Balance?

I had a pretty good afternoon yesterday, once I got up and got motivated… I’ll make an entry about that later once I’m more awake and my pain has settled. But jeezus, last night was miserable. Didn’t fall asleep until the early morning, then once I did I was woken up by awful nightmares about once every hour. Not “scary” nightmares… more like people / situational nightmares, which are actually worse.

And it doesn’t seem to matter whether I’m awake or asleep, when it comes to stress affecting my neck and shoulder. Hopefully it doesn’t last, but I haven’t woken up with my neck this bad in quite a while. Time for my morning meds and a hot shower and we’ll see where things go from there…

BTS Comeback Trailer

Guess I haven’t made an entry for a little while. Been feeling a little sick, sleep has been screwy, and then of course I had my monthly doctor appointment yesterday which means several days of bullshit in order to get my meds. 😠 I was able to pick up one of them today, but I’m not doing the “pay for it first and then we’ll refund you” thing like I usually do. Gonna try to wait them out until it is approved, since it legally has to be eventually. Meh… I’ve already explained and complained about that shit, and this month’s no different.

But there was something that put me in a good mood the other day. πŸ˜ƒ BTS released their comeback video for their next album, with a song featuring Suga called Shadow. If you’re a fan, you’ve probably already seen it, but if not… watch it first, before you read everything that I have to say about it below the video. 😏

(Make sure you turn on captions by hovering over the video and changing the selection at the bottom.)

I’m a huge BTS fan now, thanks to Cassi subjecting me to their music long enough to where I began to like and appreciate it, but I’m probably just a bit short of being considered Army. πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ My bias in the group is Jungkook, but with this video I think Suga just jumped ahead of J-Hope for second place. But for as short as this song is, to squeeze in three distinctly different styles… along with all the visuals… it’s just impressive for a “sneak peek” into their next album that drops on February 21st.

Okay, here’s the shit I wanna comment on, sorta in order as it happens in the video…

  • First thing I noticed is that the music is actually the background for the chorus of Fake Love. 😯 Also, the way he runs down the hallway is a flashback to Jungkook running in the Fake Love MV.
  • Second thing: Suga rapping in English. 😳 Wat? πŸ˜…
  • As he runs down the hallway, it’s him taking all of the ambition that he’s thinking about, and choosing to break through to where the lights are bright and the shadows are waiting. Clothes change from light (good) to dark (bad).
  • Once he’s broken through and found himself in the spotlight, gained the fame, he feels the weight of the shadows of what his life used to be like – before he became a celebrity… making him question if it’s all worth it, basically abandoning who you once were in order to become what he now is.
  • Once he’s on the stage, all of the people in the audience are just blank, still, and holding their phones in the air to record – rather than fully experiencing what he’s doing. πŸ₯Ί He even looks dejected as he looks down on them. (Kind of a burn to some of the fans.)
  • At different points in the video, “ORUL82?” pops up for a few frames… which is obviously a reference to that track on a much older album, which was about following your dreams no matter what it takes – but it didn’t have the dark spin of Suga now knowing the negatives that go along with fame. 😟
  • Then you see the two versions of him… one on stage performing, and the other in the audience – apparently representing the younger version of him that would watch other performers and want to be famous like that.
  • Then the “shadow” version of him takes over, telling him how those feelings of uncertainty, regret, insecurity are always going to be there, that there’s no escaping the bad feelings if you’re gonna also strive to get the good things that come with being at the top of your game.
  • Even though the shadow side is portrayed as being “dark” or “bad” … that’s the side that has his confidence, that knows both good and bad are inside of him, and that those two sides are gonna fight sometimes – but that if he learns to accept it he’ll be able to move forward with more peace. 😌
  • But with the way the song ends, it looks like he still hasn’t been able to reconcile both the good and the bad, as he just gets lost in the crowd of swarming fans.

So yeah, in a way it’s the typical “be careful what you wish for” or “it’s so hard being famous” type narratives that a thousand other songs have, but the visuals in this video really do tell a compelling story. Lots of callbacks from when they were younger and much less in the spotlight, using cues from Fake Love in both the music and visuals, but with their shadows now stalking them all right outside of their hotel rooms, the visual reminder of “ORUL82?” which had a much more optimistic view on striving to hit your goals in life, etc.

