I want to eat cheese and never stop.

Tired. Brain dead. Not to be confused with the 1992 Peter Jackson splatterfest renamed Dead Alive for the North American market. You know, the one with the karate master priest who exclaims “I KICK ASS FOR THE LORD!” Also a dude walking into a room full of zombies holding a sideways lawnmower. Great film. I didn’t walk into a room full of zombies carrying a sideways lawnmower. It just felt like it.

I had a run during lunchtime today though, that was a bright spot. Being able to get out of the office and jog across the waterfront was pretty fucking great. Fresh air in the face of Toronto’s recent jigsaw weather (today had a high of 10°C. Tomorrow’s is -2°C) meant I could attack the afternoon without feeling dried out. Instead I was achy and hungry. So my normal state of being, anyway. I protest too much. It really was awesome not only having the opportunity to run in the middle of the day, but to be capable of walking out the front door at work and jogging almost 6km. With Spring quickly approaching (yesterday, apparently), I want to get fitter again. I’ve been keeping active, but haven’t done the cardio I’ve desired. I’d say I’ve been itching for it, but realistically that’s just the beta alanine in my bloodstream. Tossing Girl Talk’s 2014 Coachella performance on my headphones, I put my legs through a decent pace. Tons of people were taking advantage of the weather and hitting the pavement. I’m not gonna lie, whenever I saw someone jogging on the bike path ahead of me, if I saw them slowly getting closer I made it my low key mission to overtake them. Because what else was I gonna do? I’d left my cellphone (Pokémon Go portal) back at work. Whenever I saw somebody jogging in the opposite direction I did that little bus driver wave. Nobody waved back. Maybe Toronto is as unfriendly as everyone says.

After eating everything in sight (and taking a walk to eat the things that were out of my sight), I was exhausted. Then realised I had a job interview in a few hours and being stuffed would be a sub-optimal strategy. So I did all of the things you typically do when you’re that special combination of nervous and anxious. Nervious? I re-read the job application to search for scraps of handy ideas to prepare. What kind of questions would the interviewer ask? Could I use an old list of questions to ask in an interview again? Oh shit, I’d already spent ten minutes picking the guy’s brain about the position a month back. Had I asked those questions then? Would he remember? Did my breath smell too much like tuna? Should I brush my teeth? Did I need to shit? Why was my mouth dry? Should I drink more water? Was I wary of drinking too much and having to pee during the interview? Could I just bring a drink bottle into the interview anyway? How many copies of my CV did I need to print out? What if there was someone with him in the interview? Wait, what did he actually mention when I talked to him a month back? Were there any things I felt I should take heed of from that previous meeting? Who schedules an interview for 4.15pm?

Interview went fine. It was also a minute’s walk away from my desk, so that was handy. I had decent answers for all of his questions. I didn’t oversell myself, but confidently stated my abilities and admitted faults (that honestly did fit the role). I talked about previous positions and how they’d help. I asked about what he was seeking from an employee and felt I represented the answers he gave. I asked a couple of questions he had to think about, which prompted further discussion. All in all, I think I did as well as I could. Whether or not I get a follow up interview will depend on whether I match what he’s looking for.

Then with ten minutes left in the workday, I messed around on the internet then left.

I’m still messing around on the internet.

My takeaway? I need to make Egg McMutton a thing.

Had an odd encounter on the subway yesterday. As I sat down, I noticed an older man practically barking at a younger woman. He was sitting in the blue priority seats right next to the door. Usually I’d have my headphones on but after a gruelling gym session that made walking difficult, I was deeply craving a calm head-space. By the sounds of it, this wasn’t what I was in for. The man began going off at anyone in earshot (so namely, the whole car). Everyone was doing the Toronto shuffle (looking down at their feet, pretending not to pay attention while their ears pricked up).

