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Fighting Depression #28 – Today was a bad day.

May 25, 2017
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Today, everything just came slamming down on me, mentally and emotionally.

It was a bad day.  A very bad day.

I’m okay, though.  Not gonna beat myself up for having a shit day and doing pretty much nothing all day.

Gonna chill for a little bit, try to get to bed before long, and tomorrow’s a new day.  I have a game plan for the rest of the week.  I will get things done, I will take care of business.

But, damn, did today hurt.

 


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Fighting Depression #27 – I’m okay.

May 22, 2017
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(Quick plug: I still am selling personal items to help pay bills while seeking employment.  If you like DVDs and Blu Rays, please check out this post.  If you like games – roleplaying, tabletop or PS4, check out this post.)

I’m okay.  (It’s been eleven days since my last post, so you might be wondering…)

I’m not great.  I’m still unemployed.  I still have days where… I just lose myself for a bit.  I’m still a little overwhelmed most of the time, and a lot overwhelmed on occasion.

I’m not horrible.  I’m paying (most of) the bills.  I have a buffer, thanks to the ReEmployment Assistance (though that’s going to run out, it’s not a long-term thing – I’m almost at the halfway point now.)  I have food in my stomach, a roof over my head.  My critters are healthy and happy.  I’m mostly healthy, I believe, and there are times i’m happy.

There have been several screening interviews for jobs (mostly by phone, one in-person.)  There’s been an actual in-person interview/skills test.  They didn’t say how soon to expect a call if I got hired… and I get the sense that it’s not unreasonable to not have heard from them just yet, so there’s still a chance, I’m thinking.

I’m lonely.  I can’t afford to go places on a regular basis that might help me meet or interact with people.  (That being said, I’m likely going to go see a couple movies this week – last week, I donated blood and got a $10 gift card for the local theatre, and tomorrow is their Discount Day, so I’m intending to go see Alien: Covenant… and I got a free screening pass for Wonder Woman on Wednesday.)

I really crave some intimacy with someone, too.  And, really, there’s no way I’m a “catch” right now.  I’m a mess, my life is a mess, my house is a mess.

I’m frustrated with life right now.  Last year, I enacted a plan to Make Things Better.  I budgeted better, got caught up on payments, improved my credit.  Even with the extra weeks’ worth of work I missed last year (and didn’t make up), I was able to do all that.

I had a plan for this year – my five day wrestling weekend was going to involve a hotel room local to the venue (I actually had money saved up for that, but that was used to pay bills to get me through until after said wrestling weekend), and then the rest of the year, the game plan was getting a new(?) car and doing some home improvement projects.

So, yeah.

But, I’m okay.  I.  AM.  OKAY.  I’m not (yet) in danger of losing the house, of being homeless, etc.  I still have time, I still have options.  I need to refocus and tuck my chin and charge through that wall.

I have a reputation.

(Well, I have MANY reputations.  Sadly, most of them are based in truth.)

But, I have a reputation.  I am considered a bit of a force of nature when it comes to my stubborn (some will say bull-headed) nature

So, maybe I need to tap into that and get shit done.


Fighting Depression #26/Movie Time: Guardians of the Galaxy Double Shot

May 11, 2017
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A week ago today, I went to a double feature at the local theatre, the EPIC Theatres West Volusia with Epic XL.  It was a double feature of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the debuting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

gotg double

This isn’t going to be a break it down to basics review, you’ve probably already seen plenty of those.  This is going to talk about the experience and how it was good for my mental health.

For those new here; I’m blogging some life stuff/etc to help deal with my depression.  I’m self-diagnosed and not seeking professional help at this stage.  I’m also going through a particularly tough time, having been fired (without any explanation) from the not-for-profit no-kill animal shelter that I gave twelve-plus years of my life to.

So, couple weeks back, I saw that there was a double feature of GotG on Thursday, May 4th.  Now, I LOVE GotG.  It’s my favourite Marvel Studios movie.  It’s one of my favourite movies, period.  I own it on blu ray (and it’s one of a select bunch that I am NOT selling – if you want to help a guy pay some bills, please consider looking at the movies I am selling… or you can check here to see the tabletop/roleplaying/PS4 games I have for sale, too.)  I’ve seen it a good 4-5 times now.

The idea of seeing it on the big screen again really appealed to me.  I thought that would be much fun.

The ticket for the double feature was $20.  A bit pricey for my budget, but I had a gift certificate for $12, so it would only cost me $8.  I could justify that – I’ve been treating myself to a meal out about once a week – if I’m having to sell my personal items to pay bills, some of that money is going towards fun stuff.  So I decided this would be my treat for the week.

