Tongight during my daily workout, instead of listenig to regular music per usual, I listend to my "UMass Life" tape. It's kind of a documentary I made during a week near the end of my three years at UMass, right before I went to New York and on to Georgia. A bit of a time-capsule really, conjuring up sounds and voices and memories of a place I haven't seen in years.
I've listend to the tape plenty of times since I made it, but still tonight it prompted me to remember some things I'd forgotten, like...
...You know you go to a hippy school when official student groups include the Cannabis REform Coalition and the Bicycle Co-op -- and the Student Union includes both an organic food coop and a restaurant (Earth Foods).
...At the very end of the Campus Pond, near the FAC, is this little island you can reach via a bridge. I found out it's actually an art project called "Isle of View." (Pronounce this out loud for a major groaner of a pun.)
...On my tape, I recorded bits fomr this Fassbinder movie Lola I saw. Over at Amherst College, I saw some truly pretentious German movies. My teacher for the German class I was taking (via the Five Colleges program) also taught a film class and I was required to go to the showing. I saw a lot of Fassbinder movies and also Herzog. Almost all of them were dead serious and twisted and oppressive. The only two I really liked were (of course!) Wings of Desire and the famous 1946 movies Strangers Among Us, shot in the ruins of Berlin. But everything else was just not my thing.
...In the basement of my dorm, where the kitchen was, there was this Chinese kid who was always there. He had three modes: 1) studying, absolute silent, in a study cubby in the corner, 2) baking giant batches of chicken, and 3) cooking huge batches of rice. My theory was that he has a really limited budget, and so once a week he'd make around 10 pounds of baked chicken and rice then he'd eat chicken and rice for lunch and dinner every single day. I referred to him (not to his face) as "Chinese Chicken Man," which might be rude but hey, you should havee seen the way he'd pack that chicken into the collective fridge!
...Back in the day, my friend Lisa was known as "G" because she was Kristina's Girlfriend. Awww. She and Kristina are both on the tape, as at one point Caleb and I go to Hampshire Mall to pick them up. The tape has a great section of us driving down Route 9 to Northampton and spotting stuff like punk boys pushing each other around in shopping carts and people posing prententious at the Hay Market coffeeshop.
...It was still really cold out, even in early April, and on the tape I was just about crying with joy because I saw a bud on a tree. That winter it had snowed 130 inches in Amherst :(
I want to record that since I started up daily (well, 5-days-a-week) exercise about a month ago, I haven't had one really bad day of depression. In fact my mood chart is really not in need of marking, as the mood has totally flattened out really. I think there might have been one or two days where I got the bad headache and nasty urges, but both times, it faded away quickly, rather than dragging me down for days.
I don't think exercise is really a "cure" for depression or anything, but in this case, for me, it seems to have worked. I'd rather fix things that way than any way that costs money. And this way I get thinner too!
What is the secret to waking up?
Somebody tell me!
*head hits desk with a thud*
OK, so I really getting fed up by how absolutely awful I feel every day when I wake up.
What bugs me a lot about it that I'm doing a lot of things which should be making the situation better. I exercise daily, I sleep about 8 hours a night, I don't use an alarm, I take a dailiy iron supplement, and I sleep sound as a rock!
Yet when I wake up... I can barely call myself awake. For two or three hours after I wake up, I feel like somebody has clobbered me in my sleep. My body is so sore and achey, I just stumble around, even after a shower, breakfast, going to get the paper. Somehow breathing through my nose makes my throat totally sore and dry. Meanwhile my eyes get all full of gunk. I am also really really hot when I wake up. Breathing seems to slow way, way down as I sleep and it takes a long time to speed up again. And I'm so f'in tired... needless to say.
The last few nights I've tried to experiment a bit to see if I can improve things. I thought maybe I was just overheating from too many blankets, so I slept nude under one blanket and a sheet. No effect. So then I tried the same thing, only with the AC on. Still no effect. I could probably sleep in a refridgerator and still wake up feeling like a piece of beef that's been tenderized and baked.
I'm having a cup of coffee now. Not sure it will do anything :(
By mid-afternoon I should feel OK and by 8 p.m. I'll be full of energy and feeling fine.
I just ran my hands through my hair and to my surprise, a whole ton of hair just fell out! I seem to be shedding worse than my guinea pigs. Glad I have thick hair I guess. Maybe my hair is tired as I am and is just giving up.
The HVAC is not working. So in addition to being airless as usual, my quarters are now really, really HOT. I've just pulled down all the shades (except the one by my birds' cage) and opened the door to the hallway. The main room is bearable, the bedroom is kind of gross and this office (where I have to be to work) is absolutely disgusting. It's around 85 in here and gloomy b/c I have the shade down. I'm going to stick my head under the tub faucet and hope cold water helps.
Just got an email offer from British Airways titled "Treat your dad to a London getaway this Father's Day."
Don't know about anyone else, but I'm not normally up for whisking Dad off overseas for Father's Day. Maybe I should be, but I'm not.
Thinking about it, I doubt my dad even has a valid passport anymore. Besides going to Canada, the only time he's gone out of the country was in the late 80s, when he went to Japan several times to do some HDTV-related work. My mom hasn't ever gone anywhere like that; her biggest trip was when we three flew to Calgary and ran around the Canadian Rockies for three weeks.
I really wish my parents could go to England though. They would love it so much, I just know they would. Just about every place I went and every household I stayed in, I thought to myself how much much they'd really "fit in" with it all. There's just something about them that makes me feel they have a very sort of English pensioner type temperament and would love going around National Trust places, drinking tea, carrying out birding books, reading off historic site signs. Oh, and my dad would really like to go down to some seaports, where he'd no doubt rattle on about the Darlings, who emigrated from there to his hometown (City Island, NY) in the early 1800s and continued their traditional sailmaking and wood boat building.
Unfortunately I don't think my dad is ever going to be well enough to make such a trip. He's not only hampered by his need for meds and special food, but it's just not a good idea to take him far from his doctors. My mom could go anywhere, I'm sure, but not leaving my dad at home.