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#5322 – coping strategies

friday night i went to the corcoran gallery of art to see “downtown calling”, a film about new york city in the late 70s / early 80s and the music/club, graffiti, and art culture that developed at that time. it was a really interesting film and i really enjoyed it, and afterwards they had a q&a session with the director… apparently this was his first film he’s ever made, and he’s never been to film school or anything like that. he’s just a dj who decided to make this film because people were always asking him about different songs and musical groups and such and he thought it would make a good story. i don’t know when it’ll be available for anybody else to really see as they said that they’re still raising money and going through the process to get all of the archive footage and soundtrack cleared for distribution, but once it’s available i really would like to see it again, and this time i want to take notes – there were so many things that i saw or heard about that i wanted to remember to investigate, but it was impossible to remember it all.

saturday morning bruno_boy and i went to get my car a new inspection sticker. it wasn’t as big of a deal as i thought it might be, just had to show my driver’s license and my registration and pay the $10 fee so they could put the replacement inspection sticker on my windshield, but it’s something that i wish i didn’t have to do. i still need to write a letter to the DMV explaining that yes, i got the ticket because i removed my inspection sticker from my car, but that i thought that the registration sticker acted as proof of both registration and inspection. hopefully they’ll reduce the $50 fine.

we both needed haircuts, and zenmetsu needed a haircut too, so dave and i drove over to dan’s and while dave met up with dan i headed over to my credit union branch next to his apartment. there might be other branches of my credit union that have a coin-counting machine in them, but this is the only one that i know of, and since i might end up having to pay this fine i wanted to deposit this big jar of coins i had collected for who knows how long. watching people at these machines is always like watching a game show, you’re rooting for them to get a big deposit, and since the screen on this machine showed the total deposit in large numbers it was easy to see from the line of people waiting for the tellers. when it finished counting my jar of change and ended up at $68.99, i heard someone waiting in line mutter sotto voce “oh, come on! just one more!!”, and several people (myself included) bust out laughing. one person in line offered to see if they had a penny on them, and though i had already quickly checked my pockets, i declined their offer. still, if i did put in one last penny to make it an even $69.00, it would have upset other balances – the total coinage deposited was:

1¢ x 199 coins = $1.99

5¢ x 92 coins = $4.60

10¢ x 109 coins = $10.90

25¢ x 198 coins = $49.50

50¢ x 0 coins = $0.00

$1 x 2 coins = $2.00

total coins: 600

so, while one penny would have made it an even $69.00, and 200 total pennies, my total coinage would have been an uneven 601 coins.

we went up to get our haircuts at the beatnik barbershop, my favorite barbershop ever. when i first found it years ago, haircuts were $15 and you’d get a cup of coffee and a haircut for that price. since then, the price has gone up to $16 and no coffee, but i like the job that peter the owner does, and i always enjoy chatting with him and catching up. he’s now 2 for 2 on recommending films to me; the last time i was there we were talking about hiking and exploring and so on, and he was telling me about how he just recently started cave diving, and among all this outdoorsy talk he recommended the film “180° south” about these climbers who teamed up with one of the founders of patagonia clothing to go mountain climbing. this time i mentioned to him the “downtown calling” film i just saw the night before and he recommended the film “exit through the gift shop” about banksy and graffiti / street art, and while i had already heard good things about it, i checked it out on netflix sunday night and really enjoyed it.

saturday night i wanted to go out dancing, and festive was in a dancing mood too, so that evening i headed back to the apartment and she met me there and we headed to the black cat since there was a no-cover dj set going on. unfortunately, it was also pretty crappy – there were only a handful of people there, it was a bit of a sausagefest, and when we got our drinks i didn’t really enjoy drinking mine… while i’d normally be pleased to receive a rum and coke that’s 90% rum and 10% coke, when it’s 90% crappy rum and the whole thing smells/tastes like fingernail polish, i just could not enjoy my drink. michelle and i thought about going somewhere else to dance, but instead we ended up investigating the “art all night” / “nuit blanche” art festival that was happening at several venues down 7th and 9th streets from 7pm-3am. we only ended up looking in at a few venues, but there wasn’t that much that we found interesting before we went back to my apartment to crash.