It really makes me wonder what the album is gonna be like. πŸ™‚ The current phase of releases is under the “Map of The Soul” theme, and this album has “Shadow” and another track that will be called “Ego” – so I don’t know if it’s gonna be a half-and-half album where the first part is all optimistic and light, and the second half is all hard and dirty, tackling stuff like anxiety and depression and loneliness or what. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Heh… I say that I’m not Army, but as soon as that video came out I began noticing this, noticing that, catching all the references, etc… so maybe I am getting closer. 😁 I actually tried to get tickets for me and Cassi when they were touring in the US, but they sold out so damn quickly. πŸ™ By the time I was able to access the Ticketmaster site and try to select two seats side by side – after “You are in the queue” for about 15 minutes – all that was left were single seats scattered around the stadium. 😟 Hoping we get another chance this year.

If you wanna see a ridiculously well-choreographed concert performance from them, click here. 😌

Overdue For One Of These

Had my monthly WC doctor visit today. Good timing for two reason… first, because it looks like we’re gonna get our first measurable snow tonight (possibility of 2 to 3 inches) and second, because my shoulder was bad this morning. 😣 Most of the time when I have my appointments with him, I’m in my typical / average condition. Not good, but not too bad. But luckily, every now and then, my shoulder has one of its little fits while I’m in the office so he can see in real-time what I deal with a lot of days. Of course I never want to hurt, but it’s like when you take your car to the repair shop and it just won’t “make that noise” for the guy… yeah… my shoulder was making all kinds of “noise” for the doctor today.

It kinda doesn’t matter though… πŸ˜• and that sucks. πŸ˜’ I mean, my treatment is based on my condition, and he already knows that’s part of my condition – so seeing it happening “live” isn’t gonna change anything about it. It’s hard to describe the frustration of just wanting to “feel okay” while also knowing that there really isn’t anything that can make that happen. 😐 (And yeah, I know, I’m far from the only person that feels that way.) I’m gonna have to ask him at my next appointment, how much WC is affecting what he’s able to do for me. Lord knows they look for any reason to fight even paying for the meds that I’m on now, so I could see where he might know that some options would just be “off the table” from the start.

Meh… gotta try to not dwell on that stuff. πŸ™πŸ» But that’s why I’m a little more twitchy than usual once a month. Every time my WC appointment comes around, it just brings up all the frustration that I go through, for treatment that just makes things tolerable, and the fun waiting and wondering if / when my pharmacy will be given approval for each of my meds, etc, only to do it all over again a month later. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ It’s just a shitty cycle that it seems I’m gonna be stuck in forever.

But like I told the doctor today… yeah, I might have times where I bitch about this stuff more than usual, but I also know that things could be a lot worse. I see the other people as they walk into the office… or, sometimes, as they’re rolled by in a wheelchair. 😟 I know that while my disability is definitely full of suck, there’s a lot of folks that have it a lot worse than me – so I try to keep my perspective. (But it doesn’t stop me from thinking that there’s got to be something out there that could still help me more.)

So, yeah, I haven’t done one of these rants for a little while… so there it is. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Honestly, if you took my doctor appointment off of today’s schedule, everything was about the same as any other day – a random mix of good, bad, frustrating, okay, painful, tolerable, etc. πŸ™„ It just happened that today, the worst of the tremors happened at the most influential time. So despite several paragraphs of complaining, I’m fine… just thinking out loud and getting shit off my chest like usual. πŸ™‚πŸ‘πŸ»Β It’s all good…

Giveth Taketh

Found out late last night that one of my friends has become unexpectedly unemployed. He was actually working at one place, but had been tentatively hired at another place, so he put in his two weeks notice… only for the job to fall through due to unforeseen circumstances. 😟 He’s already been putting in applications at other places, including companies where he used to work, but in different locations… so hopefully this will just be a small blip – and that his wife’s check will get them by until he gets things back on track.

And apparently it happened on the same day that I posted about my other friend’s boyfriend getting hired on as an assistant manager with a buttload of hours. So maybe I didn’t “knock on wood” correctly. It’s like snapping with the Infinity Gauntlet, or howΒ The Monkey PawΒ works… where things can work out, but maybe not exactly as you expected. I was concentrating on not jinxing them, but didn’t consider that a different friend could be having exactly the opposite experience. πŸ˜• I mean, I know I didn’t jinx him, but the irony of talking about it when I posted about it isn’t lost on me.

