We’ve been trying to reach you, Rob

Guten Morgen, bonjour, buenos días, ohaiyou gozaimasu, and good morning.  It’s Wednesday, at 10 to five, and I’m already on the train, because despite being sick, I still couldn’t sleep, and if anything, I awakened sooner than usual.

Yes, I am still sick—it’s rare that anyone really, actually, gets over a respiratory infection in 24 hours, after all—but I also still have to go to work.  That’s particularly true on Wednesdays, when I have to do the office payroll in addition to my other, regular duties.  It’s not a dirty job, but nevertheless, someone has to do it.

I feel even less that I have a topic to write about today than I did yesterday, but as regular readers will know, that never stops me from writing.  It’s a bit analogous, I suppose, to the jocular saying that one should never let facts get in the way of a good story.  So:  never let lack of a subject stop you from writing a blog post.  Goodness knows most pundits and politicians and even most journalists nowadays don’t let lack of subject matter stop them from writing or speaking at length.

Still, my energy feels unusually low today, even for me.  Maybe I should write about how unreasonable it is in our culture that we demand of ourselves that we go to work even when we’re ill, thus increasing the chance that other people will become ill, and probably reducing overall productivity of the workforce and decreasing the overall quality of life for everyone.  As if we needed to push that down lower than it already is.

But I suppose that subject has been addressed innumerable times in many ways by many other people.  If you need it discussed beyond a few words to trigger the thought, I’m not sure what world you’re occupying.  Perhaps your life is so satisfying that you don’t even comprehend how anyone could be less than happy.  More likely, you’re so worn down and resigned—dare I say, fatalistic—that you don’t even recognize, let alone consider, the possibility that things could improve.

I feel you.

So, what should I write about?  Or should I try to write about anything at all?  Should I just start spewing random sentences in question form, as though initiating a Socratic dialogue?  Would there be any benefit to that?  If so, what would it be?

I’m not good at small talk in general, and I’ve gotten worse at it over time, as my socialization has diminished.

I did very briefly pick my guitar up yesterday, because I had watched a video of someone reacting to the Radiohead song Knives Out, for which I had learned the lead guitar part some time ago, and I wanted to see if I could still do it.  I couldn’t do it from memory—I needed to get out the tabs—but it wasn’t too bad.  And while I had that out, I quickly fiddled (so to speak) through part of the lead from Big Log, by Robert Plant, and a bit of Wish You Were Here, and then the chords from One Headlight and A Space Oddity.  I made a video of me playing and singing the latter a while back, which I guess I’ll embed below as a space filler.

Then someone noticed that I was playing—I usually only play when no one else is around—and so I put the guitar away.  Anyway, I wanted to watch a reaction to the Radiohead song Lift that I noticed on the YouTube list, and the chords for that involve a B add…ninth, I think*, that gives me a terrible hand cramp to try to reach, so I wasn’t going to try to play along.  And listening to that song, and the reaction, made me want to cry, so I had to stop all that.

So that’s it.  I actually did get out the black Strat at the office, or picked it up and turned on the amp, since it’s always sort of “out”.  But who knows if I’ll ever play it again?  I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t.  It’s like picking up your kids—there will be a moment when you pick up your child in your arms for the final time, and you will never pick them up again after that, and odds are, you won’t even realize that it is the final time when it happens.  You’ll just never happen to pick them up again.  Likewise, there will be a last time that you hug or even see each of the people you love, and then one of you will be lost to the other, or both will be, for the rest of time.  So don’t take those things for granted, okay?

That’s about all I’ve got for the time being.  Hope you have a good day.

*Yes, that’s what it was.

Demonstrandum in the middle of nowhere

Good morning, everyone.  It’s Tuesday, the 13th of September, and I’m coming down with something again.  Meaning I think I have some upper respiratory virus, because I started getting mild chills overnight, and a low-grade elevation of my temperature, and my throat has that sore, itchy, irritated feeling that comes with fighting a virus.

I’m assuming it’s a virus—well, not truly assuming; I’m drawing a tentative conclusion based on experience and knowledge.  It doesn’t seem like a bacterial infection, those tend to be more localized, and I don’t think it’s a fungus, since those are rather rare and occur only in specific circumstances…and I’ve never heard of a prion disease that presents in this fashion.  Whereas I’ve had many iterations of “colds” throughout my life, and this feels a lot like most of them.

It doesn’t seem like Covid, but I suppose it could be one of the later variants, tempered down by my already-exposed immune system.  In any case, although I must go to work—that’s why I’m writing this blog post today—I am masking even more thoroughly than usual.

It’s remarkable that the wearing of masks was resisted so much by so many crybaby wusses in America.  People in east Asia have been regularly wearing masks when they get a cold since long before the first SARS virus.  It’s simple courtesy to recognize that, though you may have to go to work because there are people and things depending on you, it’s good to take some minor precautions to decrease the risk of spreading your sickness to the people around you.

I understand the spirit of independence, and I am glad to live in a country where the more common saying is, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease” rather than “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down”.  But it’s not independence or free spiritedness to refuse to take simple, easy precautions to reduce the chance of you spreading a disease to your fellow Americans (as the case may be).  That’s just being a spoiled and entitled ass-wipe.  And the only good thing to do with ass-wipes is to flush them down the toilet.

Anyway, that wasn’t what I was going to write about today.  Actually, I didn’t have anything specific in mind to write about today, which is why I know that wasn’t what I meant to write about today.  Logic.  If there exists no class of things: [Topics considered to write about on Tuesday, September 13th, 2022, AD] then {the inexplicable and inexcusable refusal to use masks when ill} cannot be a member of that class.  Quantum Electro Dynamics*.

Ah, Logic.  Ah, Reason.  Ah, Evidence and Argument.  How I pine for you in the human world.  Of course, I don’t hold it against anyone that they have emotions, even strong ones.  It’s not like people designed themselves, after all, and emotions exist for good, sound biological reasons.  They are the drives, the utility functions, of organismal behavior.  And they served humans well in the ancestral environment, else humans wouldn’t be around.

But reasoning minds have achieved much more; they are much more versatile and powerful, and modern civilization is largely due to their work, though motivated by those underlying emotions and their various, often-conflicting, utility functions.

But you’ve got to tame your elephant, to borrow Jonathan Haidt’s metaphor.  Otherwise it’ll run rampant and trample everything, and it won’t get you anywhere you really want to go, except perhaps by luck.  Train it.  Maintain discipline.  Reward it when it’s good and correct it when it’s not.  Don’t just be the rider of your older brain, be the pilot, be the driver.  It requires effort, obviously, but I think it’s probably worth it.

