Happy Boxing Day, everyone!

For those of you in the United States, just in case you don’t already know, Boxing Day is basically just the day after Christmas.  It’s celebrated in the UK, and apparently in Canada and other parts of the “Commonwealth”, though how exactly it’s celebrated is not clear to me.  It’s also not clear to me—after a few random, admittedly not very careful searches—just what the day actually celebrates, other than the day after Christmas, or to what the Boxing part of Boxing Day refers.

It doesn’t appear to have anything at all to do with the sport of boxing, nor the dog breed, boxers.  I don’t think it has anything to do with the Boxer rebellion in China, either—why would it?  It’s a bit of a mystery.  Maybe it’s related to people putting the gifts they didn’t really want that they received for Christmas back in their boxes to take to the store for refunds, or to put in the attic (or “loft” as they say in the UK).  I doubt that, though.

It’s been a slightly interesting weekend.  On Friday I bit the bullet and went to the evening dinner/party with the office, but I arranged things so that I didn’t need anyone to drive me there or to drive me all the way back to the house.  Instead, I took the train up to Delray Beach as soon as the office closed and walked to a hotel—The Hyatt Place at Delray Beach—where I’d decided to indulge in a rather large expense and reserve a room for the night.

From there, after a rest, I walked two blocks to the restaurant and immediately started ordering drinks to allow me to socialize, then had a pleasant evening with the people I know from the office.  It had begun to get cold—for south Florida, certainly—by that time, and I was pleased to have only a two block walk back to my nicely warm hotel room, where I cuddled up and slept off my drinks, had a continental breakfast in the morning, and then walked back to the train station at about eleven-ish (it was 3 miles…still is, as far as I know) and took the train back to Hollywood and thence to the house.

Since then, I’ve slept a great deal, which is really nice for me.  I tried to keep low on carbs for what I’ve eaten this weekend, because it turns out that I’ve probably become pre-diabetic.

I had been trying to see if I could do a near-vegan* diet, including plenty of legumes and other sources of protein, to see if it could help me be healthier and lose weight.  It rapidly did the opposite (I was gaining weight and I felt worse), and as I walked through a Walgreen’s one evening, thinking about my family history, I checked into the diabetic supplies area, amazed to note that one could buy a glucometer for less than twenty dollars!  I remember when you used to need a prescription to get one because you needed your insurance to pay for it, because they were expensive.

Anyway, not that day, but soon after, I bought one, and tested my fasting blood sugar a few days in a row, and found it to be slightly high, in the pre-diabetic range.  This is not terribly surprising, given my family history, but it was a well-needed confirmation of my suspicion.  I have to admit, on those few occasions when I’ve tried a carbohydrate-restricted diet, I have felt generally healthier.  But it’s been hard for me to maintain, for the temptations of carbs are everywhere, and are all the more difficult to resist when one is stressed out, as appears to be my default state.

But now I have blood glucose confirmation that things are going to go badly if I continue to indulge—and death by type 2 diabetes is too slow a process to make it appealing.  I also know that low carb diets have been objectively beneficial for me in the past—my resting pulse, which normally runs too fast (at over 100 bpm) went down to the mid-sixties, my total cholesterol to about 138, my triglycerides almost ridiculously low, and my HDL at a nicely normal range.  You get the idea.  I felt better, and I looked better (at least at the chemical, microscopic level), and it was only because I had trouble being motivated to control my appetite that I didn’t stick with that mode of eating.

So that’s the plan, or part of it, for the moment.  I’ll keep you posted on an intermittent basis on how things are going.

In the meantime, I’m on my way to the office, though there are far fewer people on the train today than usual—in fact, until five minutes before time for the first train to arrive, I was the only person waiting at the station.  I’m still waking up early, but then again, given how much I slept this weekend, at least I don’t feel worn out.  It’s good not to feel worn out already, first thing on a Monday morning, but I often already do feel that way.  So in that sense, it’s been a good holiday weekend.  Indeed, we did not work on Saturday, but I did have a nice (low carb) breakfast and a good walk to the train.

I hope you all have a nice several days in this last week of 2022.  Remember, since January 1st will fall on a Sunday, there will be a Friday the 13th in January—not one of the movies, but the day.  I always like those days.  They’re almost never bad luck for me (and there’s no reason other than self-fulfilling prophecies for them to be bad luck for anyone else).

Please enjoy your elaborate, traditional Boxing Day celebrations.  But if you do celebrate by boxing, please restrict yourselves to body blows.  Even with gloves and padding, just the inertial transfer of any blows to the head always does some damage to the brain, which tends to be both permanent and cumulative.  Many of us can’t afford to lose more than we already have lost.


*I like to make the joke that it’s ironic that people who only eat vegetables or similar here on earth use the term “vegan”, because the dominant native intelligent life forms in the Vega star system—the Vegans, in other words—are obligate carnivores.  Of course, that’s just a joke; there aren’t really any native species in the Vega star system—it’s too young a star to have evolved complex life.  The inhabitants there are all colonists.  But the dominant ones of those are obligate carnivores**.

**Earth people need not fear some kind of carnivorous alien invasion, though.  Any species that are products of completely separate evolutionary histories cannot readily eat any of the life forms from the other biosphere.  At best they would simply get no nutritional value from their meal—like pandas, as carnivores, trying to get enough food out of bamboo, but thousands of times worse, with only some minerals and electrolytes and perhaps a few simple biochemicals being useful.  But much more likely, the eaten life form’s own endemic microbes would begin to break down their hosts while in the new species’ ineffectual digestive system, and would cause physical and probably chemical damage to the eater.  Many very basic microbes are remarkably good at dining on things that complex life cannot digest…including said complex life.

The winter’s wind which, when it bites and blogs upon my body, even till I shrink with cold, I smile.

Hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday, December 22, 2022, which is another sort of fun day for twos, though it doesn’t fall on a Tuesday, so it’s not as fun as this Tuesday was.

Yesterday was the Solstice‒the winter one in the northern hemisphere and the summer one in the southern hemisphere‒and I completely neglected to mention it.  Instead, I went on an overlong, self-aggrandizing, self-indulgent ramble, and for that I apologize.  I doubt that I’ll be doing something like that again.

Now that the solstice has come, it’s officially winter in the north, so the Game of Thrones people can shut the hell up about it.  And in the south, summer has arrived.  Meanwhile, in the north, the days have begun to grow longer, or at least the daylight time has, relative to the night.  It won’t be noticeable for quite a long time, though; at and around the peaks and troughs of sine curves, the rate of change of the function is at its lowest, and the length of daylight over the course of a year is one of the oodles of sinusoidal processes in the natural world.

