Monday, November 29, 2010

The annotated coffee shop visit

3:55PM I'm not sure why I came here. I could've just gone to the computer lab at school. Really, it's too late for coffee. I'll be up all night. Maybe I'll ask for it half decaf.

3:58PM Well, I just made a fool of myself asking if it was okay to charge a dollar coffee. Best not to make a bigger fool of myself by admitting I can't handle caffeine after noon. I'll just drink half of it. It's on sale, at least.

4:05PM Who do I sit facing: creepy guy with laptop, or two creepy guys talking near the "fireplace"? Oh, laptop guy is leaving. Problem solved.

4:15PM Is this coffee burnt? Seriously, not worth a dollar.

4:30PM I just used my student email for the first time in over six months and managed to somehow email myself instead of my teacher. How does that happen?

4:35PM I should leave. I already smell like old coffee. I should go to church and work on bell choir stuff. Wait, no, I should resend this email first.

4:37PM Guess I can't work on homework until I get a response, right?

4:38PM Mindless internet surfing

4:50PM Ooh, it's Cyber Monday! Gotta get Christmas presents while the shipping's still free.

4:54PM I hate Christmas music. Seriously. So much. Better Facebook about it.

5:00PM I have very little knowledge of modern American literature. Better Twitter about it.

5:14PM The wifi in here was working perfectly right up until the EXACT MOMENT I tried to make a purchase. WTF. This had better go through...

5:15PM Email....from teacher...oh well.

5:16PM Email from Barnes & Noble, awesome. Although I just thought of another book I need to buy. Damn. Hope the coupon works for more than one order per person. Or I could get Ryan to buy it for me. Could I convince Ryan to buy his own present? Am I that clever/devious/good at lying? I'd probably forget all about it by the time I got home.

5:20PM More Facebooking. Some texting. I really should leave soon.

5:21PM A couple of teens just sat down at the table across from me (formerly occupied by Creepy Laptop guy) and preceded to very loudly eat their Subway sandwiches. Like ridiculously loudly. On the order of livestock. I am 10 feet away and I can hear the chewing. Also, I'd like to point out that WE ARE AT CARIBOU. I hope they can feel the hatred I am beaming at them.

5:25PM Still chewing. Still beaming.

5:30PM The eating has ended but clearly I've lost focus. The homework isn't done, the coffee is only 1/3 done, and I am going to be smelling gross old coffee on myself for hours. And, as I look around, I'm noticing that most of the people here are teens, and they're very loud. I don't care if you're studying for your ACTs, or doing your group projects about the Industrial Revolution, or whatever, you kids need to keep it down. Seriously, don't make me come over there. And stop drinking Caribou Coolers or whatever they're called. They're not real coffee; they're basically ice cream. And caffeine makes you skinny, girls. It's just like nicotine, but D.A.R.E. won't get all up in your face about it.

5:36PM That was totally an old person rant. I'm ranting about teens now. On my blog. Ours is a strange generation, the Millennials.

5:38PM New rule: Finishing a blog post counts as finishing something. I'm out of here. If I hurry, I can get to church in time to play the organ really loud for a few minutes before people start to show up. Yeah, I do that for fun.

5:40PM See you tomorrow, Caribou.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Unwelcome cachet

(Transcript of a phone conversation yesterday, as verbatim as I can get it)

"Hi, I'm wondering if anyone at your clinic is taking new patients?"

"That depends on what time you'd like to be seen."

"Mid-afternoon? Between 3:00 and 5:00 would be best."

"No, we don't have anyone available then. The only times we have free are between 10:00 and 2:00."

"Hmm, that probably won't work. Do you know if any of your other clinics have openings?"

"I can check. What is your primary reason for this visit."

"Um, I guess that would be depression."

"Oh. [pause] I can get you in at this clinic on Monday at 4:00."

So about a month ago I came to a shocking realization: I am a huge fucking moron and a total failure at everything I do. Out of nowhere! I can't finish anything, I can't start anything, I can't do anything. I'm not smart, not funny, can't communicate in any meaningful fashion, can't behave like an adult. I used to be so good, so awesome...and now I'm a horrible asshole. A huge fucking moron. I totally shut down, because when you are stupid and awful there's not a whole lot you can do anyway, right?

