The sleeper speaks

Hoo boy, has this been one sleepy day.

I brought it on myself. Last night, after getting back from hanging out and watching videos with Felicity, I did the same stupid thing I have done a thousand stupid times before and decided to play some video games before going to sleep.

Dumb idea. When I do that, I under up really overstimulated. So when I got tired of playing games and wanted to go to sleep, what do you know, I am too hyper to sleep and trying to sleep only makes it worse.

But I was quite tired and really wanted to sleep. There was just this wall of overstimulation to overcome first. I tried some exercise, and that helped some. I also tried out a new habit of man, mainly wandering around the apartment, and that also helped a little bit.

Eventually, though, I got so frustrated with my lack of ability to sleep and my having overstimulated myself right through the effects of the dose of quetiapine I had taken earlier that I decided to activate the nuclear option : taking a third quetiapine.

Normally, I only take two, and that gets the job done. But I was getting desperate and, I will admit, irrational. So only two hours after the previous dose, I took a third pill.

I know that this would likely result in me sleeping all day, so it’s not like I didn’t know the consequences. And what do you know, I slept all day today, and honestly, I could probably sleep all night too. When I am done writing this blog entry, I will be very tempted to just go back to bed, and I have gotten around twelve hours of sleep already.

So, mental note, do not do the Third Pill unless the situation is dire. I knew I had nothing in particular that I needed to get done today when I took the Third Pill, but still.

Past a certain point, this sleepiness shit gets really irritating. Especially when there are things you want to do, like for instance, write your damned blog entry and make a video for the day.

You know, just to take two completely random examples.

As is, I am worried about the day’s video. If I go to sleep when I am done here, I might sleep past midnight and hence miss my chance to do a video TODAY, and that would really bother me.

On the other hand, despite having a liter of Diet Coke in me, I feel downright incoherent as I write this to you nice people and I don’t know just how good a video I can make when I am having trouble keeping my eyes open.

So I have a tough choice to make when I am done here.

Yesterday was the big Final Day of the move, the last day of our legal tenancy in apartment 209 at 3851 Francis Road here in Richmond. So there was a fair bit of scrambling to try to get the last of our stuff out of there.

I have come to the conclusion that we are hoarders. Very mild ones, of course. Definitely a subclinical level of hoarding, But hoarders nevertheless, because we “rescue” things.

It’s a familiar scenario. You are walking past a dumpster or other garbage receptacle and you see that someone has thrown away something that is still “perfectly good”.

Now some people would walk on by and never give a thought to this grotesque waste of valuable resources. Others might click their tongues at what a tragic waste is occurring right before their eyes, but do nothing to stop it.

But we are the kind of people who take the damned thing home with us in order to “rescue” it from the dumpster and the landfill. It feels very virtuous while also letting you cluck your tongue at others’ wasteful ways, and also gives you that thrill of acquisition.

Still, it’s not hoarding yet. In order to be hoarding, you don’t just have to be acquiring,

You have to be retaining.

As we have moved, I have found enormous quantities of stuff that we will, honestly, never ever ever use and never needed in the first place. There is also stuff that you xan imagine maybe someday needing, but which realistically is actually just taking up space in your domicile and your brain.

And this stuff accumulates. You end up with enormous quantities of useless crap dragging you down. It would be one thing if we “rescued” immediately went to Value Village or the like. But it doesn’t, it just build up in all our cupboards and closets.

And it really bothers me, now that I have experienced it myself. I am not at all sentimental about material objects. With few exceptions, material possessions are strictly functional in my books. They either serve a function, or they can go. And I am very susceptible to feelings of being held back or encumebered by the superfluous and the trivial.

So I usually have no problem at all giving things the old heave-ho when they have become more of a liability than an asset. I value my freedom of action more than most material things. I would rather travel light through life than squat on a hoard of what is, after all is said and done, merely stuff.

So if I had my druthers, we would have disposed of more and moved a whole lot yes.

And by “disposed of”, I mean “recycle”, of course. I might not be sentimental about possessions, but I am very keen on efficiency and I agree that it is a crying shame when something still useful goes to the landfill.

I just don’t see why we have to be the ones who end up with all this stuff.

Well, we’re in an apartment half the size of the last one now, and so we just cannot afford to keep accumulating crap. We are going to have to be far, far pickier of what we add to our lives.

Myself, I don’t need more more than the things I use in my daily life.

Well, I am nodding off at the computer, so I suspect it’s time to lay down again.

