Saturday, February 3, 2018

Spring training :-)


I just got back from foster parent training. We don't have kids right at the moment - I'm required to get a certain amount of continuing education every year so I can stay certified as a foster parent. Oddly, the people that have these kids in the first place aren't required to get any sort of education, which I think might add into the problem, but...  I digress.

Challenging? The word doesn't do it justice. And yet I'm not so opposed to this that I refuse to do it all together.

Odd how that works, isn't it?

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Pills aren't everything

I forgot to take my pill today. Yes, I'm going to stigmatize myself and say I take a pill with a name I can never remember, something like venlafaxine. It's an anti-depressant; I've been prescribed a 75mg dose, which is supposedly a quarter of the maximum dose a person should be prescribed.

I think the results have been noticeable to the people that really know me. Don't get me wrong, I still fall asleep at times when I wish I wouldn't, but, for the most part, I think I'm more 'on'. I believe this effect is more noticeable outside of the workplace - I always got involved enough in what I was doing in the workplace, I don't think most would have noticed one way or the other.

I will digress and say I've spent the bulk of my life working outside, in the sunlight, during days. Things seem to have degraded now that I've moved to the night shift on an 'inside' job; I've started to believe what they say about sunlight helping your body to produce certain vitamins and all.

At any rate... All this considered, I had someone get crossways of me today. This isn't the first time I've found myself wishing I hadn't tried to help, at all. As for the 'getting crossways' - in the end, my part was pretty much played out by me excusing myself from that particular contact as rapidly as possible.

What? You were expecting some epic blowup? Nah... Those are too hard to erase. In fact, you never can. I have learned that, to a degree, the hard way.  People will NEVER forget if you ever pull the safety pin out and cut loose. Modern society doesn't allow it any more anyway.

Learned 2 things out of this. Loud music helps the minor withdrawal symptoms of even a single dose of the pills. In particular - 'Sail' by Awolnation and 'Nod ya Head' by Will Smith. On repeat. Max volume.

Other thing?

I'm rethinking this whole antidepressant thing. My doctor has been, in my opinion, exemplary, in how he's handled my case. He did tell me that when he sees me here in about 3 months, conventional wisdom says it's time to see about cutting me down in dosage, to think about taking me off of the pills all together. He also said some folks decide to keep on going if life is going well, and said it would largely be dictated by my needs first, desires second.

I wasn't real excited about that prospect at first, to be honest. But today has made me rethink the possibility. Of course, we'll see where I am when the time comes, but...

I'm in a position where I can tell myself the nuisance that got into me again today, in all honesty, can be completely avoided. Really, my own desire to help anyone, all of the time, for any reason came back to bite me. In theory, I just have to stem that desire in one itty bitty little case; no other effect to myself whatsoever.

I'm starting to realize that about a lot of the things in my life. I'm married, I have a hobby that has once again given me a personal goal to accomplish outside of my relationship with my wife and family or my professional goals. I know I have some great friends and family that care about me and that I'm welcome to care about in return.

The other stuff? The things that don't fall into the categories above? Hrmm... Take a pill to deal with a nuisance, or just forget the nuisances all together???

I've made many wrong assumptions, and formed numerous wrong opinions before more thought turned me the other direction.

It should, in my opinion, be a very interesting visit with Bones here in a few months.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

My unfortunate? habit of following pop-culture

I've been watching 'The Handmaid's Tale' on a streaming service. Evidently, it met with at least some small bit of critical acclaim, and the original text was written by a known author. As a wanna-be author myself, it seemed like a reasonable thing to waste some time on. I have to admit, it does seem to be very well-written, and the acting and production value isn't bad either.

It is, however, a pretty tough watch from a thematic point of view. I really can't say I understand why so much of the stuff we see in pop-culture anymore is so brutal. I'm no flower child, and I read the description before I clicked on the show, so I had an idea what I was getting into, but...

Did I need to see a guy getting his arm cut off? How about the rapist that the girls beat to death with their bare hands? The bottoms of Offred's feet after she was beaten? All of the bodies hanging from the church ceiling?

I know one of the most basic rules of writing is 'show, don't tell'. It kind of seems like taking the easy way out to use all of this gruesome imagery instead of writing through it. I'm not the published author that got my work picked up by a hot-new studio and made into an award-winning mini series, but there has to be a way to make the depiction of hardship and violence more situational and a little less visual.

Don't get me wrong, Offred/June is an interesting character. The thing I'm discovering through my on writing is the hero needs to have luck break her way every once in a while. I think the closest Offred got to having things far in her direction was getting away with having sex with Nick.

You can't JUST beat on even your hero. NO ONE has bad luck all of the time. Gotta let a little light in sometimes - it actually makes a story more real.