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!

What a whirl

In this blog post, I talk about the last few months of my life. Also, according to WordPress statistics, it’s been over 5 months since my last post, and only 20% of you are subscribed. Click that subscribe button, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe at any time if you change your mind.

Enjoy the post!

Disclaimer

Seriously, dude. I’ve watched SO MUCH Dream and Technoblade the last few months. It may or may not have taken a toll on my psyche.

Send help.

I’m never going to be a famous YouTuber. Bruuuuuhhhhhh

Quick shoutout

Speaking of YouTube: I’ve barely used Netflix or Hulu the last couple months, instead watching YouTubers. So beyond Dream and Technoblade, I’ve started watching Markiplier (how have I sat so long on this, he’s great! AND EXISTS) and just tonight came across Kitboga.

I can’t believe it took me this long to watch Markiplier’s vids, I think he and his friends are great! I think Bob and I would get along great, maybe Wade, too.

But Kitboga, riding this train right now, doing God’s work scamming the scammers. I’m like 6 videos in right now, and I’m having the best time. I can’t really fault anyone for doing what they need to do to survive, but my god do the scammers deserve every bit of harassment. I did improv for a few years, I don’t think I could ever get to the same level as him.

Future Joe here: I’ve been writing this post off and on for the last couple days. FULLY on board the Kitboga-train. Choo choo.

Some Catch-up

Okay. My last update was August. What a whirl.

August and September, kind of a blur. We (my department) had adopted one-guy-at-a-time schedules, so I didn’t see anyone. I’ve had that weird lump in my throat since July (makes me clear my throat a lot, generally uncomfortable), which combined with rising risk sent us all home.

October: more IT work, some Traditions programming.

November: IT work, Traditions programming, and Traditions setup.

Early December: Spending nearly every night at Traditions. Big Boss came one night, saw the throng of unmasked people, immediately suspended the show. I got my life back.

Late December / Early January: I’ve gotten my life back. I am free to play video games, sleep in, and just sort of hang out. It’s nice. With only being in the office two days a week, I only need to shower a couple times a week, otherwise jam-jams all day! The downside of having my life back is I switched back to my broken recliner and now I fall asleep in it a lot. Not ideal. The last two weeks I’ve fallen asleep in my chair, woken up around 5, and then either can’t go to sleep or can’t risk it so I end up staying awake forever. Not. Ideal.

Death and the Avoidance Thereof

In November, Megan said goodbye to Booboo Fish Brains. She deserves her own post, I’ve been feeling guilty for not doing the same as quickly as I put up Doodoo’s, but… Life. Joojoo Bean was my baby. At one point when we lived together we decided I’d take her with me when I moved. That didn’t happen, Megan moved first, but Bobo was my baby. Cranky ol’ bitch. This will all be its own post. See you later, Bijou.

For the “avoidance thereof” portion, I have a family member who has reached out several times to come visit. Another family member isn’t doing very well, they had a mini-stroke the other day, and are forgetting things and people. Were we not in the midst of a GLOBAL PANDEMIC, I’d be over there to say my seeyas, while they still remember me. I work with the public and live in a county 3x the population of that county, my family member is EXTREMELY high risk, and I refuse to be the reason for their death. I live alone and haven’t even seen my best friend at a distance in 4 months, but I am taking zero chances. Family member is a tough ol’ coot, they’ll last a couple more months until I can get vaccinated and reduce the risk.

I slept weird last night (another chair night) so today I’ve had this weird ear thing, and the throat thing came back. Like I have a cat hair stuck in my throat. I probably do. No fever, no loss of taste/smell, so I’m sure I’m fine.

Future Joe here again: Yep, I’m fine. I’m pretty sure that the ear and throat thing was a combination of sleeping in my recliner and a couple of my new masks are too tight and pulling my ears forward.

Regardless. It’s irresponsible for two people who work in the public to interact with an extremely high risk person.

Reflections

I wasn’t going to continue this section, it’s always felt like Too Much. Since it’s been a few months it’s probably not the worst thing to include.

Right now I’m in a weird sleep schedule. If I could stop falling asleep in my recliner I’d be able to get to bed on time. But I do, and then I don’t.

The last couple weeks I’ve played Cards Against Humanity and some Jackbox Party Packs. One round of Jackbox I fell dead asleep. Woke up 4 hours later, still in the Discord call, everybody gone, and only a couple hours until I needed to start work.

My day-to-day isn’t very exciting, even less than when I was furloughed. I either walk 20’ to my desk, or drive into the office. Either way, I’m alone. The two days a week I go in, if I have to go desk-side to fix a problem it’s the highlight of my week.

Started playing games with bestie and her friends over Discord. Among Us is hella fun, we’ve also been playing Cards Against Humanity and now some Jackbox. What a nice way to get some social interaction.

I took Turnip back to the vet in September (?) and his bladder stones are gone. Huzzah! He still needs to eat special food to keep everything balanced, but this food is much easier to obtain. Plus with the stones gone, if I don’t have enough food for him then I can give him normal kitty food for a little bit without having to worry too much about him getting sick again. He gets a little can of special wet food, and now half a cup of special dry food. That’s a lot of food. And yet he still yells at me at 6 for food. Homie. You’re eating a lot. Chill. The. Fuck. Out.

To kind of wrap this all up, I finally got my Bluetooth keyboard working again, been writing this on the iPad for a couple days now. Even worse than furlough the day-to-day has been pretty monotonous. Doom-scroll through Reddit/News/CovidActNow, watch some streamers, go to bed at some point. I can’t wait for things to go back to normal in the next few months. I miss nouns.

Now that I have a keyboard again for the iPad and I don’t need to move my keyboard and mouse from the work computer to the home computer (shares the same monitor), maybe I’ll be a little bit better getting posts out. And maybe I’ll find a topic I can talk about that isn’t a blog post. Gotta get that AdSense revenue, bb!!!

