About 3:30 this morning, the phone rings. I letthe first set go, but when someone was calling a second time, I got up and answered.
It was Bryan. His car had broken down somewhere north of Des Moines. He had managed to get off of the freeway onto an exit ramp.
If you can imagine being in the middle of nowhere, the skies pitch black except for lightning off in the distance and the mild glow of civilization on the horizon, you can guess what kind of freakishness being stranded in Iowa can be.
Luckily, he was only about 20 miles north of Des Moines, so I was able to head out and pick him (and Caesar) up, and we went back to my apartment to crash for a couple of hours until I had to go to work, and he could get a new alternator.
Of course, this means I'm a little sleepy at work today.
Being back home for the weekend was a kind of numbing experience. It's almost horror-inducing the amount of work that I need to do both on myself and on the house to repair the damage that has been done. It's going to take years.
The first thing that has to happen is cleaning. And I'm not talking about wipe-down-the-walls-with-disinfectant cleaning, I'm talking break-out-the-shovels-and-the-dust-masks-a
The front porch is bad. I went out there for the first time in months yesterday, and it's... bad. The roof and ceiling are a total loss. The walls might be okay, but a lot of the stuff on the inside is beyond redemption. And it smells like a brewery.
Some of the stuff in there is okay-- it was stored in plastic bins. Some of it is plastic, which is unaffected by the rot. Some of it is just not worth even trying to keep.
How it got into this state is a complex set of circumstances and events. Depression is a major contributing factor, both mine and Barb's. My mother is a contributing factor as well, as she would bring down stuff, sometimes by the truckload, and remind me of how expensive it was to buy originally. And just plain laziness is right up there.
I'm no longer willing to live in that kind of atmosphere. It's dangerous and unhealthy. Unfortunately, I'm not the only one involved, and my will does not cover the actions (or inactions) of others. And since I'm not physically there, it is others that have the hold on the house. Not mentioning any names specifically, but not that hard to guess.
Luckily, I have help. Bryan is taking on the front porch, hopefully with help from saveau, and at least a part of the basement. Enough to get the boiler installed.
Some days I want to just chuck everything and start fresh. Some days I just want to walk away and be done with it. I know I can't. I know I have responsibilities, and I need to meet those responsibilities head-on, but I don't have to like it.
Just got back from dropping Bryan off at his car. It's running happy again so all is good there, but having a new car that runs better is a good thing for him. And he seems to be happier than he was when we first met. I think overall this has been a good experience for him, as well as helping me out of a jam.
Feel like crap. Swollen, stiff, sore. I think it's something with the medication, but I'm not sure. I may check out the hot tub tonight, or I may sleep. And I definitely need to get back on the bike and wake up my body. Not so much for burn this time as just to get warmed up again-- it's been almost two weeks with only one riding day in there because of being in Minneapolis.
I am frustrated at the time it is taking to lose weight and gain muscle tone. Part of it is that the medication I'm taking has a side-effect of weight gain, so I'm fighting that as well as the regular body inertia, but it's going so freaking slow. I want results now. I don't want to have to take years.
I know, I know... patience, young paduwan... but I am very much an instant gratification junkie. I don't want the perfect body. Well, actually I do, but I'll settle for healthy.
Confession time: one of the reasons that I want a good body is to be attractive to women. And while on the surface that seems shallow, there is something deeper there that is a part of the american psyche.
Take women with small breasts. (No jokes, please.) I can't count the number of times that I run across women who consider breast enlargements to be more attractive to men, and I always tell them the same thing: if you get big boobs, guys will pay attention to your boobs, not to you. And I do believe that several of my more well-endowed friends will nod assent (if you can draw your gaze away from their bustlines for long enough to actually see their heads nodding). And I really don't want to be judged on my body alone, any more than a woman wants to be judged by her body or the size of her breasts.
On the other hand, being overweight is a turn-off. It blocks a lot of dating avenues that might otherwise be open. I can be the funniest, happiest, richest guy on the planet, but being the fat guy takes me out of the running for most dating opportunities.
Seriously-- think if you were single who you'd want to date, and I mean consider as a long-term relationship. You may have a wide variety of body types that you would consider, but I'd be willing to bet that morbidly obese isn't among them.
So okay. I know that I have to get there. I know it's gonna take a long-ass time. And I do have all of my limbs yet, and I have a decent amount of bilateral symmetry, so when I actually do get down to a "normal" size, I should be quite presentable.
Am I being hypocritical? Is wanting to be attractive-- wanting to be sexy-- a bad thing? Is it shallow and vain, or is it a part of the healing process?
I'm feeling overwhelmed right now. Which in engineer terms means that I have gone beyond the Critical Whelming Saturation point.
I want a meter that measures whelming. I want to know in advance when I am approaching critical saturation so I can back off of my whelming quota.
But I suppose it changes from day to day. There are some days that I feel very capable, and others that I just want to bury my head in the pillows and block out the world outside.
My plan for making a movie by my next birthday has ultimately been foiled. Last update for the work schedule now has me here until after my birthday. The only way that I can do it now is to do a one-man mini-project... which is do-able, but not with the equipment I have down here. And a part of the whole idea was to do a collaborative project.
I could get a digital still camera and do a clay animation project-- sort of a poor man's Wallace and Gromit-- but I'd still have to write a new story that I don't have a storyline for, and clay is a little limited in its scope: it's hard to do anything but comedy and really arty stuff. For instance, claymation zombies just don't have the same appeal. Alien wouldn't have been nearly as scary if the creature were made out of clay.
Besides, my sculpting skills are a little more on the cartoony side anyway.
Then again, I could do a golem story...