Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hunden

I suppose you know that the Thai people aren’t, or at least weren’t back in 1988, fond of dogs, especially the fairly common Thai type dog that roams the neighbourhood. Not all that dissimilar for dingoes in the way they look but they’re generally darker in colour.

A friend and I ended up in Thailand for 5 weeks on the way back from backpacking in Australia. We spent about 4 weeks on the island of Koh Samui living in a bungalow village. Our bungalow happened to be right on the beach and had the ONLY sit down toilet in the village. Major bonus. We’d fall out of the bungalow in the mornings onto the beach and have our own “personal” masseuses turn up, two older twin ladies, and give us a full body massage in the warm sun for the princely sum of 5 baht. Good times!

We used to sit and watch the local sport of dog kicking from our bungalow veranda. Any dog coming close enough was apparently fair game and had to be booted. Loving dogs like we did, we thought it a bit odd but things are as they are and there must be a reason for it we guessed.

One night we came home to find a very sorry sight in the sand outside our bungalow; a dog with high fever lying in the sand shaking and basically dying. We rolled the dog onto a towel and carried it up onto the bungalow veranda and placed it in a wooden chair on a pillow.

I spent an hour carefully cleaning up a bite wound on its head. It had been in a fight and the skin had been punched by a canine tooth and closed up which kept the infection in nicely. It was incredibly sore and the whole head was hot and inflamed. The glands were swollen so it really didn’t have much of a chance of survival.

We soaked a towel so we could get water in its mouth and we sat with it all through the night making sure we kept the fever down as much as we could. We figured it would most likely die that night but if it was going to die it wasn’t going to have to do it alone and we would make it as comfortable as we possibly could. Morning came and not only was it still alive, the fever was down.

The bungalow village owners were not happy to see us 1. Saving a fucking dog (I suppose they’d been more pleased if they’d found us playing soccer with it on the beach) and 2. keeping it on our veranda but there was little they could do about it. It took a good three days of nursing before it actually got up to go finally go pee and on the fourth day we got it to eat.

We called it “Hunden” (“the dog” in Swedish) and it stuck around on our veranda and kept watch. We figured it was a good thing because we’d already had the bungalow robbed plus it was nice to have a pet. We’d go for walks on the beach at sunset (I have photos of it somewhere) and play in the waves. We’d share food and have someone greet us when we came home from the bar at night.

The real value of having Hunden around became apparent a few weeks after we found him. We came back one night after drinkies, Hunden greeting us and off we went inside. Hunden never ever crossed the invisible force field that was the open doorway. I started rummaging around in my backpack, it was basically functioning as my wardrobe, and suddenly found myself with a handful of hairy. It turned out to be the biggest bloody rat I’ve ever seen. I swear that in my memory it was the size of an elephant but in reality it was probably more the size of a small Chihuahua. It wasn’t going to move, that much was clear but that was when I heard a tiny bark from the doorway. Hunden was standing there ready to come to the rescue just waiting for the force field to be taken down so he could cross into our inner bungalow reality. And, boy did he get to work once he got inside.

The rat lived with in the delusion that it was in charge for about half a second and was then unceremoniously chased around the bungalow until it ran up the wall where it sat up at the top of wall at the ceiling looking a little triumphant but out of breath. It was then that Hunden launched itself straight up in the air, up along the wall, his teeth snapping short of the very surprised rat. The rat wiggled off under the roof and was last seen sprinting down the moonlit beach at was must have been rat record speed.

Hunden calmly, after his super hero deed, simply looked up at us, wagged his tail and went back to his chair on the veranda to snooze. I can tell you though that he looked mighty pleased at having been of assistance that night. In fact I think he may have been waiting for the opportunity to show his gratitude in some useful way.

