When It Rains …

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… you get water in your eye.  Happens every time.  I slipped back into that state of not-giving-a-rats-patoot for this “daily” thing that I promised I’d do.  But there are reasons.  We had a holiday (*note for later about holidays) and I got sick.  Wrenching vomit from my empty stomach causing muscle pain in the rib area.  Not fun when moving around today.

See that above?  That’s what I wrote …. months ago.  I really don’t care about this daily thing.  I don’t even remember what the “*note” was for.  I don’t remember getting sick either.  Clearly not a real important time.  Maybe that’s what this blog is for: reminder of those not-so-important-but-funny-to-look-back-on moments.  Well here is some not-so-funny things.

I have a plugged up ear.  I was on a plane flight and my left ear got all stuffed up and I couldn’t free it up.  It’s been over a week now and it’s still plugged.  Went to the doctor and got nose sprays and antibiotics.  But that’s not the interesting part (Spoiler.  There is no interesting part).  This is about the feeling of having that ear plugged up.

I really wonder if this is how deaf people feel.  Especially those that have lost their hearing as opposed to never had it to begin with.  At first, it’s not that annoying.  It just feels like you have water or something in your ear that you can’t shake out.  Days of that “Man I wish this would just open up already” feeling.  (Quick note, My ear is starting to hurt now … of course).

Next there was the deafening (pun intended) sound of silence in that ear.  You know.  When the room you’re in is completely silent and there’s that moderately pitched hum sound.  Kind of what you get from an idle stereo speaker that’s powered and cranked up, but no sound is coming out.  Or maybe a low hum of a florescent light.  I can see you laughing thru the screen that your read this on.  How can be in a completely silent room.  Ha !!! And you are right.  I actually caught myself when that happened and said (not out loud of course) “OMG, silence !!! This is it.  What do I do?”  Good for a novelty moment, but the annoyance of the plugged ear was building.

The final step that made me see a doctor was that my entire left side of my face seemed … puffy and warmer than it should be.  It wasn’t.  Confirmed with doctor.  It’s mental.  I was driving with the window open and getting a good breeze, but it was similar to wind hitting a brick wall and not penetrating like a soothing wind gust should on a warm spring day.  Then I started to get a claustrophobic feeling.  My left side of my face was closed off from the rest of the world and was only clinging on to reality thru the center and right side of my head.  That’s what I afraid of.  That “unable to free myself” feeling similar to claustrophobia.

Well … now I’m gonna free myself … with prescription medications prescribed by a medical professional.  Hopefully it works quick.  Doctor didn’t seem concerned.  Neither am I, really.  The feeling of being trapped in my left side of my face was quick and fleeting.  It’s just mostly annoying.

Foreshadowing Note: I’m gonna go on not-so-long limb here and say that as I get older, the more I complain about medical situations.  That’s what old people do, right?  Well let’s squash that in the kneecap right now and promise that the next article will be more complaining about other people, or maybe something fun.  I need to look back at the footnotes from the previous articles for ideas.

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The Squeaky Wheel …

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So I got a glimpse, sort of, of what other people are like in their families.  We were gearing up for setting up classes for my son, who’s going into high school.  The was a parent’s meeting and not a lot of people showed.  Maybe about 20% of the students were represented.  I went because I had no clue how things worked, not only in the state I currently live in, but the school itself.  I grew up in the city, going to catholic school almost my entire academic career.  Most things were laid directly in front of me and very little “choice” was begotten.  This is stark contrast to now, in a different state, in the sticks, in a public school.  The school counselor, who made the presentation, really made things seem like, “OK, you all know how this goes.  Here are the changes.  These are required classes.  You can go to the tech center in your junior and senior year.  You need two job shadowing efforts.”  Whoa whoa whoa !!!  What is the tech center?  You need to job shadow someone?  My son doesn’t know anything right now.  A lot can change in 2-3 years.  My son is that kid at the state school that when asked what his major is, he says, “Undeclared.”  I didn’t even know a tech center was a thing, let alone the programs they offer.  How could I possibly know if any of the programs are appropriate?  It now becomes clear to me what the meeting was for.

