jayfurr: (Default)

Today is a bright sunny, chilly day with the remnants of this week’s snowstorm all around outside serving as a reminder that although spring may technically start tomorrow, astronomically speaking, Vermont usually has other ideas.


Richmond, Vermont -- Sunday, March 19, 2017 (around 12:15 pm)


Carole is out at a meeting somewhere downtown, and then after that she’s got a symphonic reading with one of her orchestral groups. This means that I have the afternoon to myself, and I’m running hard up against a wall of ennui, depression, boredom, and lassitude.


It should say something that even though I actually just got back from a trip to Hawaii, I’m already paging morosely through itineraries for cruises this time next year. Travel to exotic locations motivates me. Sitting around at home doesn’t.


My imaginary gopherlike being Wally is sitting down in the living room absent-mindedly paging through the collected works of Don DeLillo, and some guy with a strange accent who says he’s Godfrey of Bouillon keeps calling asking if I want to join him on a crusade or something.


There are things I should be doing around the house – minor housekeeping jobs such as hanging my stupidly large collection of baseball caps on hooks on the cap rack I bought a while back, putting away laundry, doing Quicken, but right now I’m just sitting here staring off into space not wanting to do any of those things. Nor am I terribly interested in watching basketball, reading anything, going out and doing something… really, in doing anything at all.


It would be simplest if I just kicked off my shoes and took a nap, but that’s been my answer to this ennui problem for a few years now — spending as much time as possible asleep until it’s time to get up and do something, like going to work or making dinner. Part of this may be seasonal affective disorder — the urge to cocoon when it’s cold outside and I have nothing especially fun to do. In principle, once warm weather comes and the windows are open, I should have more energy, but frankly, over the last few years that hasn’t really been true. I think I got on my bicycle once last year. And it’s a nice bicycle.


Yes, perhaps my medication should be adjusted. I’m taking citalopram and buproprion, and I know from recent experience how absolutely lost and worried and angst-ridden I get if I skip those for a few days, so I assume they’re helping in some fashion. But… I don’t think that there’s a pill that will re-instill in me the motivation and drive of an ordinary human.


I wish there was.


 

jayfurr: (Default)

Old motelAs you all know, I’m all about the “wallowing in depression”.


Carole’s going to visit her parents in Ohio for Thanksgiving (Oakwood, a suburb of Dayton, FWIW) and I have no plans.


I found myself pondering today, “What would be the most depressing place to spend Thanksgiving by oneself?” I don’t mean “in solitary confinement in a Supermax” or anything like that. I’m thinking more in terms of “if one was to buy a plane ticket to anywhere in the lower 48, fly there, check in to the local Motel 6 or equivalent, and spend a week feeling sorry for oneself, where would be the best place to go?”


For some reason, I keep thinking in terms of “not terribly prosperous waterfront town”. There’s something very depressing about looking out at dark water under cloudy skies on a chilly day when everyone you know is spending their time with family and friends. Has anyone been to Traverse City, Michigan? Is it depressing? Or is there someplace much worse I should try instead?

jayfurr: (Sepia)

angrygoose

I spend every day of my life wanting to apologize to everyone I know on social media and quite a few of the people that I know in person.

I believe that most people who know me either:


  • think nothing at all about me, or,

  • think I’m an annoying, attention-hungry loser

I’m not worried about apologizing to people to whom I’m a complete non-entity; that’s actually the preferred state, I guess, given what I assume the alternative is. But everyone else — all the people I’ve annoyed, all the people I’m going to annoy, and all the people that I’m currently annoying — to you, I am very sorry.

I’ve spent my whole life doing impulsive, stupid things and then realizing how offended people were and then asking myself “why the hell did I do that?” And I suspect that there are countless more things that I’ve done that I didn’t pick up on. That when I leave the room people look at each other and just shake their heads. That people cheer up when they arrive and I’m not around. And so on.A)Please don’t give in to the urge to post a follow-up saying “but that’s not true at all.” I promise you — I did not write this with the goal in mind of having people respond telling me that I’m not so bad after all, or because I was fishing for sympathy.

I sometimes think that the only way I can avoid cheesing people off through my spastic, dumb-ass sense of humor is to say nothing at all to anyone, to stay off social media, and to never go out in public except to go to work. (Somehow, I’m able to adopt a work persona that gets the job done and doesn’t feel a need to go off on weird tangents. Usually, anyway.)

