I'm an Aussie who moved to Ottawa, Canada in 2008. I'm always having a moan about something. This is where I moan and whinge about things. Enjoy.

Thursday 2 November 2017

Thursday, November 2nd

I spent the day at home of not doing much, except working on the arduino wifi light switches I've been developing for a few weeks, using the cheap ESP8266 modules I discovered recently, along with having set up an MQTT broker (I may resurrect my techblog to go into more detail about this stuff, since anyone reading this probably has no interest..).

I decided to finally get over to the hospital to visit my friend who had been in there for 5 weeks at this point, which I had been telling myself each day I would go and visit, and not getting there. We sat and chatted for an hour and a half or so. She tossed me a stress ball when I got there, which had a smiley face on it. Had a smiley face, since during the time we spent chatting I was playing with it, and managed to almost completely rub the face off just through squashing and rolling it in my hands while we talked.

We had some interesting conversation, sarcastic and cynical at times, but almost entirely humorous. It helped me be distracted and feel a bit better, hopefully it had the same effect for her. The topic of medications came up, perhaps since I think she's been prescribed almost all of them at some point, and we talked about the trazaodone I had been prescribed, and how it wasn't working. She mentioned that she had had that issue before, and it was caused by a vitamin D deficiency.

I later "did some research" (ie googled) about trazodone and vitamin D, and found some interesting articles about how it depletes your vitamin D, so I can see how it may not work very well if you don't have any vitamin D for it to deplete.. I also found articles about vitamin D deficiency being related to depression, so perhaps if I am vitamin D deficient (which apparently most people are), this could have contributed to the depression I have been suffering from recently, more than usual.

I'm very cynical, and believe almost nothing I read on the internet without being able to find multiple sources, and proper citation of medical studies and theories etc, but I found sufficient sources to back this up that I felt it was worth more follow up, ie asking the doctor about it when I went to see them next week.

My housemate had bought 2 tickets for us to go and see Carol Burnett at the NAC, so when I realised the time, I made my way home to get them. He had been sick all week and decided not to go. I advertised the spare ticket on Facebook, but no-one saw it in time, so I ended up going on my own. It was a very funny show, and I had a good time.

Afterwards, I realised to do the laptop repair I had offered my friend, I needed an external hard drive case, which was on my desk at work. I drove to the office, and went in to get it. Opening the door caused the alarm to immediately go off for some reason, which I was able to stop and disable by putting my code in. I messaged the president and let him know I had made the alarm go off, as the alarm company would be contacting him about it. Apparently the "glass break" sensor on the door had erroneously triggered, at least this is what the alarm company reported had caused the alarm to go off when I opened the door.

I collected the external drive case I needed, and left the office. I hadn't had dinner, between the time I had spent at the hospital, and then at the show, and now realised I was pretty hungry. Being lazy, I decided to go to Burger King on the way home.

I drove there, parked, and when I tried to go inside, thinking it would be nice to sit at a table and eat, I discovered the door was locked, and then noticed a sign on the door telling me that the "dinning room" was closed.

I got back in my car, went through the drive through, which was a very confusing and frustrating experience, as due to my ordering a "whopper with cheese meal" they decided I had somehow asked for "no mayo". I wasn't bothered since I don't really like it, and usually order it that way, but wasn't wanting to be difficult or cause a delay by doing that at this time, so I just went with it, but then thye clarified what I had ordered at the window, so we went through the process of correcting it.

While I was waiting at the window for my food, a vehicle which must have contained people the staff knew entered the drive through, and placed and order, which resulted in the staff whooping and hollering and behaving in an unprofessional manner.

I eventually got my food, pulled over and parked in the parking lot and sat in the car to eat it, and then went home. I don't recall the rest of the evening's events.

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Wednesday, November 1st.

Wednesday, November 1st.

I have been posting some of these things on Facebook, but I am reposting them here as I try to start journalling/blogging again. I'm also adding more things here which I didn't put on Facebook.

