Archive for February, 2012

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Happy Leap Day

February 29, 2012

Leap Day is sort of odd. I know the ‘why’ of it but to plunk an extra day into the year, once every four is strange to me. This one is shaping up as a doozy. It is 10:30 a.m. and it was cold, windy and cloudy when I got up a couple of hours ago. Let the dog out, had a smoke, made coffee, had my cereal and I’ve been browsing around FaceBook, posting, sharing and commenting for an hour or so. I break to make another cuppa and go out for another smoke and it’s snowing like 60 out there. Yowzah!! I still have about 3 hours to go before leaving for work so it could be an interesting drive getting there; nevermind getting home if this should keep up. Ah well, deal with it when the time comes.

Reflected Sunset '2'

I enjoyed a break from the routine last week at work as it was reading week for the students. It was only our most distant and international students who stayed around campus so there was very little foot traffic through my building after service hours were over. I was able to set up my mp3 player with it’s new external speaker to enjoy hours of glorious music. The speaker uses vibration resonance instead of the usual old cone tecknology – you set it on any solid surface (table top, counter) and it uses that to resonate the sound. It is about 3 inches high and 2 in diameter; sounds great. Here’s what my 5 watt version looks like:

Mighty_Dwarf

On a couple of nights I took along the new laptop and watched a movie or concert video. One was ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ based on the long running radio show of Garrison Keillor’s. It has a great ensemble cast including: Garrison Keillor, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Woody Harrelson, Lindsay Lohan, John C Reilly, Tommy Lee Jones and Virginia Madsen. I loved everything about it. I didn’t often get a chance to listen to the radio show but always enjoyed it when I did. The movie portrayed it all very much as I had imagined it. ( a $3 bargain from the flea market – woo-hoo!)

The other movie I watched was one I downloaded via Torrent – ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou’ – the Coen brothers updated take on ‘Homer’ featuring George Clooney. A remarkable film in and of itself with a twisted storyline and great soundtrack produced by TBone Burnett.

Another evening was spent with David Gilmour at the Royal Festival Concert Hall (2002) running through a variety of his and Pink Floyd’s repertiore and a number of covers. Loverly stuff, really well presented and performed. It was a nice break while it lasted but the students are back this week so no more playing around and goofing off for me.

I’m back taking the occasional picture once again….. my eyes are coming alive.

Light-Washed Wall

Time for my final morning coffee and a puff. Hope I don’t get blown away out there – it’s a wall of white hustling past the windows. Catch you on the flip side.

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Where To?

February 27, 2012

So, where to indeed. While I’m glad to have shared with you folks about this recent setback into another bout of depression, and your messages of support are important too me…. I don’t think I’m going to dwell on it here as it wouldn’t be very entertaining reading, now would it? On that subject I may update with a quick note from time to time but that’ll be it.

I was supposed to have my annual physical this morning but my Dr called in sick. That was the fourth time it had been rescheduled – now I’m getting paranoid instead….. ha, ha, ha. So, next week it is, I hope.

Lynda and I enjoyed a good weekend with her eldest son and young Owen. Two trips to the flea market, two trips to the bakery, one to Toys ‘R Us. Busy, busy. Here he is wearing a mask he found at the toy store.

Take THAT you villain!

It’s back to work in another couple of hours. I’m hoping to get at least one more post up before the end of the month. Don’t get to post on Feb 29 very often, do we?

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ProActive

February 13, 2012

Howdy! Thought I’d throw out a quick post here as an update on how things are going.

In a reply to one comment on my previous post – Robin’s I think – I mentioned that I was struggling with feeling unmotivated. Whether that’s a side effect of the meds or a symptom of depression I’m not sure. Still finding it hard to get up and moving most days. Could also be because sleep is very uneven and I don’t get up feeling rested most days.

Anyway, as a way to combat that I’m keeping a couple of lists going. A ‘master’ list of bigger things to accomplish – renew my passport; get my eyes checked (and probably new glasses), etc, etc. Then a smaller list of things to do on a daily basis – haircut tomorrow; physical scheduled for next week; particular meals I want to make – buy ingredients; family party this Saturday for an uncle turning 90  (some of those cousins I haven’t seen since my father’s funeral 8 1/2 years ago).

