Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Promotion... of sorts

I just received the following email from my Commanding Officer (names have been abbreviated for the sake of privacy):

Dauntless Crew,

Effective immediately Commander Owen Swart is required to report as Second Officer of the Shuttle Dauntless.

Commander Swart, please report to the Executive Officer for your assignments.

Fleet Captain TD
Commanding Officer
Shuttle Dauntless, NCC-74214


I’m now third in command of the ship! How cool is that!

Friday, May 27, 2005

No thanks

I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t do any drugs and I don’t smoke. At all. I never have, and it’s completely normal to me, but it seems to bother a lot of people.

I’m asked several times a week why I don’t, and every time I have a different reason… there are in fact many reasons. But I think I’ve figured out what the main one is.

Growing up, my primary male role-model was my maternal grandfather. He used to pick me up from school and I would spend every afternoon with him before going home with my mom. My father was at home, but he’s always been emotionally distant, and to this day we don’t get along very well.

My grandfather was a genuinely good man. As a boy he was a Scout, and then became a book-keeper. He served as an adjutant at the rank of Captain in WWII as an officer of the Transvaal Scottish Regiment… they were involved in the North-African campaigns where my grandfather lost many friends in the battles of Cartoum and Sidi Rezegh.

He returned from the war to his wife and the two small children he barely knew. Although he wasn’t a rich man, he made sure his family was cared for and comfortable. Even when his son went into political exile he never lost his cool. I don’t recall ever hearing my grandfather raise his voice.

He was endlessly longsufferring... one of my now fondest memories of him comes from my early childhood. I had a tricycle that I would ride around as little kids do. However, i was forbidden from riding it in the kitchen as the tyres would leave black streaks on the linolium floor. That didn't stop me, since the smooth floor was the best place to ride... nice and smooth. Every time I did it, my grandfather would warn me beforehand not to, then when I did it he would calmly and quietly instruct me to go outside, then he would go down on his hands and knees with some or other solvent and remove every black streak. We went through this ritual just about every day, but he never got angry.

Although I obviously didn’t know him as a young man, the grandfather I knew was a clean-living man. He was an active participant in the church his family helped to build, he never cursed, drank or smoked. His only vice was the fried eggs and bacon he had every morning… only upon reaching his mid-eighties was he warned by his doctor to watch his cholesterol, and he went on to see his 92nd birthday.

My grandfather was a responsible, proud, strong, dutiful, pleasant, intelligent, peaceful and thoughtful man. When I think of what it means to be a man it’s he that I think of.

I think it’s from him that I inherited my lack of desire to indulge in mind-altering substances. He didn’t need them, so neither do I. I hope that when I reach 92, I’ll be as well liked and respected as he still is.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

True love

The word ‘love’ is bandied about frequently. We all use it on a daily basis. Indeed there are many different kinds of love… kinds that the English language doesn’t have words for, so they all gut stuffed under the universal banner of “love”.

It’s a word I battle with. Because it’s laden with so many different connotations, I think very carefully before using it… I make absolutely certain the person I’m saying it to understands the specific meaning I was aiming at.

Sometimes it’s easy… When I tell someone “I love Star Trek” it’s pretty straight forward. They instantly know what sense I mean: that I really enjoy immersing myself in the Star Trek experience, by watching it, reading about it or playing games based on it.

Likewise when I say “I love my cat” they can understand that too: she makes me happy when she lies on my chest and purrs, and how she used to keep me warm on winter nights when we still used to live together.

It starts getting a lot more complicated when I say “I love you”. This meaning is not necessarily immediately apparent. There are many kinds of love that can exist between two humans… unless the person I’m saying it to knows me particularly well, they won’t know which one I am referring to.

It’s for that reason I usually refrain from saying it to people altogether. Growing up, it wasn’t really said in my house. I don’t recall a single occasion when my parents or my sisters ever told me they loved me, or vice versa. There was never any need. Perhaps that’s part of the reason I find it so hard to say now… not much practice.

As it stands today, there are only two people I say it to from time to time. And it means something quite different when I say it to each of them.

To the one it reminds her that she is an important part of my life and that I care about her a lot, in a completely non-romantic sense. She understands that, and when she says it back to me I know that she means it the same way.