Now, a little history.  I really dig movie marathons.  I’ve only ever been to two others in actual theatres.  Back in 1987, my friend Todd and I went to Orlando (sadly, I don’t recall the name of the theatre – it wasn’t a big box one, it was a small community theatre with a balcony – we sat in the balcony, it was very cool) and saw A Nightmare On Elm Street and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (neither of which I’d seen in the theatre because they were rated R, I was only 15 for the first one, and I didn’t have a consenting adult to go with), as well as the debut of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

It was a VERY cool experience; it was a Friday afternoon, so I played hooky from school (I was a junior in high school, Todd was a senior) and we went to Orlando.  The auditorium was filled to the max, maybe 300-350 people, all rabid Freddy fans.  Watching the first two on the big screen was a lot of fun, we were yelling out lines and such… one vivid memory I have, thirty years later, is EVERYONE yelling the line in sync when Nancy tells her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp), “Whatever you do… don’t fall asleep.”

Fast forward to 2014.  Now, I’m a big Planet of the Apes fan.  The original is probably my favourite scifi movie.  It’s certainly my favourite post-apocalypse movie (and I’m a rather big fan of that genre of story.)  I like the five movie series, even the bad one, Beneath The Planet of the Apes.  I own the set on blu ray (and again, NOT SELLING them.)

In 2011, when Rise of the Planet of the Apes came out, I was excited, but with very big reservations, as the 2001 movie sucked balls (though, to be honest, I find myself wanting to revisit that, just to see if it’s as bad as I think I remember it being.)  I put off seeing it at the theatres, so I had to wait until it came out on video (I believe I watched it via Amazon when it did.)  I loved it and was kicking myself for not going to see it… so when Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was coming out, I was excited to see that the UA Seminole Towne Center 10 was having a double-feature with both movies.  (And, yes, I currently own both on blu ray, and, no, I’m not selling them, either.)

I, of course, went.  Was so thrilled to watch RotPotA on the big screen.  Loved the movie even more for it.  (There are some movies that are just so much better on the big screen… and this one was one I already loved.)

Then, DotPotA came on.  It was a 3D movie.

I was horrified.

I’m legally blind in my left eye.  Traditional 3D (the glasses with one red lens, one blue lens) does NOT work for me.  At all.  My brain processes about 98% of my vision through my right eye.  (Even when I cover my right eye, my brain processes so that I ‘see’ through my hand – it processes the left eye image and the image of my hand together.  It’s really cool and weird.)

I thought… ok… well, I’ll try and watch it without.  (I used to try that with the old style of 3D, and get a headache within minutes.)  Then, before the movie actually started, I was like, “fuck it, we’ll try the 3D”.  So, I had to go out and get a pair of 3D glasses (I had no idea DofPotA was 3D, it hadn’t been stated obviously on the website I got the ticket from, though it was listed on the ticket, in small print… I’d have passed on the ticket, or looked for another venue where they were showing the regular version of the 2nd movie instead.)

Guess what?  The new 3D works for me… mostly.  I still don’t get the full experience, but I can see SOME depth and difference.  And, wearing the glasses, I don’t get a headache, so that was good.  (Bottom line, I was able to experience the movie and enjoy it.)

Now, this double feature experience wasn’t as cool as the ANoES triple feature was, because there were only about a dozen people and it was a more sedated experience… but the movies were more than fun enough to make it an experience that I hold dear.

So, walking into the GotG double feature, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It was about 4pm when I walked into the lobby; the movie was scheduled to start at 4:30.  There was a line queued up already, about twenty-some people.  I got in line, found out there was a raffle, so I presented my ticket to get a number.  There were 5 soundtracks and 3 t-shirts being raffled away, either would be fine to win, I thought, though the soundtrack was the ideal (and everyone else seemed to agree.)

I didn’t win anything, sadly.  I also forgot to pick up the complimentary button/mini-poster set, so there’s that.

All told, I think there were about fifty people as we filed into the auditorium.  I got to sit the very top row, exact center, which is my preferred seat, so I was pleased with that.

This was more of a fun experience, because everyone was EXCITED to see GotG on the big screen again.  When it started, people clapped and cheered.  Throughout the movie, people clapped, cheered, awww’d and more.

The new movie… I loved it.  I know a lot of people out there have complaints, I think you’re all nuts.  It was just as good as the first, I think – and in some ways better (and in some ways, not quite as good.)

Loved the villain; he’s one of my favourite somewhat obscure villains from Marvel comics, so I really enjoyed that.  Loved the little Easter Eggs.  Did I think Stallone was the perfect casting for Stakar?  No, but he didn’t have that much screen time, and what he did, he did fine for the character as it was presented.

Loved the credit scenes.  All five of them.  Third one’s the best, but they were all good.