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So they had a sheet to fill out.  Granted it’s a dynamic document for you to fill out the classes your student will be taking for the next 4 years of high school.  The next 4 years !!  I don’t know how the weekend or tomorrow are gonna pan out, let alone 4 years for my son.  They said to start at senior year and work backwards.  This made no sense to me, especially since the target in 4 years was completely unknown.  Don’t know which college, if college at all.  Or even what field.  Well, this sheet, a number of kids/parents had completely filled out with numerous different options.  Like I mentioned before, it now dawns on me that this meeting was to help prepare those that already are hyper-prepared.  That other 80% of kids parents not there, are the “We don’t know what the f!ck is gonna happen” people.  We got at least what his freshman year is gonna be like.  Filled with required classes to graduate.  Sophomore year is basically like that too.  So hopefully in 2 years, we’ll be more focus on …. well … something.

It’s also important to note that this 1 hour meeting took 1 hour and 45 minutes.  And that I went by myself without my spouse or my son as they had previous activities.  We don’t have the time to think about this stuff.  I got home with my youngest already in bed, asleep at 8:30.  I had cereal for dinner.  Spent about 20-30 minutes with my son and spouse after they got home to try and think of something on this sheet.  And then I went to bed.  No time for anything, including that outside work that I needed to do in the rain that I mentioned in the last post.  Fun to note that it wasn’t raining at the time.

Always Comes Down to …

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Nothing new from yesterday other than the sugar fiasco.  Even then it’s not really cleaned up all the way.  How do you clean up sugar granules that have run all over the place?  That puts me on to another topic: “Spare” time.

I know what’s really required to clean up the sugar mess, it’s remove every single thing that could have potentially gotten sugar on it and “clean it” and then clean that surface the item was sitting on.  That is a multi-hour job.  At least 3 for where the dump happened.  Multiple shelves.  Multiple packaged food items.  Removing and “cleaning” each would take so long, I literally couldn’t do anything else.  My schedule doesn’t allow for such things.  I can hear you already … “Hey !!! Do it now instead of writing in your stupid blog, you piece of garbage liar !!”  Well in your face !!! I can’t.  I’m miles (kilometers) away from the sugar tragedy and I can’t be there.  When I’m in that vicinity, my time is taken and higher priority items take precedent.  The only thing I could sacrifice is sleep and why would I do that.  It’s the only thing that keeps me from succumbing to illness or driving off the edge of a cliff during the work commute or sleeping at work and getting fired and not having money to buy sugar or pay for a house to store the sugar in.  So in YOUR face !!  It’ll get done eventually.  Just not right away.

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Side note:  Do you ever notice, that when you need to do something, there always comes a barrier to you completing that task?  The sugar cleanup is one example.  I also gotta do some work outside, and the day that I planned to do it (today), it rains.  It hasn’t rained in I don’t know how long.  Such is life, right?  The wet, sugar, illness, sleep-deprived train keeps rolling on and on.  No stopping.  Always blowing it’s deafening whistle.  That whistle that pierces the ear drum and makes you open your jaw to dull the pain.  You know that pain.

Failure – Multi-level

Well … day 2 and I already failed to keep up the “daily” post.  It was the weekend, so it really shouldn’t count too much.

Over the weekend, not only did I feel like garbage, but I had to drive for a total of 5 hours in one day.  It was a struggle.  We went to a charity event and of course, while we were there, my daughter’s jacket got left behind.  Which boggles my mind as her jacket was in my possession until, from what I can guess, I walked outside and then it “blew away”.  I did call the place today and found out they have it and they are sending it to me which is nice, but the fact remains that I’m not good at keeping track of stuff especially if it’s not mine.  I get super upset at myself because of it and I lash out at others.  Sucks.

The next level of failure happened this morning.  Through only my own fault, I left a glass canister of sugar and flour out.  Well, I went to put them back where they belong, as I was pissed at myself for leaving it out, and the sugar one broke.  Sugar and glass all over the place.  Mind you this is at 6:00am on a weekday as I’m trying to get kids up and around.  I leave no extra time in the morning schedule for such issues.  Yet, I tried to clean up all the glass and sugar.  Sugar poured into open boxes of food.  On top of bags of potatoes.  All over.  I had to throw a lot of good food away as I’m no sure if there was glass in it.  What a delight.  My two favorite things: large messes and wasting money.  Man was I pissed at everything.  It’s been hours later and I’m still pissed.  And I still feel like sh!t.

