Welcome to the October Country

Well, it’s October 1st, the beginning of a new month in 2022, a month initially meant to be the eighth month, based on its name.

I’m at the train station and, it being Saturday, the schedule is different than during the week.  There’s also some question of whether the trains are boarding on the usual side or not.  There’s a displayed “announcement” on the light boards that all trains are boarding on one side at this station until further notice, but it could be something left over from yesterday.  Also, the guard is not aware of anything regarding the change in sides.

Nevertheless, today was a day for ordering the monthly pass on the machines, and the ones on my usual side weren’t even working, so I’m on the other side for the moment, anyway.  I’m going to have to try to be vigilant as the time for my train approaches*.  If I miss one train, the next won’t come for another hour.

It’s hard to be vigilant, though.  I feel absolutely exhausted.  My brain feels like it’s barely running on one cylinder, metaphorically speaking**.  I’m just so very tired.

Thankfully, I can embed below my video, which I did end up posting on my YouTube channel yesterday afternoon, so that can provide some of the content and spare me a little writing today.  I might as well, since what I’ve written so far is about some of the most banal things imaginable.

Just a bit of clarification about the video, in case any is necessary:  Obviously I don’t mean to say there is literally no life in the universe, since that would be a contradiction (If there were literally no life, then I could not be speaking about the fact).

I just have always been irked by people who make the wide-eyed claims that it’s so amazing and quasi-mystical that the constants of nature are so perfectly designed to make life, and that must imply some sacred meaning or purpose to it.  That’s about as idiotic as looking at the location of a speck of dust in the corner of a school gym and saying how amazing it is that all the facts of nature conspired to bring that speck of dust right there at that point…it had to have been part of some greater purpose!  It’s drivel.  Only the case with life is even more unimpressive.

My biggest issue with this is that it leads to a kind of quiescence, an assumption that, if the universe was “designed” just so that life can exist, then life, and particularly intelligent life, must be important, and the universe will somehow arrange things to nurture us and protect us from extinction.  If you think that’s the case, then ask the dinosaurs, or better yet, any of the far greater numbers of life forms that went extinct in the Permian-Triassic “Great Dying”.

Oh, wait, you can’t.  They’re all extinct.

No, the universe is almost completely hostile to life, both in terms of its space and in terms of its time.  We are lucky beyond ordinary imagining, though I tried in the description of the video to give some notion of just how lucky in spatial terms, at least, by noting that life exists in roughly only 1.5 x 10-64 of the universe’s volume.

As far as time goes, well if you’re thinking of humanity alone, based on the time that has elapsed since the “Big Bang”, which may or may not be the literal beginning of our universe, the percentage is tiny enough, and others have demonstrated this handily, as in the “cosmic calendar” that Carl Sagan made famous in Cosmos.  But if you want to count all expected possible future time, well then our existence is some fraction of what could be infinity, which is pretty undefined, but might as well be called zero.  The limit certainly approaches zero as we extend the future further and further.

This is not necessarily a call for people just to give up and say “what the hell”, though you have that option, of course, and it is tempting.  I wanted to note that, if you would like for life to continue, and even to have some lasting, cosmic-scale impact, then you can’t take it for granted.  You need to work at it, and work hard, and work long.  The universe is not trying to kill us (contrary to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s habitual way of putting it); if it were, we would be dead already.  But the universe is huge, and it does not even have the capacity to care what happens to life, except in the minds of that life itself.

All life is in the situation of a castaway on a desert island—there’s no preexisting infrastructure, there’s no one out there looking out for you or protecting you, or providing your light, your heat, your air-conditioning, your food, your clothes, your shelter, what have you.  If you want any of those things, you’re going to have to make and/or find them for yourself, and you’re going to have to keep doing it, for as long as you actually want them and want to survive.

Without much more ado, here’s the video***.  I forgot to ask when I made the video, but please give a “thumbs up” and subscribe and share if you are at all inclined to do so, for any colorable reason.  And feel free to check out the other stuff on my YouTube channel if it looks interesting to you.  If anyone finds this interesting at all, I’m hoping to make more such videos about topics that interest me, assuming the universe doesn’t eliminate me in the meantime (though it seems likely to do so).  Oh, and please let me know what you think, either in the comments below the video or here.

Thanks.  Here it is:


*Just a slightly later addendum:  They have announced overhead that my train is approaching in 10 minutes, and have confirmed that it is not on its usual side.  So I was right to be proactive.

**Of course, it’s a metaphor.  I don’t honestly think that any of you really believe that my brain is an internal combustion engine of some kind, except in the loosest of possible senses.  Apologies.

***I wore a mask and dark glasses in the video mainly because I don’t like how my face looks—it bears evidence of the many things that have happened to me in the last decade or so.  Maybe no one else can see it but me, but it is what it is.  Anyway, the glasses are awesome, I really like them, and the mask combined with them makes for a good look, I think.  Certainly better than my underlying face, anyway.

Get up get over and turn the tape off

Well, it’s a shitty, shitty day today already.  I realize that’s redundant, of course.  I could simply say that it’s a day today.  They’re all pretty shitty a lot of the time, which is a phrase, at least, that sort of rhymes.  Pretty shitty is kind of pretty; one could use it in a ditty.

That’s enough of that nonsense.

I awoke very early, even for me, with worsening pain than usual in my right lower back and hip, radiating down into my foot and calf, with spasm and tenderness in most of the muscles.  I’d had a decent pain day the day before—which I guess would be yesterday, duh—partly because I took larger than normal doses of naproxen, in addition to aspirin and acetaminophen, and as always I was trying some behavioral interventions such as those with which I constantly experiment.

But I think I was lured into a false sense of security; probably the relative decrease in pain was as much a random fluctuation as anything else.  Also, I realized by the end of the day that I had started to develop edema—accumulation of fluid, that is—in my legs, especially the right one.  I suspect that’s partly due to the effects of the high-dose NSAIDs and other meds on my kidneys’ clearance functions.  So, last night I held off on the naproxen.

While trying to massage out some of my pain, I noted that my son, to whom I had sent an email a few weeks ago, had replied at last to that apologetic note.  But though his email was polite and kind, he basically said that he didn’t want to pursue any relationship with me, at least for the time being, and that he hoped I would respect that.  I can do so, of course; if I didn’t have to have a relationship with me, I wouldn’t do it, either.  He even said he didn’t hold what had happened, what with my arrest and time in prison, against me, which is nice, and that he had fond memories of me and of his childhood with me.  He’s a good person, he works hard and is smart, and all that, like his sister.  I want him to be happy, and I would never try to force my presence on him.  I’m just not built that way.  So, that’s that.  Not a great thing for me, but probably the wise choice for him.