I’m really tired, but I am here at the train station, the first to arrive to get on the first train.  I couldn’t sleep, even though I got to sleep late because the Wi-fi had gone out and I was on chat with Xfinity (on my phone) until quite late trying to get it fixed.  My one source of relaxation and release is to be able to watch some YouTube videos when I get back to the house from work, and it certainly costs an absurd amount of money, so I become quite irritable when it doesn’t work.  It seems tentatively to have been sorted, but I have a likewise tentative appointment for a service call…on Sunday morning, the 25th of December, the only day I have off until New Year’s Eve.  It’s a date that may be familiar to many of you as the one on which we celebrate the birth of Isaac Newton*.

Well, it’s not as if I’m doing anything but laundry that day, anyway.

Wow, I feel like I’ve written a lot today already, but it’s only about 450 words so far, counting the footnotes.  I really am tired.  Stupid nervous system.  Why don’t you sleep??!?  Yesterday, of course, I wrote and wrote until it was way too long, and I excised whole paragraphs from the final post when I edited it.  I was almost hypomanic, just for a little while there‒or at least, that’s what it felt like compared to my usual subjectivity.  Maybe it’s just the way healthy, normal people tend to feel, and it’s so unusual that it feels bizarre to me.

I don’t really think I felt “normal” in that sense, though, or at least I didn’t feel it about myself.  I felt weird and loopy and still different and distant from all the other people in the world‒the humans‒but at least I had energy and a bit of enthusiasm.  The only times I remember having really felt “normal” were the two occasions when I was given Valium for medical procedures‒wisdom teeth extraction and heart catheterization, when I was about 17 and 18 respectively.

I recall both of those experiences with great fondness.  I even remember when my heart did a big whopping double-beat that I could feel all the way up my neck during the catheterization, as the cardiologist bumped the SA node or the AV node or something along those lines.  My reaction was to say, “That was cooool.”  And it was.

I don’t know what my point is.  There probably is no point to me.  Even my head is quite rounded.  I guess I could try to find a pointed stick to carry, since defending oneself with fresh fruit is more difficult than defending oneself against an attacker armed with fresh fruit.

There, that’s my most niche, nerdy reference of the day.  Or is it?

With that, I think I’ll draw to a close.  I don’t have a clue what sort of Shakespeare quote I’ll alter for my title today, nor what picture I’ll put in the post, but it’s Thursday, so there will be such things.  Of course, you who are reading this do know both of those facts, which is curious to think about…my readers right now know things about my blog post that I, as I write it, do not know.  Time travel‒you can’t keep it straight in your head; it’s too wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.

I think I need a Doctor.

TTFN

winter scene


*Though, in all honesty, he was born on December 25th according to the Julian calendar, so the equivalent Gregorian date is 10 or 11 days off (I don’t recall which, and I can’t be arsed to look it up).  Then again, most biblical scholars apparently agree that Jesus was born in the summertime, based on the descriptions of his birth in two of the gospels**, so Newton’s birthday is much closer to the Gregorian December 25th.

**The other two gospels, Mark and John, I think***, don’t even mention his birth.

***I remembered correctly‒I just checked.  It’s weird the things one remembers about matters such as this.

Bad memories, Good memories

It’s Wednesday morning, and not even really close to five o’clock yet.  I’m early enough to be the only person yet waiting for the trains.  I woke up this morning quite early‒obviously‒and though I briefly watched part of a lecture on exploring prime numbers and the Fibonacci sequence, I couldn’t really rest, and I’ve felt angry since pretty much when I woke up.  I’m not angry at being awake, though that is irritating.  I’m not even particularly angry at me, though I’m almost always at least a little pissed at myself.  I was angry and thinking about a stupid exchange from my first medical practice after residency, with one of the partners in the practice.

The substance of it isn’t important, it’s just odd that it came into my mind.  I mean, yes, it pissed me off at the time and I think I was not irrational to be pissed off (though I held my tongue), but it was more than twenty years ago.  Why is that making me angry first thing in the morning?  It is fun to imagine things I might have said then, had I been the person I am now.  I take far less shit than I used to take, largely because I have very little left to lose, and much of what I have‒indeed, sometimes all of it‒I frankly want to lose.  At least, I don’t feel that what I have is much worth fighting to keep.

It is quite amazing to think that it’s been more than twenty years since I finished residency and moved to Florida and started in private medical practice.  It’s been about thirty-one and a half years since I got married…and slightly more than half that long since my wife divorced me.  And it’s been about ten years since I’ve seen either of my kids in person or since my son has spoken to me in any way but via a semi-formal E-mail.  A lot has happened in the last 20 years, I guess; I’ve barely hit the highlights here.  But it still has passed rather quickly on the subjective level.

I’m saddled with a good memory, so I recall a lot of the things that have happened in my life, even going back to quite a young age.  I remember the very bad leg aches I used to get as a child, which make my current chronic pain almost feel nostalgic.  I remember really hating the noise of the cannons (and presumably, though to a lesser extent, the muskets) at the musket festival at Greenfield Village, but my memories of that place are otherwise extremely positive.  There were great molasses cookies from the old-fashioned bakery and candy sticks from the general store, and beeswax candles that my sister loved, and of course all the old rebuilt buildings and roads and horse-drawn carriages…it really was (and presumably still is) an excellent place.

gfield village

An evening at Greenfield Village

 

That’s better stuff on which to dwell than on the sometimes irritating personality of a former senior doctor.  I’ll say this, though:  he took good care of his patients, and he also made them feel well cared for, at an above-average level.  Respect is due.  Those things are not as common as they ought to be.  He was (and presumably still is) a good doctor.

I had a positive moment yesterday, which came at the end of a long, fairly frustrating process.  The details aren’t important, but basically I was trying to do something that in the past has always ended up requiring a few hours on the phone with tech support and with them remotely controlling our computers to do what needed doing.  I was trying to do it on my own without contacting them, and I followed the basic steps‒the good thing about computers and related systems is that they have internal logic that is consistent and explicable.  Still, I hit an impasse, and knew I was missing something that the tech support people had always needed to pull off in the past, sometimes with difficulty, but I hadn’t been able to see it, and it wasn’t part of the standard steps of the whole process.

I tried watching some videos but they were superficial, and I was steeling myself to get in touch with “the IT crowd”, when something clicked, and I thought I realized what to do.  It took about twenty minutes of watching to see if I had succeeded, but turned out that I had.