In other words, what I’m saying is, don’t trust your emotions to guide you—they’re not reliable.  Listen to them, notice them, but don’t trust them.  They developed to help make quick decisions about hunting and gathering, avoiding lions and hyenas, and interacting with a tribe of maybe forty or fifty people at a time.

Every complex animal in the world has emotions of some kind; anyone who doubts that is simply in denial.  Only humans (among species native to the planet) have human-type brains, with big, complex frontal lobes and complex, symbolic language with syntax and grammar and logic and all that jazz (sometimes literally).

But those brains are powerful—again, see Jonathan Haidt’s metaphor of the elephant and the rider.  If they are not managed, they can be horrifically destructive.  And if you get a herd of unmanaged elephant-brains** or brain-elephants, they can do a terrific amount of harm, especially if they’re armed with modern technology (most of which was not made or designed by people with no control over their personal elephants, but is nevertheless available now to the billions of people who could not have made it, and who don’t bother even trying to steer).

Anyway, this has all been meandering and peculiar, I guess.  As I said, I’m a bit under the weather.  It’s annoying to be in south Florida and to be both sweaty and chilly.  I wish I could just lie in bed somewhere, maybe have some Jell-O or something.

I must be feeling sick.  I don’t particularly like Jell-O.  But it is easy on the throat.

I wish I didn’t have to go to work today.  Though it’s not a wish I would waste on a genie if I found a magic lamp.  I’d probably ask for some kind of special, personal powers that I could use to achieve world peace…through my absolute dominion over everyone and everything!  Bwa-ha-haaaa!!

Again, anyway…that’s enough silliness.  I’m really not going anywhere with anything today.  I just wish I could rest for the day, but I can’t, so tough luck.  A person has to do what a person must do; willingly accepted duty, and a reasonable sense of honor, and a general sense of courtesy should guide one in one’s actions, if one wishes to be other than merely a jumped-up monkey throwing feces…or an idiot protesting against a simple health precaution, pretending to take a stand on principle when one is actually simply throwing a tantrum because one doesn’t want to do something sensible and healthful, like take a nap.

Naps are good.  So are masks in the right circumstances.

*Q.E.D. in other words—quod erat demonstrandum, “what was to be demonstrated”.  That’s my little nerdy joke, playing on the earlier nerdy “joke” that was the naming of quantum electrodynamics by physicists, shortening it to QED, because why would you not?

**The elephant is a metaphor of a powerful beast carrying around the conscious mind.  I am not implying that elephants themselves are destructive by nature, though of course, they can be.

Add title – stir until smooth

Whew.  You would think that after a day off, I would be more wide-awake this Monday morning.  However, you would be wrong if you thought that.  It’s not as if I did anything that drained my energy yesterday.  I did my laundry, for what that’s worth.  I watched some fan-reactions to Doctor Who episodes by the Gallifrey Gals, which is fun, but it’s not exactly draining, and I’d seen them before.  I didn’t even watch any golf or football, nor did I even play any PS4-based golf myself, which I sometimes do on the weekend.  I just lolled about.  The only words I even spoke to other people were in 7-11 when I got some food, and a passing “Hola” in response to the same from my new housemate when she was outside, and I was on my way to said 7-11.

I am tired.  Physically, I mean.  I feel that hitherto, Mondays have been the days in which I often write longer posts about more disparate subject matter than during the rest of the week, and I had guessed that was because of having a day off the day before.  Today, however, I don’t think I’m going to be doing that.  In fact, I can’t really think of an interesting topic.

I considered making an announcement that, okay, I’m not going to be writing about my distress anymore, about how I could really use some help if anyone has the wherewithal, otherwise I’m sure I’m going to die soon, because I’ve said it already, over and over, and no one is coming to help, and it’s just getting boring, and continues to be frustrating.  Well, I don’t think I’m going to make any “official” policy statement along those lines right now, because I don’t like to make promises (or threats) about such things, since I honestly usually don’t know how my moment-to-moment decisions might change.

I will just say that I’m veering along those lines.  I would dearly love it if anyone out there were able to help me, and had the inclination, since I don’t appear able to help myself, but I don’t think there’s any such person out there, and I doubt it would be worth anyone’s while, anyway.  What would be the point?  How could anyone gain at all, in any way, by helping something like me not to die?  There’s probably even a secret addendum to the Hippocratic Oath that specifies that, as part of the ethos of doing no harm, it’s better not to help people like me, since to keep me around is, by the nature of my being, a net harm to the world.

I don’t really think there is such a hidden bit to the Hippocratic Oath, by the way.  I’m sort of joking.  I know, it’s not very funny.

I’ve said before that I wish I had a drug problem or an alcohol problem, because those would rapidly become impossible to ignore, and there are more readily available resources for people dealing with those.  But I just don’t seem prone to such things.  One of my biggest problems, ironically, is that I’m able to keep moving forward in many different situations—not necessarily well, but to survive and remain superficially stable—for a long time.  I’m able to survive, even if only by the proverbial skin of my teeth, well past any point where there’s any good reason for me to do so, and I’m able to do it without causing undue drain on society, so to speak.

It’s really annoying.

I suppose there are probably a lot of people who, if they thought about it, are in a similar situation.  There’s the old quote—I don’t recall who said it—about how most men live lives of quiet desperation (and I assume it referred also to women).  I think it probably describes a great many people in the world, people scrambling every day to get by, to survive, to avoid overt disease and injury, with the goal simply of getting to the next day to do the same thing.

Now, for people who have family and friends with whom to spend time, I’d say that daily effort is almost certainly worth it.  There may be no real external meaning to life or the universe, but being with one’s friends and those one loves in general surely makes such considerations not very important.

For people who have issues socializing and who cannot be with the people they love—because those whom they love don’t necessarily want to be with them—it can be a real grind.  It’s hard to take a speculative approach to it, with the idea that if one just waits long enough or keeps trying, keeps going, their loved ones will come back to them, or they’ll meet new people they’re able to be close to, or something like that.  It feels too much like a person at a casino who keeps playing because they imagine that, sometime in the future, if they just keep playing, they’re going to hit a huge streak of luck, or someone who keeps playing the lottery expecting that, someday, they’ll win it big.

The odds are not with you.  If simple perseverance would guarantee eventually coming out ahead, then the casinos and the lottery would not be in business; they would have long ago gone bankrupt.  In the long run, on average, the house wins…and it wins well enough that it’s not really even a near thing.