And I know I had some funky dreams last night, because I actually woke up because of them a couple different times… but I can’t remember the details. πŸ˜’ Woke up still thinking about his situation though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the dreams had something to do with all that. I’ve gotta implement a “winding down” period before I go to bed each night, where I avoid caffeine, avoiding worrying about the next day’s stuff, and where I avoid allowing myself to absorb crappy news right before I sack out.

Regenerating

Today was a little better than yesterday. Got to sleep a lot earlier last night, slept in pretty good, my various bits eventually hurting a little less, etc. I am gonna avoid the bed for a couple of nights though, as it definitely doesn’t do me any favors when I try to sleep in it “pre-gimped” from too much activity in the day(s) prior. 😟 It was an unplanned blessing that I picked up this leather recliner, nearly new, at an auction many years ago. Didn’t know then that it would eventually make the rough nights a little less so. πŸ™‚

Listening to the scanner tonight, unfortunately I heard the address of some folks I know come across the fire dispatch channel. 😯 It doesn’t sound like it was a big one… with the fire being contained to the porch where it apparently started, and the most important thing – that nobody was hurt. Still… hate to hear that it happened, especially since they’ve been doing some remodeling on the place over the summer.

For some positive news, one of my other friends… her boyfriend recently got hired on at a new job, he seems to really enjoy the work, and he’s getting a buttload of hours – at least for right now. πŸ™‚πŸ€žπŸ» Things are always in flux when you start a new job, but hopefully they don’t hire like a lot of places do these days – where they’d prefer to have a dozen people working 12 – 16 hours a week, rather than a handful of folks that get a full 40 hours. But yeah, definitely nice to see things looking up for them. I’ll go ahead and say it… “knock on wood”… so I don’t jinx anyone – but from now on whenever you see me say something that seems jinx-worthy, just keep in mind that the appropriate wood knocking has been completed. 😏🀜🏻🌳

I think tomorrow I’m going to take this little file cabinet over to Bri. Now that she’s got an apartment, bills, court papers, etc… she’s finally got enough crap that she needs to keep organized, and this one has been sitting in my basement since I moved in here. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ—„οΈ I had to pop the lock on it, ‘cuz who knows where that key would be, and the bottom drawer did have a bunch of stuff in it (including printed out blogs from the mid 2000s) so it’ll be interesting to go through all that when I have a moment of boredom. πŸ™‚πŸ—ƒοΈ Right now it’s still in a stack on my living room floor. And luckily this thing is lightweight, made from some kind of thin metal, so I shouldn’t have any problems getting it into my back seat. (Hopefully.)

But today wasn’t awful… and I should be pretty close to getting back into the swing of things tomorrow. Oh, and I did introduce OutsideKitty to his new (potential) Rubbermaid “house” in case he’s interested in giving it a try tonight. It’s not gonna be cold cold, but shelter with soft / warm stuff inside is better than nothing, eh?

Lazy Sunday

Wasn’t able to fall asleep until about 5am this morning, but my alarms woke me up at 11am to see that Genesee had made it home safely without any further airline incidents. πŸ™‚ I’m glad that it’s sunny out, ‘cuz man did I wake up feeling like crap. In this case, I’ll take the nice view out the front window, even though I’m not gonna be going out to do anything in it. 😏 Same old story… a few days where I was doing more stuff than usual, so today everything gets to hurt more than usual – at least for a while. It’s fine though… nothing important on the agenda today, and I’ll gladly pay the “price of admission” (the pain, for the slow folks) whenever she wants to come for a visit. 😊 I’m really glad I don’t have to do anything today though. πŸ˜…πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Meds should slowly make things better in that regard, then there’s the race in Texas to watch in the afternoon, and while that’s going on I’ll probably dig through some old blankets and sheets in the basement to get the cat house done and put outside. I don’t really want an outside cat, but if he insists on hanging around, I figure that’s the least I can do for him. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ί Somewhat unrelated, I had another one of those weird, split-second thoughts about Mom when I was waking up earlier. I’m not sure what triggered it, but it just popped into my head that I needed to e-mail Mom to tell her about Gen’s visit. 😟 A thought so brief that you realize the problem with it, before that thought even has the chance to be completed…

