Shima Uta

Monday, March 13th, 2017 01:08 am
darkoshi: (Default)
It did snow. I saw it. I went outside. I went back to bed. I slept until 2:45pm, not even counting the time change.

I'm still getting over my cold, though starting to feel better. On Friday afternoon, I took a pseudoephedrine tablet, from an old package I still had. The expiration date on the package was 2010. It actually did clear my nose up for a little while. I went to bed fairly early (for a Friday) - 1:30am, as I felt so sleepy. But I wasn't able to fall asleep until 3 hours later. Now I'm afraid to take any of those tablets again, in case that is what kept me awake so long. But the other medicine I have, with phenylephrine, didn't seem to help my congestion much if at all.

Came across this video today. The song is Shima Uta. So emotionally expressive. So fluffy hair. Something mesmerizing to me.

Video title: The BOOM - 島唄 ( Live )
Posted by: SilentFace007 さんのチャンネル

The music reminded me of this album, also Okinawan style: Peppermint Teahouse. It is possibly the most upbeat album of music I have.

Then came across this video.

Video title: 13ºOkinawa festival 2015 -Mirukumunari- Kudaka Majushu
Posted by: 8shinji7898

(Starting at 3:26, a cute black dog joins the performance.)

I wondered why there would be an Okinawan Festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil, of all places. Did all those many performers travel from Okinawa to Brazil for the festival? Then I read about Okinawan emigration and the many people of Japanese ancestry who live in Brazil.

The song on that last video is "Mirukumunari" by Hidekatsu.

sleep not

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 02:16 am
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I've been tired all day, and have felt like I could fall asleep the moment I went to bed.

I did good tonight. Tomorrow I have to get up at 7am (earlier than usual), and I made it to bed by 11:35pm, which would give me just under 7.5 hr sleep if I fell asleep right away.

My feet were cold, so I turned on the electric blanket and waited for them to warm up. My mind drifted for a long time, and if I fell asleep at all, it wasn't for long. An hour later (when I checked the time), I realized that besides still being awake, my feet were now too warm and my pulse felt like it was racing, at least considering I'd been resting. I timed it at 87 beats per minute. I have no reason to be stressed today, nothing stressful on my mind. I hadn't had any caffeine. So what's up with that? Maybe it is my circadian rhythm not used to being in bed so early. Then I felt like I had wasted an hour that I could have at least have been doing something useful. Sleep didn't feel any closer, so I got up for a while.

Now I'm going to get 4.5 hr of sleep or less again. Whatever.

And the dog goes bow-wow, bow-wow. But not now.

seeing dream

Saturday, November 19th, 2016 05:46 pm
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I've been trying to find a replacement for my old sleep mask. It was contoured foam, so that it didn't press on my eyes or lashes. The lining is coming apart. But I've tried 3 new ones of that kind now, even one of the exact same brand & model as the old one, and they are all uncomfortable. They must be a different shape or a different type of foam. The thicker parts of the foam on the edges press into the side of my face when I sleep on my side.

I tried the 3rd new one out last night, and was able to sleep for a while with it on, with my head slanted slightly upwards on the pillow, as it isn't quite as uncomfortable as the other 2 were. But it entered into my dream.

In my dream, I was wearing the mask with my eyes open in the daytime. And I could see everything clearly in spite of the mask blocking my eyes! But I only could see when my eyes were open. When I closed them, I couldn't see. And I thought, aha that is how it works - when I close my eyes, my brain knows that it shouldn't see anything, and so it doesn't. But with them open... there was some explanation for why I could see in spite of my eyes being covered, but I don't remember it. Something about my vision coming outward from my brain, not inward from outside.

Which actually makes a lot of sense, considering I was dreaming.

I'm pretty sure the dream was related to a video alcippe linked to several months ago.

boom boom boom

Monday, July 4th, 2016 11:58 pm
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Fireworks noise. At least one of my dogs has been acting like the world is coming to an end, and she doesn't know what to do. I had to put them both outside earlier because the small one's non-stop barking at the noise was starting to drive me batty, and I had to cook the vegetables. Otherwise I wouldn't have time to cook them til next weekend, and they'd go bad.

Interestingly, outside (probably in the garage), she stopped barking.

