Watching People be Busy and Productive

I adore youtube channels where people make things.  I watch makers do things I have absolutely no interest in doing myself, I’m just fascinated with their productiveness and the creation of a thing.  I follow woodworking, metal working, cooking, gardening, and artists of all kinds.

Yesterday I binge watched a channel of a young man who is rebuilding a 108 year old yacht.  I think he he is going to be lucky to keep 20 yards of original board on that boat.  It was a mess.  It will take years and years to rebuild it.  And he’s filming it.

He’s a boat builder, so it’s not like he’s inexperienced.  And he threw himself into this project heart and soul.  It’s hard work.  Both mentally and physically.

A few weeks ago he cut off his finger.  He was quite philosophical about it.  Life is about taking risks, he said.  You don’t learn anything or experience anything if you don’t take risks.  Sometimes you get hurt, but it’s all part of the process of living.

I don’t do anything.  Even in smaller ways.  People like Leo, the ship builder, fascinate me.   They just do it.  It might not work.  But the doing is worth it.  My grandmother was like that.  I’m not.  I’m stillness to their wind.  I want to be more like the wind – changing things, making things, doing things.  It seems like it’s just as simple as Just do it.

But something in my brain, Depression, makes the space between thinking about a thing and doing a thing enormous.  It’s like the Grand Canyon and my brain doesn’t seem to be able to cross to the part that makes me move into action.

I call it Stillness.  It’s the antithesis of a well lived life.

I think I watch these youtube channels so I can live the life of productivity vicariously.  That might be making the stillness worse.  It’s possible my brain marks my experiencing the video as a thing accomplished.  Our brains are fucked up wonders.

Worrisome Behavior

Rebel Tim, the grey kitten whose not a kitten anymore, has been acting a bit off.  Odd.


He’s started doing obsessive digging in the kitty litter and yesterday he was digging at a random place on the hardwood floor.  Nothing there.  I smelled it worried that someone had peed there.  But nope.  I distracted him for a bit but once the distraction was over he was back to digging obsessively.

I picked him up to check his bladder – I’ve had cats with urinary tract blocks and it killed one and cost more than a fortune to fix the other one.   But his bladder wasn’t full.

I wonder if he is constipated?  But the kitty litter seems to have the requisite amount of poop. His stomach isn’t distended, although he is too fat.

Last night it finally occurred to me.  He’s bored.  And is acting out in odd ways.  He needs more playtime than Bijou is willing to give him.

I have been seriously considering getting those indoor hunter feeder things that Katzenworld recommended last week.  I have hesitated because I picture my own hunt to find the empty toys every day.  Also stepping on random uneaten pieces of dry food.  But I might be wrong about the food, he is a piglet.  I won’t be wrong about the annoying hunt.

I’m also worried that the more active recently a kitten will get a disproportionate amount of the food.  I’m not sure how to make sure that doesn’t happen, but I guess that’s part of the process.  Making them work and compete.  Maybe??

Has anyone tried the indoor hunter feeder for a multi-cat household?

The Christmas Party

Today was the Xmas party at work.  My coworker, K, was in charge of it.  She worked her tail off for it and it paid off for her.  It was a great success.

They gave out those folding chairs that people drag to their kids soccer game and sweaters.  All with the company logo, obviously.  My sweater was too small, but one doesn’t mention that for a variety of reasons, not all of them related to my humiliation at being too big.   I can’t be given a gift and then go – Not it’s not my size, is there a different one in that box?  That’s rude.

We had Secret Santa.  I got 2 bottles of alcohol in the MOST ADORABLE FUZZY SANTA BAGS.  There was a little Santa cap on the top of the bottle.  I was enchanted by those bags.  I showed them to everyone.  They were all enchanted.

Isn’t it funny how the small, inexpensive thing is the thing that is such a hit.  For me the alcohol is nice, but those adorable Santa bottle bags were perfect.   They came from the Dollar Tree.  She spent $2 on bags that made me so happy.  And $25 on alcohol that it was nice to get, but did not give me the smiles that those little bags did.

I remember 20 years ago I bought my nephews $5 plastic swords for Xmas.  I didn’t think the gift would amount to much. Their parents and grandparents spent enormous money and huge effort to get the latest hottest thing for them.  But in the end, they LOVED the swords and played with them the entire day and for years after.

