Archive for February, 2006
So Saturday, (Yesterday technically) was one fucking awesome day.
i’ve had it on my schedule to see Rent on Saturday for quite some time. The friend I originally was planning on going with got sick and I grabbed a replacement, Eric, at the last minute. We had brunch at First Watch to start our day off then we went about going north to Cleveland.
On the way we wanted to find a Starbucks so enjoying the new geeky abilities that I can do with my laptop I connected to the internet from the car via Bluetooth and my Sprint PCS cell phone. It was one of those “WOW!” moments. Its odd being in the position to be continually wowed by technology when you’re a geek, but its really really cool to be able to have all these devices connect wirelessly to each other and just work. (Okay I got kicked off once, its not perfect, but right now this bluetooth net connection is at about the level that your modem connection was at back in 1997 or so, a bit flaky but good enough.)
After we got Eric awoken with Starbucks coffee and a McDonald’s hamburger he and I had quite an interesting discussion about work and were we’re going. (Hey, Eric and I discuss work all the time… Just like my dad and I used to discuss work all the time… What can I say I enjoy talking business, I practically get horny reading the finance pages….)
We got into Cleveland, wandered around the warehouse district into Griffon Gallery, an art gallery. I’ll admit the art wasn’t quite my taste, well done stuff, but just not something that would fit into my style. Oddly enough there was an old friendly cat sitting on the table in his bed, who enjoyed being pet. The coolest part of the visit was walking to Tom, the curator and family. He pulled us some nice strings and got us a reservation at XO, a really classy modern steakhouse where Eric and I both ate fish. (Go figure.)
If you’re in Cleveland, go and visit the Griffon Gallery its at 1370 West Ninth Street, its a great little place.
Then up next was Rent, the main course, and the impetus for the trip. This was my fifth time seeing Rent and it was definitely much better than the last two productions. The sound was together, and there were no batteries dying on the wireless microphones. My only gripe is that the show started promptly on time, and low and behold the house staff kept seating people for at least 10 minutes.. it was annoying and well poor house/stage management.
I’m still amazed how many new things I found in the show, and how moved I am by the show. There is all this cool dialogue that supports the music much better, and very effective staging that enforces the show. For example, Gordon, the outcast from the LifeSupport group, he’s off on the other side of the stage, on his own, reenforcing his isolation from the group and their philosophy.
Oh, and I got a Rent t-shirt, its about time, I only saw Rent for the first time back in 1997.. Better late than never, but I have to remember the message on the shirt, “No Day But Today”, a fucking awesome today.
So I made my pilgrimage to Ikea today.
The thing that impressed me the most was the attention to detail all of the item’s design’s imparted. Everything was well thought out and made sense. The shopping carts have swiveled wheels on both ends, because well they’re more maneuverable that way, it takes a little bit to get used to but its quite nice. A coffee table that has a rotating then fold open top, has the hinge designed that it can twist around both ways, making it easier to fit into your house and open under more circumstances. There are hundreds of other little details like this that just let you know that somebody really spent some time thinking through the purpose and function of the item.
I was also amazed at the egalitarianism of the place. They covered items of all different price points. (The quality is very high all around.) You’re able, if you’d like to buy a kitchen for $3000, but you can also get a kitchen for around $600, which is a deal. It reminds me a lot of the New York Subway, broke near minimum wage workers ride the subway right along side investment bankers who make half a million dollars a year. Ikea caters to all income levels.
Compare this to the normal US model, where if you’re broke you’re shopping at Walmart, but if you made a lot of money you’re shopping at some haughty-taugty furniture shop. Between Walmart and that haughty-taugty shop there are other stops on the the price point scale. We’ve segregated our shopping by socioeconomic levels when it isn’t really necessary. In my mind this is yet another example of America’s class divisions.
Yeah, and well I didn’t do so great on the being fiscally responsible front, I spent a pretty good chunk of money, nothing beyond what I can pay, but more than I’d would’ve like to have. But I did get a really good value…
Okay, so I got kicked in the ass today. I did a little bit of it, but a good friend of mine at work did the rest.
