Monday, September 29, 2008

Do you remember a couple of years ago when the Dow kept going up and the housing market was booming? That is beginning to seem like a long time ago. Add in the debacle of the war in Iraq, and Bush is going to leave quite a legacy as President. And there is little comfort in being someone who predicted that the twit would ruin our country.
I'm going to be an uncle. My sister is three months' pregnant and due in April.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ian and his wife had their first child last night. While I am genuinely happy for them and for all of the good things that have happened in their lives in the last year, the arrival of a child means that I may never see Ian again unless I go visit them in their new house in the suburbs of Philadelphia. His somewhat infamous trips to Pittsburgh to visit me ended when he got married three years ago, and our friendship suffered. But a child means that he and his wife have really made a home for themselves there, and he probably won't ever be able to come visit me in Pittsburgh again. Even though I knew that this day was coming, I still can't help feeling like life is moving along so quickly for everyone else but me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

After having some form of ticket plan to Pirate games for as long as I can remember, my father is trying to sell his full season tickets. He has placed an ad in the paper, although he is not expecting to get much of a response. He's talking about going to like 15 games next year. The team has beaten him down. It's happening everywhere. The Pirates have essentially killed baseball in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I don't normally stay up this late (after one). But I had a particularly good day, and I'm feeling so good tonight that I've taken the opportunity to get a few things done online that I've been meaning to do. I set up paperless billing for my cable and home telephone services. It's a win-win, really. I hate getting mail, and I'll be saving at least a little paper by not receiving those two paper bills. Plus, I hate the damn inserts that Comcast puts in their bills for things like personalized checks and life insurance. I once called Comcast (and waded through the company's extensive automated system before I finally got a human) so that I could request that those inserts not be placed in my monthly bills, and I got attitude from the customer service representative with whom I spoke. So, I gave up that fight. With the cable and phone bills going paperless, I now have to take care of the electric, which is printed on ridiculously thick bond paper.

As good as I feel and as productive as I've been, it's hard to make the decision to go to bed, since getting up still appears to be the greatest challenge that I face everyday. I just haven't gotten back to that point of being normal where I just get out of bed because it's time to get out of bed. I'm still using my bed as a place of avoidance and escape. Once I stop doing that, I will know for sure that I am well on my way to recovery. I just hope that day comes soon. Tomorrow would be nice.

Friday, September 19, 2008

If you need further proof that the U.S. economy is in increasingly bad shape . . . The richest person in American, Bill Gates, lost money with his investments from last year to this year. He still has a ton of money (something like $57 billion), but if he lost money, then imagine what is happening to the average American.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Fake it till you make it . . . "

Recovering from depression is a lot of work. This is the message of the people who are aiding in my treatment. As much as I might like there to be a "magic pill" that I can take that will make everything better, they are telling me that the medication can only do so much, and that I must really work in order to get better. And frankly, that's a pretty ominous proposition. I have already been in a lot of "pain," for lack of a better word, and I continue to experience pain. But in order to get better, I have to go through more pain before I can start to feel better. It sounds sort of crazy to me, but deep down, I have to admit that it makes sense. I just hope that I can find the strength and mental toughness to do the work necessary to get better. It may be the greatest challenge that I've ever faced.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I received an email from Ian today. He told me that his friend Neil (I'm pretty sure that I sat next to him at Ian's wedding) had checked himself into a mental health institution for six weeks to help him deal with his depression and anxiety. I consider it a minor miracle that I never had to be admitted to the local psychiatric institution. There were a few times when things were really bad that my doctor suggested it. She even offered to drive me there (which she's really not allowed to do). But I resisted vehemently. It was like a line that I refused to cross. I refused to admit that I needed that much help. So, Ian has two good friends that have struggled with severe depression. What are the odds of that, I wonder.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Pirates announced over the weekend that the team will be increasing its payroll from $51 million this season to $54 million next season. Watch out, National League teams. You have been warned.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My mother shows more affection toward Sidney than toward anyone else, family or otherwise.

Then again, so do I.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Okay, one more thing about Sarah Palin. Did you hear that both John McCain and Palin herself have suggested that she possesses the necessary level of international experience to deal with a country such as Russia because Russia is located next to Alaska?

