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Goodnight Harmon

May 17, 2011

Harmon Killebrew died today. As I get older, I am loosing more and more of those people who had places in my childhood. As a kid growing in the 1960’s I had a very brief love affair with baseball. I would huddle under my covers at night and listen to my transistor radio (it was as cool of a device as a kid could have in those days) and listen to AM radio live baseball games. It was probably the last gasp of radio as an entertainment medium but the name Harmon Killebrew was mentioned a lot in those days; therefore I feel as though he was part of me. He was only 74 and that makes me feel as though the end is in sight for me.


Please listen closely as our Menu options have recently changed (and other BS)

April 18, 2011

File this under pet peeves and “I smell BS”. It seems that every place I call which has an automated phone system has “recently changed” their menu options. They almost all say “Please listen closely as our Menu options have recently changed” or something to that effect. Now how likely is it that so many places have ‘recently changed’ their menu options? Not very likely. I suspect this is something that has become standard fare; so that they can change the menu options anytime they want and not have to worry about telling anyone. Covering their butts! It’s along the same lines as “this call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes”.

On a side but related note, they do things to try to discourage callers. A place I called today did this. The auto attendant (that’s what these automated phone systems are called) told me that my “approximate wait time was 8 minutes” and proceeded to read off an email address that I could send questions to. A rep picked up the phone in less than 1 minute. So much for automation.

How Quickly things change in a Week’s Time.

April 11, 2011

The last post was more about R than me. This post is about how R’s presence has affected me. Before he moved in, I was stuck in this quagmire of daily activities and rituals. Most of them had to go away or get compromised to the point where I don’t do them anymore.

I have reason to believe that R really doesn’t like me. I heard this from other people mouths and fingers.. so I sort of initially wrote it off. However, after a week, I suspect there is some truth to it. R treats me with barely more consideration than an appliance; as though R is only putting up with me as a component of the horrible situation he is currently having to put up with.

Granted, he is having to endure a bad situation so I have to careful not to jump to conclusions. I need to remind myself that I am not the only one in the world with depression. R mentioned needing to refill his Paxil so I suspect he has depression issues as well.

He is very hard to get along with so I can see where he could have a falling out with his prior house-mates. Everything that R says is about “me me me” (him him him). He never asks how I am doing or inquires about anything having to do with me; the normal course that a two way relationship would take.

I think R is abrasive, aggressive and sometimes rude. Maybe that’s just the way he is. For now I feel like I am walking on egg shells in my own home. So having R here is a mixed deal. On one hand, I have someone around now and don’t feel so alone. On the other hand, I have to use my interpersonal skills which admittedly are less than adequate.

He has had a negative effect on me in measurable ways, however. The most obvious is money. He uses the supplies of the home (food, cleaning items) and doesn’t contribute much. Mostly food is the issue. He only contributes stuff he gets from the food bank which is all he can do at this point. This means my grocery bill is higher.

Backing up a bit, it turned out to be a giant stink to get him a spare key for my apartment. The apartment manager did not know what to do with this situation as the extra tenant was already there. It took nearly a week to get a key out of him after he spoke with the owners. It cost me $85; $50 for the extra key and $35 application fee for R. It turns out that R flunked their application process and that is what caused the whole ruckus. It also resulted in me getting my rent increased by $25 per month – something I don’t think I’ll be able to collect from R. This was a very unpleasant ordeal that included me raising my voice to the apartment manager and verbally cornering him. Up until that, I had had a good relationship with the manager.

So the financial burden from R is something I need to pay close attention to. It would not be so bad if I liked him. But I have found that I don’t like him very much now that he’s moved in.

The other burden is my time as a resource. Last Friday, what was supposed to be my day off, was spend running R down to the Hill and waiting. R had engaged in unsafe sex with someone only to find out afterward that that someone might have been carrying Syphilis or Chlamydia. That required a trip down to the Public Health lab and a long wait. It seemed a large part of the day was spent ferrying R around. He has his own car but didn’t have any gas or parking money.

This coming Friday, he wants me to help him get his stuff back from K who lives in Burien (the other end of town). My car is only a Ford Focus and will not hold much. As for where we will put it? My storage locker which does have some room. But I am less than happy about having to intertwine my stuff with his and this leaves him attached and dependant on me.

The good part of this is that it got me off the fence regarding the apartment. For a long time, I’ve been on the fence about whether I was going to try to move again this summer. There are a number of factors about the apartment (that have nothing to do with R) that I don’t like. So I was definitely kicking the idea around. However this little bit of unpleasantness surrounding the extra key pushed me off the fence. I dug into my files and found that my lease runs out June 30th, rather than July 31st as I had previously thought. That means I can start looking for another apartment as soon as late May.

I have already told R of my plans so he knows he will not be coming along to my new place – assuming I can find one that is more suitable for me. I got the distinct impression that he can’t wait to move back out on his own and get out of there too. He is asking for subsidized housing from the Lifelong AIDS group. I have no idea how long that will take but it sounds like something that might take some time. I have no idea what he’ll do come end of June if I move. I will need to cut the responsibility cord there.

