Just Rambling

It ain’t over ’til it’s over… that should be the motto of my life when it comes to all of the workers comp garbage. πŸ™„πŸ˜ I think there’s an R&B song from the early 90s with something close to that title. πŸ€” Meh… anyway… it’s been a day full of working on that stuff, reading mail, working on new forms as much as I can – without any of my attorneys being across the table to help me. 😬 But much like everything else that I’ve had to fight for, there’s still some fighting left to be done before the medical portion is gonna be settled.

It’s a bit before midnight now, so I’ve lost most of the emotional energy that was powering me through it all, so I don’t even have the oomph to really rant about any of it tonight. 😐 I mean, things should be fine eventually… it’s just the typical “Surprise, this isn’t gonna go how you thought it was gonna go.” stuff that plagues every person in the system and keeps things progressing at a snail’s pace. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸŒ But my attorney says we should remain optimistic, and he’s good at selling me on that idea… 😏 so, that’s what I shall do.

But man, even today I’m feeling the effects of how the whole thing has changed me. It simply sucks the energy out of me when I have to work on stressful stuff and make phone calls regarding it all. πŸ˜’πŸ˜£ I mean, that’s what started my “phone anxiety” back in the beginning of the process. All calls seemed to be doctors, lawyers, social security, etc… and all of them were stressful. 😠 I hate using the word “trigger” but that’s what a ringing phone became to me, and then the same for picking up and trying to make a call. It’s embarrassing.

But just like back then, today I felt that effect… not in a super bad way, and I wasn’t even feeling overly stressed or upset or anything… but that still didn’t stop it from sucking away my energy and sending me into a couple unplanned naps. 😏😴 Heh… they’re hard to describe. They usually start with, “Ugh, this sucks… I need to take 10 minutes to rest my eyes and brain.” and then I wake up a couple hours later. πŸ˜…πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Granted, my sleep has already been screwed up because of my neck and an awful 24 hour headache, but working on this shit didn’t help. πŸ˜› (And I doubt that I’d be anything like this if I hadn’t gotten hurt and stopped working… but meh, who knows, I could have ended up worse. Que sera, sera. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ )

But it was kind of nice to do this mid-week rather than waiting until the weekend like I usually do with most of the mail. I mean, there’s no getting around their business hours when it comes to needing to actually get in touch with folks at the office. But yeah… a big chunk of “bleh” was at least handled and pushed off to the side until probably the start of next week. 😊 A little bit of uncertainty is still gonna be creeping around in my thoughts until this is truly settled, but there’s nothin’ new about that.

Let’s Not Do That Again

I’ve been kinda sidelined today. Heh… that stretching trick that I mentioned yesterday? Yeah, probably not a great idea. I did actually sleep pretty good somehow, but when I woke up it felt like (and has continued to feel like) someone was driving a set of keys into my back right under my left scapula. 😣 Now, it may be a situation where if I continue to do stretches each day, it could become where the “after” result isn’t as tight and painful… but until I can talk to my doctor and let him know about all this, I think I’m just gonna let it be. 😐 No sense in playing around with it, when I can just “accept” the normal pain and tightness that I’m familiar with and have managed to get by with. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ÿ (Also, I’m not blaming my doctor… it was my idea to ask and try something new… only way to know…)

The way I look at it, even though this definitely shows that my condition is getting worse, at least it’s in a way that isn’t noticeable unless I really try to do something that changes how that shoulder feels or use it more than I know I should. And speaking of my condition, I haven’t even sorted out everything regarding all the paperwork I’ve already gotten… yet today I got another big envelope full of stuff along with a normal sized one for good measure. πŸ™„πŸ˜‘ Haven’t opened them up yet, ‘cuz I can’t really do anything with it all until I huddle with my attorneys.

