Wednesday, January 30, 2008

all work and no play....

is one of those really inane English proverbs. I mean, duh!! Of course all work makes you dull. Any doubt about that? In which case, I am becoming inordinately dull myself. Not that I've ever been that interesting, but even a few weeks of obsessive work is tarnishing any shine I might have had. I work, I sleep, I feed little birds and sleep in the bath. I see some or none of pdoc, tdoc and personal trainer dude. I work in between, and then solidly for the evening and half the night before sleeping some more.

Only consolation is that as a contractor, I bill by the hour or part thereof. I'm not even billing punitively, because at a minimum of 9 hours of real work a day and an mostly a whole lot more, I don't even have time to go do things that would piss me off. At least this pays for a whole lot of bird food.

Eight mynahs, 4 pigeons and a stray bulbul at the moment, plus about 22 pigeons in the aviary. Two of the pigeons are young nestlings, probably only about a week to ten days old. They came from the balcony of a flat that is about to be rented out by the agents after standing empty for a while. In the interim it looks as if a few hundred pigeons have been sleeping there - I was called by the agents to come remove the two babies that they'd seen. The agents are a married couple, doubling as one of those old-time comedy duos that bicker amiably about everything, with a line of solo humour in between. I was running late, and apologised to him. "Never mind sweetie" he tells me, "at my age, 82, if you haven't learned to wait for ten minutes yet, eternity is going to be a real problem...."!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

an innocent abroad....

...well, I'd always thought of myself as fairly knowledgeable with respect to sex, even if much of it is only theoretical, and gleaned from my voracious and random reading habit. But this one has me stumped : a Google search that found this site for the term 'sex the Russian way'. Heck. I didn't even know there was one specifically.

After a huge number of hours this week, I am now halfway with the initial work task. So just to keep me at the right level of neurotic tension, boss asked for a meeting with me and the other contractor (the one who I tried to abdicate to. And failed at that too, obviously) on Friday. In addition to the 300 plus hours already assigned to me for completion before the end of March, I now have another 1200 or so with the same due date. Only question is whether I run away before I sweat over it or after I miss the deadline.

Good thing I'm female. Pdoc on thurs asked if I listened to music while I worked, which I do, and tells me he can only listen to classical while he works otherwise the words distract him. Umm. At the moment (and most of the time), I am checking mail and sending some, playing sudoku, updating this and reading other blogs, listening to music, editing and updating a checklist of the work I'm doing, and running two separate work sessions doing different things - and I'd have a third work session going if I had another user ID. Either it's a girl thing, or I have a few more persona's than I know of.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Duckbuddy and I met for coffee today, after she texted me earlier in the week. We hadn't seen each other or spoken at all really since the really ugly fight we had in about August last year. She'd sent messages in Dec, and I'd said I'd rather not meet her. This time, I figured it would be a good idea.

I'll always regret the things I said, because I was really nasty. And seeing her will always remind me of what a bitch I can be. But it was so good to see her again, and she is still one of the sweetest, smartest people I know. Even though I will never quite understand why she would want to be friends with me, I am glad that she does.

And now, having worked again till past my bedtime, even if not to 05h00 yet again, I need to sleep. I was walking dead this morning, and have a morning full of meetings about this project. At least I have done enough this week to (hopefully) not get my ass kicked really hard.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

i am going to regret this later....

....the shit will hit the fan in the next day or so over the upgrade projects, so I am belatedly trying to do what I am supposed to have completed. So, another late night working - 05h00 this time. Watch the dead woman walking just now.

PT dude gave me the most thoroughly painful leg massage today. It must be good for me, because it hurts so much.

And in between walk and work, I cried the whole day. I am just too miserable to keep going with this, even sober.

The birds are singing, guess I should sleep soon.

Monday, January 21, 2008

too old

in all possible ways. Well, maybe not in terms of maturity. Last night I stayed up till 04h00 working. And drinking vodka to keep me awake. Today I started at 12h30, and am going to sleep shortly. I am wrecked though, I just don't have the stamina for 14 or 15 hour work sessions. Tonight's one is being done sober, as I am giving the abstention bit a chance again.

And sore, too. Part of it is from too many hours at the keyboard, and part is from PT dude working me hard today. He's already promised a tough session again tomorrow, but with a calf massage to finish off with. And I'm such a massage slut that I'll be ripping off my shorts asap.

And miserable. How come being depressed has to be the biggest constant in my days, no matter what I do or don't manage.....


