It seems that the solstice has ushered in the days of consistently good weather, finally, after these little false starts we've been having for the past few months.
So what do you do in the middle of the day, in 30+ degree heat, with the sun beating down on your pasty white skin? You go on a 50km bike ride, that's what you do.
I headed east out of town then cut back along on the ranch road where our town famously made the national news for installing bicycle strips over the cattle grids earlier in the year. That is, before our town instead became much more famous for the discovery of what appears to be hundreds of unmarked graves behind the old Indian residential school.
I went out to see some hoodoos.
Then i went to the memorial at the school.
It was really heavy. I cried.
Over the weekend two churches on reserves just south of here were burnt down. The chapel on our local rez was vandalized almost immediately after the news came out last month. There is a bit of tension between the indigenous people who converted to Christianity and now see it as part of their heritage and those who (rightfully) condemn the church for their role in generations of child abuse and cultural genocide. It must be very complicated to be religious, knowing that an institution you believe in so deeply has also committed some of the most horrific crimes the world has seen.
I suppose patriots face the same problem.
It's easier to be unattached.
Or maybe not, since then you take on some grief for all of the injustices perpetrated by humans around the world.
Yesterday i had a strange day at work where literally none of my colleagues responded to any emails or messages. It made me wonder if there was some kind of holiday going on in Europe that i didn't know about. But i think what's actually happening is the summer lull. Ah, that thing that happens in countries where people get 6 weeks of paid annual leave each year as the standard. I still hate that people are forced to work to survive, but there's a lot to be said for cultures that at least try to give people enough free time to offset the drudgery.
I am feeling a bit better than the doom hole i was in a couple of weeks ago. I don't know if it's because the weather has turned, or if it's because of what i'm putting in my body lately.
I've been taking the B12 supplement for a week now, and i don't know if it's just a placebo effect, but i don't feel quite as lethargic any more. But another thing i have been taking for a week is an antibiotic. Alongside the B12 deficiency that showed up in my tests, the doc found a UTI.
You guys, this is the same fucking UTI that i got way back when i lived in China, like May or June last year. I remember i got it just after the worst of the corona lockdowns and i didn't want to risk going to the doctor for any kind of tests, so i just went to the pharmacist in my village and asked for antibiotics. Of course they tried to sell me some garbage hocus pocus "traditional" "Chinese" "medicine", but i refused and pushed for real medication, which they eventually gave me over the counter, but i now think i was probably sold a counterfeit. For fuck's sake.
During several visits to the toilet each day for the past year or so, it has hurt when i pee, the color was off, and it smelled bad. But i'd taken those "antibiotics" in China and it didn't change it, so i just assumed it was something about my salty, spicy vegan eating habits, so i just chugged tons of water and ignored it. But now i have gone through a week of definitely-not-counterfeit antibiotics, i no longer have any painful or smelly toilet visits. God, is this what it feels like to be normal again? What a dumbass i was.
Get your checkups, folks. I wonder how many people - like me - avoided going to the doctor during the whole pandemic and ended up with much worse unchecked conditions than a UTI.
Anyway, the other other lifestyle change is that i am drinking less booze. This wasn't a deliberate change, but due to the potential of real estate agents and appraisers and contractors and whoever else coming through, i haven't really had any guaranteed-quiet recovery windows for my usual long and bitter hangovers, so i stopped my binge drinking, which had gotten up to 3 days a week during the height of the depression. I still had one big day before starting the meds, but now it's been about 10 days and i just had a few White Claws Sunday night after the bike ride, which made me feel lousy on Monday, and a beer last night with the real estate agent while a photographer was taking night shots... And ugh. It's better.
I mean, obviously it's better. Hangovers are fucking miserable. Even just "i had one beer yesterday" recovery time is fucking miserable when you are old. But when i am stuck in an emotional rut, then the guaranteed misery is a price i am willing to pay for the few hours of not having to feel trapped by work or sad about other things going on in the world. Flip side, when i reach an emotional point where i am less stressed about work, and when i'm less unhappy, then the benefit of the drink doesn't outweigh the misery, so i don't drink. Or, i drink less. And then i feel better anyway. Positive feedback loop. Reverse addiction! Hurray!
Unfortunately, there is still lots to feel sad about in the world. I need to talk about this shit going on at Apple Daily in Hong Kong. Let's get this out of the way: Apple Daily is a trashy tabloid, like the New York Post or the Daily Mirror. But just because they're a trashy tabloid doesn't mean their owner Jimmy Lai should be thrown in prison for "foreign collusion" due to some shit he shared on Twitter. Doesn't mean it's right to storm their offices and arrest all the top execs, then freeze their funds, which is very likely going to result the paper folding altogether.
Hong Kong is fucking dead, y'all. When hundreds of cops can raid a newspaper, and there's no reason given other than some vague insinuation that the paper published some articles in support of sanctions, which somehow "endangers national security"? Give me a fucking break. It's a shakedown. Everyone knows the paper is being killed for having the nerve to publish lowbrow opinions that are critical of the local political situation. It seems they are even being retroactively charged with breaking the law, since this blatantly authoritarian piece of legislation allows people to be charged for "crimes" they committed even before the law declared those actions to be criminal. It's disgusting.
But i am not going to drink away my contempt. I need to pull my shit together.
In summary, the Canadian government sucked for a large part of the 20th century, the Chinese government sucks right fucking now, COVID-19 still sucks and will probably keep on sucking for a while, just less. On the other hand hot weather is awesome, getting proper healthcare is nice, and working for a European company is better than working for a North American one.
I guess i should get back to work.