28 February, 2013

I wonder if I will dream tonight.

Is that a freight train plowing through the house? No, that's only my roommate's alarm clocks. Plural. One on his cell phone, vibrating and playing music. One on his mantle(I guess), buzzing erraticly. One somewhere else in his room, sounding like a chicken. They're not all set to the same time exactly, but after the first two have been going off for several minutes, they are all going off at the same time. It's 4:30 and I'm more awake than he. Finally, the alarms subside and I am treated to explosions as his truck starts up, roars and slowly creeps away. I really have no complaints about my roommate other than this sometimes rude awakening, which is simply due to the fact that he has to work at 5:30 in the morning. It is certainly preferable to my previous meth smoking roommate who liked to jump up and down on his bed at 1 in the morning, turn the heat up to 90 and fill the refrigerator with orange soda.

After the initial warm fuzziness of dreamland wears off and I am faced with the torture of another day of menial tasks, random job applications, torturous hot yoga, noisy cars and tedious work, I sit before the computer. Today, I am typing this blog. Other days, I am checking the news and weather while leaving facebook on in the background, wondering if anyone will notice me or if my friends will post anything interesting. Is my sister still alive? Is my brother still the king of hipsters? I procrastinate as long as possible before heading off for the day.

As anyone filling out job applications knows, there is only so many one can do in a day. A few hours and this work is done. The yoga and running fill some of the interim time. Working at a community clubhouse fills more of that time. Doing small contract artwork fills the rest of the time.

I look at my internship applications. The ones for the Permaculture farms and other silly things. I look at my meager existence and hesitate as I wonder if it would be wise to take an unpaid position at such a farm. I'm 33 years old, not particularly strong(I wonder if I could make it as a farmer) although I am terribly bored with the life I have now.

I watch the facebook again in the evening. I eat something healthy for dinner. It's probably something I had cooked 4 days ago and have been eating for 4 days straight. I don't care as I barely taste anything anymore anyway and so I look out the window. Nothing looks back. The house is quiet. I wonder if I will dream tonight.

24 February, 2013

I'm not worthy

Thanks for the nomination for the award thingie, Drew. Drew nominated me for the Liebster Award, which is cool, becuase I didn't know anyone read this blog.

Anyway, here is my answering to Drew's queries.

1. If you were to attend a costume party tonight, what or whom would you go as?
I don't have any costumes and I probably shouldn't go naked.

2. What are your choice of toppings on a hamburger? And do you prefer gas or charcoal grilling?
I'm dietarily vegan, athough the best choice out there is a Portobello Sandwich at Union Station(I forget the name of the restaurant in DC). As for grilling, gas is bad for the environment but I hate the taste of charcoal.

3. You are chosen to have lunch with the President. The condition is you only get to ask one question. What do you ask?
I have spoken enough to people in politics or in the public eye to know that there is nothing I could ask searingly that would get either an illuminating or interesting response. I'd probably ask him what his favorite Kid Cudi song was.

4. It’s your first day of vacation, what are you doing?
Trying to convince myself I'm having fun(but am actually sick to my stomach).

5. What is your concession stand must-have at the movies?
Due to my decreasingy brittle, cavity ridden teeth, I don't partake in candy as much as I used to. Plus, I'm cheap. If I could though, jujubes or perhaps black licorice.

6. Which do you dislike most: pop-up ads or spam email?
Pop ups. Spam is easier to get rid of.

7. What do you think Captain Hook’s name was before he had a hook for a hand?
James T. Hook, I think. He was one of Peter Pans friends, as are all the pirates, but when they eventually escaped and grew up, Peter decided they were enemies. The pirates work tirelessly to free Peter's slave Lost Boys.

8. Rock, paper, or scissors?
The Rock

9. How long was it from ‘the first date’ until the proposal of marriage? How long until the wedding?
Uh, what?

10. Which is worse, being in a place that is too loud, or too quiet?
Too loud definitely.
Can never be too quiet. I detest putting TVs on for noise.

