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One of the things I hate about living deep, deep, deep in the Maine woods is that there is almost no one to notice and get an erection when I walk around topless with my delicious, round, and full breasts with their perfectly formed and slightly raised aereolas hanging out. And sometimes Angus King comes storming out of the woods, grabs a kid, and eats him or her like he or she were corn on the cob (still not available in India because of Modi). I once had a slug who worked in a gas station pay me $100 to jack his mule all over my lovely bare breasts. I had to make him stop before he got finished because his body was moving all around like a braying ass and he was making the worst facial expressions that I've ever seen in my life.

We dredged another kid out of the river yesterday morning. He was one of the campers at the criminally negligent all-seasons camp I work for as penance for past crimes against society. He tried to escape before we had our nightly hunt and he slipped and fell into the river. He was lucky a bear didn't get him. In case you need to know, the nightly hunt is a tradition at the camp. Each night, counselors arm themselves to the teeth with military grade weapons and hunt the campers. We stop as soon as we bag one and the hunt is called off until the following night. So, if you are in a group of 70 campers staying here for a week, you have a 90 percent chance of surviving until your parents pick you up. Of course, kids die here in plenty of ways. Sometimes by extremely severe privation.

I was wistfully thinking about a noder meet that I went to in 2005. That was when we had quality noders with money. Nodermeets were held in mansions all over the world. Once, we rented an entire corner of Dubai to party in for a weekend. Those were the days. Now, nodermeets are three people in a Volvo driving to Portland. Idiots. Anyway, the wistful thinking had me remembering hooking up with a noder named Big Money Steven. He ran a string of car dealerships and sold junk bonds on the side. Big Money Steven was one of the Iron Bank Noders who wrote many writeups about how they built their fortunes and bilked people out of millions. The Gospel of Capitalism (which is no longer posted) was written by him and helped thousands of noders become millionaires. Early 2000s noders now control 88 percent of the money in the WORLD. Now, most noders live in a pigsty and eat out of trash cans. What a sad fall for a once glorious empire.

I remember Lieutenant Emerly, who deleted his account after being told he could no longer post misinformation about Muslims being programmed by aliens to kill. He had so many learnings on this subject that were posted. All now gone. Those were the glory days of E2. Now, you're better off running headfirst into a windmill. Except the blades are too high to cut your head off. These days you have to pay a crooked butcher (needs to be noded) if you want your head chopped off. Did you know that six percent of people who have their heads cut off continue to live and have ample quality of life afterwards? Lieutenant Emerly had a writeup about that as well. He was swell. It was unfortunate that he was driven off during the liberal takeover of the site in 2012 that drove the site into the ground and left noders eating out of trash cans and paying crooked butchers to cut their heads off. Six percent chance. That's all they have going for them.

Those were the good old days. You should have been there.

Time for another entry of what I've come to think of as my Depression Diaries. 

I heard back about the pitch I made in May. Rejected, as I'd expected, but they liked my writing sample. They encouraged me to send more ideas next time, "especially considering the quality of your writing sample." So, that's not nothing. I fully intend to try again when they put out the next call for writers.

Things at home are still driving me insane. To avoid going on a rant, let's just say I rarely get the house to myself, and I'm the type of person who needs a lot of alone time. I'm still saving up for my own place, which is feeling more and more like it'll never happen. Too many city people have moved here and driven up the housing prices. I know people who are ready to buy, and they can't find anything affordable. I'm starting to consider moving somewhere else. The whole thing depresses me. 

I've made an appointment with the local jewelry place to have a diamond ring appraised. It's a family heirloom. I'd planned to keep it and pass it down to my own kids or to a niece or nephew, but that's not happening. My brother seems unlikely to start a family of his own. He's still dating that woman he keeps breaking up with and getting back together with over and over. I've given up on my own love life; I can't stand the idea of dating again. That might change in the future, but right now I really just don't care. I don't think I'll have anyone to pass the ring to, so I may as well find out if it's worth anything. Maybe I can sell it and use the money towards a downpayment on a house.

I finally drove to B. This is the trip I've been wanting to make for the past two years. It involves taking the 400, which up until recently I'd been way too scared to drive on. It has three lanes on each side instead of two, and you need to know which lane to be in so you don't take the wrong exit. It ended up not being that bad. Granted, I only had to take it for about five minutes, but the fact that I took it at all was a personal victory. I met up with an old friend from university who had moved back to the area after living in Edmonton for about 10 years. We sat on a coffee shop patio just a few blocks from downtown, huddled under the umbrella while it lightly rained, and spent the morning catching up.

