Still can’t hear but at least I’m not spam anymore

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This has been one of the dumbest years of my life, and it’s only three months old.


First: it’s too hot. It has basically been fifteen degrees hotter than it’s supposed to be, every day, for the past week. That’s just stupid. It has been spring for two days, tops, but I’m wearing shorts when I’m not even supposed to be thinking about where I stored my sandals for at least another week.


Second: the Chinese food place in the next town has decided to put a minimum charge of $15 for deliveries to my village. I usually use their kitchen once a month, sometimes twice if I’m feeling particularly self-destructive. For the past eight years my order has been: General Tao’s chicken, with sticky rice and two egg rolls = $12.35 (tonight’s fortune: “Sing and rejoice, fortune is smiling on you.” In bed.). Suddenly, now I’m the weirdo who orders one dish and six egg rolls.


Third: earlier this week I got into a three day argument with my girlfriend over what our kids should call my mother. Just before my son was born I asked my mom what she wanted to be called. “Granny” was out, for a lot reasons but mostly because that’s what I call my psychotic grandmother.

My mom chose “Bubbie”, which made no sense to us because we’re not Jewish. Actually my girlfriend didn’t know “Bubbie” is Yiddish slang for “grandmother”, but that’s another issue. She just thought it sounded weird. So, for the past 2.5 years, my girlfriend and her oldest son have been referring to my mother as “Nanny [her name]”.

Which, I could tell, drove my mom a little nuts. And why wouldn’t being called “nanny” cause a grandmother to be a little put off? Right? So my mom, while my two-year old son and I were visiting for dinner, told my son to call her “Nano”… I don’t know why, probably because it wasn’t “nanny”. So, by the end of dinner, my son was calling her “Nano”. He really seemed to like the way it sounded.

Which, when I told her, really pissed my girlfriend off. Which got me defensive… “seriously,” I asked, “why shouldn’t my mother be able to pick her own Grandmother Name!?” I was told that apparently there’s a two-year cutoff for naming rights, and my girlfriend used to call her favourite grandmother “Nanny”. So there.

But, until I was five I used to call my grandfather “Grand-papère”. But then he sat me down and said, “kid, I’m too young to be a grandfather. You can call me Bud, or you can call me Spud, but no more Grand-papère”. My step-siblings, who only spoke French when our families came together in 1989, still call him “Patate” (potato). My much younger cousins called him “Omie”, I have no idea why.

And now my girlfriend and her oldest son call him “Big Victor”, because our son is “Little Victor”. At least I didn’t tell my girlfriend she was probably overreacting because of the baby hormones, so we’re still together.


Fourth: I still can’t hear most of the world. Way back in January I lost most of my hearing to an ear infection — in both ears. I finally started to get it back on the last weekend of February, but then an insane cough brought on by heart medication — to treat the hypertension brought on mostly by the hearing loss — closed my ears up tighter than before.

So… ears close from infection, I get hypertension from hearing loss, hearing comes back, take pills to treat hypertension, start coughing from pills and close ears again. I think that qualifies as dark irony.

My hearing has improved a little over the past couple of days, but I’m still mostly deaf. I’ve been off the heart medications for two weeks, but the cough has come back as of a few days ago, and every time it does there’s a sharp pain in my left ear, and I can feel it close a little. So I don’t know what the fuck is going on.

In other ear news, I’ve been taking Extra Strength Aspirin for the pain caused by the coughing, and to reduce the swelling in my ears. Turns out, heh, there’s a 33% chance that prolonged use of Aspirin can cause hearing loss.


Fifth: turns out that for the past month one of the most popular Internet spam filters, Akismet, thought my blog was spam. I was spam for a month. Which, when I figured it out, felt weird, and worrisome and stupid, but it was kind of nice to finally have an answer, because for the past month I’ve been leaving comments on other blogs, and in the WordPress support forum, and the comment would just disappear.

Which sucks for everyone else as well because my comments are always brilliant and well worth the read.

I figured everyone just had their moderation features on. Or that I had pissed a few people off, or something. I made a support request, but WordPress has been deluged with more than 8,000 requests and have only ten people fixing things. So I was a low priority ticket.

It took a week, and some testing on my part (thanks Zoom), but I finally narrowed the problem down to my URL. Then support finally told me to check with Akismet directly — WordPress and Akismet are both owned by AutoMATTic. Two hours later and everything was fixed.

Thankfully, I am no longer spam. At this point I really don’t even care how I got put on the Akismet spam list… actually I am kind of curious. And vengeful, actually.


Three fucking months. That’s how old this year is. Just to recap, last year I broke my foot; gave myself a second-degree burn after being in a two month Lithium overdose thanks to being put on insulin; I slipped and had a partial separation of my shoulder; I had a two month long fight with my mother; had a long and painful eye infection; my computer caught an expensive virus, and; I found out my kidney functions have dropped to 37%.