I have at last managed to start the work that I should have started about a month ago. Am probably still going to get into crap, because it should have been just about done by now. But at least I have broken the paralysis once. So tomorrow it shouldn't need heroic measures like staying up all night drinking, in order to carry on.

Otherwise: boring miserable, irritable. Yell at dogs and achieve nothing constructive. Scared of everything about life. Funnily enough, not much about death is frightening at all....

Thursday, January 17, 2008

good and bad for the day...

Bad :
- I have picked up 3 kg of muscle in 5 weeks of training. And 0.7 kg of fat, because the diet and non-drinking that derailed at Christmas are still off-track. Body fat percentage is down, but I really don't need any more muscle. All it does is go flabby when you don't work it regularly.
- I was late for trainer-dude because of traffic lights being out all over town, and arrived home in such a foul mood that I started the walk so fast that after half a km I could hardly breathe, and battled for the rest of it.
- I still haven't started the work I need to do. Almost managed to start last night, until I realised that I am too scared to add more space to the database, because I know I will screw it up.
- yet again, I cried for most of the appointment with pdoc. He offered to call my boss, and that made me cry more. He suggested hospital again, which I turned down again - I am suicidal about 98% of the time already. Being in that environment wouldn't stop me from doing anything and would push the desire right over the edge. It isn't even the method I would ever use, but I can't stop thinking about hanging myself - what rope I'd use, what I could tie it to that would be strong enough, what the odds of success would be. How painful it would be. Didn't share any of that speculation with him. He said again that he is optimistic about current meds, and if not, then he still has a whole lot more options. I didn't tell him that I don't see any point in more meds, that I think we've tried enough without results. I did mention that I can't stop thinking about borrowed pdocs assertion that meds won't work anyway, but didn't go into the corollary. Which is that the meds won't work because the reason I am so down is because I am actually just a total loser anyway, and that meds can't change that without a personality transplant.
- I yelled at the dogs again, about a hundred times more than I was nice to them. They've been fixing up the house next door for about 5 weeks now, and hearing workers or seeing them on the roof sends the dogs ballistic. And them barking does the same to me. I don't deserve to have animals at the moment or birds either because all I do is be a crap caregiver and an even worse owner. Net gain of three birds and a terrapin today, which is not what is meant to happen by trying to cut back.

Good :
- nothing. Unless I start scratching for something, like good is the absence of any more bad. No point in even going there....if there was any more, I could give up fighting this and go suck exhaust fumes. Now that, I believe, would be good....

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


So it's now Tuesday night, and I have yet to actually achieve anything of the work that I was supposed to be well into already. I try to get started. But within minutes of trying to work out what needs to be done first, I am overwhelmed by how enormous the task is, and how complex. And I end up just sitting here crying because I cannot conceive of a way to ever get the whole thing going. This is stuff I could do half-asleep, it's basic routine tasks. And at the moment it is completely beyond me.

There was another meeting this morning, and in a complete about-face from the attitude for the past year, everyone is now all fired up and ready to go. Except me.
As well as the stuff that I haven't even started, they now want the whole upgrade done on development this week. Pigs might well be airborne by Friday.

So as a mature, responsible individual, I have spent most of the day crying, and not getting started. And am now crying some more while I hit the vodka again.

The bird moratorium just isn't happening, either. The centre is trying not to give me calls for anything except mynahs and feral pigeons, but unfortunately there are huge numbers of people who insist that the teeny little dove that they have is actually a huge feral. And a whole bunch of vets and others just call me directly anyway. I am going to have to make a choice - either keep taking calls and not achieve anything else constructive, or stop and know that because of me a whole bunch of birds will get killed. I am damned either way.

I deserve whatever crap is coming shortly. Useless f-ing moron....

Friday, January 11, 2008

waste of space once again

- all I did yesterday was see pdoc, and make an ass of myself by crying for the whole appt. Didn't even deliver parrots, so had to do that today. Dropped off three mynahs as well, and wasted the whole appt with tdoc by.....crying. If it frustrates me that I do it, can only imagine how annoying and boring it must be for them.

And still haven't started the project that needs to be just-about finished already, for the paying job. Am going to get my butt kicked on this one, badly.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

shooting myself in the foot...or worse

so, in spite of being completely, pukingly tense about the whole work project, I once again did nothing about it except throw up a couple of times. And then, to add to the joy, the project manager called and invited himself to my house tomorrow morning to go through some plans. So what little constructive effort I managed was spent on shifting crap from one room to another, and tidying up my desk. Boss sent a reminder too, that we have a team 'info' session with senior management tomorrow afternoon. I've mailed him to try and weasel out of it - can't face a two hour bull session followed by a social get-together. Told him I could physically make it, but am taking strain and would rather not.