I did record the video I mentioned yesterday, and I already started editing it, which is basically just removing long pauses and umms and coughs and the like.  If I finish and upload it today, I’ll share it as part of the post for tomorrow—I’m scheduled to work—and you’ll be able to see and watch it if you wish.  In case you do, I’ll add now the request that most YouTubers give (which I neglected to do during the recording) which is please, if you’re so inclined, like the video, share it if you’re willing, subscribe if you’re interested, and do please feel free to comment.  All those requests apply here as well, though I guess most of my readers are already subscribed, now that I think about it.

And here I am, at the office already and writing this, quite a bit earlier than I usually arrive, because there was no point just lying around in my room and watching random YouTube videos, some about science, some of British comedy panel shows, and occasionally some about autism/Asperger’s.

It’s the last day of September in 2022, and tomorrow begins the month of October—the month of my birthday, and of Halloween (my favorite holiday), though honestly, right now, I couldn’t give a shit about either one.  Next week is both Yom Kippur and my father’s birthday (I think they’re both on the same day this year, though I may be off on that).

I wish I could see my father, and my mother, but of course, they have both “passed on” as the euphemism goes.  I’m afraid I was probably a very disappointing son for them, not least because I had seemed so promising.  I’ve basically let down all the people who are most important to me in life, regularly and consistently.  Consistency is good, I guess, as far as it goes.  I just wish I had a drug or alcohol problem to hang it all on, so that I could have hope of conquering the problem and receiving minor accolades for the success, a la the famous Christian parable of the prodigal son*, or just succumb to an overdose or something if not.

Unfortunately, my problems are basically internal and inherent.  I’m just not very good at humaning, it turns out, if you’ll pardon me for using the au courant contrivance of turning a noun into a seeming gerund of a verb, as in the expression “adulting”.  Adulting, by the way, does not get a red squiggly underline in MS Word, but humaning does.  I guess that means I really did just make it up.

I’ve been trying to do it all my life, of course, and I have put a lot of effort into it.  But my return on investment has gone deeply in the negative, I’m afraid, though that’s only if you discount the fact of my two children.  Anything I went through up until they were born was repaid at an unimaginable rate, so I can’t complain about that.  But that’s all past, now, and they are alive and well, and they’re doing their thing and living their lives and that’s good, that’s outstanding.

I wish I could have been there to witness more of it.  But if wishes were horses, we’d all be waist-deep in horseshit.  Which we may be in a metaphorical sense—more than waist-deep, I would say—but obviously that’s not literal.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for today, and it’s nearly all I’ve got, period, full stop.  I don’t see how I can possibly go on much longer.  I hate the world, I hate my life, but most of all, I hate myself.  I’ve got to find a way to escape.

Which word makes me think of the Radiohead song, Weird Fishes/Arpeggi.  Here, I’ll embed some version of it in “video” form below, so those of you who are interested can listen.  It’s a beautiful song.


*Which I’ve always hated as a clear case of injustice and even cruelty.

Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee, And hush’d with blogging night-flies to thy slumber

Hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday again, and so it’s time for what was once only my weekly blog post, and which remains the most “formal” of my posts.

I’m waiting on the earliest train this morning, because I fully woke up a bit after 2 in the morning, and was not readily able to go back to sleep.  When it was finally late enough (so to speak) to come to the train station and not feel just silly about it, I decided to get up and do so.

I thought of something interesting during that early morning time.  Well, it’s not truly a new thought for me, but it’s something that crystallized a bit.  I’m going to try to start making short videos for my YouTube channel, discussing some specific topic in each one, though I may go off on a tangent or two, it being me.

But I’m going to set my timer when I start making the video, so that I have a maximum length to record, before editing, that hopefully will keep me from meandering too much.  My “Superman Neutrino Hypothesis” video was fun—for me, anyway—but I think it probably went on for too long for other people to stay interested in it.  So, if I set myself a limit, such that an edited video is between ten and twenty minutes long (at most), that might be good.

Of course, there are arguments that can be made that a purely unedited video would be better to share—more honest, more straight up.  For highly personal videos, that’s probably true.  It’s not as though I’m going to be adding any significant special effects or anything—that’s not what it’s about.  I don’t intend to create some homemade wannabe TV news program or special.  I just want to convey my thoughts about some subjects in ways that are likely to reach more people.

I know, obviously, that those of you who are reading this are the sorts of people who read the written word, and that’s great.  I think there are more people out there who might be interested in what I write, but there’s no good way to make people who might be interested aware of it, other than asking people to share the posts on your social media (please do, if you would), and for me to share them, and so on.

I’m sorry to have to accept that videos just reach more people than written posts and articles do, though in a far less efficient way (data-wise).  It’s tragic, but life is tragic, so what are you going to do.  Plus, I do sometimes like to talk, and though I have no one to talk to in person about the things that interest me, maybe if I start a one-sided verbal conversation, someone out there will engage with it.

I was thinking of starting to do some other new videos anyway, though the specific reasons for that are something I’ll try to keep close to my vest for the moment.  We’ll see what happens.

Of course, I’ll share/embed any such videos that I make here on this blog.  I may even also share them on Iterations of Zero, which I’ve been leaving fallow for a long time now, at least since I started just sharing my brain drippings here on this blog.  Maybe it was a mistake, or at least not terribly useful, for me to have made two blogs, but I had my reasons at the time.  I still like the name of it, and the symbol I made to represent it, which I use as the “cover” of many of my video versions of audio blogs, and of some of my songs, including the official cover of my song Like and Share.

Anyway, I expect to try to record this first foray this morning, since I’m up early anyway—you’ve got to seize the bull by the horns of the dilemma while the iron is hot or get off the pot, after all.  So, hopefully, you’ll get to see that soon.

To begin to bring things to a close, it’s worth noting that this is the last Thursday in September of 2022, already a week after Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday.  I really didn’t hope to be doing any of this still at this point, but there have been reasons why I didn’t want to inconvenience other people around me too much, and that would have happened, otherwise.

Also, I’ve been trying to adjust some lifestyle matters related to my chronic pain—that’s a long story and quite boring, frankly.  It’s one of those things that sounds interesting, perhaps, if you leave it vague, but then if you knew what I meant, it would be dreary and even distasteful.  I’m just struggling, always, to find ways to mitigate my pain that don’t cause more problems than they solve.

For the most part, medicines have engendered vastly more issues than they have corrected.  Though I am okay with using borderline (and not-so-borderline) toxic doses of aspirin and acetaminophen and naproxen, all in various combinations throughout the day as needed, to mitigate things a bit.  It’s not as though I particularly want to avoid liver and kidney and GI failure, anyway.  It would frankly be okay if my whole system would just have a catastrophic meltdown sometime reasonably soon; it would save me a lot of bother.