To the other it means something else entirely, and when she says it back I don’t know what it really means.

That disparity has got me thinking a lot about so-called ‘true love’, and what its nature really is.

I’ve spent some time recently trawling through dating websites looking for something… I don’t know what. But one thing I noticed recurring in profile after profile was the expressed desire to find what they believed to be “true love”… often quantified in terms of trips to Paris, candle-light dinners, walks on the beach and so on. Although passion and romance are cool, I don’t believe they represent true love at all.

The way I see it, true love is about a willingness to do whatever it takes to bring happiness to the object of your affection. It’s about being prepared to make sacrifices for them.

True love begs questions like these:

Am I willing to leave the relationship to make this person happy?
Am I prepared to wait forever for this person?
Am I prepared to sacrifice my life, or any part of it, for this person?

Only once you’re able to answer ‘yes’ to all of those questions are you in a place when you can understand true love.

But not only that, it’s about everyday life. It’s about being prepared to share every aspect of your life with someone.

It’s about staring into their eyes and seeing more beauty than exists anywhere else in the world for you. It’s about taking a taxi to work so your partner can use your car because theirs is in for a service. It’s about having a meal ready when your partner gets home from working late. It’s about massaging the stress-knots out of their back without having to be asked because you know they need it. It’s about taking over all the house-hold chores for a few days when they’re in bed with the flu.

It’s about the slightest touch to the cheek, or a soft kiss on the forehead… when these things mean more than anything, than everything… when that touch says “I love you”.

These things seem mundane and thoroughly unromantic, and indeed they may be. But to me these are the things of true love.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Freedom? Yeah, right.

I think it’s a myth. I don’t believe true freedom exists. It’s a vainly aspired ideal like objectivity (which is in itself a form of freedom – freedom from bias).

A while ago I read an interpretation of the film The Matrix which described it as a metaphor for the capitalistic system of which we are all a part.

I bought it hook, line and sinker.

The Matrix itself is the system… the “world pulled over our eyes to blind us from the truth, that we are slaves”. We’re slaves to the system. We spend our whole lives working for money so we can support ourselves… buy food, clothing, shelter and fill any number of other needs the system tells us we have.

Think about it…

You go to work to earn a living. The salary you get at the end of the month seldom goes towards making you rich or allowing you to achieve your dreams… it puts food on your table, clothes on your back, pays the water, lights, rent, medical aid, insurance, telephone bill and so on… by the time all your essentials have been covered there’s only enough for a little bit of entertainment.

In other words, from all the work you’ve put in, you’ve only received enough to sustain you… to support your lifestyle. All that money you had is now gone… gone where? To other people, working to support themselves. But not all of it… some of it filters through the system until it ends up in the pockets of the ultra-rich. These are the only folks are the only ones who aren’t slaves to the system… they’re the ones who keep the system running so that they can continue to benefit.

Ok, so we’re all slaves, but what about the One? What about all those folks who lived in Zion who were freed from the Matrix?

I think they can all be summed up in one quote from Cypher: “You call this freedom? All I ever do is what he tells me.” In other words, sure, you can try to escape the Matrix, but there’s just another Matrix outside… you’re still a slave. Whether you do it voluntarily or not, the fact remains that you are never truly working for your own benefit, only for the benefit of others. Such is the nature of social organisms.

If you were really able to escape the system… to find a way to get out… how would you survive? Where would you get your food, your clothes, your medical attention? It sounds like a great idea to go live on a tropical island somewhere where there are no taxes and no taxis, but what happens when you get your first tropical disease? Who’d going to fix that for you?

I propose that since there really is no way out of the system, the only way to find happiness is to give up the search for freedom… instead make the most of what you have. Be aware of your place as a cog in the giant machine and try to be happy about it. Do the best you can to use your efforts to enrich yourself and to improve your way of life instead of merely supporting it.

I think it helps to see life as a game of chess… there are very restrictive rules and you only have so many moves available to you… but at the very least you have the freedom to choose which move you’re going to make. Make it count!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Yay yay it's new-card day!

Every few months Decipher releases a new expansion set for Star Trek CCG 2nd Edition. And every time they do that, my gamer friends and I pre-order boxes of cards.

