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a good day.

July 13, 2014

I am writing this post because I almost never have good days. I am not exaggerating. There are days when some things go well. But, even on those days, I deal with serious depression and various anxiety problems, sometimes accompanied by mild but bothersome physical pains.

Also, most days I am quite fixated on certain things. As often in the past, lately I have been fixated on trying to be an accomplished musician. This is something I don’t think I am capable of doing. I have tried for many many years, and still made almost no progress. Besides feeling like I have to become a skilled musician, I sometimes feel compelled to try and write fiction. This is something I’ve so far hated trying to do. Mostly, I don’t think I have the knack for writing fiction.

The compulsions are mixed. There is a strong compulsion to practice an instrument, or force myself to sit at the computer and try to write fiction. There is another compulsion that happens simultaneously, and that compulsion is to avoid doing what I feel compelled to do.

These feelings and thoughts are often so bad that I get headaches and upper back and neck aches. These feelings and thoughts can last much of the day and into the night. Ibuprofen and watching TV or reading help somewhat. Sometimes blogging helps a little too, or reading about something on wikipedia. I’m on wikipedia almost every night.

But today was different. Today was better. Today was a good day.

It didn’t start out a good day. I woke up feeling like I got just a bit less sleep than was best. I felt tired and somewhat anxious. But, I didn’t feel nearly as anxious or agitated as on some days after I wake up.

I remembered that today there was a meeting across town for parks and recreation volunteers, and that I’d signed up to go to the meeting. The meeting was to be at one of Boise’s most historical sites, the Boise Depot. In an entry I will soon create, I will be posting some photos of the Boise Depot.

I’ve been outside the Depot before, but never been inside it. There was free tour scheduled for after our meeting. And, during the meeting, we would be able to help ourselves to some free food.

I had forgotten about the meeting and tour, but remembered shortly after waking. I woke up with just enough time to plan my route to the Depot, and drive out there. I almost decided not to go, but made the right choice. I arrived a few minutes after the meeting was supposed to start, but it started a bit later than planned, and I did not miss anything.

There were only about ten of us at the meeting, but that was fine with me. The food was not good. The sandwiches were from Subway. I tend to hate Subway sandwiches. The salads were from a local grocery chain called Albertson’s. All the Albertson’s salads I’ve had until today have been good, but the Albertson’s salads provided for us were not good. At least the chips (what Europeans and others call “crisps”) were tasty enough. And the food was free, so I can’t really complain much.

The meeting was only about an hour. It consisted mostly of I and other volunteers providing feedback for the volunteer coordinator, a paid city employee who is a nice guy. I liked hearing about others’ experiences, and their ideas on how to improve things in the parks they look after. I had a chance to request meeting with a botanist, a wildlife expert of some kind, and someone from the Boise Watershed (the place, and, agency that manages some of our water, such as operations of storm drains and water run-off). I look after (and clean up) a nature reserve that is also used as a sort of water treatment facility.

The requested meeting with these various people is that I and the other park volunteers will eventually be expected to lead tours of our parks. There is a LOT of vegetation in the reserve where I have chosen to volunteer. A fair amount of wildlife too, mostly birds. And, the way water is treated in the reserve is still somewhat of a mystery to me. I have a lot to learn before I’ll feel ready to lead a tour through the reserve, even though the reserve is not very large. The volunteer coordinator said he could put me in touch with someone from the Boise Watershed, and someone from the local Audubon Society. He didn’t mention a botanist, but maybe he can find one for me to talk to.

After the meeting, I and a few of the others went on the Depot tour, which was led by a volunteer who had chosen to help out at the Boise Depot. This was the first tour being offered at the Depot. The volunteer was dressed in a train conductor’s outfit, and did a good job.

The tour was open to the public. There were at least 30 people on the tour.

One of the people in the group was a young woman who was a nearly perfect picture of beauty, youth, and innocence.. something very rare these days.

I am guessing she was 14. She was wearing a big, old-style floppy fabric summer hat, had brown hair, was wearing almost no makeup (or maybe none at all) wore a sort of country style blouse, and jeans that were capri length.. jeans that stop at the calf. She was somewhat curvy for her age, and the top she was wearing was tight, but she did not look at all sleazy.

A teenage girl in American society, with a body like that, will not normally dress like this girl was dressed. And a girl this attractive will usually not look so innocent. I am willing to bet this girl is a virgin, and I hope she stays that way for awhile. I hope she stays innocent. Not that losing one’s virginity is necessarily bad, but it can sometimes be a negative experience. I hope this does not happen to her, and I am so pleased I got to see her today. She was truly beautiful.

The girl did not stay for the whole tour. She and her family left a little early. But the rest of the tour was still interesting. I got to go up inside the bell tower, which provides a unique view of the city. Unfortunately, there was a fabric mesh stretched across all the windows, so the views were somewhat obscured. I took some pictures of the views outside the windows anyway. Again, see the post above this one (which I will likely create tomorrow).

After the tour was over, I walked around and took pictures of the outside of the Depot, a huge old locomotive on display, and scenes of the city. The Depot is on a unique spot near downtown Boise. Standing outside the Depot and facing east, one can see a lot of downtown and the desert hills beyond.

