Category Archives: Depression

Am I the Only Person in Texas Who Doesn’t Know How to Plop a Patty?

It all comes from deciding not to go to the Goat Barbecue and Craft Fair.

I don’t know what got into me. I read the blurb for this amazing event in the Sunday newspaper, and thought, “That has got to be the coolest name for anything. Ever.” And I mean, anything. Like the name of the new band I’m going to start with Jon Stewart. Or the bookstore I’m going to open in my garage. If David Sedaris can explore diabetes with owls, I don’t see why I can’t spend an afternoon embroidering a lamp shade with a goat while eating some juicy ribs.

I have to admit, though, that I was a bit confused about the goat’s part in all of this. Is the goat doing the barbecuing and the crafting? Or are the goats being barbecued? If so, is that before or after they make a craft? And, most importantly, how do you train a goat to make the Alamo out of Popsicle sticks without the goat actually consuming it?

I could have discovered the answers to all of these riveting questions if I had chosen to make an actual appearance at the Goat Barbecue and Craft Fair. But, as tempting as it sounded, I couldn’t convince myself that anything was better than hanging around the house morbidly depressed. Even the “cow patty plop” didn’t persuade me. Though it did bring up more questions…

So, instead, I stayed home. My daughter, who was bored, got herself invited to a friend’s neighborhood pool. The friend’s mom decided not to make an appearance at the pool, so I waited for her with our bulldog, Wonderbutt, in tow. Not surprisingly, Wonderbutt fell in the pool and almost drowned because, stupidly, I had not brought his life jacket along on what I assumed to be a Drop-Off-And-Drive-Away situation.

wonderbuttpool

Now, if you would have asked me who would be more resentful about this whole experience, I would have laid odds on the daughter, who got yanked back home when her friend’s mother took too long to return to three unchaperoned girls at an unlifeguarded pool. Instead, it’s Wonderbutt who isn’t speaking to me.

spurnedbywonderbutt

Being spurned by an obese bulldog is even more depressing than the thought of eating barbecued goat.

This was the chain of events I began to relate to my doctor the next day as evidence that he probably needed to change my medication – again.

He stopped me at “cow patty.”

It’s kind of scary how little convincing was needed to persuade him to write out a new prescription.

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You Should Never Leave Scientists with Nothing to Do

My antidepressant does not work in Houston or its suburbs.  I would like to know why the commercial for it did not warn me of this unfortunate side-effect.  “Can cause weight gain and completely lose its effectiveness if you are anywhere in the vicinity of the 4th biggest city in the United States.”  That’s what they should say.

Don’t ask me why it would work in the rest of Texas, but not in Houston.  All I know is that it was working fine when I left San Antonio last Friday, but as soon as we hit the Houston metropolitan area I was wondering why I hadn’t drowned myself in the toilet at the Cracker Barrel where we stopped for lunch.

I’m sure this had nothing to do with the fact that my husband questioned any and all navigation suggestions that I offered for three hours straight.

And it seems highly doubtful that the stress of my daughter’s synchronized swimming tournament would make me want to stick a bobby pin through my eye.

There was nothing remotely depressing about being accused of breaking our zillion dollar camera, “but not on purpose”, by my husband, either.  Because that made me want to stick a bobby pin in his eye – and that doesn’t really count as depression, does it?

I’m absolutely convinced that there is some kind of GPS embedded in my pills that launches a self-destruct sequence as soon as I get within 30 miles of NASA.

Wait a second.  What exactly are those guys at NASA doing right now since we no longer have a space program?

Messing with my pills, that’s what.

science

And on the other side it would say, “And Hates Cutesy Bonding Activities That Require the Use of Wooden Spoons”

I think you people know me better than the people who know me better.

Yesterday, I got a wooden spoon in my box at school.  It said, “Positive”.

We did this thing at the beginning of the year where we decorated wooden spoons and wrote someone who inspired us on one side, and one of the qualities we most admired about them on the other.  Now we are supposed to pass the wooden spoons secretly to people we work with who exhibit these traits.