I will talk to all you wonderful people again tomorrow.

The Final Curtain

Don ‘t worry, that’s not a death metaphor. This time.

Instead, it refers to the fact that today is the very last day of our legal ownership (rentership?) of our good old, bad old, just plain old apartment at Francis and 1 Road, which we affectionately dubbed Nerdvana.

And to be honest, I am finding it hard to stir up any nostalgia about it. I am sure that, once I leave, I will eventually develop a sort of rose-colored, honeysuckle sentimentality about the place.

After all, that has happened for every single other place I have ever lived. When packing up, I came across a box that had been used to deliver my groceries way back when I shared a place with Eamon Smith, and there was our old address, 996 East 10th, alongside my name.

And that released a powerful cascade of nostalgia for that weird top half of a house I shared with Eamon. I wasn’t particularly happy (or unhappy) there, but the nostalgia remains.

Like I have said many, many times in this space, I struggle with the whole idea of nostalgia. The idea that things attain this nostalgic glow simply via the process of memory compression over time really bothers me. Why should I get this warm surge of feeling about an unremarkable period of my life? The emotion connected to the memories doesn’t match the content of them. It makes me feel like my intellectual integrity is subject to constant erosion that I can do nothing to prevent.

And yeah, I know that makes me sound like some kind of fucked up monster. I know that I have serious social issues and that I am not a healthy specimen of psychosocial adjustment. It takes a special kind of messed up to be unable to simply accept the warm glow of nostalgia as one of the nicer things about life on planet Earth.

But I can’t help it. I’m a poorly self-programmed robot. Warm on the outside, cold on the inside.

Anyhow, I can’t seem to feel any sentimentality about the place we are leaving. Perhaps it is simply too soon. Or perhaps I am just prejudiced against it right now because we have a shiny new apartment in a rad location and the old apartment is, quite frankly, positively filthy, and it is hard to feel nostalgia about a place so dirty and dusty that it made me physically ill the last time I was there.

In fact, to be honest, I don’t ever want to go back. I don’t want that filthy awful place, with all the dust in the air from all the packing and so on, to have even one more second of access to my precious lungs and fluids. I feel like the last time I was there, last Friday, cost me a week of health recovery.

But there is still a lot of stuff to move, and I would feel terrible if I did not do my part. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of my life. And I have already committed to the job of packing up the kitchen. So staying home is not an option.

And I know, intellectually, that I am seeing that apartment at its absolute worst right now. It was a fine place for years, before we had to go disrupt everything and stir up years worth of dust while also revealing all the grossness that had accumulated in little places like underneath or behind furniture.

But right now, I don’t care. Life inside that apartment is like living inside a vacuum bag, and I hate it there.

Still, we have had a lot of good times there. Times spent watching videos (including Felicity’s marvelous homegrown video CDs), hanging out, enjoying one another’s company, occasionally pausing the video parade in order to discuss something more thoroughly or just gab on what is on our minds.

Those times spent together are the best times of my life, and I will always cherish them. And make sure that the tradition lives on in our new place, despite the cozier confines.

Still, no matter how you slice it, I will be glad when this day is over and I can bid adieu to that place forever and ever. I am tired of being limited by the past and I am eager to stride into the future with all the energy and optimism I can muster, never looking back.

What has happened before in my life does not matter nearly as much as what happens next in my life.

Honestly, what I want most right now is to go to sleep. I had a very bad moment due to a very injudicious decision to drink some Diet Coke with my breakfast, which left me both tired and wired, and that is like my worst possible mental state that doesn’t involve a severe brain event.

It leaves me anxious and sleepy at the same time, and so I am too tense to sleep and yet too sleepy to be able to come up with a plan to escape my terrible mind hole, and so I get the worst of both states.

So, no drinking caffeinated beverages when I expect to be able to go back to sleep. Duh. Seems pretty obvious to me now, but that is hindsight talking.

The upshot of that misadventure, however, is that I am now very sleepy. I am thinking that taking a nap after I finish this blog entry is not so much an option as an inevitability. I am not really in the loop on that decision.

Well, no matter how this day shakes down, the next time I talk to you people, I will be free of Nerdvana and fully committed to our new place, Fanhattan.

Before that, though, I am going to go lapse into a coma for a bit.

Thank you so much for reading me. I will talk to all of you nice people tomorrow.

Victory! Hooray! Huzzah!

FINALLY, after all these weeks, I have the Internet on my main computer again.