The latest set, Strange New Worlds, was released last week, so our boxes arrived in the country on Friday... I got mine today.

New card day is always a festive occasion for me... I like to make a real romantic time of it.

Today I had the flat to myself, so I put on a DVD of some Original Series episodes, made myself a special lunch (spaghetti bolognaise), poured myself a tall glass of orange juice and set about the task of opening the packs.

This is arguably the best part of new card day... I stack up all the unopened booster packs on one side. Then I take the first one... I use the special 'two-finger friction technique' to open the pack without damaging it or bending the cards. Then I lift the pack to my nose and take a deep breath... There's only one scent more appealing than that of a freshly opened booster.

I gently pour the cards out onto my freshly washed hand and begin the examination. After carefully reading each card I place it into a pile sorted by card-type (Dilemma, Equipment, Event, Interrupt, Mission, Personnel or Ship), place the empty packet into the box and move onto the next one.

Once all the packs are open it's time for step two. I split the Missions up by Quadrant and the Personnel and Ships by affiliation, then I sort all the cards into alphabetical order.

Then I get the file out. The file is the home to the first copy of every card I get. Of course, it's sorted using the Player System (by type and then alphabetically). Since I now have a whole bunch of new cards to squeeze in just about every single card in the file has to be taken out of it's sleeve, and one by one put back in the new sequence. This part usually takes about an hour and a half.

When that is done, I'm left with a pile of duplicates. I take out all the Rares for my trades file, and then insert what remains into my stock box (which is also alphabetised).

By this time most of the muscles in my back have gone into spasm, so it's time to lie back on the couch for a while while I bask in the afterglow.

I love new card day.

(Yes, you can say it: I belong it the realm of uber-geeks. The kind that regular geeks beat up and steal their lunch money. I'm okay with that.)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

These are the voyages…

I just finished watching the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.

Yes, there are indeed tears running down my cheeks. The final sequence was beautiful… the three most famous captains uttering the famous words as their ships fly by…

These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Her continuing mission: To explore strange new worlds.

To seek out new life and new civilisations.
To boldly go where no man has gone before

It breaks my heart that this may be the end of Star Trek altogether. I’m not going to rant now about the incompetence of Paramount Pictures, as this is too solemn an occasion for a tirade.

The lyrics of the Enterprise theme song ‘Faith of the heart’ by Dianne Warren seem more fitting now than ever:

It’s been a long road getting from there to here.
It’s been a long time but my time is finally here.
I will see my dream come alive at last,
I will touch the sky!
And they’re not going to hold me down no more,
No, they’re not going to change my mind.

Because I’ve got faith of the heart.
Going where my heart will take me.
I’ve got faith to believe I can do anything
I’ve got strength of the soul
No-one’s going to bend or break me

I can reach any star!
I’ve got faith…
I’ve got faith…
I’ve got faith of the heart.

For the first time since 1977 there is currently no Star Trek series or feature film in production or planning. The spirit of Trek and the message of Gene’s dream must live on in the hearts of we, the fans… the Trekkies. Through us it will live long, and prosper.

Although we may not be seeking out new life or new civilisations, we can still go boldly where no man, or no one, has gone before.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes” – Marcel Proust.

Review: Star Wars Episode III

I was really impressed. After the dismal failures of the last two episodes I was expecting another sell-out marketing machine, but I was pleasantly surprised to see an actual high-quality Star Wars movie!

I don’t want to go into too much detail for the sake of those who haven’t seen it, but I only have two criticisms…

1. The acting was flat… especially from Haden Christensen. It was uninspired and in many cases unbelievable. I found it to be disengaging, especially in the first half hour or so of the film.

2. This isn’t so much a criticism, this was inevitable due to the nature of the fact that it’s a prequel. The fact that we already knew what happened to all the major characters at the end removed a lot of the excitement from the final scenes. Although the big fights were awesome in their scope and a true feast for the eyes, there was no real suspense. That couldn’t really be helped I suppose.

Otherwise, it was awesome. Go see it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The two-factor relationship theory

This is a theory I have recently encountered, and I believe it to be quite logical. It’s obviously over-simplified, and it only really applies to the first few months of the relationship, but I think it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

It goes like this:

There are two major factors to any romantic relationship:
1. Conversation
2. Sex

This means there are three types of relationships:

Type 1: Physical. In this type, the conversation is something that is viewed by one or both parties as something you have to sit through in order to get to the sex. These relationships are doomed to failure as they have no substantial foundation.