A friend had reached out to me, and asked me if I wanted to meet up for a coffee while she was waiting around downtown. I said that sounded good. She's a life coach, and that was some of why she reached out to me. She doesn't like having her friends ask her to help them, because they expect to not pay, and it's what she does for a living, so spending time giving people advice for free doesn't pay the bills..

I said I understood, as I used to get (ab)used to fix people's computers all the time, since it was something I was good at, but that didn't mean I wanted to do it for everyone, or for free all the time. That said, I still do it every now and then, if someone says they have a problem, but aren't asking me to help/fix it, as I choose to help them out. She didn't know I had the computer knowledge that I have, and I asked her about what her issues were, and it was that her Macbook had died, and she had been quoted $450 or more for a new motherboard and keyboard to fix her 2012 Macbook.

Someone had lent her a computer to use in the mean time, until she can get hers fixed, and I said that I would help with the data recovery/transfer if she wanted, for free, since I enjoy it, in some masochistic way. She was reluctant to accept, so I told her to go back to the repair place, and get a quote from them for transferring her data, and then she could decide if she wanted to pay them to do it, or have me do it for her.

Moving on, we started talking about me and my recent struggles. I showed her the plan that the psychiatrist and I had come up with at the hospital, which she read through, and acknowledged that it was all very short term things, and that I needed a plan for longer term.

We talked about "value" and "purpose", something I'm having a lot of issues with. I feel that my value comes from my job, and my partner. When I have a job that doesn't make me happy, which I'm not getting any satisfaction or sense of achievement from, and no partner, I feel like I am worthless.

This is the reason I got so depressed on Sunday night, as a result of being turfed out by the girl I loved, after she'd given me some false hope of perhaps getting back together, and because I just wanted to see her and talk to her, and I barely saw her for a couple of minutes before she threw me out, and I knew that the next morning I had to go back to work, to my job where I feel under-utilised, which causes me frustration, which makes me drink too much, which makes me obnoxious, and to have no memory of my actions, which was a contributing factor to why my girlfriend got fed up and left me, taking away most of what I feel gives me value.

I also don't know what my purpose is. This lead to us discussing what I would do, if I could do anything. I was hesitant to respond to that, and have been hesitant to discuss it since, including here and now, but I told her that I want to be doing something with renewable energy, like solar and wind power, in order to provide power for lighting, cooking, water purification etc, for developing areas, in order to help people to be able to get a (better) education.

My hesitation to talk about this, is because I feel it's something that's out of reach to me. I don't have any qualifications in anything to do with renewable energy, other than having played with solar stuff for Burning Man and camping trips the last few years.

She suggested I look into contacting some NGOs, applying to work for them, because the worst thing they can do is tell me no. I have spent a little bit of time recently looking into this, but not really making a proper effort, as I have a couple of concerns, namely that perhaps someone says yes, but then I realise how unqualified I am, or I discover it's not something I want to be doing at all, and then I'm back to square one, with no idea of what my purpose it.

It's a more comfortable situation to be in to know what I want to do, but not doing it, so I don't find out that I can't/don't want to etc.

We ended up chatting for a couple of hours, and then I re-iterated about her getting a quote for the data transfer from her laptop, and that I was happy to do it, especially as an exchange for the time she had given me helping me from her life coach experience and training.

While we had been drinking our coffees, the foam from mine had been getting stuck in my moustache. I really needed a haircut, as I had been very lazy about my appearance for the last few months, probably as part of the depression I had been feeling since the end of my relationship.

There's a barber shop near the coffee shop we'd been in, that I used to go to when I first moved to Ottawa almost 10 years ago. I decided to go back there, having not been there for years, since I was happy with the haircuts and beard trims they do.

After getting my hair, beard, and moustache cleaned up, I felt a little bit better, seeing a tidier version of myself in the mirror.

