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Mental Mudslide

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Keel M.


The ever reliable Merriam-Webster defines trust thus:


assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something

To be sure, there are other definitions of trust, but for this particular blog post, I’m focused on the one above.

I have a friend (whom I will call Theatre Gal) who has been going to therapy for a few weeks now. It’s something she sought on her own, but is very much needed as she comes from a very problematic family, to put it nicely. On the whole, it seems that the sessions she’s had have been good ones. At least until last night. She’s had to schedule her appointments in the evening because she cannot take time off work in the middle of the day and she works in another city at least thirty minutes away (on a good day).

Last night around 7:30-ish, I receive a text from her that she’s sitting in her car angry and near tears. Through several text exchanges I got the story of what was going on. The therapist had forgotten about their appointment. I can only assume that the doctor keeps normal business hours, but returns to the office for any evening appointments. Mondays aren’t the usual day for TG to have her appointment, but last week the therapist told her that that was the only day open for the evenings. Everything else was booked.

Long story short, TG has lost faith in people when even her therapist cannot remember that they have an appointment together. They were, ironically, supposed to talk about trust issues last night, as well, so that doesn’t bode well for the future. At least in TG’s eyes. TG also stated that the therapist is always late to their appointments; 15-20 minutes late. While this is never good on a professional level, I assume that TG gets her full hour or however long their appointments usually last.

I hope that the therapy sessions do not end because of last night. I am very fond of TG and do not wish, under any circumstances, to end the friendship, but the problems she has are more than I can help her with on my own. She needs a professional to talk to, with at least one friend to give the extra support. I want to help her regarding trust, but I don’t know how. Or even if that’s something I should try taking on myself.

While I relied solely on the definition of trust from the Merriam-Webster dictionary because of the long history it has of being a reliable dictionary. However, one word I saw in other definitions that is missing from the M-W definition is reliability. I’m not sure how important that part is. Do they go together? Can you trust someone who is unreliable? Is it possible to trust a person even taking into consideration that they might not be reliable?

I just want to help her grow into the young woman I think she’s got potential to be. She’s only a little younger than I was when I started to forge my own path. It’s not too late even at 30.

Keel M.

Flood Report

It seems that the media might be misleading people about what is going on down here in Southern Louisiana.

New Orleans is not flooded in any part. The flooded areas begin about 30-45 minutes north of the city. On the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, there's a lot of flooding, despite the higher ground than New Orleans and areas south of here (previously devastated by Katrina), but there are also many rivers and those have been topped causing the massive flooding. Further north toward Baton Rouge is where the bulk of the rain sat for days. Way over to the west two hours toward Houston, the City of Lafayette received 9 inches of rain.

New Orleans was forecasted for rain as much as Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas, but we didn't get hardly any. It rained here all of Thursday and half of Friday and that's all. It was just heavily overcast the rest of the weekend. The sun broke through late Saturday afternoon and then Sunday , I wasn't sure if it was going to pour or be sunny.

My cousin lives in a town called Prairieville and as of today where I last read a report from the LA State Troopers, if you were to take I-10 toward Baton Rouge, you'd be forced off at the exit for Prairieville, unable to go farther. My cousin's house backs onto a man-made lake, which got a lot bigger, but thankfully did not flood her house.

Keel M.

Vote of No-Confidence in Me

I want to find a new job. I'm tired of where I am and to be honest, I don't think this firm will be around much beyond the end of this year.

My problem: I've done virtually nothing for the last 10 years and have lost all confidence in what I am capable of doing. I work for 2 architects. One of them very rarely lets me type emails or letters for him; the other I always type emails/letters for him because he has virtually no knowledge of computers and is happily ignorant. The problem is that he doesn't send many letters or emails. I answer the phone, three lines, but it doesn't really ring all that much. We have the odd visitor, but not as often as other architect firms probably have. I make sure all supplies are stocked and when we have the occasional lunch n learn, I organize the meal ordering.

That has been the extent of my work life for the last 10 years. I have always been willing to learn new things, new programs, but these two guys never wanted me to learn anything new. 

I look at job descriptions and hesitate to apply because I am scared I will be overwhelmed and fail under pressure. I don't know what to do.

Keel M.

Responsibilities Rant

I'm sick and tired of being held responsible for the actions of others simply because I drive a car and don't drive a motorcycle nor rely on a bicycle for transportation (though the bike thing is a different kind of rant).

Drivers of cars are always told to watch out for motorcycles and I do and I respect them, but there's a few jackasses out there who make me wonder why I should bother. Case in point: I was merging onto the I-10 Saturday afternoon on my way to work when I see a motorcyclist in the far left lane doing a ******* WHEELIE at 60+ mph. I wish I had called 9-1-1 to report his ass because people like him make me wonder why I should bother giving a damn about a motorcyclist. All in all I think those who ride Harleys are wayyyyyy more responsible and they have my utmost respect.

Bicyclists on the other hand, I want to complain about as a pedestrian. When you're on a bike and riding around the city, you are supposed to obey the rules of the road as if you are in a vehicle. Yet (again on Saturday) as I was walking to work the other day, a whole stream of cyclists came riding around a street corner that is a 'no turn on red' traffic signaled stop. As far as I'm concerned, every last one of them broke the law preventing me from crossing with the crossing signal. They get all b****y when cars are parked in the bike lane along side the theatre. They want their lanes, but don't want to follow the rules of the road.