Oh, and the hurricane clouds were heading north-northeast this morning, consistent with the hurricane now being northwest of my location now, or at least the center of its rotation (cloud-wise) being there.  That seems roughly to match the predicted track of the thing.  Locally the rain has mostly stopped, though it’s still windy.  But the trains (and apparently the buses) are all running in Broward County, and good on them!  I’m reasonably impressed, as I have been many time before.  It’s a pretty well-run organization, or pair of organizations.

It’s nice to see something being done rather well, especially when so many things in the world are done only as well as they absolutely must be to survive—and that merely because those that aren’t done well enough to survive do NOT survive, and the ones that remain include, seemingly in the majority, those just barely good enough to survive, since there are likely to be more of those than there are of really successful and exception things—that last one by the very meaning of the word.

I’ll stop myself here, now.  Maybe I should set my timer to constrain myself writing the first draft of these blog posts!  Do you think that might make them better?  Do please let me know, if you have any interest.

Right.  That seems unlikely.

TTFN

cane

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks…yadda, yadda, yadda

Well, it’s Wednesday morning, and it’s sloppy and wet, but the trains are running on time and so is most everything else here in southeast Florida, though the wind is a bit irritating.  Because of it, I was only able to write that first sentence while at the train station, then I had to close up the laptop to protect it from water damage, even though the train stations have roofs.

I’m sure it was a sensible decision for them to make the Tri-rail stations basically open-air with only an overhead covering.  This is south Florida, where it’s rarely so cold that heating is an issue, but on days like today—when it’s wet and windy because a hurricane is approaching the other side of the state*—I do curse the decision.  But I only curse it half-heartedly, because I can’t in good conscience really hold it against someone for doing something efficient and long-term sensible.

There are almost no courses of action, even ones that are clearly the best choices in the long term, that don’t have occasional drawbacks.  Life is complicated.  The universe is complicated, at least if you look at it very closely.  Actually, I guess you don’t have to look all that closely.

I thought about not riding the train today, but I couldn’t justify it.  The Tri-rail is running, and at a normal schedule, so I could hardly give myself an excuse for slacking off in any way.  Also, given the weather, there are a certain percentage of other people who will not go to work today, and that means the trains will be less crowded than usual—which, so far, mine is—and that’s kind of nice.  It’s not as though one gets any kind of extra service, since there is no “service”, but there’s less worry about not getting one’s usual seat, and it’s just generally less crowded.  I don’t know if this will be the case on the way home, but it is right now.

I was weirdly pleased to have a reason to get out my rain jacket, which is designed to be worn while riding on a motorcycle, and so is quite snug and water-repellant.  I don’t wear it much anymore.  I came close to wearing my long, black duster, which is also quite good against the rain (contrary to its name).  But the duster is cloth, and it’s heavier, so it’s likely to have been hotter to wear.  It is a very nifty coat, though, and I’m slightly sad that I don’t get to use it more often.

I got a slightly better sleep last night than the night before—maybe as much as four hours, though not continuous.  There were no issues with power or with cable, but then again, I didn’t honestly expect any.  This is south Florida.  The state and its utilities are far from beyond criticism, but rainy, windy weather—yeah, they’re pretty well used to handling that.

It’s a bit like Houghton, Michigan, which is on the upper peninsula of the upper peninsula of Michigan, and is where Michigan Tech is located.  They get absurd amounts of snow and cold every year, jutting as they do out into Lake Superior, but I’m told that Michigan Tech never closes for snowy weather, despite a reputed more than 16 feet of snowfall every year on average.

I can only imagine what would happen if any significant snow fell down here in the Miami area.  If any snow at all fell, it would be remarkable, but if it was a lot, well, it would be stunning in many ways.  One thing it would also be would be a problem for heating, since, basically, houses down here don’t have furnaces of any kind.  There are a few days early in most years where that actually becomes an issue, and it honestly gets too cold at night.  This is made worse by the fact that many of us don’t really have extra-warm blankets or the like.

And, again, here I am “talking about the weather” like the absolute cretin that I am.  I suppose that it can be excused a bit, given that there’s a hurricane passing near, but I’m embarrassed.  Still, embarrassment is a fairly normal state for me.  I’m almost always tense and anxious and uptight.

Twice in my life, while I was still a teen, I was given Valium, the actual name-brand pharmaceutical, for medical procedures—once for a heart catheterization, once when I had my wisdom teeth taken out.  I remember feeling ever so remarkably at ease and comfortable, even with my mouth full of gauze and blood, or with a wire going into my femoral artery and snaking up to my heart.  I wondered—and still wonder—if this is how some people feel all the time, or more of the time.  I basically have never felt anything like that way except on those two occasions.

I almost hit on the hygienist at the dentist’s office after my procedure.  I didn’t, but the fact that I even had the urge and would have been able to do it if I had so chosen is so unlike me that it’s astonishing.  And while I was having my catheterization, apparently the catheter bumped against some part of the conduction system of my heart and I had a very powerful double-beat, one so strong I could literally feel it up into my neck.  The cardiologist was plainly mortified and apologized sincerely, but I just smiled and said, “That was cool!”

This is how I knew I must never, ever get a prescription for Valium, despite chronic anxiety and stress.  It would simply be too easy for me to become psychologically dependent on it, for one thing, and for another, I know it would inevitably have diminishing returns, and stopping it would then make me feel worse than before.  That would be a true, ironic Hell.  No, thank you!

Drugs in general seem to affect me differently than most people, which may be a good thing.  I took opioids for chronic pain for some time, and they definitely worked to help the pain, but never for as long as hoped, and the side-effects were trouble, so eventually I had to wean myself off them, though not without some regret for the worsening pain.

I also do enjoy a rare alcoholic beverage—someone as tense as I am would be prone to, wouldn’t he?  However, I tend to feel rather unpleasant almost immediately after, and since my back problem, I’ve noticed that alcohol intake makes my pain flare up afterwards.

And I think I’ve mentioned the time I tried a hit of a friend’s marijuana hoping it would help my pain, but instead it left me vomiting for about two hours (and still in pain, though I was at least distracted).  THC is supposed to suppress nausea most of the time, for most people.  I really am alien, it seems.  At least, I’m atypical.

I will admit that mindfulness meditation does help my tension and anxiety in the short-term, but it seems to make my dysthymia and depression worse.  Maybe being too aware of my own thought processes makes me realize how unlikeable I really am, I don’t know.  It’s weird, but apparently there is some literature about Vipassana not being too useful for actual depression, though it may decrease the risk of relapse in people who are in remission.  I’m not up to date on the latest research, but it does disappoint me, because I’m fairly natural at meditation and self-hypnosis and the like.

Anyway, that’s enough for today, I think.  I’m getting close to my stop, and that seems like a good indicator that I should stop writing.  No, not for good—don’t get your hopes up—but for today, anyway.  I’m also, by the way, going to try to stop commenting at all on other people’s blogs and websites, after something that happened yesterday.  Apparently, I give minor offense or am rude, even when I certainly don’t mean to be, and then I feel both stressed and mortified as well as angry about being misunderstood.  Oh well.  Life is hard, but there are alternatives.  At least there’s one.  It becomes more enticing by the day.


