RSS Feed

National Depression Screening Day and other fun tests you can take!

Tomorrow, Thursday Oct 8th, is National Depression Screening Day. I took my test early to avoid the rush. Even though I take antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs and attend a support group, I screened positive for moderate depression and severe anxiety. The good thing is that I am unemployed, single and I live in Alaska so I can blame some symptoms on my circumstances.

I used to think these tests were bullshit. Once, before the internet,  when I was teaching at an alternative school, I took a break on the playground to call a depression hotline. It was not a suicide hotline, just for depression. I  had no health insurance at the time.  The lady said I did not have depression. I had never been diagnosed with depression so I was just really pissed off and frustrated but figured it must be something else. Later I found out I have a common combination of anxiety and depression. It took a psychiatrist and some alarming symptoms to get me to try medication. Like most people I would rather not have to take meds but I had exhausted the other options – already exercising an hour or two a day, journalling, counseling, SAD light, mindfulness, 12 step and things just kept getting worse. At least now I know that half the know it all negativity in my brain is bullshit! ( There apparently is a National Bullshit Awareness Day for those of you who are interested.)

I took a bipolar test today as well and it was surprisingly accurate, just like my psychiatrist is. It said I needed 7 symptoms in one category, (shades of DSM) and that I needed to have have gotten into trouble for some of these symptoms.  I only had 6 symptoms and have never gotten in trouble because of them.  Most of these symptoms, like having a lot of energy, not wanting to sit still, talking too much or too fast, according to my shrink, are  attributable to my anxiety so that made sense.

Why take such depressing tests? Because I can see that sometimes I am doing better than other times. I can get perspective. I often take silly facebook quizzes like “What kind of dog are you?” or “What Doctor Who Character are you?” so why not a mental health screening?

Maybe you would like to try some of these alone or with a friend.  It is not normal to worry about things all the time. It is not normal to blame oneself for everything or to blame other people. Most of the time it’s just life.  I am renewing my perspective so that I can see worry as a sign for self care rather than a reason to run away or confront something that should be best left alone.

Here is a link for the simple mental health screenings I took:

So what if you come out positive? It’s just information. Did you know that depression can be a side effect of other diseases as well? It may help to discuss these results with a health provider.

Now if you want to have fun with a friend or with your best friend, ( hopefully yourself), here are some other quizzes I love

I am a Corgi!

This one is fun because it uses the way-back-machine. I got:

Doctor John Robinson, who like me, is Lost in Space

Doctor John Robinson, who like me, is Lost in Space

One more:

I got ice cream! I will probably have to take another quiz to find out what flavor.

Just trying to balance the humor with the angst! Let me know how it goes!

Enough with the Salted Caramel!!!!

I did a search for Salted Caramel condoms today and all I could  find was this.

Looks like Ghiradelli's but it's not!

Looks like Ghiradelli’s but it’s not!

The salted caramel thing is just something for me to rant about because I’m currently unemployed and a little anxious. Sugar, salt and fat- that’s all salted caramel is.  It tastes good like bacon but it’s not probably as good for you.  People just keep thinking up things for us to get addicted to.  Crack flavored Pringles, Methyl amphetamine Oreos. Then there’s these.



These are just scraps – stuff left from the edges of the baking pan that have been fried in butter and salted.  I have not tried them because I like soft brownies which are not covered with crap to disguise the poor texture or lack of real chocolate in the recipe.

I have a bad case of seasonal affective disorder.  I moved to Alaska for economic opportunity but that was in the dark ages before the internet. I did not know that darkness could eat away at the human brain.  I love working seasonal summer jobs which means I have to find a new job in the fall, just when I feel worse for having this kind of a seesaw brain. Perhaps I just hate myself?  What is there really to hate about salted caramel?  It surely will become a hair color, house paint and tint for merino wool sweaters in the next few years.

It’s enough to drive me to drink, but you know where this is going.

It's artisanal as well

It’s artisanal as well

You knew there would be salted caramel vodka, along with the Captain Crunch and Fruit Loops flavors. This next one made me sad though.



Can it really be Bailey’s if it’s salted caramel? Why not Pumpkin Spice for Halloween and Peppermint for Christmas? There is no salted caramel holiday and will never be one if I have anything to do with it.

And if you are on the wagon

Is using salted caramel ice cream to make a float with salted caramel root beer overkill?

Is using salted caramel ice cream to make a float with salted caramel root beer overkill?