I’m not overly fond of the blanket excuse offered up by over-psychoanalyzed Late 20th Century Man: “My parents did this to me.” I imagine that everyone’s parents did various not-so-constructive things along the way, and I believe that blaming one’s misfortunes on one’s parents is just a lame albi. My father did spend my entire childhood telling me that I was a jerk, that no one would ever like me, that I was an idiot, that I was a quitter who would never accomplish anything, and so on. That probably contributed somewhat to my belief that I had no friends, that the world was pretty much divided into:


  • people who don’t know me at all

  • people who can’t stand me

  • people who barely tolerate me

I was careful growing up to never ever ever refer to someone as my friend, for fear that they would look at me with a repulsed look on their face and say “We know each other. We’re acquaintances. But we’re not friends.” To this day, I feel weird about the term “friend”. Other people have friends. I have people I haven’t completely cheesed off yet.

But I don’t think this way of thinking this is all my father’s fault. I’m a gray-haired 48-year-old man. It’s past time that I take responsibility for my own thoughts and actions. It’s fairly pathetic to say “stuff that happened over 30 years ago continues to shape my thoughts today and every day.”

I think that the truth is that I really do careen through life doing a lot of dumb-assed stuff, and always have, and unless I take up the life of a hermit, probably always will. I’m very glad that I’ve got my work persona to fall back onto, but I can’t be that way 24/7. Somewhere along the way I developed a strong work ethic… but when I take the necktie off at the end of the day, the other Jay comes out.

And so I spend a lot of time face-palming at my own actions and wishing like crazy I had an “undo” button. And since I don’t… I wind up apologizing a lot, or wanting to apologize, or wishing I could go back and apologize. Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to make amends to everyone you’ve ever hurt, even if they were disposed to give you a chance. In my case, there are just too many people.


Sorry


And thus, this post. To you, dear reader, I’m really, really sorry for anything and everything I’ve done to annoy you, irk you, cause you to sigh despairingly, waste your time, bore you, or otherwise act like a millstone around your neck. If you want to contact me for a more specific apology, please let me know.

Unless, of course, you’re a Canada goose. The blanket apology, and offer of a more specific apology, does not apply to them. Canada geese are mean. To heck with ’em.

goosehead

Footnotes   [ + ]

A. Please don’t give in to the urge to post a follow-up saying “but that’s not true at all.” I promise you — I did not write this with the goal in mind of having people respond telling me that I’m not so bad after all, or because I was fishing for sympathy.

Drowning

May. 16th, 2016 11:20 pm
jayfurr: (Default)

Drowning


Though this is not going to come as a newsflash to anyone who knows me, I’ve been suffering from severe depression for a few years now. Of late I’ve been so depressed that at the end of each working day I’ve simply gone home (or to the hotel, when I’m traveling for work), eaten something, and then gotten into bed in a dark room to surf Wikipedia on my tablet. Nothing else. Same thing every day.


I am scheduled to walk in the 2016 Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Seattle this September, and I haven’t even started my fundraising, because I’m so damn depressed. Every week I say “perhaps this weekend I’ll compose a fundraising letter and send it out” and every weekend I do anything but. (If you want to sponsor me, though, you can do so here: http://www.the3day.org/goto/jayfurr — but for what it’s worth, this whole blog post is not intended to get donations by sounding absolutely pathetic. I merely mention the fact.)


Four years ago, I was doing a lot of running. Then life took a few ugly turns, and I lost all my motivation, and since then I haven’t run at all. The last time I even tried to run in a friendly local race I was so far behind everyone else that I wound up dropping out. It was a 10K, which I didn’t have a lot of experience with, and I wasn’t feeling at my best, but regardless, I have to say that the overall weight of depression didn’t make things any easier. And after that debacle of a race, I just basically stopped.


Five years ago, I had gotten my weight down to 180 pounds. On a 6’2″ frame, that actually made me look skinny — for the first time since high school. But then depression hit and now I’m back up at 240. I have suits I bought when I was down at 180-190 that I can’t wear any more, but I can’t face the prospect of buying new, larger ones again because that’d be the final blow — a way of absolutely surrendering to the weight gain. As long as I don’t buy new suits, I can pretend that one day I’ll fit into the Slender Jay suits again.


My father died at the end of March, so now I guess I’m technically an orphan. That didn’t depress me as much as I’d have thought it would’ve, because, frankly, his death meant he didn’t have to suffer for years in a state of relatively severe dementia. If I recall correctly, it was only eight months or so from the time he was admitted to a nursing home (as a result of frequent periods of confusion and disorientation) to the time he passed away. Some people aren’t so lucky and linger for decades.


