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One of my ghost stories

It’s been so long, can’t believe it’s taken me so long to update, blah blah blah. Turned 31, this year was a voluntary stay home and get wine-drunk with the kitties, been working a lot, started gaming more.

A few weeks ago a streamer that I followed, DeannaDay on Twitch, made me a mod. Which was great. I have fun watching her streams. And she recently started playing Apex for more than an hour which oh my jeebus yes let’s gooooo. Apex is one of those games that I can play all day and still want more. So check her out, we play together sometimes and it’s a good time.

ANYWAY. From tonight’s stream she played a Sam & Colby video, I subscribed and am now like three videos deep and holy crap if you like paranormal then give them a view because they’re great. But watching this channel made me think of the couple times that I’ve had paranormal experiences. I don’t think I’ve shared this one here so let’s go.

A few years ago while I was still volunteering at the theatre, we were running a show with a Catholic bible as a prop. The set was of a living room, with an “outside” window and closet stage right. The way this building was constructed was the green room was the entire upstage, and there was an attic space above the green room that you could access from one of the entrances with a ladder.

So we did the performance, broke for dinner, and then me and some of the stage crew decided to do a ghost hunt. This might have been the same night that I was sitting in the hallway across from the entrance and saw a shadow figure hang on the ladder to the light booth. That same night we also got a recording of the piano in the studio playing and a voice saying “I can’t push it through.” Not sure if it was the same night. For whatever reason we decided to play hide and seek.

It was my turn to hide so I go into the theatre, onto the set, and hide in the space between the curtains in that window/closet piece. I could hear the seeker moving around in the other parts of the building, but nobody came in near where I was. It was 5-10 minutes and then I stopped hearing movement. Then: I hear someone walk into the seats, come to the section near where I was hiding, and stop right in front of the closet door. I start freaking out a little bit, thinking I was found, but then I hear someone from the far end of the attic start crawling towards the opposite end entrance that I was hiding directly under (upstage right). Now I’m in a full panic because I didn’t hear a ladder or anything that would get somebody up to the upstage left entrance. Meanwhile the crawling sounds are getting closer and closer.

I finally give up (due to feelings and experiences I’d had previously) and bolt from my hiding spot. As I’m racing outside I notice there is nobody in the auditorium space, nothing at the upstage left attic entrance, and really nobody inside the building at all. I get outside and am greeted by every other person. They had given up trying to find me minutes ago and all stepped outside. I was alone in the building for five entire minutes.

Of course, being skeptical and logical about things I asked if they were messing with me. I trusted those people completely, no they were all outside and nobody was playing tricks.

So yeah, that’s my most terrifying paranormal experience. The others from that building were the shadow hanging on the ladder from the light booth (where I worked), a general being-watched-feeling when I was alone at night, and a secondhand story of a lit candle appearing in the middle of the stage after an entire day of only the office manager being in the building.

I remain skeptical but open to the paranormal, give that YouTube channel a view, and hit me up if you want to check out some haunted places.

2021 is almost over. Here’s a recap.

Well then. A couple drafts in the folder that I don’t really care to post, and 6 months since my last published post. You’d think this would be a long one, but I mean… not really.

So. Last post. Wednesday, 31 March, 2021. Two days later I get a text from mom, papa isn’t doing too well. He’s in the hospital and might not be around much longer. My first shot was later that day, so a lot of stressing and leaving work early and emergency planning/packing. Leave work, pack, go to the fairgrounds, get stabbed (so efficient!), and drive 4 hours to the hospital. My brother’s aunt runs the hotel in town so it was super cool to just open the door well past office hours and find a key and a comfy bed.

Wake up, go to the hospital, and spend all day just being present and in the moment. Said my see-ya-laters, I hate goodbyes, and left back for home. The village I live near has a traffic circle as you come into it, and as I was entering the vibe just completely changed. I can’t describe it. But the cats needed food and the grocery store was closing in 5 minutes, no time to analyze gotta feed the kitties. Get their food, head home, and get a call literally as I’m walking to the front door from mom. Papa passed away roughly at the same time as I was getting into the village. I’ll see you later, papa. Wish I had asked for a few more stories.

Well. Then we’re into April and for the resort that means it’s time for busy. Except we never really slowed down once we reopened last May so it was just more of the already more guests. Normal work bullshit. I did almost legitimately quit because of some intraoffice bullshit, but I was able to talk to the boss and we were able to work to help alleviate some of it. I’ve never had a boss that actually listened to me before. Like, I can put up with a lot of bullshit, but the fact that I let him know when I was at my absolute limit and him actually help make it better? There’s a reason I’ve worked with him for 8 years, and that responsiveness is definitely part of it. I know I can go onto bigger and better things, but why would I? I also have so many things that I just know that aren’t documented so I couldn’t in good conscience leave without getting all that written down. I like to joke that he only needs to be concerned when I start writing everything down.