Peace.

Daisy: The Goodest Dog Ever

Megan and I lived together for about six years. I have adopted her into my family, she is my sister, and I love her and her sister very much. We haven’t always gotten along, but at the end of the day we both love each other very much. Like family.

She has three dogs: Mika Sassafrass, Daisy May, and Bijou Bean. When I moved in, the girls were 5, 4, and 3, respectively. Mika just turned 14 a couple weeks ago, so the girls are all pretty old. This post is about Daisy. The goodest dog.

I moved in with Megan shortly after I was supposed to graduate in 2009. We worked together, we had mutual friends, she was pretty awesome. The first thing she asked me to do was watch the dogs so she could go to California for her nephew’s birth. The fact that she trusted me enough to watch her dogs really set the tone for our relationship. This was when I got to meet all the girls and they immediately stole my heart. I would say that Bijou was my favorite because she was the beta/baby. While that’s true, Daisy always had a special place because she was so… indifferent? Aloof? She did what she wanted, and that was mostly just chill on the couch or play with her rope toys.

Daisy has always been that dopey dog that is secretly really smart. Always down to lay on the couch and cuddle, but actually wants to play all the time. Which makes sense, she’s a pit bull, and they have lots of energy as terriers. You couldn’t sit on the couch without her big stupid head laying on you, but you’d also probably have to throw her toy.

I don’t really know how to describe just how good of a dog Daisy is. She more or less would listen when you called her, she would be stubborn when she really wanted to do something, but always seemed to know what you wanted her to do and would do it. And always down for kisses.

Last fall, Bijou started having lots of problems. Her hips were giving out, kidneys were starting to fail, she had no teeth left… Bijou was getting old and would likely be gone soon. Megan brought Bijou down for best frand’s wedding so I could say goodbye. Lockdown happened, and towards the middle of June she texted me and said Daisy wasn’t doing good and I needed to come up. Mika and Bijou were the two that weren’t doing good, nobody expected Daisy to be the first to go. So I went. I spent three days up there, and got to say goodbye to one of my favorite dogs.

I got a text this Wednesday saying that Daisy entered the end stage of renal failure and was going to sleep on Friday.

Daisy, I love you and your big stupid head. I am so glad we got to spend part of our lives together, and I can’t wait to see you later. You be a good girl. I’ll see you in a while. I love you.

Sorry this is so disorganized and doesn’t make a lot of sense. I went up to Montana to say goodbye, so we all knew this was coming, but at the same time it was unexpected. Having a hard time sorting things out.

I’m hurting, but I can only imagine what Megan is feeling. Love you, sis. You did the right thing. It sucks, but now she’s not hurting. We’ll see her later.

Hug your pets, people. Their lives are short, but their impacts last a lifetime.

The Return to Normal

First off, I do apologize for being away for so long. My original goal was to take a week or two off so I could get back into the swing of things at work and figure out some good content instead of the same drivel I was pumping out during lockdown.

JennaMarbles says it better than me:

“Black Lives Matter. And it shouldn’t be controversial to say that.”

JennaMarbles – Bunny Eating Things Politely

When I got back to work, the BLM protests over George Floyd and countless others came to a head and as a white guy I figured I would take a step back and give room for POC to make their voice heard. So I didn’t post anything anywhere. I was still on Facebook and saw sides of some people that I had never seen before, and that really caused me to further retreat from the Internet. I unfriended a lot of people I thought I knew, and eventually stopped going on there. Jenna held out longer than me, so huge props to her. It’s hard being in such a toxic environment. So to my POC friends, colleagues, acquaintances, even those I haven’t talked to in a while: I hear you, I am listening, and will help you however I can. I am beyond outraged, and can’t believe that this shit is still happening.

I was raised to believe everybody was equal, no matter their color, religion, or anything. Treat everyone the same as you would like to be treated. The fact that there’s still racism, sexism, xenophobia, and discrimination in fucking 2020 is beyond unacceptable and goes against everything I believe in. If you believe in or engage in that behavior, fuck you. I want nothing to do with you, and you have no place in society. No. Place. In. Society. It’s not a political stance, you’re a fucking asshole, you need to go away and never come back.

Quick Catch-up

I’m a little riled up from what was supposed to just be a quick intro, so here’s a very quick overview of life since my last post almost three months ago.

  • The first couple weeks of work honestly felt like I was on task force. How do I triage the current status, what are the fires that need to be put out, what needs to be done to get this department back up to 100%. We’re at a better spot now, but having projects put on hold for two months is kinda crappy now that all the vendors are coming back, guests are returning, and business still needs to happen.
  • I finally got through AdSense. I was denied because I don’t have original content on here. Excuse me?! The last time I tried to run ads I had just synced WordPress with my Tumblr feed, so yeah, not a lot of original content. This time, it’s ALL ME! How more original do you need?! Whatever. Probably some SEO problems that I gave up on very early on. Will adjust, and hopefully get a couple bucks eventually.
  • I went to Montana to visit my sister and say goodbye to Daisy. This will be another post.
  • Soon as I returned from Montana I had a COVID scare. Still kind of happening, but this again needs to be its own post.
  • Best frand has been coming out here once in a while to do yard work. She lives in an apartment so it’s been nice for me to have some company all the way out here, and for her to be able to do stuff.
  • Mom came to visit for a couple hours. That was nice. Turneep remembered her, and he absolutely ADORES HER, so that was nice for him too.
  • I had a hilarious incident with my hair. I have pictures. This’ll need to be its own post. Too funny.
  • I quit school. Got a couple emails saying I was approaching my loan limit due to the number of credits I’d earned. Since I got nothing done during lockdown, and with the amount of work I had once I got back to work (plus my projects that I knew I was going to have), I figured the best course of action was to withdraw, save up some money, and pay for the last few classes with cash. I just want to be done with this damn degree, but I already have a job in my desired field (and the years to back it up) so I can take a break and finish it when I am able.
  • Ran out of things to watch online, somehow stumbled upon an old subscription. SuperCarlinBros. J looks like me, Ben looks like my friend Ben… we all even have similar quirks and idiosyncrasies. It’s been a month and I’m still reeling.
  • Visited my aunt, helped with some computer problems, talked for a while.
  • An old theatre friend came down this week. Had some food and then walked 7 miles just catching up. My legs still hurt (did the whole thing in flip-flops, bad idea)
  • This Friday after work I washed off my bike and went to a park with the best frand to run her dog. I’m almost 30 but still ride a bike like I’m in my teens. That’s all great, and I had a great time, but my butt HURTS. Keep thinking I’ve been sitting too much or something wrong with how I’m sleeping, but no. It was messing around on a bike for three hours. And we all know that now the bike is in my car it will stay there for MONTHS. We’re looking forward to some rides before the weather goes south.
  • I bought a printer. This is one of the lamest things, but it deserves at least a section of a post. More to come.
  • I was finally selected for jury duty! I am beyond excited! Definitely its own post. Because my excitement is completely absurd.

