Friday, January 27, 2006

"No one here gets out alive"

Jim Morrison. Poet? Insane? Dope-head? What difference does it make. The quote is self explanatory.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how close I am to the implied outcome of it. I'm 43 now. My father passed at 68. My grandfather passed at 65 or 66. This means I have 22 to 25 years before I'm in the zone. Now, both of them were relatively healthy at the time. I'm already one foot on the edge. Well, maybe more like one foot on the lawn. Still, whatever it is I have much less to look forward to than look back on. This is the natural progression of life, of course. Everyone who lives past 35 or so is statistically in the same boat. But I'm not thinking along those lines. I'm thinking that I have nothing and my future looks like nothing.

Have you ever seen the Thomas the Tank Engine show? The one thing that all the trains want to aspire to is being very useful. To have a purpose, a reason. There was an editorial in one of the recent Newsweek magazines. In it a guy talked about how after he got an early severance package during a cutback he wandered around in his retirement feeling useless. He realized that he defined himself by his job. This is not uncommon at all. Ask anyone, "What are you?" and they'll tell you what they do. "I'm a painter." "I'm a teacher." "I'm a computer geek." So what does that make me now? I was a computer geek. A damn good one, too. I pulled my fair share of miracles out of the IT hat. But it wasn't that which defined me. It was just simply that I was a techie. I hack therefore I am.

Now, I am just the unemployed/unemployable disabled lump on the couch. I'm extremely lonely, especially for female companionship. I guess that's why I kept hanging on to the Chinese lady even when I knew it wasn't a fit. I'm also really, really, really, really tired of the pain. I'm tired of not being able to do the simplest things like go to a restaurant or a movie or just hangout. Even when I am visiting my family I can't really do it for that long. I'm even staying away from the computers. Nothing seems worth it anymore. With one exception, of course.

If it weren't for my son I would not be typing this now. I wouldn't be doing anything except rotting in the dirt. I hadn't really accepted that fact. I kinda alluded to it at times but it didn't really hit home 'till now. The straight up fact is that without him, I would not have a reason to live.

But even with that reason I seem to be having difficulties with my head. I'm thinking thoughts I don't think. I mean that they aren't coming from my conscious mind. It's not like there's someone else in there or that someone is mind controlling me (though to be honest I wouldn't know if it was). It's like thoughts that are independent of my will. They aren't thoughts about killing anyone or myself. They are more like thoughts about how it's really not worth going through the motions of life anymore.

I think maybe it's time to call the shrink again.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Balance lost?

Something is wrong. I can't describe it but it's definitely there. I don't know when it started but it's been a while. The best I can do to describe it is to say that there's a hole in my heart. Not the physical one, the ephemeral one. The heart that the Bard writes about. It feels like a black hole in my chest. Every time I try and look into it and feed it some signals everything gets sucked in. And it's bottomless, thus the black hole feeling. I've been racking my brains trying to figure out where this is coming from. It's no use, though. All I can get out of it is that it's fear based, but only in the sense that a pearl is sand based.

I've always had insecurities and feeling of inferiority but I'd pretty much worked those back to being just a faint whisper. Now it feels like they are back in force but it's not them. It's something else that just feels like them. Or maybe it is them and the meds are masking it. Or maybe it's the meds in the first place. It's all so confusing.

So what to do about it. I don't know. I've been toying with the idea of calling the psychotherapist but that seems premature. Maybe talk to the psychiatrist? There's no one in my life I can talk to about this. The closest one would be Mum but this isn't something that I think is ready to be unleashed on her. She's got enough to deal with (mostly things I am the cause of in the first place).

This is the first time in a LONG time I've felt like getting stoned. That is one of the few things that always covered/masked the black pit.

As for the rest of life, there's some good things that are lining up which look to make life a whole lot better. Possibly even as early as this summer. If they fall into place that will be a fantastic turnaround for almost all of us in the family. I don't want to say more for fear of jinxing it.

And now I think I'll go have a nap.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Star Trek Effect

Ever since the original series there's been an interesting phenomenon with respect to the actors who portrayed the characters we all know and love. And it's generally not very good.

Many of the people who have stared or been featured in any of the five series had acting careers in the movies before coming on board. Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, DeForest Kelley from TOS. Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, Wil Wheaton from TNG. Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Terry Farrell from DS9. Kate Mulgrew, Garrett Wang from VOY. And not to be left out, Scott Bakula from ENT. This isn't an inclusive list of course. If you want to check out who did what before their Star Trek hitches just search the Internet Movie Database.

This is all well and good, but what about after Star Trek? How did their careers fair after coming down from space?

