to the general public what’s being discussed).  While it’s true that I’m often fully unhappy, and even anti-happy, there are also long stretches in between of straightforward nonhappiness.  It doesn’t comprise enough dysfunction to be completely crippling—which is almost a shame, here from inside, because at least that would force the issue—it’s just a steady state of lack, of emptiness, of joylessness…dust and ashes, butter that’s spread over too much bread, more and more bread all the time, every day more, because there is no new life being generated, it merely continues, stretching further and further, until you want to scream at your overly thinly stretched self simply to BREAK ALREADY!

I don’t know what I’m getting at.  Apparently, at least, I’m ending sentences with prepositions, which is a contradiction in terms, if not any other offense.  Other than that, though I just don’t know.  I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know where to go.  I don’t really want to go anywhere, and I don’t want to be where I am.

I keep hurting myself in little ways that aren’t too obvious, just to keep myself feeling something—to keep myself from fully entering the wraith world, as it were—and also because I hate myself.  Also, it distracts me a bit from my chronic pain.  At least it’s a punctuation, a variation.  Even if all you ever ate was something as nice as, say, cake, you’d probably pretty soon welcome even some hated food—insert the one you hate most.  For me it’s probably eggplant, which I can’t even smell without gagging.

Actually, I think I’d stick with cake.  Even thinking about eating eggplant makes me queasy.

Maybe the problem is that I get no real break from being myself, from having to be with myself—one of my least favorite people—all the time.  I can’t even sleep; I don’t even really have any dreams at night that I remember.  I certainly don’t really ever imagine being any other person; I can’t even really grasp what that could mean.

I suspect other people can’t really imagine it either, they just sort of imagine themselves in the other person’s shell, some Freaky Friday kind of thing, which doesn’t actually involve becoming another person, merely disguising oneself as the other person.  If you and another person switched places completely, at every level, at every atom, every wiggle in every quantum field, every tiny bit of the state of your being, then nothing at all would have changed, because those things taken together are you, and nothing else is pertinent.

Anyway, I don’t know what the point of that tangent was.  Probably there was none.  I’m just writing “stream of consciousness”.  I wish I could write in “scream” of consciousness (ha ha), but my consciousness doesn’t seem capable of screaming, unfortunately.  I have no mouth—metaphorically speaking—for such things.  My world will probably end not with a scream or even with a whimper, but rather with a catch-up inhalation caused by me unconsciously holding my breath when I focus on something for a bit, clenching my jaw as I do.

That’s it for today, I think.  If I’m still kicking tomorrow, I’ll probably write another post then, though I can’t make any promises.  I don’t know what to do, so I don’t know for sure what I will do, but it will probably be more of the same trudge through the desert of the real (to borrow a nice term from The Matrix).  You’re welcome to join me, if you’re a glutton for punishment, but I warn you, the company is not merely poor but actually unnoticeable.  As far as I can ever tell, or at least feel, I am alone here.

I can’t blame others for keeping their distance.  I wish I could.