Reflections

This hasn’t been a very informative post. Now that I’m a little more willing to be online I can expand on what I touched on above. I have a bunch of posts to catch up on, so that’ll all be coming soon.

Despite Everything That Has Been Going On, since returning to work it’s felt more normal, which has been a great thing for my mental health. Yeah, I can’t go out and do stuff, and when I see other people there’s stuff that needs to be observed, but I still get to leave the house every once in a while and I’m not as anxious to be out and about. Obviously more on this later.

It’s good to be back online, even in a different capacity than before.
Thanks for being here.

The Return To Work

Wow. It’s only been four days since my last post. Or three. Counting is hard. That’s why I work with computers: they do all the counting for me.

Friday

Friday was my first day back. The boss had worked 8 weeks straight so he wasn’t coming in. Fair. Take your time off, dude, you need it.

We had a handful of outlets all opening at the same time, so my entire day was literally handling password resets, reconfiguring things, and plugging stuff in. So like a normal day, but alone, and with enough volume to feel like high-peak summer.

Friday was a doozy of a day as a first day back. Didn’t get the things done I needed to. I texted the boss and was like “you did this for 8 weeks?! Take MORE time off, you earned it!”

I stayed later than normal mostly because by after 5 the calls slowed down and I could get to work on what I needed to do, but also because I had decided that this was going to be a pizza day and their line was busy. Soon as I could get through, shut everything down and go home.

Saturday

Nothing of consequence happened on Saturday. My shopping window for Imperfect Foods opened Friday afternoon, so later in the day Saturday I picked what I wanted. Was able to score some zucchini, pretty stoked to grill some up because it’s so delicious when it’s grilled.

Did some more stuff for work. We implemented some safety policies for guests and associates so I needed to find a way to make that happen easily. Built a report and instructions on how to carry that out. Also installed updates and rebooted almost a third of the servers. Not a bad day from my pajamas.

Sunday

Finished rebooting things at 1 or 2 in the morning, had too many glasses of vino, fell asleep in my non-reclining chair. Woke up around 5 or 6 and moved to my actual bed.

And then the phone calls started. Turns out a bunch of services on a high-priority system don’t start even though they’re supposed to. Yay. Five calls later, I finally get the right things started and people can do their jobs. Cool. Back to sleep.

Eventually woke up around noon. Went back to the chair I fell asleep in just hours before and lost track of time in various apps on my phone. Next thing I know, it’s 6 and I’m finally hungry. I also haven’t had any water.

Drink some water, eat a thing. Good.

And then it wasn’t. I’m not sure what happened, but it felt like I swallowed a cat hair. Couldn’t clear my throat effectively, which made me cough, and when I coughed it was hard enough to make me want to puke.

Oh no.

Drank some more water, but apparently I drank too much because then my stomach started to hurt and I really felt like I had to puke when I coughed.

Wait a second. Coughing? Feeling like you have to puke? Joe, you dumbass… you’re dehydrated. Why do you keep doing this to yourself.

Monday

Woke up this morning, still felt like I had a cat hair in my throat. But it wasn’t too bad. My stomach hurt a little bit like I was dehydrated, but again not too bad. Get in to work, we’re good.

Knocked out a fair bit of work today. I track my tasks by time, and my time spent on tasks doesn’t look good. But I actually got a lot done. So metrics really aren’t the real way to measure productivity. Because you could be like me and forget to start the timer, or are not actively working on a task but are instead reading things that help you do your job.

I was gone for two months! A lot has changed, and I need to get caught back up! My productivity percentage only really matters to me; I have a goal that on average more than half my time working is spent on tasks. 50% productivity sounds terrible, but I read an article somewhere that employees are generally only 40% productive. Once I get back into my groove, that number is easily 60-90%. Gotta leave time for lunch and bathroom breaks and a little socializing.

Socializing. That’s a weird thing now. The last two work days I’ve been alone in the office. It’s hard to chat with the accounting team because they have their doors closed so they don’t have to wear their masks. I can’t just go on walkabout because we all still need to limit contact with others.

Got lunch at one of the golf courses today. Cheeseburger and fried green beans! I love these fried green beans. It’s like eating a vegetable, but actually delicious. The burgers are objectively bad: greasy, crappy bun, not very fancy… but that’s exactly why I love them. In a business that deals in being fancy and pretentious, these are exactly that: just a good old-fashioned burger. Yeah, I’ll eat pretentious food. I like food. But that’s not me. What you see is what you get. Give me your crappiest burger and I’m going to love it. Even at McDonald’s, I prefer their $0.70 burgers over the more expensive Big Mac or Angus burgers. Simple.

