May 11th, 2015: clean out my contacts list

i feel like shit today. For no particular reason really. I just want to sleep and/or do nothing. I had the day off work and feel like I’ve wasted it. I haven’t been on facebook for four days which is rather unlike me. I’m the type of person who is compelled go back to the last post they saw to make sure they haven’t missed anything. It’s gone too far, I’ve missed too much. I might never be able to go back.

In a very small effort to make my day productive with minimal effort I decided to clean up my contacts list. I’ve been using an iPhone for at least 4 years, it must be longer now. Now that I look at some of the numbers I had saved, they must have been transferred over from my analog phone via a SIM card. Is that even possible? I don’t know and I don’t care.  

The deleted list included:

A restaurant for which I had made a reservation at for a group of friends on vacation. This was in 2009

Two people I met at a work conference in Toronto circa 2011. We actually did stay in contact for about 6 months- a year

A person called Joane. 

A Roric. Person? Reataurant? I’m not sure.

A former friend who shall remain nameless that was a key player in a ridiculous scenario of a crazy person and their desire to stalk me.

A person called Robyn. 

The superintendent of the overpriced apartment I lived in from 2013-2014

Not one but two different locations of a Mediterranean restaurant. 

Two lawyers. 

A rock wall climbing place I made a reservation at years ago.

A mental health physician for whom I did a presentation for (irony anyone?!) 

I kept the people that are still somewhat relatively part of my life even if I haven’t spoken to them in awhile. 

I did find this at the end of the list. I don’t know what it means but what if it’s important?! I should keep it just in case. 

  

May 3, 2015: Make Potato towers

Today was another glorious day which makes me almost forgive nature for skipping spring as we’ve gone straight to summer. The beautiful weather makes me keen to get outdoors and get growing. I’ve never grown potatoes before, but know that growing them the traditional in-ground way uses up a lot of space and can be labourious to harvest.  The best option for me was to go vertical and make potato towers.

You will need:

chicken wire/wire mesh

straw

soil

seed potatoes

Originally I had wanted to buy chicken wire, but I didn’t go further than a big box store to look and couldn’t get any.  Instead I got this:

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In the end I was quite pleased with this choice because it was the perfect length which meant it required no cutting, and it came with extra wire for me to sew up the seams.  This job definitely requires gloves and ideally long pants and sleeves.  I didn’t have those because it was so hot so I got a few scratches.

After being so tightly wound for so long, it has a natural inclination to curl up so I had to step on the ends a bit to loosen it up. Next I formed it into a cylinder and stitched up the seam with the extra wire.  This took longer than I thought it would. An ant crawled into my pants and walked down my ass crack.  I waited for it to crawl out because I was afraid if I stood up it would get all up in my lady bits.

After standing up my tower, I made a small nest with straw.

An aside on straw, this is in fact different than hay. Hay is for animals to eat, straw is for animal bedding. All those times you thought you went on a hay ride as a kid?  LIES! You have never been on a hay ride, you have been on a straw ride. At this time of year, the only place to get straw is a farm supply/feed store.  It’s cheap, less than $7/bale but it will make a fucking mess of your car and you can’t drive with the windows down because: STRAWNADO!

The purpose of the straw is to keep the soil from falling out of the mesh holes, and to retain moisture. So here is the tower with the straw nest.

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Next step is to put down a thick layer of good soil.  Since this is my first time growing them I played it safe and bought seed potatoes, 2 x 2lb bags. With the eyes facing the straw, lay out some well spaced potatoes around the edges.

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That bit middle is sun, not a potato.  Based on the width of my tower, i did five potatoes on each layer.  Continue building up the straw and adding layers of potatoes.  All the bending and lifting was a great workout, I’m going to be sore as fuck tomorrow. Top of the tower with more straw and give it a very thorough soaking.  They will need to be placed in the sun and be kept moist.

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Soon all the green vines will come shooting out every which way.  To harvest, you just need to push those fuckers over and pull out all the potatoes. Each tower should yield approximately 60 lbs of potatoes and contains 80 L of soil so I’m probably going to have to  go all Hulk on them to get them to tip.

Hulk

April 30, 2015: watch colonoscopy videos

My mom called me last night to tell me that she had a colonoscopy and “pre cancer” was found. It was a polyp which had it not been found and removed in time but would have turned into cancer within the year. She was calling to remind me that I needed to have a colonoscopy sooner than the average person because colon cancer runs in both sides of my family. I’m super psyched about that, but let’s get real; that little tool certainly wouldn’t be the biggest thing I’ve had up my ass. Amirite?! 

I don’t know why but I started watching colonoscopy videos on YouTube. That polyp remover seems pretty efficient and easy to use. It’s like a video game for doctors. Somehow my viewing led me to one video about colon parasites which was set to classical music. The parasites are nasty as fuck but the music really classed the whole thing up a bit. Are they even still called videos? Is this an 80’s term that people don’t use anymore?

I passed a 70ish year old man today and we conversed. I wished him a good evening and typical old person style he said “stay out of trouble!” And I replied with “I’ll try.” with a sneaky little grin. Old people are cute. Except for the annoying ones. 

April 26th, tell off a neighbour

I can be assertive when I need to be but I am not particularly fond of confrontation. When I saved my neighbours dog from running into the street AGAIN I was pissed. It’s a Jack Russell and it is constantly escaping from their yard and running amok. I’m surprised it hasn’t been killed. After putting it on a leash I walked it back home and the owner was driving around looking for it. She stopped, laughed and said “I should put you on my payroll.” I said something like “shut the fuck up bitch and start talking care of your goddamned dog.” Thats paraphrased of course, that’s not exactly what I said, but she knew I wasn’t pleased. The good part is she lives far enough away that I won’t see her again until next time if have to return that fucking wiry little dog. 