I went outside to check on them a little while ago, and to look at the fireworks which were getting louder. Going back inside, they forced their way in the door with me. Inside, the little one started barking again, in between running around. They both appear to have calmed down now.


I succeed at many things, but I feel like a failure too.
The table's a non-stop mess of stuff.
I recorded mediocre audio of the cicadas and katydids (that is what the night-time tree critters are) on Thursday/Friday, but didn't have time to edit/post it.
I put up curtain rods for my mom. I put up a shelf in the kitchen.
I wanted to finally switch to the new laptop. Like the last times, I only managed to finish the "backup my data" step. Now it's almost 1am and by the time I'll have time for it again, I'll have updated a bunch of files again, so I'll have to start back over at the "backup my data" step.
I cooked the dang vegetables and made a salad with most of the cucumbers.
We went to the Santee again on Saturday. Road trips almost always leave me with headaches, and this was no exception.

I took a shower. I made lunches. I vacuumed. I washed some clothes. I swapped some light-bulbs. Oh. The boxes. I need to decide what to do with all the old incandescent bulbs. It's not like I'm going to start using them. So I might as well give them away. But should I keep some maybe, and if so how many, and which ones?
I cleaned out the cooler and washed the dog food bin.

My internet has a sporadic speed and connection problem but I don't have time to deal with it. Is there a way to determine/prove that it's a provider problem versus a modem problem? I'm afraid if I call TWC about it, they'll say that since I'm using my own modem instead of leasing one of theirs, that it must be due to my modem.

I need to sign up with a doctor but I don't have time to deal with it.

I need to start going to bed early enough to get enough sleep. but i don't but i don't


Thursday, June 9th, 2016 01:30 am
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Kroger left an automated message on my phone answering machine about a Clif Bar recall. That's the first time Kroger has ever called me. Since I use my shopper's card when buying from them, they can keep track of what I buy, and therefore they were able to determine that I was one of the people who bought those items. And so they were able to contact me about it. That is a pretty neat.

Those were 2 of my favorite flavors of Clif Bars, though. I had 10 bars affected by the recall, leaving me with just one bar of another variety.

oh blarmy. My brain is like mush. I need sleep. So phooey I won't try to correct the above sentences. Well maybe I correctedt hem ogogd engoughghghghghg
darkoshi: (Default)
Friday, out by the pond for lunch. A big bird glided by and landed on a high tree branch on the other side of the pond. It wasn't a goose or a buzzard. It didn't look particularly eagle or hawk-like to me, but must have been. The head was light colored, whitish. The body was dark. It swooped down, dove into the lake and came back out again, still flying. Going after fish, I presume. It didn't look like it caught one. It landed on a different tree branch. It swooped back towards/into the lake several more times.

The carcass of the dead goose is still there. A week or so after my last post about it, a scavenger must have pulled it out of the pond. It's been there ever since, just bones and feathers left now. I pass it every day on my walk. The other geese don't seem bothered by it. I've seen them sitting in that area a few times.


When I'm walking, the air smells of magnolia and honeysuckle.

One side of the big parking lot I circumnavigate is along the interstate. There's a narrow wooded area between them. It's kept cleared enough to be easy to walk through. I like switching over from the asphalt into the "woods". I like to walk at full speed through the trees, dodging low-hanging branches, avoiding stepping on pine cones and fallen branches, making split-second decisions of whether to walk to the left or to the right around each tree in my path. I like hearing the hypnotic zoom-zoom of cars as I walk, mixing with the rhythm of my steps.

left-right, left-right-left, right-left, right-left-right...

I like swinging my bag in rhythm with my steps. The rhythm comes naturally. But when I tried to count how many steps I take per swing of the bag, I couldn't figure it out.


In addition to tracking my steps per day, I've been tracking my sleep. I've put the numbers into a spreadsheet, and based on that, I'm getting on average about 7 hours sleep per night. Which is better than I thought. But it's an optimistic estimate, based on what time I go to bed and get up. Not counting any time lying in bed awake.

Saturday morning, when I could have slept in, I woke up after 5 hours sleep and couldn't fall back asleep again.
Sunday morning, the alarm was set for 8 hours, as we were meeting someone for lunch. If the alarm hadn't gone off, I could have slept much longer.

sleep work sleep

Saturday, February 6th, 2016 12:28 am
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I've been back at work this week.