And the crowd was hip and into it (though about half left after the 2nd credits scene, dummies.)

So, for $8 I got a super fun experience that I’ll remember for years.  And it’s stuff like that that helps me fight the negativity and such swirling around in my brain.

As always, thanks for reading.


Fighting Depression #25 – A little good news goes a long way.

May 2, 2017
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I’ve had some good news today that I REALLY needed to hear, so I had a nice, strong drink to “celebrate”… so this post is going to be short so I don’t make a fool of myself.

The good news: I finally got approved for unemployment compensation.  This was weighing on me as there were “pending issues” that could “delay or disqualify” me from getting the UC.  (Oh, yeah, here in Florida, it’s called “ReEmployment Assistance” now.)  Even though I knew there shouldn’t have been any reasons for me to not get approved (I was terminated for no doing of my own, I am not otherwise earning an income), it’s VERY stressful to see that in my account every time I checked it.

But, finally, I got the letters of approval on both the termination and remuneration issues.  (The latter was b/c I got severance pay from the shelter when I was fired, but since that’s long been used up and more than enough time has elapsed, that’s been determined not to be a factor.)

So, that’s a MAJOR weight off my shoulders.  I’ll be getting some money on a regular basis, and that means I can now apply for mortgage assistance from the Florida’s Hardest Hit program, as well as food stamps, to help me out.

Today was pretty much a wash; I didn’t get much done, but I’m okay with that.  Tomorrow, back to being productive and pro-active.  Gotta get some job applications done for the week, plus apply for the aforementioned programs.


Online Yard Sale #2 – Game night! #PS4 #tabletop #roleplaying

April 28, 2017
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(This is the 2nd “Online Yard Sale” post.  The first one has blu rays and DVDs, you can find them here.  Short version, I’m unemployed and need help paying bills, so I’m selling my stuff.  Please share this post with your friends/social networks who might be interested in buying.)

Today’s OYS post is about games.  A couple Playstation 4 games, a couple board games and a BUNCH of roleplaying games/sourcebooks.  Just as described in the first OYS post, if you’re interested, email me at TERRYFL@GMAIL.COM with the subject ONLINE YARD SALE and let me know what items you’d like.  I’ll let you know the total, including shipping.  (There’s no return policy, sorry – I’m not trying to rip anyone off, but I need to get the cash and spend it on bills.  If you have any questions about an item, contact me.)  I take funds via PayPal.

Without further ado, let’s get to it.

BOARD GAMES (all are new, unplayed, cards/etc still sealed/intact)

Burgle Bros (Fowers Games, 2015) $25
Don’t Turn Your Back (Evil Hat, 2015) $25
Kill Shakespeare (IDW Games, 2014) $20

PLAYSTATION 4 GAMES

ABZU (dynamic theme already redeemed) $15
Tales from the Borderlands (sealed) $9
WWE 2k15 $8

RPGS

Condition 1: Very little to no shelf wear

The Sixth Gun RPG bundle (Savage Worlds) $50
(HC game/hc screen/SC companion/cards of the 6/SC winding way)
Black Sword: Pursuit of the White Wolf $13
Book of Props – Mind’s Eye Theatre $3
Cyclopedia Talislanta VI: Desert Kingdoms $8
Deadlands Noir HC (Pinnacle, 2013) $22
Gear Krieg (minatures gamebook HC) $5
Giovanni Chronicles I: Last Supper $8
Giovanni Chronicles II: Blood & Fire $6
Giovanni Chronicles IV: Nuova Malattia $5
Home Front (Cyberpunk AR adv) $5
Hunter Book: Martyr $8
Laws of the Night – Mind’s Eye Theatre $2
L5R: The Way of Shadow $10
Orphan’s Survival Guide $6
Outcasts $4
Rage: Warriors of the Apocalypse $5
Rage Across New York $4
Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer Edition SC $8
Seventh Seal (RPG/Screen/Adv) $15
The Strange HC (Monte Cook Games, 2014) $40
Tales of Magick: Dark Adventures $8
Technocracy: Iteration X $6
Traveller Core Rulebook HC (Mongoose, 2014) $25
Verbena tradition book $4
Who’s Who: Garou Saga (2 copies) $3
Wild Talents 1st ed HC (Arc Dream, 2006) $15
The World of Darkness HC (White Wolf, 2004) $12 (has bookplate inside front cover)