In other news, I believe I have finally determined the amount of alcoholic beverages I can consume without waking up in the middle of the night in a full blown panic and that number is three. Any more than three drinks and I need some drugs to calm me the fuck down. It’s been a fun/terrifying question to solve. Science!! Science? Maybe not science, but still.

I’ve also recently discovered a concrete way to measure progress in my mental health and that is by comparing my work absences from year to year. By this time last year I had been sick 16 days, this year, one day and that one day was because I was in terrible withdrawal from my anti-depressants. Although I can acknowledge that many of my depressive episodes last year were due to my situation at the time, it reinforces for me that going off my anti-depressants was the right choice for me. I know that they are the answer for many people and that’s okay, but for me, they were a big factor in my depression, suicidal thoughts and attempt. 

I’m slowly learning to accept the fact that I was a little bit of fun Bobby. Now that I don’t drink much and am relatively sane, I’m pretty fucking boring. I’m embracing my inner boring person and am enjoying that flat monotonous ride. 

  

April 19th, 2015: Watch The Shinning.

do you ever accidentally “like” something on facebook then panic and unlike it? And then panic about whether or not you should like it again so you don’t look like a dick but then worry that that person might get two notifications and then think you’re over eager? Once I accidentally invited myself to a gay men’s event on facebook. Technology is stressful. 

I’ve spent 97% of my day feeling anxious. The very sound of one of my children speaking or the dog squeeking her toy sending me into a panic. I tried to find silence for awhile by walking the dog but then someone else was walking their dog and started talking to me. Just because we both have dogs doesn’t  mean we should talk.  Let’s just look at the ground, pretend we don’t see each other and keep walking like normal people. 

I’ve been meaning to watch the shinning for years. Even though suspenseful/horror movies scare me its just one of those classics that I felt I needed to watch. I finally found it on Netflix today and decided to watch it. That was a bad choice. An anxious person should not watch a two plus hour movie that plays scary music for the full movie. I won’t lie, I closed my eyes a couple of times. That helped a little. I don’t know why at the end he looks through the door and says “here’s Johnny!” His name was Jack. And then when the kid runs into the hedge maze to get away? Really? A massive hedge maze in the winter? Kids are stupid. The best bit though was seeing this scene. 

 

I always assumed that was from jack frost (which I have also never seen). I learned something today. Today has been a success! A mediocre success. Not all that successful actually.  

April 15, 2015: well, I’m a horrible person. I cancelled my volunteer gig at the last minute and am drinking champagne instead.

Does it make me slightly better if I said I didn’t have a particularly good day at work? Probably not.

A person who has been gone from my work life has returned today and their very presence put me in a bad mood. I don’t like being around negativity and manipulation and having them in my space started my day with resentment for my job. Then I spent my lunch hour in court learning that I will be subpoenaed as a witness for a trial on a day that happens to fall on my vacation time. Sonofabitch. My afternoon meeting that I thought was done at 3pm ended at 4pm. My ride home forgot about me and then when I finally did get home, my shipment of 12 bags of vegan marshmallows for $103.26 arrived containing 1 bag of marshmallows. That equates to about $3.50 per marshmallow. Sonofabitch. 

That left me feeling completely unenthoused about my volunteer shift tonight taking pictures of a volunteer dinner event. Maybe if it was taking pictures of something more important I would have been fine, but socializing with strangers isn’t appealing to me on a good day. And so I called in. I was hoping for a machine but I got a person. I said I had to work late and I couldn’t make it. Technically I was at work late since my ride forgot about me but the truth is I could have made it. I just didn’t want to. After my day the thought of a dinner event with strangers couldn’t be further from what I wanted to do. I did feel bad initially but I have accepted that it probably would have pushed me over the edge and I would have had to call in sick tomorrow. 

There were two good parts to my day though.

1. An attractive man driving an attractive car made eye contact with me at a stop light and smiled.

2. I had the chance to catch up with a coworker that I’m quite fond of (not aforementioned negative manipulator)

Oh, there’s a 3. CHAMPAGNE!!! 

March 10, 2015: spend Friday night hearing an environmental scientist speak 

That is perhaps not most people’s usual social activity of choice for a Friday, but it was mine. My city is currently in the process of having a company court it for a waste gasification plant located on the waterfront. There are many issues with this from an environntal, economic, tourist and social standpoint and I wanted to learn more about it. The group that put on the event was an environmental one and so the evening took on a one sided view from a passionate scientist. It was informative and was helpful given the audience. Of particular interest to me was his zero waste solution which was ripe with social enterprise ideas. 

It was lovely way to spend an evening with a friend feeling connected with our community and home by 9:30! 

I wish I could say that my anxiety attacks have stopped but they haven’t. I seem to be stuck in a sort of vortex of daily panic. I was doing so well for so long and it only took three days of triggers to put me on a repeat cycle. This mornings panic set in early. 5am early when I was woken up by the fucking birds that think everyone wants to hear their sweet spring song. Well you’re wrong birds, I want you to shut the fuck up so I can sleep later than 5am on a Saturday morning. Then of course being awake gave me opportunity to think about something occurring tomorrow (it’s a long and uninteresting story) that is causing me stress and then I could also feel shin splints from my 45 min steep decline walk to work yesterday. And bam, perfect storm. Curl up in a ball and breathe through it time. Next time I’m just going to run outside naked and yell at all the birds.