Such moments are remarkably euphorigenic.  I mean, I know I’m reasonably “smart” about some things.  Certain types of endeavors have always been easier for me than they are for most people, though there are other things that other people do readily that I find all but incomprehensible.

But every now and then one does something that was difficult, and it brings a joy along the lines of having solved a difficult puzzle, but with the added benefit of being useful, and of being something many other people wouldn’t have seen, or not as readily, anyway.  It’s particularly zingy when it happens in a field in which one is not actually an expert, but it can even happen in cases where someone is.

For instance, there was a case in residency in which a code was called for a man in respiratory distress, who was having “Cheyne-Stokes” respirations.  Without intervention he probably would have died, but such situations are run-of-the-mill in a hospital, and he was being intubated before immediate danger of death threatened.  He wasn’t my patient, but it occurred to me that he was a relatively young man to be in that situation, and from group rounds I thought I remembered that he had a drug problem.  So I asked if anyone had tried Narcan*, and they hadn’t.

They got the Narcan out of the crash cart, gave him a shot of it in his IV, and Wow!  He practically exploded to life.  I’m sure it was unpleasant for him, especially since he was already intubated, and abrupt opiate withdrawal is not pleasant for anyone.  But he was alive, and now it was clear that some “friend” had brought this patient‒who had been put in a corner, single room somehow‒a dose of heroin or something similar, and he had overdosed while in the hospital.

I had a slightly different type of feel-good moment as the Senior Medical Resident on a nighttime consultation in the Rehab wing of Jacobi Hospital for a patient who was having palpitations and a very fast heart beat.  A quick EKG revealed a benign kind of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).  I tried a quick vagal maneuver that didn’t work, and then gave a push of adenosine to the patient and the rhythm broke.  The patient was very happy**, as was the rehab resident, who began almost deferentially calling me “Dr. Elessar” after that, though she was just as much a doctor as I was, and certainly just as expert in her own field.

SVT

SVT – Supraventricular tachycardia

And once, during an ICU/CCU rotation***, I helped nudge an obviously dead-on-his-feet Cardiology fellow (they have a very rough schedule) by asking if maybe we shouldn’t quickly cardiovert a patient who was intubated but conscious and was now going into ventricular tachycardia****.  He sort of blinked as if he didn’t even know what language I was speaking, then shook his head and said, right, yeah, that’s what we should do.  We did, and it worked.

Monomorphic-ventricular-tachycardia-VT

V-tach – Ventricular tachycardia

I can tell you, there’s nothing quite like the facial expression of someone who’s being externally cardioverted at bedside‒this is basically the same as the defibrillation scenes you see in TV and movies, and it uses the same equipment‒while conscious.  It’s not a pleasant thing for a patient to experience.  However, she converted immediately to sinus rhythm, and afterward grabbed my hand and squeezed it before I stepped back, showing her appreciation, so I guess it was worth the moment of extreme discomfort for her.

It’s one thing to know intellectually that one is reasonably intelligent, but these little events that demonstrate competence and success, however inconsequential (or sometimes quite consequential), really do give a person a boost.  The opportunities don’t come as often now as they used to come, so I have to relish them when they do.  I was rather giddy for a few hours at work after my minor success yesterday, and jokingly said to my coworker, paraphrasing Apollo 13, “I…am a steely-eyed missile man.”

It’s silly and unimportant, of course, but I rarely feel good about myself, so I’ll cut myself a bit of slack.  it didn’t help me sleep any better last night, though.  And then I woke up in an angry mood, but I guess it was ego-syntonic anger, in that I wasn’t angry at myself but at the memory of a twenty-year-old, unimportant interaction.  Beggars can’t be choosers, as they say.


*For those of you unfamiliar with it, this is a drug that blocks the action of opiates and related compounds, and it does so quickly and strongly.  It’s not fun for the patient, but it can be life-saving and more.

**I don’t recall if we transferred the patient directly to a medical floor or merely continued to consult and ask Cardiology to take a look‒in a public hospital, we didn’t necessarily get to follow up on particular patients long-term.

***I think this was the rotation in which once while on call I literally did not sit down for thirty hours straight, and in which, due to the call schedule, I worked 21-days in a row, had a day off, and then worked another 10 in a row.  It was a busy month, but a hell of a learning experience in many ways.

****Much more acutely dangerous than SVT, especially in a critically ill patient.  It can easily progress to ventricular fibrillation and even of itself can cause cardiac arrest.

Great Hypnos, child of Nyx and Erebus and twin brother of Thanatos, why keeps’t thou thyself thus so strange from me?

Well, I have my laptop with me today, and I’m at the train station even earlier than I was yesterday.  This is related to the fact that I woke up even earlier today than yesterday, though I didn’t go to bed or to sleep any earlier.

It is 12-20-2022 on a Tuesday, which is kind of fun—because there are a lot of 2s in today’s date.  I don’t mind the zeroes, but I wish we didn’t have that numeral one in today’s date.  I do remember that the Tuesday on which fell, using the European date writing system, the twenty-second of February of this year was 22-02-2022, which is about as palindromic as such dates can get*, and the ultimate twos-day.  Matt Parker did a video a few years ago about February 2, 2020 for Stand-up Maths, claiming it was the most palindromic, because it worked in European or American dating order.  He had a point; I’ll put a link here if I remember.  But that date did not fall on a Tuesday.

I had to check online to confirm the days on which the dates above fell.  I could probably have worked it out for myself with a bit of figuring.  If I had plenty of energy, it’s the sort of thing I might do—but not right now.  Right now I have almost no energy.  I’m frankly exhausted at nearly every level, though perhaps not according to the literal definition of the word, since it implies something that is fully empty (is that an oxymoron?) in the literal sense.

I feel like I am very close to that point, though.  I’m so tired of doing what I do every day, just to maintain the various functions of life that continue to require maintenance, from eating, to brushing teeth, to working, to buying food, to getting to and from work, to doing laundry, to all those other things that are just repetitive maintenance for a life that I don’t even want to keep doing.

There’s a famous fact of physics that, if there were an airless hole straight through the middle of the Earth**, and if one jumped into the hole, it would take—if memory serves—forty-two minutes to get to the other side of the planet.  I believe Newton figured this out, himself.  Of course, this is highly counterfactual, since there would be air resistance and worse in such a hole, and a large portion of the Earth isn’t even really solid, so you couldn’t maintain a hole, and the Earth’s interior is far too hot to survive passing through even at high speeds.  But still, it seems like it would be nice just to jump into such a hole and fall, going back and forth through the planet without stopping, forever, or at least for the rest of one’s life.