Still, it does sadden me to think that he’s gone. He and I didn’t see eye to eye, and I can’t recall him actually ever directly praising me for anything, but I respected him and I think he came to respect me and actually felt a little bit bad about how abusive he’d been when I was younger. I wish I’d had more time to get to know that Keith Furr — the one who looked back at a long life and wished he could have been a better father.


Right now, today, I’m in Phoenix, Arizona — in town to do two days of training at a local customer and then to present a session at my company’s national conference. I had a perfectly fine day today, training-wise, but I spent most of the day privately wishing like anything that I could just go back to the hotel and sit in a dark room. I doubt the customers ever realized I was thinking anything of the sort, but behind my cheerful, professional mask was a deep gloom and the thought that it would be nice if some sort of emergency (say, a tornado alarm, or an alien invasion) happened to occur.


Toward the end of the day I happened to mention that, hypothetically, I might be interested in going to see the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Yankees tonight… and for some reason all the folks present seized on the idea and started looking up ticket prices and giving advice on taking the train to the stadium and this and that and the other… and the whole time I was thinking “why did I mention that? I’m way too depressed to go back to the hotel, change into casual clothes, and go out to a game.”


I am taking medicine for my depression: citalopram, buproprion, and trazodone (which I don’t take every night because it’s so heavily sedating that I feel groggy the next morning). I think the medicine helps somewhat — I don’t find myself waking up with panic attacks and so on, for example, but it’s certainly not making it possible for me to have a regular life. I’ve tried other medications as well, and none have made much difference. I imagine that if I started getting a lot of regular exercise, that’d help tremendously, but there’s basically zero chance of my going back to the hotel, changing into exercise clothes, and going down to the fitness center to pound out a few miles on a treadmill.


I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m just plain drowning.


Drowning II


 


 


jayfurr: (Hiking inna dark)
I spent Christmas alone at home today. Didn't spend a moment with another living soul; never stirred outside the house. Spent the day cleaning and de-cluttering. Got lots more to do, too. But nonetheless, I can't complain. I was able to log in on Facebook and view the affection and warmth in everyone's greetings and be content in the knowledge that others were happy and safe with their loved ones. That was a fine gift, knowing that so many of you were happy and warm. I'm sorry that everyone can't share in the season's special moments and I offer a special prayer for those in the service of their country, far from home.

Never forget to be grateful for the loved ones in your life. Never pass up a chance to remind them that they are loved. And don't sweat it if the sweater you got for Christmas today is tacky, the wrong size, or prone to set off your allergies; what matters is love, the greatest gift of all.

jayfurr: (Hiking inna dark)
I spent Christmas alone at home today. Didn't spend a moment with another living soul; never stirred outside the house. Spent the day cleaning and de-cluttering. Got lots more to do, too. But nonetheless, I can't complain. I was able to log in on Facebook and view the affection and warmth in everyone's greetings and be content in the knowledge that others were happy and safe with their loved ones. That was a fine gift, knowing that so many of you were happy and warm. I'm sorry that everyone can't share in the season's special moments and I offer a special prayer for those in the service of their country, far from home.

Never forget to be grateful for the loved ones in your life. Never pass up a chance to remind them that they are loved. And don't sweat it if the sweater you got for Christmas today is tacky, the wrong size, or prone to set off your allergies; what matters is love, the greatest gift of all.

jayfurr: (Taco)
So I'm halfway through my month in Boston (not going home on the weekends because, c'mon, I'd be home for about 30 hours and then have to drive right back down. What would be the point?) and I've got a weekend staring me in the face. Last weekend I walked 13 miles on Saturday and 7 or so on Sunday (in the icy slush left behind by a minor snowstorm). This weekend's weather isn't supposed to be outright horrible but it could be cold and gusty and rainy and I'm left wondering what would be the best use of my time. I could drive partway out to Cape Cod early one day and then walk ten miles in one direction, turn around, then walk back. I could drive down to Rhode Island and load up on coffee milk. I could go for a walk out to a place like Nahant and see Massachusetts Bay in all its, um, glory. I could just go find a local candlepin bowling lane and spend the day trying to break 100.