Condition II: Moderate to signifcant shelf wear/possible cover damage

AD&D Battle System (box beat up, complete? Pieces) $20
Ascension’s Right Hand $3
Book of Storyteller Secrets (2 copies) $5
Book of the Wyrm $3
Buried Secrets (Wraith) $8
Children of Gaia $5
Cyclopedia Talislanta 2: 7 Kingdoms $5
Dungeon Master’s Guide (3rd ed) $5
Giovanni Chronicles I: Last Supper $6
Giovanni Chronicles II: Blood & Fire $4
Gypsies $4
Harlequin’s Back $6
Hidden Lore (book and screen) $3
Horizon: The Stronghold of Hope $3
Houses of Hermes $3
Initiates of the Art $3
Inqusition (2 copies) $4
Kinfolk: Unsung Heroes $3
Loom of Fate $3
Mummy 2nd edition $3
Shadowrun 1st ed HC (some discolouration) $10
Shadowtech $2
Spirit Ways (M:tA) $8
Street Samurai Catalog (2nd ed) $2
Storyteller’s Handbook $1
Talislanta: Submen Rising $10
Verbena tradition book $2
Ways of the Wolf: Lupus Sourcebook $3


Fighting Depression #24 – Stumble, Fall, Get up again. (Also, dieting.)

April 25, 2017
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So, I’ve been applying for jobs over the past several weeks, using LinkedIn and Indeed mostly, applying for some directly on the company’s own sites.  Still tweaking my resume, and just trying to find something interesting (if not actually fun) to do that isn’t too strenuous on my back (or if it were, part time but also paying enough that I could live off of.)

One of the jobs I applied to on Saturday called me early yesterday morning; I was out walking Smiley, so I didn’t get the call.

Oh, for those of you who aren’t in the know, this is Smiley.  She’s a senior (at least 13 years of age, probably more) pit bull that I adopted from the shelter four years ago (the last Sunday of April 2013 she went home with me.)

In fact, here’s the pic I took the day she came home with me, at the end of the work day:

IMAG0238

And here’s a recent pic of her:

april 2017 smiley

(As you can see, she’s camera shy.  And, yes, a lot more white in her face.)

But, I digress.

So, I didn’t get their call.  They texted me to inquire if I was interested in a phone interview, I said I was and was available and they called.

I thought it went well.  We discussed the job, the responsibilities, my job history, my skills and predilection to work customer service type jobs.  I was told that my resume would be passed on for review for calling people in for in-person interviews, and if I were selected, that I would receive a call by 5pm that day.

5pm came, went, no call.

It hit me hard.  I know I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up just because *I* thought the phone interview went well, but I did.  So, I was majorly bummed out.  In a deep funk.

Late last night, finally occurred to me why.

This is only the second interview I’ve EVER had that did not end up with me being hired.  (And my first phone interview.)  Now, granted, my memory is iffy at times, so I’m willing to concede that it might be my third that never resulted in a job… but no more than that.

I guess I interview well.

But, yeah, so I was down, but once I sorted that out in my head, was feeling a little better.  Today’s been working on other stuff, then tomorrow, back to job-search related stuff.


 

So, I’ve been going to the gym twice a week for the past several weeks.

A few days ago, I started tracking my calories again.

See, back in 2010, last time I was unemployed, I got fat.  252 pounds, the heaviest I’ve ever weighed.  (Caveat – I was 252 in March 2011.  Last time I weighed myself before that was Sep 2010, and I was like 230 pounds then.  Which I’d weighed once before, in 2000.  And in 2000, I lost 30 pounds in about 3 months while working in a high volume kitchen.  So, at the time, I felt it was no worry… but I kept gaining weight, obviously.)

Right now, I’m about 220-225.  (I only weigh myself about once a week.  Weighing myself daily doesn’t do any good.)  I’ll weigh myself either tomorrow or Thurs morning.

But, anyhow.. so, March 2011, I get on the scale, I’m 252 pounds and I freak out.  I’d been going to the gym 2-3 times a week, but doing just basic stuff.  So I got myself in to the gym, talked to a personal trainer, came up with a program, was working out 4 times a week, sometimes 5.

And started counting calories.  Not really cutting out anything, just cutting back on the heavier calorie foods.

Which is what I’ve been doing (mostly; yesterday, feeling bad, kinda didn’t.  Oh, yeah, I’m an emotional eater.  Happy, sad, stressed, wired, depressed, euphoric, don’t matter, I eat.)

Anywho… using FatSecret (website and app) to track things, we’ll see how it goes.


 

Welp, that’s it for now.  As always, thanks for reading along.


Fighting Depression #23 – Tackling things one by one

April 21, 2017
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I get overwhelmed so easily.  And once I do, there’s really not much chance of me being useful until I ‘calm down’, for lack of a better term.

Tackling issues, one at a time, is the best way to avoid (and possibly get through) that.  I need to keep things simple.  Stop stressing over unemployment (there’s a couple ‘issues’ according to the system, but I’m supposed to follow procedure in the meantime.  I just DO NOT deal with uncertainties like that well.  At all.  Never have.)

