Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter thoughts and memories

[Editor: This post has been backdated to the time and date that it was written originally as opposed to time it is being transcribed. The same goes for the mention of my location.]

A lot of places I expected to be open today are closed. But then again, there are places that are open today that I was sure would be closed. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. I passed two CVS pharmacies today, one was open, the other wasn't.

How are those of us who don't celebrate Easter supposed to figure it out?

A Little Background

I grew up in a Protestant family and we celebrated Easter and all the other holidays. However, I tended to take after my father who was not a religious man, although he was very spiritual. I was too young to realize this at the time, but it is very obvious when I look back at it.

Anyway, as I went through my later teen years things always seemed to come up around Easter. One year I had the flu, another I sprained my ankle, another I came close to breaking my knee.

This culminated the year I was 21. That year my father died Easter weekend. To be a bit more specific, he would not wake up Thursday morning (one day before Good Friday) and was declared dead that night.

We mourned through the weekend and had the memorial service first thing after the holiday, on Tuesday.

Since then I have only been to (if I remember correctly) two Easter dinners. I usually worked if I had a job which needed someone those days, and spent it alone otherwise. Like today...

I am at Chili's in an almost empty bar. Then I will either head into the woods for a while or find some other quiet place.

Anyone feel like sharing their own Easter memories, good or bad, in the comments?

A filler post

I have been trying to compose an entry, a specific entry, for a few days now and I have gotten nowhere with it. I think I have been trying too hard and thinking about it too much. So I am putting it aside and posting something else.

I recently found a book I wrote in for a while and thought I would share one of the entries from it:

I am on top of Blue Hill. I was in Boston earlier, but even though I had intended to walk around the city I found myself unable to stay. I did not feel comfortable. The city felt even more "off" than usual. With the way I have been feeling lately, I could not see myself wandering around through that many people today.

So I came here.

Not intentionally, at least not at first. My first intention was to get out of the city. I think I was going to go shopping, but as I left the city, and after eating, I decided to come here.

On the way up the hill I stopped at my usual spot and stood a couple of stones. I'm glad I did because while I was doing it I was focusing everything on the act and the stones. When I walked away I felt lighter and completely exhausted.

It was like I put a lot of the things that have been pressing down on me into the rocks. I know that I have too much in my past and present to say that I left my problems behind, but it feels like I have put some of them aside for a time.

So while I feel lighter, I also feel tired. There was the physical exertion, but more than that...

In a way the problems have been what's been driving me. I have been going around, going nowhere, doing nothing, to avoid the issues. By putting them aside I have freed myself to slow down and rest. And as soon as I started to slow down I could feel how tired I've been.

I wrote this in August of 1999 but, thinking back on the feelings I was going through, it could have been written yesterday.

Actually, I'm not sure it could have been written yesterday since things have gotten worse. More about that in the entry I have stopped trying to write. I stopped trying to write it and will be sitting down soon to just go ahead and write it.

For my friends in North America, I hope you don't see this until at least the morning because you are sleeping. Someone should be.


Saturday, March 26, 2005

A Celebrity Viewpoint

"Frist" Posted by: wilwheaton

Wil Wheaton (yes, that Wil Wheaton) posted this picture on Buzznet and used it to express his views on the Terri Schiavo situation.

Worth a visit in my opinion. And this is from someone who thought he had heard MORE than enough about this whole thing. Don't expect me to post any more about this, I surprised myself by posting this much about it.


Saturday, March 19, 2005

Another late night entry

3:30am and I am too tired to sleep. Too tired to write as well, but it is easier to force myself to type than to sleep. I also wanted to get something down while I was thinking about it:

The thought occurred to me today that I felt ... not good but a bit better than I have lately when I was stressed about work, etc. I think the problems and stress gave me something to focus on and kept me from realizing how bad I was really doing.

So even though I feel worse now I am in a better position to attempt to deal with the real issues and maybe even work them through.

And I still have hope. Actually, "still" might not be the best word to use. I feel like I should almost say I once again have hope. I have a lot of hope that I will eventually feel better. It is not always easy to hold onto that hope, but I am doing my best.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

How do people do it?

Millions of people living what would be considered a "normal" life. Working, living, loving, having children, raising families... And to all appearances being happy.

I know I am not the only one who feels the way I do, but that doesn't stop me from feeling like I am.


I can't do this right now...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sleeping "Habits"?

I'm hoping to be asleep soon but I am not tired yet. I was getting in bed but I couldn't lay still so I got up and figured I'd write something while waiting for the sleeping pill to kick in.

I have been dealing with these sleep problems for quite a while now and my doctor gave me a prescription to help me sleep. I don't take it every night, only when it gets too bad and I NEED to get a night's sleep. The last time I took one was weeks ago. Now it is time again.

