Time for my usual disclaimer that I am not a doctor or an expert in anything and it would be advised to avoid following any advice I give.
I have not officially been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder(SAD), but last year as winter grew near and the days became shorter, I started to exhibit all the classic symptoms. So like any good internet citizen I self diagnosed. I went out and bought a “happy” light. They are supposed to help with SAD. I can’t tell you if it is effective. I being me, never read the instructions and used it wrong all last winter.
This winter I plan on using it properly until January. Why January? The symptoms tend to start dying off in January. Not just because the days start getting longer. Here in Illinois it gets really cold in January, that means the air is really clear and cloudless most of the time. The days during January are brilliantly bright. This reminds me of a funny story a friend told me. It was January and he had been working with a Nigerian immigrant. They sat near the window at a local restaurant. The Nigerian looked out into the brilliant sunshine wistfully and sighed. He turned to my friend and proclaimed, “It’s like God is lying to me.”
I am writing this on Thursday, Thanksgiving night. But since I am some place I have no access to the interwebs I’ll be posting it on Friday. I have a trick up my sleeve where I am going to date it Thursday on blogger. Shhhhh, don’t tell.
So in classic Thanksgiving blog tradition I’ll give you a list of things I am thankful for.
First What I am not thankful for:
What I am thankful for:
The internet: Often infuriating, misleading , and detrimental to society, but it has help me meet many new people, expand my knowledge of the world, and have a career.
Jobu: Annoying, whining, and a pain in my butt, but he is a snugly, purring, play machine that loves his daddy. I think about how boring my home life would be without him. There wouldn’t be fur all over everything I own and I would be able to sleep through the night without being woken up multiple times.
Friends: I spend a lot of time with my friends. We argue politics, argue sports, and tell bad jokes. They do more than just keep me company but they help keep centered. Being me I have wide range of friends, from successful business people to down and out drunks.
Time with my Dad: I am thankful for the time I get to spend with my Dad. I know I don’t take advantage of it enough
Mom: She has been one of the greatest example of love and sacrifice I have ever seen.
I have an approximately three year old Ford Fiesta. It is a great little car, a manual that gets almost 40 mph. I’ve really liked it so far. Sadly, it has started to have problems. The check engine light keeps coming on. When it does the engine loses power like it is about to die. Not the best driving experience. Stopping and restarting the car usually clears up the problem for a bit.
I called up the dealer a couple of weeks ago and asked to have it looked at. The only appointment they had available was the next Monday morning. The problem being I had to go to my parents over the weekend. I ended up renting a car. I ended up being out of town when the appointment was so I cancelled it. I hadn’t called for a new appointment because the car stopped having the problem.
Yesterday it starts having the problem again. I called again and the only appointment they have is next Monday. It’s Thanksgiving day on Thursday and I have to head up to my parents. I really don’t want to rent another car. I guess this is more a rant against the dealer than the car itself.
I have been a lucid dreamer almost all my life. I remember the first lucid dream I ever had at about the age of eight. I was walking around a big rock and suddenly got worried their would be wolves on the other side. Yep a bunch of wolves jumped out and started chasing me. That’s when I realized, hey I made those wolves. I wanted to fly. So I flew away into the sky and left the wolves behind.
Thirty years later I still often have lucid dreams. When I am dreaming I try and stay in the dream as long as possible so I can keep using my lucid powers. The more I use my lucid powers the more conscious I become and am more likely to wake up. I also find the ability to wake up at will quite useful. If a dream gets a little to intense, I just wake up.
I may not be one one of the internet superstars with a huge social media presence, but I do follow a fair number of people on twitter and google+. One of the challenges of the social media is when do you unfollow/defriend/uncircle. I try not to unfollow very often. There are three things that will eventually get me to separate from our virtual relationship.
Your political opinions sound stupid online
If you tweet constantly about politics. I pride myself on being open to new ideas but at some point the effort in not calling you an idiot becomes to great. If you agree with me politically tweet all the lame memes and blog posts you want 🙂
You whine all the time
This harkens back to my empathy post. Yes you are going through some bad times but eventually I just don’t care anymore. The 40th time a blogger whines about their life, the life they created, I unfollow.
If you consistently use vulgarity, post nsfw stuff, or post hateful things. I followed one person who in response to an incident posted a series of very hateful insulting tweets against a group of people. I tried to just let it go since the person was obviously very emotional about the situation. But three days later they were still tweeting for people to kill themselves.
The google+ advantage
This is one great advantage google+ has over other social media. You can have people in a circle that you never see. They will still show up as followed but you will never see their inane posts. I admit my biggest google+ circle is of people I don’t ever see.
Back in 2008 I spent two days in Rome. It was a quick trip at the end of my longer visit to Monaco. Sadly my camera’s battery died before we headed home. That is when I started my policy of requiring my phones to take normal AA batteries. Below are some of my favorite pics I did take.
Sorry, I don’t have any pictures for this recipe. It is one I make quite often. It takes about fifteen minutes and makes a cheap and nommy couple of meals.
24 fl oz can of diced tomatoes
24 oz can of black beans
1 medium onion
salt and pepper
Chop the onion into moderately sized pieces. I am a fan of onions so I chop it into about inch square pieces. Dump the black beans and the onions into a pot for approximately 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the can of tomatoes with all the juice. Cook over medium heat for another 6-8 minutes and then season to taste. I use about a tablespoon of chili powder and a teaspoon of both cumin and cayenne powder.
It’s quick, easy, healthy, and delicious. I always keep the ingredients on hand if needed. To extend the dish you can add a couple of cups of cooked rice and end up with black beans and rice.
I am going to share with you one of the first things I ever really learned about myself. I have no idea if this applies to anyone else. I learned it after several weeks when I was really done because of something that happened. I looked back and my life and realized something really simple. I am happy when I choose to be happy. I am not saying I have control of instantaneous emotions in response to something. But if I am still having that emotion three or four days along I am choosing that. Held emotions are my choice.
So for lunch I was planning to go to my favorite taqueria, El Charro. They have one dollar taco Wednesday. Their tacos are some of the best in town. You have to get them Mexican style. That means they only have cilantro, onions, and lime juice on them. The place is maybe a mile from where I work. I sometimes walk there but it’s kinda cold these days. I planned to drive but when I got outside I decided I didn’t want to waste the gas. So I went to a closer Mexican restaurant I could walk to. On the way back I ran into a coworker who wondered why I hadn’t gone to El Charro. I told him I didn’t want to waste the gas and we went our separate ways. On the way into the building it suddenly dawned on me. I saved probably twenty cents worth of gas but the meal at the other restaurant cost five dollars more. FACE PALM!