I thought about my problem long and hard and came to the conclusion that one of four things must have happened:
  • I somehow suddenly and inexplicably lost 26 years of intelligence and social graces;
  • I was always without intelligence and social graces, but somehow suddenly and inexplicably lost my ability to bullshit my way through life;
  • I was always without intelligence and social graces, was never able to bullshit my way through life, and was just now realizing what everyone else knew all along but was too polite to tell me; or
  • Adult-Onset Asperger's

When I finally got around to researching my predicament online (in the precious few moments I had between sleeping all of the time and being immobilized by my sense of worthlessness), I found out two things: First of all, there's no such thing as Adult-Onset Asperger's. And second, the symptoms of being a huge fucking moron are exactly the same as the symptoms of depression.

Seriously. Depression. What the hell.

Because here's the thing: I've had depression before. In a big way. The pills, the therapy, the overnight in the psych ward, everything. And I worked my ass off to fix myself and rebuild my life. And now it's back? Again, what the hell.

But then I realized, if it is depression, that means I failed to keep myself un-depressed. So either way, I'm right. I'm a failure. I win! And that tiny bit of cognitive dissonance was enough to overcome my denial and make me call a clinic, resulting in the above conversation. And they apparantly think I'm in such bad shape that I won't survive past the weekend. I win again! I win at having incredibly poor mental health. Gotta take your victories where you can, right?

So here I am, waiting for Monday. Already I feel better, smart enough to have figured out what was really wrong, accomplished enough to schedule an appointment. In control of my life enough to fix the broken parts. I am okay, or good enough, or working on it. It varies minute to minute.

For now I am just going to keep existing and see what happens.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In it for the long haul

How to Survive a Snowstorm:
1. Put on your warmest sweatshirt. Bonus points for irony. Extra bonus points for irony and veracity.
Puns = Fashion

2. Put on your tallest socks, because seriously, fuck pants.

3. Make sure you have plenty of warm beverages.
Premium Taste!

4. Make sure you have plenty of other beverages, too. Gotta have Vitamin C; it's cold season after all.*
Make sure you're getting your RDA of garnish, too.

All of this would have been greater comfort had I not actually had to go out in the storm today, but I had class, and for whatever reason my teacher decided that we really really needed to turn in and present our projects today and it just couldn't wait until next week. So I bundled up, dug my car out from underneath the (unnaturally heavy) snow, and five minutes into the trip realized I had left my phone at home. And that maybe psyched me out a little bit, because about half an hour later, when I was almost to school, my car spun out and I ended up perpendicular to the road stuck in the unplowed snow between the lanes.

Now, it should be noted that I survived (obviously), without injury to myself or my car, but spinning out is a harrowing experience nonetheless. My car stalled, since it's a manual, so I had to restart it, then fight my way through the snowbank, hoping that no one else was coming down the road, because they sure as hell wouldn't have been able to stop. Fortunately I was only stuck for a few minutes before I broke free and was able to get my car turned around, then I found a parking lot to turn back around in and drove back over the exact spot where I'd just spun out. By the time I got to class (25 minutes late) my nerves were so frayed I didn't even feel nervous standing in front of everyone to present my project...although, that could have been due to the fact that only about ten people actually showed up...

So to recap: We are less than 24 hours into winter and I'm already over it. But I have 99 more tea bags, the rest of the bottles of tomato juice and vodka, and at least one more ironic sweatshirt (remember the Burger King Kids Club? My chest sure does!). Come find me when it's April, okay?

*Apparently Vitamin C doesn't actually do much to prevent or cure colds. I found this out a few months ago, and it's been seriously messing with my worldview ever since. All those fortified cough drops...the oranges...the gin and tonics...were for nothing? I guess I can take comfort in the fact that I've while I've had numerous colds over the past 26+ years, I've never once come down with a case of scurvy.