It’s frustrating that they have to work from home, ‘cuz it’s not as easy as going to the conference room in the main office and sitting down to look at everything, to make sure we’ve both gotten all the same stuff, and then figuring out what they need to do / what I need to do. πŸ˜³πŸ—ƒοΈπŸ—ƒοΈπŸ—ƒοΈπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» I’m not anxious to do much of it by e-mail either, since it’s not secure… so I’ll have to check their site and see if they have a portal for submitting documents if there’s anything that they need to see but haven’t gotten yet. πŸ˜’ But of course when I’ve got the mental and emotional energy to deal with the stuff, something else is effing it up. It’s fine though, I’m gonna make sure that it starts to get addressed tomorrow. Not gonna let this be heavy on my mind over the weekend… 😠

Don’t mind me… just a little grumpy today due to feeling like ass when I woke up, not really getting much better throughout the day, more shitty mail coming that I can’t immediately do anything about, and then not knowing exactly how I will get a pow-wow with the attorneys to get shit taken care of. 😠 I hope the whole system is aware that there’s gonna be some delays in things due to the current COVID situation. ‘Cuz it would sure be like the legal / WC system to find some shitty little loophole to somehow kick me out just because some of the documentation is moving slowly. πŸ˜’

Okay… deep breath… gonna try to make this evening less sucky. Wish me luck.

Too Late, Too Early

I stayed up until around 2am last night. Mostly just because I couldn’t fall asleep, but also because I wanted to step outside and see how many meteors I could see from the Lyrids meteor shower. πŸ€“ I stood outside for a little over ten minutes, freezing, and saw a grand total of none. πŸ˜… I know that I was looking where I was supposed to, so they were either lighter than expected or I was just blinking at the wrong time. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

No big deal, since if I had seen several of them I probably would have been wishing I had figured out the needed settings for my cameras so that I could have captured them. πŸ˜’ But earlier in the evening I did mess with the phone and camcorder a bit, to see if I could quickly figure out how to get a noise-free, well exposed photo of the stars in the sky, while also being able to capture any shooting stars… and it’s not as easy as you’d think, at least not with an iPhone.

It’s funny, I’ve got it down where I can get a decent exposure of the night sky, but I know from trying to also capture a few passing planes in the frame – that the way I was exposing the image requires the stars to “stay put” for about 30 seconds, and any moving source of light just wouldn’t be captured. πŸ€”πŸ˜ Meh… I’m fairly confident with my regular star exposures, so if the sky is clear tonight I might plug up the phone to power and leave it out back to possibly get a decent time-lapse. On a full charge, using just the internal battery, I was only able to get one hundred 30 second exposures, forming this bitty 10 sec time-lapse… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

(As usual, best viewed in HD, full screen… and this time, in a dark, dark room. I’m gettin’ there…)

So it was after 2a before I went to sleep, and then I woke up around 7a because my brain knew I had a doctor appointment at 9:30a – so it was sleeping lightly, waiting for any excuse to make sure that I’d wake up and not sleep through it. πŸ™„πŸ˜ Obviously I’ve had early doctor appointments before, but this one was different, so I’m certainly not complaining that I had to wake up early for it today.

This was my first experience with “telemedicine” as I guess it’s called. πŸ˜ƒ Staci called a little early, at 9a, to see if I was awake and able to go ahead and start… and she then sent a link via text, I clicked on it, it opened a page that started the AV connection as fast as a regular Facetime call would start, and from that point on it was like a regular doctor appointment. πŸ€“πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ

She did her normal “pre-doc” stuff of all the typical information that they gather before the doctor actually comes in, she then put me on hold for about 30 seconds, and then my doctor clicked back in and we wrapped up my appointment in less than ten minutes. 😊 Still covered everything that we would have covered in person, and in fact – because I didn’t have to experience the anxiety of the in-person visit, I probably felt better than at a “normal” appointment. That also meant that I didn’t ramble on about any minor “this or that” which often happens when I’m actually there and able to bitch. πŸ˜…

So yeah, I could definitely get spoiled by something like that. πŸ€— I realize though that a doctor does have to be able to physically interact with a damaged person at least every couple of appointments (to confirm the level of their damage) but it would be nice if I could do two of these, then a regular appointment, two more of these, then a regular, etc. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜• Unfortunately they probably aren’t able to bill insurance at the same rate when they do “virtual” vs “real” appointments, so once they feel that the COVID risk isn’t as high anymore, everyone will be going back to the regular routine. πŸ˜’

Heh… this is probably my longest, most coherent pre-10a entry I’ve ever written. πŸ˜‹

Refresh

My neck and shoulder are finally calmed down (mostly) after a long “recovery” day, so I think I better go ahead and make a “good” entry tonight in case my mood changes and I’m not feelin’ it tomorrow. 😏

Over the past month or so I’ve ordered three different cosmetic upgrades for my car. The first one was an OEM-looking spoiler, already painted in “Magnetic Metallic” with clear coat, so it is ready to install straight out of the box. πŸ™‚ It was about $100 and came from California, I believe.