And it feels good. Oh, how I have missed you, Internet in its rightful place. Sure, using the shared living room computer got the job done, but like Dorothy said, there’s no place like home.

There is still the little matter that the living room computer, in its fresh place in our new bedroom, is sans Internet and down one power cable for its monitor (I honestly don’t know where that damned thing went), but still, baby steps.

As promised, I will now step up the ambition levels of my videos. This little period of pure uncut talking heads stuff made for a nice break and a suitable transition period between doing no videos and doing some, but now that I got the Internet on the same computer as my video editor, I no longer have any excuse not to try to get back to doing the kinds of things that I was doing way way back last October before I made the disastrous decision to drop the video making while I wrote that year’s novel.

Mistakes were made. Lessons were learned. Now is not the time to blame game.

Instead, let’s play the Name Game!

A great game that everyone loves except my friends Mitch and Chuck.

So yes, I am positively giddy to the point of delirium about having the Internet back on this computer. Sometimes you just don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

(WARNING : If anyone links to one of the bajillion covers of Big Yellow Taxi now, I will be forced to hunt them down like an escaped fugitive and pop a cap in their ass. I swear, it’s worse than Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, of which there is only one fully acceptable cover. )

(That was it. Love you, Rufus! Maritimes boy made good. )

Man, I am extra wacky today.

As I promised, I continued to blog and make vids while I was away from you all. I missed one day, which was the Big Moving Day last Tuesday, and so it was total chaos and I had barely a chance to draw a breath, let alone concentrate on things like blogs and videos and so forth.

But otherwise, I did not fail in my duty to keep producing content that would eventually add value to the world. They say that there are many ways to be “productive” that do not involve being employed, and I really want to believe that. I certainly would not tell another person in my position that they were a worthless drain on society.

But that is still how I feel sometimes. It would do me major geographical shifts of good to have some sort of job, even if it’s just working the till at a local gas station or the like.

And experience aside, I am qualified for such a job. I am courteous, polite, honest, dependable, mature, reliable, and I genuinely enjoy customer service.

Honestly, the only strike against me is that I am not sure how long I can stay on my feet at a stretch. But I would probably be okay if I could go for a wander around the store now and then to move my feet and take care of little tasks.

Moving your feet is not as good as resting them, but it helps. The main problem with standing for a long time when you are a fat dude is that blood pools in your feet, making them swollen and sore.

Walking gets the blood moving again. Again, not a total solution, but if the job for some insane reason forbade sitting, it would get the job done.

I get the feeling that the breaks other people used for coffee or smokes, I would use for sitting. To me, they would be Sit Breaks, or maybe Foot Breaks.

So who knows, there might be a job like that around here somewhere. I would much rather work for a small business than a big corporation. Sure, small businesses can be as insane, cruel, corrupt, and fucked up as big businesses, but at least you know who your are dealing with. You have some idea of what it actually going on.

And you are not being asked to dissolve your identity into some homogenizing corporate whole either. That is not an idea of which I am personally fond. I like to have full control of the identities I assume, and that is a lot easier with a small business. You aren’t Worker Drone #1273556.

You’re Bob the Cashier. Or in my case, Mike.

And honestly, I just like small business more. Small businesses practice genuine, honest capitalism. They can’t make a profit by manipulating their own stock or ripping off their employees’ retirement funds or any other financial skulduggery.

They only make money by selling goods or services to the public. That’s exactly how capitalism is supposed to work. And inasmuch as a society allows for entities to reap the benefits of capitalism without providing the benefits of capitalism to the community, that society is not capitalist.

It is, at best, an oligarchy. Remember that, folks. All that talk about the wonders of the free market and how it can provide everything we need is built on a presupposition that the operators within the system can only become rich by providing an honest, genuinely benefit to society.

But the very nature of the profit motive is to look for shortcuts that maximize profits, and in order for the free market to compensate for all the possible dirty, anti-capitalist tricks in the world, we the consumers would have to have nearly perfect knowledge of what businesses are doing to us.

And that, of course, is impossible on the face of it, let alone against the self-interest of the very people such knowledge is supposed to police.

Man, it feels good to vent my political thoughts again. I am so glad to be over that hump.

I will talk to you nice people tomorrow.

Two important announcements

The first announcement is that I am moving tomorrow afternoon, and hence I do not know when I will be back on the Internet yet. Could be soon, could be less soon.

But rest assured, nice people, I will continue to write blog entries and make my silly little videos.

I just won’t be able to share them with you until we get the whole Internet business sorted out at the new place.