*I added this footnote later to note that, as I walked from the train to the office, the clouds overhead were all moving consistently and rapidly west-northwest, which seems to indicate, if my reasoning is correct, that the center of the hurricane is still southwest of here, probably out in Gulf of Mexico for the moment, though I haven’t checked the reports yet this morning.

[Added note:  Since there’s a hurricane a-blowing, I decided to embed my cover of the Radiohead song “How to Disappear Completely” below, because the third verse includes the words, “Fireworks and blown speakers, strobe lights and hurricanes.”  I’ll also embed the original below that; it’s one of Radiohead’s most beautiful songs.]

Shana Tovah

[When I started writing this, I had completely forgotten that it was Rosh Hashanah today.  I figured I’d at least make the title give a reference to it, though it doesn’t have anything to do with the post, nor am I going to celebrate it, since I am not part of any community or family that does so anymore.  I also added the 10th Doctor GIF about the New Year, since it’s a shame not to waste it, even though it’s a day late.]

Just in case anyone was worried (though that seems unlikely) I ended up not working this last Saturday, and that was the reason I didn’t write a blog post.  I’m not dead or anything*.

I’m writing this post on my phone, today, but it’s not because there’s anything wrong with my laptop.  It’s just that the first train of the morning is delayed due to mechanical trouble–of course it is–and so the benches that have usually been emptied by that train’s arrival are overfilled, and I’m standing to wait.  It’s hard to use a laptop when one’s lap is in vertical mode.

I may actually wait for my “usual” train to arrive rather than getting on the late one, because delayed trains tend to be more crowded, as they pick up some early passengers from the next train.  And, for similar reasons, the trains that follow are often relatively less crowded than usual.  That’s a nice thing to enjoy, and it’s not as though I’m cutting it close on time.

As you may know, I always go to work early–very early–in the morning, because I can’t sleep anyway.  This weekend, I didn’t work, and I took 2 Benadryl before bed both Friday and Saturday nights.  It doesn’t completely stop me from waking up early, but it usually lets me go back to sleep when I do.  I can tell by the effects on my mental acuity that it’s not really doing me good overall, but at least my body gets a bit of rest, which doesn’t happen most other nights.

I’m really starting to get tired of doing this blog; at least I feel that way right now.  I began writing the Thursday posts, initially, as a way to connect with potential readers of my books, to talk about my fiction writing, and potentially to promote it.  As far as I can tell, it has had none of those effects, or at least they have been negligible.

I’m not really socially adept enough to use Facebook or Twitter for self promotion, though I have tried, and I don’t have the money to buy promotions for my posts or to advertise using the Amazon algorithm.  As far as I can tell, thanks to the way these automatic “auctions” for advertising go, I’m effectively just flushing money down the toilet on the occasions when I’ve paid for promotions.

There are networks of mutually promoting authors on Twitter and other “social” media, but they are all far more pro-social than I am from what I can tell.  I can’t even schmooze online.  I get embarrassed when I leave comments on other blogs and on YouTube videos let alone trying to talk myself up to strangers.  More and more, I feel embarrassed even when talking to people I’ve known for years, or for my entire life. I always feel like I’m such a weirdo and a dork.

As for these now-daily, or semi-daily posts, they were meant to be an experiment that was hopefully going to be useful for my mental health, or at the very least to act as a “cry for help”.  I think we can all tell just how wonderfully they’ve fulfilled either or both of those functions (not at all, in case that’s not clear).  I would laugh maniacally if I had that skill, and if I were not in the train.

I did get on the train, by the way, because it looks like they simply cancelled the previous one and ran the one I ride at its usual time.  This is despite the fact that the announcement said that the earlier train was just running 15 to 20 minutes late, which turns out to have been either a deliberate lie or an idiotic error.  I’m not sure which is better.  Probably neither.  I think it would be nice if the world had a greater preponderance of non-idiotic, non-mistaken non-lies.  They seem so few and far between.

Oh, I did mean to say, I at least got some useful walking in this weekend.  On Saturday I walked for about one and three quarters hours, and on Sunday for almost exactly two hours.  So, about 5-ish miles on Saturday and 6 on Sunday.  I’m actually rather stiff today because of it, but I’ve got to get into training if I’m going to go on an epic journey.  Bilbo and Frodo, though both were affluent hobbits, nevertheless were active, going on regular, long walks all the time.  So the sudden beginning of their lengthy quests was mainly felt in their decreased food intake, and of course, their exposure to deadly danger.  I won’t be so foolish as to say that sounds like fun, but at least it wouldn’t be meaningless and dreary and lonely…not for very long, anyway.

And there’s one true thing (at least one) about walking instead of riding or driving, and that is that you take in much more of the details of your surroundings.  Our ancestors all walked pretty much all the time.  Our bodies are built for it, more or less.  Yet the modern world has turned our natural mode into an inconvenience or a luxury.  That doesn’t seem like a recipe for good outcomes, all else being equal**.

Well, then…it’s hard for me to judge the length of my writing when I’m doing it on the phone, but this amount feels good enough for right now.  I’ll spare any dedicated readers the chore of dealing with more of my imbecilic thoughts, especially since you might have thought you were off the hook completely and for good when I didn’t write on Saturday.  No such luck for you, yet!  But don’t worry, that time is surely coming, and hopefully it won’t be long.

New Year


*Whether that’s good news or bad news depends on the recipient and his or her point of view, and also on my mood.  I veer between feeling it to be just neutral or frankly bad news.

**Which all else never is, to be fair.

Pursuing it with weary feet

Hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday morning, and this is not a pre-written post; this is one that I am writing now, on Thursday morning.

It’s September 22nd, 2022, and it’s the first day of Autumn.  It’s presumably the equinox, and—more importantly—it’s Bilbo’s and Frodo’s birthday.  This is the first time since I’ve been writing this blog that September 22nd has fallen on a Thursday, which isn’t too surprising.  After all, on average that should happen only once every seven years, and leap years might, depending on the year, increase that gap, though they could also decrease it.

Obviously, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are very important to me, so I’ve varied slightly from my usual Thursday title format of using a slightly altered quote from Shakespeare.

By the way, when I speak of the importance to me of those works, I mean the books.  If anyone out there has only seen the movies, you cannot know what I’m talking about.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Peter Jackson did an awe-inspiring job on The Lord of the Rings movies.  And The Hobbit movies were tolerably okay.  But they were nothing like as good as the books.  I haven’t even watched any of the new Amazon series yet.  I’m not sure if I will.