So, I’m going back to making a list.  Every day, I’m going to make a list.  Put stuff to do THAT DAY on it.  Allow myself to not get them all done, but to have a list and to use that to: a) help me remember what it is I need to get done.  I am still VERY much having memory issues.  (Been happening for years, gotten worse over the past couple years.  I’m of the opinion it’s stress/depression related.), and b) to be able to look back and see what I’ve done, so if I’m beating myself up (I know, that NEVER happens…. o.0)  I can look at the list and say, “Dummy,” and yes, read that in Eli Drake’s voice, “you’ve gotten stuff done today, see?”

(If you’re wondering who Eli Drake is and why I chose him, check out this short video.)


 

So, a couple days ago, I posted a list of DVDs and Blu Rays for sale, hoping to generate some cash to help pay bills, help with groceries.

In the past three days, I’ve made (including $91 which is pending via a check-through-Paypal) approximately $200.  The first $100ish went to groceries and a utility bill.  The $91 (which should clear early/mid next week) will pay my power bill for the month, so, yay!  Many thanks to Monica, Susan, Bryan and Andrew for buying stuff, and many thanks to everyone who’s help spread the word.

I’ll be posting a 2nd “Online Yard Sale” post either tomorrow or (most likely) Sunday, with some gaming related items – board games, role-playing games, maybe even video game stuff.  Stay tuned.

As always, I thank you for reading along.  If you’re inclined to share my Online Yard Sale posts, that’d be super-grand.


Help me help myself – Online Yard Sale #1

April 18, 2017
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(As I detailed in my post earlier today, I’m unemployed through no doing of my own.  I’ve been coasting on money I had saved up, and my ‘severance pay’, but money’s getting VERY tight.

I’ve filed for unemployment (“ReEmployment Assistance” in Florida) and waiting for that to get approved.  In the meantime, money is getting tighter and tighter.  Even with unemployment, I’ll need extra money to catch up on bills.

I’ll be posting stuff on Amazon and eBay to sell (and will link to my listings on my blog when that happens), but I’m hoping to generate some quicker cash by selling a bunch of DVDs and Blu Rays.

(Additionally, I won’t turn away any kindness.  If you’ve ever appreciated me for any reason, admired the work I did at the shelter, or want to give me an early birthday/Xmas present, or the like, any generosity would be greatly appreciated.  I’ve always tried to throw a few bucks someone’s way when they needed it, so hoping karma is good to me.  You can use this link to PayPal me whatever like.)

The list below is mostly complete; if I find anything else, I’ll edit this post to include them.

Many of the items are in great condition; some of the DVDs’ cases are shelfworn.  To the best of my knowledge, every disc plays fine.  There’s no money back guarantee, though – this isn’t b/c I’m trying to screw people, this is just practical.  Consider this like a yard sale.

Here’s how we’ll do this; if you see something you want, email me at terryfl@gmail.com.  Use the subject line ONLINE YARD SALE.  Tell me the items and tell me your shipping zip code.  I’ll use that to figure the shipping cost and then reply with an email for the total.  (I won’t charge for handling/packing, just the cost of the discs and the shipping.)  You Paypal me the money and once it clears, I send the discs (obviously, I’ll need your address.)

A few are listed as sealed; this means they’re still sealed and never watched.  A few are listed as unsealed, this means they came unsealed but have never been watched, or maybe watched once?

Items are first come, first served; I ask that you not inquire if you aren’t able to send the money in short fashion.  I’m kinda in need of funds.

Any questions?  Email me, tag me on Twitter, or hit up my Google+ page (or the actual post if that’s how you found out about this.)

041817 dvds for sale

Blu Rays

Blu Rays

27 Dresses – $3
Australia – $3
Bad Teacher – $3
Butterfly Effect Double Feature (1 and 2) (new, unsealed) – $9
Deadpool (sealed) – $10
The Fly (1986) – $7
Hardcore Henry (sealed) – $12
Monty Python & The Holy Grail 40th Anniversary editon – $8
Moulin Rouge/Romeo+Juliet (new, unsealed) – $9
The Order – $3
Pacific Rim (Blu Ray/DVD combo, no ultraviolet digital) – $10
Predators (Blu Ray/digital) (sealed) – $7
Prometheus (DVD/Digital copy/Blu Ray) – $9
Rising Sun – $3
Sin City (sealed) – $5
The Siege – $3
Terminator: Genisys (blu ray only, no digital code, no dvd) – $7
The Usual Suspects (sealed) – $6