After taking some pictures outdoors, sweating a lot, and getting a bit sun-burned, I decided it was time to drive home.

I drove home, and on the way home, I suddenly decided to go to the local library, not the big one downtown but the smaller branch that is close to where I live. I was planning on getting a book on Wicca, or at least one on paganism in general.

Instead, I found a book that better suits my needs. It is called Man Seeks God, by Eric Weiner. He’s been a foreign correspondent for National Public Radio (usually referred to here in America as NPR), as well as written for publications, including the Wall Street Journal, and other famous newspapers and magazines.

The book is, as the title suggest, about a man searching for belief, searching for faith, searching for God.

I was surprised and pleased to find this book, and sat for at least an hour in the library and read the book. I sat in my favorite spot in the library. A comfortable chair placed so that I can look northeast out the windows and see some of the Boise foothills. As I expected, I liked the beginning of the book. Weiner, in the introduction, describes how he came up with eight religions he felt were most worth investigating. Interesting. Also, he’s got a sense of humor that I (mostly) appreciate.

After staying for an hour or so at the library, I went home. Just as I walked into the garage, my parents were heading out for ice cream. My family is not one that normally goes out for treats. This was a rare occurrence, and I was very fortunate to come home when I did.

While on the way to the ice cream shop, I asked if there had been any leftover pizza saved for me. My mom said only one piece. Just after I asked that, we were driving past a local take and bake pizza place, where mom had gotten the pizza two nights ago. I asked if we could stop and I could pick up another one. She said yes. It only took a few minutes for me to go in and walk out with a large pizza that I would bake at home.

Next stop, Baskin Robbins. I almost never, even by myself or with friends, go out for ice cream. I hadn’t been to Baskin Robbins in three years. We got our ice cream to go, in cups with lids, not in cones, and I got a large waffle cone on the side.

Once home, I put the ice cream in the large, crunchy and tasty waffle cone. It was WONDERFUL. BR must have changed their recipes. I don’t remember Rocky Road and Peanut Butter and Chocolate (what I’ve gotten at BR since I was a kid, on the rare occasions the family has gone out for ice cream) tasting so good. Rocky Road especially had a dark chocolate flavor to it I hadn’t experienced at BR before.

While eating the ice cream cone, I watched part of a DVD I’d gotten from the library called, “The Best of the Colbert Report.” Stephen Colbert is an American comedian who used to be on the comedy news program called “The Daily Show,” but eventually got his own show. On his show, he pretends an arrogant conservative TV news program host.(Like certain people on the Fox cable news channel, only intentionally funny).

I get Comedy Central, the cable channel “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” are on, but almost never watch the shows. However, lately I’ve been watching excerpts of “The Colbert Report” on youtube.

The part of the DVD that I watched was fairly funny, and had a few great moments. In one segment, Colbert interviewed various congresspersons. Colbert is a household name now, but back in 2005, when the segment called “Better Know Your District” (congressional district.. over 400 of them in this country) was first filmed, he might not have been.

It is possible the representatives he was interviewing on camera had expected a normal interview, not an interview with a man who acted strangely and asked impertinent questions. One of the congresspersons was a middle-aged man who had many years ago been in a rock band that had had a few minor hits. He agreed to sing a bit of a duet with Colbert, which was quite funny.

The representative even looked happy for a moment, then Colbert repeated a rude question, and after the interview was over, pretended he didn’t realize the interview was over, and kept staring at the man. I found all this rather amusing, especially the duet.

After I ate the ice cream and turned off the dvd player, I went to turn on the oven to get it to pre-heat, then baked the pizza. I read the newspaper comics (not that funny today) and then read more of “Man Seeks God” while waiting for the pizza to bake. I left it in the oven a bit too long. It did not burn, but didn’t taste quite as good as if I had pulled it out a few minutes earlier. But still.. good enough.

As I ate, and for a half hour after, I read some more, then cleaned up the kitchen a little, then changed into old beat up clothes that I wear when doing yard work. By 8 pm, it wasn’t nearly as hot as it had been earlier. The temperature got up to 100 today. Here in Boise, it feels even hotter to me that it would otherwise, because Boise is at an elevation of over 2,700 feet. The town in CA that I am from was at an elevation of 500 or less ft. above sea level. The elevation makes a difference.

Yeah, it really was hot today, and summer is tough for me to tolerate, except that I very much like that it stays light until 10 pm during July and August. But, the heat wasn’t too bad at 8 pm. I mowed the small front lawn and the rather large back lawn and swept up.

Then came back in, drank some cold peppermint tea.. very refreshing.. and ate more pizza. Then took a shower, and am now writing this post.

Yes, good things happened today. But that is not the only reason today was so good. Today was also a good day because some things didn’t happen.

I didn’t have to deal with those compulsive and painful feelings and thoughts. Other unwelcome thoughts that I have often found myself stuck on for many hours most days did not enter my brain until an hour or so ago. My mind, for most of the day and evening, was not in chaos. Actually, it’s not even in chaos now.

And, during the time I was eating the ice cream, and for at least an hour afterward, I felt happier than I have felt in a very very long time!

Yes, today really was a good day.


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