With conflicted thoughts (and why I haven't discussed this until now), I messaged my ex girlfriend again, and asked if she was available for us to meet somewhere like a coffee shop (rather than her apartment), so we could take for a few minutes. I wanted to discuss Sunday night, as she had messaged me very late the night before, and told me that she was upset because she may have been the last person to have ever spoken to me. Even though what she had done by escalating things and then throwing me out hadn't been fair to me, I didn't think it was fair to leave her feeling upset or guilty about it. What I did was my choice.

She messaged back a few minutes later and said she had just finished work. It was raining, so I asked her if she would like for me to pick her up at work, and drive her near home where we could go to a coffee shop, so she didn't have to walk in the rain. She agreed. I picked her up, and we drove towards her place.

On the way I told her that after consideration of what happened on Sunday night (since I had kept replaying it over and over in my mind), I understood why she had regretted her actions and told me to leave, my reason being because I thought that she realised that while we both missed each other and still loved each other, for us to get back together may not result in things being any better than they were when she broke up with me, and that she's now with someone else, who treats her better than I did, and she didn't want to jeopardise that. She told me that this was correct.

I told her that I wasn't angry with her, and that I just wanted to have this conversation so I could tell her so, and that I understood her reasons, and that I didn't want her to feel guilty or upset for her actions, primarily because it was a mutual (bad) decision for us to see each other on Sunday night, and so it was a shared responsibility.

We arrived at her building, sat in the car speaking for a few more minutes, I told her about my plans to improve things, going back to get counselling again etc, and making an active effort to stop drinking so much and as a result acting in the obnoxious way that I (apparently) do/did.

We then discussed the messaging, and agreed that she wouldn't contact me, except to respond if I contacted her. Also that when we were going to be at the same things, since we are in overlapping social circles, we would try to discuss this (something I had brought up earlier, that we would discuss, and I would perhaps not attend things she was going to be at), or we would arrive slightly earlier so that we had a chance to interact before other people got there.

We hugged, and then she got out of the car, and I left and drove over to St Paul University where I had been going about 18 months (or more, bad memory) ago to see a counsellor, to sign up to start seeing someone again. Unfortunately they don't have anyone available to see me until February :-(

I got on the waiting list anyway, even though by February I may not need the help, since I will have helped myself by then, or had another severe depressive episode and perhaps more successfully injured myself than this time. They gave me a couple of phone numbers of other places that may be able to help me sooner.

Trying to make myself feel a bit better, since between the interaction with my ex gf and the disappointing result of going over to the University, I decided I would go and buy some groceries to make myself some comfort food for dinner, even though I have not been hungry for weeks, and haven't been eating much at all. If I hadn't been drinking so much I might have lost a bit more weight than I have, which I could handle.

I headed over to the supermarket, dragged myself around picking up the things I needed, and then went to the registers. There were a couple of people in the line in front of me. As the person being served tried to finish and pay, the register screwed up. The checkout person kept saying "I've never seen this before" about whatever was on the screen facing them.

They told us to go to another register. I had only unloaded a couple of items from the basket, so I packed them up and wandered over. The woman in front of me had a large amount of things to put back in her cart, so when she came over, I motioned for her to go in front of me, since she had been in front in the other line. She unloaded some of her things onto the conveyor.

There was a guy at this register attempting to complete a transaction which he had tried earlier, but the register had crashed. They rescanned all his stuff, and then as he tried to pay, this register stuffed up. I started to lose what little patience I had. They screwed around with the register for a couple of minutes, mentioning that it seemed to happen after they scanned his airmiles card, and that had happened on the other register too.. and then told us all to go over to the one remaining working register.

The woman in front of me gave up and just left, leaving half her stuff on the conveyor, and the rest in her cart. I should have followed her. I picked up my basket, and walked all the way over to the one remaining register, with the other 10 people or so trying to buy stuff.

In perhaps a very Canadian way, they started saying "oh, you were in front of me over there" or "I just got here, you should go before me", and perhaps because people saw the dejected look I had on my face, I ended up being directed up the line to be second.