Ah, well, it’s all pretty absurd, so expecting or hoping for lives that are deeply rational from an objective point of view is probably too much to ask, at least as a starting point.  Maybe that could be a civilizational aspiration, to strive to make a world where most people can live rewarding, satisfying lives in which they can pursue useful and meaningful projects and be with people they love and who love them.  It’s probably not happening to most people most of the time right now, but I don’t think the laws of physics forbid it from coming to pass.

It’s entirely possible that, overall, for most of the world, better days really are coming.  But I don’t think it’s the case for me.  My stake is almost spent, and I don’t think I’m even going to have any chips to cash out when I stop playing.  I guess that’s the way it goes.  In the end, everyone breaks even.

Expression of depression as “indicator lights” for the state of a complex system

It’s Saturday, but I’m not in the park, and it’s definitely not the 4th of July.  It’s actually the 10th of September.  Oh, and this is 2022 AD (or CE).

I don’t think yesterday’s post was very well-received.  It was probably too dreary for most readers.  This is often the case when a relatively healthy person encounters the thoughts of one who suffers from depression.

I remember it being said in medical school that depression is, in a certain sense, contagious.  That’s not meant literally, of course, but it makes the point that, when interacting with someone who is depressed, one tends to feel one’s own mood pulled down.  In fact, it can sometimes be a diagnostic aid; even if the person to whom you’re speaking isn’t openly declaring depression, if you find yourself feeling depressed yourself after speaking with them*, they may be depressed in some clinically significant sense.

So, if people feel down after reading my writing, I apologize.  I don’t mean to bring anyone else into the fold, so to speak, or worsen the mental situation of someone who is already struggling.  There is a very small proportion of people in the world I think could be improved—from a societal standpoint anyway—by being depressed.

But it is true that, when I’ve read popular works about depression, and about the experience of depression, I don’t tend to get a strong sense of what the writers were feeling when depressed.  Most of the time, the works are written well after the particular bout of depression, and it can be hard to recreate the moods and thoughts that the condition engenders when one is not mired in it.  Just as one who is depressed can feel that the depression has always existed and always will, when one is out of depression it can (apparently) be hard to reenter the worldview that it entails.

Some of this is probably defensive.  Who, having successfully gotten past depression, would want to relive the experience?  I’d hazard a guess that the answer is “no one”.

I remember a time when, briefly, my (now-ex) wife went through a period of reactive depression near the end of a pregnancy, and shortly after it.  This is not an uncommon occurrence, though thankfully most women are spared.  Anyway, at the time, she said that she would never get angry with me when I was depressed again, that she understood now how terrible it was and how difficult, and how it’s not simply a matter of attitude or choice to feel it or not.  I’m quite sure that she meant it with all her heart.  Thankfully, her experience was short-lived, it responded to treatment and time rather rapidly, and she returned to her usual, extremely formidable and impressive self.  But she also lost at least some of her sense of empathy for the depression, unfortunately.

That’s okay.  I like her better when she’s healthy and joyful and fierce.

My personality—and probably my undiagnosed ASD, which contributes to the fact that I can’t convey emotion well, and have a hard time seeking or accepting emotional support—and the sheer persistence of the problem make me hard to bear for anyone, for very long, I think.  It makes me hard to bear even for me.  The advent of my chronic pain, and its affect on my ability to work well**, contributed to that difficulty mightily.

But maybe someone someday will find my musings when I’m depressed useful for at least getting into the mindset of someone suffering from depression.  Maybe not.  I think my thoughts are far from typical even for the depressed, though my tone is probably pretty “normal” for someone with longstanding chronic depression.  Maybe my words will be useful for people studying depression in adults with undiagnosed autism spectrum disorder, which I’m almost certain I have, having studied it now for a while since the possibility first revealed itself.

As a bit of a tangent, it’s rather frustrating to me that I recently saw a very good video that discussed the fact that it seems depression was never caused directly by a deficiency of serotonin, a so-called chemical imbalance.  The maker of this video clearly knows it was never this simple, but there is a popular notion that such a thing is the case, and that has always irritated me.  The brain is not some stew made of a big collection of ingredients cooking together in the skull, which doesn’t come out well if a particular ingredient is missing or is present in too-great quantities.

The brain is a huge and unimaginably complex information-processing system, immensely parallel in its structure, with a staggering amount of feedback and crossover between subunits of the system; even each individual neuron of the hundred billion-ish present is more complicated than one can readily grasp.  It has more in common with a vast weather pattern of sorts, influenced by both local and global environmental factors but also internally influenced by other parts of itself, so that some patterns become self-sustaining and destructive, like a hurricane in the mind that feeds and strengthens itself when conditions are right, and which cannot easily just be broken once it has formed.

So, serotonin was never some mere quantity that was deficient, like iron deficiency leading to anemia.  The nerve cells that signal using serotonin manufacture that neurotransmitter themselves.  It’s simply that part of depression is instantiated (in many) in the underactivity or poor responsiveness of certain parts of the brain that signal via serotonin, and increasing the activity in those regions can sometimes decrease the tendency of the system as a whole to get into the self-reinforcing state that depression is.

It’s rather like the notion that we could, for instance, decrease the likelihood of hurricanes by decreasing the amount of moisture in the local atmosphere.  It’s not that hurricanes are simply caused by high humidity, but just that the high humidity contributes to their production, and decreasing it could, in principle, decrease the likelihood of hurricane formation, or at least decrease their strength and thus their destructive effects.

I don’t want to push the metaphor too far, since the brain is obviously different from weather—for one thing, it is far more meticulous, precise, and in some senses (but not all) more complex and constrained.  There are roughly a quadrillion synapses in a typical brain, but it’s not just the number that really makes the difference, anymore than one can just randomly wire up a hundred billion transistors and make a supercomputer.  Weather is a bit more free form, though it involves a great many more atoms interacting than any one brain.  But analogies can point out similarities at different levels of various systems, and more usefully, they can help try to convey something of the sense, if not the specifics, of an idea.

But depression is a dangerous storm of the mind indeed; it’s frequently a terminal illness.  And one cannot simply slap a hurricane and yell “Snap out of it!” and expect it to have any effect at all.  We understand the nature of autism spectrum disorders even more poorly than we understand mood disorders—trust me, I’ve looked for good neuroscientific, neuroanatomical, structural, and functional investigations of the disorders without much satisfaction so far.  The interaction of mood disorders with ASDs is probably just going to make things still more complicated.  Unfortunately, the only computer with the processing power adequate to modeling the processes so far is reality itself, but we can’t just lift up the hood or look at the source code or whatever metaphor you want to use for that.  We have to figure it out as it goes along.