Speaking of that, it’s been days that I’ve felt like garbage.  How do I get rid of this?  I wiped my workstation down with a bleach wipe to get rid of anything, but my head still feels loose and wobbly.  Doesn’t help that I didn’t eat a breakfast at all today due to the sugar-fiasco.  And only having coffee is complicating the matter.  I think I said this before that all drugs, caffeine and alcohol, give me such headaches.  I don’t know why I do this to myself.  Hopefully tonight/tomorrow will be better.  I doubt it.

Don’t know what you got, till it’s gone

As part of my daily entry series, I forgot one crucial fact: I injured myself.

Now here’s why I forgot.  The injury only presents itself when you need that body part to perform the most.  The injury in question is a strain in my middle and ring finger on my non-dominant hand.  I can already hear you saying, “What ?!?! This is a silly, trivial injury that would have no bearing on your day-to-day life.”  And that is why it’s completely forgettable.  Let me tell you, other than a paper cut on your thumb, this is the worst injury of the “trivial injuries” you could possibly get.  Let me explain.

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You don’t realize how much you use that off-hand for every day things.  Pulling open a door.  Grabbing anything.  Each time I go to grab anything, I have a shocking revelation as shooting pain slightly annoys my hand to the point that surprise almost makes me drop the item.  And sometimes, that item cannot be dropped.  Like a human.  Or a mug.  Or a fist-clenched in anger.  The pain felt fades almost immediately.  And just as quickly, the pain is forgotten, until the next catastrophic grasp attempt.  Even now, as I type, no pain.  No annoyance.  But then as I look at my purple drink sitting next to the keyboard, I feel the dread.  The looming, dull agony that I will feel lurks among my tendons and tissue.  Waiting … in almost a taunting-like manner for my moment of weakness.  Ready to rear it’s subtle irritation when I least expect.  Who knows when this will heal?  Will anyone notice when it’s gone?  But what I do notice … the rabid anger felt after each incident.  That, I hope I do miss.

An Experiment

We’re gonna try something here.  I’m going to try, as best as I can in the limited amount of time I have, to write a daily blog entry about what happened to me the previous day (or at least since the previous entry).  I make no promises as to the entertainment value of these posts.  In fact, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that not only will they be devoid of entertainment, but their only worth will be in the area of sleeping aid.  So, with that expectation out in the forefront, let’s proceed.

And here we go

Day 1 – So It Begins …

Well … it’s not really day 1.  I’ve had a “blog”, if you want to call it that, for a couple of years.  But you know what I mean.  And I’m all ready digressing from the purpose in order to fill content.  Sad !

Yesterday was normal.  I got up way too early in the morning.  And by “way too early”, I don’t mean that I could have slept longer or that I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. 1 I used an annoying alarm clock like every other poor sap of a human being.

Side note: I just got the idea to mark portions of these pitiful dailys as a possible future topic of conversation outside the scope of daily blog entries.  But how to mark them?  Bold?  Underline?  Maybe a little asterisk?  Ah … a number with footnotes at the bottom.

Getting the kids out the door to school is a chore in itself.  You know those movies or TV shows that present a family at the breakfast table before work/school having a quiet meal during the daylight?  That doesn’t happen.  I assume it doesn’t happen anywhere except to rich people, who have no schedules, and live in Southern California.  Mornings are filled with screaming to “get out of bed before you make yourself or other people late” and hurried food shoveling, all framed in the warm glow of light bulbs because it’s pitch black outside.  Like I said, I may be too far north to get the morning sun.  Usually that sun appears during the morning commute.

Ah … the commute.  Some say the largest stressor in the daily life of the normal, 1st-world human being.  2 It would be nice to live close to work, but I use that time to listen to books, podcasts, or even play video on my phone … but just listening (don’t drive distracted people !!)  Getting back to that sun, it will affect your commute.  You will get full radiation in the eye ball for a few seconds.  Especially since it’s so low in the sky.  Pray for a cloudy day, otherwise get a permanent orange glow in your retinas.

Now, to work.  3 I do have a great place to work.  The dress code is lax and I can bring my kids into my office for a portion of the day. Yesterday I did pick up my daughter after school and had her hang out. I’m sure it was quite boring as she slept most of the time. No one needs to watch and listen to me type away on a keyboard.  This particular day, I did start having some sickness issues.  Sinuses moving around giving me a headache.  General cruddiness feeling.  Had to use some OTC NSAIDs to keep myself productive.  Of course, the word productive here is relative.