Actually, come to think of it, that’s an experience that’s the same as any form of free-fall.  Anytime one is moving unimpeded along a geodesic in spacetime, one is in the same circumstance.  That was Einstein’s great insight that I believe he described as the happiest thought of his life:  when he realized that a man falling from a high roof would effectively experience no forces whatsoever while falling, and it led him to the principle of equivalence—that acceleration and gravitation are locally indistinguishable—which then led him down the path to General Relativity.  So, just being an astronaut on the ISS would be the same experience, internally, as falling through such a hole in the Earth, though I doubt they’d send me up there just so I could get a break.

Maybe someday there will be free-fall vacations, where a person can book a flight to be put in orbit for a bit, with no engineered gravity, and just allowed to go to sleep.  Maybe one could even climb into a sensory deprivation tank during that time, and the lack of gravitational acceleration would truly allow them not even to experience proprioception related to gravity.  It seems like it would beat just floating in a bath of Epsom salts.

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that I’d like to get away from it all, and I do mean from it all.  I can’t relax my mind, I can’t relax my body, but both of them are just achy and tired all the time.  And everything I do is utterly without a point.  I mean, from a certain point of view, everything anyone ever does is without a point, but people can at least have their own, internal purpose, the things that give their lives and deeds meaning to them.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s even rather admirable and heroic and beautiful in its way.

But I don’t have any purpose.  I don’t even have a dugong***.  I’m not going anywhere, I’m not achieving anything, and I don’t get any satisfaction out of anything that I do.  I really am like someone who has kept a Great Ring.

I need just to give up.  I don’t know what I’m achieving by any of this, but I’m pretty sure it’s nothing.  Not that I’m achieving “nothingness”, mind you.  That would, in a sense, be an achievement (ironically).  I’m just achieving nothing, by which I mean not achieving anything.  I guess that’s probably obvious.  Sorry.

I wonder if Michael Jackson’s old doctor makes house calls, if he even is allowed to practice medicine after finishing his remarkably short (shorter than mine) prison term..

I’ll bet he’s not commuting on a train to and from work, living in a single bedroom in the back of an old, cinderblock house, not doing anything for fun, not spending time with his kids or any friends or anything.  And, above all, if he has trouble sleeping, we know he has some tricks to take care of that problem.

Oh, well.

insomnia


*Speaking of palindromes, yesterday we missed the last possible palindromic recording number for the year in doing our verification recordings at work, which was what I had set as a deciding factor regarding my future plans.  So, the universe has sent me no positive message.  Not that I was expecting it to do so.  The universe could hardly care whether I live or die.

**Actually, straight through any two places on the surface of the Earth would give the same basic result, but I’m going to keep things simple.

***Get it?

Then there’s hope a great man’s memory may outlive his blog half a year.

Hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday, the day of the week on which I wrote my blog post even when I was writing fiction every other day of the week—well, apart from Sundays and the Saturdays when I  didn’t work.  I have not been writing any fiction recently.

I toyed with the idea the other day, but there doesn’t seem to be much enthusiasm for the notion, which I suppose is mirrored by my own lack of energy, or perhaps has its source in my lack of energy.  Or maybe they come from disparate but merely coincidentally parallel sources.  I don’t know, and though it’s mildly interesting, I don’t have energy or interest enough to try to figure it out.

I did work a bit on a new song yesterday, the one for which I had jotted down some lyrics a while back.  I have lost utterly the original tune, but I worked out a new one of sorts, and it seems okay.  I then worked out some chords for the first stanza, including some relatively sophisticated major sevenths and then major sixths of a minor chord that sounded nice, and which made me at least feel that I really have learned a little bit about guitar chords.  Then I figured out at least the chords I want for the chorus, which, among other things, throw a little dissonance in briefly, which is nice to up the tension.

I don’t know if I’ll get any further with it or not; I may just stop and let it lie.  It’s only perhaps the third time I’ve even picked up the guitar in months.  I was at least able to show myself that I can still play Julia, and Wish You Were Here, and Pigs on the Wing.  I had to fiddle a little to remind myself how to play Blackbird, but after a brief time I was able to bring it back, too.

So, it’s not all atrophied.  And I can still play the opening riff to my own song, Catechism, which I think is my best stand-alone riff.  My other guitar solos are mainly just recapitulations of the melody of the verse or chorus in their respective songs, but the one for Catechism is a separate little melody.

Actually, it occurs to me that I initially did a voice recording of the lyrics to the newish song as I thought of them, and when I did, I probably sang a bit of the tune that had come to my head.  Maybe I should listen to that and see if I like that melody better than the new one I came up with.  That would be a bit funny, if after the effort from yesterday to do a melody and chords I remembered the old one and just threw the new one away.

I suppose it really doesn’t matter much.  Even if I were to work out and record the song, and do accompanying parts and all that stuff, and publish it, I don’t think anyone is likely ever to listen to it much.  Maybe someday in the distant future, some equivalent of an archaeologist who unearths things lost in the web and internet will find the lost traces of my books or music or something, and they’ll be catalogued in some future equivalent of a virtual museum, among trillions of other collections of data that are recorded on line, but which will never seen by anyone for whom they might mean anything at all.

People sometimes say things like “what happens online is forever”, but as I’ve discussed before (I think), even if it’s true that things stored online remain and avoid simple deterioration of data thanks to the redundancy in the system, it doesn’t matter.  In principle, the sound of every tree falling in every wood has left its trace in the vibrational patterns of the world, and according to quantum mechanics, quantum information is never permanently lost, even if things fall into black holes*.

But of course, all that is irrelevant in practice, and comes back to collide with the nature of entropy and the degree to which most large-scale descriptions of a system are indistinguishable.  That picture of you with a funny face at that event years ago, which you tried to have a friend take down, but which had already been shared to a few other people, may in principle always be out there in the archives of Facebook or Twitter or whatever, but it doesn’t matter.  No one will ever notice it or probably even see it among the deluge of petabytes of data whipping around cyberspace every second.  You might as well worry about people being able to reconstruct the sound waves from when you sang Happy Birthday out of tune at your nephew’s fifth birthday party from the information left over in the state of all the atoms and molecules upon which the sound waves impinged.

It’s one of those seemingly paradoxical situations, rather like being in Manhattan.  There are very few places in New York City, and particularly in Manhattan, where one can actually be alone—even most apartments are tiny, and have windows that look out into dozens to hundreds of other people’s windows.  And yet, in a way, you are more or less always alone in Manhattan, or at least you are unobserved, because you are just one of an incomprehensible mass of indistinguishable humans.