For that reason, it may not be such a bad thing for me to share my thoughts, however dismal they are and however gloomy and dispirited they may make my readers feel, when I’m in the throes of my malfunctions.  Think of them as indicator lights, or pressure gauges, or even a Windows™ Control Panel readout from the system.  At least they might give some insight into what the system is doing at that time, or what state it’s in.  It won’t necessarily allow one to prevent total system crash; some systems just have too many faults and bugs to keep running.  But maybe at least from an eventual mortality and morbidity conference point of view, they might be useful.

It would be nice to be useful.

*Assuming you weren’t already.

**As an aside, when I was in practice, I also found that I had great difficulty charting using Dictaphones or their equivalents.  This is partly because it was not at all how I charted during training, but I suspect it’s more related to my ASD.  I can write extemporaneously quite well, or at least quite handily, as these blog posts demonstrate, but speaking aloud as a matter of keeping records such as “SOAP notes” is very uncomfortable and even feels physically blocked at times.  Between that and my chronic pain, I had more than one occasion of getting far behind on charting, which caused frustration for my colleagues and my spouse alike.  I’m not lazy.  Not by a long shot.  I think it really was mainly an Asperger’s thing, but at the time I just hated myself for being so weak; I was motivated to do it, but just couldn’t seem to carry it off without it feeling like torture.

And if the cloudbursts thunder in your ear…

Well, it’s Friday again, but again, it’s not the end of the work week for me, anymore than Monday was a day off.  My colleague who was out with a back injury did have minor surgery earlier this week; he went home the next day, but he’s supposed to rest and recover for a while, and I’m not sure whether he’ll even be back to the office next week.  So, I’ll probably be writing a post tomorrow, since I’ll be going into the office.  It’s something to look forward to, if you look forward to that sort of thing.

I don’t know for sure what to write about today.  I mean, what I want to do is rant and rave and cry and all that, but I keep doing that over and over—at least that’s what it feels like—and it gets me no result whatsoever.  No matter where and when I do it, I seem utterly unable to convey to anyone how much I feel like I’m barely holding on by my fingernails and am about to fall.  I don’t know when my grip will give out, which is the nature of such dilemmas, unfortunately, and I cannot climb up on my own.

Well, falling is probably at least a sort of freeing feeling while it’s happening.  It’s probably not the worst thing to experience, especially if you’re facing upward so you can’t see the ground rushing to get in the way of you being able to follow your geodesic through spacetime.  Free fall is probably kind of cool, while it’s happening.  Unfortunately, in Florida there aren’t really any high places—it’s literally flatter than Kansas—so there’s no very high place to fall from, except a building in a city somewhere, I suppose, and that’s dreary and messy and inconsiderate.  One could sneak a ride on a rocket, I guess.  But even the Artemis thing is delayed for a bit while they fix some kind of leak.

Now that I think about it, is Artemis launching from Cape Canaveral?  I just assumed it was, but I’m not sure.

I have a new “housemate” moved in, and she seems benign enough.  At least she doesn’t try to bother me, presumably partly because of the language barrier, which is fine.  In a perfect world, it would probably be nice for me to practice my Spanish, but the world isn’t perfect, and I don’t want to have to deal with it.  I can’t deal with other people at all, anymore, except when I have a specific task to achieve, and preferably a script.  I don’t even use the kitchen or anything, I just stay in my room when I’m there, which is not very much of the time, really.

The really stressful thing is when I do my laundry on Sunday.  This last Sunday it was okay—she was just moving in, though.  Hopefully there’s no issue with it, because I don’t know if I can deal with even one more thing in the world, however slight or seemingly trivial.  I certainly don’t want to deal with anything new.

I don’t want to deal with anything at all.

I wonder if, some day in the future, this blog will be a case study in the deterioration and final catastrophic destruction of a middle-aged adult male with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome and chronic depression (aka dysthymia) and chronic pain, who had his health, his marriage, his career fall apart, went to prison because he didn’t grasp the nature of human chaos but just wanted to try to help other people who had chronic pain, a person who doesn’t see his children anymore, and is riding out his last days in America’s flaccid penis*.

Probably not.  It’s not a very good story.  The world will not much more notice or remember my presence and then my absence than it notices the stupid little insects that land on the back of my neck while I wait for the train, which I then unthinkingly crush (the insects, not the train) because I get an itchy feeling there and go to rub/scratch at it.

We’re all tiny and evanescent.  I think I remember that Roger Penrose showed, in his book The Large, the Small, and the Human Mind, that on a log-log scale, going from the Planck length to the size of the accessible universe, humans are actually quite large…but if you can pick the way you represent things, what kind of graphing and scale you use, you can make things look more important than they might really be.  David Deutsch’s arguments in The Beginning of Infinity are much more compelling, but I think he would be the first to admit that there is no guarantee that human civilization is the beginning of an infinite (or cosmically significant, anyway) progression; we are entirely capable of stagnation and self-destruction.  I’m surely living proof of that.

I’m also a good demonstration of what Eliezer Yudkowsky points out, that the scale of intelligence that we should consider is not to compare very smart humans with not as smart humans, but use a scale that doesn’t depend on us as a point of departure.  Of all life on Earth, we’re at the top tier of braininess, and all reasonably healthy humans are only a few real numbers apart from each other on a measure of intelligence that goes from, say, a virus up to Albert Einstein.  But based on what we understand about the possibilities of information processing, there is no reason to think that the scale ends there.  What a horrible universe it would be if there were no possibility of intelligence significantly greater than that of modern humans!  Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to be the case.

Anyway, no matter how strong or smart or skilled you are, the space above you is always limitlessly greater—we’re all infinitely weak, infinitely stupid, and infinitely ignorant.  In many ways, that’s a great fact; it means there will always be more that we can learn, more ways that we can grow.  Improvement need never end, if improvement is what we keep trying to seek.  But in order to improve, one has to recognize that one has room for improvement, and humans often think too highly of themselves.  Humans are not the measure of all things, though they are understandably their own primary concern.

I don’t have any idea what point I’m trying to make.  There probably is no point.  There almost certainly is no point.  I don’t know what to tell you.  Try to have a good day.