The other announcement is that I have recently been the victim of a bizarre email bottleneck. I received absolutely no email for at least a week, and then today I got 24 messages. So if you have emailed me recently and got no reply, know that I was not ignoring you. I just didn’t get your message.

Honestly, for a little while there, I thought people were ignoring me.

The Last Day

Today is our last day in this apartment.

Tomorrow, the movers come. By tomorrow evening, all our furniture will be in the new place. We will still have plenty more things to move, of course. Right now, we are just concentrating on getting everything off or out of the furniture.

And honestly, I am a bit worried about that. It’s almost 4 pm, and there are a lot of things still on or in bits of furniture. I offered to help Joe pack stuff up, but he did not seem enthused about the idea.

So I guess I am on the sidelines this time. All I can do is take care of the last few bits of packing I have left, and hope that it all sorts itself out.

I can’t help but worry about it. I am a worrier by nature. I fret. Not about everything, just about the big stuff when there is big stuff going down.

I suppose if I had my way, I would have this whole move organized into efficient work units and people would be loading stuff here and unloading stuff there nearly constantly. I would have it all clicking over in a way that gets things done in an orderly way and it would all seem easy and fun.

But I am not in charge, and with these damned earaches, I wouldn’t be doing a very good job if I was. Nothing like chronic pain to drain your mental resources and make it hard to be together and competent and all that good stuff.

I may decide to sneakily just start packing things up and see if anyone actually stops me. Chance are they won’t, and I can move from fretting to helping.

I will miss this place. I will certainly miss this space. Life will be a good deal more compact in the new place and that will take some getting used to.

But I have been looking around at all our stuff, and I am pretty sure that if we just get rid of the stuff that we don’t actually use (like the kitchen table), the amount of real loss will be minimal.

I am glad I got a chance to see the place again last night as we dropped off a few things. The place had shrunk in my neurotic mind and I was beginning to panic about how we could possibly set up a living room type space.

But it will be fine. Possibly a tad cozier than before… we will no longer have a big living room spreading us all out. So we might have to sort out some personal space issues. I imagine the exact living room setup will need fine tuning as we adjust to the new space.

But we will endure, and adapt.

Our new place is in a Strata building, and like I have mentioned before, I have mixed feelings about that.

On the one hand, I am not huge on rules and I don’t like fussy little details, so things like a sign commanding residents to wait until the gate closes before driving away (you know, to make sure nobody SNEAKS IN) and informing us that violators will be fined really ruffles my rebel feathers.

Like seriously, do these people think there are waves of homeless people crouched behind bushes just waiting for the first chink in their security armor so they can stream in and immediately start urinating all over everything? What do they seriously think would happen if that sign wasn’t there?

For that matter, what do they think waiting for the gate to close is accomplishing? If someone wanted to get in on foot, us sitting there in the car isn’t going to stop them. They would be through the gate and into the secure parking before we could even react.

It’s just another case of the middle class need to imagine that everyone wants their material possessions, because otherwise they would lose their value.

So that’s one half of the equation. On the other hand, it being a Strata building insures that when things go wrong, they will be fixed promptly and well. It means that we will have a concierge to ask for help with things, a building manager who is polite and attentive, and the sorts of rules and regulations that keep things quiet, clean, and orderly.

I am all for rules and regulations that make things safe and quiet and comfortable and pleasant for everyone. It’s the unnecessary ones that bother me.

So we will see how I adjust. The most likely scenario is that it won’t matter much and I will forget all about the whole Strata issue a week after we move in.

But it’s not impossible that I will have a confrontation with some fussbudget who takes an issue with something or other that is none of their business.

And I would have a lot of trouble remaining reasonable in that situation.

One thing bugging me is that we will not have cable, land line, or Internet when we move in. I reminded Joe to take care of that a bunch of times over the last week or so, but it still hasn’t been done, so we are going to be in a dead zone for who knows how long before we are connected to the world again.

I would have taken care of it myself, but all our services are in Joe’s name. So I kind of lack the authority to transfer them.

It makes me wish that I had never mentioned the idea of getting all three via Telus. That seems to have given Joe the pretense to put the ball in my court.

Well I looked at the Telus website and it seems like we would be paying a lot more. On the other hand, they would give us a free PVR rental and… no shit… a 40 inch flatscreen TV for signing up.

So I don’t know. That’s a pretty good offer.

I guess it really IS my problem.

Oh well. I will talk to you nice people again…. sometime soonish?

