Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Still in the garden

I'm still on gardening leave. The wheels turn slowly to get me back. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying the time off work, but I'm conscious my awesome boss is without back-up and it means turning work off in my absence.

I'm spending my time playing Baldur's Gate 2. I just accidentally sold my glasses of identification to someone and now I have to backtrack to find who I sold it to. 


UPDATE: Turns out the admin processes won't allow a speedier turn and I am in the garden until mid-Winter. That's okay for me but it's not okay for my workplace since I am not there to do the awesome work I was doing. At least they care enough to have tried to get me back quicker. I could have been out for three months plus admin time instead of just two and if my workplace thought I was a liability they simply would have accepted that recommendation. 

Fuck me it's good to have people have faith in you and to support you when you need it. I never had that support before but I have it now.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Have flu, still rode

I have the flu. I've been "mergh" since yesterday.

But I still rode SoTPC, my exercise bike, for an hour yesterday and again today.

Take that, everyone who stood in my way (1).


(1) Yes, I am aware someone standing in my way of riding an exercise bike is neither imperilled by me or can thwart my non-passage. I'm just impressed that someone with a body like mine is still able, even when sick, to push itself to that level. And everyone means anyone that's thought of me as lesser or malformed or who gave me shit or looked down on me as a child, as a teen or as a man. I beat every single one of you.

Friday, May 22, 2015


Last night was another shocker of hard-to-sleep. I eventually dozed off about 2 am.

It was not helped though at 12:50 am when I came out to discover partially digested cat biscuits in vomit sausage form on the lounge room carpet. 

Bending is hard for me but I lowered myself and with the last of the paper towel got as much of it up as I could.

I forget why I went to the front door, perhaps to turn off a light, but it was then I trod on yet another vomit sausage of compacted biscuit return and mooshed half of the sausage into the mat just inside the door. 

Cleaning that up was far worse, with buffing needed to tease out the mashed bickie from said mat. 

I was in a foul mood after that and, whilst transporting the now-loo-paper-mopped-up-cat-sick, I have to confess to shaking my fist in the face of the ginger cat whilst calling him vile names as I passed him.

It was then the black cat returned to shredding the overhang of the plastic bin liner because she could smell bones in the trash and she wanted to pull the bag out to have at them.

I lost my shit and charged at her. She hissed and fled into the dark.

The black one also has the unpleasant habit of crawling under the big bed at night so she can steal out later and jump into bed. We have to use the bathroom sliding door to enter the bathroom, closing that door before opening the normal bathroom door into the corridor because to open the bedroom door risks her darting in and under so she can lie in wait for evil cat caresses in the wee hours of the morning.

The normal bathroom door doesn't always click shut. The fucker just pushed it open and ran on through the partially-opened sliding door and right under the bed. 

I cranked up at myself. I should have thought to check the door had clicked shut.

Don't get me wrong, I love the cats. But they are little fuckers at times and it's times like vomit sausage and the under-the-bed-darting that they're at their most little fuckery.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Damn you, ALDI

So I conducted an experiment. I drank another bottle of ALDI's $5 finest—a sparkling moscato cut by me with tonic water—to see if violent IBS upset would occur. 

That and I really wanted to drink a bottle of wine.

It took 120 minutes but, sure enough, greening-brown of Operation TOILETCURRY once more. I'm wearing undies with PJs just in case I can't make it to the toot on time.

Is it because I don't have a gall bladder? Is it the alcohol or something in the wine itself? Did I receive a curse from an ancient crone who cackled that I would never ever enjoy cheap wine as delivered to me the consumer, the low price courtesy of Teutonic mercantile efficiency? 

It's pretty suckful. It could be worse I suppose. I could be an alcoholic that suffers onset of roiling guts and near-certain shartage if they drink yet still imbibes because they're an alcoholic.

An alcoholic with the major shits—that would not be pleasant. Especially if you got to near vomit stage and weren't sure which hole got primacy when calling God on the great white phone.


(Mikey sadly put away the notion he can drink cheap sparkling white wine brought to you by German-sourced viticulture).

Morning thunder at night (equals) no sleep

Since giving up Diet Coke about six weeks ago (1), and being at home on gardening leave, I effectively gave up caffeine since I don't have to chug a coffee on a work morning to give me the pep to go to work. 

Last night I was tired but I had a nerd night to attend, kingdom building in a long running D&D 3.5 campaign (we're thirteenth level). 

So I had a coffee. 

I regretted the decision at 2:40 am after I'd spent about an hour trying to sleep without success, even resorting to counting backwards by seven from 1000 in an effort to bore me to slumber with basic math. 