I know I know people in the area but if there's one thing getting old has taught me, it's that I have a lot to be embarrassed and sorry about vis-a-vis my callow youth and that it might be a fine thing going forward if I didn't inflict myself and my asinine sense of humor on people. I firmly believe that I'd find myself extremely annoying if I had to put up with myself... and consequently I sort of blanch at the idea of calling someone up and inviting myself into their lives. I appreciate people being nice and all, but, well, you know.

On the weight-loss front I've managed to stick to my calorie goal for the week pretty well - avoiding restaurants and trying not to keep snacking food in the room. Consequently, when I got back to the room last night and weighed myself, I was at 183.5. I've got until January 3 to be at 180 pounds and at 2 pounds or so per week I should make that with little trouble... provided I keep myself honest and out of temptation's way. A nice long walk or two this weekend would certainly help, though.

jayfurr: (Taco)
So I'm halfway through my month in Boston (not going home on the weekends because, c'mon, I'd be home for about 30 hours and then have to drive right back down. What would be the point?) and I've got a weekend staring me in the face. Last weekend I walked 13 miles on Saturday and 7 or so on Sunday (in the icy slush left behind by a minor snowstorm). This weekend's weather isn't supposed to be outright horrible but it could be cold and gusty and rainy and I'm left wondering what would be the best use of my time. I could drive partway out to Cape Cod early one day and then walk ten miles in one direction, turn around, then walk back. I could drive down to Rhode Island and load up on coffee milk. I could go for a walk out to a place like Nahant and see Massachusetts Bay in all its, um, glory. I could just go find a local candlepin bowling lane and spend the day trying to break 100.

I know I know people in the area but if there's one thing getting old has taught me, it's that I have a lot to be embarrassed and sorry about vis-a-vis my callow youth and that it might be a fine thing going forward if I didn't inflict myself and my asinine sense of humor on people. I firmly believe that I'd find myself extremely annoying if I had to put up with myself... and consequently I sort of blanch at the idea of calling someone up and inviting myself into their lives. I appreciate people being nice and all, but, well, you know.

On the weight-loss front I've managed to stick to my calorie goal for the week pretty well - avoiding restaurants and trying not to keep snacking food in the room. Consequently, when I got back to the room last night and weighed myself, I was at 183.5. I've got until January 3 to be at 180 pounds and at 2 pounds or so per week I should make that with little trouble... provided I keep myself honest and out of temptation's way. A nice long walk or two this weekend would certainly help, though.

jayfurr: (Default)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/02/books/02westlake.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Mr. Westlake was in my top five all-time favorite writers. Probably ranks ahead of Terry Pratchett, even. Wrote the best comic crime novels ever in my opinion. I'm grateful he gave us so many funny, well-written, and entertaining books. It's just gonna be weird knowing that there won't ever be another John Dortmunder book.

So long, Don.

Bored

Nov. 12th, 2008 06:42 am
jayfurr: (Causeway Abutment)
Life is incredibly boring these days.

The distance ed class I'm doing this week is more or less a one-on-one with one paying customer and some GE staff who're shadowing, and while everyone's very pleasant the material isn't anything I wake up in the morning going "oh joy, I get to cover that today." Some topics are more fun than others.

Next week I go to North Dakota for three days of training which should be sort of interesting since I've only been there once, briefly, and never trained there.

And then the week of Thanksgiving comes up and I've got that whole week off because I have, effectively, nine days of vacation/floating holiday left to take before the end of the calendar year. Carole, on the other hand, doesn't have that whole week off so imagine me, at loose ends, just sort of hovering around the house all week until Thursday comes.

I'd like to get out and do more hiking but I had a cold last weekend and didn't feel up to it. Perhaps this weekend I'll feel better and go out on Saturday. Can't hike on Sunday because I have to fly to North Dakota and all. Maybe I'll do some more hiking the week of Thanksgiving, provided we don't get a lot of early snow that socks in all the trails. (Yes, I can snowshoe, but necessarily one goes shorter distances and doesn't have ready access to water from streams once you're dealing with a couple feet of snow.)

My evenings are pretty blah lately. I get off work, go pick up Carole (when I'm in town), and by the time we're home and done with dinner it seems like we've got about ninety minutes before we have to do our evening checklist and then make Carole go change for bed and unwind. (If she's not in bed reading and unwinding by nine she won't be tired and ready to turn the lights out at a reasonable hour, and then she'll be horribly unproductive and groggy the next day.) I need to think of something interesting and fun to do in the evening, something I can look forward to... but all I can really think of lately is cooking and baking projects, and we don't need any more food in the refrigerator or baked goods in the freezer. We're well stocked.