Hunden stayed with us until we left Koh Samui. It was almost as though he knew time was coming before we start packing and he said his goodbyes. The day we left he sat there and watched us leave on the bus. He didn’t look sad. He looked like he was parting with good friends and that he was extremely happy to have been part of our tribe if only for a short time of his life. It was a kind or remarkable feeling because I remember thinking that he seemed grateful to have had the experience; it just really stuck with me as one of the things that stood out the most of what was a 7 month trip.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lemons

Sometimes life gives you lemons, and you make lemonade, only you didn't want lemonade so you scratch your head and you realize you should've left the bloody lemons be because you don't have to mess with everything life gives you, sometimes you could just let it be.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

How arseholes are made

If you were brought up the way I was brought up, maybe it’s the time I was brought up in or the part of the world or just my parents, you suffer from being a little more than humble when it comes to your own achievements. You tend to minimize your own efforts and you tend to promote other people’s effort before your own. It’s really sweet and altruistic, right? You’re a really good sport and a really good team player, aren’t you? You’re a bit of a leftist too perhaps? Yes, deep inside you’re a bit leftist and you like that whole thought of a cosy community where everyone works to achieve goodness for all?

You also spend a lot of time wondering why everyone else is being such an arsehole!

If you’ve been brought to be a “good girl” or a “good boy”, odds are you have a tendency to put others’ needs before your own and while that’s admirable you’re often left feeling like you’re missing out because it seems that it’s never your “turn”. You let others get in the line before fully expecting that something like that good karma will kind of collect and good things will start happening to you. Well, sometimes in the good old times it may have worked like that but times have changed, my lovies, and as a result you’re being used more than you’re being treated well.

Most of us are pretty self-involved and it means that we tend to think of our own needs first. For those of us who consistently put others first and wait for our turn it becomes a rather harsh reality because it seems that unless you make it your turn nowadays, it just ain’t gonna be your turn. Our expectations of others are the same we have for ourselves: let others go first, open doors for them, offer them a seat on the bus if you’re able to stand yourself, let them speak, wait your turn, etc. When the expectations we have of others aren’t met we feel disappointed and we feel angered over how we’re treated. It’s not our fault as such, we’re doing the right thing just not by ourselves is all.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of expecting others to behave but the truth is that unless we ourselves have boundaries we’re likely to get trampled on. You don’t have to start the 3rd World War to get heard but sometimes you have to be prepared to conflict a little so that you don’t get stepped on. Other people simply cannot be expected to know how you like to be treated. It’s not unreasonable to let them know.

If you’re anything like me you’ve had enormous problems with setting boundaries and letting other people know what they are. I’ve come realize that it’s pretty selfish and unfair to leave it to others to figure it out on their own; people are seldom perceptive enough to do so. As much as it’s impolite to tell everyone how to treat you all the time and be demanding, it’s equally impolite not to give any hint at all as to what you like and how you like to be treated.

Most of us aim to please. Some of us though are bloody stupid when it comes to figuring out how others are pleased and we need help, and it’s bloody fair that you let us know what you want. Don’t you think we would all get along better if we did?

I’m just saying.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ramblings about depression and anxiety

They say that being depressed is like having a really boring person in your head. Others say it can best be described as being profoundly sad. I say it’s unpleasant, fucking unpleasant.

Being depressed is being robbed of feeling anything that makes you feel even the slightest bit better. If you’re a guy and you get the best blowjob ever when you’re depressed it’s still not going to make you happy. I’m not quite sure what the equivalent of getting a really good blowjob is for a woman; women don’t seem to be quite as obsessed with getting the equivalent of the blowjob as men are with getting blowjobs. You may think I love saying the word “blowjob” just to shock but I don’t. I find the word rather confusing for rather obvious reasons.

Blowjob. See, now I’m confused.

I don’t know why men are obsessed with blowjobs and it really bothers me. Part of me suspects it’s some sort of perverse pleasure they get from something that has to do with getting women to do what they want, preferably down on their knees in a submissive position looking up at them adoringly, something that can be rather hard (no pun intended) and unpleasant should there be a hygiene problem or if you suffer from a rather severe gag reflect like I do. Hard for the woman I mean. Men don’t generally gag when they get blowjobs.

Too much information, I know, but why should I hold back when I talk to you? I don’t even know you!

I don’t know myself and I think that’s part of the reason for why I got depressed. It’s hard to do the right thing by yourself if you don’t know what you actually require. It seems a little self-obsessed running around asking yourself what you want, need and require all the time (Is it possible to make yourself feel like you’re nagging yourself too much?) but I think that’s what’s required if you’re going to live with mental wealth, a state much preferred to bad mental health by most people.