So far this year, I have gotten “Fun” and “Positive”.

Granted, I just started working at this school last August.  But I cannot imagine what I have done to give anyone the impression that I am either fun or positive.

My idea of fun is sitting in my armchair with my farting bulldog watching The Daily Show.

As for being positive, when I complain about something, and someone says, “It could be worse,” I say, “Well, it could also be better.”

Maybe that sounds positive to some people.

Some people also seem to have gotten the impression that I am smart – probably because I teach gifted students.

They obviously have not seen my bathroom drawer full of abandoned hair appliances that I bought because the infomercials convinced me that each one was the solution to my frizzy hair.

Or the long scar on my hand that I got because I thought I could remove the wall-sized mirror in our bathroom by myself, but didn’t actually plan where I was going to put it once I got it off the wall.

If I was going to put a spoon in my box, I think that it would say, “Cranky Klutz Who Repeats the Same Mistakes Over and Over…”

But that probably wouldn’t fit on the spoon.

See?  Not positive.

Mrs. Cap’n Firepants Trades Nothing for Something and Ends Up Playing for the Philadelphia Phillies

So, first of all, I am totally psyched that The Daily Show returns tonight.  My daughter wants to become a teacher because she gets summers off.  I said, “No, you need to be Jon Stewart because he gets two weeks off for every holiday, plus the entire summer – in both hemispheres.”  Not that I’m bitter or anything.  Just suffering from separation anxiety.

“Who’s Jon Stewart?” my daughter asked.

Yeesh.

In other news, my anti-depressants seem to be somewhat working, which means my That-Idea-is-Stupid-Filter is working again.  Which means it’s very difficult to think of blog topics.  The only reason I am typing anything now is because I forgot to take my lunchtime dose, so my filter is being stomped down by the amazingly strong irritation that I begin to feel when things start wearing off.

I always thought people were idiots for refusing to take their medication because they lost their creativity, and now I’m beginning to understand it a bit.  I mean, it’s nice to go 12 hours without feeling an overwhelming desire to slit my wrists, but it does seem like I generate a whole lot more writing ideas when I’m miserable.

I don’t see why there has to be a trade-off.  I mean, there is such a thing as getting something for nothing, despite what your mother may have told you.  I just heard about Mike Cisco being traded to the Los Angeles Angels for no compensation.  Nada.  (That means “nothing”, right?  I mean, I’ve never really checked, but I’m just guessing from the context clues.  If it means something else, and it happens to be offensive, I completely apologize.)

So, anyway, the Angels got Cisco for nothing.  I don’t see why I can’t get my sanity for nothing.  My sanity certainly doesn’t effect as many people as a baseball player, who I admit I never heard of, but whose trade qualifies him for the Yahoo sports page.  You’re not going to see my trade on any sports page, so I’m pretty sure that means that I am worth less than Cisco.  Ergo, I should get my sanity for less than nothing.

Reading that over, it seems like there might be some fault in that logic, but I can’t really be bothered with such trifling trivialities.  It’s almost time for The Daily Show and my bulldog is demanding my presence on our armchair.  And if Jon Stewart talks about the Cisco trade, I want all of you to be my witness that I brought it up first.  That’s what he gets for going on a two week vacation.

The problem is, I don't have a trading card.  I need to work on that.photo from:  http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/

The problem is, I don’t have a trading card. I need to work on that.
photo from: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/

I Would Pay The Whole 4 Cents to Be Sequestered with Brad Pitt

Until I can find the tangible evidence that my doctor hates my hair stylist, thus giving him the perfect motive to tank my thyroid test, I have decided to blame my depression on The Sequester. I mean, if my problems aren’t the result of thyroid dysfunction, they clearly must have some external cause. And this whole sequester thing is definitely stressing me out.

First of all, I’m totally bummed that “Sequester” has a completely different meaning than the one I’ve known all of these years. Until now, a sequester was something I could only dream about – having the government pay for me to stay in a hotel with maid service, room service, and all of the books I could ever want to read since I wouldn’t be allowed access to any media in case Nancy Grace might somehow manage to cajole me into nailing Jodi Arias to the wall.