At least it’s made with real sugar!

Yes I am miserable. It’s Monday and everyone is back at work but I’m also not miserable because I needed a rest and I found a recipe for salted caramel chocolate oreo pie which I WILL NOT show you a photo of because it is just too decadent. All right if you insist,


It’s just oreos (With BUTTER) for the crust, Brown sugar, whipping cream and BUTTER for the filling then chocolate chips and whipping cream for the top covered in salt.  I don’t think most chocolate chips are made with butter, probably some even more unhealthy fat stuff and isn’t whipping cream just un-whipped butter?  This looks like a very easy way to kill yourself. I could serve it with Salted Caramel Baileys hot chocolate and die. Then I won’t have to worry about finding a job. I have a trip to see family scheduled so don’t worry, I’m not going to off myself by mixing alcohol, sugar, salt and butter just yet. Now I can get back to worrying whether I will get a job offer then have to tell them about my trip.

Anchorage after Obama

Obama's flowers are still in bloom!

Obama’s flowers are still in bloom!

Yes these are Obama’s flowers! It’s no secret that Obama stayed at the hotel I work at. Well maybe it was a little bit of a secret until the barriers went up and the dogs moved in. And bomb sniffing dogs have to pee, sometimes before it’s break time.

We got the flowers at our desk because Mr. Hickel was walking by with them, coming from “The Suite” and we gals were ooohing and ahhhing. so after walking by he brought them back to our desk.  I don’t know if Obama touched them. He definitely smelled them because they are very fragrant to the point that I sneeze frequently when nearby.

It was a very exciting week. Lots of secret service people and police everywhere. We had a metal detector installed and many tourists who dealt with it whether they voted for him or not. The Captain Cook is a classy place but it looked a little like a riot zone. Not only were there concrete barriers and cop cars but big snow trucks and army guys blocking access. We have lots of buses  who pull up each day full of tourists but they had to walk a block or two which is good for them since they have to sit down for hours on the buses to get to where Obama got in his speedy jets.

Would you be worried or feel safe here?

Would you be worried or feel safe here?

Here is the Big Top! This is where Obama supposedly exited the building so that is why there is a crowd gathered to watch.  Yes it was a bit of a circus but the show went on and what a show it was. I did not see the president except through the window of his limo and then I forgot to wear my glasses.

He's coming, He's coming, now he's gone.

He’s coming, He’s coming, now he’s gone.

After Obama bought all those cinnamon rolls at Snow City Cafe, there was quite a run on them.  The next day I brought some mini cinnabuns in for my co-workers with a little forged note from POTUS thanking them for their hard work.  I don’t think anyone read the note. They were eaten very quickly.

I will not lie. It got a little bleak here after Obama left. It rained. The flags are still up but the party’s over.

Time to say goodbye!

Time to say goodbye!

It’s time to say goodbye to summer, to my job and back to the future. Don’t know exactly know what’s next for me. I’ve got a part in a show. I’ve got some applications for work. I might take a trip. I took some rotting bananas and made some banana chocolate chip bread for my co-workers. Maybe I’ll tell them it’s from Michelle this time.

Obama Fever tears through Anchorage

I was hoping there were going to be crowds of people downtown like the last time I was in New York City and the pope was due but Anchorage looks deserted tonight. It could be the bitter wind but it is more likely that Anchorage people hate traffic and they are scared of Obama-gedden.

I had rehearsal in the banquet room of old Sunshine mall building which  has a great view of The Weekend Market.  A few businesses had put up American flags which I think is a nice touch.  About a half hour into rehearsal we noticed that police cars were building up in the area.  Our director allowed the stage manager to keep a lookout for Obama. About 7:30 pm she started yelling as a motorcade of  6 SUV’s and vans came speeding down 3rd Ave.

A couple of hours later, I saw the police build up there again.  I think we got faked the first time. That may have been either a practice run or John Kerry coming in from the Air Force base. Nothing against Kerry but it was not that impressive a motorcade and none of those cars looked like “The Beast” as described in the paper today.

The Beast

The Beast

I stopped at the grocery store on my way home and told my story to the checkout clerk. He got very excited and then sad because he really wants to meet Obama. I know how he feels.  He is the rock star of my generation.  Forget Madonna and Michael Jackson,(all about the same age.) Sure they impacted the world with their music but this man makes me proud to be an American. I am proud to be living in a city where he is visiting  and really hope he sees a moose. A photo of Obama and a moose would be worth framing.

