All posts by Erik


My alarm woke me at 3:30 AM on a Saturday morning, which hadn’t been a regular occurrence for over ten years — not since I worked logistics at a big retail chain. I chugged some coffee/energy drink mix from a can, pulled on my hiking clothes, fed the cat, grabbed my gear, and drove to meet my friends.

My friend Trude had invited me to join her and Diane on a bird safari around Lake Apopka. Trude won it at a church auction; I had to back out when the bids rose above $200. Diane would drive and point out interesting specimens; Trude would take pictures; I, with a tremor that makes it difficult to handle a camera, would observe through binoculars.

Nature is way more interesting with knowledgeable friends and a deliberate pace.

Continue reading Outdoors

“We … are … Americans” – Some Quick Thoughts on “Us”

Well, that movie’s gonna stick around in my headspace a while.

I don’t think it’s quite as good as Get Out, Jordan Peele’s last film, but few films are. However, I found Us to be more memorable — the imagery is vivid and disturbing, especially during the third act. The performances, including two amazing ones from Lupita Nyong’o, are excellent for reasons I don’t wish to spoil.

Speaking of Jordan Peele, I really should watch the new Twilight Zone series.

Appropos of nothing:

Getting an appointment for a specialist, unless you’re on the verge of death or about to be hospitalized, is impossible for any reasonable time frame.

Eyes Unclouded: Princess Mononoke and Living with Anxiety

Note: This is not an examination of the intentions of Hayao Miyazaki or any of the other filmmakers involved in the production of Princess Mononoke. This is how it speaks to my own lived experience.

(CW: mental illness)

I live with anxiety and depression. I have been going to therapy semi-regularly since 2010, after I experienced an anxiety attack that caused me to flee my workplace. My first experiences with depression were in high school. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, and I’ve heard it described as a symbiotic relationship — bouts of high anxiety leading to periods of depression.

The experience of an anxiety attack, aka a “panic attack,” is like being stalked by a tiger that’s just out of sight. It’s difficult to breathe. You have to do something right now, come on, let’s go, but you don’t know what exactly needs doing. Your fight-or-flight kicks in, and either you get irritable and angry, or you panic and escape as best you can.

Continue reading Eyes Unclouded: Princess Mononoke and Living with Anxiety