When the news outlets started warning about an oncoming sequester in Congress, I pictured the whole muddle of them being locked inside the Capitol until they  knocked each other off and one person became the victor – kind of like a mix between Twelve Angry Men, Fight Club, and the cardinals in the Vatican conclave.  I was sorely disappointed to find out that this was not the case.

I was even more alarmed by rumors that this whole sequester thing might delay my tax refund.  After all, I use my tax refund to pay my psychiatrist, so if I don’t get my refund, I don’t…well, you get the picture.

Of course, I should be completely straight with you, and admit that we have received an unexpected endowment from the county recently.  Although, to be honest, I don’t think it would pay for the gas to take the check to the bank, much less thirty seconds with my psychiatrist.

In fact, I find it depressing that the county actually paid for a stamp to send this check to us.

Yes, folks, that is a check for 4 cents.

Yes, folks, that is a check for 4 cents.

And then Hugo Chavez died.  The only person more paranoid than me. The person who said, “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?”

Remember?  I’m the one who said terrorists are poisoning our food.  And now I’m depressed.  Hugo said there are mad scientists spreading cancerand he died of cancer.

I think the connections are pretty obvious.

If my doctor had just said, “Your thyroid is wonky, and that’s why you’re depressed,” we wouldn’t be in this big mess.

Pretty Much the Only Person You Should Ever Call “Ma’am” is Your Own Mother

I almost bought a pack of cigarettes the other day.

I don’t smoke.  Never have.  But, I was really tempted to purchase some while I was standing in line at Walgreens.

The woman in front of me bought a pack, and this focused my attention on the variety of choices on the wall behind the register.  It also made me reflect on the irony of a place that sells you medication at the same time it sells addictive cartons of cancer.  But I digress.

In front of the cigarettes, a sign said, “We I.D. under 40.”

And I thought, I should buy a pack of cigarettes just to see if he will ask for my i.d.

I am 44.

How great would that be if he asked for my i.d., implying that he thinks I look like I am under 40 years old?

Of course, it could completely go the other way, I told myself.  And that would not be good.  What if it just says that on the sign, and they really just i.d. if you look under 21?  You DO NOT look under 21, I don’t care what your husband tells you.  

The Self who talks to me is very rude.

I tried to look at the woman-with-a-death-wish in front of me.  The cashier had not asked for her i.d.  I needed to compare myself to her.

But, I could not see her face.  I started to plot ways to get her to turn around.  Hey, uh, do you mind giving me one of those cigarettes? or just Oh my God.  Would you look over there?

But The Self who talks to me indicated that those were stupid ideas.

And while I was arguing with The Self, the woman left, gliding through the automatic doors with her bag of Marlboros and Pedialyte without ever revealing her face to me.

I looked the cashier in the eyes as I slid my purchase onto the counter.

“Is this all, ma’am?” he asked.

And that’s all it took.  I knew from that last word what I needed to do.

“Yes,” I hissed defiantly.  You agist bastard.

He rang my one item up, and handed it to me as I furiously swiped my card, completely insulted by this person who I decided did not deserve the satisfaction of me allowing him to ask for my i.d.. Because he ma’amed me, and experience has taught me that “ma’am” is a four letter word for “you are about my grandmother’s age, so I’m going to act respectful.”

And, at that point, I wasn’t sure if I would just burst into tears or fly over the counter and try to strangle him if he did not have the good sense to ask for my i.d.

And I took my bottle of Revlon Age-Defying Foundation home, assuring myself that I will slather the stuff all over my face, neck, elbows, and knees for a week.  I will even wear it at night.  And then, I will return to purchase my pack of cigarettes that I will never smoke, and my i.d. will be demanded.   And I will roll my eyes because people always make this mistake, and smile as I take out my driver’s license and prove that I am over 40, but have managed to maintain my attractive-and-younger-than-40 looks.  And that I am just as capable of caking my lungs with black soot as the next 39 1/2 year old.

So there you have it – the real reason why cigarettes should be illegal.