See… I knew, I knew, that when I hit forty that I would begin to disintegrate. I’ve lived a life where disintegration, at some point, was a given. But I had no idea it would be so fucking fast. I’m barely two years into the forties and I feel lucky my arms are still attached.


YouTube Alert. If you can’t see it, click here.




About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
This entry was posted in Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Clinical Depression, crazy people with no pants, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mental Health, WordPress and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Still can’t hear but at least I’m not spam anymore

  1. kristinbell says:

    Crap. What a terrible year! Hope things get better–FAST!!! 😦

    • Gabriel... says:

      I know, right? And it’s really pissing me off… because it’s only March. Sigh… only 4.5 more months of living in near constant stress thanks to a high risk pregnancy until our daughter is born, then everything’ll be just peaches and cream until I’m dead.

      Thanks for coming over and commenting Kristin.

  2. zoom says:

    Sometimes the most amazing things come out of otherwise annus horribilus, like the phoenix rising from the ashes.

    I think that might be the worst sentence I’ve ever written.

    • Gabriel... says:

      Heh heh… you said annus.

      If what you wrote is true, my horrible annus is going to have to produce something miraculous and wonderful… like maybe a baby girl, or a new car. We’re going to try and get out for shawarma and a movie this weekend, so maybe this is the turn around.

  3. zoom says:

    Sometimes the most amazing things come out of otherwise annus horribilus, like the phoenix rising from the ashes.

    I think that might be the worst sentence I’ve ever written.

  4. PiedType says:

    Ahh, the old “what to call Grandma” issue. I was caught off guard when asked to choose my moniker and, without really thinking, said “Grandma.” How uninspired was that!? I coulda been somebody cool like Nano or Mimsie.

    Anyway, hope your year improves considerably, and soon.

    • Gabriel... says:

      There could still be time for you to switch… in my opinion (don’t tell my girlfriend) you should be able to pick your own Grandparent Name right up until the grandkid is in the 7-8-year old range. After that I think the kid would seize the opportunity to just pick one of their own and we’ll all be named “Gramps”. But sarcastically, and they’d have their hand out looking for our loose change.

      Thanks for the comment…

  5. markps2 says:

    Regarding Nano, makes me think of Mork and Mindy, then I found this bit of strangeness

    Hey man take care of yourself, you are no longer immortal.

    • markps2 says:

      The video was supposed to fast forwards to 2 minutes and 18 second before it started, so you can start there 2m18s, unless you like what you hear.

      • Gabriel... says:

        Good call, Mark. When I asked my mom why “Nano” she told me it was from Mork & Mindy… but it’s not, Mork used to greet people with “nanu nanu”. But mom decided she liked Nano better. Personally I think I’d go with Shazbot.

        Weird story: at the end of ‘Night Prowler’, the last track on AC/DC’s classic “Highway To Hell” album, there’s a quick recording of Bon Scott saying “Shazbot, nanu nanu” that, for a long time, American Christian fundamentalists thought was a backmasking recording of a salute to Satan.

  6. allison says:

    Ugh. If you were a girlfriend, I would say “poor you” and something about virtual hugs. Can we pretend I’m slapping you comfortingly on the shoulder? My Wednesday mornings lately are reserved for the chiropractor and the physiotherapist – post forty fucking sucks, yeah? I agree about the grandparents also – my mother-in-law settled on Nana Barb because everything else evoked HER alcoholic psycho mother-in-law, and my father shifted my son from calling him Grandpa to Poppa when he was three-ish, and I agree it suits him much better. I’m kind of in love with Patate, though, and Nano is kind of cool and post-modern. Also, now I can’t stop thinking about a phoenix flying out of someone’s anus. Thanks for that, Zoom.

  7. nursemyra says:

    I was going into everyone’s spam folder for a while but Akismet sorted it it really quickly when I reported it to them. Nano is a very cool name….

    • Gabriel... says:

      I know, I like it too. Nano. Nahn-oh. NAHN-oh. It feels good. But, apparently, I’m not in charge. My mom’s dealing with the disappointment by being in France for two weeks, visiting a friend, eating cheese and drinking wine.

      I get paranoid when stuff like becoming spam happens. It happened again on Friday with my ‘other’ WP account, so of course my first thought was “what the fuck?!” followed by “who’s doing this to me?!”.

      Thankfully Aksimet is really fast and really good at fixing things.

  8. Jen says:

    You are funny, and adorable, and oddly look like my husband, who also has salted-lithium blood. He’s also adorable and funny, so.. On your site goes to my favorites. Good luck with the baby girl.

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