My first exposure to Tolkien’s work was in the form of a record (vinyl, that is) with excerpted audio from the Rankin-Bass cartoon of The Hobbit (which was in many ways superior to Peter Jackson’s bloated trilogy* of movies made from that one book).  My brother and I used to listen to such records sometimes when we were going to bed for the night—we shared a room—and I can still remember the beginning of the theme song written for that cartoon:

“The greatest adventure is what lies ahead

Today and tomorrow are yet to be said

The chances, the changes, are all yours to make

The mold of your life is in your hands to break.”

I feel that’s rather appropriate to me right now, frankly, but it was evocative even for a little kid.  We also had a big, illustrated version of The Hobbit, filled with stills from the animation and pre-production artwork and concept artwork from the development of the cartoon, though I didn’t really know what they were at the time.  I just knew they were beautiful to me, and I enjoyed them before I ever actually read the story.

Of course, once I had read The Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings, I was hooked.  By the time I was twenty, I had read The Lord of the Rings at least 21 times, and The Hobbit more than that.  I had also read The Silmarillion at least seven times.  These were not the books I had read most often, mind you.  That record goes to The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, which I had read, I think, 29 times by the time I was halfway through college.  I had meant to write a segment of my short-lived “series” My Heroes Have Always Been Villains on the antagonist from those books, Lord Foul, who is, I think, the purest villain in all the literature I’ve read in my entire life, at least among those who are actually characters with personalities.  If there were enough demand, I might write a post in MHHABV about him.

But Tolkien’s work is dearer to my heart, and so the fact that this day is the 22nd of September, and a Thursday, feels portentous to me.  It’s the sort of day one might sell or give away all one’s former worldly good and heads off on an epic journey, from which he may never return, and if he does, which will leave him profoundly changed.  I want to do that.  I want to escape.  At the very least, today I am going to begin working toward that escape, to begin to prepare the way home from Mordor.

I’m two years older than Bilbo and Frodo Baggins were at the start of their journeys, but then again, I’ve already been on my own horrible “adventure” for a long time now.  The sliver of the Witch King’s blade has been working its way toward my heart for ages, and it may already have pierced it.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I often—maybe most of the time—feel as though I’m a wraith like a Nazgul, like a mortal who keeps a great ring:  not dying, but not growing or obtaining new life, either, just continuing, though every minute is a weariness, untouched by the world of light except as a source of pain.

Anyway, I can’t continue like that, or rather, I don’t want to.  I suppose I could, if there were any good reason.  I’ve continued this far, and apart from the date and my own associations, there’s nothing actually different about today compared to any other day.  It’s just another rotation of a little, rocky planet orbiting a run-of-the-mill star in an outer spiral arm of a mid-sized galaxy, in what may be, for all we know for certain, just one of an infinite number of “universes”.

But for me, the date is significant, and so is the day, and maybe I can use that as an impetus to try to do something epic, at least from my own point of view.  I hope so.  Because I can’t stand things as they are, not much longer, no matter what.  I don’t want to stand them.  I don’t see any good reason to do so other than inertia.  Mind you, inertia is a strong thing, but entropy is stronger.  Entropy is inevitable, at least as far as anyone can tell, and we have good physical and mathematical reasons for coming to that conclusion.

In the meantime, though, I’ll end this blog post not with my usual Thursday sign-off, but with Bilbo’s words in Lake Town, when he didn’t even realize it was his birthday, combined with his jokey comment from a much later birthday, but switched in order.

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I would like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

Thag you very buch.”

bag end trimmed with border

R rune


*I also much preferred the Rankin-Bass tune for the dwarves’ song in Bilbo’s house to the one in the Peter Jackson version, and partly because of their tune I can always remember pretty much that entire song/poem.  My favorite verse is:

“The bells were ringing in the Dale

And Men looked up with faces pale.

The dragon’s ire, more fierce than fire

Laid low their towers and houses frail.”

No alarms and no surprises. Silent. Silent.

[To avoid confusion, at the bottom of this post I’ll embed the official video of the song from which this title comes, and then an old video of me doing a version of it.  Enjoy.]

Yesterday afternoon, I wrote a pre-made blog post, in case I was too tired this morning to write one, or too enervated, or too unmotivated, or however you want to characterize such a state.  As it turns out, this is not the blog post I pre-wrote.  This is me writing on Wednesday morning, but I may share that other blog post later today.

If I do, you’ll see that it was written as though it might be my last blog post, because—rather obviously—I felt that I was approaching the end of my endurance.  Though I am, in fact, writing this post this morning, that doesn’t change the fact that I still feel that I’m very near the end of my strength; it’s just that I’m a creature of habit, and I’m very stubborn, so I tend to keep on going longer than I suspected that I would be able to do so.

Or maybe it’s just that I feel too rude to change things suddenly in ways that affect other people.  For instance, today is the day that I do payroll at the office, so it would be very unkind of me not to go in, since no one else does the payroll, and it has to be done to make sure people get their paychecks.  After today, though, there’s another week before payroll needs to be done again.  That would be time enough for the boss to figure out some other alternatives.

Heck, knowing him, he is probably already prepared for other alternatives.  He’s very sharp.  I’m probably flattering myself to think that I’m actually important and not immediately replaceable.  The world will little note, nor long remember the fact that I was ever anywhere at all.

Just as a bit of trivia, and to give evidence to support the previous sentence, my daily life consists of getting up in the morning, showering, getting dressed, coming to the train station, writing my blog posts, and riding the train in to Deerfield Beach.  Then, on the way from the train station to the office, I stop in the Chevron convenience store and get some sandwiches and chips and something to drink, which will be my nutrition for the day.  Then I go to the office and do what I do there (including actually posting my blog posts before the start of business).  Then, after everyone else leaves, I lock up the office and set the alarm, walk back to the train station, ride the train back to Hollywood (Florida), go to the house, go to my room, read a few online manga, watch some YouTube videos and go to sleep and try to stay asleep, which I fail at pretty much always, until the cycle repeats.

On days when I’m off, I will go out to 7-11 or similar and get some food to eat for the day.  On Sundays I also do my laundry.

That’s it.  There are obviously many little details involved, but that’s it.  I don’t have any friends.  I don’t have any family nearby, not anyone who sees me or talks to me, anyway, though I talk to my sister on the phone when I feel non-disgusting enough to inflict myself on her.  I don’t have anywhere that I go for fun, because the sorts of places that people tend to go for fun are not places I find enjoyable unless I’m with someone I care about who enjoys going to such places.  If it’s me, crowds and noise and all that are stressful and intrusive, almost painful.  Anyway, going to most of the sorts of places I used to go—even malls or grocery stores or what have you—makes me feel sad, and even more alone and lonely than I do when I don’t go to them.