Sigh. Bitch, bitch, bitch.



jayfurr: (Huck on my head)
Carole and I are moving into the boring time of the year, the time between the last of the leaves falling from the trees and the holidays. One might comment that in this election season things aren't boring but I submit to you that waiting for the election to just be #@*!&$! over is the ultimate in tedium.

This weekend it rained like crazy on Saturday afternoon and evening and consequently we just holed up at home and did not much of anything. On Sunday we slept late and then, upon discovering that the rain was gone and the day sunny, we went for a 16-mile bicycle ride, starting from our house and going most of the way to Waterbury on Route 2. Had we not gotten a late start we might have done more of a ride but when it was already well after three (and Carole was complaining about stomach pains) we turned back short of our goal. Yay us, I guess. Any exercise is good but I'm not announcing plans to run any marathons based on a 16-mile bicycle ride.

My wife's cousin Holly is going to be running the NYC marathon in a week, which just makes me feel lame. No matter how many things I'm relatively good at, from kayaking to hiking to walking sixty miles in three days, I still consider the fact that trying to run even three miles would probably give me terminal shin splints and/or kill me. Sigh. I'm pleased for Holly, though. I don't know what it is about running that makes me think that so long as I can't/don't do much, I'm still the ultimate in wimps. My sister, who shares the same low-hemoglobin blood trait that I've got, goes out after work at her law office and runs three or four miles. Why don't I? Boredom, generally. I find the idea of running pretty damn boring. Perhaps if I made up a mix of techno/workout music and tried running with that I'd do better, but I doubt it. I just don't much like running, but still pointlessly feel that nothing I do much amounts to anything since, after all, I don't RUN.

This week I'm doing a distance education class from my office, the kind with a telephone conference line and web sharing. Next week I'm probably going to be doing custom programming all week for a particular customer who seems to like me, and the week after that it's another distance education class. Then, assuming nothing's changed, I'll be going to Fargo, North Dakota to do a class. Translation: 'boring', 'boring', 'boring', and then 'potentially kind of cool'. Then it's the week of Thanksgiving and then we hit December. With any luck it'll snow or something so at least it'll look all pretty.

Sigh.

My whole mental world revolves around having something cool on the horizon to look forward to, and right now I've got nothing. I don't want to start bugging people about the 2008 Breast Cancer 3-Day because it's just under a year away and I think it would annoy the living daylights out of donors if I started begging again so soon after the last one.

And I don't even have Halloween to look forward to. No one invites us to Halloween parties because even though we've lived in Vermont since 1998 we really don't socialize with anyone; it's hard to make hangin'-out-with friends when I'm on the road so much. And no kids come up our road and up our long driveway to trick-or-treat. We're too far out in the country.

Sigh. Boring, boring, boring.

jayfurr: (Trail)
Harvey Korman died today, aged 81, of complications from an aortic aneurysm.

I don't normally write obituaries or take note of the passing of celebrities, but Korman was a big reason some of my favorite movies of all time are my favorite movies of all time.

I'll feel that the world is a poorer place for his absence. And take solace in the fact that where he's gone, he won't ever have to worry about being late for dinner. Everyone gets fruit cup.

Rest in peace, Hedley.

Perspective

Apr. 4th, 2008 05:21 pm
jayfurr: (Phantom)
Some people, when they reach their age-40-time-to-start-doing-things-to-show-I'm-still-alive-and-kicking watershed, start training to run a marathon. And do run that marathon. And then do a bunch more, or at least a bunch more half marathons.

Me? I'm getting all impressed with myself because I'm planning to walk 60 miles in three days. (I don't actually expect to have a lot of difficulty with that, actually, but it's a valid point of comparison.)

Running bores the living crap out of me. Also, I just don't seem to have the wind for it. My sister, though, who has the same weird-ass low-hemoglobin blood I do, goes out and runs three miles as a nice bit of exercise after work, so I can't claim it's the blood thing. Perhaps if I did a lot more cardio pedaling on the exercycle it'd be different.

Sigh.

jayfurr: (Pickle)
I sent a slightly shortened version of my "Extremely Irritated" post to the contact address for the New England Red Cross Blood Services people. It got forwarded by the contact person to the medical director. I got a reply this morning. What the medical director said is after the cut.
Read more... )
jayfurr: (Glern)
I am extremely irritated.Read more... )

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