11. What is one quality that you really appreciate in a person?
Honesty and Humility above all else.OK

OK, there we go, Drew. Thanks for the nomination. As the second part of the nomination I'm supposed to list 11 facts about me.

I'm Vegan, 5'6" so I get to shop in the boys department like Prince, Never eaten at Taco Bell, never smoked meth, hiked the south half of the Appalachian Trail, want to one day live in a small house in the middle of somewhere(not close to a city but not a nowhere) and I also don't have a college degree or a car . Is that 11 yet?

Thanks, Drew.

http://vedekdrew.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/this-is-the-liebster-award-thanks-for-this-milady/

Also, Andrea you're nominated. You're the only personal blog I read, but I still think you're great. Nominate someone else if you want to and tell 11 random facts about yourself. :)





22 February, 2013

How small are we?

The human population of Asia is just over 4 billion - well over half of the worlds human population. The human population of all of Europe and the Americas, by comparison is about 1.5 billion. The number of bacteria in a human body is ten times the number of human cells but are necessary, mostly for digestion. The number of bacterial cells outnumbers the population of the world.
I suppose I like thinking about these facts because after reading Andreas post , they remind me that I am just one person in a great big swarm of humans. It reminds me just how small I am.

But when I think about just how similar I am to other animals, like Bonobos, who have been known not only to wash their food, but to season it and use tools.
and
to Ants, who have been known to "milk" aphids for honeydew, in exchange for protection, I don't feel quite as small.

And when I think about other things like the fact that our $32,000 a year average wage  is actually the top 1% and how out average 5'10" is actually quite tall, it makes me feel more normal for making 10,000 dollars a year and being 5'6".

18 February, 2013

Diary of a Schizo - How to Describe Weird

The problem with mental health diagnoses from my perspective is that they are hard to pin down. Even if one decides that for some reason being sad is abnormal or thinking weird thoughts is abnormal, when there is no test to do that, how do you define it?

It's obvious to many in the field, both psychiatrists and patients that the diagnoses can often be used to control or manipulate, not really to help. They can lead to overmedication and overmeddling from control freaks. I don't believe the diagnoses are completely made up as people are definitely suffering, but how much of it is due to our culture and how much is truly genetic is impossible to know.

My diagnoses have ranged from depression, social anxiety, schizoaffective disorder, derealization disorder, general anxiety, ADD and probably a few others I am forgetting. I think there is some truth to the diagnoses as I have trouble relating to people, often experience intense flushes of panic that leave me feeling that I am not in my body and that the world is not real and as a result sometimes I will do or say weird things in a panic. Whether this means I should be medicated or I should talk more is yet to be known.

I have given up on medication since I did that for four years and only got worse as a result. I suffered every annoying side effect from nausea and impotence and weight loss, but also suffered from some really bad ones like wanting to die all the time. The doctors have told me the medication could be helpful but it doesn't seem to be worth the risks.

I have found exercise and yoga and running especially to be helpful in depression. Cutting back on sugar and eating balanced meals with no sugar or caffeine really important for anxiety and psychosis. Doing different things and learning seem to be good for the brain and working in general can be good for a lot of things. And so that leaves me where I am - weird.

Being weird is hard to define. I know I'm different than others, but exactly HOW different is hard to say. I was diagnosed as crazy, but I can pretend to be normal, mostly and get away with it, except that people find me a bit odd or shy. I'm not really interested in dating or careers, but I wonder how many people simply pretend they are. I like to do a lot of female things like yoga and gardening and I hear voices and drift in and out of dreams all around the clock, but I wonder how many other people do that, too.

In the end I guess there is no way for me to know, although some of my thoughts and living arrangements stress me out. I can get terribly depressed and suicidal at times and that makes me sad. I don't want a diagnosis for that, though. I just want to be treated like a person.