*Florida.  I moved here largely because my wife was tired of living in cold climates, and I liked Florida when I was a kid and my grandparents lived here, so I happily went along with it.  And even after we were divorced, I’ve stayed here because my kids are here, and I long entertained the delusional notion that I might see them again, and would want to be nearby in case that happened.  LOL.  Things haven’t gone well for me here, though perhaps Florida is not to blame at any level.

The time is out of joint : O cursed spite, that ever I was blogg’d to set it right!

Hello and good morning, everyone reading this.  It’s Thursday again, and time for my more traditional, weekly blog post, that I’ve maintained for some years, unlike the daily one I’ve been doing in recent months.  I’m not sure how long I’ve been doing the daily one, now, to be honest.  It feels both like a short time—in that I can sort of remember the sense of when I started doing it and stopped writing fiction and stopped playing guitar—but also a long time in the sense that it’s difficult to feel the memory of it ever having been otherwise than it is right now.

All things can feel eternal sometimes.

Speaking of writing fiction, last Saturday I wrote a post in which I reminded people of the YouTube “videos” of me reading the first nine chapters of The Chasm and the Collision, as well as three, I think, of my short stories.  I don’t know if anyone has listened at all, but if you have, I would greatly appreciate any feedback you might have to offer, and if you’re interested in having me read any more.

Anyway, because I posted about it, I decided to reread that book, and I’m not quite halfway through the reread—I’ve been interspersing it with reading the latest Richard Dawkins book, Flights of Fancy, and then I’m reading Emmy Noether’s Wonderful Theorem, which I got after mentioning her earlier this week.  I think CatC has stood the test of time, at least for me.  I don’t feel too uncomfortable recommending it as a family-friendly book, a “fantasy” adventure for the young and the not-so-young alike.  I don’t know if it’s my favorite of my books or not, but I like it.

I like most of my stories, really, which is good, because it’s hard to tell if many other people even read them.  If anyone has read any of my books, having bought them from Amazon, I’d really appreciate if you’d rate them.  I’m not asking you to write a review—I know that can be a pain—but you can give it a star rating with only the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger.

I try to remember at least to rate every book that I read, but only once I’ve finished them.  That probably biases my ratings toward the higher end of the scale, since if I dislike a book enough, I’m not going to finish it.  But, really, I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book that I’d give one star, not even Swan Song, which I did not finish.  Somebody worked for a long time writing each and every one of those books, and the mental effort is not small.

Also, if there was a book so bad (to me) that it would be likely to give it one star, I think I’d recognize ahead of time that it wasn’t something I was going to like, and just wouldn’t buy it.  But, if you have read any of my books and think they only are worth one star, then by crikey, rate them one star.

I kind of wish I felt like writing, because both Outlaw’s Mind and The Dark Fairy and the Desperado are well begun, and I like both stories.  I’m a bit more attached to the former, partly because I’ve been working on it longer (though DFandD as a story idea is quite a bit older).  If anyone would be interested, I could post at least the beginning bits of the latter story here, like I did with Outlaw’s Mind, so you can see how it is, but I haven’t edited it at all (except the quick reread of the previous day’s work before writing on any given day), so it may be quite raw.

Seriously, though, I doubt there’s anyone interested in any of it.  I don’t know why I’m wasting my time.

Not that there’s anything else to do with my time but waste it.  I certainly have nothing useful to do.  Every day I feel like I want to slice my own skin off, or beat myself around all my major joints with a hammer, or maybe just break and burn everything I own.  Yesterday, at a frustrating moment, I honestly came perilously close to smashing the guitar I have at work, but instead I was able to take some of my stress out by just snapping a pen in my hands.  It was a good snap; it broke into four apparent pieces, one of which I haven’t found.  I guess it went flying.

Sometimes several times a day, on web searches and on my phone browser and in my contacts, I keep looking at the site and the numbers of the suicide prevention hotline.  But I can’t bring myself to use it, not after what happened to me last time I did.  I really don’t want to be handcuffed or locked up again, not ever.  I tried very hard all my life to do and be good and to do “right”, or at least not to do “wrong”, to live a life where I wouldn’t have such things happen to me, and yet they did anyway, and I lost everything I had that I hadn’t already lost.  I don’t want a repeat of that.  It’s not fun.

Also, honestly, I feel like I don’t have any right to ask for anyone’s help or to use any public resources (or private resources) to help me, though I need it desperately.  I don’t have anything to offer in return.  I don’t really think I’m worth saving, and I don’t think anyone else really thinks I am either.  It’s certainly unlikely that anyone will pine for me when I’m gone.

Well, that’s enough of that.  At least, for what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s going to go on for much longer.  I’m barely getting through each day, frankly.  But the days do seem to last for such a long time.  That’s that subjectively confusing sense of duration I mentioned earlier.

I do hope that all of you are doing okay, and that you’re in the company of friends and loved ones, and that you enjoy doing things with them, even boring, everyday things.  Hold onto that shit.  Seriously.  Nothing else is as important.  Probably.  Though, what would I know?


[Apologies, but there is no picture today.]

A brief reminder of my “audio stories”

Well, I’m working today—as I will also be doing Monday—so, obviously, I’m writing a blog post.  Aren’t you excited?

When I arrived at the train station this morning, I thought the whole system was shut down somehow, because the “garage-door” style barriers were closed, blocking the stairs, the elevators, and the payment machines, like they do when there’s a hurricane coming (there isn’t…I check frequently).  However, it turns out that the guy who opens them just hadn’t arrived yet.  He only arrived after I had gone all the way down to the end of the station to the road to cross the tracks and had come all the way back up on the side on which I need to be.

Ah, well, it’s a little bit of extra exercise, and that can’t be too bad, can it?

I planned yesterday to mention the subject of some of my reading-aloud “videos” of my fiction, but the post got to be too long, and it would have been a very abrupt change of topic, considering I was writing about my difficulties seeking and finding and begging for help when one is circling the drain, as I am.  I haven’t gotten any useful answers, other than a commiserating one to the effect, “Whataya gonna do?  You just gotta keep on moving.”  I can respect that attitude.  It’s far better than someone pretending to have answers when they don’t.  But it doesn’t help me figure out why one should bother to keep moving.  I can’t see any reason, honestly, and the effort has long outweighed the reward for me.  I’m frankly skeptical that there is any reward at all, or that there has been one for some time.


Quite a while ago, I did some recordings of me reading some of my stories, and I turned them into videos, though the “video” portion is nothing but the cover of the story in question.  I think they came out reasonably well; I’ve always been decent at reading stories out loud.  But they didn’t and don’t get much play, even though they are a free way to listen to my (already cheap) short stories, which is why I stopped doing them.