I was busy chasing the dragon in Bejeweled, but I heard his voice directed my way. “So people don’t give a fuck about cripples now? Is that it?” I looked up and we exchanged glances. He talked at me “people too selfish to give a shit?” I thought for a second and replied “I dunno. That could be it, though usually I find people are more often ignorant than malicious.” His brow furrowed “people are fucking stupid, that’s what they are.” I paused for a second. “Do you really think that? Maybe they just didn’t realise.” “Not every cripple is visible” he countered. Excellent point. “Not getting out of the fucking way. Inconsiderate teenagers.”

I laughed “since when have teenagers ever been considerate? They’re still learning what being a person is.” He shook his head and replied, still angry “We were made to respect our elders. I never would’ve gotten away with this shit.” I nodded. I thought for a second. This was a voice I rarely ever heard and it sounded like he needed to vent. I could do worse than giving him my ear for ten minutes. “Things probably were different in your days.” “How do you know?” He barked “you weren’t there.” I shrugged. He continued “I fought two wars for this country, I have trouble walking and nobody gives a damn. You say people are ignorant, but they can’t leave these seats empty just in case someone needs them? Fuck ’em.”

He paused. “You’re not from here” he exclaimed “what part of the Commonwealth are you from?” “New Zealand” I replied. “New Zealand, eh? D’ya hear that at McDonalds you guys have got the Egg McMutton?” I laughed then sighed “I wish. I’d order it every day.” He looked up and noticed the station “Oh, Spadina? I’m getting off here.” He stood up and shouted “EXCUSE ME”. Nobody moved. “HEY. GIMP COMING THROUGH.” Still, nobody moved. The car wasn’t packed, but a guy was standing in the middle of the doors. They opened and the guy didn’t get out. People started walking in. The old dude pushed a man to the side and barged out the door “MAYBE FUCKING LET PEOPLE OUT BEFORE YOU GET IN” he screamed.

He had a point.

It’s finding something else to like that’s the problem.

I feel at a loss. Which is to say that I’m lost. I don’t know what to do now. Specifically at this moment, not in a wider what does it all mean? sense. I’ve got a limp self-propulsion that at the very least will stop me from treading water for too long. Right now though, I’m just floating on my back, heading nowhere in particular. I feel unwell in a very literal manner of speaking. I’m congested with a sore throat and low level physical fatigue. I happened to be working from home today anyway (so I could go to an Ear Nose and Throat consultation), so at least I didn’t need to be in the office. That sort of backfired. If I hadn’t taken the day to work at home I could’ve just had a sick day instead. Oh well. I got all my work done, it was more relaxing than being in the office would’ve been. I could mope around at my own pace and get loose-headed on NeoCitran. I also spent a fair portion of my down time watching Please Like Me.

I watched the first episode and really enjoyed it. I found its fusion of heavy events and irreverence entirely captivating. There was drama, but they rarely leaned into it without good reason. Bad things happening didn’t stop the world from revolving, they dealt with things and moved on, or talked around them until their impact gradually lessened. Hell, the first episode starts with the lead character getting dumped because his girlfriend knows he’s gay, even if he won’t admit it (they stay good friends regardless). Then his mum tries to commit suicide by eating a packet of paracetamol and drinking half a bottle of baileys. It’s serious content, but admits to the underlying silliness. The more I watched, the more attached I grew towards this tight knit group of characters. Somehow avoiding being beaten down by the world, it wasn’t relentlessly upbeat by any means, but neither was it maudlin or cheesy in any way.

Maybe it appealed to my underdog complex, but the show managed to champion the losers and weirdos without skewing self-congratulatory. The central character, Josh, is gay and they don’t make a massive deal out of it. It’s just his sexual preference, it doesn’t define him as a character as much as his wit, propensity for cooking or habit of trying to disarm tension with humour and irreverence. There are ongoing realistic depictions of mental illness, serious marital issues and realistic struggles of twentysomething life. There are also a multitude of dumb conversations about giraffes. Characters come and go, but they’re nearly always given three dimensional representation. There are meaningful friendships galore. It’s funny, sweet and disarmingly engrossing. I can’t tell you the last time I watched two seasons of anything in under a month, let alone four seasons.

