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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.


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 #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.


Fighting Depression #19 – Crazy fun weekend

April 3, 2017
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So, if you follow this blog or any of my social media, you know I attended a bunch of wrestling shows this weekend.  I was planning on 12 shows in a five day period, but wussed out and only (only, he says) did TEN in a four day period.  (It was great fun and I loved every minute, but it was a bit much for me.  I’ve been fairly reclusive, not just for the past three months, but really for about a year now.)

I’m not going to get into details of the shows here, as I know most of you reading probably aren’t wrestling fans.  I’ll just leave it that I got to see some amazing shows, got to see a LOT of people I’d never seen live before, more than a few on my “bucket list” of Wrestlers To See Live.

I also got to meet some awesome people:

Paul and Yael (of the Wrestling In Florida blog), two very nice people that I didn’t get to spend enough time talking to sadly. 😦  But, they’re Florida-folk, so I have high hopes that our paths will cross again sometime and I fully intend to take up more of their time then, if they’ll let me.

Michael, whom I’ve been interacting on Twitter for the past year or so, and his entourage – Lauren, Seth, Charlie, Erik, Adam and a couple others whose names escape me.  (I blame my depression – the past year, I’ve REALLY begun to have some memory-retention issues.)  A bunch of very cool folk that I got to spend time with over the four days and enjoyed the banter, the random conversations, the wrestling-talk and other-life talk… and of course, Shark Sabre Jr.

Also, all the people I talked to sitting at the shows, waiting between shows, wandering around… so many cool people from so many different places.  I love meeting people and talking to people… just, apparently, I can only handle so much of it nowadays.  (Used to be I could have done it for weeks straight and not been overwhelmed.  Things change, I guess.)

And, of course, the wrestlers and staff.  Too many to name them all, but I gotta single out a few – Trevin Adams and Kyle Schneider of WWN Live, both of whom always take a moment out of their crazy, busy time to shake hands and chat a few, something I appreciate.  MSL, a very fun guy to talk to in the hall between shows, someone I always enjoy on screen/on commentary.  Keith Lee and Space Monkey, who were great fun to chat with while browsing/buying their t-shirts.

To everyone I’ve named, and those I haven’t, again, I thank you greatly.  I can’t put into words just how much this weekend meant to me, on a mental level.

Now, it’s time to hunker down and try to find a fucking job.  This week, I’m filing for unemployment and starting the job search.  Probably means I’ll have to shave my head, as mohawks aren’t exactly the best fit for most jobs, but there you have it.

As always, I thank you for reading.


Fighting Depression #18 – Fighting, fighting.

March 30, 2017
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The past several days have been busy.  Mentally busy, trying to juggle money and make ends meet.  Mentally busy, struggling with stress/anxiety over money and the week (well, five days) of wrestling craziness that started last night.  (Yes, wrestling is one of my biggest joys and seeing TWELVE live shows in a five day period is a BIG DEAL and important and something to be glad for, but it’s also a little nerve-wracking.)

I keep revisiting my budget notes.  I have money to pay bills.  I’m ok.  But I keep stressing over it.  So I have to keep reminding myself that I AM OKAY.

Next week, I’m (finally, yes) filing for unemployment.  Next week, I start looking for a job.  I’ve had almost 3 months to myself, to feel sorry for myself, to rage against the universe for how I was unfairly deprived of a job I loved (well, I loved working with the animals and helping find good homes for them, but there were also things about it I wasn’t crazy about; in retrospect, all things considered, it was a good job.  I mean, I was there for the best part of twelve years.)

But, for the rest of the week, it’s going to be fun.  Last night was the inaugural Punk Pro Wrestling (here’s their twitter) show, which I really enjoyed.  Lots of indie guys that I’d never seen before (more than a couple that I’d never even heard of before), and a bunch that I knew well/seen in person before, too.

(Yesterday afternoon, I was pretty much battling depression, had to actually argue with myself to go ahead and go.  And, totally glad that I did.)

The crowd was fun, met up with one of my fellow wrestling enthusiasts from Twitter and his entourage.  Good times.  Tonight, more good times.

I’ll be posting some wrestling-specific posts, probably next week, covering the events in more detail.  Also, will be working on a couple less detailed posts for another site.

Again, thank you for reading, whomever you are.


Fighting Depression #14 – Lots of words and pictures.

March 14, 2017
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Okay, so, last week.  I posted on Wednesday, basically saying I’d not gotten much done during the week and kinda feeling bad about it.  Then, I posted an addendum, to show that I’d forgotten about some productivity I had.  Cuz, I forget things.  A lot.  (In fact, that’s one of the reasons I’m keeping this blog, is so I can look back and see for myself.)

Yay, depression.

So… Thursday of last week, I went up on the roof and did some cleaning.  I’ve not been up on the roof since late April 2015.  So, as you can imagine, there was a bit of cleaning to do.  I’d actually gone up there on Wednesday and pulled some of the branches off that had fallen during Hurricane Matthew, back in October.

Here’s a couple pics of the roof, beforehand:

So, I got up there with my blower and went to town.  Lots of twigs were buried in the leaves, so plenty of stopping and pulling them out and tossing them down to the ground and continuing.  I was up there for an hour-ish, all told.

Now, I’m not good with heights.  Years ago, going up there would’ve had me trembling and all sorts of anxious.  In fact, the first four years or so that I owned the house, I didn’t go up there, not once.

Working at the shelter, I decided I was going to make myself confront this issue.  At the shelter, there were several buildings and leaves collected there frequently, so I started going up there and blowing them down.  As much as it made me nervous, I went up and I did it.  Over and again.  (Y’know, 3 times a year or so, as needed.)