In the making of the lists it gives me something to focus energies on and a feeling of control over time, and how I spent it. In crossing things off the lists it shows me I’m accomplishing ‘things’ and that I’m not just blindly wasting (spending) time.

Example 1 – I had been working on reading ‘Half Broke Horses’ by Jeannette Walls for weeks longer than it should have taken. Part of me didn’t want the book to end but the other part of me couldn’t be bothered to pick it up and read the last 50 pages. Friday night I decided enough is enough, plunked myself down and finished it. Cha-ching!

Example 2 – I have a fairly large bag that I trot back and forth to work each night that has been getting increasingly heavy. Most days I’m adding to it with sections of the newspaper that contain articles, items or a crossword that I want for later. Friday night I emptied the bag, sorted everything, stripped the waste paper away from the aricles, pitched some dated stuff and now have a bag that’s about 5 pounds lighter on the shoulder.

A tangent – One of Lynda’s brothers was over this weekend and was showing me how to use Torrent to download music, TV shows and movies. I’m of two minds about using it – one, I like for the artists I like to get full benefit from their work so I don’t like to be stealing from them or the companies that distribute their work. On the other hand – having been working poor for a number of years I’m always on the lookout for a deal. So, the honest part of my mind is grappling with that bit of larceny tucked in back. I’ll be patient and see how the two sides fare before deciding.

Tangent 2: Lynda and I watched most of the Grammy broadcast last night. While Jeff Beck didn’t win for his nomination – ‘Rock ‘N Roll Party Honoring Les Paul’ – it was great that Tedeschi Trucks Band won Best Blues Album with their debut. Some of the performances were marred by tech difficulties or simply didn’t come off well but I thought Jennifer Hudson’s tribute song for Whitney Huston was well done and heartfelt. Adele was great; as were the Beach Boys – Brian Wilson runs a tight harmonic unit.

Speaking of Brian Wilson – at the library last week I picked up ‘Brain Wilson Reimagines Gershwin’. If you like the amazing production values that Wilson consistently brings to his projects you’re bound to like this. As in, if you liked ‘Smile’ or ‘Fat Old Sun’ you’ll like this…. plus, it’s difficult to beat the Gershwin’s song writing capabilities.

To whit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud2o38cJtDY ‘Summertime’.

So, that’s what’s going on and how I’m doing. Let me leave you with something that’s been making the rounds on Facebook; I think I copied this from a post of Julian Lennon’s.

Cheers.

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Bluenote

February 6, 2012

Dusky Blue Snow

So, having been absent again for awhile I thought I’d tell you why…. another of my periodic disclosures.

Seems during the time since Lynda’s son Craig died I’ve transitioned from grief through into another round of clinical depression. Where the boundary may have been isn’t important, only that I’ve arrived here again. During these many months I’ve been actively self-monitoring… but, you know the saying about the doctor who treats himself; he has a fool for a patient.

This is my third period of clinical depression. The first two were spaced about 10 years apart; it is now about 8 years since my last descent into the abyss. So goes the cycle – this wasn’t unexpected. Perhaps if circumstance had been different then this wouldn’t have come about but the only really important thing is dealing with it appropriately NOW.

A couple of weeks ago I saw my physician for a routine Rx renewal appointment and as chance would have it he had some time on his hands for a change. He started a pretty lengthy Q & A session about life, work, relationships, finances… the whole gamut. At the end of it he asked whether I had any feelings about being medicated or not. ‘For….?’, I asked. ‘Clearly you are depressed’, says he. ‘Er, um, hrph, well’. We decided on a newer, cleaner version of a SSRI anti depressant which is to have fewer side effects than the older version. It’ll take another couple of weeks for it to build up in my system to the point where I can expect to feel any effect.

A quick shout out to a blog friend who, having reviewed my posts of the last few months, gave me the heads up that I wasn’t relating as I used to do…. and perhaps it was time to stop waiting and act on the symptoms. Kudos – good read.

I’m not overly upset by this setback. Just sticking to my daily routine and trying to be good to myself – food, rest, vitamins. That sort of thing. Looking for ‘the joy’ in the small things like music and the mild winter we’re having.

So, I’m okay. Just sometimes I have little to say here around the blog. Cheers – be back soon.