I don’t know how I hit on those swords, anymore than my coworker knows how she hit the jackpot on an impulse buy for something that I didn’t ask for but would make the presentation more fun.  Sometimes those inexpensive impulses are the best gift, however much you don’t expect it.


Shower Thoughts

I very much support the work being done in extending healthy old age.  I even think finding a cure for death is probably a good idea.

However.  What about the Ears and Nose Problem.   Our noses and ears keep growing all of our life.  You may have noticed.  Or not.


But you will notice if we are able to extend life dramatically.  Another 100 years of nose and ear growth will turn us into veritable elephants.

Everyone focuses on wrinkles, but honestly – the nose – ear issue is interesting.   If no one dies eventually the vast majority of the population will be older than 70.

Will giant noses and ears be the new beautiful?   Will ears that hit your shoulders be considered a sign of sexual vitality?

Or will we sensibly give up sexual obsession upon discovering that we can pick our nose with our tongues?

I have to say, I’m in favor of the latter, not the former.  I’m an old fashioned girl I guess.  I can’t imagine finding elephant faces to be sexually attractive.  But what do I know.  Maybe time will change that.

Eh.  Probably Plastic Surgery Shops will be as common as Starbucks.  It will be done by anyone who is willing to get the certificate from the local e-college.  39.99 for the nose and 59.99 for the ears.

There will be a whole group of people who think leaving noses and ears natural is the only honest and right thing and they will be known as Elephants.



So many Bad Ideas come so easily…

I am addicted to gardening channels although the most I can muster is a few pots on a balcony.  One of the channels is a permaculture nursery that started raising chickens on compost. He gathers food scraps from a couple of restaurants he trusts.  Dumps it into the coop.  They eat it, poop on it and it degrades into compost over time.  He adds wood chips and leaves and a bit of bio char.  And his interesting addition is a bit of seed so the chickens will kick around for sprouts.    It’s amazing.  The chickens kick around the compost, helping it develop.  They poop, helping it.  And he gets nearly free chicken feed and eggs.

Winter was a bit of a problem for him.  He lives in upper NY.  It gets really cold.  Chickens don’t love cold.   So his compost system, while a pile of warmness didn’t always work in the winter months for chickens who refused to leave the warmth of the coop.  So he built a polytunnel and began dispersing his compost in the polytunnel.  The hot compost heats the tunnel and the chickens are VERY HAPPY.

happy chickens

His only downside is it’s not comfortable for him.  He has to turn the compost for the chickens daily.  And it’s tight and awkward.  A batch of  viewers think he created this tunnel to keep his chickens warm and have come up with several creative fire hazards for him to try instead of his successful tunnel.  They haven’t been watching since the beginning.  I know those chickens have a lovely warm coop with a heated water dish.  They aren’t needing a warm home.

He has chicken workers creating compost.  And he needs the workers to show up at work when it’s cold.  So he created a comfortable place for them to work.  They could refuse to participate and he would still give them grain in their coop, just as he has in previous winters.

What is interesting is that suggestion brigade is so oblivious.  The entire video shows extremely contented chickens kicking about in the leaf litter and compost while it’s 20 degrees outside.  They LOVE the new poly-tunnel.  The only one suffering is it’s creator and he already said during the video that the awkwardness is worth it to have content and working chickens.   He called them his workers at least 3 times.

There are of course several practical suggestions from people who listened and know the situation.  Those suggestions are the reason the internet is such a boon to society.  He can get suggestions from people in Russia or Canada or China.  Chickens are everywhere.  In fact I believe they out number us by a factor or two.

So many people have ideas.  And the internet makes it so easy to spew them.  Sometimes this is a great thing.  People are helped.  Sometimes it’s just the garbage of an uninformed mind.  I think the problem is in the person receiving the ideas.  Can they discern the garbage from the practical advice?  Sometimes that is hard. Int his case, I think it’s going to be obvious.

I’ve been all of the above. The person spewing a random but informed idea that entered my head.  I’ve been the person with experience and knowledge who offered advice.  I’ve been the person receiving the barrage of good and terrible suggestions.  I think I have learned to curb my desire to share whatever uninformed thought enters my head.  But probably I will do it again.  I do think I’m pretty good at distinguishing the seed from the chaff on the advice that comes at me.

