Daily Archives: July 5, 2017

Meltdown, Imminent

So after 4 days of running around, in spite of shark week pre-cursors and traffic and the helliday and my kid’s busy social life…I hit the wall last night, nicely, and I slept. Oh, I slept so well, and I was all mean and made her sleep in her own bed because she’d spent 4 nights in mine…(Just when you think they’ve outgrown it).

It was good, because I knew today she would be spending the night at grandma’s and I could take the necessary time to recover from, well, being her social tour guide. Because it doesn’t matter how little I must participate or how far back on the sidelines I stand…It comes with a Huge Price. But I was willing, for her sake, which meant, I spent my July 4th home noshing Marco’s pizza (meth for the tastebuds, totally addictive and no tooth loss) and not drinking a drop of ritas. I had to fetch her toward midnight from her church shindig. PLUS, in the morning, I dragged my medication nausea/barfing induced butt out of bed to take her to the parade meeting point for the church so she could join in…AND I parked down at the shop and walked 3 blocks to the parade route, amidst panic inducing dish dwellers, just so she could see her mom cared enough to show. (Even if I went all tasmanian devil and vanished 2 mins later.)

I AM TRYING. For her. Because part of me thinks I am done, stick a moldy rusted spork in me. I am duty above joy or pursuit of happiness. Ha, depression laughs at such silliness.

THEN I got a text at 8:10 a.m. today. R asking me to pop by the shop cos he couldn’t find his glasses, thought he left them at home. And it was like, poof, from a carriage to a pumpkin. No longer relaxed and enjoying hard earned rest, just back into the fray of being what everyone needs me to be so I can use the barter system for what I need. Which, by the way, means I am still driving a car that runs like shit, backfires, and I am pretty sure has failing back brakes and is gonna kill me but R has no time for me, I just gotta drop all for him.

I went once she finally woke. And it turned out, his glasses were left at his buddy’s place because all the shiny happy married people my age/ten years my age, have raised their kids and now they have cook outs and shit, WITHOUT ME, and I wanna say it’s cos yes, I am younger, have a small kid, can’t afford to chip in for food and whatever…But frankly, I think I am just that much of a depressive downer no one wants me around. And how can I blame them when at least once a day I kinda wait to hear I have cancer or swine ebola so there seems some merciful end in sight of this…this…mentally disordered existence.

Chances are I would have declined an invite. But to not even be invited for the first time in 5 years? Wow. I suck. I suck more than a Dyson vacuum.

Hurt feelings aside…I can’t bring myself to really care.

What did get me fired up was when I dropped my kid at my mom’s for her sleepover and my mom, DIVORCED FROM MY DAD 20 YEARS NOW, informs me that dad and stepmonster are bringing in a FUCKING MINIATURE PONY to their armpit town for my kid’s birthday next month. I wasn’t told and I am so fucking mad, I want them both to die. I am her parent and they didn’t invite me or even check scheduling. Because she wants a sleepover at her home with her neighbor friends and I agreed to it and here those assholes are usurping me, leaving me out, telling me when they’re gonna take her for 4 days…

And instead of maternal support because it upset me so much, my idget mother tells me not to drag her into it and tell them she mentioned it.

HELLO? Spook is MY child. MINE. Someone should not only mention it, it should have been mentioned long ago, to me, to begin with. I love miniature ponies and I am glad she has friends in her grandpa’s neighborhood…But this being left out of the loop like I’m not even a factor makes me want to pull the plug, start a family war, and declare NONE of them get her for any birthday celebration.

But I am gonna hold off til after shark week and the hormones die down a little then I will go from there. Only thing worse than an asshole family is being so whacked out myself I make the assholes look like decent beings.

So now I am kid free, housework buried, and I have to see my nurse practitioner tomorrow and her office already called with disapproving tones because I haven’t had the blood work done. One more person I have to justify my hormonal raw emotional nerve endings to and hope she has the empathy to grasp that I am not being non compliant…I am….flailing.

And since I am flailing no matter how brave I am and what major things I accomplish for my kid’s sake…I am gonna selectively eviscerate myself emotionally.