I’m a bit depressed. I’ve been kinda lying to myself, figuring I can get myself out of this funk, if I pull myself up by my bootstraps and get it done. But, quite frankly I don’t know what the hell else to do. I’ve pulled every trick I know out of the book to naturally fix my screwed up serotonin and norepherine levels. (Its sad, I know how to spell serotonin without looking it up, norepherine was another story though pheeew!) But, back to the topic at hand, I need to get myself out of this funk. I think I’ve mastered that the cup is always half full, and all that other jazz, at this point its chemical.
I’ve been fucking around with antidepressants and for at least six if not seven years, and intellectually understand the concept of a neurochemical imbalance and that depression is often like any other disease, but I’m stubborn, I want to do this on my own, without any help. If you think about it its pretty stupid, its something akin to saying “I’m bleeding! I’m bleeding!”, then someone hands you a bandage, and then saying, “Nope, I don’t want that”. There is more than one way to bleed to death.
In my own defense, this dang dragon snuck up on me. Thinking back, it really started after Katrina hit. For me depression often is a reaction to stress. Sometimes I can channel stress into performing (As I think I did around Katrina at work) but it also can hit the other side of me push me into depression. I needed to bite the bullet at that point, but I didn’t. I think part of me didn’t want to have to face saying the line “I’m depressed because of the effects of this fucking hurricane.” It seemed and seems selfish, “yeah lots of people died, had their houses destroyed, and are scattered all over the country, but I’m depressed.”
Its funny, I can go look at my grades and pick out where I was battling depression and when I wasn’t. I just pulled out my favorite computer tool, Excel, and roughly calculated that when I was battling depression my GPA was 2.40, when I wasn’t it was 3.21, a .81 difference.
So I’m stuck with a slightly annoying decision. How long should I stay on antidepressants? Historically I’ve hung onto them long enough until I felt good then flushed them down the toilet. The problem with those dang things is they don’t hop into your system overnight, and I’m not always the best person at noting that I’m starting to get depressed.
I don’t like the conclusion that I just drew, but I don’t think I can or should abuse myself like this anymore. That is what it boils down to.
These bullets are fucking nasty to bite…
After class tonight, I had a really good conversation with my professor about my depression and getting me through this class.
First there are two types of people with depression, those who have an episode brought on by a death/breakup/etc, and those who suffer from it like any other long term disease. (e.g. Diabetes)
I’ve wanted to think I’m in the former, but really I’m in the latter.
One of the things I realized while talking to her is that one of the simple reasons I’ve been able to tell myself that I’m not depressed is I’m usually in a position where there are lots of stimuli that require reaction – I’m constantly being poked in the ass by others to get things done. (or I’m anticipating to prevent being poked in the ass.)
The problem is when I need to get things done and I’m not getting the stimuli. A perfect example was when I was a credit card collector, I did great when I was in the environment that I was constantly getting a call and having to react and work through the issue. When I got moved to a different department and I was the one to do the calling and the reaching out I got to the point where I couldn’t really function. I actually got to the point I stopped going to work.
Depressives can and do lie to ourselves and compensate by putting ourselves in situations where we can perform. We brace ourselves with the proper stimuli. An arm that has been in a cast and supported, falls limp once the cast is removed.
I had a discussion with one of my friends on Friday night. I asked him point blank, “What do you think about me going on anti-depressants?”
His response was interesting. To paraphrase his response, he said that I needed to do what I needed to do, but he was sad I felt the need to be on anti-depressants. It was a bit of a smack in the face, but honest. The thing is, part of me agrees with him.
There was/is a strong little voice in my head that says, “…you don’t need those drugs, you’ll be fine with out them, just go fix these things up…” It took a cacophony of other voices to finally push me to the conclusion that that voice was wrong.
I know the fact of the matter is my brain chemistry just isn’t balanced the way it should be. But to admit that brings upon oneself with a whole cart of societal prejudices.
This is bullshit.
Can you envision society calling diabetics lazy because they cannot regulate their sugar by what they eat? Or perhaps calling those with spinal cord injuries lazy for not walking on their own? Or blame someone for getting a simple cold?
The fact of the matter is this is depressionphobia. I’ll admit right up front that right now I’m depressionphobic. I need to change that.
I said at a dinner with friends “that there are parts of me that I hate”. I was promptly scolded by one of my friends who had already bitten the bullet and was on antidepressants.
I am not ashamed that I suffer from depression.
I will not let other people be ashamed of me because I suffer from depression.
Depressed people are all around us. Let us not be ashamed of them, but welcome them.