Now I’m lost because the show is over and I miss it. It ended well, but I know that I’m never gonna get to witness all new interactions with these characters I’ve grown to love. It feels like a loss and I don’t know what fills that void now. Please Like Me was unique and that’s a double-edged sword. There’s a reason it stands out from everything else, but if I want to recapture that feeling I’ll have to settle for shows that have a few close elements, but fail to deliver the total package. I didn’t watch it because it had excellent fleshed out representation of gay characters. I didn’t watch it because it was a slice of life comedy about intelligent twentysomethings. I didn’t watch it because of its willingness to depict issues in a frank manner. I watched it because it managed to be its own thing and that means it’s gonna be pretty bloody hard to find anything quite like it.

So I guess, I dunno. I guess maybe I’ll just have to write something I’d want to watch.

Not in your mouth, not in your hand, but in your head.

Brain gone. Replaced by coffee. Coffee stocks fading. Brain fading accordingly. It’s gonna be one of thooooose entries. Work today has been a pissing contest of how much can go wrong. You know those days where each new issue begins to prompt maniacal laughter? Where you’re mere inches away from diving through a window screaming “I AM A GOLDEN GOD” to prove the fallacy of polytheism? When your boss has piled the junk food table high and you don’t have the discipline or presence of mind to imagine the cautionary image of what your brain looks like when you’ve eaten a brain sized portion of mini eggs?

As the great scholar William Frederick “Fred” Durst once said “It’s just one of those days.” He also said “Everybody’s judged by their fucked up face”, which may be more true than ever we knew. A true Nostradamus of My Generation.

I’ve been trying to book an appointment with a specialist over whether or not operating on my deviated septum would help with my breathing problems. It’s excellent that I’m covered by OHIP and thus get access to consultations without paying hefty GP fees. Furthermore, if I end up getting the operation OHIP will once again have my back (and septum), paying the applicable costs. I’ve been entangled in this weird system of trying to sort out the appointment. A few weeks back I made an appointment with my GP in order to make an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. She sent through the application and said they’d contact me.

Then yesterday, possibly ten steps after I turned my phone off airplane mode (I get no cell reception at work, so it just drains my battery otherwise). I got a call from my GP with an appointment time, telling me to call the specialist back directly to confirm. She said to do it quickly (within the next day) or else I’d lose my appointment. I asked why the specialist hadn’t cut out the middle man and called me directly. She said clinics rarely ever do that. I told her that because of my non-existent cell signal at work I’d left my email with them in case they needed to get in contact. The receptionist at the GP said they charged $10 per email, so they hadn’t emailed me. She once again implored me to call.

I called the specialist many times today without getting an answer. 70% of the times I called, there was a Rogers answer phone message saying that the number was not connected. The rest of the times brought me to a phone menu that eventually led to a number that nobody answered. I checked that I was using the correct number umpteen(!) times. I was. I sent them an email saying that I wanted to confirm, but got no response. You know, I should probably try again before they close for the day.

*****

Oh, I finally got in touch with someone at the specialist. They said their automated phone system is a piece of shit that loses calls and drops out so often that they should just pay someone to take calls. I couldn’t agree more. I gave her my details and she said my number didn’t match the one they had. The number she repeated back was the phone number of my GP. She asked me why they’d use their number instead of mine, when they could just cut out the middle man. I couldn’t agree more. I confirmed my appointment, which will no doubt culminate in the specialist telling me I don’t need the operation because my pre-existing allergies would negate its benefits, making this whole thing a colossal waste of time. Guess I’ll find out on Friday.

With my mind successfully melted for the day, let’s get the fuck out of here.

Homophoning it in.

Feeling out of it today. Tired and vaguely nauseous. So tired and nauseous that I briefly tried spelling the word as “nautious” before realising the era of my weighs. What if I did that? The entire entry, intentionally opt four the wrong spelling? Would that make people flip their shit? Sounds like a worthy endeavour two me.