And possible evidence for Walgreens to issue a restraining order against me.

Does chicken poop make you look younger?photo by Fred Mike Ruby

Forget the Revlon.  Doesn’t chicken poop make you look younger?
photo by Fred Mike Ruby

Guns May Not Kill People, but Scissors and Sidewalks are Out of Control

keep-your-dignity-and-stay-alive

I pretty much have the same two main goals every day: don’t embarrass myself, and try to keep breathing.

You might think that, since I’m not suffering from a fatal illness (that I know of – but I still have thousands of internet diagnoses to comb through), that the latter one would not be that hard.

But I have three strikes against me – my depression, my forgetfulness,  and my clumsiness.

I usually get up every morning, and my first thought is, “On a scale of 1-10, how much do I NOT want to be alive today?”  If it’s over a 5 for more than a couple of days, I call the doctor.  Usually, though,it hovers around a 3, in which case I resolve to make a concentrated effort for the next 24 hours not to kill myself.  On “Three” Days, it’s easy to avoid killing myself on purpose,  but an accidental death is always a distinct possibility.

Last week, for example, I was walking out the back door of our school one morning, on my way to my portable classroom.  For absolutely no reason at all, other than a little mist in the air, I suddenly skied down the handicap ramp, did about a 5 minute dance that included a twirl and the splits, and fell.  (It was truly a John- Travolta-Stayin’ Alive-Performance.) Hard.  On my knee.

All in all, the experience was somewhat of a success.  As you can tell, I did not kill myself.  I didn’t even break any bones or, more importantly, the iPad that was in my purse.  In addition, it was so early in the morning that only one person witnessed this amazing feat – and she was a substitute.  (Notice that I am not including the school security cameras as a witness because I am holding out the hope that people have better things to do than to watch them every minute.)

For the next 4 days, I wore pants so my husband would not see my gravel-encrusted knee.  He already knows I’m a klutz, but I keep thinking if he goes more than a couple of months without being directly reminded of this, he might replace my “Klutz” label with that of “Stunningly Efficient Wife.”

No matter.  On the 4th day following my stunning performance, my husband was holding our golden retriever while I was kneeling (on my traitorous left knee) behind her, trying not to cry out in pain.  My intention was to cut off a particularly nasty mat of hair conveniently located on her rear end.  As I pushed the tip of the scissors through the mat, trying to find the other side so I would not slice off her skin, I managed to plunge the blade deep into one of my fingers.

Bloody, but not exactly deadly.  Yay me.  I missed stabbing myself in the jugular.

Since I’d already reverted to the “O Days Without an Incident” billboard in my husband’s eyes, I went ahead and confessed to my knee injury while I was at it.

It’s going to be pretty ironic if I conquer this whole depression thing, and I end up killing myself anyway…

This Fortune that Scared The Living Daylights out of Me is For Your Eyes Only Because You Only Live Twice and I am Probably Going to Die Another Day

I know you think I’m a bit paranoid, but between my Mac jeering at me and my latest experience at a Chinese restaurant, I am beginning to have second thoughts about leaving my bed every morning.  Actually, third thoughts.  I already had been having second thoughts due to the whole I’m-depressed-what-the-heck-do-I-need-to-get-out-of-bed-for-anyway depression thing.

So, my husband, the ever-suffering Cap’n Firepants, and I went to eat Chinese food a couple of nights ago.  Now, everyone knows that the only reason you go to  a Chinese restaurant is to find out what is going to happen next in your life according to the prescient fortune cookie placed before you at the end of the meal.  (I don’t ascribe to either the “in bed” or the “on the toilet” factions who obviously do not give their fortunes the respect they deserve.)

As soon as I took my cookie off the plate, I knew something was wrong.  Through the plastic wrapper, I could see the fortune clearly sticking halfway out of the cookie, and I’m pretty sure that is never a good sign.  When I broke apart the wrapping, and carefully tugged on the fortune, it easily came out.  That is because the half that I was seeing was the only part of the fortune I was going to get.  The rest of my fortune was not inside my cookie.  It was not anywhere. I ONLY GOT HALF A FORTUNE.