The internet is a marvel.  But with marvel came a lot of garbage.  I am sorry that it works that way, but it is inevitable considering humans.  So it seems to me the only solution is to teach people how to sift the good seed from the chaff.




I don’t eat well.  Mostly because the depression’s stillness and odd thinking makes cooking into a monster task that doesn’t get done regularly.

So I resort to frozen meals and sandwiches most of the time.  And I’m not even getting a variety of those.  I eat the same frozen meals over and over and over…

I eat the same 2 sandwiches as well.

None of these items is particularly healthy.

All it would take for me to eat in a healthy way would be for me to prepare food.   I dream about doing a big meal prep once a week and just having that be my go to all week.   And every once in awhile I do that.  But it’s a rare event.

I follow a subreddit called Meal Prep Sunday  and I honestly think that my brain feels like it’s accomplished the goal by subscribing and seeing other people’s meal preps.

I bought a slow cooker in the mistaken belief that this easy no fuss method of cooking would make me cook and I would come home from work to hot food.  I’m pretty sure my brain thinks buying the slowcooker accomplished the goal.  I have only used it once in 3 years.

I think about making excellent tasting food to make me want to eat better.  I watch a TON of cooking videos on youtube.  I have only tried to make one thing from one of those videos.  My brain is capable of deciding that watching someone cook that meal is the same as me cooking the meal.

I know that it sounds like I’m being funny, but your brain does it too.  The human brain is kind of broken in how it evolved us into thinking creatures.  One of the things that broke is that the brain can imagine doing something and it marks the experience as a real.  MRI imaging shows the act of picking up a cup and imagining picking up a cup look EXACTLY the same in our brains.  I think it’s why so many people, myself included, have a hard time accomplishing their goals and dreams.

And I fell off subject again.  Sorry.

So, the problem, as I see it, is to overcome my brains natural tendency to assign something as accomplished when it didn’t happen.  I think depression makes that extra slippery because obviously my conscious brain can see the issue but depression makes me forget about the things that should be accomplished.  It takes that feeling of the task being accomplished and uses it to misdirect my brain away from the doing.   ie – it’s part of depression’s stillness strategy.

This is why I’m a big fan of lists and alarms.  But the same problem often happens with the lists – the stillness will make me ignore / forget / or defer the list.   Or and this is one of the shittiest things – I will get a flood of thoughts about all the various things I should do.  And all of them come with some corresponding reason that they should be the priority.   This creates a barrage that guarantees a stillness in me.  I won’t leave the bed wen the barrage starts.

Again – lists are helpful – but they aren’t as good at setting up the priority thing.  Should I vacuum or cook?  Should I take a walk or draw?  Should I do laundry or shop?  Should I call a friend for socializing or should I go to a park a sketch? Except it’s never even a dichotomy it’s always a bunch of options.  So now I need to prioritize the list.

And more than that, I need to prioritize the reasons for each one, otherwise how do I really know how to prioritize the actions.  Ie – what’s the long term goal?  Is socializing more important than eating well?  Is exercise more important than a clean apartment?  Is being creative more important than socializing?   I DON’T KNOW?!

So I freeze up and don’t make a list of priorities.  And so here we are.  Me eating a shitty frozen meal for breakfast and wishing I would eat well.


I hate knowing what is wrong, how to fix it and yet still being somehow and RIDICULOUSLY defeated by this damn depression.

So – by New Years I will have a set of priorities in place and I will have a plan for the 2019.   I’ve got work to do on this mess of a life I’m leading.





Now that I don’t have so much of it, it’s become less important to me.

Well, that’s not quite how I mean it.  I mean OBVIOUSLY it’s deeply important.  It’s the source of my food, safety and bed.  Also the cat’s food, safety and bed.

What I mean is that I’m no longer so concerned about having more of it than I need for my most immediate needs.  I don’t long for a newer prettier car.  I don’t want a new outfit every week.  I don’t need a fancy vacation.  I don’t even want to live in a nicer place.

So I guess it’s not that money isn’t important it’s that I’m not as concerned about the less important things money can buy.  As a result I don’t feel a lot of pressure to make more and more and more money.

On the other hand, I’m not rich.  I don’t have enough money saved for retirement and at my current income I never will.  I just don’t make enough and there isn’t enough time to make up for the loss of my life’s savings.  This doesn’t bother me too much.

I’ve come to realize that my mental health requires structure which I get from a job.  So.  It’s OK with me if I die while still working.