In any case, eye woke up tyred. The kind of fatigue wear all of your dreams are about trying to go to sleep. One of them eyed been out drinking and partying in town (back in Auckland). Eye knew eye was drunk, given the sloppy mess of a burrito that eye’d attempted too devour like a raccoon in the compost. Lying down on the concrete, eye lay my head back and tried to close my I’s. A police officer had other ideas, prodding me with his boot. Eye came home (two Toronto) and got into bed, butt I couldn’t stop tossing and turning, knowing that this restless sleep in my dream was disrupting my sleep in reel life. I’m strangely aware while unconscious, which doesn’t do my ability to stay unconscious many favours. My life is Inception, okay, butt without the snazzy Hans Zimmer score.

Eye was tempted too come home sic from work today, butt a teem member pipped me two the post. The teem was covering her work, sew heaping my lode on top felt like unnecessary ruffness. Being tired, unwell and busy meant today was won of those clusterfucks where things will only continue to go wrong. They did. Continual sais were all eye could muster as defence against the workplace’s continual excrement.

There was a dilemma of sorts that eye wasn’t sure how to handle. My manager asked fore our phone numbers in case of emergency circumstances. Won) I’m surprised she doesn’t have mine already. To) What constitutes an emergency? Is it if we’re late too work? That eye can understand. On the other hand, if it’s about work things after our’s, do eye really want two make myself available? Frankly, once I’ve left the office, eye put work out of my mind completely. Eye don’t think about it until I return the next morning. It’s not the kind of job where I’d expect to bee on call. There’s nothing I can do, four won, and secondly they don’t pay me enough to care. In the end I gave my number knowing full well that my phone is always on silent and that giving my number in know weigh means eye have too pick up.

Speaking of which, it’s time to get the fuck out of here. Piece out.

It snows or never. Or later. Any time, in fact.

For all that I’m not doing this weekend (namely anything active or outgoing), there is one thing I’m doing remarkably well: Hiding from the outside world. This whole weekend I left the house three times. One gym visit and two supermarket shops. If I had’ve gained a tan on my New Zealand summer holiday (the rain and clouds said nope) it would’ve been gone by now. Is it time for me to start desperately chugging vitamin D yet? Maybe I can get one of those orange filters for my halogen lamp, affixing it above me as I sleep. Surely that works, right science? Then again, halogen lamps are bloody hot. My girlfriend wouldn’t likely be too happy to find her boyfriend having morphed into a fried egg. Since spending time outside isn’t a viable option, I should probably keep up with the moisturiser, elsewise get used to my new reflection. Once again, unhappy girlfriend. Vitamin D it is then.

Despite my aversion to the outdoors, I managed to not become a total recluse. I’m fortunately surrounded by enablers. Instead of having to leave, people came to me. All I had to offer them was nourishment both physical and mental. We had friends over for dinner last night, an activity that felt very mature and not at all an excuse to utterly gorge ourselves on delicious vittles. Not one iota. We put together a roasted pork loin with an assortment of roasted veggies, they brought bruscetta’d green beans and ice cream. It was an excellently chilled out night where we got to relax and just hang out. Given my more introverted tendencies lately, I couldn’t have thought of a better evening plan that didn’t involve riding off into the sunset on cybernetically armoured dinosaurs. Maybe next weekend.

Something that came up during dinner was the notion of plastic surgery. Without any intended shaming, I brought up my own personal discomfort with the idea of looking into the mirror and seeing things on my face that weren’t naturally of my own body. I’m pretty lucky, in that matter, to be happy enough with my own features. The idea of changing something cosmetically and potentially not being happy with the result feels deeply unsettling. Maybe I watched too many 90s after school specials in my youth. When I mentioned it, my friend piped up saying she’d actually had work done as a child to alter her deviated septum. When she was younger she had constant shortness of breath. Once it was cleared out, the issues went away. She couldn’t speak highly enough about having the procedure done.