To a very good first approximation, I don’t drink—the bottles of liquor I bought for New Years 2020-2021 are still mostly full, almost two years later.  I don’t do drugs—the time I tried to see if marijuana helped my pain just left me vomiting for hours after the attempt—though I have in the past been on prescription pain meds that ultimately caused me as many problems as they solved, and I weaned myself off them.  Yuck.  I occasionally smoke cigars, but I don’t really like them and they make me feel kind of crummy…it’s mostly just what I call “self-harm without the danger of being Baker Acted”, but it’s too slow and unreliable a form of self-destruction to be satisfying.

I don’t write fiction anymore, and I don’t play music.  I barely even listen to music anymore.  My life is nothing and it is nothingness.

On top of all that, my new housemates have dogs—which is nice, I like dogs, actually—but last night one of them was agitated about something and kept barking on and off throughout the night.  I got the impression that its owner just gave up on trying to control it.  Most people don’t train or govern their pets very well, as far as I can see.  So that made my sleep even worse than usual.

I know, I’m whining and complaining and it’s tiresome.  Have we met before?  Allow me to introduce myself:  I’m Robert Elessar, and I’m tiresome.  Trust me, no one else is more tired of me than I am.

I think that’s nearly it, at least for right now.  If I decide to share it this afternoon, I guess you’ll see the blog post I wrote yesterday.  I may actually just preload it to post tomorrow, instead of my usual Thursday blog post.  I don’t know.  I haven’t decided.  I don’t like to deal in threats or promises, because I don’t know what I’ll feel like at any given point in the future.  At best I can make predictions, but as some famous scientist said, prediction is tricky business, especially about the future.

Anyway, that’s that.  I’m done, at least for today.  I wish I were just done entirely, so I could rest.  They say there shall be no rest for the wicked, and I guess I must be particularly wicked.  Or maybe that’s just my own bias.  Whatever.  Never mind.


Just Another Tuesday

It’s Tuesday morning again.  Another Tuesday.  This one is the 20th of September, in case anyone in the future is reading and wants to know what day this post was on, and is not reading this on the site proper, where the date is—I think—displayed above the post.  I’ll assume that anyone who cares about the date and is reading it today already knows what the date is, as well as the year.

There’s nothing really new to report, obviously.  As has been the case for a while now, I haven’t written any new fiction, haven’t done more than pick up a guitar, strum at it, and think about how shitty my playing sounds before putting it back down again.  Standard issue things to do, you know?

It continues to be dreary and rainy around here, though we have it easier than Puerto Rico, where the hurricane has knocked out power for the whole island.  That hurricane is not expected to head toward us at all, though it did just now really start to rain rather heavily.  The train stations are all covered though, so the rain doesn’t matter much unless it becomes quite windy, and right now there’s essentially no wind.

I thought it might rain as I was headed toward the train station—not just because this is south Florida and it’s been raining every day, so why should it stop, but because I could see tall, pillar-like clouds looming, even in the night sky, lit by reflected urban lights below.  They look nifty, but the shape of them, and the updrafts that no doubt exist within them, cooling all that airborne water, make it all but inevitable that rain will fall.

And now, as if conjured, the wind arrives, and speckles of rain are appearing on the screen of my laptop.  At least it’s somewhat refreshing.  If it becomes too prominent, I may have to pause and put the computer away to protect it.  But if that happens, none of you will be able to tell unless I tell you about it.  Weird, huh?  Well, no, not really I guess.  I think that’s just me—I’m the weird thing here.

Anyway, the rain is already slacking off some, and there’s only the tiniest of breezes remaining.  Further bulletins as events warrant.

I suspect that nearly all the noteworthy events in my life have already passed, though.  There’s very little else to say, though that doesn’t seem to stop me from saying it.  I “talk” to all of you, because I seem incapable of talking to anyone else.  That’s my fault, not anyone else’s.  I’m a faulty mechanism, what can I say?  I’m faultier than San Andreas.  I’m buggier than the Amazon rainforest*.  I’m not a very good device.  Not to say that I don’t have some remarkable design features, but none of them are really specific to me; they’re standard in the model.  The ways in which I am not standard seem to be associated with problems, which I guess is often the case.

Or maybe that’s all just egotistical in its own way, even though it’s fundamentally a case of self-loathing.  It’s probably just as arrogant to think that one is exceptionally bad or imperfect as to think that one is exceptionally perfect or good.  But there are more ways to be imperfect than to be perfect.  At least, it seems like that would be the case, though frankly, I’m not even sure what it would mean for a person to be perfect, and I’m not sure that anyone else knows what it means when they say it, either.  People use the word without really thinking about it, though to be fair, I don’t hear people referring to other people as perfect very often, and good on them that they don’t, since I don’t think anyone is perfect by whatever standard you might choose**.

Well, the train just arrived, but like yesterday (which I didn’t mention then) whoever is driving it today stopped way “sooner” than any of the other drivers do, and so I had to follow the other people who hadn’t gotten up off their asses early to wait for it to arrive, as I had, because I try to plan ahead.  Also, someone is sitting in my usual seat, which makes me unreasonably frustrated.  I know I have no claim on any particular seat or anything, but I try to do my stuff consistently so there are fewer surprises with which to deal, but that doesn’t seem to work.

Here’s an aside, though.  This is one of the trains that’s running the automated PA announcement system, which tells you which station you’re approaching and reminds you to check for your belongings before you get up and leave.  Then it says, “Please watch your step while you’re exiting the doors.”

Am I the only person who finds that last sentence irritatingly a-sensical?  “Exiting the doors” seems to imply that you were, until that point, inside the doors!  But no one is inside the doors.  The doors are barely three-dimensional; no ordinary, human-scale organism could actually be inside the doors.  Passengers are inside the train cars, they exit through the doorways, they don’t exit the doors!

If the person who wrote and recorded that announcement—which has annoyed me since the first time I heard it—is out there, can you please just come and kill me?  You’re one of the things that makes this planet so intolerable, and it would be just as well if you could help me leave it, since I’m looking to do that anyway.

I want to say that I feel like I’m losing my mind, but the problem, if anything, is that my grasp of reality is too persistent and consistent.  My weakness, if you will, is my relative inability to delude myself.  I can see the chaos (in the mathematical and poetic senses) for what it is, as well as the infinite stupidity*** of everything out there.

It sometimes seems that I can literally feel the yawning emptiness of the cosmos, but I know that’s an illusion.  I’m no more capable of truly conceiving of the infinite than is any other finite being.  But it does sometimes seem that I can feel it, just vaguely, looming above me and above everything, as well as beneath me, since “above” is a relative measure, and we are surrounded in all directions by mostly empty space.  Sometimes that’s even comforting.  You know, like the song says, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

I don’t know what point I’m trying to make.  I don’t think there is a point, either to this post, or to anything else.  It’s just another post, just another Tuesday, just another meaningless instantiation of “atoms and the void”, to quote Democritus.