During my leave, I was getting a good amount of sleep - about 8 hours a day. But it was mostly between 4am and 1pm. Only near 4am does my brain start sounding an internal alarm: "OMG, it's almost daybreak; I really need to go to bed now." I tried to adjust my bedtime backwards, but there was always something that made me want or need to stay up later.

This week, my wake time was set to 7am, in order for me to be at work by 9:30am. I tried to be in bed by 11pm, but failed by about 2 hours each night. So I averaged about 6 hours of sleep. Except for last night: I really tried to get to bed on time, and was only half an hour late (I blame it on the squirrel with the camera). Also, I got up half an hour later as I had worked late the prior evening.

Not getting enough sleep gives me a low level headache at work. Still had it today in spite of one night's good rest.


Sunday, November 15th, 2015 11:39 pm
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Words with Friends. Qiao exclaimed: "My highest score is lower than your average score!"

Usually only Serena sleeps on this bed. This time, Zorro got to it first.

Serena's thyroid levels were low, so the vet put her on medication for that. She also had a yeast infection in her ears which required treatment for a week.


Sunday, November 8th, 2015 02:18 am
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This morning, I again went to bed too late and woke up too early. While lying in bed, I decided to clean the refrigerator gasket and refrigerator coils today.

After getting up, I washed and dried 5 loads - including the new towels and all the dog blankets. On the 5th load, the spin cycle stopped working. After 3 or 4 tries I got it working again. Maybe the trick is that the door needs to be closed while holding the power button in to reset it.

I washed out the recycling bin with the hose, as some of the cardboard I had in it had left a funky smell. While doing that, I accidentally stepped into some dog doo. I decided to throw the shoes away. They were an old worn out pair that I only wear around the house, with a hole in the rubber sole. The doo got up into the hole, and would have been hard to clean out.

I disposed of stinky radish.
I used the weed whacker, being careful to look where I stepped.
I cleaned the flap on the dog house, and the gunk on the storm door.
I vacuumed.
I cleaned the toilet.
I washed dishes.
I made a chocolate cake from a mix (the "Neat-Egg" worked fine, but may have been too thick. The package says 2 Tbsp water per "egg", but 3 Tbsp would be better.)
I made next week's lunch sandwiches (so that I won't have to do it tomorrow; lately I've been forgetting about it until after midnight on Sunday).
I did various other minor tasks.

I did not clean the refrigerator gasket nor the coils. Maybe tomorrow.
darkoshi: (Default)
Gardein "fishless filets" - they actually taste like fish. I'm impressed.


The spring rolls at the Vietnamese Pho restaurant here include tasty slivers of pickled carrots and radish. A while back I pickled some daikon radish myself. Sugar, salt, and vinegar - a simple recipe. It ended up ok, but not what I had hoped for. Too sweet and zesty; not the mildly sweet crunchy flavor they have at the restaurant.

I kept the pickled radish in a jar in the refrigerator, eating a little with dinner here and there. After a week or so, it began to stink, even though it still looked and tasted ok. So I stopped eating it, and left the jar in the fridge, unsure how to dispose of it. Putting it in the garbage would make the bin stink. Flushing it down the toilet might cause a clog.

Today I finally got rid of it. I poured the liquid down the sink drain, and buried the radish in a hole in the yard. I washed the glass jar for recycling. I rinsed the sink with a good amount of water and detergent. I opened the house windows, turned on a fan, and sprayed orange air freshener.

Even so, the house smelled vaguely like a garbage dump for a few hours.


The weather here has been unusually rainy, misty and overcast for the last 2 to 3 weeks (similar to the weeks prior to the recent "flood event"). The temperature is fine, but sunshine would be really nice.

The sun room started getting a mildewy smell again, so I opened the windows down there and left them open. Better to have moist ventilated air, than moist stagnant air. That room is separated from the house by sliding glass doors, so having those windows open doesn't affect the rest of the house.

To find out how moist it is in the sun room, I used the remote sensor of our weather station. Inside the house, the humidity is ~74%, while in the sun room it is 94%. The 94% has been suspiciously constant for the last several days**.

Around 4am this morning*, a South Carolina humidity map showed most areas at or near 100% relative humidity. This evening, the numbers are somewhat lower, but there are still many locations at 100%. Considering that, 94% with the windows open seems reasonable.