I once worked at The Graduate Theological Union who hosted both The Dalai Lama and Jean Paul Aristide as guests. I was excited to see them but not as excited as I am about Obama. The Dalai Lama is  humorous guy but he has a big fan club. The Obama fan club is smaller up here. Maybe I have a little crush on Obama. Don’t tell Michelle!

Since most people in Alaska could care less about Obama I think downtown will be pretty empty tomorrow. I will be within a couple of blocks of him while I pick up some things from the office. That may be as good as it gets. I hope anyone who sees him will post their Obama sightings  just like when they filmed that awful movie about the serial killer last year and people kept track of Nicholas Cage.

I keep writing because I can hardly sleep.  Maybe if David Tennant or Peter Capaldi came to town I might be equally jazzed.  I may have to surrender my hopes and be happy to see Mr. Kerry or one of the other dignitaries. Maybe I will just be lucky enough to get wanded by a nice secret service person. More on Close Encounters of The Obama kind tomorrow.

What I would show Obama if he and I were chillin’ in Anchorage

Obama says he wants to talk to the real people of Alaska who working in fishing and tourism so that would include me. Being an actor as well as a tourism worker I would give him a behind the scenes tour of the town, what he might not see on the official tour but would be slightly juicier.

First off I would take him to the employee break room of The Captain Cook Hotel.  There are many people of color working in the kitchen and cleaning the rooms. I think he would like to hang with them. I hope some of The Secret Service folks speak Spanish.  It is not a fancy place but the people are cool and very deserving of a Presidential visit!

We could  step out on Fourth Avenue, shake hands with some tourists then stop for a beverage at Side Street Espresso.This is where all the liberals hang out. It is very cozy as there are not many liberals in Alaska. I’m sure he would get a warm welcome from Deb and George would probably draw his picture for the coffee of the day sign.

Afterwards we would stop by Town Square Park where all the people who don’t seem to have a job hang out. The young folks could do skate board tricks for him. Some of the other folks could keep The Secret Service busy.  Either that or we could have lunch over at The Mission or The Soup Kitchen.  I don’t want to begrudge The President top of the line food but he can eat dinner at The Crow’s Nest or Simon’s. I think lunch should be with the people.

I would invite him over to my house but I only have 3 packs of ramen left.  My roommate has lots of salmon he caught and blueberries he picked which I’m sure he wouldn’t mind sharing with The President. Barack could hang out in the hammock while we cook. There aren’t many mosquitoes out because it’s been so warm and dry but he will have to watch for the bees. We could walk down to the Coastal trail to see some more neighbors and peek in on the migrating Sandhill Cranes who are usually resting right outside the tunnel from Westchester lagoon.

If it was on Sunday, a drive to Mountain View would definitely be in order to get some barbecue sold on the sidewalk in front of one of the Samoan churches. We might as well visit The Red Apple Grocery while we’re there to catch a diverse cross section of residents and maybe take in part of a rugby game in the park.

I would not take him to The Moose’s Tooth. The pizza is good but it’s not good enough to wait that long for. If you really want some good pie there are places like Pizza Olympia and Uncle Joe’s and they will deliver so you don’t have to wait for a table with every little league player in town.

Also I would not be visiting “The most diverse school in the country!”  This hype is almost as bad as The Moose’s Tooth. What does most diverse mean? More languages are spoken here?  Perhaps because this is where all the poor people live. Anchorage is not terribly diverse by the numbers. This is a very white town. The fact that one school is “The most diverse” is pretty sad. It means we are not integrated folks. It is not a thing to be proud of no matter how many languages people speak. Poor immigrants mostly live in one neighborhood and rich white people in others.

I am glad that Obama is scheduled to go down to Seward. It’s pretty there and he should be seeing some glaciers and otters, maybe a whale or two. Perhaps he will get some Akutaq, (Eskimo ice cream), while visiting the Northern part of the state. It’s delicious even when made with Crisco! Don’t tell Michelle.



Now you can make it at home. Substitute Crisco if you don't have reindeer fat.

Now you can make it at home. Substitute Crisco if you don’t have reindeer fat.

I wish our governor was not so excited to talk to Obama about a gas pipeline and instead wanted to talk about how medical insurance is so high here that The Affordable Care Act will not be very affordable with next year’s approved increases in rates. I wish he would talk about how we have spice and heroin and alcohol taking a big toll on our people with only a few religious affiliated recovery centers who have poorly paid staff and old facilities.  What good is oil and gas if all the people are dead?