I don’t quite buy the story that poor mental health is a result of your genes or a chemistry experiment gone wrong in your brain. It seems too simple. I suspect we slip into really bad thinking habits and the chemistry going wrong in your brain is a result of that bad thinking becoming habitual. It’s a really simplistic thought, I know, and I have whittled it down to the bare minimums for fear of losing your interest. This shit isn’t all that interesting unless you’re in the throes of wrestling with a giant depression octopus yourself because if you are, then you’re more than likely looking for a way to get out of its firm grasp. If you’re firmly in the giant depression octopus’ grasp then what you really need, sooner rather than later, is to catch a wicked case of good vibrations.

Unfortunately no one has invented a good vibration ray gun so we’re stuck with antidepressants and talk therapy. This is where most of us are lost; it’s not feeling like it’s all that effective because it takes time finding your way back to a chemistry mix that works better for your brain. Depression is possibly the most poorly understood human condition there is.

We think too much and what makes us think too much is ubiquitous assimilation, or the avalanche of information and marketing, that we’re exposed to all the time. There’s no time left to ask oneself how one feels. There’s too much other stuff to do and to pay attention to. Lest not forget the self-help industry that in itself side-tracks us with all that good advice about how to succeed and how to find Nirvana prematurely. “Why can’t I be happy?” is probably the most asked question in the Western world. In the rest of the world it’s probably “Where’s food?”

I suppose if you manage to separate yourself from your depression even while it’s stalking you, you can start feeling better about yourself because you’re so much more interesting than the boring person your depression represents. This seldom happens, in fact, I don’t know of anyone who’s managed to do that.

I tend to stalk an anxiety forum because apart from having been depressed I’m also moonlighting as the superhero Anxiety Girl – able to jump to the worst conclusion possible in a split second. People on the forum regularly welcome new people and I can’t help feeling bad about that. We should grieve for them, have great whaling and whining sessions, because another person has been struck down with what is a bloody terrible condition. If you have a boil you squeeze it and it’s unpleasant. If you have anxiety you think you’re dying while being painfully aware that it’s all in your mind. Maybe. Maybe this time you’re actually really dying.

But, if you’ve thought yourself into these conditions, this depression and this anxiety, then how come you can’t easily think yourself out of them. I mean, eventually most of us come to the realization that life isn’t that bad after all or that there’s no imminent danger to our life but why does it have to take so long? Why do so many of us circle back into that condition after having bloody well freed ourselves from it? It seems rather insane! What we eat and how hydrated we are play a huge role in how prone we are to these conditions but it’s not that simple. If only it was that simple!

I also wonder about the sanity of having anxious people supporting other anxious people, and having depressed people supporting other depressed people. Sure, sometimes you can get some really good tips from each other but I’ve noticed that sometimes you also pick up new ways to be anxious and depressed. There’s also that envy when someone bravely declares that they’ve gone off the meds and feel great. “Nice. Good on you! Now go away! You feeling good isn’t doing anything for me.” Is part of being human being envious but I suppose envy vibrates at a higher vibration than bloody apathy or fear. Oh, well.

I’d still like to find the answer, the real answer, the truth if you like, to why I got depressed in the first place and why I ended up with anxiety. My mind isn’t satisfied with the answer that I had a nervous breakdown it wants to know why. Always with the bloody “why?”

Is it going to make me feel better knowing why? I doubt it, but there is that nagging conclusion that if I know why I can prevent it from ever happen again. That’s bullshit and that’s not depression talking either. If you suffer from depression you’ve missed something very important about yourself and it’s time to pay attention. You mustn’t do what I do, find distraction in everything else and feed the information hunger that inevitably comes with conditions like depression. That’s not how you console a sad child and that’s not how you console a depressed you!

I’m just saying.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Be careful about complaining (morning mood)

Be careful about complaining; it totally lowers your vibration. These words may be true but they don’t feel like useful advice, not this early in the morning anyway, not without medication to wash them down with. Coffee will have to suffice. There are no legal or illegal substances around that would have any significant effect on my mood.

Medication, glorious medication, the legal or illegal kind, prescription or non-prescription, or homeopathic remedies that don’t really work except for having some sort of placebo effect. There’s nothing wrong with a placebo effect as such, it is, in effect, as effective as anything else. Anything that works is effective. We’re not in the truth business, us humans, we’re in the business of fooling ourselves in order to make life bearable. Some of us are quite good at it. I’m not even out the door and it’s already started.