Even “celebrities” and political figures, so-called leaders and statespeople, will all fade from memory with astonishing rapidity.  When was the last time you thought about Tip O’Neill?  And yet, for a while, he was prominent in the news more or less every day.  Do you remember where you were when William McKinley was assassinated?  No, because you were nowhere.  None of you existed in any sense when that happened, let alone when, for instance, Julius Caesar was murdered.

And what of the many millions of other people in the world at the time of McKinley or Caesar or Cyrus the Great or Ramses II?  We know nothing whatsoever of them as individuals.  Even the famous names I’m mentioning are really just names for most people.  There’s no real awareness of identity or contributions, especially for the ones who existed before any current people were born.

Last Thursday, I wrote “RIP John Lennon” and put a picture of him up on the board on which we post ongoing sales and the like.  The youngest member of our group, who is in his twenties, asked, “Who is John Lennon?”

He was not joking.

If John Lennon can be unknown to members of a generation less than fifty years after his death, what are the odds that anything any of us does will ever be remembered?

Kansas (the group, not the state) had it right:  “All we are is dust in the wind.  Everything is dust in the wind.”  The only bit they missed was that even the Earth will not last forever, and as for the sky…well, that depends on what you mean by the sky, I suppose.  The blue sky of the Earth, made so by light scattering off Nitrogen and Oxygen molecules, will not outlast the Earth, though there may be other blue skies on other planets.  But planets will not always exist.

As for the black night sky of space, well, that may well last “forever”, for what it’s worth.  But it will not contain anything worth seeing.

TTFN

Tip


*Leonard Susskind famously convinced Stephen Hawking that this was the case—and even won a bet in the process—though other luminaries were of course involved, including Kip Thorne, I believe, one of the masters of General Relativity.

Lyin’ there and staring at the ceiling

Well, I’m sitting here at the train station almost half an hour early for the first train of the day, after already having lain awake in bed for over two hours before finally giving up and getting up.

I feel that I’m waking up earlier and earlier over time, but it’s not as though I go to sleep any earlier.  I’ve been trying to be careful about when and how much I take in of caffeine, and allergy medication, and all that stuff, but adjusting it—or even leaving it out—seems to have minimal effect on my sleep patterns, though it does have its effects on my nasal passages.

I wish I could imagine that something were soon to come for me such as happened in the Stephen King novel, Insomnia.  That would at least be interesting.  But this has been going on for far too long to expect it to be part of some overarching, meta-cosmic chess game against the forces of the Random.  For one thing, though those ideas make for a good story, they don’t hold up to logic in any kind of realistic sense, considering legitimate mathematics and physics and biology and chemistry and all that jazz.  No, I’m just an insomniac because of chronic depression and other neuropsychiatric issues for which we have no cure and about which we only have limited understanding.

What a funny universe.

Oh, speaking of neuropsychiatric issues, I’m not going to be posting the transcript of my interaction with Amazon yesterday, after all.  For one thing, they did at least end up delivering what they were supposed to deliver, albeit far later than it was supposed to be delivered, and it did what it was supposed to do.  Anyway, it wasn’t the only thing that set me to feeling like I was hanging on by my fingernails yesterday, so I think a lot of the issue was with me.

I’m sure if you could read my interaction, you’d probably agree.  I know, I know, you read enough of my lunacy here, how much worse could it be?  Well, it’s hard for me to be objective—being the subject and object of the question—but I think that interaction will stay in draft form on WordPress, one of several things I’ve not ended up posting because they are just, well…too much.  If the public were made aware of them, it might lead to me being involuntarily hospitalized, or euthanized, or something along those lines.

This is not to say I wouldn’t benefit from hospitalization—or even from being euthanized, frankly.  I almost certainly would benefit from being hospitalized in a decent, well-run facility with supportive and qualified staff and whatnot.  But who’s going to pay for something like that?  I’d be more likely to end up in someplace run by some local county and/or the State of Florida, and the State of Florida does not do a very impressive job with such public services.

I attribute part of this fact to Florida’s past primary status as a retirement state, where people came who had already worked for decades, and had pensions and whatnot, as well as medical insurance and Medicare (once it existed), and tended, all else being equal, to be conservative just based on the fact of being older.

It does seem remarkable to me that Florida doesn’t have better healthcare than it does, given that it was formerly oriented toward retirement, and older people tend to require more healthcare than younger people.  Not that there isn’t good medical care to be found; there is.  But it’s not that impressive compared to, say, New York City and surrounding areas.  Though maybe that’s an unfair comparison, since NYC is a fairly unique environment, even on a global scale.

I don’t know what point I’m making here, today, if any.  My mind is not clear…not even close to it, because I’ve been chronically sleep deprived for I don’t know how long.  God knows what I might be able to think and to accomplish if I were consistently well-rested and felt good about myself and the world.  For all that I tend to hate myself, I do know that I am smart and fairly creative and have many abilities that are above average.  I could do a lot of good in the world—or a lot of evil, too, I suppose, if that were my preference—if I were just able to come together.

Maybe not.  Maybe I would do less good than I already do.  Sometimes feeling bad about oneself can be more motivating than feeling at ease with oneself, or so I suspect.  Sometimes having regrets and things for which one wishes one could make amends might motivate one to do more good than would a simple desire to do and to be good.

I’m not speaking too personally, here.  While I certainly have never been a saintly figure, I’ve also not done much in the world to cause harm to other people—partly because I have so frequently felt the anger and rage and frustration rise up in me and cause me to wish harm on other people*, so I’ve developed quite good impulse control.

Anyway, that’s more than I have to say this morning.  I’m not feeling well, I’m feeling very tired, I’m really not wanting to go to work, nor to stay at the house, nor to do anything else, frankly.

Maybe today I’ll try to work out a tune and even chords to that song the lyrics of which I came up with and mentioned sometime last week (or maybe two weeks ago).  I doubt it, but stranger things have happened.  In the meantime, well, if you’re near me, stay dry; it’s a slightly drizzly day, though it’s a bit warmer than earlier this week.  Anyway, it’s south Florida, so it’s always pretty warm.

In winter time, I don’t know why all the homeless people in the eastern part of the country don’t just come down to south Florida.  At least they wouldn’t freeze to death outdoors.  But I guess if they were in a position to make sound plans and carry them out, then homeless people probably wouldn’t be homeless.  I can sympathize.