17 February, 2013

The Crone

the crone

She lived at the end of a long dirt road. In a house she lived, although many often confused it for a shed. And in her yard, it was filled with old cars and tree stumps, tangled bushes and all manner of strange and forgotten things.
    The people who lived in the nice houses, before the dirt road began, in the houses that all looked the same with the yards that all looked the same, these people often passed by her house and quietly disapproved of her. They quietly felt sorry for her.
    The people who lived in the nice houses were never hot since they had central AC and they all had two children. One boy named Justin or something equally cute and one named Marie or something equally pretty. The furniture in these houses was new or at least pretty and the food at these houses  was always plentiful, even if the people who lived there were perpetually on “diets”.
    The people in the nice houses tried to ignore this lady(who they took to calling “the Crone” behind her back, even though her name was Eulilah). They laughed at her and made jokes of her while they had their barbecues and watched inane television programs and talked about their diets and exercise fads and celebrities and diets.
    So it came to pass that there was a flood. Eulilah rejoiced at the flood because she said that her plants in the wetland needed it. She said it was a good thing, but of course the people in the nice houses were not happy because the flood damaged their basements and their kiddie pools and they had not been prepared for this at all since they thought only of themselves and their inane little lives.
    The people made walls to dam the flooding which only made it worse in some places where mosquitoes began to congregate and too dry in other places, making the land lifeless.
    Eulilah was enraged that the public funds were used in what she thought was a stupid manner. So Eulilah began to protest and talk in town hall meetings about how flooding was good and how nature knew what it was doing and if you'd just stop and think, you'd see how we need all manner of things on this planet, not just the ones we find pretty.
    The townspeople of the nice town didn't really like Eulilah, but they liked their laws which said all people are allowed to speak and so they put up with her protestations. That is, until one day she did the unthinkable and said that even death was necessary.
    “You old hag” somebody yelled, “You old crone! We need to lock you up and force you to live with us and be happy!” Eulilah cackled because she knew she was right, but she was powerless to stop them as they took her away, cut her dreads, locked her up in an old persons home where she was fed a steady diet of stool softeners, Mellaril and Ensure.
    Now the people of the town didn't like what the old woman said, but she did make them think and fear death, which they tried not to think about at all. Usually when someone died in this town, they hid them and tried to find a replacement who could wear the same clothes. But now, since she had brought it up, death was all they could think about.
    The scientists worked day and night. They made special drinks to stop cell degeneration and they created special implants to replace DNA with a more stable XNA. When someone was in a accident or drank too much alcohol, they simply replaced the destroyed organ.
    Years passed and the people didn't age. They just went on watching their TV programs and going to work and cutting their grass and talking about celebrities and diets and movies and politics and the pope.
    At first, everyone was happy. But after about a hundred years, even the strongest dopaminergic enhancers did nothing to alleviate the dullness that had pervaded their lives.
    A few people began to wonder about the old crone and they began to wonder if she was right about death and ugly things. The others called these people fools and made them repeat positive affirmations and to only think positive things.
    But everyone knew something was amiss.
    And slowly but surely it began. The death and decay that had been controlled and stopped all around the world began again.
     The diseases held at bay by pills found other ways.  The XNA although terribly strong began to show signs of cancerous growth. Eventually, enough people were upset at their lives that the old woman was broken free of her imposed hospitalization.
    She had been forcibly changed to extend her life, but once she was off her medication she began to age again and she began to think more clearly.
    “Oh old woman, what shall we do?” they all asked.
    She cackled and shrugged her shoulders and said, “You decide what you should do! Just let me die.”
    And with that she died and the people had no answers from her since people in real life don't have magical answers.  
    And instead of trying to think about the problem even more they went to where her house was and where wild plants and wild things still lived. They found something about this place beautiful.
    And so they smiled and took off their spaceman suits, which they had been wearing and they stopped taking their pills. The wild animals sensed this and began to regard them as equal.
    The people were of course, terribly stupid and one of them was eaten bu a wild bear and while this was terrifying, and while the people that took over the old womans home were often cold or hungry and they often didn't know what to talk about and their hair was often unkempt, they knew that there was something to be gained by wildness.
    Hopefully the people in the city, in the nice houses will one day learn this, too.