That didn't work. In the end, and being in pain, I had some pain meds then tried again. I think I dropped off about 4 am. 

Oh, caffeine, you are an amazing thing. Unless you've all but been given up and the receiving body is now wired to take your contribution to maximum effect and it's then taken at night.

The human body's ability to use and abuse stimulants is a wondrous thing. It's just a shame about the blowback.

(1) I went cold turkey on anything with artificial sweetener after reading a Time article that said it fucks up your digestive system. I went from not drinking any normal water a day to drinking about two litres. I think it's helped with my IBS and overall health.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lewis Black on forgiveness

Lewis Black was on The Daily Show and he did a bit (1) about the ex-Nazi guard, aged 93, on trial for being complicit in the death of 300 000 people

Lewis ended the bit with a revelation that a former Jewish inmate, who was 10 when she was put in the camp along with her sister, forgave the guard and then riffed on how he, Lewis, couldn't forgive such monstrosity and if he had his way he'd perform genital origami by way of revenge. 

It got me thinking about anger and forgiveness. That the one advantage religion has over atheism is the capacity to forgive. 

I only wish I had that capacity in my "there is no God" life. I still have so much anger about what happened to me, both as a child and in the workplace, that to forgive manifests as a Game of Thrones high wall of ice that I have to climb if I am going to let go of the bitterness and hurt.

Oh well I suppose it's one thwack of the ice pick at a time to pull the body up and you just concentrate on the next thwack and not the entirety of the journey.

Nonetheless it's going to be a long hard climb.

(1) Lewis Black bit here but it's not available to view in Australia. Damn you, Comedy Channel!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Get the ____ out of my house!

I had one of those on-the-cusp of sleep dreams the other day. Where you are dreaming about something that is happening to you at that moment in the position you are in. In this case lying in bed and looking at the doorway.

Two men burst in, I think one was a teenage boy and perhaps in a sailor's hat. I rose up in bed and shouted "GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE!"—as if I had some sort of Paul Atredies-style weirding voice that could damage my foes.

I snapped back into reality, and sailor boy and friend were gone. I was spooked enough to get out of bed and check the front door was locked and that there was no one else apart from us in the house.

Thanks, dream, thanks a lot. 

UPDATE: I am concerned I may have dream manifested Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Double reverse PAG

I rarely drink. When I hit my thirties the need to chug on down greatly reduced. But tonight I had maybe a bottle and a half of $5 ALDI's finest.

I don't know if this is correlation or causation but my lower hole just evicted what seemed like a large-sized curry of fine minced greening-brown. I had worm sign just before, horrid abdominal spasms that caused me to fold in on myself like I was a card table, and then scant minutes later Operation TOILETCURRY. 

The agony forced me to *yoink* pain meds and now the pain is subsiding but still with much aftershock. 

I felt self-pity for a moment. But then I remembered that ridiculously handsome man with an awesome Ken beard I saw on an ABC show that was perfection, save for the lack of arms and legs. 

So I can hardly complain.

Even so, yee-ouch. That was a mo'fo of an unpleasant reverse PAG.

Again, I do have to ask myself why my own body hates me so. Even though it be gifted with all of limb. 

I guess that's my journey; constant pain. A reminder of humility and the coke for my steel. 


Chipped an upper tooth

A while back I chipped one of my upper teeth. I think it was via ALDI's delicious honey cashews and I likely didn't notice when it happened and probably swallowed the shard.

At least, though, it's not a bad chip. Not like the last tooth which, due to the size of the chip was such I needed root canal to save it and chose not to, having the tooth extracted instead.  I didn't have time to spend on root canal and was not willing to endure the three one hour sessions to save it.

As luck would have it that tooth was extracted the day before my last work day in my old role. The agony of its post-extraction a contributing factor into my collapse that occurred the day following the extraction and the subsequent week when I literally went insane. 

Teeth and mental health, inextricably linked. Well, in my case.

I doubt I will get this chip seen to. It doesn't hurt and I don't feel the need to tongue at it excessively.  

So that's a dental win. Besides, I'm now middle-aged. It's to be expected for bits and pieces of my bod to fall off the twig. And I have a glorious list of failing bodily components it can now join.

They need a reunion. That would be nice. Old tooth can swap school stories with my former left hip socket that I had replaced back in 2011 and which nearly resulted in my death.

Mikey, he just keeps on ticking. Even when bits of him fall off or fall away. 