I wish I could offer them better advice than “try to go someplace warm”, but it’s not as though I’m somebody who has it all figured out.  I don’t think there is any such person, and I don’t think there ever has been.  I’m deeply skeptical about even the possibility that there ever will be such a being, though I think it is possible to improve understanding and knowledge in an exponential fashion, at least until the Second Law of Thermodynamics makes everything else moot.

And given how long it is until that happens—on a human scale at least—it wouldn’t be such a surprise if future intelligent beings found ways around even such seemingly inevitable laws of physics.  To paraphrase Carl Sagan, intelligent life can do an awful lot of good—by whatever measure you want to call it good—in a trillion years or more.

Of course, it could also crash and burn on every start, without exception.  That would be a shame, but it wouldn’t leave the universe any worse off than it would have been otherwise, as far as I can see.


*For instance, I’ve thought more than once that it would be “nice” if we had the technology to instantiate a three-strikes failure-to-use-one’s-turn-signal system.  In this system, any time you failed to signal before changing lanes or before turning, in anything but a true emergency, you would acquire (and be notified of) a strike, which would last for 1 week, to the hour, from when it occurred.  When it expired you might be notified of that as well, or maybe not.  Such details could be hashed out in planning and reevaluated over time.  Anyway, with your second strike you would be given a stern warning and reminder of your status, and upon your third failure to signal within any given 7-day span, you would be disintegrated.

One of my turns…

I’m writing this post on my phone because I didn’t feel like bringing my laptop when I left the office yesterday.  I thought about it, but there didn’t seem to be any point in doing it, so I figured, at least for the evening and then the morning, I’d give myself slightly less to carry.

I keep thinking of ideas of things to get and then finding myself realizing‒or at least suspecting‒that they are wastes of time and effort.  For instance, I keep seeing people riding those electric, stand-up scooters that look like the old-fashioned kids’ scooters, to get to and from the train station.  At first I was merely puzzled to see so many adults using such things, but then I thought they looked kind of handy and maybe even a little fun.  My balance and coordination aren’t great, but many of the people riding them look no more fit than I.

Anyway, I watched some videos about them and began looking at them on Amazon, but eventually I thought, if I’m going to get something to get me to the train and around the neighborhood, why don’t I just get a bicycle?  In Florida, you can use bicycles pretty much year-round.  You have to deal with rain, but that would be the case on an electric scooter, too.  At least they give one some good, low impact exercise.

I had bought a bicycle several months ago‒a nice, good quality, lightweight street bike.  Unfortunately, I discovered that one had to lean way forward on it even with the seat at its lowest point because of the style of bike, and the handlebars weren’t extendable.  You could buy separate extenders for them, but even that didn’t do all that much.  I have trouble with the leany over type bikes because, for one thing, I’m not all that coordinated, and I always feel off-balance on such devices, but more importantly, with my “failed back surgery syndrome”, leaning that way just leaves me in a lot of pain for the rest of a given day.

Thankfully, one day when my former housemate came by to do some work for the landlord, he found that the bike made his back feel better when he tried it out (at my suggestion), so I gave it to him.  At least it will be useful for someone.  But such errors tend to put me off trying again.

Still, I started looking around on Amazon at better bikes for me, something where I could be sure to be upright.  I thought about a hybrid bike‒I guess that term means they can be used off-road or on-road‒but it’s hard to tell if they’re high enough in the handlebars and low enough and comfortable enough in the seat.  I even considered one of those grown-up tricycle things, because they look truly useful for stuff like shopping, and there’s no worry about incoordination.  Unfortunately, they don’t exactly lend themselves to commuting, so that kind of made one of those not a great option.

Then I started looking at those “cruiser bikes” or whatever they call them‒those old school style bikes, with wide handlebars, low, broad seats, and so on.  They’re not as light as a street bike, but they’re clearly more what I would have in mind for my back and slightly better for my balance.  I’ve been looking at some, and they do seem good, though the good ones are no cheaper than the quite nice bike I had already bought and given away.

But as I think about bikes and electric scooters and things like that for commuting and whatnot, I keep thinking, “These are things for people who are planning on being around for a while.  These are comparatively long-term investments.  These are things for people trying to adjust for a prolonged existence.”

And thinking about that just makes me despondent.  I don’t want to be around long enough for it to matter whether I have a bike, or just walk around, or whatever.  I don’t want to have to wait around for when people are in the next Artemis mission to orbit the moon, let alone when they next land on it.  I don’t want to have to endure long enough to see the 60th anniversary David Tennant Doctor Who specials in November 2023, let alone wait until the year after that for the next series.  There are no movies I’m interested in seeing, no books I’m looking forward to reading, no shows I want to watch*.  There’s really just nothing into which it’s worth investing time and energy, not for me.  Certainly I, myself, am not such a worthwhile investment.

So, I don’t think I’m going to get a bike, or rejoin Netflix, and I can’t even get excited about Doctor Who or the moon missions or any of it.  As Lestat said to Louis, the wine has no taste, the food sickens me (though I wish it sickened me more), there seems no reason for any of it.  Even the thought of rereading the Anne Rice stories doesn’t appeal.  Nothing is very much fun anymore.

I feel like I’m just spoiling the party for others by sticking around, so I should take my cue from the Beatles song and just go…there’s nothing for me here, so I should disappear.  In any case, even if I can’t just disappear, it seems futile and draining to do things that seem to look toward some kind of possible future.  I don’t even like buying new clothes anymore; I get frustrated when I have to replace a pair of trousers because another got splashed with bleach, for instance.

Ultimately, I’m just tired, I guess, and I don’t want to have to keep moving just to keep moving, just because it’s what I do and have always done, whether it’s on an electric scooter, or a bicycle, or a train, or my own feet.  I’m not going anywhere.  Putting in the effort is just an exercise in futility and highlights the futility of exercise.

Oh, well.  I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I guess I’ll just have to wait and see, unfortunately.


*I will admit that Wednesday looks intriguing; I love the character, and it looks like the actress is excellent.  They have Wednesday playing the cello in the show, which appeals to me as a cellist.  But I would have to re-sign up for Netflix to watch that, and I don’t think it’s worth it.  Plus, odds are I wouldn’t get through it before losing interest.  I couldn’t even get into Stranger Things, for crying out loud.