Because Russia is located next to Alaska.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

As much fun as she is to criticize, enough already about Sarah Palin. Let's get back to the presidential election. You know, the one between Barack Obama and John McCain.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How come Subway sandwiches never, ever look as good in person as they do in the television commercials? And don't even get me started on their so-called "cooked" subs. Last time I checked, a weird microwave device cannot toast a sub. All it can do is heat the sub up, while simultaneously making the bread gummy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I lost about twenty pounds in the first few weeks after the depression became severe. I really wasn't eating very well. I had needed to lose some weight, so it was somewhat welcome. All of my clothes just hung on me, and those close to me commented on my weight. I've noticed, however, in recent weeks that I'm eating more and putting some of the weight back on. I'm not really thrilled about that, since I should probably be at my depression weight, rather than my non-depression weight. But my parents eat a lot, and now that I'm essentially eating all of my meals with them, I am eating what they're eating. I try to resist the seemingly ubiquitous cookies. But sometimes my mother buys peanut butter or M&M cookies that I can't say no to. When they leave for Florida in early October and I can no longer count on meals with them, I will have to make sure that I keep eating properly on my own. It's going to be tough. There was a time when I was able to manage it. Although I was the king of takeout. I'm not going to start making my own meals, so I guess I will go back to my old ways. Hopefully, I will eat decent meals without gaining back all of the weight that I've lost.

P.S. This is my 300th post.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Despite all the recent political talk, I am still very much struggling with the depression. I think that I've been doing better lately, with the group meetings and all. But everyday still brings with it certain challenges that I have to contend with. I have practically been living at my parents' house. I almost can't stand being at the condo. I really don't know why. I don't know if the depression just causes me to really hate my home, or whether it's the prospect of being in the condo and therefore, being alone. Alone is a weird thing for me these days. I've always been a bit of a loner, with just a few close friends. I've never travelled in a large group. And I'm not terribly social. So, I have grown accustomed to being alone over the years. But lately, being alone has caused me anxiety. It really bothers me to be alone. I mean, I must really hate it if I have been preferring the company of my parents to being alone. My parents have actually been better with me in recent weeks. They seem to be understanding my situation better (or at least faking it), and they have been rather kind to me. It's been nice. But I have really been missing FF lately. We had a very unique and, in my opinion, special friendship for about two years until she met her boyfriend and they became serious about this time last year. Our friendship has never been the same. Even though I knew that it was going to happen, the actual happening of it was difficult for me. I may have avoided dealing with it by adopting Sidney and starting a new job, but it was still there, lurking, waiting for me to get sick, and then it really hit me hard. I miss her terribly. I spent some time with her this afternoon, and it was nice. But it's not the same. And I miss it. I miss her. Especially on nights like tonight.
My father is obsessed with the election. Even though he is adamantly in favor of Barack Obama, he watched the convention speeches by Sarah Palin and John McCain just so he could swear at the television.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The recent flurry of comments on my blog just demonstrates how contentious, and therefore interesting, this election is. And on top of all that, it's an important election, coming at a time when our country is in turmoil, both home and abroad, thanks to the present administration. I would like to comment myself about the difference between Barack Obama's mother giving birth to him at the age of eighteen and Sarah Palin's pregnant seventeen-year-old daughter. The difference to me has nothing to do with right or wrong. It's the irony of such a thing happening to someone who belongs to the party that champions so-called "family values." While the conservative right rallies around Palin and her daughter now, they are the same people who preach abstinence as the best form of birth control. They oppose sex education in our schools, as well as the free distribution of condoms. I hope that we can all agree, Republican and Democrat, conservative and liberal, that teenage pregnancy is a problem in this country, and a problem that we would all like to see addressed. It is not my intention to judge teenagers who get pregnant, regardless of their socioeconomic status or the color of their skin. But given that Palin is a conservative member of a party that touts the family and the importance of parents' involvement in the lives of their children, it is virtually impossible not to notice that her daughter's pregnancy and the delayed announcement even on a national holiday when Hurricane Gustov was the top news story and the Republican convention was opening were all, at the very least, not good news for the McCain campaign. I think it would be foolish not to acknowledge that, regardless of your politics.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

As more and more information about Sarah Palin comes to light, I become more and more certain that there is no way that John McCain and his campaign did anywhere near enough research on her background before selecting her. I don't care what he says. He screwed up. Even a pro-choice Republican like Tom Ridge would have been a better choice for his campaign, even if the conservative right wing of the party wouldn't have liked him. He certainly wouldn't have brought as much baggage to the campaign as Palin has.

And as much as I hate the sensational nature of some of the news floating around about Palin, I have to admit that I kind of think that that poor high school hockey player is being pressured to marry Palin's daughter. And now I hear he's going to appear with the Palin family at the Republican convention. That's just good stuff.

Monday, September 1, 2008

It seems to me that John McCain failed to do enough research before he chose his running mate. I can't wait to hear the "family values" conservatives rally around Sarah Palin and applaud her daughter's decision as a seventeen year old to keep her baby and get married to the teenage father. That should be a winner of a marriage.