One of the things I did today was move six boxes of toilet paper around. Got a little short of breath. Then I went up a flight of stairs to get sanitizing solution. Out of breath. I was ready to panic, because with the coughing and now the out of breath now I’m starting to fit some symptoms of the virus; but A) I hate stairs because they’re evil, and B) I moved 1-2k steps max for two months. Any sort of physical activity is going to make me breathless. And still slightly dehydrated. Stop overthinking things, Joe.

Still feel like I have a hair in my throat no matter how much water I drink. Definitely coughing less than yesterday, so maybe another night’s sleep will clear that out.

Reflections

It’s nice to be back to doing stuff. It was a little weird to work a day, then back to pajamas, and then back to work. The boss and I are in the office together tomorrow, it’ll be cool to figure out a schedule again. We gonna do every other week or split the week up? Two days alone, one together, two at home?

The other night I looked at getting a Tesla car. Joe. You don’t need a Tesla. Yes, they’re cool, but you don’t have a car payment right now, why do you want to start having one?

I do eventually want to create a new category and post things in it, but I’m not sure what to write about. I did pretty okay with the blog, I think, but now I need to expand upon that.

The app I use to track sleep will record me when I snore. Found that out today. It’s the funniest thing I’ve heard. Also, apparently when I listen to Welcome To Night Vale as I doze off, the app thinks that’s me snoring so I have little 15 second clips of WTNV. I have a little weird pain in my shoulder area, which really tells me it’s time to get new pillows.

Okay, I’ve had a glass of wine, working on my 3rd Hydro Flask of water for the day (gotta keep way ahead of this dehydration thing, I’m so tired of feeling like crap, might pick up some Pedialyte tomorrow). I’m thinking a weekly blog post and maybe another post with some more content that isn’t just my running commentary.

Day 56 of 56: Preparation

You guys.

I did it.

I blogged every day of my work closure.

I. Did. It.

I wasn’t terribly interesting most days. A lot of that is because, you know, quarantine. The rest of it is because I kind of live my life in a rut. I’m fine with that, I know what I like and just do that.

For those of you that stuck with me through this challenge, thank you. Things should get more interesting from here on out.

Preparation

A lot of today was spent on Facebook, like normal, and watching YouTube (read: on in the background). Again, like normal. But now it’s time for a different normal. For tomorrow, you see, is the day I go back to work.

I did watch the governor’s press conference today. Her mask was the state flag and I thoroughly enjoyed that. As she read off the list of counties in Oregon that can open tomorrow, she also had a huge smile. We did it, Oregon. Now we just need to keep being smart to prevent a second wave. Or at least make the second wave as small as possible.

I did a load of towels today. Normally, that wouldn’t be anything to write about, but I have a ventless dryer. It’s actually a washer/dryer combo which is awesome. They’re made for places that are small, like RV’s, tiny homes, and apartments. I actually have enough space to get full size machines, but not having a dryer vent to clean was a pretty big selling point. Anyway, since it’s an all-in-one you don’t have to move your clothes between washing and drying.

So I throw in the towels (heh), they wash, it clicks and tells me it’s time to add my static sheet thing and do that, and then literally five hours later it tells me it’s done drying. Cool. Now I can take a shower! Only I go to get a towel out and they all were stuck to the drum from the spin cycle. Even with my dryer balls which I had always thought would grab and get them off the drum. Not only were they crunchy from being dried on the drum, they were still wet in most spots! NO! Okay long story short, I just dried them again, everything’s fine. You didn’t come here to read about towels. That was two weeks ago. Missed my opportunity.

When I took my shower, for whatever reason I also laid out my clothes for tomorrow. Like it’s my first day of school. To be honest, now that I think about it, it’s kind of adorable.

My out-of-office turned off at 5 today, and in honor of that I moved my email and other work things back to the home screen on my phone. I turned the badges back on for email, and it said 120 unread. Cool! That’s like a day or two of normal summer! 120 in two months?! And then I remembered that phones don’t sync your entire mailbox, just the last couple weeks. Uh oh. I’m being a good employee and leaving it all for tomorrow when I’m actually allowed to work again. That’ll be fun.

Haircut

It’s been over three months since I last had a haircut. My hair grows fast. I know it’s time to get a cut when I go to style it and it’s just Too Much. That’s at about 3-4 weeks. Well, now my hair is super long. My glasses keep falling off, stuff is touching my ears, that god-damned duck tail… I promised myself I wouldn’t, but today I just cut it.

Marcy, I love you, please don’t kill me.

I won’t even comment how many trash bags I went through before I figured out how to use it as a cape. I swear I’m smart.

So the back in the picture looks bad, but it’s mostly the lighting, my cowlick, and my hair color. When I feel it, it feels fine. Cowlick is still pretty long, but it’s hard to find the line behind your head and I’m also afraid to cut the cowlick too short because then I turn into Alfalfa. I also cut around my ears really weird, hoping my glasses will hide that.

Absolutely no way was I going to touch the top. I might be changing my hairstyle, so for now it can just be crazy. Plus everyone’s got crazy quarantine cuts. I’ve reached that level of I don’t care that I think is healthy.

Mildly related: my hair is a lot more brown in the sink than it is on my head. What’s up with that?

I thought I would be ready for a pro haircut tomorrow; turns out when I had the opportunity I couldn’t do it. Maybe during Phase 2 in a couple weeks, but right now I just can’t bring myself to do it. Although logically if I were to get an appointment tomorrow (not that I can do it now that I know I’m working tomorrow) that would be the least amount of risk. In that vein, if I wait a couple weeks, the chance could be much higher. I’m just going to play it by ear. Crappily-edged ear.

Daily Reflections

This is the last daily reflections I’ll be doing until the next time I decide to do a blog-a-day challenge. Maybe for Christmas. We’ll see.