I also recorded and uploaded onto YouTube the first nine chapters of my book The Chasm and the Collision.  This is my most family friendly story, since I wrote it with my kids—who were in fifth and fourth grades when I started it, I think—in mind.  It a story about three middle-school students who become caught up in a trans-universal “fantasy”* adventure.

Thanks to the very wise advice of my father, there’s not even a single curse word in the whole book, though there are scary bits, since there is real danger in the story.  Real danger to the characters, I mean.  I don’t mean to say that reading the story is dangerous.  It’s not.  My sister has read the book several times, now, and she says it’s her favorite of my stories.  As far as I can tell, it has nothing to do with the fact that she fell and hit her head earlier this week.

I recorded the first nine chapters, but I finally stopped doing it, because, as I said, no one seemed to be listening.  I thought it was a shame, but it was a lot of work to do the reading and then the editing of the audio (though it helped me learn Audacity, which was definitely worthwhile).  Since then, at various times, I’ve thought that maybe I would like to pick up on reading the chapters and uploading them, and then maybe even start to record and upload my other books, a bit at a time**.  I’ve also got a few more short stories and novellas that I haven’t recorded and uploaded, and they could be stand-alone “videos”.  But, again, it’s a lot of work, and it would be doubly frustrating if no one ever listens.

I’m embedding here, below, the YouTube video of the first chapter of The Chasm and the Collision, so that people can get a sample of it.  I’m also going to see if it’s possible to embed the YouTube playlist that is all the “videos” that I’ve done so far from that book, and maybe even the playlist that has the “short” stories that I’ve read aloud and posted.  Again, it’s a good way for people to get exposed to the stories*** for free.

If you listen and like them, I obviously would be delighted if you’d decide to buy them.  All my stories are available for Kindle, and my novels and collections are available in paperback as well.  My last collection, Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities is even available in hardback.  Here’s a link to my Amazon author’s page, so you can peruse them:  The Link.

If there’s more than one person out there who would be interested in hearing more of me reading my stories, please let me know in the comments below.  You can also leave story-related comments on YouTube.

Nowadays one can self-publish for Audible, which is kind of neat, but I think I’m going to stick with the YouTube format, because it’s more informal, and it’s free for listeners so they can introduce themselves to the stories, as read by the author.  I’m very self-hating in general, and that hasn’t changed, but I think my stories are pretty good, and I’m especially proud of The Chasm and the Collision, because I wrote it with my kids in mind—though I don’t think either of them has ever read it, and they probably never will.

That’s about all I have for today.  Nothing has really changed since yesterday, so there’s no other real news to give.  Have a good holiday weekend, for those of you in the United States.  And everyone else, I hope you just have a good weekend.

Here’s the embedding of those videos and playlists, if I can successfully do the latter:

*I put that in “scare quotes” because if you pay attention when you read it, you’ll notice it’s actually a science fiction story.  But the character of the tale is definitely more like fantasy than sci-fi.

**Boy howdy, wouldn’t Unanimity end up taking up a looooooong time?

***That makes them sound radioactive, somehow.  As far as I know, they are not.

Can a day be both fried and scrambled?

First of all, let me apologize for yesterday’s bogus title and picture.  I had very little mental energy, which no doubt was obvious, and I just felt that I was wasting what little effort I could bring to bear by choosing a quote from Shakespeare to adjust with some form of the word “blog”, and then to find and modify a picture of some kind so that it matched (at least roughly) the subject or the title of the post.  If anyone was looking forward to seeing what “clever” thing I’d done this week, I’m legitimately sorry to have disappointed you.

I think all my posts this week have been dreary, even for me.  I’m gradually approaching the point of just giving up completely.  People usually say that they give up well before they really have.  I know that’s the case for me.  I’ve felt like I want to give up for some time now.  I have also asked, even practically begged, for help—though I’m not sure what form such help might take—on numerous occasions through this blog (and elsewhere), hoping that someone out there might have some ideas, or some resource suggestions, or even some words that I hadn’t read or heard or thought of already, but I’ve found nothing that’s really useful.

I’ve even gotten suggestions to read one of the psalms.  I’ve read all the psalms before, but I went and read it again.  Though they’re nice poetry, it didn’t inspire me in any way.  Sorry, person who suggested it, but I’ve read through the entire Bible at various times, and—though I appreciate your intentions, I really do—it’s not a source of consolation for someone like me.

I’ve thought over and over again about calling the “crisis hotline”, especially now that they added the 988 number to it, but then you read all about those warnings that, yes, they do track your location when you call.  I myself have previously, through a call to the hotline, had a run-in with the effing Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department in which I got nerve damage in my left hand because I was handcuffed—because, of course, a suicidal person is dangerous to two armed PBSO deputies.  Then I got brought to a facility so bleak that I would almost have preferred the mass holding cells in Gun Club Road jail.

I suppose that story does highlight something that’s been in the news:  the fact that police are not trained or equipped to help people going through psychological crises; to be fair to them, it really isn’t part of their job description.  And if you can’t trust that you won’t be kidnapped by “the man” against your will, how are you supposed to be able to trust the crisis hotline?

Not that I don’t think the people who work on it are sincere—I’m quite sure they are and that they really want to do good.  But as I’ve said many times, good intentions are not enough.  Good intentions are just the beginning, and they are only barely that.  It’s not enough to mean to do good.  If you want actually to do good, you’re going to have to figure out how to make that happen, and adjust your approaches and improve them over time as you learn.

I wonder if one of the VPNs your keep hearing about might be useful enough that I could at least use the crisis line “chat” function without being tracked and hunted down by police officers (who are also, I’m quite confident, desirous of doing good, but are not equipped or trained to do so in a psychological or psychiatric emergency situation).  Would just “going incognito” on Google Chrome be enough?  Does anyone out there know?


Sorry about the interruption just now, though I know you didn’t actually experience it.  I suddenly started getting some esophageal spasm, and I had to rush to get a drink from the fountain at the train station to help relax my esophagus.  It’s quite painful, and it’s disconcerting, and the first time you have it, you feel like you must be having a heart attack or maybe an aortic dissection, but it responds to warm water (at least in my case) which is basically like stretching and warming a charley horse, and heart attacks don’t do that, and neither do aortic dissections.

So, where was I?

Oh, right, I was wondering about ways possibly to get in contact with the crisis hotline without being in danger of getting abducted and taken to an involuntary mental health facility—getting “Baker Acted”, in other words.  If anyone out there knows if just “going incognito” is enough, please let me know in the comments below, NOT on Facebook or Twitter.