After that, I drove to the running shoe store. I'd been wanting to go there for the past year, since the stores in my town have a crappy selection. The young woman there gave me a gait analysis and helped me pick out a pair that's supposed to help compensate for my slight overpronation. I only half understand what that means — something to do with my foot rolling inwards too much, I think. I also grabbed a pair of moisture-wicking socks for my longer runs and a $3 pair of sunglasses. I could have easily spent more time in there, if it weren't for the lineup outside the door. Only two people were allowed in the store at a time, and I felt bad about making them wait any longer than necessary.

I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the downtown area, eventually browsing a used bookstore that also sells gemstones, then grabbing a rice bowl from a vegan juice bar. By this time it was raining hard, so I drove to the park and ate my dinner in my car, taking in the view of the lake and wishing I had someone with me. As much as I'd enjoyed seeing my friend, it had left me feeling even more lonely than before I drove up. It hurts to remember how things were, the type of person I used to be and the way things are for me now. Everyone else seems to be doing better than me. I know appearances can be deceiving, and that I should be happy for them and that my own life can still get better, yet I can't help feeling sorry for myself. I'm disappointed in myself, and I don't know how to make things better.

One addendum to that sad paragraph: before I drove to the park, I stopped at the Value Village to drop off a load of donations. I'd been forced to hold onto it for the past three months due to Lockdown #3. One of the bags held items my ex had given me. I was glad to drop it off far away from home, where I had no chance of seeing any of it again.  

My concentration for the past couple months has been total crap. I'm not sure why exactly. Probably lots of little things have been adding up and feeling like too much. I'm trying to pull myself out of this brain fog: taking small moments in the day to write down my ideas, or pray, or simply sit still and let myself think. I'm planning to book another doctor appointment and have her refer to me the same counsellor I had before. I think I'm at the point where I've done all I can by myself. 

Oh, one more thing to mention is my upcoming camping trip. I booked it for this month. I've never gone by myself before, so that should be interesting. It's one of those things I need to do, to prove to myself that I can do it. I think it'll also help to get away from the house for a night; I wanted to book two nights but could only get one. Anyway, that's where I'll leave off for now. 

Welp, we've inadvertently adopted a cat.

We already have several cats (and chickens, a mouse, a shitton of parrots, two foot-long plecos. . . ), but there's this one old timer who comes by our house for breakfast every day. He is a raggedy gray tabby, and he's clearly a stray-- he always looks scraggly and thin, and he isn't neutered, and he's always looking like he just got out of a fight. He used to be very shy around us, but in the couple years he's come around he's gotten bolder. These days, he let's us pet him, follows us if we have the food dish, and he's stopped running away when we walk by him when he's sunning himself on the porch. For our part, we feed him whenever he comes by, and we try to give him flea medicine if we've got doses leftover from our own cats.

The cat (who we call Grayson) is always looking a little fucked up, but a couple days ago, he came by limping, with his front paw swollen up.

Quick Backstory: For almost ten years, there was a very feral calico cat who lived in the neighborhood, mostly in our backyard and the yards of our neighbors. She was the mother to a number of cats we wound up adopting before we finally managed to get her TNR'd. We called her Slutty Grandma Cat, and despite knowing us for 10 years, with us feeding her and taking in her kids, she was a colossal, raging bitch who wanted to tear out our eyes. So of course we loved her.

One day, Slutty Grandma Cat showed up limping, with a swollen up paw. We took her to the vets, and it turns out that someone had shot her paw with a BB Gun. When the vet tried to fix it, her paw fell apart, and due to her age and the severity of the damage, we wound up putting her to sleep on the vet's advice.

So when Grayson showed up with a messed up paw, needless to say we were all having traumatized flashbacks of Slutty Grandma Cat. My sister and I called our usual vet and found them booked for the week. We called around other local vets, and they were booked too. Eventually we went to the same animal hospital that cared for Bosco, my sister's cat when she broke her jaw.

It took an hour for them to see him, and then another four hours for them to give him back. His paw was infected, but there was no break or anything; it seems he likely got into a fight, got a scratch or puncture, and that got infected. They did a "clip and clean", pumped him full of antibiotics and pain meds, and told us that he was FIV positive. they encouraged us to get him neutered at the least, and to try and convert him into a housecat if possible.

So now he's in "Baby Jail".

I've already scheduled a follow up appointment with our family vet to check on the paw, get him his vaccinations, and see about getting him neutered. So far, he is remarkably chill about being inside, but that may be all the pain medications he's on. I don't know how well he'll react once the pharmaceutical veneer is peeled away.

Unrelated: Sonion is also doing well.

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