Yeah, I’m an IT guy, but I also work at a resort. The governor is still urging people to stay home, but you know peeps be wantin’ to travel. So while my job doesn’t involve me working closely with others, I still have to interact with people who do. I don’t know quite how to describe how I feel. I’m glad and grateful that I get to go back to work, but I’m also a little terrified. I know we’re all going to do all the right things. We haven’t worked for two months so of course we’re going to protect ourselves, others, and our guests. It’s still just scary. I don’t think that fear will really go away until there’s a vaccine. I try to keep it under the surface because living in fear isn’t a way to live, but you can’t forget it’s there.

In my Imperfect Food order I bought two sirloin steaks. They’re a lot smaller than the ones I get at the store, but hey why not? Tried my hand at making a carne asada marinade since I have lemons and limes, and it didn’t turn out too bad. A little too citrus-y, but that’s fine. I also cut up the last of my garlic, and not enough of it stuck to the steak so I missed out on that flavor. I have notes for next time. I cooked both of them tonight, so tomorrow I can have one for lunch with salad. Steak salad, baby!!!

Okay, it’s now after midnight. Still calling the “it’s the same day for me so the actual time doesn’t matter” play. But, the office opens at 8 and I need to go to bed.

Good night. Thanks for reading. I’m going to take the next couple days off and work on actual good content. We’ll all be better off with that.

Peace.

Day 55 of 56: Self-Care

Y’all. I feel so much better.

Nails

I think I wrote about how I lost my nail clippers and how I’ve been slowly losing my mind. Maybe that was only on Facebook, I can’t be bothered to check old posts. Regardless, a couple weeks ago I bumped into my side table by my chair and knocked a bunch of stuff off. One of the missing items were my nail clippers.

My house is messy, I know this, and cluttered, it’s my weakness. But these damn clippers were NOWHERE. I checked under the chairs, under the couches, and even under my desk. Nothing. Okay, maybe I was responsible and put them in the bathroom or a drawer or somewhere else stupid. Nope.

There’s been a post circulating the last couple days about how everyone pretty much has a junk drawer. I had checked that a few days ago, but I checked it again today. STILL NOPE.

Then I remembered that I had a mug at one point with a bunch of pens and random stuff. Couldn’t find that, but while looking for that I remembered that I haven’t unpacked from when I moved two and a half years ago and my old junk drawer had its own box. SCORE!

My nails got so long, y’all. Finger nails, not so bad / manageable, but my toenails were gross. Almost to the point where I was going to cut myself. It’s been a stressor. I was almost to the point of using scissors. So while I didn’t find the good clippers that are still missing, thanks to my laziness I was able to find the crappiest pair of clippers on the planet and cut my nails!

It was an instant wave of relief. It’s kind of hard to describe, but it’s like my toes can breathe again. I know that’s weird, that’s just how they feel.

Hair

I almost cut my hair today. I’ve been mulling it over for a while now, but last night I found an almost #4 guard for my trimmer. Almost certain I wrote about this last night. There’s 54 other posts, I can’t be responsible for what I wrote about earlier.

Anyway, trimmer is all charged up, I might be going to work on Friday, and I just want my glasses to stay in place. With a #4-ish it’s still longer than what my stylist would use, but would get rid of that stupid duck tail thing my hair does when it’s long. That sentence sounds familiar. Yeah, almost positive I wrote about that last night.

The only things that really kept me from going to town on the sides of my head were that I didn’t shower today (gettin’ that Joe-funk STRONG, BB!) and I’m still working out the best way to do it. I’m thinking cut a hole in a trash bag and wear it, and put some plastic wrap over the sink. Enough of Athena’s hair finds its way down to my septic tank, let’s not add my entire head of hair.

I know I’m going to mess it all up. I’ve come to terms with this. But who cares? That might be the quarantine attitude finally kicking in.

Food

I heated up some leftover broccoli beef from last night for lunch. Even better the next day. I’m still only eating one meal a day, I think it’s really because I’m not moving around a lot so I don’t need a lot of food to get through the day. I’ve got maybe one or two more servings, looking forward to that for tomorrow. Now I just need to figure out what to cook with the rest of my Imperfect Foods box!

Last Halloween my friend invited me to her new house to hand out candy. I dressed as Mr. Rogers (cardigan, slacks, and my Mr. Rogers t-shirt). She bought too much candy so I got to take a bunch home. Today I finally broke into that stash. I had a couple cookies ‘n cream Hershey bars, a Heath bar, a Snickers, and one of those lime Tootsie Rolls. All bite-sized, of course. I may have a sweet tooth but I’m not going to go that crazy. I don’t eat a lot of candy any more, I think it’s maybe been since Halloween that I’ve had candy. So that was nice as a treat.

Daily Reflections

Today was trash day. Last night after I finished watching whatever I was doing, I somehow convinced myself to watch Adventure Time for the fourth time. Whenever I do that, I try to find the snail in every episode. If I can’t find it, I will re-watch the episode until I do. That lasts about a season until I forget the game I’m playing and then I just watch it. This time will be different. That’s a long way to say that it was 2:30 in the morning and I took my trash can to the street.

It rained off and on today. Every time I thought about going to bring the trash can back, it would start raining again. I also pulled my old lawn mower out of the shed a few days ago and yesterday when it started to rain pulled it onto the porch under the roof. Mostly just to quickly get an electric device out of the rain, but also because I didn’t have real shoes on and didn’t want to push it back to the shed. So now I look like a hick with my lawn mower sitting in front of my door. Looks like rain again tomorrow.

So, yeah. Cut my nails and ate some bomb food. Didn’t shower or cut my hair like I wanted to, but all in all not a bad day.

For some reason (can’t imagine WHY) I’m hungry. So I’m going to figure out what’s small and simple so I can go to bed.

Day 54 of 56: Television

Like a lot of other people during this isolation, I’ve been watching a lot of content online. The majority has been YouTube (and Jenna and/or Julien at that).