sunday was spent recovering from saturday. we met up with dave for coffee and a late lunch / early dinner, and that was about it.

yesterday i didn’t really have any plans. there were a few things that i was thinking of doing, but nothing i had really decided on. at one point the black cat announced on twitter how, as a refuge for those who didn’t want to see the redskins / cowboys football game, they would be showing a couple of b-movies (“wild zero” and “faster, pussycat! kill! kill!”). i figured i’d check that out, but then i saw how tim, the dj from the charm city roller girl derby bouts, was looking for someone to take his spare ticket to that night’s preseason capitals hockey game, so i took him up on the offer.

the hockey game turned out to be better than watching b-movies (although i’m disappointed that “faster, pussycat! kill! kill!” isn’t available on netflix) – turned out that two girls tim knows were also at the hockey game – laura and katie, both in town from pennsylvania for the hockey game to celebrate their birthdays the week before – and they had seats in the 100 section close to the ice. they had also received a pair of tickets to a suite from john walton (who is the new play-by-play announcer for the washington capitals on the radio), but since their seats were much better than the club suite they gave us the suite tickets, and tim and i thus had an upgrade from his seats in the 400-level.

the caps won the game 3-1, and afterwards i got to finally meet meet sam “the horn guy”, and then laura and katie and tim and i went out for post-game dinner. the four of us were joined by an off-ice NHL official who was working statistics for that night’s game and is friends with laura and katie, and a little later on we were joined by john walton himself (who questioned tim and myself about how we liked suite location so he’d know what to tell future people he gave the radio promo suite tickets to). at one point john was asking us how we all knew each other, and when we got to how tim and i knew each other we both looked at each other and said “uhh… actually, we know each other through womens’ roller derby”, and since it was such an odd answer for two guys we then had to connect the dots to show how we both became involved in supporting the charm city roller girls, and how i was doing a photojournalism class project and how i used to skate (john shook his head in amazement: “you could have given me 1000 guesses and i never would have guessed that you played roller derby.”), and how we got to know each other that way.

the off-ice official left after a while, leaving the five of us to talk hockey for another hour or so before tim and i had to dash to catch the last metro trains out. we really would have wanted to stay around and drink and laugh about katie starting fights with hockey fans and getting tossed out of arenas and laura having to keep katie under control and hearing from john about traveling around with hockey teams on the road.

i thought about going to bad decisions up in baltimore tonight for the beer and bacon happy hour, but since i’m going up to baltimore tomorrow night anyway to catch the last orioles game of the season with stueypark i figured i might as well just go home and take care of some stuff. seriously, i’ve put so many things on my social schedule, if i don’t specifically take the time to take care of certain things then i’ll never get around to them.

i got a flyer in the mail the other day from my work’s healthcare plan about free online coaching programs to help employees; the programs were for better health, better activity, better eating, better sleep, and better coping. of those, the better sleep and the better coping programs intrigued me the most. how convenient that this arrived too, as i was curious and was recently researching cognitive behavioral therapy after hearing techniques mentioned on a podcast i listen to when i get a chance to. (i like to research a lot of stuff online. tonight it was le pétomane. :P) anyway, i could really do a better job of getting to bed at reasonable hours and getting a good night’s sleep, and i was curious what the better coping program could offer to help me with my stress and struggles, so i thought i’d check it out.

i started with the better coping program earlier this evening, and even though i’ve been feeling better about things the past few days, i don’t know what happened. i was feeling ok, and i’m still feeling ok, but as i started answering the questions for this better coping program to help it develop my step-by-step plan i just felt overwhelmed about everything and started bawling. don’t people usually say that the hardest part is admitting that you need help? maybe i imagined hearing that. maybe i’m under more stress than i thought. maybe i need more help than i thought. i don’t know even where to start.

sigh. i hate feeling like i don’t have control over myself.

and now i’m starving, but i should really be getting myself to bed.