*before going to bed. You'd think that the time change would make me feel like going to bed earlier rather than later.

**My suspicion was right after all. The remote sensor isn't updating its numbers, even after bringing it back inside. Unfortunately I'm having trouble with our other weather station too.

This morning it looked like it was starting to dry up outside. Yay! Then it rained hard for a few minutes. Hopes dashed. Then the sun came out. Wow! Yay! Then it got overcast again.

With the house windows open today, the humidity level in the house proper went up to 79%. Now it is back to 74%. This feels perfectly fine and normal to me. The weather has been in the upper 60s and 70s, so we haven't needed the heater or A/C turned on.

11/08: I finally got both weather stations working again last night. A cold front came through so it is much cooler today (still overcast and wet). The humidity in the house is now ~64%, and in the sun room ~70%.


Sunday, April 12th, 2015 02:55 pm
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One of the bedrooms is set up fairly well to block outside light to aid in sleeping:

  • using black-out panels, with regular curtains on top for aesthetics (to block out light coming straight through from the windows)

  • the curtains/panels are long enough to brush the floor (to block out light coming from underneath)

  • the curtain rods are the "return rod" type (with 90 degree angles on the ends so that the curtain edges can rest flush against the wall, to block out light coming in from the sides)

  • magnetic strips attached to sides of windows and sides of curtains (to further block light coming in from the sides)

  • the curtain rods are attached to the wall several inches above the windows (to block light from top of window)

  • above the rods, a wooden board is attached to the wall with metal brackets. A piece of black-out fabric (about 1 foot high), covered by curtain fabric, is attached to top of board and hangs down over the top of the curtains, like a valence/cornice box (to further block light from top of window)

  • It's not perfect. Some light still gets in through the cracks. But when the sun is up, with the curtains drawn and my eyes closed, I notice hardly any difference when I cover my eyes with my hands. So it is good enough.

    Now I want to darken the other bedroom too. If possible, I want to improve upon my prior design. Not necessarily in light-blockage, but in ease of use.

    I intended the curtains in the 1st room to be easy to open and close, to let in light and air during the day. But now I rarely even open one of the curtains. The curtain rings tend to snag on the curtain rod corners, so that I have to stand on the bed in order to reach the top and open/close the curtain. I tried attaching a wand but it didn't work out well (partly as there are really 2 parallel rods - more detail than I want to get into).

    So. Pull-down black-out blinds with side channels might be good in light blockage and ease of use. But I want to be able to leave the window partially open to let in air at night, while still blocking the part of the window that is closed (especially as a street light shines towards the window). The windows in this bedroom slide open to the side, not up/down, so a pull-down blind would be less than ideal.

    Black-out window inserts would block light well, but wouldn't allow air in. Plus it would be inconvenient to have to put up and take down the inserts every day, and store them somewhere during the day.

    This product uses flexible rods to pin blackout material to the window. Interesting, but more trouble than I'd want to go through every day.

    This product uses velcro strips to attach blackout material to the window. Interesting, but more trouble than I'd want to go through every day.

    So. My current idea is to use a similar design as the first room in terms of blackout panels covered by curtains. But rather than using a curtain rod and curtain rings, to use a curtain track. That should make it easier to pull the curtains open and shut.

    I want to attach the track to the ceiling, to avoid needing the wood board attached with metal brackets (for covering the top). This should also reduce the amount of light getting in from above.

    Yet, most tracks are straight. They don't curve at the edges like return rods. So I would use flexible curtain track to be able to curve the ends.

    But the track is supposed to be supported every 10 inches or so, while the ceiling joists are further apart. So maybe I'll attach the track to a board (...wait, wasn't I trying to avoid that? Yes, but...), and attach the board to the ceiling joists. That way I can also attach some fabric over the edge of the board as a valence/cornice like in the first room.

    Still to consider: should I put up parallel tracks, to also allow hanging sheers?

    edited to add:
    I wonder if it would work to position the track right against the ceiling edge. Then I wouldn't need a curved track in order to have the blackout panel edges flush against the wall. But then I might need 3 parallel tracks - an inner track for the blackout panel, a center track for sheers, and an outer track for pretty curtains. Although if the sheers are pretty enough, I suppose I could do without curtains. Hmmm.

    goal for today

    Sunday, February 15th, 2015 02:41 pm
    darkoshi: (Default)
    Be in bed by 2am. It's gotten to the point where being up past 3am feels normal to me, and I'd like to change that.