But every once in a while I leave my blissful YouTube bubble and move onto something else.

NASA’s Unexplained Files

I don’t know what it is about it, but I can’t stop watching. I told my best frand, but she was like “ugh.” I don’t get that. I’ve seen all of Ancient Aliens that’s available on Hulu, and I watch it with a grain of salt. It’s fun to think about that kind of stuff. But NUF has somewhat credible people in it, and it doesn’t seem necessarily too far-fetched. They present this info and I’m like, “Yeah, someone smarter than me tell me what is going on.” Example: Sun dogs (s2e5).

I’ve always thought it’d be cool to work at NASA. Even just to observe operations. So cool. I blame Stargate: SG1/Atlantis for that.

Solar Opposites

I started watching this one today because it’s been in my Hulu recommendations for a while, and it’s actually pretty good. It’s by the same creators as Rick & Morty, which is another show I enjoy. Not because I think I’m somehow superior to others, I just think it’s funny. Rick is a dick, Morty has no spine, and the banter is glorious. New season either came out a few days ago, or will very soon. Either way: it’s not on Hulu yet. I may need to check my Sling DVR.

This show is like Rick & Morty meets Invader Zim. I don’t know why, but I just like it a lot. I’m already almost through the first season. And in the midst of writing that sentence, huge plot twist. #hooked

I also love that the lines in the opening credits change every time. Brilliant.

Daily Reflections

I’ve by now washed the mask Non made, but the smell from when I got it that reminded me of childhood has gone away. Which makes me more than a little bit sad. I want to go visit. But there’s a risk and I don’t want to take it.

Did I get my life together today? Not really. I did do a load of dishes, and I made actual food and my stomach doesn’t hurt today. Small improvements.

After I accidentally finished all of Solar Opposites while writing out this post, I started the Parks & Rec special. Not having seen the final season, I know I will cry and I haven’t been in a good enough space for that in YEARS, this is a great thing. Super clever. Love this show. Need to watch it all again. Like, right now. This episode was like seeing all my best friends again.

I think I wrote about it earlier, but I signed up for Imperfect Foods a couple weeks ago. This weekend was my first shopping window, and when I explored the offerings I was hungry and a little drinky so I picked some random stuff. Well, Sunday was the last day to update my cart and I spent the entire time editing that appendectomy post. My first box arrived today, and it was full of that random stuff I ordered.

Hair salons and a bunch of other things can open on Friday. Woo. This weekend I thought I was ready to get my hair cut, even with the safety measures, but then I started not being okay. I have a larger hair clipper than my beard trimmer (which I need to do again, yay finally being able to kind of grow facial hair). The back of my head does this duck tail thing when it gets too long and I think I can cut it with a 4 guard and be fine. My stylist uses a 2, and I’m sure it’ll be at least a month before I am comfortable in that kind of environment so she can fix any damage I do. Plus it’d just be the sides, we’ve been talking about a different style for a while now and all the new styles are all done with the top. Which I won’t touch.

Using a few things from the box of food I got today ahead of schedule, I made broccoli beef! Added some pepperoni because that’s what I do when I go to the Mongolian place and there wasn’t a space to add that. Over some rice, not too bad! Little too much salt on the beef, but next time I try this I’ll remember to go a lot less on the salt grinder.

Okay. Rambling. Time for bed.

Day 53 of 56: Update

Hey all.

Today I didn’t do much of anything. Not really sure why.

So here’s just a quick update.

I upgraded my web server from the LTS (long-term-support) version to the latest. That took a little while to research and carry out. And then it broke the websites I host. Got that all sorted. Plus now I have scheduled backups of the databases and files.

My left shift on my laptop is starting to die. That’s unfortunate. Just another reason for me to be unhappy with this purchase. And of course the warranty ran out a couple months ago.

Last night I was coughing a lot and felt like I had to puke. I’m going to go with I too much wine Saturday night and was dehydrated. Again. I know that I cough and feel like I have to puke when dehydrated, but I still couldn’t help but think I did something wrong and got infected. Some slight panic.

Today I also drank a lot of water (80oz so far) but my stomach still kind of hurts. I also didn’t have much of an appetite today, had a Totino’s pizza around 3 but here it is almost midnight and I haven’t eaten anything else. Nothing sounds good. So a little of it may be because I’m hungry.

My Chewy order arrived today! Only two days late! Why it was chilling in Troutdale over the weekend is beyond me. Turnip got his special food, Athena got her food, and I bought them some toys! Turnip got one of those round things with the ball on a track and a scratching pad. Found him sleeping on it because it has catnip. Athena got an automatic laser. My room is oddly shaped so it took a while to find a place for her to play with it. It has a timer for 15 minutes but she was only interested for like 5. So that’s a fun thing I get to do to try and exercise my chubby kitty.

Sorry this post is bland. Just not feeling it today.

I’ve told myself for the past 6 weeks that tomorrow is going to be the day I get my life back together and clean and stop just sitting in my chair. I really need to do that. For Chrissake, the box the espresso machine came in is still in the middle of the floor. It may help that I’m starting to re-adjust my sleep schedule to go back to work soon. Today I woke up around 10, tomorrow I’m shooting for 9, I should be able to get back to a 7am alarm in the next couple days.

I also thought today was Tuesday and got really excited that my first box from Imperfect Foods was coming. I didn’t finish editing my cart this weekend before the cutoff so I’m getting some random stuff. Like two pounds of limes. And four lemons.

Okay, time to go to bed. After I chug another 40oz of water. Because I’m still not feeling 100% and you never go wrong with hydrating yourself.

Day 52 of 56: Appendectomy

Okay, the day has come! The anniversary of my first ever hospital visit that ended up with me being stabbed repeatedly.

