Ever wonder if you’re depressed?

The worst depression I ever faced was when I switched anti-depressant medication from something ineffective to Effexor® which made me feel worse than when I took nothing. I even called the advice nurse and she gave me the number of a Suicide Prevention line. Yeesh. That was nuts.

My ex-girlfriend convinced me to take anti-depressants. My life has been kind of adrift (at least I had a girlfriend at the time) and my career had been circling the drain for over eleven years, and so she thought I should talk to my doctor about antidepressants. Well, they did change my attitude to, “Whatever,” and I was really indifferent to most things. The largest effect (besides that one day of serious depression) was a marked decrease of interest in sex. Of course, my ex didn’t like that and she dumped me.

The antidepressants didn’t make me more sociable. I called a Professor a dick, because he was being a dick, during a lecture. He tried to get me thrown out of the department, but instead I got a full reimbursement for the class and didn’t have to repeat it. And the university told me that not only could he not kick me out of the department, but he couldn’t kick me out of the class. A lawyer friend thought I had grounds for action against the department. I was happy to get away from a jerky instructor so I didn’t push matters after I got my money back.

Anyway, I’ve been feeling like there’s nothing going on lately. Which isn’t quite true. I went to two barbecues where I listened to two groups of people, all who make more than double what I do, complain bitterly about their employers. I got to help a friend move, a friend who no longer invites me to any of her get-togethers unless she needs help lifting things. And I saw my ex with her flaming boyfriend, and did I mention I also got to help her move in with him as well?

Actually, worst of all, I can’t get an antenna working to save my life, and being a radio geek is the funnest thing I do any more.

I’m really not depressed. Even malaise is too strong a word for what I’m feeling. I’m just not excited about all that much right now. Feeling kind of lonely and stupid, which is probably how people feel before they buy a dog. Good thing I don’t like dogs.

And not much during the weekend, either.

Actually, the weekend wasn’t that bad. Today was pretty calm (i.e. nothing happened) but yesterday I saw some friends, mainly because I helped one of them move, and in the evening I had a beer with my stockbroker/stock analyst friend Sun. Well, I had a beer and she had a root beer. She had to go see her Korean parents, and so she probably had to go through some sort of purification ritual so they didn’t suspect she was learning bad ways from the yellow-hairs.

Helping my friend move was odd in two ways. One was most everyone’s boyfriend seemed incredibly effeminate. In fact, if I had just met them, I’d think they were a bunch of ‘mos and the women were just beards. But they’re the ones with girlfriends, not me. The second is that I met a guy who wondered why we’d never run into each other because I seemed to know so many people he knew. I realized that I used to hang out with the move-ee and her friends, and then my ex and I started hanging out with them, and then my ex and I broke up, and now three years later, my ex hangs out with them and I only get invited to things when people need help moving.

Oh, well, at least I get invited to help people move.

I just saw Chunhyang and it’s quite an interesting movie. It’s an adaptation of an old Korean tale, and it’s a mixture of a pansori performance (a narration) and the story. I’d recommend it, but you do get to see Chunhyang’s goodies at one point, so I suppose it’s not for everyone. It’s not blatant, but I was expecting a very G-rated story. I’m not sure why I thought an old Korean tale needed to be G-rated.

Friday night and you know what that means!

Monk is on! The season ended, but the episode tonight is the one I missed. Note that I said “the one” I missed. I don’t get out much on Friday nights.

Not many women at the gym today. Nothing to distract me on the elliptical trainer except, well, a horrible parody of a football game, otherwise known as pre-season football. I don’t exercise to see the women — I ran hundreds of miles through an industrial area after all — but it’s a bonus. There were some models at the Center for Eating Disorders across the street (also known as a modelling agency) but in general I get to see a bunch of guys all day. At least I’m not working in the suburbs where it was all guys.

See? Nothing to report.

Went to a ham radio club meeting tonight, and not much happened.

Otherwise: went to work, ditched everyone for lunch (I don’t like the expensive Chinese restaurant they wanted to go to), and found out that amongst the technical geeks at work, I spent the most time there. Since I’m salaried, that means I made the least per hour. I’m sure I’ll be punished for that in some other way as well.