I am on binge watch season 11 of Grey’s Anatomy and I am at the episode where Derek dies and this one made me bawl an hour the first time around…Shark week, I may still be bawling tomorrow. But the plus side is…least fictional characters make me feel something that isn’t toxic, that has a little hope, that doesn’t feel like my soul is dying.

Let’s leave that sucky reality shit to family and bipolar depression.

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Understanding Bipolar Mood Disorder

Originally posted on Good Content:
[I originally wrote this article for Natural Medicine Magazine. They published it in their July 2017 issue.] By Ilse Watson Bipolar mood disorder is a serious…

Sunny Day

It’s a beautiful day here in Mississippi and I want to get out and do things.  I may go get my oil changed then go to the grocery store.  Then take my daughter swimming this afternoon.  We will see what happens.

I don’t think BOb is handling my middle one leaving early for school very well.  He’s bribing her to come back home for his birthday Saturday with a trip to see the new Spider-Man movie.  He’s really been leaning on her and it surprises me.  I never thought he would react like this.

WEll, if I’m going to the car place I need to cut this short.  I’m just glad I feel like getting out instead of moping around the house.  Hopefully this is a good sign.

Hope everyone has a good rest of the week.


Reblog – Addiction Part 2 #addiction #Impulse #Debt #BuyItNow

Originally posted on A Tony Of All Trades:
How do you handle people telling you what to do? Do you cave into peer pressure? Me… I don’t take people telling me what to do very well, I usually tell them…

Homelessness Could Happen To YOU.

Let’s face it: I’m homeless.

Not “house-free,” as people joke. “A house is not a home,” after all. Yes, I am high-class homeless: I live in a Mercedes Sprinter van (the same kind FedEx uses to deliver stuff) that has a camper built into it. Posh, for a homeless person! But I don’t have a physical address. I don’t have a home to return to, when I’m weary of the road. I don’t have a family, a family doctor, a community, etc. Nevertheless I’m blessed to have shelter and transportation.

A month ago I was camped by a lovely high meadow in Sequoia National Forest, in Forest Service Dispersed Camping. This is where I live: I wander from forest to forest, camping for free in the thousands of informal campsites sprinkled all over the largely unpaved Forest Service roads. Most of the time I’m fortunate to find isolated spots with no one around for miles. This particular time I was fortunate that there was another camper, a few hundred yards off.

It was a Chevy van, obviously a DIY conversion. Pretty neat, really. One man, no dog. I wondered what his story was. I hoped he was benign, but I tucked my pistol into its concealed carry holster nonetheless. I was miles from help, and no cell service. Of course I have my Doggess, my personal Enforcer; but as my Marine K-9 trainer taught me, if they shoot your dog, that gives you an extra 15 seconds to get your weapon ready. But I was hoping not to have any truck whatsoever with my neighbor.

Turns out, I was the one to introduce myself to the guy I’ll call Bob.

This Mercedes van isn’t like a Mercedes car. It’s a truck. Bells and whistles, none.

For instance: If your car (any make at all) is less than 20 years old, it probably has a nifty little switch that automatically turns off your lights after you remove your key, so your battery doesn’t run down because the lights were on while you were asleep in your snug bed.

Even my old ’97 Dodge truck had that feature….but not this 2016 Mercedes truck. Nuh-uh. It has four wheel drive and a granny gear, which is why I bought it, but if you forget and leave your lights on, you’re S.O.L.

Which I was, the morning after I left my lights on all night.

Quite luckily, I had recently charged up my external jump charger. It was red hot and rarin’ to go. But my Mercedes van is made of solid metal and lots of it, which is the other reason I bought it. Only thing is, with my various infirmities, I often cannot lift the hood. That was the case this particular morning.

My neighbor looked like he was finishing up breakfast, but I did not see a sign of a coffee cup. Hmm, that means either he doesn’t drink coffee, or he doesn’t have any. I’ll take a gamble and see if I can offer him some. Then I’ll move in for the kill and ask him to help me jump the van.