Also I hope he gets to go running on the military base with some soldiers and they see a moose. That’s what most people want to see when they come to Alaska and although we can’t control the animals, there are enough of them on base that he should be able to get some exercise and moose exposure at the same time.

I’m sure you all have ideas for his visit as well. Be sure to add them to the comments. Even if you aren’t from Alaska. What would you show him in your neighborhood?

Top 10 Reasons we’re excited that Obama is visiting Anchorage, AK!

Note the casual poses of the secret service to the left.

Note the casual poses of the secret service to the left.

10  .Pat Benatar cancelled at the State Fair. Obama, in some ways, makes up for this incredible loss. Maybe he will sing a little something.

9.    Michelle! The only things we really have to eat here are cabbage, kale and salmon. I think she’ll like it.  If she doesn’t come it will be a little sad as no one here ever wears a dress.

8.  He will feel right at home as our Independent Governor is being sued by our Republican Legislature for trying to expand Medicaid.

7.  We need the tourists to stop looking for Sarah Palin.

6.  He could be filming the first episode his new reality TV show – “Guess what state I’m going to live in after I finish being President? ”

5.  Two hundred people showed up to see Rand Paul yesterday. I think Obama can get at least half that.

4.  He can almost see his old home in Hawaii from the Aleutian Islands.

3.  Downtown Anchorage now looks like a movie set, at least before the bars get out.

Which do you think he will notice first - the beautiful new banners or the various people without jobs hanging out at the park?

Which do you think he will notice first – the beautiful new banners or the various people without jobs hanging out at the park?

2.  He can personally observe how the heated fury of Don Young  has single-handedly melted the glaciers.

I want to be happy and you can be happy if you are free to have a gun!!

I want to be happy and you can be happy if you are free to have a gun!!

1. Secret Service guys are cute in a sneaky sort of way.

secret service

Welcome my ideal reader you sorry bastard!

You could be doing so many better things than reading this. Perhaps you are thinking, as I often do when I read other people’s blogs – Bullshit! or if you are more the polite sort – I can write better than this piece of crap if I only had time between handfuls of Brookside Farms fake chocolate covered fruit bits!

I am hungry, apoplectic, lachrymose and timid. (HALT). I can’t speak for all my readers but I trust many of you are as well.  I take responsibility for my judgmental, vindictive feelings knowing that they come not from you or your blog where you rant about how unhealthy foods can kill you. These emotions spring from my genetic code and my desire to overdo things.They began way before I met you and will continue on no doubt through many medication regimens.

It is not about the food.  It’s not about Planned Parenthood. It’s not about cell phone radiation nor is it about mean people or fluoride in the water. This blog is actually about mental health and mental illness. These are diseases which happen to people no matter how much or little sugar they eat or whether or not they get an abortion.

Did I ever tell you about the psychic I visited in L.A?  I was miserable. She looked at all my Irish freckles and tears and  said, “Tell me about the abortion.” I almost punched her. My mother had died, my boyfriend was drinking too much, I had no job and had just moved across the country away from everyone I knew but him. I thought these were my problems. What an idiot she was. I know now that I was also just as much in the dark.  I didn’t know how long it took to grieve or that I had started to worry about someone else’s drinking in order not to focus on my own problems.  What a chump! But I looked great in a bathing suit.

This blog is also about humor. I am not funny because I am depressed, I am not depressed because I am funny. I am lucky to be funny 1 percent of the time. I keep my expectations low so that I am a superstar!

Speaking of superstars. I tore down a poster yesterday. This is very unlike me. I am all for freedom of speech. It was a quote from Banksy. I am sure he is a fine person once you don’t get to know him.  The thought of someone tagging the trail that I live on  felt like someone wanted to build a strip club or a twelve story apartment tower without asking the neighbors, (ie me) because their own art was so damned important. What about my art? Moreover I was sick and I wanted to kick myself so I kicked the closest person who wouldn’t get their feelings hurt – Banksy.

In order to atone for my sin, here are some photos of Banksy’s art.  He does not usually charge money for his art which is refreshing in this day and age.  Enjoy!

Nordstram's Rack is opening Sept. 3rd!

Nordstrom Rack is opening Sept. 3rd!

I hope a laughing ryot is okay

I hope a laughing ryot is okay

Old Man River

Old Man River


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 544 other followers