Monday, November 7, 2011

To be or not to be?

When it comes to existential angst, that is the ultimate question, isn't it? Continue drifting aimlessly or end the pretense? At this point, I'm not particularly bothered by what dreams may come, because I think that, with apologies to both Shakespeare and Raymond Chandler, the end is not really a big sleep but more like sweet oblivion. That notion goes against everything I've been taught and believed until now. Is this what it's like to lose one's sanity / lucidity / faith / whatever? Discuss.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


It isn't what it's cracked up to be -- pun most definitely intended. Because of my unremitting melancholic depression, I finally had the psychotic episode that had been building for 40+ years and had to be institutionalized. I was so doped up the first couple of days that I have almost no memories of those days. I was admitted into a behavioral center on Saturday, and pretty much slept through the remainder of that day and all of Sunday. My first awareness of my surroundings was on Monday morning. I hate to think of what had to be done to me to make sure my body passed its waste products. [Shudders.]

Being committed is basically like being sentenced to prison, minus the gang rape and shanking episodes. OK, it's not like being sentenced to prison at all, but your freedom is limited. I was internet and phone-free for an entire week, had to share living quarters and bathrooms with occasionally filthy roommates, didn't have access to even basic needs like pens or pencils, which was particularly obnoxious when trying to do the Jumble or crossword puzzles, and was forced to eat, sleep, shower, and socialize at someone else's whimsy because we had a set schedule. As if that weren't annoying enough to a control freak like me, I was forced to eat a lot more food than I can tolerate because the nurses and attendants scored your meals. So if I only ate a piece of mystery meat that was supposedly turkey and left the revolting broccoli and cauliflower poo-poo combo on my plate, my meal was scored as 50 out of 100. In the interest of getting out of there as quickly as possible, I rammed an obscene amount of food down my throat and did more smiling and pleasant chatting over that week than I'd done over the past year or so.

Be that as it may, I have to admit I'm thankful. Yes, in spite of all my obnoxious whining and the fact that I've been diagnosed with a type of depression that reportedly doesn't respond to chemistry nor therapy but may respond to electroshock treatment (!!!), I'm thankful. Being inside a loony bin for a week exposed me to much worse ailments than the one that afflicts me. For example, a gentleman who used to be a schoolteacher had the unfortunate habit of thinking that the people in whatever television program happened to be on in the day room were talking shit to him, and so he would argue with the television while gesticulating wildly. That was, unfortunately, one of the milder cases. A girl who was committed so she could detoxify from alcohol and drugs tried to hang herself with a bath towel and was saved because her roommate happened to need the restroom at that very moment and walked in on her in the process. A particularly unfortunate passive-aggressive patient was beaten twice in the space of two days because he somehow incurred the rage of two violent patients. Another patient had neurotic crying breakdowns pretty much on a daily basis and had to be constantly restrained and sedated.

All things considered, I survived my suicidal tendencies while being institutionalized. What more fitting conclusion, then, than this glorious 80's masterpiece?

Sunday, July 24, 2011


That's all I'm doing. Just drifting through life. I get up. I turn on the coffee pot. I go to the restroom. I have my coffee. I think about what could and should have been. I'm inside my own head all the time. I eventually shower. I think about upcoming events or obligations. I try to muster up the willpower to act on those events or obligations. I realize that in the end, nothing makes a difference. Fix the kitchen sink. Work on meaningless graduate education class assignments. Start thinking about the upcoming school year and the classes I'll be teaching. Go to the doctor to see about a possible change in medication. Go to the gym. None of it matters. I'm just drifting from one day to the next. From one week to the next. From one month to the next. I'm just drifting through life until it ends. No meaning, no sense of purpose, no idea why I even bother getting up.