On the commute home, that life-giving star we call a sun is in my face for 2nd time in the same day.  Why?  1st-world problems.  More listening to podcasts. 4 I like to listen to Dungeon and Dragons sessions as it takes imagination to see what’s going on anyway.  But that commute is so boring, I struggle to keep myself alert.  Always a struggle.  Back in the day (when I was a teenager), I’d use cigarettes to keep me awake.  Now that most recreational drugs, like nicotine and alcohol, give me headaches, I resort to yelling, or talking to myself very loudly.  I wonder what other people looking at me during those times are thinking.

Once home, it’s time to get the evening meal planned and made.  Others in my household are extremely picky about what they like to eat, so every day, the plan for the meal is decided at the time of preparation.  The kids played outside while I removed a dead battery from one of my vehicles 5.  Once the meal type was decided (pot pies for some and whatever else we have lying around for others), it was made and consumed.  Not the greatest pot pies.  6 I probably should have used some hot sauce.  We also watched a movie while eating.  We watched Jumanji, the 2017 version with Dwayne Johnson, Kevin HartKaren Gillan, and Jack Black.  Quite the entertaining movie and an expected, modernizing twist on the original Robin Williams movie 7.  I did miss some of it taking the dogs outside, making dinner, and actually eating.

Once the kids were settling to sleep, I attempted to watch a live D&D show called Critical Role on the Geek and Sundry Twitch channel.  Very entertaining folks that allow for a good amount of imagination.  Unfortunately, I fell asleep while watching/listening and woke myself up in the middle of the broadcast.  I just turned it off and went to sleep.

Well, that’s it.  I really wonder if these daily things are gonna produce anything of value.  Or is it just a time passer for me?  Probably neither.  This will probably be the last one.  Or maybe I’ll make more that say, “Same sh!t as yesterday.”  Nah … I’ll be lazy and not even do that.  Although, I did get some ideas in the footnotes for other entries.  Maybe that’ll be good material.

1 How alarm clocks affect your sleep
2 Book/Podcast reviews
3 What I do for work
4 D&D creativity
5 Repairs and their affect on the psyche
6 Adventures in hot sauce
7 Movie reviews

Time … what is it good for?

So, what do I talk about?  There’s no shortage of topics in the world today.  US politics, North Korean nuclear war, natural disasters around the world.  Maybe something more local?  Health care.  Nah … more local.  Local to me and my immediate family.  High school football?  Video games or movies?  My bills/money problems?  Kids activities?  All seem like good topics.  None of which I have time for.  Ah … there’s a topic … time.  Limited amounts of it and how we spend it.

There’s a good TED talk about time management.  In it, the presenter mentioned the phrase, “I don’t have time” and what that actually means.  Her example is, you work and do things with your family all jammed in a schedule that leaves you time for nothing else.  In fact, you tell people that you don’t have time for certain things that they request of you.  But then you have a water heater burst in your home.  You call a plumber and meet him/her at your home in order for them to fix the heater.  The call and meeting of the plumber takes some hours.  Well … you just had hours of time appear from the ether.  Where did that time come from?  What suffered?  In the talk, the presenter says that “I don’t have the time” really means “That is not a priority.”  Because that’s what it actually is.  The plumber you made time for to get something fixed was a higher priority.  Maybe by using the words “That is not a priority,” we can really stay focused on those things that are a priority as opposed to just free-balling the phrase, “I don’t have time.”

That kind of hits home.  I don’t have time because I do the things that I see as a priority at the time.  Making meals, driving to a sporting event for the kids, going to work, going to school meetings, going to doctors appointments, laundry, etc.  There are just a lots of each of those items and not much room for entertaining things that I would like to do.  Sometimes I wonder if I should prioritize other things, but then other things would suffer.  Most things I prioritize currently can’t suffer without some real consequences.  But the fact remains, prioritize what matters most and put those in schedule first.  Make sure to add something enjoyable.  This, I rarely do.  Look at this blog … nothing for over a year !!  I guess I finally prioritized it.

If there is anyone out there, how do you prioritize your time?  If no one, I’ll just talk to myself … it’s fine.

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