Just what I need, a visitor at 09h00 - when I need to leave by 09h50 to get to pdoc on time, and need to pack up parrots and all their belongings to go with me, plus pack the tortoise and the birds that can go to the centre so that semi-sane cat buddy can pick them up on her way in. Will try to get some of the others through to their homes on Friday, which should cut down on the feeds and the time those take. Maybe I'll kick my butt hard enough then to get started on the work stuff....

And PT didn't make it today, either. Yesterday he hit some debris from an accident and had to go get two tyres replaced, managed to leave his wallet there and spent the afternoon trying to get it back. Last night, while he and wife were asleep, their house was broken into and all the electronic kit including phones, computers and his R12000 scale was taken, as well as the standard consumer stuff. So his day was really crappy, and today was spent trying to sort out cops and insurance etc. Can't exactly moan at him for not coming to train. Especially seeing as it would actually be perfectly possible for me to go walk by myself. If I wasn't such a useless apathetic lump.

Now, in the interests of waking up early enough to get organised before the meeting, am taking meds - and hopefully to sleep....

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

panic fullscale. never mind the parrots....

...been feeling the strain lately. More than lately - since the start of baby season, and all the way back to winter for the paying job, actually. Seems like a never-ending conflict between wherever I am, whatever I should have done, what I'm late for now, the babies I've failed. The ones that I am letting down now because if I don't take them, they are the unloved anyway. The unwanted. Maybe just euthanasing them without a second thought would be the right thing to do, but I can't. If I limit what I do to them, maybe I could cope - but it's not only the calls redirected from the rehab centre; there are dozens of vets and others all over town who have my number and pass it on. For all kinds of birds and everything else too. And in between, it's all-night standby and callout for IT-job. It's rush-hour on the stuff they f**ked around over for all of last year. It's political games and shifting blame time, and my name is way up on the list.

It hit me today at about lunchtime that I can't do it all right now. Can't do most of it, actually. And that was before I found out about a few more things that some unknown idiot had said that I would be doing but had somehow forgotten to mention to me. I'm trying to fit in the personal trainer too, who has his own non-stop crises. And the non-negotiables, seeing pdoc and tdoc. Something has to break. Think it's me.

I did seven pick-ups today, of which only one was for illegals. So maybe I can cope if it is limited to only those. I have about 300 hours of IT work, which should be done already. And I can't even make myself sign on to the system. I'm smoking about two packs a day, irritable as all hell, and way too close to panic attacks for big chunks of the day - not to mention the speeding fines I'm racking up while I race to be wherever I am already late for.

So today I asked rehab-boss and my receptionist-buddy to take me off the call list for everything except the illegals. I'm going to have to field the ones who call me directly. Hopefully give the parrots back in the next day or two, send the mynahs and pigeons to their new homes, and maybe weasel a few hours of online work to get the idiots off my neck. Try to stop beating myself up over everything else that I am failing at. If it doesn't involve something dying - me included - it can probably wait, even if the people involved don't think so. Stop sleeping in the bath, and staying up half the night playing on the net because I am just too tense to go to bed early, and when I do I don't sleep properly anyway. Take more than 1/3 of the allowed sedatives, and live with the crap if I sleep through a callout. Maybe take my folks up on the visit whenever they are next in the country, or pdoc on the timeout option. Or myself on the end-game one.

Something has to break, and I think maybe it's happened already....

Monday, January 7, 2008

parrot panic

given that I have now convinced myself that the mynahs are dying of a chlamydial infection, even with prophylactic antibiotics and sterilizing everything with pink goop, I guess the next step was logical. Just as little parrot's foot has come down to normal size and he is using it normally so that I am optimistic that his cast can come off when he sees the vet tomorrow......I am sure that his brother is sneezing and has psittacosis, which is the parrot version of chlamydia. The dentist-daddy owes me bigtime for this caretaking task - what I'd like is about two days of nitrous where nothing bothers me at all.

And I think I am probably in crap with work. All the stuff that was non-urgent for the past 6 months? So much so that I haven't really done anything about the next round of it, figuring that it would also be a waste of sweat and sleepless hours. Now I'm getting mails saying so where's the output, we need it asap. And instead of doing anything about it today, I played sudoku online for 6 hours, and have read blogs for another 6. At least the blog was interesting....