A while back my girlfriend mentioned to me that I had a deviated septum, which was news to me. I’d never known what that was. Looking in the mirror though, it’s glaringly obvious that my nasal passages are differently sized. My whole life I’ve had difficulty breathing through both nostrils. I take a nasal spray every day and that helps. What if I could get that fixed though? If I had the surgery done and stopped it from being an issue? According to some quick googling, the procedure of septoplasty (with no cosmetic aspect) is covered by OHIP. I’d have to take time off work (though I do have the potential to work from home), but taking that time now to make a positive change for the rest of my life could be worth it in the long run. By the sounds of it, the shape of my nose wouldn’t be too affected either. Which is great, I like my nose. It’s noble looking. It’s even better when it works properly.

Should I do it? WHO NOSE, MAN?

Weight and see.

I could write up a snazzy preamble slowly working into the topic, but frankly it’s better to put it out there. I’ve gained weight recently and it’s bumming me out. Eight kilos altogether. I’m the heaviest I’ve been in years and I can feel it, you know? It’s there when I see myself in a mirror. I see it in my face, a softness there. When I’m clothed, there are bulges I haven’t seen in years. When I’m not, curves have replaced definition I worked pretty hard for. I feel it at all times. Not just emotionally (I mean, that’s present too), but physically. My pants are tighter, less comfortable. Before I left, I bought a larger belt than normal because it was all they had close to my size. It fits pretty snugly now.

Emotionally I’m coping. Handling it. I’m not happy with how things have turned out, but I’m not letting it consume me either. Credit to my therapist, she coached me a little in case this came up. Yes, I’m in a situation I have control over. No, my identity is not tied to the way I look. Yes, my friends and family still love me as much as they did before. No, this one thing will not drag down every other aspect of my life. Sound melodramatic? That’s just how my thoughts manifest. You try telling your brain not to think like it does.

Now the why. Diet and exercise. End of year celebrations always involve a cluster of celebrations and I’ve rarely been one to shy away from celebrating. Due to barely taking a holiday in the past few years, I had to burn through a ton of vacation time. From the start of November to the end of January, I was away for five weeks. Five weeks of travelling, dining and drinking. I’ve found that a huge part of maintaining healthy habits is routine. It’s a lot easier to keep plugging away if the pieces are close at hand. The less effort you need to put into making more informed choices, the harder it is to fall back on excuses. Do you have healthy food in the cupboard or accessible at work? Whatever your fitness plans, are they close to your usual route? It’s hard to be as consistently active when you’re overseas. Between that we had Christmas in all of its splendour. Much feasting and revelry. I had a great time and even now I don’t regret it. Just keep breathing.

What now? First, compassion. A big thing I’ve learned in struggling with weight is to forgive myself for slip ups and deviations. At the same time, it’s important to recognise that this is nobody else’s issue to bear. They have their own trials. I’m not a robot, and to err is to be human. Letting go every once in a while stops me from fetishising unhealthy food. If I use it to reward myself, then I’m setting up an unhealthy relationship with my consumption. Casting rich cuisine as a “treat” ascribes a correlation of ethics to food. Food is neutral, it’s inanimate. If I give it a moral compass, that effects my relationship with it. If I feel guilty for having “bad” food, what is that gonna do to the way I feel about myself? It’ll set up a self-perpetuating cycle where I consume because I’m unhappy and I’m unhappy because of how much I’m consuming. Compassion is important.

Next, adherence. Routines. Simpler, healthy foods. More basic proteins and green/fibrous vegetables. Fruit instead of baked goods. Dropping alcohol consumption for a while (and when I do, moderation). Physical activity at least three times per week (cutting alcohol makes it a lot easier to get in for weekend workouts). More of a reliance on cardio (such a pity it’s winter, making outdoor running pretty tough). Maybe putting the money saved on alcohol into fun rewarding physical activities like indoor parkour, rock climbing or obstacle courses. There’s a non-zero chance that I’ll start to shed the first few kilos simply by being back to a regular routine. As always though, moving ever forward. Not beating myself up for what’s happened, but looking towards a solution and not at myself as a problem.

And now? Patience. With myself mostly.