New Housemate or Deadbeat Roommate

April 10, 2011

About 2 weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine contacted me and said he was losing his home (after he had lost his job) and needed a place to stay in order to avoid becoming homeless. I did what any friend would do and offered him a place to stay while he gets back on his feet. He moved in last Saturday, April 2nd so he’s been with me a week now. I was going to write about it earlier, but I decided I would give it a week and see how this affected me and to get a better grasp on the situation. I gave him the master bedroom because quite frankly, the bed in that room gave me a back-ache and I haven’t been sleeping on it in quite some time anyway.

First some background on him. I will call him “R”. R is a very high strung Jewish man in his early 40’s. R’s bad situation seems to be a combination of things that have happened to him and things he has brought on himself. He was fired from his job for snapping a photo with his phone while on the job. To me (and him) this seems like a very minor offense worthy of nothing more than a reprimand. However, it may be that his employer was simply looking for an excuse to get rid of him and used this to their advantage.

To make matters worse, his claim for unemployment benefits was denied. Last week, he played a very long game of phone tag (over several days) with the case manager from ESD (Employment Security Department). When he finally connected, the case manager told him his claim was denied. Now he has to jump through some hoops in the State appeals process to get his unemployment benefits. He was visibly upset by that for several days last week but he seems to have settled down on the issue. He said he would write up the appeal letter today and get it to me to print it. As of yet, he has not given me the file to print (he does not have a printer).

His personal relationships aren’t so great either. He was living in a large apartment with 4 other gay men (one of them was his partner who I will call “S”). I don’t know all the facts, but I do know that he got into a major falling out with the other men in that house and broke up with S. R has nothing good to say about S at this point.

At the point R moved in last Saturday, he moved in with the help of his new lover who I will call “K”. K is a young man about 25. Not all of R’s stuff made it into the apartment because I would not allow it. Basically I told R he could bring what will fit in his room but I didn’t want any clutter spilling out into the rest of the apartment. That meant some of his stuff had to stay in the back of K’s truck until they could ‘figure out what to do with it’.

In the week that has passed since then, R and K have managed to already ‘split up’. Thursday, I overheard a rather heated conversation they were having. You see R is very loud and he uses the speaker phone on almost all his calls so it’s impossible NOT to over hear things. Anyway, the honeymoon between R and K is definitely over.

Now K wants R to come can get the rest of his stuff. Once again, that has left R in a difficult situation.

Wednesday Depression Notes 030911

March 9, 2011

I have not written anything in awhile. I need to remember that writing is a relief mechanism for me and stick with it. I see Dr. B again on Friday and was sitting here thinking about what I am going to talk to him about this time around?

I don’t really know if the Remeron is helping matters or making matters worse. For the past couple of weeks, the overwhelming feeling has been hopelessness and despair. I’m pretty sure that’s not how I’m supposed to feel. There hasn’t been many times where I have felt ‘up’ and glad to be alive.

I was feeling up on the way to work yesterday morning and even felt that way part-way into the day. Somewhere along the way, my up feeling dissolved into despair. That led me to think about how much my job plays into my despair.

Today I am leaving work at 2pm (90 minutes early). In my notice to my manager, I simply said “for an appointment” and left it at that. There is no appointment other than an appointment with myself. 90 extra minutes that I can spend with doing something I want to do away from my desk.

Sunday Crash

February 14, 2011

Yesterday I crashed really bad. By that, I mean my tiredness got so bad that I had no choice but to lay down and ‘die’ for 30 minutes. This was predictably around 2 in the afternoon and I was home so it was no problem to rest on the couch for awhile. Last week was noticeably better in the ‘tiredness department’ due to my ‘extra’ 20-30 minutes of sleep so this seemed like a relapse of some kind. This episode sent me scurrying to the grocery store this morning before work to buy a couple bottles of those 5 Hour Energy shots. Those have worked in the past and I may need them this week.

Tommorow I have a ‘dog and pony’ show to attend at our software vendor. It should predictably be a ‘oh isn’t this grand’ and ‘look at all these neat features’ show and tell session. The company needs to look at new retail software in the next few years so a first step is to look at our present software. On Wednesday, I have a boring meeting which will take all morning. Ho Hum. More yada yada.. then my work week ends on Wednesday thank you

Cisco Mish Mash

February 10, 2011

Today has been a mish mash of feelings. Some up and some down. I have been able to devote some time to my Cisco self training, although not as much as I might have liked. Self training has to be one of the most difficult kinds of training there is. You can’t raise your hand and say “Wait, can you please explain that further?”. Whatever it says in the book, I just have to mull it over and try my best to understand it. Today it was talking about MAC addresses and sticky learning for routers. Ugh. Difficult at best to conceptualize. So I only got through maybe 10 pages.

I should set a page number goal but if I do that, I might find myself breezing through the material. And this is not the kind of material one simply breezes through unless one is already a Cisco expert. Tommorow I see Doctor B. I see some renewed energy but not much. I always wonder what I will say to him but somehow things come out. I have a feeling these session are going to get more difficult.