May: The goal was to be fully inoculated on my birthday, but when I went to schedule my 2nd dose the only day available was going to make me fully done the day after my birthday. You know what? 13 days after 2nd dose is damn close enough, it’s still a win. Got my first unmasked haircut on my birthday. My hair designer was so sweet, she got me a cupcake with a candle πŸ™‚ Cases were spiking here so I cancelled plans with friends to go out. We all work(ed) in hospitality and didn’t want to have bar staff have to be the bad guys about restrictions. It was all good, spent the evening at home playing video games, was still a good day. Went to Nevada for Mother’s Day and learned some unpleasant truths about my family. Guess I’m going to be on-call forever now.

June-September: Honestly all of it blurs together. Lots of guests, lots of bullshit/nonsense, so pretty much a standard summer. Maybe even more, to be honest, since groups were coming again. I think we’d only gone golfing as a team like twice.

Late September to now: Mom has a new boyfriend and I got to meet him. Didn’t want to like him off the bat, but I honestly really truly do. He’s funny, he helped me with my golf game (of course I was going to take him out), and he’s interesting. Even taught me a couple things about cars and you may not know this but I love learning new things. I got drunk one night and bought a new laptop that I’d been thinking about for a while. Typing this out on it now. Still upset that the fan in my laptop that’s only 2 years old isn’t really replaceable, and this thing is basically an iPad with a keyboard, but I’ve been thinking about getting a MacBook for a while now so I can’t be too mad at Drunk Joe for finally pulling the trigger.

Anyway, yeah. Couple significant events but other than that it’s just work work work. Somewhere in there I took a week off because my buddy took a week off (girlfriend was going out of town, he needed to focus on taking care of the doggos) and we just played video games the whole time. That was nice. I should be well on my way to being almost done with the light show but I haven’t even finished setting up the visualizer. So there’s that added stress. I’m also trying to record the whole process and maybe make a video showing how the whole thing gets set up. So if I get that done it’ll be nice.

I usually add some headers and GIFs and fun things but honestly not really feeling it. Might edit later. Probably not.

Y’all stay safe, hug your loved ones and pets, and don’t be afraid to be weird.

On Jury Duty

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was finally selected for jury duty! I’m one of those weirdos who actually has been looking forward to jury duty for quite some time. It’s our civic duty. As an IT guy my job is to help others, so helping my community by serving on a jury was the next logical step. I’ve been looking forward to this since I was 18, and at almost 30 it was about damn time to be called!

I wish I knew how to make my own GIFs because I couldn’t find the one of Stan Smith (American Dad) walking up for jury duty.

Jury duty in The Time Of COVID

One of my coworkers has served on a jury like five times, so as soon as I responded to the summons she was the first one I needed to talk to. What do I bring? What do I expect? Where do I park?!

She didn’t have all the answers I was looking for, so I checked out the jury site for my county. They also didn’t really have the answers I wanted (do I need to bring a pen and paper for notes?

The two weeks of disapointment

Full disclosure: I started writing this post in August when I was summoned.
Spoiler: never got to serve.

The first Friday I was supposed to call in, I was actually at a park with Best Frand for a socially-distanced bike ride. That was a lot of fun. We had to wait until the voicemail was updated before we could start because I was just so excited to be called in. I got ADHD-brain halfway through so I had to listen to it again, and then when I got home that night listened to it one more time just to be sure. No orientation for me. Oh well.

Because I over-think everything, I hit the Googles again and found there was a web version of the voicemail. Finally! Government is modernizing! So that tab was to be never closed. My routine for the next two weeks was every morning, even weekends, open that tab on my phone, refresh, and look for my number. It never appeared.

There was one day where I woke up at 7:45 (working from home day), juror call time was 8:00, I live 20 minutes from the courthouse, and as soon as I saw the time I was in a BLIND PANIC until I saw I wasn’t called. I’ll say this was the only time I was relieved I wasn’t being called in.

Afterwards and reflections

While I was pretty disappointed I didn’t have to go in, it was at the same time a blessing. For two weeks I got to push projects and meetings back because I had no idea if I was going to be in the office. Pushy vendor wanted to schedule some mind-numbing call to talk about their latest features? Sorry, I’ve been called for jury duty and don’t know if I can make it. Department wants to schedule time to come and fix a problem? Sorry, jury duty, but hey let’s ask one of the other guys to do it.

So there you go. Now I have to wait two more years before I can be called again.

Holy schnikes, I posted 12 days ago?!?! I could have sworn it was last weekend.