On the other hand, I am currently working 6 days a week.  The 6th day is overtime and that income is what makes my life more comfortable.  I don’t worry quite as constantly about each thing I buy.  I am not trying to figure out how to make $25 in the bank last for the 5 days until my next check.  I’m not scared of an unexpected charge sending me into the red.   I easily save money.

Those things are a WHOLE LOT MORE COMFORT than a fancy car or big house.  It’s like laying in the middle of a huge bed on top of a down comforter.  It’s warm and soft and good.

But the 6th day of work is starting to wear on me.  For the first year or so that I did it, my Sunday overtime was quiet and filled with side tasks and responsibilities unique to that day.  It felt different to the rest of my week.  I was home by 130pm and it felt like I still had a day off.   It never really felt like I was working 6 days/week.

But in my new job, it’s the opposite.  It’s now my current job, without my coworker’s there to help and my old job wedged into it.  It’s more work, it’s more pressure and it’s hectic.  I stay a lot longer.   It now feels like I work 6.5 days per week.  I don’t want to do it anymore.  And here’s the thing.  I don’t really have to.  I could just say I’m not doing this anymore and they would find someone else to cover the phones on Sunday Morning.

But I’m not excited to give up that money.  It’s the cushy bed that feels so safe and COMFORTABLE.

I’m grunchy a lot of the time at work.  I think it’s because I’m there too much.  I take it all too seriously.

I spent the first several years after homelessness on the verge of financial disaster.  I managed.  I got good at it.  I won’t fall into financial disaster if I stop working on Sunday.  I will just stop feeling like I’m in the middle of that down covered bed.  I will be back on a cot worrying about falling off the edge when I turn over unaware.

Maybe I can compromise and work every other Sunday.  Or just cut the cord.  I’m getting soft living with all this money comfort.  😎 Said the girl who is finally making what she made 20 years ago in an entry level job by working overtime in this one.



Sent Home by HR

A coworker was sent  home by HR.

She struggles with a alot of issues, depression, grief of a recent a loss of her significant other and the loss of her home.   A tree fell on her mobile home a month before her SO died.  You can see the trend of her life.

But before any of this happened she had physical and mental issues that caused her to attempt to get SSI.  But it didn’t work.

She was trying again for SSI when I was hired into the department under the idea that she intended to quit because of the SSI.

And then all of the above happened. And she had no other income.  And then when her SO died it became CRITICAL.  He died about 4 weeks after I was hired to fill the expected space she would create by her quitting.  That didn’t happen because – he died.

I felt like shit.  I went to my boss and said – Listen you can move me back to my old job and keep her .  But here’s the thing.  It’s not that simple.  Shes on drugs.  Prescription mind altering drugs.  At work.  Often.

She falls asleep at her desk when she is on these drug.  It’s not like you can nudge her awake.  I have physically shaken her and not woken her up.   It’s at MINIMUM annoying to us, her coworkers.  At worst it’s threatening her job.

I work at a small company.  The owners know us individually and probably way too much about our messed up lives.  But they are SOOO kind.  That kindness is what got me hired while I was homeless due to severe nonfunctional depression and what kept my job in midst of some of my dark mental moments.  It’s also what keeps my coworker in her job.  But patience and kindness have their limits.  And I am worried the owners have reached theirs.

Today, before I got to work, the new HR director walked in on my drugged coworker SLEEPING in her chair in the middle of the office.  Apparently she wasn’t even at her desk.  Her chair was in the middle of the office and she was snoozing.  The HR position is new.  Part of the effort to step up the level of business our income deserves.  He has no association with her golden past.  All he sees is a person who is so drugged she can’t stay awake.  He sent her home and wrote her up.

I worry about her. If she loses this job – It will be DEVASTATING.  She needs rehab.  But if she loses this job…

I know what it’s like to be so depressed that even the effort to get out bed is gargantuan.  She’s in that place now and she has managed for 3 or 4 weeks to get to work. PLUS she had the drugs issue.  I want her to get the help she needs and deserves but I have no idea how to help her do that

I’m worried that she is going to lose this job.  The job is such a pivotal part of how my life got better that I REALLY DON’T WANT HER TO LOSE IT.  But how do you talk about that to someone you really don’t know that well.  Should I try, even though we hardly know each other?  I am so worried about her.