We all know the most famous Star Trek alum who kept it going. Bill Shatner went on to fame with T.J. Hooker, TekWar, Boston Legal and a host of movie roles. The rest of the TOS crew weren't so lucky. In fact, with the exception of Shatner and one other, most of them got stuck hard in their Star Trek roles or retired (more or less) from the industry.

The other exception is Colm Meaney. He, along with Michael Dorn, are the only characters that had major roles in more than one series (specifically TNG and DS9). Since his Star Trek days he's gone on to star or be featured in many movies, most recently "Caved In" on the SciFi Channel.

Now, this is not to say that everyone else got buried under the brand, but you don't see them on things much, do you. So I say "Huzzah" to Miles O'Brian's alter ego. May he achieve the success, if not the notoriety, of his pioneering predecessor.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Hatsu Basho starts tomorrow

The January Sumo tournament starts tomorrow and I can't wait. See, there are a number of different games that I play which are analogous to Fantasy Football and the like. Of the games I play, the one that is the primary and that I put the most effort into is Bench Sumo. You don't need to worry about figuring out how to play it or anything. The only important thing is that my rank is Sandanme 1 East. If I can put together a winning Basho this time out I'm good for a promotion to Makushita. That would be very cool. You can see the current ranking of all the Bench Sumo players at Takanorappa's Bench Sumo Ichimon page. And Ichimon is basically just a collection of wrestlers, known as Rikishi. If you're interested in what these strange words mean you can check out the Sumo Glossary. My fighting name for all the games I play is Kuramarujo. Anyway, it's off to bed so I can get a good sleep before the first day's bout. I'm up against Onigashima, who is Sandanme1 West. Should be a good fight.

Finally! An update on my life

Like anyone actually cared.
Oh where to start...

First off, there's a chance I might have a job. It's a sales position (Ugh) at CompUSA. The pay is pretty slim but it's more than I got now. I'm hoping it'll be enough to bring me to a self-sustaining level. The manager who I'd be working under is VERY amiable towards working out accommodations for me and he seems to understand my situation. I just need to pass an interview with the store manager and probably with the HR person. $DEITY I hate interviews.

A while back I mentioned I was gong to see a Neurologist. That went pretty well. There doesn't seem to be any neuropathy showing in the tests but I do have some symptoms in my feet and lower legs. The doctor, who's name is Jim Grim (I'm not making this up), was asking me about the meds I'm on and how they are working. After discussing it with him he said that since I'm taking pain killers that have narcotic qualities or are very low dosage narcotics but not having relief from the pain I might as well be on stronger narcotics. Right now I'm running the risk without getting the benefits. He going to talk to my rheumatologist about it (if he doesn't forget).

Another thing that came up while I was talking to him was the idea of motorized transport, i.e. a motorized wheelchair or scooter. I've been generally against getting a chair because once you get in one it's basically impossible to get back out. However, a while back I was lying on the couch watching TV (pretty much the only other thing I do besides sleep) while my son was outside playing with some friends. Then an ad for The Scooter Store came on and it just clicked. If I had one of these I could be out playing with my son. I could go shopping at the mall or to a movie or pretty much anything I can't do now. This is what led me to ask Dr. Grim about a chair. He said that he's write the referral but it was up to the managed end of the HMO to say yes or no. He didn't think they'd go for it but we figured what the hell. So I went up and asked. Turns out that my plan covers motorized chairs and scooters. So now the referral is supposed to be up with the people who do the accept/reject part of the system. Next week I'm going to try and remember to call and see if anything is happening with the referral. Man, I hope they approve it.

There was also a call this last week from my HMO about some paperwork I put in months ago for my rheumatologist to go over. This is in preparation of trying, for the third time, to get Social Security disability benefits. That's another thing I need to remember to do next week. If I get the chair, too, I just might be able to get those %#*&% people to see the light. But I'm not holding my breath.

There's one thing I have been very amiss on. Back in November I got in touch with the Department of "Getting Disabled People Jobs" (ok, I can't remember the real name but that's what they do). The man there was very helpful and had a number of good ideas. He just needed some paperwork from me to get the ball rolling. Well, with everything that was going on then I completely forgot about it. Luckily Mum remembered and got his name and number for me. Add this to the things to do next week list.

I also need to get with those idiots at Celarity IT. They still haven't reimbursed me for the expense report I had from last January. It's not a great amount of money but it is a couple-a hundred and that would be a great help.

Nothing happening on the "Fairer Sex" front but I think that's going to be the norm from now on. It'll be even harder to find a gal when I'm in a chair. Whatever.

Oh! Mum is trying to broker a deal that would completely change the living arrangements for me & my son, her and my two brothers. If it works out it will save everyone involved a LOT of money. The process will take a few months if it happens so I need to do what I can to hang on now.

Let's see... I guess that's about it. There might be some things I forgot but if so they would only be the very important things. I remember the trivia extremely well.