[P.S. I just had a bad interaction with Amazon because an item I ordered for our office (for delivery between 7 and 11 am, as offered specifically by Amazon) was attempted at 6:43 am.  I was in the office, but the door was locked, because it was not yet time for the order to be delivered.  But the driver did not even try to knock…I’m hard of hearing, but not THAT hard of hearing that in the silence of quarter to 7 I wouldn’t have heard the knock.  I did SEE the driver pulling away after rushing to the door to try to catch them.  I have copied and pasted the text of my interaction with the Amazon customer support chat, and pasted it into a potential blog post for later today.  I don’t look particularly good in the interaction–I probably come across as nearly hysterical, frankly–but it still might be worth other people knowing about this failure, and it will probably influence any decision to buy a bike if I should lean back in that direction.  Anyway, I have that saved as a draft, and if anyone is interested, I’ll post it.  It might do you some good to laugh at my insanity, anyway.]

Semi-literal “trigger warning” – this post will likely be a downer

Well, it’s Friday again, the second Friday in December I guess, and I’m writing my daily blog post.  I’ll be writing one tomorrow as well, since I’m working tomorrow (barring unforeseen circumstances).  So, if you like to read my blog, keep your eyes open; it should be appearing tomorrow morning, not much later than the usual time.

I’m not sure what to write about this morning.  I suppose I should probably get into more of the informational posting(s) about sugar, but I don’t think I’m in the right frame of mind for that.  I’m grumpy—as usual—this morning, and I was even imagining things about which to be angry everywhere on the way to the train station, which is where I am right now, waiting for the very first train of the day.

I woke up particularly early today—I know, what else is new, right?—and so I’m here well in advance of that first train.  There was a casually discarded Burger King beverage cup lying on the bench on which I usually sit when I got here.  I threw it away.  That was irritating, but it wasn’t the first thing to annoy me today.  Still, it’s difficult to understand why people leave such things lying about, when there are public garbage receptacles every twenty feet or so throughout the train station.

Now they’ve announced that the train I’m taking is boarding on the opposite side than usual, which is also irritating, though at least they’ve announced it well in advance.  I had to get up, after already having started writing, pack the computer away, get in the elevator, go up, cross the bridge, and then—and this is the funny-ish part—summon and wait for the elevator on the parking lot side to the second floor.

The funny part of that is that if I were as selfish or thoughtless or whatever you want to call it as everyone else seems to be, then the elevator would have been at the top already, since I was the last one to use it.  But when I ride the elevator up, I always press the ground floor button as I get off, because people are mainly going to be coming from the parking lot side, so they’ll be needing to get on the elevator at the ground floor, and I might as well save them a bit of the wait, in case they’re running behind schedule or whatever.  It’s convenient for maybe one other passenger a day, at most, but it seems like the right thing to do.

Today, however, it inconvenienced me.  It’s a bit ironic, and it is mildly annoying, in my current frame of mind, but I can’t consider it any kind of injustice.  I’m the one who chooses to do the elevator send-back-down thing, and I don’t regret it, and I’ll continue to do it.

But it is yet another annoying little fact about the world.  I’m sure that everyone has plenty of these petty complaints, of course.  The world doesn’t exist for our convenience, after all.  I could almost say that I should feel lucky enough to be alive, except that most days it doesn’t feel like luck.  At least, at this stage of my life, I don’t feel lucky to be still alive.

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it as needed, but I was unreasonably lucky to have the family and the schools that I had and went to, lucky to be able to use my creative and intellectual faculties well and with greater ease than many people, and to able to be good at a lot of things to do with art and science, and thus to be able to decide to become a doctor “at the last minute”, as it were.  I was lucky to meet my ex-wife*, and absurdly lucky to have my children, and to have been part of their lives as long as I was.

I was lucky to have very good friends whose company I enjoyed and with whom I shared many common interests.  So, even though I did have a congenital heart defect and apparently neurological defects, and certainly have had trouble with dysthymia and depression (and insomnia) starting at a pretty young age, I had many things to compensate, and overall, most of the time, I was pretty happy.

But most of that is not the case anymore.  I don’t have friends, my mother and father are dead, my siblings and other family members are far away, I can’t practice medicine, I’m not married anymore, and my kids don’t see me (and one of them doesn’t talk to me).  And I still have whatever neurological and mood disorders I’ve always had, which is not surprising, since there is no known cure for such things, though goodness knows I have tried.  And I have my chronic pain, and tinnitus, and all that jazz.

All this doesn’t really have any point.  I know I just sound like I’m moaning, and I would understand if you just found it irritating, much in the way that I find so many other things irritating.  You certainly have that right.  I’m just saying that, if one had good things in the past that countered the bad things, and then those good things go away, it’s hard to deal with the bad things afterwards, and they seem to have their volume and brightness and contrast all maxed out.

It’s a quibble I’ve always had with the line by Tennyson, that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  I’ve never thought this was absolutely, cut and dried correct, never considered it a slam dunk argument or postulate or declaration or whatever class of cliché into which it can be slotted.

To have loved—and to have been loved—and to have lost not merely because of the vicissitudes of fate, but because you yourself are just not tolerable to other people after a while, because you’re fucked in the head in ways you can’t really change…that’s a bit of a downer.

It’s always hard to lose people one loves.  It’s more than enough to engender sympathy and compassion.  We will all, ultimately, lose everyone and/or be lost by them, and that’s sad and hard, but it’s not personal (in the sense of being about you as an individual), though that’s small comfort.  But when so many people you love choose to be lost by you, despite what are honestly your best efforts, when you tried with great force and determination and thought to be the best son, the best husband, the best father, the best friend, the best doctor, and so on, that you were able to figure out how to be—well, that’s a special kind of hard.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself—at least, not exactly.  I’m not prone to cut myself much slack.  I disgust myself.  For the most part, I think I deserve every bad thing that could ever happen to me, but then, I’m my own arch enemy.  I’m the Victor von Doom to my own Reed Richards.  I’m almost an anti-narcissist, at least in some of the aspects of my personality.

I’m the person I hate most in the world.

I’ve said it before and would repeat it ad infinitum:  I would never change anything up to and including the moment my children were born, lest it change the fact that they exist.  But there are things that I would change since then.

There was a time, ten or eleven years ago, right at this time of year, when, sitting on the floor with my back against the wall of my poorly kept one-bedroom apartment, I played “Russian Roulette” using the lovely Ruger pigeon-beak grip single action .32 magnum revolver I used to own, just like this one:

Mvc-004f

I wish sometimes that I had put five more bullets in the cylinder before my spin.


*To be clear, she wasn’t my ex-wife when I met her.