Blu Ray collections

Aliens Anthology: 4 movies (unsealed) – $20
Ash vs Evil Dead Season 1 (sealed) – $15
Blomkamp3 (District 9/Elysium/Chappie) no ultraviolet  – $12
The Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz/The World’s End) $12
Expanse, season 1 (sealed) – $25
Jurassic Park Collection (JP reg & 3D/JP2/JP3/JW reg & 3D) – $25
Mad Max Anthology – $20
Powers Season 1 (unsealed) – $13
Predator Triple Feature (1 – 2 – Predators) $12
The Prophecy Complete Collecdtion (1-5) $8
Riddick Complete Collection (no ultraviolet) $18
Saw: The Complete Movie collection (sealed) $12
Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection: I-VI (sealed) $22
Terminator Anthology (4 movies) – $22

DVDS

More than $1 each:

Alien Nation (movie) – $5
Alien Nation Complete TV Series – $25
Black Sails season 1 – $10
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – $3
Chinatown/The Two Jakes – $8
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (sealed) – $4
Krull – $3
Love Actually 10th Anniversary – $4
Razor Blade Smile (unsealed) – $5
[REC] 1-3 set – $20
The Strain season 1 – $15
Uncle Buck/The Great Outdoors – $2

 

$1 each:
2Guns
4 Bible Stories vol 1 (The Great Commandment/David & Goliath/The Ten Commandments/Joseph and his Brethren)
4 Bible Stories vol 2 (I Beheld His Glory/Martin Luther/Hill Number One/The Power and the Ressurection)
4 Film Collection (Captive Heart: The James Mink Story/Go Tell It On The Mountain/One Heart Broken Into Song/A Gathering of Old Men)
4 Movies To Make You Laugh (SO Undercover/the babymakers/Labor Pains/Bernie)
10 Things I Hate About You
10,000 BC
A Knight’s Tale
A Thousand Words
Absolute Zero/Disaster Zone
Alexander Revisited
Along For the Ride
America’s Most Haunted/Bay Coven/Midnight’s Child/Daughter of Darkness/Haunted From Within
America’s Sweethearts
Arlington Road
arthur
Assassination of a High School President
Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Atonement (Four Star collection)
Audioslave (3 videos, documentary on live on broadway performance)
Baby Mama
Beat The Devil
The Beautician and the Beast
The Big Slice
Blade
The Body
The Bourne Identity (Full Screen)
Bruno
Bullet to the Head
The Campaign
Carlito’s Way (Widescreen)
Casino Jack
Chicago
Christina’s House
Cloud Atlas
Connie and Carla
Creepshow
Dallas Buyer’s Club
The Day The Earth Stood Still (3 Disc special edition)
Deserter
Dirty Jobs With Mike Rowe: Something Fishy
Driving Miss Daisy
Duplicity
Eagle Eye
Edge of Darkness
Eragon (Full Screen)
Fargo
Faster
Fido
Final Destination 2 (InfiniFilm)
Final Destination 3 (2 disc Thrillride edition)
Flight Of The Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane (Unrated)
Footloose/Flashdance (Double Feature)
Good People
Grease
The Great Outdoors (Widescreen)
The Green Hornet
The Grudge 2 (Unrated Director’s Cut)
The Guys
The Happening
Head In The Clouds
Hellboy
The HitList
Home Sweet Hell
House of Versace
Interview
Jack London’s Call of The Wild
Jack London’s Call of the Wild: Foxfire
JCVD (no original packaging)
Jeepers Creepers 2 (special edition)
Law and Order (Universal Western Collection)
Life, Love and Romance: 12 Films of Intrigue and Passion
Lord of War (2 Disc special edition)
Margot at the Wedding
The Marksman
Milk
Morning Glory
New Year’s Eve
Nine
Notes of a Scandal
Obsessed
Office Space
The Other Boleyn Girl
P.S. I Love You
Painkillers (no original packaging, Redbox)
The Peacemaker
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Prometheus
Queens of Nashville/The Baron and the Kid/Is There Life Out There/Blue Valley Songbird/The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom
Rendition
Riding In Cars With Boys (special edition)
The Ring (Widescreen)
The Return
Road to Perdition
Romancing The Stone
Runner Runner
Sabrina
Second String
The Sicilian
Soul Surfer
SGU Stargate Universe 1.0 (3 Disc set)
Stay
The Strangers (unrated)
Suicide Kings
Terminator: Salvation (Widescreen)
To The Wonder
Two Lovers
Under Fire: 12 Action-Packed Films (Straight Into Darkness/Under Heavy Fire/Special Ops/Seal Team VI: Journey Into Darkness/The Last Rites of Ransom Pride/Casablanca Express/Commandos/Desert Commandos/Saigon: Year of the Cat/Tuareg: The Desert Warrior/Cold War Killers/Time To Die)
Untraceable
Up In The Air
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Water For Elephants
Wishful Thinking
The WeatherMan
The Woman in Black
Zero Dark Thirty
Zookeeper

 


Fighting #Depression #22 – The story of 2017

April 18, 2017
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This isn’t really a depression post, at least not overtly.