The guy who had been in front of the woman and I at the other register had been moved over here, and they scanned all his stuff again. I unpacked my basket again. It gets to the total, and while I should have said "how about you don't scan his airmiles card, in case that's what's crashing the register, and then the rest of us can buy our stuff and go home", I said nothing.

They scanned his card. It crashed the register. Oh your god. I put my arm down on the side of the conveyor. I put my head down on my arm. This was the end of my patience, and my energy. This was probably lucky or else I might have gone postal.

They started screwing with this machine. "Oh, it's done it too.. after I scanned the airmiles card again". I lifted my head up, and I said "Maybe you should have worked out after you crashed the last 2 registers with the airmiles card to not do it to the last working machine?". No response. Critical thinking is probably not one of the skills that a checkout person has.

I put my head down again. Serenity now. They started making an announcement over the PA that "all the registers are froze [sic], and we don't know how long it will be".

I sat down on the floor between the registers. I just wanted to buy some food to go home and make myself dinner after the draining, somewhat crappy afternoon I had had. I waited. I had no patience left. I knew I did not have the energy or mental capacity to drive to another supermarket and collect all the groceries again. I waited.

They made the announcement about the "registers all being froze [sic]" again. That they still didn't know how long it would be. I waited a few more minutes, still sitting on the floor, trying to hold it together. I was done. I got up and walked out, leaving all my stuff on the conveyor.

I tried to leave, but they had locked the door I went to, and just had one door unlocked and there was a staff member standing there to let people out, and not letting people in. He told me to go out that door, I walked over, past him through the door, back to my car.

As soon as I got in the car I broke down. I'd wasted an hour here now, and ended up with nothing. After feeling sorry for myself and having a sad for a few minutes, and thinking about just going home, I decided that I still should probably eat something, since I had not eaten anything since some point on Sunday, maybe, I couldn't remember, and this now being Wednesday night.

I really didn't want something crappy like McDonalds, and I thought about it for a few minutes, and decided I wanted a poutine from Smokes. I was conflicted about this though, as when I had been speaking with my ex gf, she told me that she was going to a show at the venue across the street, and I was concerned that I may somehow see her while I was walking to go into the poutine place, or while I was in there etc.

Again I started thinking about just going home to bed without eating anything, but I knew this probably wasn't a good idea to make myself feel any better after having not eaten for days, so I drove all the way back downtown again. I was feeling very negative at this point, and figured that they would probably be out of potatoes or something when I got there. In actual fact, there was no issue. I got the poutine I wanted, and quite quickly, and I sat down to eat. This almost immediately made me feel a bit better.

I looked through the paper while I ate. I got to the crossword/sudoku etc page, which has the horoscopes on it. I think horoscopes are complete nonsense, but it's my guilty pleasure to read them every now and then when I come across them, mostly so I can think "pff!".

This was the horoscope:

Sigh. On the same page was a recipe for chilli con carne, under the heading "Make it tonight", another nice irony, since that's exactly what I had been at the supermarket trying to buy the ingredients to make, before I ended up here. If I believed in a deity controlling things, I'd also believe they had a sick sense of humour.

I finished my poutine, quickly headed back to my car to limit the risk of seeing my ex gf across the street, and I went home and went to bed. I took a sleeping pill, but it didn't work, and I was up most of the night.

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Halloween.. AKA "Happy discount candy eve".


AKA "Happy discount candy eve".

As a result of my post from last night, which some of my coworkers saw as I have them as friends on Facebook, there was some discussion in my office regarding my welfare. This was brought to the attention of management, and I was emailed and told to take some time to work on things to make myself feel better, and to not worry about work or even checking my email for now, until I have worked to make myself feel sufficiently better. I handed over access to my email to a couple of coworkers, let them know what I had most recently been working on, so it was known and could be continued/completed etc without me, and I turned off my email notifications.

I am applying myself to make the best use of my time to work to make things better for myself, and hopefully in a short period of time. I started to work on the plan that the psychiatrist and I put together at the hospital the day before.