I wonder if that was his real name, “Democritus”?  It seems too coincidental to be what his parents named him.  I know “Plato” was a nickname; I’m not sure about Aristotle.

Oh, well, what does it matter?  He’s dead, and he’s been dead for a couple of thousand years.  I always knew he was smart****.


*Which I like better than the Microsoft rainforest or the Google rainforest.  Ha ha.

**Unless you choose some cheesy standard such as “perfect at being who you are”, but in that case, everyone is perfect, which is just another way of saying that no one is, so it adds nothing.

***No matter how large an intelligence is, as long as it’s not infinite, then its stupidity, or at least its ignorance, is always infinite.  I know, that’s probably an unreasonable standard against which to measure any intelligence or anything else, really, but I never claimed to be trying to be fair, just that I can recognize the endless abyss of lack that lies beyond the realms of anything finite that exists.

****Well, no I didn’t.  I haven’t existed always, for one thing; I’ve only been around for just shy of 53 years, though sometimes it feels like it’s been millennia.  Also, I hadn’t even heard of Democritus for the first ten years or so of my life, not until Carl Sagan talked about him in Cosmos.  So “I always knew” is just flagrantly inaccurate.  It’s a bit like how people say things like, “that email never came”.  I always want to say, “Never?  You waited until the end of time itself, and the email still hadn’t arrived?  I mean, never is a really long time.  If you wait an infinite amount of time, anything possible that can happen will have happened, so it seems truly impossible that the email never arrived.  EVERY email should have arrived if you waited long enough to legitimately use the word ‘never’.”  But I hold my tongue…usually.  It gets my fingers wet, though.

Surprisingly (for me) positive thoughts on a Saturday morning

[Note:  At the bottom of the post, below the footnotes, I’m including a thought that occurred to me between the initial writing and the final editing of this post, but which doesn’t directly relate to the post itself.]

Well, it’s Saturday morning (the 17th of September, a nice prime number), and I’m waiting at the station for the first train of the day, because I woke up before my alarm again and there was no point trying to go back to sleep.  I’m working again today, and I may be working again next Saturday as well, since I don’t know how long the coworker with whom I split Saturdays will be out with his recovery from surgery.

I can’t begrudge him the time off—surgery is no small thing, even if it was “minimally invasive”, to say nothing of the problem that required surgery.  I’ve had major surgery myself, open-heart when I was 18 and back surgery when I was about 35 (hopefully I won’t have another when I’m 53!).  I don’t remember how long my own laminectomy and fusion left me hobbled, because at the time I was already on temporary disability because of the injury, but it wasn’t a minor inconvenience.

That whole process contributed to the eventual catastrophic collapse of the life I had built, partly because I technically have “failed back surgery syndrome”, which means that, despite my back surgery, I still have chronic pain.  I think the term “failed” is a bit uncharitable, though, because my pain was reduced, it just didn’t come close to going away completely.  It’s there every day, and it has been for about 20 years (for those of you doing the math, I had the pain a good three years or so before I had the surgery, and I am currently 52).

Speaking of the collapse of my previous life, and the loss of so many things that were important to me, I sent an email to my son not long ago—I might have mentioned this previously—to the email address he had used the thank me for his last birthday present.  It was basically a long apology for all the things I screwed up with him (and his sister), and a reminder that I love him and always will, and of course that I miss him.  I didn’t know if he even regularly checks that email, so I asked his sister to let him know I had sent it.  He apparently does, and he’s seen it.

I don’t know what he thinks about it, since he hasn’t replied so far.  I don’t know if he ever will.  That’s up to him, which I guess is obvious.  What I mean is, that it wouldn’t be fair or right for me to expect, let alone demand, a reply from him.  I at least know that, if he wants to know what his father has been thinking and doing for the last quite some time, he can always come to this blog and read it.  I don’t know what he would think if he did that, but it is whatever it is.

I’ve always felt—at least, for as long as I’ve seriously thought about such things—that it’s important to remember that children don’t belong to their parents.  Parents belong to their children.  This is so for good, sound, biological reasons, and also for deep moral ones.  A parent can make the decision to have a child—or well, two parents can make that decision.  The child literally has no say in the matter, for the child does not even exist when the decision is made.  They cannot be held morally accountable for anything to do with that decision, and they cannot incur any obligation because of it.  Of course, good parenting and good socialization can mean that a child will be naturally grateful to the parents, and that’s nice when it happens, but it isn’t required.  It cannot, ethically, be required.  It cannot, in good conscience, be demanded.

That reminds me tangentially of the concept creep problem our culture has with the terms, “respect” and with “self-esteem”.  People cannot demand respect.  Respect is in the eye of the beholder.  Courtesy is presumptively expectable, since simple politeness is the lubricant of civilization, but respect can only be freely given if it is to be of any value at all.

Likewise with self-esteem.  It doesn’t make sense to encourage people to have just a general, free-form, positive self-image based on nothing; that leads to narcissism and all the problems it entails.  One should not feel “proud” merely of the fact that one exists.

A student who cannot seem to master math well should not necessarily feel proud of his or her math skills, though if that student has worked hard to learn as much as they can learn, they should feel proud about that!  And that person almost certainly has other strengths and abilities that they can feel good about, and of which they should feel proud.

Hard work is worthy of esteem, and thus of self-esteem.  But I don’t need to esteem my own ability to play basketball, for instance, and I shouldn’t, because I’m terrible at basketball.  On the other hand, I write reasonably well, and I write a lot.  I also have good skills at general mathematics and science, and I am deeply curious about the way the universe works, and have learned a lot about what people know about how it works, and how that knowledge has been gained.  I should feel good about that, at least.  I certainly enjoy it.

“Pride” in general is a tricky concept.  Its legitimacy depends on how one uses it, and what one means by it.  None of us made ourselves, obviously; we operate according to the laws of nature*, and we are shaped by our nature—our genes and other physical factors—and our experience, our background, our society, our upbringing, our education, and so on.  And in a sense, all of these things are also part of “our” nature.

A person may have the tenacity to work hard and improve themselves from an otherwise unpromising-seeming background, but even then, they did not create that tenacity—it was their luck, or their blessing, however you want to characterize it, that they had it.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  Use the assets you have to their best effect.

You can’t use assets you don’t have, after all.  It would be much easier, for instance, for me to get to work in the morning if I could teleport, or even if I could fly.  But I cannot, and there are no reasonable technological solutions to that lack right now, so I just don’t have that ability.  It would be the height of silliness for me to feel proud of myself for my ability to fly, since I cannot.  But I’m glad of my ability to learn and use the public transportation system in south Florida, and I’m grateful that it exists; I admire the people who put it into place, and I esteem the people who keep it running every day.