    Also, do my taxes. Knowing me, this may interfere with the first goal. But to combat that, I'm telling myself right now that I should not stay up late for the taxes. Sleep is more important.
    darkoshi: (Default)
    Why did I have to spend the last 2 or 3 hours reading about how the German Enigma encryption machines worked, and how the messages were deciphered? Why doesn't the part of my brain which is engrossed in something like that ever pay attention to the other part of my brain that is saying I better stop and get ready for bed?

    nigh night

    Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 11:53 pm
    darkoshi: (Default)
    The 9 hour fast wasn't that bad. I started to get very hungry about half-way through, but had plenty of work to distract me. My stomach didn't even grumble during our staff meeting. After the health screening, I ate my "lunch". Soon after, I became VERY sleepy/tired. I could have curled up on the floor and fallen asleep right there. Instead, I wrapped up my work and went home. Now I've got a slight headache, but am about to go to bed.

    I didn't get a good amount of sleep last night, so I can't entirely blame the sudden sleepiness on the fasting. But it was unusual for the sleepiness to hit me like a ton of bricks after eating, when I had been ok up until then. So maybe it was related to digesting a bunch of carbohydrates on an empty stomach.
    darkoshi: (Default)
    I went to bed a few minutes after midnight, and I was even tired, I really was. I also felt a bit queasy, like from indigestion. Maybe that is why I didn't fall asleep. My blood/head is thrumming too, as if I had a bunch of caffeine, though I haven't. So I got back up for a bit.

    Started leafing through an old journal. From back when some of my words were poetry. Sometimes I wrote in riddles. Or rather, abstrusely. It's been so long, that some of my references I can no longer even decipher. I don't remember what I was referencing. Or it takes me a while to remember.

    A bit of word-play from back then:
        if i ain't done did it, then i ain't
        and if i did done do it, then i did.

    A memory of a moment:
    i close my eyes
           and the snow keeps falling and falling
                 in every direction

    From the last page of this particular journal:
    These... dreams... seem to be pre... dreamt
            how could it be me, creating them?
                They fit so perfectly
                         the pieces snap into place
          if i create pieces of a dream, and they
           merge, flow, come together as if they had
      always been parts of one whole which i had
                           not imagined, could it be me
    who had created them? You tap into creation...
                 and it gives you...
       Am i the dreamer, dreaming the dream,
          or the Dream, being dreamt?


    Sunday, January 4th, 2015 10:34 pm
    darkoshi: (Default)
    Well, I enjoyed the first episode of Galavant tonight. Nice fluffy humor with singing and dancing. Downton Abbey was entertaining too, though trying to keep up with all the sub-plots left me feeling somewhat drained.

    Now I have to try to shift my sleep-wake cycle back by 6 hours. These last 2 weeks of vacation, I was fairly consistently going to bed between 3 and 4 am, and getting up between 1 and 2pm.
    darkoshi: (Default)
    The dryer had been making a squeaky noise while turning for quite some time. This weekend, I finally decided to check it out, before something deteriorated badly enough to break.

    I removed the top and back panels of the dryer*, cleaned the rear drum seal, repositioned it a bit, trimmed off some of the felt part of the seal where it was sagging inwards, yadda yadda yadda. (Buying a replacement seal would be expensive, so I wanted to avoid that.) I put it all back together, tested it, and the squeak was gone! I'm not sure how long it will last before squeaking again, but I felt pretty accomplished.

    *using the instructions provided in a very helpful service manual which I found online.

    I was thinking about much I like this washer and dryer. About how they've given me some trouble, but nothing in the end which I couldn't handle. It's neat being able to take them apart to fix things. I know the special trick for how to get the washer to start by pressing on the right spot on the door. I know how to reset the washer when it starts acting up. I've had to reset it a few times this year, and each time the washer started working right again after doing that.

    I was thinking about how neat it is when the washer does its extra-high spin cycle, which sounds sort of like a (quiet) jet engine. Are all front-loaders neat like that? I don't know, but I was thinking that I should take a video of it.