UPDATE: Another chunk fell off but this time a different tooth, ole' upper right back. What was I eating? A gummy bear. That's right, a gummy bear. Area man is falling apart. I feel like one of those people in a movie who spits out a shard of tooth or teeth following a fight. The chunk that fell off doesn't appear to have left the nerve exposed but I presume it's off to the dentist now to find out "what the fuck?". Maybe dramatic tooth decay is like buses. Nothing then two come along at (near) once. 

I'm a reverse Humpty

I had a meeting with my doctor and rehab person to get the tick to go back to work. It sucked having to go on gardening leave but I know it wasn't personal, it was my workplace looking after me. And, thanks to having been looked after when I collapsed in 2013 and again now with my recent return of anxiety, I am soon to walk straight back into work. I won't even need a graduated return.

I'm a reverse Humpty: all the King's horses and all the King's men in this case were able to put Humpty back together again.

I like it. A reverse Humpty.

Take that, haters.


Twatwatch—Will Cain

I saw Realtime with Bill Maher from 8 May 2015.

Will Cain was on. 

He is such an insufferable fucktard of right wing fuckholery I felt the need to resurrect Twatwatch to point it out.

Only, here's the thing. Twats are awesome. It's stupid to call him a twat because he's just not that useful. 

Roadkill? Roadkill watch? As in someone who is of less value that roadkill? After all you can always eat roadkill. 

Anyway, Will Cain. Wore a loud jacket, had loud opinions and was insufferably elitist and an arsehat. 

Ah, that's where he's from: Glenn Beck land

Well that explains everything.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The trouble with old religious books is they're old and religious

I am a cultural Christian but now atheist. My journey to "not God" was largely accomplished in teenage years but as I got older I couldn't live the lie any more and walked completely away from it (1). It's caused some issues, my Dad is quite religious and he has suffered actual mental pain from his children being either on the fence or over the fence and headed for the library. 

Sure, the social part of it is a big feature. I grew up in a church going household and our social family life was inextricably twinned with that of church. Our friends were church friends and I went to Christian youth group—in truth only going 'cos my older brother went and I thought he was awesome. 

There were also girls there. Not that I ever spoke in depth to any of them. I just carefully stared and pined. 

But those shackles of old faith are gone and logic remains. I don't believe in an afterlife and I don't believe in an invisible sky father that is concerned about masturbation. 

I was reading Alternet today and there was a piece on the church that Marco Rubio, senator for Florida and presidential aspirant, goes to. The article talks about some of the fucked up stuff that church practices, such as noting biblical hate speech about "teh gays" in their employee application for any would-be employee lest they be "a gay".

The church I grew up in wasn't intolerant. It was almost entirely focused on the New Testament and all the social and moral good that section of the Bible has, far out weighing the still negative stuff that's in there. In fact I can't even recall any of the fucked up hostile stuff ever appearing in sermons or Sunday school. 

But this intolerant crap from literally over a couple of thousand years ago is still part of it and it's a part that fundys in the US cling to because they fear an incoming God tanty of space fire if "teh gays" get to marry each other and have their marriages recognised throughout the entirety of the United States. 

All religions have their issues, their weird and wonderful ideas about how we should live. But the trouble with sacred texts is their very definition of sacred make them a static unchanging text that is unable to catch up with societal evolution. You know, like realising "teh gays" are "people who are gay" and that to restrict their rights to it makes all of us a little shabby. 

I read this wiki once about an anthropologist from the 19th century who theorised religion existed due to societal evolution, that it enabled people to interact with each other with an agreed set of values and beliefs and because this was successful in helping people survive then it remained baked into society for most of civilisation. Indeed, Islam takes that further since its a faith that instructs people how to live their daily lives in addition to what's needed for devotion by the faithful. 

That makes sense to me. That people embrace the faith for the community or wellness it brings their daily lives more than for the liturgy or ideology. It's just that some people, fundamentalists, go too far with their rigid dogma because their very old book says they're allowed to hate certain people.

Interestingly, and perhaps because it is such a recent faith, the Mormon church has baked in the capacity to go beyond rigid texts with revelations by the most-senior living members of that faith enabling them to advance in respect to respecting others. For example, African Americans were allowed into the faith in the late '70s after a revelation that Jesus does indeed love all the boys and girls of the world, and that includes the black ones. 

Organised religion—it's just not for me. Here's hoping that the bulk of people who have religion in their life use it for the wellness it can bring and reject the hate that it also has due to static unchanging foundational texts. 

We're all here on the one wet, airy rock drifting through space. It would be nice if we could all just get along, irrespective of what any good, and likely very old, book says.

(1) Well, that's not entirely true. I may attend a church service in my old home town if my Dad is in the choir or if it's for an event like celebrating the awesome life of my now dead mother. I even sing the hymns because I like singing. But if anyone asks, as they did at my Dad's place as we had a meal following the memorial, then I will confidently state it. It's not like I am out the front of a church with a reverse Fred Phelps style sign saying "God doesn't hate fags because God doesn't exist".