Type 2: Intellectual. This is where there is stimulating and enjoyable conversation, but the sex is unrewarding for one or both parties. These are the relationships that are most likely to end up as “just friends”.

Type 3: Perfect. This is where the conversation and sex are equally enjoyable for both parties. This is a person you should marry.

Like I said, it’s very simplistic, but pretty accurate, wouldn’t you say?

I reckon if you find yourself a Type 3 you should fight for it. Do whatever you can to hold onto it, because you don’t get those every day. And if you let it slip away, odds are you’ll regret it… possibly for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Time for some new business

The last few years I’ve been fascinated by languages, and I’m eager to learn as many different ones as I can… for no particular reason other than the fun of it. Besides, the more languages you can speak, the more places in the world you’re able to go where you can understand the local people.

I started Klingon, then American Sign Language, then Spanish, then Japanese… but the problem with learning a language on your own is not having anyone to converse with.

In each of those languages I learned the basic grammar, phonetics and a few words and phrases that I use often, but soon after that I hit a wall… I always battle to memorize the vocabulary.

I’ve considered having lessons, but it’s very expensive, and I’m not sure I want to give up yet another night of my week for my cultural pursuits, especially since I’ll only be able to do one language at a time.

I’ve also looked at those CD packages that allow you to teach yourself a language. Again, they’re quite expensive (considering I’ve been learning for free on the Internet thus far) and it’s difficult to find all the languages you want in the local book shops. I wouldn’t want to fork over R1000 or something every couple of months when I want to start a new language.

I had hoped that the local Mensa chapters would have a Languages SIG (Special Interest Group… Mensa has many of these, they’re like clubs within a club), but they don’t.

I’m in a situation where I was back in December 1998 when I couldn’t find a local Star Trek fan club to join… I started one.

So I was thinking… maybe I should start some sort of language club. Your price of entry is one of those CD language courses in a language that isn’t already in the club library… we could meet regularly to exchange course materials and practice speaking the languages. And of course drink wine or something. Sort of like those women’s “book clubs” that are so popular nowadays, but this would actually be focused around the activity, and not so much around the wine.

It would still be giving up a night a week, or two weeks or whatever, but it would be a far more social event than a class, and I wouldn’t be limited to a single language at a time. It also would work out far cheaper in the long run, since each member would only have to buy one set of CDs in order to have access to the communal library instead of each member collecting their own.

The question is how many people would really want to join such a club? It would need at least five or six members in order for the concept to work.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


This morning I won my first Star Trek CCG tournament. I received a full win in all three rounds, giving me a flawless victory.

I just wish I was able to enjoy my success. Today is not a happy day for me.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I love this episode... I mean REALLY LOVE

OH MY Q!!!!!

I just watched the most incredible episode of Star Trek I have ever seen!

All the languages I speak lack the adjectives to describe the coolness of this episode.

It’s from Enterprise season 4, the two parter “In a Mirror Darkly”.

I pity all you non-Trekkies, because you will never know the orgasmic bliss I am experiencing right now. Ag shame.

For those of you who would like to see it, I recommend you watch the Original Series episodes “The Tholian Web” and “Mirror, Mirror” as well as the Deep Space Nine episode “Through the Looking Glass” first. Only then will you be able to appreciate to some degree how absolutely awesome this episode was.

I could die right now, satisfied that I have lived.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

My tickets have just been purchased for the special preview screening on Wednesday 18th of May... I get to see it before anyone else!

Nyah haah!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Daneeka - Reassuring Physician

Decipher - The Art of Great Games

Yay yay yay!

One of the weak spots in my deck is that my big-ass Mission requires Biology, and I have to have both by Enterprises in orbit when I complete it in order to score all the bonus points I need to complete my 2-Mission win.

Although I have a number of tricks in place to get my Enterprises out quickly, I'm a little thin on the ground when it comes to Biology. Besides which, my tricks don't always work.

Dr. Daneeka here, from the new Strange New Worlds expansion, has Biology and scores me an additional 5 bonus points for completing the Mission.