Maybe gratitude is a better notion and virtue than pride or self-esteem.  I know some religious systems place an emphasis on it, and I think that’s far from a bad thing.  It’s good to be grateful for the inherent and learned abilities that you have, and it makes sense to instantiate that gratitude by using those gifts to the best of your ability.  Otherwise, it’s not very impressive gratitude.

It’s the converse** of the situation in which a person apologizes for something, but keeps up the behavior that led to the apology.  That’s not much of an apology.  I often find myself saying to people, “I don’t need your apology, I want you not to do the thing you’re apologizing for.  If you apologize but keep doing the same thing, the apology is useless, and even insulting.”

Okay, I use words to that effect, adjusted to match the situation.  I hope you get the idea.

These are my thoughts for this Saturday morning, such as they are.  I hope most of you are looking forward to an enjoyable weekend, hopefully with some time spent with family and/or friends.  Be grateful for them, certainly, if you have them around.  No one is guaranteed to have them, and even if there were such a guarantee, with whom would you lodge the complaint if the guarantee were not met?  Feel good about the things you are good at, and feel grateful for the good things you have in the world, and show your esteem and gratitude by doing the best you can with both.

Those are good words, I think, and I’m astonished that I am the one who actually just wrote them.  The trick will be to live up to them!


*And of Nature’s God, if you believe in God, to paraphrase the Declaration of Independence.

**Or maybe the obverse—I’ve never yet been able to get those concepts clearly differentiated in my head.  Neither term may actually be the correct one, come to think of it.

[As noted above, here is my thought below the footnotes:  Is it ever possible for any kind of mind, whether natural or artificial, instantiated in hardware or software or both, to be complex enough to accurately model its own workings in detail?  As it becomes more complex, modeling its own function will also become more complex.  I suspect that this complexity will increase more quickly than the ability of the increasingly complex mind to parse it.]

Nothing to say but “What a day, how’s your boy been?”

Okay…I’m going to hopefully keep it relatively short today.  That should, in principle, be easier than writing a long post, but in practice, for me, it can be a challenge.  We shall see, I suppose.

When I first woke up today, I thought it was September 20th though I’m not at all sure why.  It’s not, though; it’s the 16th.  That’s just in case you weren’t sure, also.

I’m very tired and feeling pretty poorly this morning, but I have to go to work, and I’m going to have to go to work tomorrow, too, unless I’m very mistaken.  I don’t quite understand how it is that people at the office don’t realize how worn down I am.  I feel as if I’m dropping bits of flesh as I walk, like a cheesy, movie zombie, but apparently I don’t look much different than usual, based on the way everyone acts.

It’s probably my fault.  I tend just to keep going, day after day, without much personal complaint.  I mean, I complain about the way people in office do things, when they cut corners, or don’t follow the general, promulgated guidelines and whatnot, but I don’t often complain about myself.  I do complain a bit, like about the fact that I feel tired, that I don’t want to have to stay late and everything, because I’m always the last one out no matter what, but maybe people just see that as the way I am.

Again, as I’m sure I’ve run the topic into the ground already, I apparently have the trait of alexithymia, a difficulty recognizing, or being able to characterize, one’s own emotions.  I’m not sure how I feel about that*.  Anyway, I guess I have a pretty deadpan face no matter what, and even when I say that I don’t feel very well, or don’t feel great, people just sort of “Oh, that’s too bad” kind of thing, and then everyone just goes about their business.  I think I need to work on being more melodramatic.

Maybe it’s just that I’m always negative.  Anything’s possible in this world.  I don’t tend to be the world’s biggest optimist.  I know, that’s unbelievable, right?  I’m also never sarcastic.

Anyway, there’s just not much more to say about it.  I’m much more tired than usual, but I’m going to have to work tomorrow anyway, unless I’m very surprised, and then after having Sunday off to do my laundry, I’ll have to work Monday.  Hopefully whatever I have right now will turn into pneumonia and kill me soon, or something like that.  It would not be a tragedy.  It’s not like I’m likely to do anything more that’s useful with my life.

I wish I could just make myself lie down on the floor in the office at every full stop, but my tendency toward insomnia makes it difficult for me even to rest during the day when I’m worn out.  Or maybe that’s unrelated to my nocturnal insomnia.  I don’t know.  It’s difficult to tease these things out, and it’s not like I have anyone else helping me with it.  You people (the ones reading) are the main ones I share things with, but it’s not quite the same as having someone around who sees me from moment to moment or even from day to day.

Last night I had a hard time falling asleep, but I did sleep through to my alarm this morning after I finally dropped off.  I haven’t heard my alarm in weeks, so that was kind of surprising**.  I took half a Benadryl last night when I went to bed, because I really wanted to be able to sleep.  It seems to have worked as far as that goes, but I feel a bit groggy now, and still just physically wiped out.

Mentally, it’s hard to tell.  I feel like I’m not very alert or clear-headed, but I seem able to do my normal things in the morning so far.  Meaning, for instance, when I check my keys and wallet and all the stuff that I have in my pockets, and which I check again every time I move from one spot to another to make sure I still have everything, they’re all there, and—obviously—I’m remembering to check them.  Which is better than forgetting, certainly, though it would be nice, upon occasion, to be able to feel confident that, yes, I did remember them, and to remember that I remembered them, so I don’t have to keep checking over and over and over throughout the day until the moment I go to bed at night, or at least until I get dressed for bed.  But I always have to keep checking myself; I don’t seem to have that sense of personal certainty that so many people give the impression that they have.

Then again, most people seem to feel sure about a great many things that they cannot actually be sure about, and if I had to choose between the two states, I’d rather be the way I am, with no tendency toward easy certainty about epistemologically uncertain things.  I don’t admire overconfidence or dogmatism.  I think they are responsible for a great many of the ills of civilization—people who think they know how things ought to be and how other people ought to behave and what’s really behind everything.  This is my repeated point in reframing the X-files poster statement into, “I don’t want to believe.  I want to be convinced by evidence and reason.”

Ah, well.  Reason is something I have in abundance about some things, but in which I am very poor regarding how best to manage myself, emotionally and in general.  I’m too tired to bother trying to manage myself, anyway.  I’m not worth very much effort, even from myself.  I need just to let it go.

And, as you can see, I didn’t end up writing a very short blog post after all.  I feel as though a therapist is now telling me “That’s all the time we have today,” as has happened to me before in therapy.  I have the unfortunate tendency to drone on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on…

You get the idea, right?  Anyway, I expect, assuming I’m right that I’m going to have to work tomorrow, that I’ll be writing a post then.  If I don’t, either it means that work was cancelled, at least for me—maybe my coworker will return from his back surgery with miraculous rapidity—or that I’ve succumbed to severe enough illness that I won’t be able to make it in or to write, or that I’ve died.  That sounds kind of nice.


*Ha ha.

**It’s the Beatles song Good Morning, Good Morning, which is a perfect morning alarm.  It even begins with a rooster crowing!