But really, nothing exciting happened. And while my sister seems to have 8 people signed up for her free iPod deal, I have zero. Heh. She always was more popular.

Big gay pirate movie, my ass.

Big drunk pirate, more like. I spent the last two evenings watching Pirates of the Caribbean. It turned out to be a very silly movie and I enjoyed every minute. I was only disappointed because I heard that Johnny Depp played Captain Jack Sparrow as a bit more swishy than he did. I loved the affect that he did project, though. And of course Pirates of the Caribbean is my favorite ride at Disneyland. I’m sure I’m not alone there.

So I went to the gym and was asked, “How was your workout?” I dunno. I lifted some stuff that didn’t really need lifting (not like stacking stove pellets for my friend’s dad) and I enjoyed myself. The women who I’m harmlessly curious about wasn’t there. I saw her the first day I was there and I wonder why she works so hard. I wish I had the courage to ask her myself, but the answer may not be anything I care to know. It’s more fun to imagine answers sometimes.

Really, people keep telling me, “What’s the harm in asking women out?” I think I’m likely to hear a vice-presidential answer as much as, “No.” I’d say 30% vice-presidential, 50% “Hell, no,” and 20%, “Sure, just as friends.”

Heh. Forgot to hit “Publish.”

And for those who don’t know what the vice-presidential answer is, it is, “Go **** yourself.” (Spoken by our current selected Vice-President.)

Bored or busy?

Didn’t post much last week because I just didn’t have much to talk about. Get up, go to work, go to the gym, go home. For some reason, it just seemed like that’s all it was.

But I did go to a couple of barbecues on Saturday. First was my buddy Greg’s usual ATF party. It’s really a company thing, his buddies from work and whoever is being rotated through from their Malaysian subsidiary come up, drink beer, eat smoked ribs, and watch the Malaysians shoot the machine gun. It’s all quite legal, unless there’s some law against all the ribs I end up eating. There was a lot of complaining about the company they all work for.

Then I went to my old boss’ annual Carribean party where I got to listen to my ex-co-workers complain bitterly about the place I used to work.

One of the reasons a single male goes to parties is to meet women. The other reason is free beer. At Greg’s barbecues, the only single women are usually in grade school. Most everyone is married. At Steve’s parties, there’s usually an estrogen shark-tank of women circling Steve. He’s what you’d call an eligible bachelor with a house and an income that’s probably three times what mine is. They’re not there for the geeks and the longest conversation I had with a woman (discounting old friends since I’m already in the “F” category with them) was, “Excuse me.” “Oh, sorry.”

I take that back. The longest conversation was, “Is that the garbage?” “Yes it is.” I’m quite the charmer.

The biggest disappointment was that after 4 whole drinks spaced over 10 hours, I was hung over all of Sunday and took naps from 9-11 and from 1-5. I can no longer drink more than about 2 beers in a day. There are things you think you can count on in your old age and sometimes they let you down. (Stupid liver.)

Now I’m house sitting and I’m having troubles setting up my laptop here. I haven’t used it in a while, because how many computers can you use in a day? I’m pretty topped out at close to two dozen (counting the ones at work), and so the laptop kind of sits around.

It’s nice up here, though. I’m in Healy Heights, a ritzy sort of neighborhood, at my friend John’s parents house. It’s a comfortable house with a guest bedroom in the daylight basement, and I can barely hear the buses going by.

Oh, another disappointment is the free iPod site. After reading in Wired magazine that the guys actually do cough up free iPods, I had my sister sign up and I tried to give her my referral. I even signed up for a credit card I’ll never use so she could get an iPod. But somehow, the weird site didn’t like my Mac browser, and instead of giving her a referral, I ended up signing myself up to the site. I hope she gets enough referrals. If anyone is feeling sorry for me, you can go to my referral link and sign up for something silly. Like the article says, you can always cancel the offers. Don’t think I won’t be grateful. I will. Very.

The joys of a $10 hamburger.

We went to El Gaucho for lunch once. It’s known in town to be an incredibly expensive steak restaurant, but you can get lunch for about $15. We figured the hamburgers would be good there and gave it a try. Unfortunately, the burgers were disappointing. You could order them rare, but they all came medium, and there must have been a sale on salt because everything was very salty.