Am I being unrealistic or spoiled in thinking that a person's life should have at least a little bit of happiness? Of purpose? Of meaning? I'll be 43 years old next month. I don't know if I can take another 20 minutes of this, much less years. Not suicidal, not crying out for help -- just completely defeated, hollow, and devoid of all hope. There has to be more to life than this.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Apparently, it's the new witching hour. For the past week, I have woken up at 3:05 on the button, for no discernible reason. I have gone to bed at different times. I have had my last meals of the day at different times. I have had different levels of physical activity throughout the days. No matter what the circumstances, I have woken up at 3:05. If this were a horror movie or a nightmare, the lights wouldn't work when I tried to switch them on. Thus far (knock on wood!), the lights have come on when, in my disoriented, frightened and annoyed haze, I flip the switch. Furthermore, no disembodied hand, claw, hoof, or evil appendage of your choice has grabbed my arm when I reach for the light switch. Again, knock on wood! I don't think my home was built on an ancient Indian burial ground, and since I'm the original resident, there's no way a previous tenant was murdered at precisely 3:05. I don't know what the deal is, but I'm not above admitting that I'm seriously creeped out by these quasi-paranormal shenanigans. If this escalates and I should happen to wake up dead or wind up looking like this, please tell my loved ones I said good-bye.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My students rock

I’m still feeling on the outs, but if there’s one thing I can always take comfort in, it’s my job. Even though it’s a stressful, time-consuming job, it’s one where I’m constantly exercising my mind, and it’s never boring. It is, to put it succinctly, a job I love. I never thought I’d be lucky enough to utter that phrase, but I do love my job. To wit: my Physics students turned in their last reading journals last week, and here are a few of the more humorous / kind / enthusiastic highlights:

  • I thought this chapter was kind of confusing. Everything I did was plug things in and somehow they were right. I figured out the less I think the better grade I get. So I am just not going to think on the test.
  • [Drawing of a girl drying her hair] Some chick with a hair dryer.
  • This chapter was my favorite because it’s the last one… ever.
  • I am trying and studying my hardest to not fall for your evil tricky problems.
  • What I don’t like about resistors is how they’re numbered all stupidly with colored bars as if the number is all secretive for only freaky electricians to understand.
  • Dear Mr. [NAME], I just wanted to say that it was a pleasure to have you as a teacher for 2 years! You’re an awesome teacher & I’m really going to miss you… and sorry for sucking at Physics!
  • I’m gonna miss you, Mr. [NAME]!! :( You’ve helped me out A LOT in the past two school years.
  • You are an awesome teacher! :) I can’t wait ‘til AP Physics.
  • Overall this chapter was an interesting one. Still, I didn’t want it to be the last. 5 more chapters!! Let’s forget about final review and just learn up to Chapter 22!! I can’t wait for AP Physics!!!

I can’t wait either.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Black gives way to blue

In a really bad funk right now. Work is going very well, but everything else is going very poorly. Too much unpleasantness to deal with all at once, including a surprisingly painful death in the family. Can't sleep. Can't eat. Can't get out of my own head. Can't stop whining. No bueno.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Almost two months

As hard as it is to believe or even fathom, the Cavs' win last night was their first win in almost two months. And this isn't one of those trick statements, as in, "but those two months were during the off-season; yuk, yuk!" We're talking nearly two months' worth of games lost. Twenty-six losses in a row, to be exact. It is, of course, no wonder the team is so awful. In addition to losing four of their five starters to free-agency or cowardly, pus-dripping treachery, they've had a particularly ghastly streak of injuries, so much so that on any given night during the losing streak, they were starting Jamison, who's a very good player, and four guys whose mothers hadn't even heard of them. I really think that at one point, coach Byron Scott was just trolling the parking lot of Quicken Loans Center and looking for tall homeless guys that he thought might have some athletic ability so he could insert them into the line-up. Painful, painful, painful. Thankfully, Mo Williams, the only remaining starter from last year's team, returned from a prolonged injury last night. Although the team looked far from "good," they were at least competent. We Cavs fans -- the remaining thirteen or so of us -- understand that this is a lost season, pun intended, and that we must remain patient while we rebuild through the draft. Still, losing an astounding twenty-six games in a row is hard to stomach, patience notwithstanding. The "worst record in the league" trophy is practically locked in at this point, so our odds of getting the first pick in the draft aren't going to improve with further losing streaks from hell.

Keep the faith, Cavs fans.