15 February, 2013

What they say is hard is easy

Sometimes I am amazed. I had a four hour tattoo done, barely wincing and the tattooist said he had never seen anyone move or react so little. I recently braved and am braving a few times a week hot yoga classes that on occasion make me extremely dizzy and nauseous. There were remarks that this yoga is difficult and remarks that this tattooing business is painful. To me, it doesn't seem painful. To me, climbing a mountain on a bike is not amazing, staying up for three days is not so bad, someone dying is not so painful.

I don't say this to say that I am some macho superman but it is funny that what is said is hard is actually quite easy and simple while what is thought to be easy or painless, to me, at least, is extremely painful.

Public speaking and acting, fasting- easy, painless
Going to a party and dancing, eating too much- painful
Working very hard on a project, living on caffeine and adrenaline- easy
Going to a soul crushing job day after day- painful
Going to the dentist, getting a 4 hour tattoo, walking until your feet bleed- not so bad
Trying to find a reason to live- enough to drive one to suicide.

13 February, 2013

Looking forward to the Day after Valentines

I lead a very boring life it seems. Mostly I do the same things week after week. I make my yogurt and meals for the week on the weekend. I practice yoga and run before going to work. I work and come home to work on artwork and sometimes I visit with other people. For fun I like to plant trees and hike in the woods.





I do the same things except in the fall I like to can and try to see the stars when it's not cloudy.

I thought about posting something to one of those dating sites just for fun, but the truthiness I would have to install in anything I write would scare away anyone I would want to talk to.

ahem
"Boring, middle aged bachelor seeks friend who he may or may not want to hang out with all the time. Said bachelor is interested in making food at home and drawing. Said bachelor is very poor. Said bachelor is crazy."

So tomorrow is Valentines Day and aside from St.Patty's day it is one of the worst holidays we have. I don't say this because I am not dating but because I feel a Hallmark holiday is a bad reason to be romantic. Not that I have much experience in said things anyway. I'd much rather hike in the woods and draw than deal with all the craziness and delusions that come along with dating.

The day after Valentines is a great day, though. It's called "Discount Chocolate Day".

11 February, 2013

Diary of a Schizo: The Good News and the Bad News

The Good News: I may have a job
The Bad News: It's the same shitty job as before
The Good News: We are not in any terrible war or global catastrophe.
The Bad News: One might be impending.
The Good News: I have an interview for a Permaculture Position at a farm that could be wonderful
The Bad News: I am absolutely terrified of the position and the challenges that I will not be able to live up to
The Good News: I have not appreciably moved backwards(except for my shitty oral hygiene resulting in half of my mouth falling apart) and am not being forced to take drugs or talk to useless therapists.
The Bad News: I am completely worthless at moving ahead.
The Good News: We did not have a house meeting and there are no issues and drama or drugs at the house
The Bad News: It was better when there felt like people were living here despite police trouble
The Good News: I have people who consider me friends
The Bad News: What is wrong with these people?
The Good News: I'm not dead
The Bad News: I'm still alive

06 February, 2013

Diary of a Schizo - Lucky Me

http://www.seattlemet.com/arts-and-entertainment/culture-fiend/articles/lucky-them-is-filming-in-belltown-today

While waiting for my resumes to circulate, I received an email that a new Hollywood movie filming in Seattle was looking for extras. Interested in the easy money, I replied to the email with my photos and information and the casting director gave me days to be on set. Easy enough! I sent her the pictures and she said I look like a Seattlite(whatever that means) and I should show up on set at six in the morning. I guess since I'm an extra I didn't have to audition! Sweet!

