February 12th, 2002

The gentleman is always properly dressed

Mardi Gras and Other Sundries

Last night, the cute Asian girl at the ice cream shop who dresses like a skate punk and has her hair cut like a boy’s smiled at me and called me "hon." I know that she was probably just doing the good waitress thing (I’m not sure she likes boys to begin with, and I’m certainly no prize at present), but it still made me feel good. It made me think that I've too little in the way of human contact.


The whole Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday thing has the mind working. Call me a slave to the Christian calendar if you like, but I’m kind of thinking that tomorrow will be a good day to start taking steps to regain some degree of control over my life. Forty days is sufficient to develop new habits, and after these past two years, I’m needing to do just that. I’m going to be ambitious and say I’d like to work on the following:

1) I’d like to make a move towards getting back into “fighting trim.” Realistically, I’ll have to be in the gym religiously for a year before I can think about going back to judo or kung fu, so that will have to be a long term goal. As an interim goal, I’d like to get to a point where I can start riding my bike into work every day without injuring myself. Even before that, though, I’ll look to get into the gym 3-4 times a week from now until the end of March.

2) I’d like to reassert some control over my environment. My home and office space have become incredibly cluttered. There’s no real explanation for it aside from the fact that I think I’ve just been too depressed to care. On second thought, not “too depressed to care” but “too depressed to do anything about it.” At any rate, I’d like to try to get both sufficiently in order so I can live and work in my space and so I can have friends visit without feeling like I need to apologize for the mess.

3) I’d like to start cooking again. There have been few things in my life that I’ve found more fulfilling, relaxing, and meaningful than having a hand in preparing my own food (beyond throwing some Prince elbows into water). Somewhere along the way, I got sidetracked and stopped doing it, and I can’t say that I understand why. If I manage this and #2, some of you may well benefit from this as well.

4) This will probably seem less ambitious, but I think it will be every bit as difficult as any of the above. I’d like to get in touch with UMass/Boston to see what their course offerings will be in the summer and fall. One of the least used benefits of the state hack is the free tuition at state colleges and local community colleges. I’m just angry enough with my situation that I figured I should get everything I can from my current employment. I haven’t entirely decided what course of study I should be looking at, but hopefully I can get some ideas once I have the catalogues in hand.

5) One final thing that should probably have been done long before now is sitting down and truly figuring out how to make my finances work. Sadly, I need to look into not only cutting costs and using my resources at top efficiency, but have to stray into the territories of debt consolidation and the like. I also probably have to look into getting a second job. If the second job becomes a necessity, I’m hoping that it won’t conflict too much with the idea of taking classes. We’ll have to see.

I think that’s probably enough for the time being. If you want to help, just drop a line every once and a while and ask how things are going. With any luck, that will at least keep me honest. The end goal is quite simple - I want to start feeling human again.
The gentleman is always properly dressed

Methuselah Speaketh

20 years ago (age 13)
1. I was at a parochial school and pretty firmly entrenched as one of the “brains” in my class.

2. I watched Starblazers religiously because the fate of the earth truly rode in the hands of the crew of the Yamato.

3. My only real social outlet was a group of people I met at the roller rink who didn’t have a lot of preconceptions about me.

4. I had my first experiences with mysterious parts of female human anatomy.

5. I was witness to my parents’ very messy and occasionally violent divorce.

10 years ago (age 23)
1. I left my job as a closing manager at Brooks to take the temp assignment at DPH that eventually led to my current position.

2. I dated two women in a row whom I later discovered were pros. I started annual HIV screenings shortly thereafter.

3. I was still actively freaking out because I utterly failed to complete my senior honors thesis and didn’t get my BA. (This was remedied later.)

4. I had an irreconcilable break with the neo-pagan community over such radical philosophical concepts as “ethics” and “reality.”

5. I did my first redoublement and passe soto at The Fencing Academy of Watertown.

5 years ago (age 28)
1. I was leading soft-form classes at my kung fu school and started looking like a tank.

2. I was still trying to get past having Michelle dump me unceremoniously for a guy who was more “fun” and then losing two close friends over a misunderstanding.

3. Closely related to and probably spawned by #2, I was having great sex with a woman who, while hopelessly damaged herself, deserved far better than I was able to give.

4. I was seriously considering an advanced degree in archeology with eyes on a career in historical restoration.

5. I was screwed up enough that I decided to find my way into therapy.

1 year ago (age 32)
1. I was hit with the second phase of a legal issue that utterly shattered my world. (By comparison, losing Michelle was a walk in the park.)

2. I managed to botch my first opportunity in years for advancement. A young woman who had previously worked for the governor eventually was chosen to fill the position. She’s now my boss.

3. I watched The Drew Carey Show religiously, because the fate of the earth truly did ride in the hands of Drew and the gang.

4. In spite of my troubles, I found that my friends didn’t scatter to the winds and were instead interested and supportive. This still blows my mind.

5. I decided that suicide is just too freakin’ selfish to warrant serious contemplation.