Nothing in, near water out

Today I fasted until about 5 pm. At 6 pm, then again at 6:30 pm, I sharted. It was like green water. 

I am not sure why that happened. All I can think is the probotics I have are dud ones.

Suffice to say being a middle-aged man and sharting is not very adult. What's next? Depends? 

I guess it's just part of the awesome journey that is having IBS. A full giddy experience of too solid to not solid at all and pain all the way between. 

Hooray for my abdomen and its many travails!

(Shakes fist at abdomen)

Friday, May 08, 2015

Holy reverse PAG, Batman!

Yes indeed, old chum. For I was struck by sudden abdominal cramping spasms and I had to warp 10 to the toilet.

It was an eyeball popper. 

My guts are still contracting and a'spasm in aftershock from that hideous experience.I had to numb out with pain meds, post-haste.

Why, body, why? We're on the same fucking side!

PAG2! The return of PAG

Fresh from another PAG I was emboldened enough to mow the back lawn. It was hard. Moving stuff around was okay. Bending and kneeling to pick up rocks theBoy had seeded through the lawn was horrible. 

Fortunately what made it a lot better than suckful was our battery mower. We got it nearly 10 years ago and it's had about three batteries. A charge is enough to do the front or the back. It has a dead man handle so the moment you let go it instantly cuts out.

Most importantly there's no rip cord for me to pull—you just press a switch and depress the handle. I used to have to get my mum to pull the rip cord until teenage years and she's dead now so I can't ask her. 

I blame my shortened arms for that.

Curse you, Darwin.

You win again, chicken pen

Crushed my left index finger between the brick wall of our house and the heavy steel frame of on old door that's part of the chicken pen's wall. 


(throb, throb, throb)

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Fist raised for Comrade Rebel

I just saw the trailer for Pitch Perfect 2, courtesy of the SMH.

Rebel Wilson is a stand-out talent and her comedy chops are incredible.

I am fully going to the movies to see it.

(Fist raised for Comrade Rebel).

Area man soon to leave garden

Dear Hummingbird, break out the fine china, chill the lemonade... tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree...'cause this boy's comin' home to his ladies, comin' home forever.
Con Air.

My workplace broke the administrative logjam that was holding up my return. All I need now is a note from my doctor to say I'm good gravy to go back into the office.

I have to admit I regarded my being sent back on gardening leave as more sweet than bitter. I wear my depression like armour so being forced to leave work was not a reputation worry for me. I just knew my workplace cared deeply about me and wanted to make sure I was okay. Of course, I was on paid leave to be away and, with no worries of how people viewed me, I was enjoying this gift of a healing mini-break.

Now they know I am okay my comrades in the office want me back lickety-split. Thanks to the flexibility of my workplace employee care system they've found a way to wave me back in.

I'm probably back by next week. 

My managers fought for my return. You can't get a better seal of approval than that.


Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Martin O'Malley, hmmm (in a good way)

I am an unabashed US politics nerd. I think it's the sheer scale of it that holds the appeal.

Martin O'Malley is a potential Democratic contender in 2016 for the presidency. He's yet to declare he's running.

I scoped out his wiki. I have to say that I'm impressed. Especially for his removing the death penalty for Maryland while governor and commuting to life in prison for those on death row.

That takes big balls (and their lady equiv) to do that in America. That's a person of conviction. 

I hope he runs. If only to talk with passion about what he sees as the best way government can help. The more voices crying how smart government is the greatest way you can help people the better. 

God bless puritanical America...

Oh, America, your puritanical nature astounds me. I'm not saying it's Jim Dandy what they did. I am saying potentially giving one of them 15 years in jail and making both register as sex offenders with all the limitations and stigma that implies is just insane.

We all fuck, we all die. You're literally (likely) sending two adults to jail for the crime of doing it in public. 

Presuming, that is, they even did. The granny-delivered camera phone footage apparently didn't show any of the index finger through the thumb-forefinger business since they were covered up.

How is the public served by this likely monstrous over-the-top reaction? It's just insane.

UPDATE: Who are we to talk? So God bless puritanical Fred Nile...

So that's what it's like

Young authors seem to enjoy bragging about how they go to work in their pyjamas (1). In that they're working at home, they don't have to dress up, so they slob their way to the PC in their sleepwear and get cracking. If they're full-time then they may actually write during the day. If they're doing it on the side until they can go pro then it's often at night. Again, where sleepwear comes in.