This is the story that more than a couple have voiced wonder at.  And, for many of you, this will be all new.

Story time!

For most of the past 12+ years, I’d been employed at The West Volusia Humane Society, a no-kill 501(c)3 non-profit animal shelter in DeLand, FL.  I started in November 2003, as a volunteer, attedning off-site adoption events at PetSmart on Sundays.  The girl I was dating, Heather, was a volunteer and it was through her that I got involved.

After getting in trouble for driving on a suspended license,  I plead out, got 18 months probation with 50 hours of community service.  I decided to perform those hours at the shelter proper.

I impressed the executive director of the shelter so much, she hired me on.  I started part time, and about a year later, was a full time employee.  I even got in MORE trouble, trying to get to work on Sunday (my usual ride wasn’t able to help out and there’s no bus service on Sundays, so I took my chances driving, and that didn’t work out so well), ended up on stricter probation terms.

I became involved with many aspects of the shelter, not just cleaning and taking care of the animals and answering the phone and greeting people and the like.  I got involved with the adoption team.  I became involved in the office duties.  I streamlined and fine-tuned a lot of things, creating a filing system that wasn’t stuck in the 1980s.

Things continued apace, until May of 2010.  Due to the recession, money donations were drastically down and the shelter was no longer able to pay us our full paychecks.  (Hell, they still owe me money from that.)

So, I talked to my executive director and we agreed it would be best for the shelter to lay me off, so I could collect unemployment and pay some bills.  Y’know, like mortgage.  Keeping the house, that’s important.

I volunteered several days a week at the shelter through the end of August 2010, but then needed to stop, as I was busy making money to pay bills.  Between selling things on eBay and Amazon and doing some independent contractor work and such, I was able to make due, but couldn’t afford to give up a couple days a week not making money, to ride the bus out to the shelter, volunteer, and ride back.  (Even if I went for a couple hours, we’re still taking a good 5-6 hours I was gone including bus rides.)

In April 2011, I got a car (my mother’s; she passed away in December 2010 and my brother drove it down from Maine when the family came down to bury her next to our father.)  I started volunteering at the shelter on Sundays.

June 2011, I was hired back to the shelter part time.  Originally two days a week, but I talked to the executive director, asking her for one more day a week, so I could stop wasting time trying to still collect unemployment (at the time, you had to call in any hours you worked during the week, so they could subtract your earnings from the unemployment payout.  Calling in pretty much took an entire day, no hyperbole.)

So, I worked and kept selling things and making money in whatever way I could find.  By the end of 2011, I was getting four days a week, and by mid 2012, I was full time again.  Way more involved with things this time; having a car, I could run errands for the shelter, taking animals to the vet, performing home visits as part of the adoption process when needed, representing the shelter at off-site events and more.

For the last several years, I’d been the ENTIRETY OF THE ADOPTION TEAM.  The shelter only had two employess for a while, and then in 2015, a third.  But I was still doing all the adoption work – processing paperwork, doing home visits, taking animals for vet checks, whatever.  All me.  (The director was becoming less involved on a regular basis due to her dealing with health issues.  I’d do all the work and then call her and get final approval.  She pretty much went with my feelings, if I thought it was good, they got adopted, if not, they didn’t.)

Additionally, whenever there was extra work, I was the one.  Whenever there was a storm (and this goes back to the first stretch at the shelter, even when I didn’t have a car), and someone needed to spend the night at the shelter, it was me.  October 2016, during Hurricane Matthew, I was the one there to make sure everything was ok, that the shelter and animals were safe.

In 2015, I asked for a raise over my coworkers, as I had WAY more responsibilities.  I got a $0.50/hr raise, which I was grateful for.  I know I was worth more than that, but hey, take what you can get.

Late last year, the executive director decided to reitre.  Effective Jan 1, 2017, we had a new Facility Manager.  Everyone got a $0.25/hr raise (popping me up to a grand $9.05/hr.)

Things were changing, and not always in ways that I agreed with, but I wasn’t a problem.  I’d enter in a discourse with the new manager, and we’d talk things, and things were good.

Then, January 10th, during my ‘weekend’, I got a phone call from my manager.  He was calling me “off the record”, as he wasn’t supposed to be letting me know (but felt it was the right thing to do, instead of letting me come in to work the next day to find out that way), but the Board of Directors decided to terminate my employment.  I asked him why, and he said he didn’t know, and I believe him.  He told me not to come in for work, but to come in on Thursday, so I could pick up my final paycheck and severance check, and collect any items of mine at the shelter.  (It wasn’t that I wasn’t welcome, an as far I know and have heard, I am still welcome there, just not as an employee… but he felt it would avoid any discomfort, me coming in to collect things during a work day.)