This means I can manage without having the Enterprise E in orbit and still pull off my 2-Mission win! Redundancy redundancy redundancy.

To quote the immortal Nortan - "I am the win!"

Monday, May 09, 2005

What is the Matrix?

Throughout my adult life, I’ve had a problem when it comes to women. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that I was raised with three older sisters, but I haven’t really analysed it enough to figure out what caused it.

The problem is that I have a tendency to let them walk all over me. It’s been a real issue for me… if a woman asks me to do something I will almost certainly do it.

In my early adulthood it wasn’t much of a problem, but once I became involved in my first serious relationship it really started to get in the way. As a full-time student I was working two part-time jobs to support my girlfriend (who was not a student, and had only one part-time job). I was paying her rent, her air-time, buying her food and lots more. And at the same time I was putting up with more hassles from her than most guys would be prepared to deal with. But she was a woman, and she needed my help, so that was what I gave her.

I don’t think she mischievously took advantage of me, she just realised she could get away with it, so after a while she started taking me for granted. A normal reaction for just about anyone.

After we broke up I continued to find myself in situations where I was being taken advantage of. Again, I don’t believe it was malicious, or even intentional… women in my life soon found out that I would be prepared to do just about anything for them, so they started to rely on me doing just that.

On occasion I would become frustrated with myself for being so weak-willed, and even get angry with the women who were using me… but I’m not the sort to hold a grudge. And all any of them ever had to do was flash me a smile or a “You’re a star!” and all would be forgiven.

Although I have improved on that a lot, especially this year, I find myself in that situation once again.

My regular readers will be aware of the on-again/off-again nature of my relationship with Lily over the last few months. As much as it hurts every time I get kicked to the curb, the fact is it’s my own fault for letting her get away with it.

Case in point. Last Wednesday night she called me… out of the blue. She was terribly amorous and made all kinds of promises and guarantees that this time it would work. The following morning she changed her mind. I was furious, and I let her know it.

But on Friday night she called me again, once again being terribly amorous… practically begging to see me. I caved and visited her on Saturday evening. We had a nice time. This morning I got the, now familiar, break-up schpiel about how she’s not ready for a relationship blah blah blah.

Whose fault was it? Mine. I let her do it. So, although I’m grateful for the support I’ve been shown by some of you guys, I don’t deserve it… because I am to blame.

But this is it now. To quote Jean-Luc Picard “The Line must be drawn here! This far, no further!”

I’ve taken steps to ensure that I won’t even be tempted to hear her plea the next time she has a moment of weakness. I wish it weren’t necessary, but I feel the time has come that the Lily Chapter of my life is brought to a close.

Perhaps I will learn my lesson and not let myself get suckered into servitude again. Time will tell.




What I find quite amusing is that even though this guy has a PhD in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages (which presumably would suggest that he is a rational sort of person) he sustains a keen interest in "ufology" - the pseudoscientific study of unidentified flying objects, along with all sorts of magical aliens and mysterious coverup conspiracies.

In other words, the way I see it, he is the kind of person who would be disposed to embracing theories like Sitchin's.

And yet he is still able to see with as much ease as I have that Sitchin is a fraud and a liar... or at the very least self-deluded.

It seems that all it takes is a modicum of knowledge about any of the subjects Sitchin claims to be an expert in in order to see how wrong he is.



Another song I've been listening to in the last hour or so... equally apt.

Du Hast - Rammstein

Du hast...
Du hast mich...

Du hast...
Du hast mich...

Du hast...
Du hast mich...

Du hast...
Du hast mich...

Du hast...
Du hast mich...
Du hast mich...
Du hast mich gefragt...
Du hast mich gefragt...
Du hast mich gefragt und ich hab nichts gesagt.

Willst du, bis der Tod euch scheide,
Treu ihr sein für alle Tage?

Willst du, bis der Tod euch scheide,
Treu ihr sein für alle Tage?

Du hast...
Du hast mich...

Du hast...
Du hast mich...

Du hast...
Du hast mich...
Du hast mich...
Du hast mich gefragt...
Du hast mich gefragt...
Du hast mich gefragt und ich hab nichts gesagt.

Willst du, bis der Tod euch scheide,
Treu ihr sein für alle Tage?