In spite of my gardening leave I have to transcribe notes from an 80 minute interview. I tried downloading software or using the free speech recognition software to get the entirety of the text in one hit but it was all too much. The internal mic on the PC wouldn't pick up the MP3 as it played and the freeware I downloaded sucked balls.

So instead I am just listening to it via the VLC media player then pausing to make notes or write direct quotes. Apart from having to hear my own voice—which I confess I still feel pained listening to in spite of my rock hard tasty APS abs of awesome capability—it's not that bad of a task to do. Not only that the subject of my interview provided entertaining and informative answers so I get to listen to that all over again.

I am, however, wearing my pyjamas. And yes, I can see the benefits of this arrangement.

Curse you writers with your work day in sleepwear—at home, no less. Me Wantee!


UPDATE: As I typed away I realised how much I love my job that I got to sit down and talk with a passionate senior person for an hour and a half. I hope my gardening leave is not a long one. Mikey wants to gets back to work.

(1) The US spelling is "pajamas". Which is the tag I used when I first started using tags. Sigh. Mikey and his weird occasional adoption of US spelling.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

A remembrance of bus stop sittings past

I had to go back to my shrink to get her opinion on how I am travelling in order I can return to work. It was an unusual thing to have to do, to beg to return to the office.

I had a morning session and I had to bus into town. I went to the bus stop and as I sat there, a good ten minutes before the bus was due, I remembered how two years before I'd been sitting at that very bus stop to go see my psychologist. Only at that time I was still in a wretched condition of severe anxiety but still able to process the sheer beauty of the world around me. Birds singing, a rich sky and with a gentle breeze caressing my form. I remember being able to take that vista and experience in and how it made the severe pain I was in a bit less.

Here I was again. Same mission but better in the head than I've ever been. Sure my body still ached but I was not sad.

So I got to enjoy, once more, and this time without the countervailing forces of severe anxiety, the birds singing, a rich sky and with a gentle breeze caressing my form..

That's bus-stop-based-wellness, right there.

Why should I have to see myself on the toilet?

I am a person with a disability. Scratch that, I am a person with multiple disabilities. There's nothing on the outside to indicate it, all my shit is internal but it includes limited mobility. Which means sometimes I need to use a disabled toilet so as to use the bar bolted to the wall to hoist and lower myself.

I had to use one today. It was at the Hyperdome in Canberra's south.

Only my ablution was made uncomfortable by the fact the mirror was on the opposite wall and angled for seated use because wheelchair-bound people need to use it. It was of course was also at optimal angle for me given I was also seated.

I didn't want to have to stare into my own eyes as I loosened my bowels so I looked away until I was cleaned up and ready to use the sink.

The sink which was not under the mirror, which is typically where they are sited. Maybe it was the shape of the room? Maybe the turning circle needs of a chair-bound person required the mirror to be sited where it was, directly opposite anyone using the toilet?

At any rate it was disconcerting. I am no longer ashamed of my body—its semi-broken nature having directed my life path and overall outlook of helping others being the finest thing you can do. 

But I still don't like using mirrors, especially ones showing me on the toilet. Leave that dirty business of self-stare on the toot to the fine crew at MONA.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

I love kids parties

With theBoy in primary school, and blessed with similarly aged cousins, it means lots of parties for him in the year. And, where possible, I like to go along.

I know. It seems insane for someone recovering from severe anxiety to subject themselves to a chaotic welter of almost animal noise but, pre-breakdown, being an impromptu kids entertainer at parties was my bag. Games, silly contents, overtly failing at a contest then pretending I didn't so I could keep playing so as to generate a howl of discontent (1); that shit is hilarious fun for me.

Post-breakdown I still love to do it. I just have to take precautions and watch how I am travelling as to the ability to stand the noise. 

I went to the cousins' birthday. I had ear plugs in. I was pummeled, had my hat stolen (mostly by theBoy) and was barred from entering "girls club"—the cousins' bedroom where 90 per cent of the guests were rocking out—which I hilariously attempted to gain entry to by pretending to be a pregnant woman with a balloon shoved up my shirt.

It did not work.

I also got to sing a rocking karaoke duet with theWife of "Alone"—which is a massively inappropriate song given the age of the party goers. 

I ache with the soreness of a thousand suns from dancing, standing and then an hour plus of cycling on top of all of that.

Ye gawds.

But I had an awesome time. Eliciting enthusiastic happy outrage from children is one of the most fun things there is.


(1) Musical statues where, of course, each time the music stopped for the kids to be still I kept on dancing and got kicked out. Then I'd stay in anyway and keep doing it. I did not win a prize.