This will be the second movie I've extraed in and will constitute the fourth and fifth day I've done this. It turned out quite similarly to the first movie. The days were long as usual - 12 hours is the average it seems and mostly we just sat around until the Assistant Director or Casting Director called us. I'd say we were paid for actually doing about ten minutes of work each while sitting around for 11 hours and fifty minutes each day. If I look at it this way, I made $1,000 an hour or so (working only a tenth of that). The hard work of being an extra consisted of pretending to have conversations and walking up and down the street multiple times. I also did some stand in work which consists of standing under a light while the actors prepare. I know acting can be stressful and emotional but being an extra mostly just consists of not messing things up for the real actors.

As easy as the work is and as professional as the cast and crew all were- even checking up on us as we waited in the basement of a bar many many times to make sure we weren't dead(we were mostly napping), I can't imagine doing this work full-time as it is incredibly boring. I used the extra time just sitting around to finish reading RD Laings Divided Self and to study some Spanish. But after five or six hours of this each day, that became difficult as we couldn't leave the basement bar for we could be called on set at any moment.

It was neat seeing the workings of a studio/Hollywood film. I can now say I've met Toni Collette and Thomas Haden Church if I want to brag to people (I don't). They seemed nice enough. Some Hollywood actors I've met did not seem very nice, but some people in real-life are not that nice either so I guess that's just life.

It did surprise me that Toni had such a strong Australian accent, which I later realised is because she is Australian. I guess that makes her a good actor!

02 February, 2013

Diary of a Schizo - Forgetful Me

With being laid off from my temp job, looking for work, finally getting that tooth pulled at the dentist and having to reschedule my tattooing until I can get another job and save money, I had completely forgotten about this poor little blog.

Please accept my apologies.

Life has been crazy. I was very happy as usual working at the nursery. Today we hosted a smaller volunteer group but we still had about 15 people volunteering and potting plants. I am very happy I am able to do this work and feel great kinship with the others there. I guess sometimes I overthink things and worry that I do not do a good enough job. Mostly I worry about being awkward with the social aspects of hanging out with other people and talking about Justin Bieber or actresses who are too fat or too angry or diets or TV or movies or something equally inane. I still like them, but honestly, the endless blathering sometimes drives me nuts.

Applications for jobs have been flooding out of my inbox but very few have been coming back in. Resumes are being distributed. There are a few internships and classes at Permaculture Farms as well as less idealistic applications at smaller companies and even a few cafes.

There is also a temp job next week as Thomas Haden Church and Toni Collete are shooting a movie here in Seattle and I was called in to be an extra. I can not say too much more other than the movie is on IMDB here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1885299/
because someone may shoot me if I say too much(shoot me with a lawsuit perhaps):

On the way home, while I was waiting for the bus, a lady in a truck stopped and called out:
"Do you want a ride?"

I hesitated, thinking of that drunk guy I used to give rides to in Maryland. I thought we should trust people more and so I said "OK."

I told her that I was volunteering, that we have 10's of thousands of plants we plant all throughout the Seattle area in the nursery. I told her I had some work but was looking for work currently as I was temporarily laid off from the temp job I was working.

She told me of her dream of creating a company that would sell planters for balconies and specific plants that people could easily grow and maintain.

As she is talking, oblivious to the road ahead, and obviously overexcited, I am a bit apprehensive. She talks about her daughter and college and keeps coming back to her grand plan. We take a detour to the landfill and she doesn't seem to really notice when they tell her there will be a twenty dollar surcharge for not tying the bags in her truck down.

She unloads the bags and finishes telling me her plans. I tell her it's a great idea and she offers to be partners. I'm a bit overwhelmed, especially considering my lack of experience and the sudden offer and tell her I will think about it. I realise she is a nice lady that is probably a bit lonely as her daughter is off at school on the other side of the nation. I'm not sure how to continue the conversation. I tell her that I considered going to SCAD for college(another great art school) but never did. We exchange numbers and part.

Life is crazy and I'm glad I took the ride.
It was much different than my many memorable rides with the happy alcoholic, yelling at him to shut the door so he didn't fall out as I was driving 60 miles per hour towards Frederick.