Here comes the rain again

In other words, I’m depressed.

Same as before. I feel heavy and beat down and just plain sad. Dunno if there is a physiological cause or if I am just processing some leftover emotions.

Yes, I know, that would also have a physiological cause, just one in the brain. Shut up, pedantic materialist in my head.

The periodic assaults on my coping structures from earaches certainly doesn’t help. I did eventually go get the antibiotics for them, though. If it is some kind of ear infection, that should take care of it. It’s what took care of it before, those times when I had swimmer’s ear.

My doctor didn’t seem to think it was swimmer’s ear. Looking at the Wiki page, I am inclined to agree. This is definitely not that. At least it explains why my GP tugged on my earlobe and asked if that hurt (it didn’t). Swimmer’s ear is an outer ear thing. I would have a red, inflamed earlobe if that was my condition.

So now I have no idea what it was I had before. A middle ear infection, maybe? It can’t be inner ear because there are no auditory effects. And honestly, just a guess, but I figure if it was my inner ear, I would be in a lot more pain.

I mean, there’s pain and then there’s pain. Compared to everyday life, these earaches are very painful.

Compared to when my gall bladder went kablooey, they are a mere pinch.

All I know is that I have had this before and it always came about as a result of fluid in my ear. And antibiotics did solve it. So, fingers crossed there.

Skylos, if you are reading this, I can’t thank you and Dhugal enough for taking care of me those two times I had an ear infection when I lived with you in Silicon Valley. I owe you guys so much. Yo and Ross, of course.

The moving is going okay on my end. I am probably going to pack up and move my main computer today. It’s not like I am using it much lately, what with it being Internet-free. Funny how in this day and age, that renders a computer useless.

Well, nearly useless, anyhow.

I have figured out how I can fix it on my own, though. Once I get my check next week, I will buy a USB WiFi receiver. I figured those must exist, so I Googled it, and yup. I can get one at NCIX for just 10 dollars. And that way, I don’t have to prevail upon William to come fix our Ethernet cable.

It’s about time I gave up the hard line anyhow. It’s so pre-millennial.

I will have to make sure that my computer is as close as is reasonable possible to the WiFi router, though.

Dealing with WiFi signal variability is bad enough on my tablet. On my actual PC, it would be intolerable.

I am somewhat stressed about the rest of the move. I dunno if we are going to have everything in place by Tuesday. I am going to offer my help for the rest of it once I am done with blog and video.

Committing to a blog and a vid a day doesn’t seem like such a big deal when you largely have nothing else to do with your time. But when you actually have things to get done, it becomes kind of a pain.

Still, I am looking forward to the move. I have been wanting something to come along to shake up my life for a long time, and I guess I got my wish with this whole eviction thing. Because of it, we are moving to a new place which has a different set of drawbacks and virtues, and the resulting chaos can be harnessed and used as both the energy and the opportunity for renewal.

And boy, do I need renewal.

I will do my best to be more responsible in the new place. Keep things cleaner, including my body. Get into the habit of looking around for things to do when I feel bored and stressed out. Fuss over stuff.

And flip my damned mattress. It desperately needs it, for both comfort and sanitary reasons. So much sleep sweat in it. Gross.

Maybe I will even start using my CPAP machine again. Anything’s possible. Who knows, maybe they have masks that reduce the claustrophobia factor now.

My claustrophobia is largely what made my relationship with it so… complex. The feeling of the mask over my face and having to remember to breathe through my nose (if you open your mouth, it breaks the seal) and such really made me feel trapped and restricted, and I would have trouble breathing even though another part of me knew that I was actually breathing way better than normal.

Throw in an allergy attack and the resultant stuffed up nose, and the thing becomes unusable. When you can’t breathe through your nose, the only options left are to breathe through your mouth or through your ears.

And my Eustachian tubes are usually clogged up too.

So I guess I can count myself amongst those who tried CPAP and it just didn’t work for them. My sleep apnea has gone untreated for like five years because of it, and because, well, depression is an ugly illness that makes people do ugly things just because they lack the motivation to do anything else.

The thing is, in order to go to the next step of treatment (probably surgery), I will have to admit to people in authority that I have let things slide for a very, very long time.

And that is a major barrier for a socially anxious person like me.

Hopefully, I will work up the nerve eventually and go get this shit fixed. The next step is likely surgery, and I am willing to go under the knife if there is a good enough chance that it will result in better sleep.

Time to resume this whole moving thing.

I will talk to you nice people tomorrow.