Winter Blues

I’ve been majorly blah lately. I haven’t felt like writing; the world seems full of problems that seem way too big to tackle. Rapes, gun violence, gun rhetoric, environment going to shit, shitty people in political power doing shitty things to the people who put them in power, prejudice and privilege running rampant everywhere I look (including in the mirror), normal background online crappiness. And then there’s dealing with the aftermath of the flood plus super-long hours at work. Ugh. Where to begin? The 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade yesterday was almost enough to get me to put fingers to keyboard, but when I sat down to write I just started at the screen for a while and my mind wandered off. Which was a shame because I had already composed the article in my noggin and just needed to get it out. I finally closed my laptop and went off to bed feeling like a failure. But the feeling was kind of muted and detached, like a voice said “Well you botched that one up.” and I responded to myself matter-of-factly, “Yup. G’night.”

All of these things lead me to believe that I need to start taking Vitamin D pills again. My doctor prescribed them last year because I tend to be on the low end of the normal range, and last winter I dipped way below the low end. Winter blues suck. But I promised myself that I would write and publish something – anything! – tonight. I’m hoping it will kick start a more regular pattern of writing. And hopefully the Vitamin D will help kick start me.

So…let me think. What’s coming up that’s exciting or inspiring? Hmmm… Well, I’m being sent to California for some work-related stuff. I’ll be just outside of Los Angeles (Brea) for a full week. February is a good time for a Minnesotan to visit California. The weekend prior I’ll be at Con of the North, a gaming convention here in the Twin Cities. That’ll be fun. In March the Chicago Skeptics are holding their second Skepticamp on March 2nd – I’m hoping to make it down for that. In April the Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists from the University of Minnesota are holding their first major conference called SkepTech. I’m speaking at that one along with some awesome people y’all might have heard of before.

So yeah, there’s stuff to be excited about. That’s good. Good reminder.

But that’s all in the future. I feel the need to share some happy now. Here – have some scientist kittehs from the blog “It’s Okay To Be Smart“:

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Hey – we’re looking for a new floor rug (in the 5′ x 8′ size range) and would love to find something geeky or sciency-themed. We’ve already ruled out the Wampa rug from Think Geek, and we’re not in love with the astronomy/night sky rugs we’ve found. All of the stuff designed for class rooms that we’ve seen has been very primary colored/designed for elementary school-aged kids. I want something sciency-artsy like this on a rug, but to do it I’d probably need to do a custom logo printing deal (and, you know, permission from the artist and all that). Any suggestions?

Most. Depressing. Birthday. Evar.

This is why the Hubby usually doesn’t get to plan our outings.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was Hubby’s 38th birthday. Hehehe – my old man! Last week I asked what he was thinking about doing for his birthday, and I was pleasantly surprised when he told me that he was toying with the idea of going to an indoor paintball range or an indoor waterpark. I LOVE that kind of stuff, but he’s usually not into the running around and being goofy like I am. But it’s January so maybe there’s some cabin fever going on.

I should have known it was too good to be true. On Monday he changed his mind and told me he wanted to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo over at the West End Icon Theater VIP Lounge. Normally this would have been cool, ‘cuz I like movies and swanky, overpriced movie theaters, but I had no desire to see TGWTDT. I had heard that while it was very good, it was also very dark, that there was a graphic rape scene and that it was a pretty depressing movie all around. I tend to skip movies like this because I don’t like the way they make me feel. My take on most horror and a certain subsection of suspense/thrillers is that I know there’s heinous, offensive, horrifying shit out here in the world; I don’t need to watch it for entertainment. That’s just me, and I don’t begrudge or think less of people who enjoy dark movies. But my $10, my three hours…this isn’t how I usually want to spend them.

But it was the hubby’s birthday, so I put on a smile and went along. Please know it wasn’t traumatizing for me to watch the movie, I just wasn’t looking forward to it. *sighs* And I was right. I was in a funky, depressed mood afterwards. Here’s my facebook writeup:

It’s certainly not the first time I’ve been introduced by media to the concepts of evil, cruelty, revenge, abuse of power, rape, incest, familial battery, serial murder, sadism, mafia business dealings, corporate greed (to name a few of the story’s highlights) but I was angered, offended, depressed, horrified, revolted, saddened and wearied during and slightly after the movie. It was a well-made dark movie that evokes dark emotions.

But…it was Hubby’s birthday, so I shook it off.

Afterward we went to Pizza Luce for dinner, which was ridiculous because we were stuffed on salty, buttery popcorn and Raisinets. We had a rousing discussion on politics, including a comparison of  liberal and conservative philosophies. That meandered its way to a discussion of the corporation city of Shenzhen, China, which he posed as an example of what no-government rule over corporate interests looks like. Which got us talking about corporate greed, consumer responsibility, and a shared disbelief that companies would so callously act like…ya know, companies…all of which ended up being horribly depressing.

I finally put the kibosh on the whole depressing trend by jokingly telling the Hubby that this was the most depressing birthday party I had ever attended, what with the cat killing and unsolvable problem of slave working conditions in China. I was going for “Hahaha – what a night, amiright?”, but some of my down mood must have really come across, which made the Hubby depressed and upset because he was having a good time and didn’t know that I was depressed. Plus, by the time we were done with popcorn-raisinets-gallons of soda-pizza there was simply no room for ice cream, which usually makes things all better.

But you know what did make things better? Presents. I got the Hubby a couple of things he had been wanting (tattoo magazines, a gift certificate for range time at Bill’s Gun Shop in Robbinsdale), but at the last minute I had also picked up this silly gorilla holding a cheesy red heart, which I had debated throwing in for the very nature of its intense cheesiness.

And would you know it – that silly damned gorilla broke the mood. Who can think depressing thoughts with this guy around?

But seriously…next year I have veto power on the Hubby’s birthday. No I don’t. Dammit!