Saturday, January 5, 2008

what really exciting people do on a saturday night

1. Catalog the aches and pains from yesterday's training, where PT dude brought his slim and fit wife along because they were going somewhere afterwards. She was very sweet, and even laughed politely at some of my whining at PT. He also brought along the dreaded stepper and - for variety - a mat and large ball, which he used to great effect on a whole bunch of muscles that didn't hurt yet. Now they do.

2. Update the meds spreadsheet after pharmacy visit. Spreadsheet shows what I am supposed to take at what time, and is colour-coded for taken, have and have repeat owing at pharmacy. Only way I can keep track, especially when tapering up or down. Update meds list of what has been squirrelled away - on some of the two week issues, its easier/same cost for pharmacist to make it 15 days. The extra day, plus half the sedatives, get squirrelled straight away.

3. Update bird book (of cases at home) with additions, deaths and deliveries to the centre for the last two days. Have added - and lost already - two sick baby pigeons. A new mynah, but two had died. A goose with anaerobic poisoning. Three stray racing pigeons - normally the guys don't want them back if they have failed to finish, but I always try to track the owner anyway. Sometimes they are good breeding stock, even if they are lousy racers.

4. Finish off the last of the vodka, given that I am not strong-willed enough to either keep it or toss it out. Start the sober bit again on Monday, after New Year's wake.

5. And - shit shit shit - get a phone call from Andy-cat's mom to ask me to collect an abused dog in the morning, and to tell me that it seems that Nicky, the poison-eating cat, did it again and was found dead yesterday morning.

- so all round, not what I would call a fun or sociable night.....

Thursday, January 3, 2008

end of the holidays, start of the year

so bah f-ing humbug. Or some similar positive sentiment. Three years of being whale shit. Three years wasted. Nothing to indicate that anything is going to improve this year.

Saw pdoc today, and got him all excited about the exercise yes, alcohol no December. And all disappointed that I didn't bound in looking happy, that I didn't bring him the meds collection, that the exercise doesn't fill me with good cheer. Basically, disappointed that I am still a miserable asshole loser. He didn't say much about not getting the Leponex, or about borrowed pdocs opinion on futility. I didn't say much either. As much as anything on earth can make me feel glad, I am glad that he is back. I think though, that maybe I care about him too much. Not a good idea...

After which personal trainer dude did his best to help me die soon, by changing our workout from just walking - which is already bad enough - to a mix of his fancy step machine, beating up a serious punchbag and then a half-distance walk just to finish me off. All this in 32 C heat. Still feel as if I am staggering more than walking. A heart attack would be cool, as long as it was a good one. Which reminds me....must get him to give me an indemnity form to sign. Just in case I do get lucky and die on the pavement outside my house....

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

so how many babies did you kill today...

the worst part of the rehab sometimes is having to make the euthanase-or-not call. Sometimes it's a good call, when the bird in question is obviously in a lot of pain - even then, though, there is some debate on whether birds and mammals feel pain in the same ways. Sometimes, as (we think) ethical rehabbers, it's just one of those crappy calls where the bird is non-viable for release although not in obvious physical pain, and we are making the decision not to keep it captive for life.

Had one of each today, without anyone to back me up. A baby pigeon who had had various issues all along for the two weeks he'd been with me, developed crop stasis yesterday and this morning was unable to breathe and gasping frantically for air he just wasn't getting down. And then a mynah that had been shot - a compound fracture of the humerus that was at least a couple of days old. Bits of dried bone sticking out all over, but didn't seem to be in much pain anymore. Just no way to ever put that wing even partway together. And our ethics say that we don't cage amputees.

As volunteers we are never expected to euthanase anything. Some people never do. Some, like me, draw lines in the sand. I won't euthanase a bird with trichomoniasis unless it is clearly very close to a lingering death. I will only do it when there is physical cause and I really believe that I am doing the best for the bird, and often I will make a vet trip for confirmation.

Some days being the executioner still sucks.....

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

yeah well....

...happy New Year to all. It's 01h00 here, there are still screaming party animals staggering around the area, but the fireworks have just about died down. So can put the dogs to bed. And me. I still have an 07h00 wake-up to feed the birds, regardless of how late I am forced to stay up. Giving the dogs Xanor didn't help at all. Banning firecrackers would.....