Willst du, bis zum Tod euch scheide,
Sie lieben auch in schlechten Tagen?

Willst du, bis der Tod euch scheide,
Treu ihr sein....?

I've been listening to this a song a lot this weekend. Seems very appropriate.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Confessions of Miss

Wow. Words beyond that elude me.

(Sorry to disappoint, it's not pron or anything)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Consumer Culture

I’ve decided there’s no point sitting around waiting for my life to change, so I’m being a little pro-active. One of the steps I’ve taken is to try and cheer myself up by beginning a search for a possible new relationship… the first and easiest place to look is online dating sites. My personal favourite is a local service. It’s quite popular.

I have many issues with how the site works, but I use it anyway. I may deal with those in another post, but something new just occurred to me.

When looking at buying something expensive, like a car, computer or cell phone, I’m the sort of person who will scour the web and check every specification of it. I’ll compare it carefully with other products of a similar class and pick the one that best suits my needs.

I realised today that in browsing the dating site I’m doing the same thing with women. There’s a copious amount of personal information on each person’s profile… from physical appearance to turn-ons and turn-offs. All that data essentially amounts to a set of specifications.

While it appeals to my geekish mind to be able to evaluate that information before making contact, I can’t escape the feeling that is removes a lot of the mystery.

Most of the fun of the dating process lies in getting to know the other person… learning about their family, their pets, their tastes and sense of humour; tasting their cooking; watching each other’s favourite movies.

There are many little Discovery Moments ™ that are eliminated because you are expecting them. If you have the break-down beforehand, things like seeing her wearing glasses for the first time, finding a hidden tattoo or hearing her launch into a conversation with a stranger in fluent Spanish won’t surprise you at all. I quite like surprises.

With my lifestyle it’s not easy to meet new people, so Internet dating sites seem the logical solution. But are they really worth it?

Faith - George Michael

Yeah, I know GM is a big, fat loser... but I doubt he actually wrote this song himself.

Well I guess it would be nice
If I could touch your body
I know not everybody
Has got a body like you

But I've got to think twice
Before I give my heart away
And I know all the games you play
Because I play them too

Oh but I
Need some time off from that emotion
Time to pick my heart up off the floor
And when that love comes down
Without devotion
Well it takes a strong man baby
But I'm showing you the door

'Cause I gotta have faith...
BabyI know you're asking me to stay
Say please, please, please, don't go away
You say I'm giving you the blues
Maybe you mean every word you say
Can't help but think of yesterday
And another who tied me down to loverboy rules

Before this river
Becomes an ocean
Before you throw my heart back on the floor
Oh baby I reconsider
My foolish notion

Well I need someone to hold me
But I'll wait for something more
Yes I've gotta have faith...

Yeah, well, there it is.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The curse strikes again

Out of the last five companies I worked for, four went under.

The only one that didn’t was the one I was with immediately before I came to the one I’m with now… and even they were showing signs of trouble when I left.

I don’t really believe in curses, but it’s a remarkable coincidence that this keeps happening to me, and it now seems to be happening again.

Today we got an email from the Powers That Be informing us that our division is undergoing some financial difficulties, that we won’t be getting increases or bonuses and that we are all to undergo a performance review (the thinly veiled point of which is to determine who will stay and who will go).

Why does this keep happening to me?

More to the point, what am I supposed to do now?

Truth is I don’t particularly enjoy my job. We have a team of good people who I like to work with, but the actual work isn’t interesting to me. Supply chain management systems might be fun to some people, but not to me.

The only reason I’m in this job is because I believed that working for a multi-national corporate would ensure me a certain degree of job security… even if only for a couple of years… long enough for me to develop a name, establish some contacts as well as get life’s little necessities going, like buying property. Now it seems that security is anything but certain. I have to ask myself why I’ve wasted the last year of my life doing something I don’t even like?

I feel like I should sue them for failure to live up to my expectations.

It’s yet another blow to my sense of security. Only a couple of months ago I was feeling very content… I had a stable job, a comfortable home, a blossoming relationship. Now my job is in jeopardy, my home situation is uncertain and I have no relationship whatsoever.

I have no base, no net, no support structure. I feel like I’m standing atop a house of cards that is being systematically disassembled from the bottom up.