I drove to my doctor's office to make an appointment for next week to review my medications and things. They were replacing/upgrading their computers and software, so I couldn't book anything. They told me to call next Monday. I asked if it was likely I would get an appointment next week, "I don't know" was the response. Apparently the doctors are also working reduced schedules due to the computer upgrade so they aren't seeing as many people. Very helpful. I didn't have the energy to push the matter, so I just left, feeling a bit disappointed.

I went over to Costco to get my prescription for trazodone/sleeping pills filled, since they only charge a single $3.89 dispensing fee instead of $12 something that Shopper's charges per medication (and was double charging me for the 75mg and 150mg Venlafaxine pills I take, so I switched to getting only 75mg pills, and I take 3/day) and I'm sick of paying it. A lot of people don't know you can use the pharmacy at Costco without a membership, anyway.. I noticed that the Costco has some brilliant security going on, with a laminated sheet stuck to the computer with all the logins and passwords written on it, where customers can see it:

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I had been trying to go and visit a friend who is in the hospital, but it took a while at Costco to get my prescription filled, and I had plans to setup my projector in the window to project some "virtual reality" ghosts from a video I downloaded recently, but I hadn't done anything about getting it setup, since I lost Monday at the hospital and sleeping, so I went over to Value Village, and picked up a sheet to stick up as a projector screen.

I was still wanting to go visit my friend, but it was getting too late for me to have time to go see her, and get home to set everything up in time. I felt a bit guilty about not going to see her, since I had been messaging for a few days and telling her I would try to get there each day, but then not.

The traffic was also atrocious, I guess everyone was trying to get home by 6pm. It took me about 4 times longer to get home than it would have if the roads hadn't all been clogged up.

I setup the projector, got the ghosts running on the screen/in the window, and then went about trying to get some Halloween music on.

This was a bit of a frustrating endeavour as both of my iPods were dead, and weren't powering up when I was charging them. My "old school" 80GB Classic has the music on it I wanted, and it was refusing to boot up properly, stuck between "please wait, battery very low", and rebooting itself, trying to boot, and going back to the battery message again.

I left it, and found my bluetooth adapter and used my phone instead while I waited. Eventually, after it had rebooted itself who knows how many times (30 something?) it finally booted up.

In the process of looking for cables and adapters to set everything up, I came across my halloween costume I'd made back in 2008 (I think) of Dexter.

So I had a pretty cool setup, with scary ghosts projected, and halloween music (by "Booootie": http://bootiemashup.com/halloween/) playing.

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I put my Dexter costume on, and we had a few groups of kids come around, but not a lot, and it was getting cold outside, so I decided to go to trivia, which I do every Tuesday, and had been thinking about skipping this week.

I went downtown in my costume, and we did trivia. Most people recognised me as Dexter, I presume because I slightly resemble Michael C Hall. Sticking to my plan, I only had 1 beer, rather than the 3 or 4 I would normally, or even more as I had been drinking recently.

The host came dressed as a sloth, which reminded me of this hilarious failed anti marijuana ad campaign from Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rHm8GbTHyE&feature=share

So that was my day. Not really getting anywhere at the doctor's office, not getting over to visit my friend in the hospital as I had been trying to, but managing to do the ghost setup for Halloween I had been hoping to, and managing to go hang out with friends and have a good time at trivia, without drinking excessively.

Monday 30 October 2017

Depressive Episode

Recently I suffered from another severe depressive episode. My way of "dealing" with it was to post the following status on Facebook, while I sat in my car outside the mental hospital:

"Why is 3 o'clock in the morning always the hour of choice to put on Nick Cave, get depressed and kill yourself? What's wrong with the middle of the day when everyone's awake and ready to call an ambulance?"

This is a quote from the movie (and book?) "He Died With a Felafel in his Hand".

Then my phone ran out of battery and powered off. No one could reach me, and this lead to the police getting involved. After they took me to the hospital, and I made my way home again, I posted the following details of the story. I am back dating it, and reposting it here, with some slight additions: