Figuring It Out?

I’ve been bitching a lot here in the blog lately, so I figured I’d drop in to make a more positive post about the weekend. I actually ended up getting pretty much what I was hoping for – putting the stress of my WC stuff to the back of my mind for a couple days, and just letting Saturday and Sunday work themselves out however they wanted. I didn’t even put any self-imposed obligations of “chores” or “being productive” on myself, and it actually worked.

I went in town to grab some groceries and some stuff for Dad, so I ended up making my visit with him on Saturday instead of Sunday. We were talking about maybe watching the race together, but after the visit on the day prior – we ended up just watching the race at the same time and texting back and forth about it. And that track… Homestead… I still think that it’s a little too generic to be the final race, and the one that determines the season champion. The racing from Phoenix, the week prior, was actually more exciting and entertaining… but meh, racing throughout the 2019 season felt improved overall, so at least things are moving in the right direction.

Caught up with some friends and family on Sunday, through messages, since I’d been flying under the radar most of the week. Toni sent me a few pics and vids from their Philly trip, where Matt participated in the Rocky Run, and also sent me a clip of Matt and Wendi’s gender reveal party thing. But she just wanted to check in on me to make sure I was okay. She jokingly offered to get a life-sized cardboard cut-out of me, which she could then take around town and take pictures with it every few days and post the pictures to Facebook – so my friends would “see” that I’m okay. (Since I still haven’t been able to make myself get back on there and socializing again… heh)

Also got caught up with Bri and Cassi… both of whom are dealing with various crap, but they also both seem to have a pretty good handle on things – or at least are doing their best to fake it as they deal with their respective crap. Not only did Bri have to take her youngest son to Children’s for some more tests on Friday, but then today she has her final custody hearing. However it all goes, I’m still impressed with how well she’s dealing with it all, despite obviously being nervous (and me being nervous right along with her), she’s just facing things and tackling them as they come. Same thing with Cassi, just with different issues. I could learn something from both of them when it comes to that.

In fact, I think that’s what helped my weekend (and even today, so far) feel pretty decent. Living a little more “in the moment” than usual. Reminding myself that constantly worrying about things that might not happen for several weeks… there’s just no point to it. You get things settled in your mind and in your plans as best as you can, and then you put it out of your thoughts until it’s time to actually deal with whatever it is. I mean, that’s not a new theory to me, but it’s something I’ve always struggled with. But watching and listening as others deal with some serious shit, and seeing how they do it without letting it crush them, it could be in my best interest to emulate how they do it.

And for good reasons and bad reasons, I found that “cats” ended up being a frequent topic of the weekend… and while talking to Genesee, I had her remind me about the whole story of Maven’s birth. I won’t go through it all, but basically Maven was lucky to have even survived – which made me remark how lucky she (Maven) was. And Genesee replied thatΒ she and IΒ were the lucky ones, considering the influence that Maven has had on both of our lives… and I definitely can’t disagree with that. But it was neat hearing the whole story again, with her lazy butt sleeping next to me by the space heater, and realizing how much she overcame in her first few days and weeks.

So, yeah… I guess it’s sort of crappy that just an “okay” weekend like that feels like such a positive improvement, but it really was a decent couple of days – and I needed it. And like I said, I’m gonna try to follow the lead of the folks that I know who are dealing with just as much as me, if not more, to try and keep the stressful stuff from weighing me down so much. Disability and pain are a couple of challenging adversaries when it comes to that… so not only do I need to embrace the good days when they come, but I also need to do more to nudge the “less good” days in the right direction whenever possible.

(Sorry, I can’t be arsed to go back through and add all the normal emojis today… just gonna hop off here and see where the rest of the day takes me since I’m not feeling too gimped up at the moment.)

Learn To Relax

I know it’s only Thursday, but I think I’m gonna mentally start my weekend now. Had all kinds of horrible nightmares last night, even though I can’t tell you a damn thing regarding what they were about. 😟 I just know that multiple times throughout the night I’d wake up in a sweat from whatever I was dreaming about… I dunno, maybe bits will come back to me throughout the day as dreams sometimes do. Just takes hearing the right word or seeing the right image on TV and stuff can start coming back into view.

So, not much sleep, headache when I finally woke up for good… although at least it’s a normal headache and doesn’t seem related to my neck, so hopefully some Aleve will be able to help with that. I think it’s just the stuff that has been occupying my thoughts for the first part of the week kinda building up… worrying about my friend’s surgery, thinking about and helping out another friend who has a custody hearing today… and then despite doing pretty good at keeping my WC stuff out of my thoughts, struggling while shopping yesterday agitated my frustration – by barely being able to handle a few relatively small bags of dirt and gravel – I think my brain just got a little full, and last night’s dreams may have been a product of that. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Regardless, I’m gonna take it easy today, stay relatively disconnected from the digital world, and probably do a little work around the house. Lawn guys were here yesterday, bills and paperwork have been handled, no appointments to worry about, no calls to make or people to see… so I can just chill here in my bubble and not worry about any of the stuff that might stress me out. 😌 I mean, I’m definitely interested in politics and all of the “goings on” when it comes to all that, but I’m even gonna try to avoid that today… and today sounds like it could be pretty “big” when it comes to potential news. (I’m sure I’ll catch Maddow later, though… I just like the long-form way that she sums up the day’s biggest stories.)

But yeah, just figured I’d go ahead and get some “me time” before the weekend gets here. It’s funny, even though I don’t have a traditional Monday-thru-Friday type schedule since I don’t work anymore, I still feel like I have to justify it to myself if I wanna take a “day off” during the week. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Hell, even at that, I’m still gonna do some laundry, put away the groceries from yesterday, other light misc chores… and I’ve gotta learn to give myself credit, even for small crap like that, when I’m not feeling great. So, yeah, I’ll probably be a little slower at reading and responding to any messages today… it’s not you, it’s me. 😏

Maybe Nobody Will Notice…

The twitchy snuck up and got me over the past 24 hours. 😟 It’s funny how even being anxious for someone else’s “thing” can cause my brain to act up. My evening meds did zonk me out last night, earlier than anticipated, but I still didn’t sleep through most of the night. I kept waking up every couple of hours, thinking that I slept through my alarms and was gonna be late for Bri’s shower. πŸ˜’Β So, that didn’t help…

But I did get up and make it on time, and I felt about as out of place as I assumed that I would. Dez didn’t make it since she worked the whole night prior, but Bub, Jake, and John were all there… so at least I wasn’t the only d00d there. I dunno… it was fine, Bri was happy, but it was a bunch of people I didn’t know, all the kids running around like tiny crazy people… heh… it just wasn’t for me. In fact, I bailed after an hour. Went outside for a smoke break and my brain was like “Psst… you’re already in your car… you know you could just leave now, right?” 😏 And after messaging Bri to let her know, that’s exactly what I did.

Whatever was wrong with me today, I couldn’t even make myself drive just a couple blocks over to drop off Anna’s birthday card and gift. I just needed to get back home. 😐 Bri understood, and we caught up through messages after everything was done and she seemed happy enough with how things went – and with the goodies that she got. But I know that I’m her person, and sometimes she needs her person… but today wasn’t one of those times, because there was a whole room full of people there just for her. So she didn’t mind that I decided to dip out early. 😌

It’s late in the evening now, but I still haven’t been able to shake this weird mood. I think I’m a bit anxious because I’m behind on some things, and this coming week already has a couple important appointments scheduled, with a couple more calls that I still need to make when I wake up to set up a few more things. I swear though, for someone that’s essentially retired, I sure manage to allow myself to feel a lot of unnecessary pressure sometimes.

Where To Even Start?

This is probably the fifth or sixth time since last Sunday that I’ve opened up the blog editor and just sat here, staring at the blank screen, unable to come up with “the right words” that would end up being the first post that I’ve made since Mom passed away. I think I just need to accept that right now I just don’t have the right words. If I waited until I could come up with something exceptionally eloquent or thoughtful, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t even update this blog anymore.

Mom’s passing wasn’t unexpected, so a person might be tempted (for that reason) to think that they’ll be ready for it when it happens… but nope, that’s not how it works. It’s been almost a week now, and my brain still hasn’t decided how it wants to handle it. Nothing is “normal” about the days immediately following someone’s death, so we probably won’t really start feeling it until we all settle back into our normal routines.

I was there to support Cassi when her aunt passed away, I was there for Genesee when her dad passed away, and I was there for Brianna when her mom passed away just a few months ago… so of course they’re all being super supportive for me now. And as you’d expect, all of the family has been texting, calling, talking, and supporting each other… but with all of that fuss (which I absolutely appreciate) it doesn’t really let you feel how your brain will eventually decide that it wants to feel. That’ll probably start happening a little more around the middle of this coming week, in large part due to Genesee (who came to Ohio almost as soon as she got the news)Β returning home around that time.

It ends up being kinda perfect though. Having all of the company and support has actually been a good thing for me… but I’m also looking forward to things going back to normal, because I know I’m gonna have days where I want to be absolutely alone, to feel however I wanna feel about it, and without feeling like I have to act this way or that way, or appear strong for someone else’s sake when maybe I don’t want to.

I dunno… that’s all I really care to say right now. Not because I don’t have a billion thoughts and feelings and memories that I could talk about, but because my goal for this post was to just finally acknowledge it and put it out here. Besides, no matter how much I might talk about Mom, there’s simply nothing that I could say that would do her the justice that she deserves. So rather than be awkward and weird and possibly ending up saying the wrong thing due to my brain being a little fried, I’m just gonna leave it like this for now.

Mulligan

Today was one of those unexpected / inexplicable “I feel miserable and I’m not even sure why.” days. 😟 The weather didn’t help, being gray, rainy, and miserable all friggin’ day. I dunno, it was more than that though, which makes it that much more frustrating that I’m unable to put a finger on it. πŸ˜’ Meh… it’ll pass, and thankfully these bleh moments usually don’t last longer than a day lately.

I did get a lot of my little projects worked on yesterday and this morning though, so I can feel good about that. πŸ™‚ But in doing so, I’ve sorta F’d up my living room – with my typical “three-quarter circle of paperwork” surrounding me as I work on the living room floor. 😏 Heh… I’ve got two different desks at which I could probably sit when I do my “office stuff” – but my brain still insists on sitting on the floor for whatever reason. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Eventually my butt and back will likely have a talk with my brain, and things will probably change, but I bet that won’t happen for a long time.

I’ve been avoiding anything with substance for most of the day, so before I go to bed tonight I’ve yet to check my messages, voice mails, and email… but I should be able to get through those pretty quickly since I’ve been managing to somewhat keep up on them lately. πŸ€“ The cat appreciates that I haven’t moved much throughout the day as well… as she can sleep on the suitcase (still) where she can keep an eye on me, while also enabling her to wake up every hour or so to come over and get some pettins before going back to the suitcase and lying down again. 😺

Expropriated Cycles

This proves that I should always make “after the fact” posts, because despite being all geared up with my medical and workers comp projects, I ended up having Cassi come down and stay over last night… which was actually just the mental break that I needed from all of that stuff. πŸ™‚ I mean, I did keepΒ working on it as she was here, but with her as a distraction it kept it all from consuming my brain and occupying 100% of my thought cycles as I worked. 😳

But while she was here (among other progress) I got names, numbers, and addresses for everyΒ local doctor that may be accepting new patients, everyΒ local urgent care that appears to offer services greater than the “I skinned my knee” or “My butthole really itches” type stuff, and every oral surgeon in the area so I can get more serious about getting my remaining wisdom teefs cut out. 😬 I also got new info from BWC and my BWC Rx provider, so that stuff is in much better shape as well. And the pharmacy was also updated, so my meds might possibly, hopefully, maybe get filled in a more timely fashion. πŸ€¨πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ

Now that I think about it, I probably got more done with her here than if she wasn’t. 🀨 And without getting twitchy. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ She worked on several things that she needed to do as well, taking advantage of the relative peace and quiet here compared to her house full of family. 😌 Of course she gave her brain a break as well (the main point of her staying) by making and painting some picture frames, and catching up on the last few episodes of NCIS that she still had to watch on Netflix. πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“Ί I think Maven was even happy for the unexpected visit, ‘cuz she made up to Cassi way more than usual this time. 😸

We talked quite a bit about what’s going on with my health at the moment, along with all kinds of random thoughts that come along with that topic… so it was nice to be able to talk some of that stuff out with her. πŸ‘¦πŸ»πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈ I’m not exactly sure what the plan will be for tomorrow and Friday. 😐 Now that I’ve got all this info compiled I imagine I’ll start calling someone… meh… I’ll figure it out when that time gets here. I’m gonna stay in chill mode for the rest of the evening if possible.

You’re Not Supposed To Do That

I needed something like this to occupy my brain, to get my mind off of many of the things that have been weighing heavy on me lately – where I could just let my nerd flag fly and dig in to this project to see what I could figure out. πŸ€“ It all started when I was preparing to update the OS in my car, which got me to thinking…

I moved the entire contents of my car’s “brain” over to my laptop, originally because I just wanted to locate any default images or videos that the system uses – in case I ever decide that I want to replace those images or videos with ones of my own. But as I went through the various directories I began to see that many of the files were saved in ASCII format, no encryption, no hex code… and easily viewable with Notepad. 😧

I found things regarding navigation, flash files that make up components of the UI, buttloads of icons for the nav system (which my car doesn’t even have (yet?)), a library of text-to-speech phrases… I mean, you can see in the screenshots above. All sorts of files like that, and in multiple languages as well.

But not only does changing the default images and videos interest me, but now that I’ve found the default phrases that the system uses for various things… it’s got me wondering if it’s as simple as changing those phrases in the text file to get her to say whatever I want. πŸ˜„ Of course I haven’t changed any of it yet, and honestly I’m not likely to… not unless I talk to someone who’s discovered the same things as me, and has done it successfully.

There are a few really short animations that are displayed when opening the doors, starting the ignition, and then turning the car off. They’re just regular logo videos with a little bit of movement, but I’ve already started mucking around with ideas for replacement videos that I could use to create new, brief personalized animations for me. πŸ˜€ I used some free service, so I’d have to crop out their watermark, but the resolution on the car’s videos are so low that it shouldn’t be a problem to crop yet retain enough detail in the video. So… still debating what to do next… 😏