I have gotten no more than 5 hours sleep a night for the past week or two. I say no more than 5 hours but it has probably been averaging a little under 4 real hours of sleep. That is not enough.

Luckily I only have to make it through tomorrow and then I have some time off work. I booked this Thursday and Friday off work at the start of January. Little did I know how timely it would be.

Of course there are times I get more sleep. There are days on the weekend when I can't seem to do anything but sleep. I get to sleep about 2-3AM, wakeup about noon and manage to climb out of bed around 3PM.

I don't like this. It pretty much kills off my weekend. There's not much you can do when you are in bed for most of the day and don't feel up to being in a crowded bar at night. I've been trying to change this and get into a reasonable sleep pattern seven days a week. I'm sure I'll let you know how it goes.

For now, let try climbing into bed again and see how that sleeping pill is working now.

Peace and Pleasant Dreams to all.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

That'll wake you up

As you should all know by now, I have trouble sleeping. Sometimes the lack of sleep will pile up to a point where I fall asleep whenever / wherever I happen to be. This is usually at home with the lights / TV / CD / whatever still on.

If I feel tired I'll turn all that off and turn in to try to sleep. If not, I try to do something to tire myself out. And in the cases where it is my mind keeping me up, too many thoughts racing around, I'll turn on the TV because as we all know turning on a TV will turn off the brain. The "Sleep" feature on TVs is a great thing. (That's the feature where it turns itself off after a set amount of time.) I'll the timer for when I should be asleep and let it, and myself, go. If I am still awake when the set turns off I'll either reset it or try something else.

A few days ago I fell asleep like that, but apparently I left a candle burning as well. It was one of those supermarket glass candles, sometimes known as a seven-day or advent candle. There wasn't much left in this one.

So around 5AM I was woken up by a rather loud bang. It didn't take long to figure out where the noise came from. While the candle was burning the last of its wax the flame was burning directly on the bottom of the jar. This caused the glass to overheat and eventually explode.

I got up and checked around. The candle had gone out as the jar exploded. There were no flames anywhere. There wasn't even any wax anywhere, not even where the candle had been standing. Apparently it had waited until the flame had burned the last drop of wax before exploding. Very considerate I think.

Since the glass was confined to one small (and safe) area, I went back to bed and waited until I was fully awake in the morning before cleaning it up.

Usually I stick to tea lights if the candle could be burning after I fall asleep, you don't have to worry about the metal cup, and this was a good reminder of why.

But, all in all, I still got a good night's sleep that night. One of only two that I have gotten in the past couple of weeks.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Ghost Stories

On Friday Scaryduck posted his Haunted Holiday story, describing a ghostly encounter he and his family had. This has inspired me to write about our "ghost."

I share a house with some friends, however the residents of the house have changed a lot since my friends first moved in. The following was first noticed by the original crew before I moved in, but is still brought up once in a while to this day.

A while after my friends moved in they started to notice something, and they called this something "The Ghost."

The Ghost was never (that I know of) seen in person but would often show up in photographs. The photos were usually, but not always, ones that had been taken when there were a lot of people gathered in the living room. Not that it means anything, but when The Ghost showed up in pictures certain people would often say "I thought something was going on in that room" but they never said anything while the pictures were being taken.

The Ghost would appear as a floating apparition, a cloud, mist, or somesuch. The same "certain people" referenced above would often point to the cloud and start pointing out features. An eye here. A hint of a face. A dress. It made for an interesting Rorschach Test, but it was rare that there was anything recognizable in The Ghost, even with someone tried desperately to point them out.

No one ever seemed to notice that the more people, and indeed the more smokers, in the area at the time, the more likely The Ghost would make an appearance. But only if the pictures were taken using a camera with a flash. You see where this is going don't you...

I am convinced that The Ghost was a reflection of the flash off the smoke in the room. I am even more convinced after looking at some of the pictures again. [Editor:Unfortunately I don't have any in digital format at the moment, and we don't have a scanner, or I would post them. I'll see if I can't get one or two posted later though.] Of course, other people don't want to hear this. They want to believe there is an actual ghost in the house.

Let me just finish by saying I don't disbelieve in ghosts. I just don't believe that is what it was in this case.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Sorry about the Feed

I am at work on the template I use for this blog again, making several changes to improve / clean up the code. Sometimes this will mean I have to republish one or more of the old entries. This isn't a problem if you are visiting my site since everything will still show up with the same date, and in the right places. However, those people reading this through the Atom XML Feed may see these entries show up again.

Over the past few days I believe I took care of all the entries which needed to be fixed to work properly with the template and setting changes, but this caused a few entries to reappear in the feed.

Sorry. I should not have to change anything else, so we shouldn't have to worry about this in the foreseeable future. (Although I am still working on template, so we can't be sure...)

Anyway, just wanted to let you know what happened and let you know that it shouldn't happen again.