After a while, I got much better about it.  I’m still a little leery, but I’m not afraid any more.  So, being up there was kinda cool.  A reminder of what I’ve overcome.

Right now… this phase… having been fired for no reason (at least none given), I’m feeling pretty useless.  Ineffective.  Incompetent, even.  It’s not helping I’ve let my depression get the best of me and I’ve tapped my savings and all that. So… that reminder, that was a good thing.  (This is another reason I’m journaling in this blog – to help show myself, and anyone reading, that I’m not useless/ineffective/incompetent.  Make sense?)

So.  I did an hour or so up there,  loving being up there and being (99%) comfortable.  It was nice and breezy and not hot and I loved it.

This is the after pics:

Feeling pretty good about that.  🙂

Also, I started blowing off the carport roof.  It’s the furthest area from the camera in the left hand pic above.  I’ve never cleaned off the roof of the carport.  Not once.  I’ve owned my house for 16 years and 4 months and 13 days, and never once have I cleaned it off.  So, there’s a LOT of leaves and dirt and even those little fern-like plants growing in said dirt.

Which means that’s a project that’s going to take a bit more work.  But as the pic below shows, I think I am off to a good start:

030917 carport top after

The plan is to go back up on the roof either tomorrow or Thursday, and do some more cleaning up there – focusing on the carport area.

That brings us to Friday… Saturday… Sunday.  I pretty much didn’t do a whole lot.  I think I stayed home pretty much all three days, except to run some movies to the library that were due on Sunday.  Oh, and I ran to the store to pick up a few groceries on Saturday.  But, other than that, I was home and I didn’t accomplish a whole lot.

I was mostly stressed over something that I had to deal with… and stressing that some minor little thing might bite me in the ass in a serious way.  I refer to it in yesterday’s post (and, yes, I’m being intentionally vague, and that’s not going to change.)

I was grateful that there were three WWN Live branded wrestling shows airing live on FloSlam to take my mind off things.  Friday was SHINE 41, Saturday was ACW: Luck of the Irish and Sunday was Style Battle 3.  All three shows were good, but SB3 was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while.

Even so, Sunday night was hell.  I stayed up until almost 4:30am and slept for shit for the 5.5 hours I was in bed.

Got up at 10am, left the house around 11am, drove to Daytona to deal with stuff, found out that I had to come back 90 minutes later, so I drove to the mall that I used to work back in the 1990s, the Volusia Mall.  (I worked at Waldenbooks from Sep 1991-Mar 1998, as an assistant manager for the last five of those years.)

Daytona was really busy, as it’s Bike Week, which I totally just didn’t realise or I did and forgot.  I was amused by this posted sign on the side of the main drag, about half a block before the actual Daytona Speedway, where the races are held:

031317 daytona ride quietly

Yeah, like that sign did any good…

Got to the mall, went to the only bookstore in there, Books A Million (which was not there when I worked in the mall.  There was us and a B Dalton’s, though that closed a few years ago.  I browed BAM for about 20-25 minutes, then walked the rest of the mall, trying to see what was familiar, what was new or different.  (I’ve not been in the mall for a good five years, possibly closer to seven.)

This storefront is where my store used to be.  Kinda made me sad.

031317 my old storefront

Finished walking the mall and still had almost half an hour to go.  So, I went for a circuitous route through Daytona to get back to where I needed to be, and arrived pretty much when I wanted to.  Did the thing, and all was well.

After that, I treated myself to lunch, but you’ll have to refer to yesterday’s post to see the pic of the yumminess that was had.

After I got home yesterday, I just chilled/relaxed for the rest of the day.  I was exhausted and relieved and it was good.  Went to bed about midnight, slept until 8:30am this morning, best sleep I had in days.

Today, went to the gym for the first time in over three years.  Felt good to go.  I did 20 minutes on the stationary bike (5.38 miles including the 2min cool down after the 20min, but I hit 5 miles about 19:20), then did some upper body machines.  Talked to Caleb, one of the personal trainers there, and he helped me with some exercises to work on my core and strengthen my back (for those new to me, I have scoliosis, so that’s important.)

Was a good experience, feel accomplished.  Also feel sore, am pretty sure I’m going to be achy tomorrow!

So, yeah, that’s it, that brings us current.  As always, thanks for reading along.  Feel free to share any thoughts!


Fighting Depression #13 – Owning it.

March 13, 2017
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I’m not remotely in the right frame of mind to do a catch-up post on the last week.

This week has been good at times and hell for me, at others.

I’m ok.

I’m more than ok.  I owned it.

I had to deal with something, something that’s a part of the repercussions for actions and choices I made in the past.  This isn’t anything new.

But, I was afraid.  I was afraid that a slight little thing might bite me in the ass.  And, this past weekend, that fear ate away at me.  It got me fairly worked up.

Or, perhaps I allowed it.  But I didn’t allow it, I fought that fear with logic with rational thinking, arguing the anxiety with facts.

I won’t say I won, but the fear didn’t win either.

Today, I went and did the thing and there wasn’t any apocalypse.  Everything seems to be ok.  Everything I feared, it didn’t happen.

To be fair, there’s a little voice in the back of my head saying, “Just because nothing happened today…” but I’m not letting it get to me.

I owned that bitch today.

And, then, because I deserved it, I took myself out to lunch at Honeybaked Ham.  I had me a delicious lunch and came home.  See that beauty?

031317 honeybaked ham

That’s a Tavern Club sandwich, oatmeal raisin cookie, tropical fruit salad and half mango/half sweet tea.

Tomorrow, I intend to get a post recapping the good stuff that happened this week.

As always, thanks for reading along.


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