Keel M.

Crappy Medicine

If you find yourself reading this, be warned, it's going to sound like a pity party. And it is. So if you don't want to read about me whining, move along. :P

In May 2015, I was hospitalized for the first time in my life for extreme hypertension. I'm now taking medication for high blood pressure and at the moment, I hate that I have to take these medications. I have not minded up to now. I mind now, because hypertension medication prevents me from taking any medication for allergies. So I'm basically ****ed. The ONLY thing I can do is use my netti pot frequently. I do, but not while I'm at work and having allergy/sinus issues doesn't stop when I get to work and resume later. Saturday my left ear was so stopped up that hearing was reduced to about half.

You'd think with all this modern medicine we have that they'd try creating something that anyone could take without twenty other side-effects. Even the ONE medicine that used to be sold specifically for people who have hypertension - Choricidin HBP - can't be found on the shelves anymore. At least not where I've looked.

Sometimes I think modern medicine isn't as advanced as we think.

Keel M.

29 August

I had plans to write something meaningful for today and I started it, but never finished. I don't know why. Today, of course, is the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall between the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.

I wasn't living here at the time, so I didn't have to live through the stress of evacuating. I know from past experience, though, that it IS stressful. If you've ever been in horrible commuter traffic, amplify that by 100 and you'll understand.

I wasn't here, but I came back immediately after, so I saw what came after. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen. It was a few weeks after returning that I visited an area of the city that I knew well growing up and there were so so many empty lots where big old houses had been. It was a neighbourhood my dad's brother lived with his family. Their house was damaged, but not too extensively, but they did move about a mile away.

My first job upon my return was working for a risk management company settling claims against Murphy Oil when one of their partially filled oil storage tanks was cracked and leaked oil down river from where I live. At first I was in a small office right around the corner from my house, but that one soon closed and I had to go down to the office at Murphy Oil's site. I passed through the section of the city hit hard by one of the infamous (and more numerous than people realize) levee breaks: the 9th Ward. When I first started commuting down there, I drove through that area and saw more wide open areas than in the other neighbourhood. There was even a house still partially sitting in the street.

I wish we had done better evacuating people. Twice I have tried to read people's stories that have appeared online, about what they went through and I stop reading. Feeling guilty for not losing much of anything when they lost everything. I remember sitting in my aunt's living room in Atlanta, watching CNN try to put family members in touch with one another. My family was scattered, too, but somehow we knew where everyone went.

The one thing I don't understand and likely never will is the connection people have to this city. I have lived here most of my life and have a fondness for it, but there were plenty of people who refused to leave. My life is more valuable to me than where I live. My identity is not with this city. That concept is foreign to me

I wound up going to see 'Forgotten on the Bayou' about a guy who rode out the storm on top of his house with his son. They stayed because they believed that they would be safe within the levee protection system. If you are being told by many officials and meteorologists to evacuate, that tells me that they do not trust the protection. A year after the storm hit, he took a mock FEMA trailer up to D.C. to remind the president that there was still a lot of work to be done. It was televised nationally as this guy and his caravan drove north, stopping at various cities and towns along the way. It was interesting to see it all unfold as I do not remember any of that happening. I don't know why. So that was my tribute to those who didn't survive and haven't been able to return to the city.

Keel M.

Failed as a friend?

For the first time in my life, I think I've failed as a friend.

Last night I was fiddling around on Facebook when I got a private message from a friend who wanted to know what I really thought of him. Apparently he was really in a funk and my occasional brutal honesty is what he needed just then. I wasn't in the mood to help nor really answer his question because I didn't think it's what he really needed to help him. I still don't think telling him what I really think of him would serve him well in the state he was in.

The truth is, I prefer keeping him at arms' length. He's a fun guy to be around and he's good at retelling stories of stuff that has happened to him, but it's all about stuff in the past. I also get a strong vibe that he wishes I wasn't a lesbian. Just the way he tries to treat me like one of the guys, which is a mistake. Just because I prefer women doesn't mean I want to be a man. When he hugs me in greeting after we haven't seen one another in months, his hug is a bit too long.

He doesn't have a job, but these days he's never in town long enough to search for a job. He's living with friends right now and last year went on a huge trip to Italy with this woman he knows who lives in Houston. He was able to go only because a relative died last summer and he inherited a few thousand dollars. I admit I haven't always been the most financially savvy person in the world, but I'd like to think I'd have been a bit more wise with that money.

After the first of the year, I think at some point he was working up in Ohio for a few months. No clue what he did with that money he should've been saving. If I recall correctly, he returned in early summer and went on two more trips. He's also bought a car. I doubt the little clunker he had provided much in way of trade in, so I haven't a clue where he's getting the money to pay for it. The only thing I can conclude is that his inheritance was a lot more than I imagined.

If I had to guess, I'd say the funk he was in last night might possibly be due to the friends he lives with asking him if/when he might move out. I just didn't have the emotional energy to spend on him and I think that makes me a terrible friend since I have asked him once in the past for a shoulder to cry on.

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