I think I’m quite a bit past those first, heady days of thinking that I want to give up, and am really near the point of actually doing it, of actually not caring at all about trying to continue.  I guess I do care about not wanting to be incarcerated, even if it’s in a mental health facility.  The public ones I’ve seen around these parts are just dreary and, well, depressing.

It would be nice to have someone to talk to about these kinds of things, someone I felt comfortable with, someone for whom I don’t have to try to put on a happy (or in my case, probably just a blank) face.  Apparently my face is not very expressive at the best of times.  Certainly nobody seems to pick up on the fact that I’m horribly depressed a lot of the time, most every day.  I think I’ve been trained too much—partly by myself—to pretend.  They call it masking.  Also, it turns out, I’m just not able to express my emotions well, and often not able even to realize what they are from moment to moment.

It’s interesting that people will sometimes send you things like “hugs” on Facebook or through text messages and things, like the hug emojis, you know what I mean?  Now, being apparently an Aspie, as I guess they say, I’m not great with even real hugs from most people, but e-hugs feel peculiar (albeit in quite a different way).  I guess they’re a way of showing that the person cares and “wishes” they could hug you for real.  That’s legitimately nice, and I wouldn’t want to discourage it.

But, like I said, I feel reticent about even real hugs, though from certain people, at certain times, hugs have been great.  Apparently, I’m a bit like a cat in that.  I really don’t even like it when people I don’t know well come up and, while talking to me, put a hand on my shoulder or something.  Though, in the right circumstances, a shoulder and neck massage can be great, preferably when it’s something I’ve sought out.

I don’t even like going to the barber shop, because having strangers touch me even to that degree is just uncomfortable, and that’s gotten worse over time.  You can imagine how much fun it is to be handcuffed and chained and all that.  I’ve had more than enough of that crap for the rest of my life, I can promise you; I would be tempted just to force police officers to shoot me rather than let myself be handcuffed again if the situation arose.

I may just be out of luck here.  There may not be resources to help someone in south Florida who is an “ex-con”, a disgraced doctor, divorced, alone, with chronic pain and, apparently, autism spectrum disorder, as well as dysthymia/depression, who is a long way away from most of his family (certainly those who would want to have anything to do with him), and who doesn’t want to cause any of them trouble, anyway.  It’s frustrating, sometimes, to know that there are resources for people with drug and alcohol problems, there’s public and private support, and people are even celebrated (justly so) for their struggles to defeat them, but if your problems are not with substances but with a fucked up nervous system, then it’s hard to find resources, and humiliating to seek them out.  The world just kind of blames you for the problem.  You’re weak.  You’re defective.  You’re inadequate.  You’re just faulty.

To be fair, though, I don’t like myself enough to be proactive about my mental or physical health much anymore.  I’ve used many different antidepressants and related meds and therapy of various kinds; I’ve tried to see if there’s any religion or philosophy or technique that gives me comfort*.  I just keep coming back to as bad or worse states.

It’s been said by some (usually quite successful) people that being happy is a choice, but that strikes me just as a way for people who happen to be happy to pat themselves on the back while they blame the unhappiness of the unhappy on the unhappy themselves.  They can feel that they deserve their own happiness, and wash their hands of the problem.  “If you’re unhappy, it’s your choice.  Choose not to be.  Get over it.”

What utter bullshit.  You didn’t build your brain or your body or your background, and you can’t “freely” choose what its set-points are.  The workings of the brain and mind are not understood well enough for us to know what “buttons” to push or “dials” to adjust to achieve, reliably, a desired state.  Believe me, no depressed person, if suddenly fully cured of depression and all its causes and sequelae, would choose to feel horrible and wishing to die again.  If they “choose” to be depressed, that’s part of what depression is.

Anyway, I’m not getting anywhere with this…probably because I’m not going anywhere with this.  It’s also getting too long.  But I am despondent, and washed-out, and just getting apathetic about it all, mostly.  I really think I’m near the stage of just letting go.  I want to stop trying to “cry for help”.  It doesn’t do any good, and I don’t see any signs that anyone out there knows any answers that are better than the ones I already know, which I know don’t work.

No one has mastered the merger of quantum mechanics and general relativity; if they had, it would probably soon become self-evident.  And no one has mastered the art of repairing the dysfunctional mind.  It would be too obvious if they had.

If I’m wrong, please tell me.  I could use the knowledge.

*Nope.  Nothing I’ve encountered so far has done the trick, and I am a widely and eclectically read and educated individual.  Most of what I’ve found is puerile.  Let’s be honest, if there was some method or insight or spiritual factor that reliably worked to make life better for people who tried it, it would rapidly become glaringly obvious, and would stand out among all the various treatments and philosophies and religions and pills and machines and other substances.  It would be clear that the people who applied it were better-adjusted and healthier than most others, and they would probably happily share the insights.  True insights, like addition and subtraction, are usually logically demonstrable.  If someone has to sell you something, to give you a pitch and try to convince you with rhetoric rather than with reason and evidence that it’s good—if they sell it with pictures of models and shots of beautiful homes and flowers and all that—it is unlikely to be all that it’s cracked up to be.  You don’t have to “sell” people on antibiotics if they have a bacterial infection; if anything, you’ve got to prevent them from overusing them.

Thus ends what used to be the sixth month

Well, it must follow as the knight the questing beast that Wednesday follows Tuesday, and since yesterday was Tuesday, today is Wednesday.  It’s the last day of August in 2022.  I’m taking an early train today, even for me—I think it’s literally the first train of the day.  I was awake anyway, and have been awake for some time, and finally just figured, oh well, might as well just get up and go.

It’s not that I’m not tired.  I am tired.  I’m deathly tired.  But I can’t rest.  I’m able to get to sleep at night with only minimal difficulty, usually no later than eleven, and sometimes earlier.  But even if I take Benadryl or similar, I wake up starting by around one or two at the latest, and just keep doing it, until by a bit after three I’m not able even to doze anymore.

I watched a few videos with music last night, thinking to soothe myself, and I thought that, this morning, I’m going to try to play some guitar.  But now, on my way in to the office a bit earlier than usual, I don’t think that’s going to happen.  The thought of picking it up and playing just feels…I don’t know exactly how to describe it.  I feel as if just the prospect of doing it is anathema somehow.  Ditto for writing any fiction.  Even just the thought of doing it fills me with something that’s not exactly ennui, but more like anticipatory dysphoria.  It’s not quite like the prospect of considering going to get blood drawn at a doctor’s office for tests that aren’t really necessary, but it’s something in that same type of feeling, just not to that degree.