Further proof that time does not exist in the COVID times. This last week and a half-ish I’ve been going to my aunt’s place to feed her cat while she’s away. She keeps thanking me for doing that, and I’m like “I should be thanking you for an excuse to put on pants and get out of the house every day.”

He’ll squeak at me when I pull up, I got head bonks the other night, we have our own routine I hang out at least until he’s done eating wet food, we’ll hang and he gets scritches, or sometimes he does the 500-point Kitty Inspection of my car. Usually when he’s done eating he fucks right off and does Cat Stuff, so I leave. Hey bud if you don’t wanna hang today that’s fine. But yeah, Geoffrey George Kitty Mow is a pretty cool cat, I like when I get to feed him 😊

Slowly getting back into the swing of regularly scheduled posts, thank you for reading!

Day 9 of 56: Some thoughts

Let’s chalk up today as a mostly unproductive day. At 7 I ventured forth to acquire supplies, but I also drove around a little bit. Here’s some things from the brain of Joe from today. No subheadings, no extra crap to make SEO easier, I don’t care. Just thoughts.

For the most part, I spent today continuing my marathon of Star Trek: Deep Space 9. Chief O’Brian and Quark still remain my favorites for various reasons. Miles is both a kind soul and a badass tech, Quark is a good person despite his desire for profits.

Woke up with a slight ear infection (feels like), mouth still hurts, and a little sneezy/runny nose. It all felt better in the afternoon. Added a comb to the shopping list, I apparently haven’t had one for several years. Now that I’m not doing my hair every day, I figured combing it every once in a while would help with overall health. Watched Julien’s video where Jenna cuts his hair, it’s been 6 weeks since my last haircut so I’m awfully tempted to cut my own hair. Maybe I’ll shave the sides and go with a full mohawk. Maybe even dye it blue.

Around 2 I realized I hadn’t eaten anything, or even had a coffee, so I compromised and made a bagel. I also became concerned that when I’m not sleeping I’m sitting in my chair in the living room. That’s not healthy, I need to find a way to get more steps and keep up my physical health. Thankfully I found my exercise bands in a box, I need to find a way to integrate some exercise time into my day. Granted, I wasn’t the best when I was able to go to the gym, but I was moving around a lot more than now.

At about 5 I realized that the day had pretty much passed. I needed to go to town, Fred Meyer is the closest store that has some of the things I need. Not really sure how it happened, but another hour and a half transpired (I blame Deep Space 9) and then my only option was to go to the village. I’ll probably have to go to town in the next couple days, but for now I’m good.

I went to the village and did a similar routine to the last time: drive past the store and do a half-loop through the area. The store had only a few people there this time of night, but I still wanted to check in on the place that I love. Same as before, minimal cars in normally occupied units, next to no other cars on the road, restaurant parking lots empty. This time, because of the Governor’s order, the parks and recreation areas I passed had fencing around them. I was a little sad because it sucks that it had to come to this, but also happy to see that my community is taking this pandemic seriously and taking steps to limit the spread.

I finally went to the store and it was more or less empty. That’s great! I was greeting by several signs reminding shoppers that only one person per party should be shopping and to observe at least 6 feet of space. Also great! I grabbed most of what I needed, still no toilet paper (I have a half dozen rolls still, should be fine, but given the shortages I need to keep an eye).

Quick tangent: I don’t understand the need to hoard toilet paper, of all things. Sanitizing products, sure I get that, but toilet paper? If anyone has any sort of psychological reason why this is the case, please enlighten me in the comments.

When I got to the check-out counter, they had signs again reminding to keep the 6 foot distance, and marks on the floor. While staying behind the line I was able to load most of my stuff onto the belt while staying distant from the checker and the other shopper. That was super cool. Checked out, went home, reheated leftovers, played some Apex, and here we are.

Reflections

I guess my main thought from today was that yes this isolation sucks and it’s for the greater good, but it brings me a certain amount of joy to see that everyone in my area is taking it seriously. It might also help that the majority of residents in my area are older so we all feel a certain responsibility to distance. We’re coming into the second week and I’m already bored out of my skull, but in the end I know that we’ll come through this.

I realize that most of my reflections are all super cheerful about the outcome of this whole thing, but that’s just how I feel. I think that the steps being taken locally are responsible and for the good of the community as a whole.

Also, holy crap it was almost a week before I left my house?! I only went outside twice in that time to move the trash can to and from the street. Wow. Time flies when you can’t leave your house, I guess.

Last 10 Days Out

28 March – Store – 10-ish minutes
22 March – Store – 10-ish minutes
19 March – Work – 30 minutes to clean up/out my office, nobody was there…
18 March – Store – 5 minutes, needed stuff for dinner

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