    So today I go to wash a load of sheets, and wouldn't you know it. Now the washer is acting up again, badly. Refusing to spin fast, wouldn't you know it. I'm now resetting it for the 4th time today, so hopefully this time will be the winner.

    I was thinking about how this washer has a lot of personality. Today it's acting like an employee who's not feeling well. It sat there doing nothing most of the time, instead of washing and spinning like it should. When it did start turning once in a while, it was slow, like it didn't have the energy to do it any faster.


    This morning in bed, I turned to look at the clock and saw "1:15pm". Good, that meant I had gotten a bit over 8 hours sleep. So I got up. About half an hour later, I looked at the clock again, and it was only 12:15pm. This isn't the first time that has happened.


    Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 07:29 am
    darkoshi: (Default)
    Why do you set your alarm clock for 7am, if when it goes off, you're just going to reset it to 7:30 anyway? If you know you have enough time in the morning to get up later, and considering that 90% of the time, you do reset your alarm for later after the first time it goes off, why in the world do you set it earlier to begin with?

    Why do I have to lay there at 7:02am listening to you snoring again while my blood pounds and heart thumps, knowing that even if I do manage to fall back asleep, it will likely take me 20 minutes to do so, so what's the point, considering that I have to get up at 7:30 anyway?

    It's bad enough that I seem to be incapable of going to bed on time, and it's bad enough that even if I were to fall asleep the instant I go to bed (which I don't), that I'd only get 6 hours of sleep. But then getting another half hour shaved off because you decide to set the alarm clock earlier than necessary? It's not fair.

    I shouldn't be so annoyed. He hardly ever sets his alarm earlier than mine. If I hadn't been so annoyed, I probably would have been able to fall back asleep.

    How the heck can he fall back asleep so easy? Getting up when the alarm goes off is the one thing I am good at doing, *on time*.

    bah bah batch file

    Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 04:45 pm
    darkoshi: (Default)
    Trying to figure out how to get the logic in a big Windows batch file to work right is about driving me crazy.

    I keep running up against walls for the things that ought to be *simple*.
    Like echoing a variable value.
    Like comparing a variable to another value.


    Consider the following.

    for /f "tokens=1,2*" %%a in (tmp.txt) do (

    SET var1=%%a
    SET var2=%%b
    SET var3=%%c

    echo %%c xxx

    setlocal enableDelayedExpansion

    echo !var3!
    echo "!var3!"

    Why does the 1st ECHO statement display an output with the 'xxx' *before* and partially *overlaying* the value that was read from the file, like this???

    The 2nd ECHO statement displays the correct value.

    The 3rd ECHO statement displays the first double-quote character, then the correct variable value. But it doesn't display the 2nd double-quote character. WHY NOT??? How can I figure out if there are spaces on the end, if it doesn't let me display anything after it??

    Heaven forbid what I really want to do is like this:
    IF "!var3:~19!" == " " call :someOtherFunction
    or like this:
    IF "!var3:~-2!" == " " call :someOtherFunction

    How can I figure out why the If statements aren't working, if I can't even get a simple ECHO to work right?

    If I replace the double quote chars in the ECHO statement with some other chars, it still has the same problem.

    It doesn't help that I was up til 2am working on this batch file last night, and was only able to get 5.5 hours sleep. Due to waking up early and not being able to fall back asleep.
    On top of having woken up 1.5 hours early yesterday morning.


    Thursday, January 9th, 2014 11:58 pm
    darkoshi: (Default)
    While reading this article: Russell Brand: my life without drugs, the following part struck a chord with me:

    "Without these fellowships I would take drugs. Because, even now, the condition persists. Drugs and alcohol are not my problem, reality is my problem, drugs and alcohol are my solution."

    What is my solution? We all have our own types of solutions.

    (Is not going to bed one of my coping mechanisms?)


    I've been sitting in this chair all day. I'm beginning to hate working from home, though I do it only rarely anymore. A highlight of my day was taking a break to go outside and pick up trash from the street before the sun set.

    My head has felt fuzzy all week. Maybe from not getting enough sleep. But I'm not sure; I don't recall being so strongly affected by it in the past. 20 minutes ago, I still had a chance of getting 8 hours of sleep tonight, and felt pleasantly surprised by the realization. But I've ruint it again by continuing to sit here.

    It has started raining and it's not a bad sound. Lullabye.