Paydirt! He was fresh out of java. I fixed him a good strong one. We drank coffee and chatted. He seemed like a good sort, although I maintain clear boundaries at all times when interacting with characters I meet on the road.

He cheerfully lent me his arms and took over the jump start task with manly pride in being useful. I made him a second cup, and while we let the truck run to get good and charged up, he told me his story.

Bob was 64 years and 7 months old. Up until four weeks ago, he had been the IT guy at a medium-sized development company in Sacramento. He was the guy who kept all of the machines updated, virus-free, and running cleanly. He was the guy that did all the backups and made sure everybody’s data was safe and secure.

On the day he turned 64 1/2, he was laid off, along with a new hire that hadn’t worked out. Bob had been there for 12 years. If he had worked another 6 months, he would have been able to collect company pension.

“Wait a minute!” I cried. “Isn’t this a clear case of laying you off to avoid paying your pension?”

“Clearly it is,” he said. “But my lawyer pointed out that they were careful to let a younger person go at the same time, so it didn’t look like a pension avoidance. They claimed the company was downsizing.

Suddenly Bob was jobless.

In a state of shock, he reverted to his main competency: analysis.  What is the algorithm for sudden, unexpected unemployment?

You find a new job, of course.  Bob blasted out his resume, which includes a long stint at Apple, another with Microsoft.  Bob is a smart, talented, high level techie.

He’s also an old techie, and as he discovered, nobody wants to hire someone who’s 6 months away from their 65th birthday.

Bob put in for unemployment.

Gotta hand it to his former employer: at least they fixed it so he would get unemployment insurance up until he was eligible for Social Security, which was much less than his pension would have been, but at least it was something; and via COBRA, he would have his health insurance until he was eligible for Medicare.  Pretty slick.

Meanwhile the bills continued to roll in as usual.  Bob, like so many members of the Middle Class, had very little in the way of savings to fall back on.  He quickly saw that what funds he did have wouldn’t last long, paying $1,700/month for his tiny studio apartment.  He rented a storage building, put everything into it except his camping gear, and moved into his van.

He’s an organised person, so within a week he had his infrastructure in place: a membership at a gym franchise provided shower access; he developed a rotation for overnight parking so he wouldn’t become a target for thieves or police.  His portable kitchen was still a work in progress.  He was learning to live out of his van.  Learning to be a member of the high-class homeless.

I often hear and read self-satisfied, superior comments about homeless people.  The assumption is that homeless people are all alike: lazy and shiftless.  If they just got a job, they wouldn’t be homeless…right?  And they’re all on meth anyway, so why should I care? 

Uh, sure.  Just…only…that’s very often not the case.  Like Bob the IT guy, who got the hook because he’d been loyal enough to his company to happily stay until retirement.  Except he got laid off at age 64 1/2, with no warning at all, no time to prepare for the retirement he had every reason was waiting for him.

I used to joke that if all else failed, I could always be a greeter at Wal-Mart.  That used to be one of the only jobs available to the Medicare crowd.

Bob had that same idea.  He applied to every Walmart in the State of California.  He found out that most Wal-Marts have discontinued the greeters.  Too expensive.

He tried fast food places.  “Over qualified” for those, naturally.

He’s still sending out resumes.  Fortunately, he’s still able to afford to rent a mailbox that gives him a physical address, so he can receive his rejection letters.

He’s adjusting to van life.  He does love camping.  Of course there are challenges, like, how do you keep your possessions from being ruined when it’s 105 degrees?  You yourself can go walk around in the mall, but your “house” is still going to bake in the parking lot.  Your soap will melt, your shaving cream can will blow up….

And what about the future, that looked so comfortable with your pension, formerly adequate for your needs?  What will happen when you get sick, develop diabetes, have a stroke, get crippled up with arthritis….?  What if you need surgery: where will you go to recover?

Please remember, dear reader, this valuable adage applies to us all:

There but for the grace of God go I.

(And for you who are smirking because your 401k or your Keogh is coming along nicely….all it takes is another 2008 and you’ll be sitting right where Bob found himself.)