I only mention it today because when I told Genesee about it, she said she had a similar thing happen when she was out with her friend and the horses. The natural thought of her wanting to stop by and tell her dad about the horses and show him the pictures when they were done. πŸ§πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸŽ It’s strange how that still happens, and makes me wonder if it will always happen… those instinctive thoughts that pop into your brain and stay only long enough to make you sad. πŸ˜• Not sad sad… because I’m confident that Paul had already been watching her mini-adventure, and that Mom has been happy about Genesee coming to visit from the moment I picked her up at the airport… but you know what I mean. πŸ˜‡ It’s a weird feeling.

But I’m gonna hop off here, tidy the living room, and then try to take it easy for the rest of the day – saving the “returning to my normal routine / responsibilities” stuff for tomorrow. 🀘🏻😎

Weather Complications

Gen’s trip to Ohio ended up being a bit of an adventure. ✈️ The original plan had her taking off from NJ, landing in NC with a half-hour to catch her connecting flight, and then onto Columbus. But for whatever reason, their plane landed in Charlotte only a couple of minutes before the connecting flight took off… so anyone that was continuing to Ohio missed their flight. πŸ˜ŸπŸ˜•πŸ˜ πŸ˜ πŸ˜πŸ˜ŸΒ πŸ›« American Airlines obviously knew they screwed up, and had everyone quickly booked on the next flight out to Columbus, but the result was that she ended up getting here about an hour and a half later than anticipated.

It was almost 4pm by the time we were leaving the airport, and that’s when the flag placement ceremony was supposed to beginΒ – so we didn’t even really try to hurry, assuming that we were just gonna miss it. (And that was the main reason that she was coming to visit.) But as we were heading to Lancaster, she was texting with Toni (who was already there) and we learned that the crappy weather and other “opening remarks” type stuff had kept everyone inside one of the buildings at the fairgrounds πŸ˜―πŸ€”πŸ˜ƒ and that we’d possibly be able to make it in time for the flag placement after all.

The first couple of flags had already been handed out by the time we were pulling in, but it worked out so that they called Dad’s name just as we had parked and joined everyone standing there. πŸ™‚πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Couldn’t have cut it any closer. 😎 They go alphabetically, so that meant there was still plenty of time before Uncle Rick, Grandpa Shepherd, and Genesee’s dad’s names were called. Any other year that would have been great, but this year… whoothe weather, man. πŸ˜―πŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ¨οΈπŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ¨οΈπŸ’¨πŸ˜£

Ominous dark clouds, half drizzle, half sleet, freezing winds gusting so hard that people were struggling to hold their flags… it was just awful. 😟 (They had a huge eagle on hand as well, and he wasn’t too thrilled about things either.) πŸ¦… And as much as I’d have liked for Dad to have been able to go… at least when we were talking about it in the daysΒ prior… I’m glad that he decided not to. With the flight delays, getting there late, mother nature going crazy, and him not feeling that great over the past few days anyway – he definitely made the right choice. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Other years that I’ve gone, loads of people would sit in the stands, listening to the names, ranks, wars, etc as they waited for their person’s name to be called. But there was no sitting this time. The bleachers were cold and wet, so everyone just huddled together… enduring the weather until they could place their flag and then flee to their car. πŸš™πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸƒπŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ¨οΈ I don’t blame anyone… it was just unfortunate that this year’s event didn’t have the same “feel” as previous years because of all that other crap. πŸ˜•

We did end up going back through there the next day though, when the weather was much nicer, to see how many flags were displayed – and to pay the proper respect to the whole thing that none of us were really able to give the day before. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ§πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ§πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ We did take a handful of pictures on the actual placement day, and boy do they not convey what the experience was actually like. 😏 (But of course once everything was overΒ the weather calmed down considerably.) We’re still fortunate to have made it though, since this is the first year that we had flags for Dad and Gen’s dad – so it would have sucked if we weren’t able to place them ourselves.

Okay, it’s been a busy couple days, so I’ll follow up soon with an entry covering anything else worth mentioning from Gen’s stay.Β I didn’t even do half as much as her… but I’m out of juice. πŸ™„πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