Though there’s only one lunar day per month, this is the weekly day of the moon

Okay, it’s Monday morning, and I’m writing this on my smartphone, so I’m not going to try anything too ambitious.  I didn’t bring my laptop back with me to the house because, again, I brought home some music (sheets and a book) under the absurd notion that I might play some guitar or possibly “piano” this weekend.  I don’t know if that was me being in an optimistic frame of mind or me deceiving myself‒or if, indeed, there is any difference at all between the two things.

In any case, as is presumably obvious, I did not play or even listen to any music this weekend.  I barely did anything at all.  I mean, on Sunday I did my laundry, getting terribly stressed before starting it that I would find the machine in use already, even early on Sunday morning, but thankfully that didn’t happen.

I suppose I got a lot of rest, which I needed, because I was still pretty wiped out from the virus or whatever that I’ve been fighting.  I watched some YouTube videos of mainly British comedy panel shows, most of which I’ve seen numerous times already, and on Sunday I watched The Accountant again; that’s becoming one of my favorite movies.  And I watched the Gallifrey Gals’ latest reaction video to Doctor Who.  And I took a few moderate walks, during one of which I spoke to my sister on the phone, which is always nice.  That was pretty much all the socializing I did…for the week, really, not counting interactions at work.

I didn’t read at all this weekend‒not a single page of a book.  Nothing gripped me enough to make me even open the Kindle app on my phone, let alone to grab one of the books I have in my room.  Last week, as you may recall, I reread The Chasm and the Collision.  I also reread one of the stories from Welcome to Paradox City, and I reread “I for one welcome our new computer overlords” in the version that’s in Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities.  They weren’t as fun as CatC, but they were decent stories and I still like them.  But I didn’t feel the urge to read even any of my own stuff this weekend.

I’m on the train on my way to the office now, and wondering what I’m going to do in general.  I keep intending to get back into some kind of better shape, so I don’t die a corpulent grimace of a blob of some kind.  I’m working on it.  I am walking some, trying to work my way up, and I do upper body training to at least some degree every day (except when sick…and after even a few days, it’s remarkable how much more difficult it becomes).  I’m trying to adjust my diet, but that seems to be my most difficult hurdle; eating is one of those rare self-soothing behaviors that’s biologically reliable, and from which it’s difficult to quit cold turkey as it were*.  Still, there are further interventions on which to work.

I’m not giving up on it.  I have something I want to try to do sometime in the relatively near future, and I would need to lose weight before doing it.  I’ve also toyed with the notion, in the past, of perhaps running a marathon some day.  I’ve had difficulties with jogging because of my back, which has at times been sensitive to me running, and some chronic ankle and knee weakness, but since I’ve been walking my two plus miles a day just from and to the train station, I think those areas are getting stronger, and sleeping on the futon on the floor is probably also helping.  Maybe I can gradually work my way up.  I’m not as young as I was in college when I first got into serious running condition, but if anything I am more stubborn.

I need to have something to do with my time, and I certainly don’t “have a life” as the expression goes.  I’ll try to get back to my medical postings soon, anyway, and I apologize for frequently putting them off.  There’s the follow-up to the neurology based post and the discussion of sugar I first sort of introduced last Thursday.

I don’t know what else I might end up doing.  I’m really rather rudderless now, and feel like I’m becoming more so as time goes on.  I have no real sense of a future, just the endless trudge that is the directionless present.  At least the weather is a little cooler down here for walking.  That’s a slight boon.  So much of the year it’s way too hot and humid.

Anyway, that’s it for today.  I hope you all have a good start to your week.


*Ha ha

I don’t feel well this morning.

Okay, well…sorry, I’m not going to be picking up today on the rest of the sugar-based post that I mentioned and half-started yesterday.  I also won’t be doing a follow-up neurology post, either.  I’m actually just going to write a very brief dispatch, if I can do that, mainly to let you know why I won’t be doing those things I just mentioned.

I just really don’t feel well this morning.  I was up during the middle of the night, but that’s not unusual; I even sort of felt somewhat clear-headed for a time.  But then, when I woke up this morning, before my alarm, I felt somewhat confused and disoriented.  This was not in any seriously alarming way.  I knew where I was and who I was and what day it was and so on.  I just felt vague and hazy and out of it, like I hadn’t truly slept at any point at all during the night, or had maybe had apnea episodes or something.  I felt rather uncoordinated as I got ready for my shower and got my clothes and all that stuff out, but not as though I were having an inner ear problem.

Well, perhaps just a little like that.

Anyway, I got showered and dressed, though I felt like it all took me longer than usual.  And now I’m waiting on my morning train.  I’m going to work, even though I feel under the weather, because I already missed one day this week, and because last week the office had a poorish week because of the holiday, and yesterday my coworker with whom I share some responsibilities had to take the day off because he was having particular trouble with his back.  I’m hoping he’ll return today, because I’m really not feeling great, and also because this is supposed to be my weekend off, after having worked the previous two Saturdays.

It seems I’m not the only one who is off kilter.  When I got to the train station, a northbound train was just arriving (I missed it), and I thought I must have lost more track of time than I’d appreciated.  But it turned out that it was the first train, the one I only catch when I really can’t sleep at all, and it was running almost 15 minutes late.  And now, my train is running about 30+ minutes late, and the southbound trains are running late, and the next northbound…well, you get the idea.  I wonder if there’s some computer virus issue going around that affects train systems and weird devices like me.

Probably not.

Anyway, it’s frustrating, because if I’d gotten here as early as I usually do for my usual train, I would have caught the delayed 1st train, and would already be on my way, instead of having to wait here, already feeling crappy, for a more-delayed train that will be more crowded because of the delay, as is always the case.

There are apparently a full three trains now expected to arrive at the Hollywood Tri-rail station, according to the tracker app—all late, but set to arrive within ten minutes or so of each other.  I would frankly wait for the second one if I weren’t sure that it too might not be even more delayed than currently listed*.

Geez, Louise, I don’t need this on a morning when I feel like I do.  I just want to lie down and go to sleep and stay that way.  I hate this stupid world and this stupid life.

So, anyway, my apologies for being so erratic and not doing what I had meant to do yet on the requested topics.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get a good rest this weekend, and by Monday I’ll be prepared to pick up on one of them.  Meanwhile, I hope you all forgive me, and that you have a good weekend.


*I did end up doing that, since the app and a security officer confirmed that the next train was only ten minutes after my delayed one, and that one was packed, and all my usual seats were taken.  Now I’m on a nice and sparsely populated train, at least, though I’m still quite behind my usual schedule, and that’s stressing me out.  But it’s better than being packed into an overcrowded and delayed train.