Technically, it looks like it's probably about three quarters of the fortune, but three quarters is kind of long to type, so I took some poetic license and I am saying it's a half.

Technically, it looks like it’s probably about three quarters of the fortune, but three quarters is kind of long to type, so I took some poetic license and I am saying it’s a half.

“Do you want mine?” Cap’n Firepants generously offered.

“Are you crazy?  I can’t take your fortune!  That’s your fortune!  It’s already foretold.  We can’t switch fortunes now!  Fate is not that foolish!  Fate knows who got which fortune!”

I may have said the above in a slightly high-pitched, somewhat crazed sounding voice that betrayed my confusion and rising panic over the apocalyptic piece of paper I was holding in my hand.

I ignored the wide eyes and raised eyebrows of Cap’n Firepants, and pondered two very important questions:  ONE)  What was my fortune supposed to say?  and Deuce) What horrible events resulted in this torn fortune?

I find the last part of the fortune pretty ominous, “…getting out after you…”  and I’m quite frankly more than a little concerned about the “real test in life” for which I am obviously not going to be prepared BECAUSE SOMEONE. RIPPED. MY FORTUNE. IN HALF.  (I have noted this new phenomenon of placing periods in the middle of one’s sentence to emphasize the importance of what you are saying, and have decided that I am going to freely employ it from now on, as pretty much everything I say is important.)

I am also disturbed about what caused the fortune to be ripped in the first place.  I imagine two factory workers arguing over whether or not this fortune should be sent forth into the world to its destined receiver, and they struggle over it.  In the last seconds before the cookie passes by on the conveyor belt, one worker rips a part off and  tucks the torn end into the cookie, staving the other, desperate worker off until the plastic wrapping phase is complete, and the cookie is dumped into a giant pile of other cookies where there is no hope of ever finding it again.  And then the workers both get eaten by a giant shark.  It’s like some kind of James Bond scene.

And. I don’t. even. like. James Bond movies.

And I am supposed to decipher this half-fortune, so I can somehow pass my “life test” and keep “out of rough things” and avoid people getting out after me and somehow save the world.

This is exactly why I don’t like to get out of bed.  There is way too much pressure.

So here's the other side of my fortune in case any of you out there want to try to crack the code.  I am pretty sure that those symbols do not mean orange.  I'm thinking it's "Screw you" even though Google Translate seems to side with  "Orange".  They are probably in on the plot, too.

So here’s the other side of my fortune in case any of you out there want to try to crack the code. I am pretty sure that those symbols do not mean orange. I’m thinking it says “Screw you” even though Google Translate seems to side with “Orange”. They are probably in on the plot, too.

People Who Eat Food From a Farmers Market Are Ignorant

Don’t hate on me yet.  I know the title looks bad, but bear with me.

So, I was eating lunch today, and eavesdropping on conversations, like I usually do.  One of the women began to proselytize about how much better it is to eat fresh food than something from a supermarket.    Her rationale was that, with supermarket food, “you don’t know where it’s been.”

And I thought, “Well, you kind of know more about where it’s been than you do with food from a farmers market.  I mean, you pretty much have just the word of the farmer that he hasn’t painted arsenic on it or anything.  I’m not saying you should buy all of your food from a grocery store, but if your main reason for buying your zucchini from someone on the side of the road is that you think you can count on the goodness of people’s hearts not to poison your purchase by growing it in something other than pristine conditions, then you might want to rethink that. ”

But I didn’t say it.  That is what this blog is for – whatimeant2say, but didn’t.  This way, I don’t get fired from my job or shot at (this is Texas, after all).

A few minutes later, the same woman launched into a diatribe about anti-depressants.

“Well, I just don’t believe in them,” she said.  “I think people just use them so they don’t have to deal with whatever is making them depressed.  I mean, look at me, [insert details about her life that were very traumatic] and I didn’t take anti-depressants.  Get over it.”

Oh boy.