Today we went to Red Star, another expensive restaurant attached to an expensive hotel. This time the burger was fantastic and even cooked fairly rare. The onion rings seemed to be frozen, but were delicious. The only problem we had was they were huge.

I don’t think the food was the best at Red Star (I think fresh onion rings would have been better) but I doubt it could have tasted any better.

A good night on the radio.

Radio is like fishing, I figure. Most of the time you don’t know if the fish will even be there. Tonight I talked to a new country, Romania, and also talked to Italy, France, and Poland. It was a fun night.

And I finally made it back to the gym. The intriguing woman was there, working her “ass off” as it were. I was there for over an hour, and she was on the exercise bike for most of that time. She spent about 10 minutes on the treadmill, and then disappeared. Why do I find her intriguing? I dunno. Maybe it’s because she has an iPod mini, or because I saw her on the first day I went to the gym. I’ve said maybe two sentences to her, all about her iPod. Brilliant conversationalist, huh? If I could just give her a signal report and tell her my name and what state I’m in, I’d be golden.

I understand “Woman in the Dunes”.

Boy, was Woman in the Dunes slow. I thought Tokyo Story was slow, but this movie I watched on fast-forward, reading the subtitles. I must admit that the subtitles are usually much more garish than the actual dialog. I usually want to turn them off on a Japanese movie.

I also watched Run, Lola, Run which I found to be clever but amateurish.

Woman in the Dunes was bleak, but I can understand the protagonist’s feelings. At least neither movie left me feeling as lonely as Next Stop Wonderland. It’s set in Boston, and I have recurring dreams of how my life derailed after going to college in Cambridge, MA, and how I’m back in the dorms to set it back on track. The movie had a much happier ending than what usually happens to me after my dreams: waking up to more horrible news from NPR and then slogging my way to a job where my main career goal is to keep from getting fired and a close second is to keep from quitting.

But other than the movies, all I did today was talk to no one on the radio, and return so many Coke cans that I made $10.20. (In Oregon, we have a 5¢ deposit on every can, and we can return the cans to get back the nickel. That’s 204 cans, or 34 six-packs. Returning a lot of cans is usually something the homeless do for cash.)

This blog looks like hell in Windows.

I really wouldn’t know what this all looks like in Windows, but I set up a Windows box to connect to my ham radio and as of today, my “radio computer” has internet connectivity. Everything else in the house is a Mac or running NetBSD. So while I’m upstairs sweating with these silly looking headphones on, listening to the hiss in the radio, I’m also able to be on the internet.

So far, today, I’ve spoken to Sao Tome and Principe somewhere off the coast of Africa, Yellowhorse up north in Canada, and the Ukraine.

And I’ve seen two movies today! Anchorman and Next Stop Wonderland. They both beat the grim Japanese movies I’ve been seeing lately. I kind of needed to see a romance movie, even if it was just by myself.

What about protecting the Starbucks?

On the way to work I pass about a half-dozen Starbucks and one Torrefazione Italia (also owned by Starbucks). Surprisingly, each of these establishments often has 1 to 3 police officers in attendance. I figure 8:30AM-ish isn’t a high-crime time, and I’d rather have them taking a break when they can.

But today, there wasn’t an officer in sight. That’s because both John Kerry and “W” were in Portland today. Kerry was at a public venue while “W” was a secret location only known to party contributors. But lucky me, I was able to avoid all the hubbub.

Good thing, too, since I still have a bit of a cold. Last night I was tired, had no appetite, and went to bed early and thought I could sleep in. But going to sleep at 11PM meant I woke up a half-hour before my alarm went off and tossed and turned. You’d think I’d be able to sleep a little more than that.

I’ve gone and caught a cold.

It’s wonderful having a cold on a week when it’s over 90°F in Portland. I suppose it’s not all that pleasant at any time.

I don’t know how I got the cold. Perhaps it was staying out too late on Saturday, seeing all those ex-sorority girls who were mean to me 10-20 years ago. Perhaps it was hanging out with Megan on Monday, and drinking two whole beers. More likely it was because I rode the bus on Monday.

So I’ve been staying at work late and haven’t made it to the gym. So basically, it’s kind of serendipitous, having a cold, having backup sysadmin duty when Microsoft releases WindowsXP SP2, and the temperature being too hot to exercise.