I don’t quite understand it.

Here’s a weird fact.  The thing I most look forward to now is the fact that, on Wednesdays, because I have to do the payroll, I take slightly supratherapeutic doses of Tylenol/Aspirin/Aleve so that I won’t be in too much pain.  I can’t do that every day—I’d get sick to my stomach, for one thing, but there are other potential toxicities involved with which I flirt already—but I let myself do it on Wednesdays.  So I look forward to it being at least a less painful day.  That’s the highlight of the week.  I don’t mean just that it’s the highlight of the workweek, I mean it’s the highlight of the week overall.  It’s the very best part of my week.

Speaking of pain, my sister had a bit of a fall yesterday morning, just after I’d finished writing my blog post—well, it probably didn’t happen after, but she called me after; her daughter was on her way to take her to the hospital, but she wanted to check with me if there was anything else she should do in the meantime, since I am a trained medical doctor.  She’s fine, thank goodness—some stitches and possibly a bit sore, but no bones broken, and no concussion either, which I was a bit nervous about.  I’m glad she lives close to my niece, and that they get along well, though as I told her, if she ever just had to call an ambulance, I’d be happy to pay for that myself.  It’s not like I’m made of money or anything—quite the contrary—but I don’t have anything else of value to spend it on, so why not?

If I fell*, I would pretty much be stuck using 911.  I guess that’s why it’s there, so people can get help in emergencies.  Anyway, I probably wouldn’t even call anyone at all.  Why would I want to call for help** yet again?  What would be the point?  Though if I panicked, and the deeper, older biology overrode the frontal lobes, I might feel compelled to seek assistance.  It’s hard to resist.  Hopefully, if such a thing happens, I’ll just be rendered unconscious, and it won’t be an issue for anyone unless and until I start to smell.

Speaking of such irritation of neighbors, there are new people moving into the house in which I live, either today or tomorrow.  I don’t know them, though I think I met the lady when she came by to check things out over the weekend—one of the interruptions I mentioned yesterday or Monday.  She basically just speaks Spanish, so I don’t have to worry about anyone trying to strike up conversations, thankfully, but I do speak reasonably good Spanish—it used to be quite good—so we’ll be able to communicate the basics.

In some ways, weirdly, it’s easier to interact with people when there is some relative barrier to communication, because then I don’t have to worry about awkwardness, or seeming too odd, or not quite knowing what to say.  After all, the whole interaction is awkward and incomplete anyway, so any personal awkwardness from me is just part of the overall picture.  It’s curiously relaxing, though of course, it takes some work to recall my Spanish, and understanding other people is harder than speaking it.

Anyway, I hope there won’t be too many disruptions, but I’m probably not going to feel comfortable using the kitchen and stuff most of the time now; I’m still going to need to do my laundry on Sundays, though.  Hopefully there won’t be any issues with that.  It’s the only day of the week I can really do it, at least on any regular schedule, so I really hope there won’t be any issue with mess in there or other people’s clothes left just sitting around in the washer or dryer.

I’m so tired of having to deal with things.  There’s no percentage in it; there’s nothing to be gained.  It’s just annoying.  I wish I had an off switch, or at least a “sleep mode” that worked reliably, or even a restart button that could clear whatever background apps are running and open things afresh.  I guess that’s one of the things sleep sort of analogously is “supposed” to do for us, come to think of it.

I’m not speaking from recent personal experience, though.

*Not the Beatles song.

**Again, not the Beatles song.

I don’t have much to say, today, but…

…wow.  I’m really tired.  I mean, both mentally and physically, I am very, unusually tired for the morning.  Part of that is due to a particularly fragmented sleep last night, but as regular readers will know, that’s not too unusual for me.  Part of it is no doubt also due to the lingering effects of the respiratory virus I’ve been dealing with for the past week plus, and for which I really haven’t had any rest to speak of, except Sunday.  Part of it is just the general cacophony of people and sound and light that happens at the office and which leaves me feeling, at the end of each day, that I wish I could just spin a cocoon around myself and…I don’t know, metamorphose into the next stage of my life cycle or something.

A lot of it, though, is just that my mental energy, or drive, or enthusiasm, or whatever you want to call it, is just petering away steadily, and some days that lowering level interacts with other factors that make it more noticeable than others.  I guess it’s a bit like a particularly cold day during a gradually oncoming ice age, or a marked dip in the stock market during a more gradual steady decline.

I know, those aren’t really very good similes, nor are they even really apposite.  Is that the right word to use?  Apposite?  Would “pertinent” be a better choice?  In any case, they are both rather contrafactual examples, because the general climate trend for the nonce is toward higher temperatures, not lower ones, and the various forces of the market are more or less engineered such that the stock market will, overall, tend to go up, as it has done now for decades.  Maybe it would have been more relatable to mention a brief upturn in the market, one that is then corrected when things return to their more general trajectory.  But that would hardly carry the message of the fact that I feel unusually tired, would it?

I guess I felt a bit of this tiredness yesterday, now that I think about it; certainly I felt a bit breathless, in general, to the point even where I got out the little portable pulse oximeter that I bought for the office—mainly because it’s cool that we can have such things so cheaply nowadays—and checked my oxygen percentage and my pulse.  They were both well within the range of normal.  In fact, my pulse was better than it usually is.  So I was being a bit of a hypochondriac at that time.

But I do feel tired.  I just want to be able to rest, not to have all sorts of interruptions in my environment, so many intrusions in my personal physical and mental space all the time.  I wonder how much a sensory deprivation tank would cost.  Probably a lot more than I can afford.  Anyway, I don’t know where I would put it.

I’m not sure what else to write today.  I’m just mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually exhausted.  I wish I could just rest.  I probably won’t even have Labor Day off; we’re almost always open at least part of the day during such holidays, since they tend to be good days for sales, as all the appliance stores and whatnot have all seemed to know for as long as I can remember.  But I don’t seem to be able to relax, anyway, no matter what.  I can only “relax” by crashing and burning.  I wish I would just do that, now.  It’s got to happen sometime, but I keep hoping for it and it doesn’t come.

Oh, well.  I don’t know what I’m going to do.  But this is probably boring and tiresome for all you reading.  Sorry.  It’s not as though I can lessen my fatigue by spreading it around, and if I could I probably wouldn’t.  That wouldn’t be very nice.  I’ll leave you here, then.

Have a good day.