I shake my head to scramble my thoughts and try to catch a better vibe, a more positive vibe, a vibe that will raise my vibration and carry me out of the house, and to work with a more positive can-do frame of mind.

Shake, shake, shake, like a wet dog, drowning anyone standing too close with bad vibrations. Thank goodness I’m alone or else I fear I would affect the world negatively.

It’s hard to muster up enough positive adjectives to describe life, let alone work, but as I brush my teeth with that new toothpaste that’s supposed to whiten teeth noticeably in two weeks, I ponder my fear of becoming like a Stephanie Meyer novel where everything is drowning in adjectives and leaves nothing to the imagination. Leaving nothing to the imagination removes doubt. It must be great to live and exist somewhere where everything is drowning in adjectives and nothing is left to the imagination.

What my life lacks is adjectives, obviously, because I question everything. I need more adjectives. I ought to read Stephanie Meyer every now and then, or maybe even Fifty Shades of Grey. Maybe I would even get off on Fifty Shades of Grey, unless of course it makes me vomit first, how will I know unless I try? I know because I opened it once and looked in it, and was horrified…

My teeth are not whiter and it has taken two weeks of vigorous brushing with that fucking toothpaste to achieve nothing. Toothpaste makes false promises just like people, I note feeling particularly stabby for a moment, and that’s the story of my life. It wasn’t that people made false promises; it’s life that’s the culprit. I swallowed the fairy-tale hook, line and sinker back in my teens and now, with nothing to show for it, I am sometimes very dissatisfied, very dissatisfied indded, with my life.

High heels.

Tight dress.

Hair tied up in a bun.

Make up, carefully applied.

Middle-aged?

Beautiful for my age?

Unsure? Certainly!

Too many adjectives, just like a Stephanie Meyer novel or Fifty Shades of Grey. Fuck you, but not in the Fifty Shades of Grey way. Fuck you in the get the hell away from me way.

A quick look at the time reveals that there’s enough time for another cup of coffee. My cup is twice the size of a normal mug; a Christmas gift from someone who knows I love coffee. The ritual of making coffee and filling the cup with coffee and froth milk, and dusting it with chocolate powder, is like a prayer and is possibly the only thing I find real comfort in nowadays. I pet the cat that has taken up his position on the kitchen stool next to me. It’s all part of the ritual. Rituals are habits. Habits make you feel safe. Following habits make you feel like everything is going to be OK.

I sit down with my coffee and drink it slowly. There’s only the sound of the fan on the gas heater whirring. The aroma of good coffee fills the warm room and I feel comfortable even though it feels more appropriate for me to wear a pyjamas and woolly socks, not this corporate meat-puppet garb I’m squeezed into. High-heels are for strippers, not real women.

It’s time to leave. It’s time to get in the car, pull out of the driveway and enter the rat race. The daily commute, there should be an antidote to it. It makes people angry. It makes me angry. It is such a monumental waste of time. One could surely use time more effectively than sitting in traffic. There must be a way to streamline the process. All processes can be streamlined to improve efficiency and the bottom line; all processes can be streamlined except for the process of commuting to work. Beam me up, Scotty! It’s taking too long and I’m getting bored. Boredom leads to thinking and thinking leads to dissidence. I must not think. Thinking is futile. It makes everyone unhappy when I do but worst of all it exposes the utter uselessness of what I’m doing with my life. I should be discovering a cure for a complicated and rare disease, not cancer though, it’s too much of a cliché, or I should be Mother Teresa, except, being Mother Teresa has already been done. I would have to another mother, a motherfucker; I would have to fuck a mother, motherfucker.

Is it possible to go insane from just thinking? Can you think yourself into insanity? The answer must be yes! It’s how it happens. You let your thoughts lose until they end up feral and take a turn for the worse. They pick up some sort of diseased vibe along the way and before you know it you’re in a strait-jacket surrounded by people in white coats talking to you like you’re a child. Or, you’re sitting stuck in traffic in your meat-puppet suit and high-heels on the way to a meeting with people you suspect are not human at all. You begin to suspect you’re part of some cruel experiment, in other words, you’re going insane because you’ve let your thoughts run feral. It’s your own fucking fault, you failed to take responsibility, and now you’re paying for it and you’ve been exposed as the weak link. Maybe it’s better that way. You can relax now. Someone else is in charge of your life while you’re in that strait-jacket. All that’s expected of you now is that you cooperate. It’s very much like working in a corporation, except you’re wearing a strait-jacket and not a meat-puppet suit; same diff though, no?