Wow.  I can’t even type whatimeant2say because so many sentences crawled into my brain at the same time I think I almost blacked out.

Here is the long and short of it:

Not everyone who is depressed needs to take anti-depressants.  But some people do.  Like me.

Not every farmer’s market sells food that kills people.  But sometimes they do.  Like this one.

And not every person who eats food from a farmers market is ignorant.  But some are.  Like you. *

*(Not you, the person reading this; you, the person who likes to make sweeping generalizations on topics about which she is not an expert.  I know you are not that person.  So, don’t hate on me.)

Of course, I’m the person who thinks terrorists are poisoning our food.  But just some terrorists.  And some food.  Some people, namely the author of this blog, like to be judicious when they jump to conclusions.

You (sweeping generalization person) should try it some time.

There’s a Big Difference Between Mostly Dead and All Dead

It all began with a death threat…

Mrs. Cap'n FirepantsGive us your computer as hostage for 3-5 business days or your hard drive will die a slow and painful deathSincerely,Apple

Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, Give us your computer as hostage for 3-5 business days or your hard drive will die a slow and painful death.  Sincerely,Apple

Upon receiving this demand, I promptly threw it in the pile with my other death threats.  After all, I am a pirate’s wife.  I do not take death threats seriously unless they are repeated a couple of times.  Plus, I don’t deal with terrorists.

Then I got the e-mail.

Mrs. Cap'n Firepants

Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, we are not joking.  Your hard drive is about to kick the can.  Sincerely, Apple.

Okay.  Fine.  I needed to replace my hard drive.  This, of course, necessitated backing it up, which I hadn’t done in over a year.  So, I plugged in my backer upper thing, fired up my Time Machine, and let it do its thing over night.

The next morning, all was good.  Backer upper filled.  Time Machine back from the future.

One of my friends had advised me to keep backer uppering once a day, and only the new things would be added.  Sounded good.

Next morning, error message on my computer.  Time Machine seriously messing with my computer, making me feel like I was traveling at light speed and about to throw up.  Absolutely no data on my backer upper.  Time Machine apparently ate everything in the backer upper and spit it out in a parallel universe.

Not good.

Further research made me conclude that my backer upper needed more space.  This meant I needed a new backer upper.

It was Christmas time.  I was busy setting up my Harry Potter nativity, and consoling my daughter over the inadvertent beheading of her Harry Potter ornament.  I did not have time or money to purchase a new backer upper.  Besides, no new ransom notes had arrived.  So things were probably not that serious.

I think you know where this is going.

I will skip the death scene, which occurred a couple of days after Christmas. Suffice it to say, that it’s good that I take anti-depressants and that I hadn’t, at that point, seen Les Miserables yet.

I got a new hard drive.  For free.  I suspect that the kidnappers, upon meeting me in person, rightly concluded that I was not a person with whom they should trifle about ransom.  I doubt the hysterics had anything to do with it.

But a new hard drive could never replace the old one, the one that knew all of my secrets and –

I decided that I needed a Miracle Max.

It turned out that, like The Princess Bride’s Man in Black,  my hard drive was only mostly dead, and Miracle Max was able to resurrect it, for a small fee equivalent to the cost of a year at Harvard.

Heartened by this turn events I brought the new body of my old hard drive home, and plugged it into the old body of my new hard drive so they could become one.

And now, it seems, that I apparently pimped my computer to a rabbit.  Instead of years of photographs, or the complete absence of photographs, my pictures exponentially reproduced, so that I now have 4 times as many photos as before the hard drive died.  And, ironically, I once again have too much data to fit on my backer upper.

I know that, if you have suffered the death of a hard drive, you have no sympathy for me, at this point.  I mean, why should I complain that I now have 100,000 pictures of Wonderbutt hogging space on my hard drive when, a week ago, I was sobbing because I had none?

That’s okay.

When my Toyota falls apart because I procrastinated responding to their ransom note (which they cleverly disguised as a “recall notice”), then you will regret your hard heart regarding my hard drive.  I only hope you can cope with the guilt.

P.S. This one is for you, Guap:

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