I apparently waited almost an entire month before telling my sister I was in the hospital. I sent her a very long text message regaling my experience, so for today’s post I copied it here to the Interwebs and did some editing and expanding. I’ll leave the original in the comments because it was GOLD.

Anyway, ENJOY! It’s a long one, but I think it’s funny as hell.

And happy Mother’s Day to my mom and my aunt! Thank you for taking care of me!!!

The Day Before

Thursday, 5/9/19.

I get home from work and my stomach hurts all along the bottom. I thought it was because I didn’t eat very much that day. I wasn’t very hungry for dinner so I just said meh and went to bed.

In the morning, the pain had moved to my lower right. Thought it was still since I hadn’t eaten. Didn’t have my morning poop. Still not concerned, I didn’t have dinner so no poop. Made sense.

Workday

At some point in the morning I had mentioned to the controller that I was having some pain. She joked back and was like “maybe you have appendicitis!” We laughed about that because what’re the odds?! Fun fact she found, the median age for appendicitis in males is 28. I turned 28 three days earlier. There’s no way.

I go through my normal day, and had pizza for lunch. Payday Pizza Friday! I had a project that involved me going to the network closets by the hotel rooms and discovered that jumping off the decks hurt my tummy. I tried to keep it low key and just used the stairs like a real adult. I just turned 28! That’s almost 30! Act like an adult, Joe!

Movies and margs!

Get off work, change into shorts and flip-flops and meet the crew at Red Robin for dinner before we go see Detective Pikachu. A group of us at work would meet up at the Mexican-Peruvian restaurant by the movie theater for dinner and margaritas. For my birthday I wanted to see Detective Pikachu, and since it was my birthday I wanted to go to Red Robin to shake things up.

Had a marg and some fried pickles, everything was good. My entree came, I ate like two fries and immediately felt like I had to puke. Went to the bathroom, still couldn’t poop, but the nausea went away. Drank some water, nausea came right back.

I remembered my chat with the controller so I Googled the symptoms.
*clap* *snap* *finger guns*
Hey guys, I have all of these symptoms and I have to leave right now.

But wherefore do I go for help?

We were in Old Mill, and there’s an Urgent Care down there. Cool, they can tell me what’s wrong. I drive over but I missed them by literally two minutes.

Started feeling better-ish so I was like, “I’ll go to the one by Walmart.”
They closed at 6.
So I’m sitting there in their parking lot trying to find another urgent care open after 7 on a Friday, thinking, “Maybe it’s not appendicitis and I just need to take a nap,” and I started getting dizzy and losing focus.

Fuck it. I’m going to the ER. Something is very wrong.

Drive across town to the hospital, still in a brain fog. I’m honestly amazed I didn’t crash. I had pretty good luck with the traffic lights, which was awesome. I walk in the main entrance and was like, “Hey is there an urgent care or do I need to go to the ER?” The guard was like, “ER, and you have to walk through the hospital to get there because you’re stupid and came in the main entrance.” I’m paraphrasing, of course. I really didn’t want to go to the ER because I knew it would be expensive. But that’s all that was open.

At the hospital

They checked me in and had me sit in the waiting room. I sat towards the back, there were maybe like five other people, because a couple people were coughing, but mostly because of my social anxiety.

The triage nurse calls me over, asks what I was feeling, had me pee in a cup. Since I had just peed at the restaurant I had nothing, but she had me keep the cup until I had to go. I got moved to another waiting area (with couches!) I think I was here for a while, little fuzzy on time while I was there. Eventually I had to pee so I did that. I couldn’t find anyone so I remember just holding on to the cup full of urine, trying to not put it on surfaces.

A cute nurse came by a little later and took a couple blood samples. She also inserted an IV just in case. Better to have the thing in my arm now and not need it than not having it later if it was needed.

This is what we writers call “Foreshadowing”

Not taken at the time, but this is what it looked like sans tubes. It really was pink, that’s not blood.

In the ER

Once the cute nurse was done with me she told me to wait by the ER doors for a little bit until they can get me a bed in the ER. A bed opens up, they give me a gown and tell me to change. I get my shirt off and gown on and am trying to get my shorts off when the nurses and techs come in so I’m like “fuck it, I’m probably fine so I’ll just leave ’em on.” This is about an hour after the restaurant so I feel totally fine.

Guy comes to get some more information from me. I also signed something, I think it was the standard “I promise to pay you” thing, but I don’t remember. Around this time I texted my aunt to let her know I put her as an emergency contact since she lives here. I also texted my mom because that’s what you do while you’re in the hospital. You let your family know.

Now that I’m going through my texts to get the timeline, the guy most likely came for that signature and also emergency contacts.

The doctor comes in and is like “hey, we’re gonna want to get a CT scan to confirm, but it sounds like appendicitis.” Cool. Cool cool cool.

An orderly (??? Is that the right name for the guy who wheels you around?) comes and takes me to Imaging. I’m just having a blast at this point. So much technology to look at (their patient system looked super interesting, I wanted to ask how it worked but figured that would be frowned upon. I’m not a hacker, I’m just super into computers!!!), I’d never had an IV before, some guy is pushing me in a wheelchair, this is GREAT!!!

We get to Imaging and the imaging tech is like “hey, this dye is going to make you feel very warm and flushed and it’s going to go from your head to your toes.” Fuck me up! C’mon! Let’s stick me in this machine, homie! Let’s go!!!

He injects the dye and I start feeling flushed and then MY BUTTHOLE GOT REALLY HOT AND LIKE BURNY AND I FEEL THAT SHOULD BE A WARNING THEY GIVE LIKE HEY YO YOUR BUTTHOLE IS GOING TO GET REALLY HOT THATS TOTALLY FINE AND NORMAL.

Quick side-note, the previous two paragraphs I couldn’t bring myself to edit. Added some punctuation in the first one, clarified he injected dye in the second, but these were just too beautiful to change.