Still, one mustn’t complain; it totally lowers your vibration. Fucking clichés!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Urgh

I’ve decided that I’ll be brutally honesty with you because not only do you deserve that kind of honesty from me, and there just isn’t enough weird shit on the internet so I have to add to it.

Sometimes you have to type out your resignation and leave it in a white envelope on your desk just to make yourself feel a little better. Every bit counts you see, even a little better bit like that.

I’m still trying to find a replacement for my long gone technical writer but finding a trusty sidekick seems to be an impossible task, especially when you have to work with our recruitment manager. I want to cover his silly camp self in paper-cuts after which I will want to cover him in freshly squeezed lemon juice. Yes, I really am that cruel. Or angry. It’s hard to tell which it is at this stage.

It’s not only the hunting for a sidekick that has made me more misanthropic than I am even on one of my particularly misanthropic days, no, it’s also the foray into the internet dating world. I have reluctantly entered that realm because of the poly-amorous nature of my partner. I went in kicking and screaming and I was not disappointed. Is it just people on the internet or are there no people who actually want interactions other than NSA sex around anymore? Are there people who are articulate and competent in the art of conversation or is it just me having landed on the wrong damned planet again? F***, I fear for this world, my darlings.

So, I have decided that it’s not “them” it’s me. I’m the odd one out and rather than feeling bad about that I have, almost, decided to draw some pretty damned clear boundaries. I want a tribe, a little community of sorts, of interesting people and I don’t particularly care where they are as long as I can keep in contact with them. Maybe I can get some obscure arty farty commune to adopt me as a sort of virtual friend while I plot my escape from corporate enslavement and utter boredom. I have, apparently, real requirements nowadays and they don’t involve beer swilling blokes or corporate c****. I need and deserve more.

Perhaps my existence will be a lonely one and perhaps I will relent and yet again try to integrate into normal society but I doubt it. I cannot be the only one in the world who feels this way.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Viva la revolución!

I’m that age, you know that age, when you have formed a lot of opinions based on experience and you’ve kind of thought things through a bit.


Apparently at that age a lot of us have run out of the urge to forge a career, unless of course we’re in that smaller percentile of the population that are psychopathic and are still busily trampling on unsuspecting and suspecting victims in order to reach the pinnacle of some organisation. I discount those people because I find them to be a nuisance and rather uninteresting. Especially today. Especially for the purpose of making the point I’m really trying to make here. Really.

As I said, I’m of that age. It’s the age of being educated and informed enough to be completely useless at being a sheep that’s willing to be shepherded around by the latest corporate-culture-whim.

I’m of that age that I find internet dating and the constant need for “NSA” affairs to feed egos a complete drag.

I’m of that age when I wonder what happened to intelligent conversation, love and most of all connecting with people in a meaningful way, and especially WTF happened to saving the planet.

I’m of that age when I’m over a lot of things, things like advertising, fads, fashion, conformance and corporations, especially corporations and corporate culture.

I’m the age of dissidence, apparently, and I suffer greatly from an urge to cover certain corporate people in paper cuts after which I would pour lemon juice on them. I cannot, no matter how much I try, summon up enough energy to smile at work and believe that this is the way life should. My life. Sure, there are people out there that have it so much worse than me but that thought does nothing, anymore, to improve the way I feel about work today.

Yesterday I typed out my resignation.

Today it’s sitting on my desk ready to be dated and signed.

Tomorrow I may start a revolution. Viva la revolución!

P.S. Interesting fact:
You know those two sets of wavy, distorted letters presented to you on websites to make you prove you’re not a computer, the Captchas? They’re used because computers can’t interpret them, apparently.

Computers can also not, apparently, distinguish between pictures of kittens and bunnies which is how we will win the war against the robots when it starts.

Write it down.

Someone will thank you for it.

When the war happens.

Probably soon.

I'm just saying

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