He said there would be a letter from the Board of Directors regarding my termination.

There was.  It didn’t answer any fucking questions.

Wanna see it?

termination letter text

Oh, yeah, almost forgot.  When he called me, he said that I would be paid through Jan 4th, the end of the previous work week.  I mentioned that I’d also worked Jan 6-8th and needed to be compensated for that.  (So the letter above, dated Jan 9th, was revised after the fact to address those days.)

So, for everyone wondering WHY I got fired, what the story was… I don’t know.  I have a couple speculations, but they just don’t make much sense, and I’m not going to divulge them here.

As you can surmise (and some of you have seen, either through my Fighting Depression series, or knowing me on social media), this has hit me hard.  I’ve been fighting depression for years, if not most of my life, but this event has just really gutted me.

Working at the shelter, working with the animals gave me a sense of purpose that I’ve never had anywhere else.  Certainly not at any job.  I’ve had jobs I’ve really enjoyed (Asst Manager at a Waldenbooks in the 1990s, for one), but nothing like this.  Caring for the animals, helping them, rehabilitating those that needed it, helping them find new homes.  It was the best.

(I’m fully aware that I shouldn’t have expected better, that no job is obligated to treat you any better, but still… when someone busts their ass and sweats, cries and bleeds for you, you don’t fuck them over like this.)

Thursday, Jan 12th, after picking up my checks/possessions and coming home, I took this pic, posted it on social media with a caption to the effect of “This is what heartbreak looks like.”

011217 hearbreakAnd, yes, that’s a little on the melodramatic side, but it’s true.  These were the things I had at the shelter, that I kept there on an ongoing basis.  Clockwise, from upper left: laundry basket and laundry soap (I didn’t have my own washer/dryer but we were allowed to use the shelter’s for personal laundry, as long as shelter laundry was caught up), blue bag with Keurig coffee maker for cold mornings and staying overnights, rubber boots for cleaning, gym bag with change of clothes (shirts/socks/underwear for sweaty days, spare clothing for overnights/as needed), box with cooking implements (frying pan, oil, utensils, dishware) for meals/eating.

So, anyhow, I’ve gone on (and on and on) enough here.  Probably lost most of the readers by now.  Those who stuck it out, I appreciate it, I just wanted to lay out, to the best of my ability, why I’m so gutted this year.

Tonight, I’ll be posting a list of dvds/blu rays I’m looking to sell for money to help catch up on some bills.


Fighting Depression #21 – A week gone by…

April 15, 2017
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…and I feel like I don’t have much to show for it.  But, really, I’ve gotten a few things done.

  • I (finally, yes) applied for “ReEmployment Assistance” (Unemployment).  It was a VERY stressful experience, but I got it done.  Pretty much waiting now, but I have to start with the applying to five places a week and logging that process in the meanwhile.
  • Worked on my resume (still need to tweak it and reduce it for a one to turn in to places in person for when I apply.)
  • Went to the gym for the first time in a couple weeks on Thursday, so I’m feeling it today.
  • Did some yardwork – mowed the front lawn, cut down some branches/small trees and put them out for yard trash pick up.  That’s always a good feeling of accomplishment to see a big pile of debris set out for pick up, knowing that I did that.
  • Been going through my games, DVD/Blu Rays, books to find stuff to list on eBay/Amazon and otherwise sell to generate cash to pay some bills as I’m falling VERY behind on things/will need money to supplement the RA funds until I get a job.  I’m really stressed about this, but will be posting listings this weekend.  (There will be an upcoming post linking to them when they’re live.)
  • Also been working on a post about my firing.  I know several people have voiced curiosity about why I got fired.  The short answer is that I don’t know.  I’ll probably post it late this weekend or early in the week.

Also, this happened yesterday:

041417 no more mohawk

What’s that?  Why, it’s the hair from my back, of course.

No, just kidding.  It was my mohawk.  The ‘hawk is gone.  Not exactly the most conducive hairstyle when looking for a job.  I’m not especially upset over it, as I was most likely going to shave it off in early Summer before I got nasty hot this year.  I’d been rocking the ‘hawk since April 2013 (with a period from Nov ’14-Spring ’15 without), so I was getting ready for a change.  Think I’ll keep it shaved for the Summer, at the least.

That’s it for now; I’ve got things I need to get done today (take Smiley for a walk, breakfast, apply for jobs online, more work on listing stuff to sell, housework.)

As always, thanks for reading.


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