Another side note, the CT machine was super cool. Since it was a pelvic image I didn’t have to go all the way in. I wish I could just shadow these people and watch them work. So cool.

My guy wheels me back to my bed, I hang out for like an hour, post some jokes on Facebook and a picture of the IV. Not much to do since various doctors have to check the results. That’s fine, I have Internet on my phone. Except by now it’s almost 9 and my phone is dying. Texted the best frand to see if she could swing by and get my charger from the car.

After waiting for a while (results took longer to get back than expected), the doc says I have mild appendicitis. She says it’s treatable with antibiotics, but there’s a high risk of it occurring again in the next few years.

The Surgery

I didn’t really want to have a surgery, but I’m like, “I have no idea where I’ll be in the next few years. I could be camping or it could be a worse attack next time. Let’s just take it out.” She says okay, starts me on a saline drip, and gets the trauma surgeon.

Mustn’t get dehydrated. No, no we mustn’t.

Surgeon comes in and is like I’m gonna cut you, bitch.

Then I met the anesthesiologist and he was like I’m gonna drug you so you pass out.

Not really. They were both extremely professional. They each explained what was going to happen and made sure I understood. Just two more lines that were too beautiful to change from the original.

Laparoscopic appendectomy is the full name of the procedure. Lap appy for short. What they do is make three small incisions: one in your bellybutton, one 6ish inches below that, and one on your left side. They inflate your abdomen, stick a camera in one of the holes, and cut out the appendix. Super simple.

Once I was done meeting with the team, I texted my aunt and mom to let them know I was going to have the surgery. My aunt offered to come by, which I declined. She lost my uncle less than two weeks earlier in that same hospital. No way was I going to ask her to come back after that deep loss. Please feed my cats, though. I didn’t feed them before I left for the movies.

Mom also offered to come. At this point it was almost 10, she lives about 4 hours away. I’ll be fine, Mom. They’re going to have me on the table before you’d be able to get here, just come in the morning. Safer.

Surgery was supposed to be at like 3 in the morning so I had some time to kill. I think I dozed off once or twice? I do remember needing to pee, which was an ordeal with the IV stand and a gown. Remember my shorts from earlier? Yeah, still on. In retrospect I could have used the time in the bathroom to take them off, but I didn’t.

My best frand and her then-fiance (now hoosband!) came by just as they were wheeling me out to go to the operating room. That was very nice of them. Especially since I got bumped up somehow and was headed in at midnight.

They get me moved into the OR, and the last thing I remember before going under was the anesthesiologist saying to think about my favorite vacation spot. I think it was a beach.

The next thing I know I’m in Recovery, my shorts are off, my underwear is half rolled down, my throat hurts (intubation), but my hair was still on point. Anesthesia is the fucking bomb.

I don’t think I made the joke at the time, but when I would tell it later I would say, “My shorts were gone, my underwear was half-off, my throat hurt, and I didn’t remember anything. I either had surgery or missed out on a real good time.”

Recovery

So yeah, I woke up from the anesthesia in Recovery, and then I think I passed out again because next thing I knew I was in a regular room.

I don’t know why, but the second thing I did when I woke up in the room was message the spa director at work. Something about how the hospital has good food. At two in the morning. (The first thing I did was tell my mom what room I was in.) I blame painkillers and anesthesia.

The nurse that took care of me overnight was absolutely amazing. Nurse Carla, you worked a double shift and put up with me. The real MVP.

I woke up and was deemed a fall risk. Fair.
Can I get one to wear every day, though?

I’ve always tried to be as low-maintenance as possible. If I can do something myself, I’m just going to do it. I don’t ask for help because I don’t want to bother anyone. So you can imagine how I felt when I looked down and noticed blood coming from my bellybutton. Oh no. I have to call for the nurse. I press the button, and in a drugged-out voice that was still raw from being intubated, say “my bellybutton is bleeding.” She came in, changed the bandage and said it wasn’t torn just some left over. So that was good.

I fell asleep again. When I woke up I had to pee. Well, I’m tied into this bed with wires and tubes, I have to bother her again. Press the button, “I have to pee” in my still-raw voice. She comes in and helps me up, I do my business and get back in bed.

Drugged-2am-me was right. Hospital food is pretty bomb. And not just because the only things I had eaten in the last 24 hours was half an individual pizza, a margarita, and a few slices of a pickle.

A PT tech came by later. We walked around the floor of the hospital to make sure I wasn’t feeling any more pain. Ass cheeks flapping in the wind. Not really, I still had my underwear on.

Aftercare

Mom got in around noon, came and sat with me while I got discharged, then brought me home. I wanted to drive, since I drove myself there, but turns out you can’t drive for 24 hours because of the painkillers. Wish they’d have given me something to take home, recovery sucked. I was told to take Advil and Tylenol for the pain.

Swung by my aunt’s house to say hi and my cousins were also there! So that was also nice! I lasted a little bit before I had to leave; I couldn’t find a comfortable position.

And then yeah that was pretty much my Mother’s Day weekend. Mom took care of me for a few days. On Mother’s Day, though, we got Olive Garden to go. Needed to pick up my car so we were headed that way anyway. Would have been nicer to go in, but I didn’t have pants that wouldn’t press on the incisions and no way was I going in shorts that were tattered (the only ones that would fit).

Reflections

This is already an ungodly lengthy post so I’m not going to do my daily reflections today.

I just want to say, though, that even though I got screwed with bills, my entire experience at St. Charles was awesome. Everybody was friendly and professional.

A few more things I want to say about my experience, but it’s best to just put them in another post 😀

Thanks for reading!

BONUS PICTURES!!!

My friends think they’re funny. Lookin’ at you, Marc.

Screenshot from my Facebook post last year.
Another funny guy on my post.
Even drugged I could spell “fuckered” but not the correct title of the movie.
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