There is no more useless and annoying insect than a cricket. This is true insofar as I have been able to deduce from an hour-long investigation on the 'net and personal experience. If/when I ever stand before the Almighty, I think that I shall have a few harsh words with Him about His decision to plague mankind with these mindnumbing creatures- and I'm not talking about my fellow humans. Until I am instructed by a duly authorized individual, I hereby declare open war on all crickets everywhere. If I see one I shall stomp, spray (with Raid or some other like substance), burn, and otherwise destroy said insect to the point of absolute oblivion, may it never keep another person awake at night again, least of all myself.

I am now a live-in uncle. Living in what used to be my step-mom's art studio, which is adjacent and apart from the house proper and actually has running water, my older brother and his family have moved into the house that my parents have lived in for the last twenty years. Where did my parents go? East Nashville, just a few blocks away from where I used to live last year, so that they can be closer to my sister and her newborn daughter. At any rate, I am now in charge of keeping the swimming pool clean and mowing the 3 1/2-acre lawn on occasion. Rent is $50/week, which is bearable, and I've finally gotten myself a wireless router that is now connected to my brother's cable modem.

So I am housed, closer to family than I have been in almost a decade and relatively okay for the time being. This arrangement was set up so that I could get a job and save some money with the intention of moving out later and finally getting back on my own two feet. I don't know if the original "plan" will stick or if I'll stay here through the winter, but so far things seem to be pretty equitable. It's actually kind of nice to be around my brother's kids from time to time and my sister-in-law and I are, for the first time in almost ten years, finally getting to know one another.

I've been taking medication recently for depression. Lexapro. The beginning stages of taking the drug were, at best, a bit disorienting, but I have since gotten used to it and have found that there is a considerable difference between me as a depressed person and me as a person who is combatting depression. All the same old worries and concerns still rattle around in my head, but the weight and fear of them are no longer an issue for me, like I can think about them without having them drag me down. I can focus and work and... well, I'm feeling loads better about myself. But the dental work probably has a hand in that, too. Yeah. That's right. For those of you who've read my Halcion writeup, you might be interested to know that I am finally getting my teeth REALLY fixed. My two front teeth have been rebuilt entirely and, in just over a week, I will return to the dentist and get another pair of teeth rebuilt. Later on in the year I will have all the rebuilt teeth capped and I will finally be able to smile again without worrying that someone might think I've got something stuck in my teeth. Hello self-confidence, I hardly knew ye, but I'm glad we're meeting again.

I've got two new jobs now. I always said to myself that I wouldn't do that, work two jobs, but here I am. Fortunately, one of them is basically working for myself. The "primary" job is work as a clerk at a local Exxon Tigermarket- pretty hum-drum and droll. The other job, my self-employed job, is infinitely more interesting. I make 3D models of house blueprints, so that people who intend to build a house can see what the rooms will look like before they're actually built. In the 3D industry this is called "Pre Viz", which is short for "pre-visualization" and is, in my opinion, pretty self-explanatory. I like the work and it pays rather well, I think. I won't be buying any new cars, but it's a profitable job that uses skills I've been honing for the better part of two years, so it's definitely a personal vindication of sorts. I've had a sneaking suspicion that Mom and Dad never thought I'd be able to do anything with the 3D stuff. For once, I feel good about proving them wrong.

Hopefully the work will continue to come in and I'll be able to afford getting an apartment of my own soon as well as paying off some old debts/bills. As much as I like being closer to my brother and his family, I still would like to have my own place where I am responsible for no one but myself and don't have to answer to anyone else's rules. I've always been a loner and this situation, being a live-in uncle at the age of thirty-one, seriously underscores that personality quirk of mine. I need to be me. I also need a place to call my own for the simple fact that, soon, I will re-enter the dating world again and I'd like to be able to pursue a relationship without the scrutiny of my sister-in-law and her kids, whom I love very much but can take only in small doses.

Are things picking up for me finally? I honestly don't know, but I'd like to think that they're at least headed in the right direction.