The second one was a gloss black splitter / lip (or whatever you wanna call it) for the bottom of the front bumper. Now, this one came from whatever Asian area that all cheap reproduction goods seem to come from these days, so not only did it take a while to get here – but it arrived without the 3M adhesive tape and the screws to attach it to the car, so I’ll have to pick those up elsewhere. πŸ˜’ No big deal, since it was around $30.

Those two things… I had watched a few YouTube videos and convinced myself that I’d be able to do them myself, albeit with the help of a friend with tools and two functioning arms. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ The spoiler and splitter both require only minimal prep and effort compared to the third thing.

Also right around $100, a few days ago I ordered a gloss black honeycomb grill similar to what you’d see on the Fusion Sport, Mustang, and a bunch of other cars these days. My Fusion is a 2016 SE, so it came with the straight line “chrome” plastic grill… and while it obviously doesn’t look bad, I just think it’ll look better with this new one. (Plus I can sell the old one.) But this upgrade, there’s no way I’d be able to do it on my own, since it requires removing the nose of the car in order to pop out the old grill and snap the new one in. 😯

It hasn’t arrived yet, but it shouldn’t be too much longer since it’s also coming from CA. But when I made the decision to pull the trigger on the grill, that’s when I also resigned myself to the idea that it would be better to let someone else install all this crap in one shot. 😏 Especially since the splitter will go on much more easily when the nose is already off the car for the grill swap.

I know a few people who work on cars for a living, including a couple who do restorations and body work, so at some point I’ll probably hit one of them up and see if they’d be willing to handle my little project. Just because I think I could install the spoiler and splitter… it doesn’t mean that I should. 😟😞 There’s no doubt that it would take me 10x longer than anyone else, plus it would almost certainly tweak my neck and shoulder in some way. πŸ˜’ This is no time for my proud-but-stupid “I don’t need help” side to be stubborn.

But yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing how she’ll look with her new gear. πŸ™‚

Barfing Out Paragraphs (BTS)

It’s probably been a couple years ago now, but sometime back in the recent past Cassi introduced me to BTS. At first it was almost like a hostage situation πŸ˜… where when I would visit she would play different videos of theirs and “make” me watch. Then after I warmed up to them she’d just send playlists, knowing that I’d now watch them without her having to watch over me to make sure. 😏 It’s a difficult thing… getting someone to give “your music” a fair chance… and even more so when most of the lyrics are in Hangul. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

But I quickly started to see what she saw in them. The lyrics of so many of their songs are filled with meaning… not typical pop music schlock, for the most part. And with seven members in the group, their choreography in their live performances and videos is definitely on point. πŸ˜―πŸ˜ƒ And then there’s that general feeling of being impressed at how hard they work to record their songs, produce their videos, learn the insane amount of choreography, going on tour, etc… meanwhile, most of them are also trying to learn English. 😧 The amount of dedication to what they do is ridiculous.

If you ever find yourself interested enough to watch some of their videos, make sure that you have the English captions turned on… or find someone who has made a Hangul / Romanization / English lyric video. After a while, it’s surprising how many words you’ll find yourself picking up and being able to repeat. πŸ€“ And as for listening in the car or elsewhere… once you’ve gotten the vibe of what the song means from the videos, you can kinda take that with you without having to understand the language.

But since the time that I was “forced” to watch their stuff, to today… when I’m probably as big of a fan as Cassi is, if not more… I’ve definitely taken to them, and I’ve got a BTS / K-Pop playlist on Spotify that’s probably 60 songs deep. 😁 I’ve been absorbing the language, watching travel videos from SK, giving other K-Pop artists a chance as well… it’s surprising how much interest I have in all this stuff that I hadn’t even thought of just a few years ago.

But BTS is huge now… and their fans, who go by “ARMY” … those of us old enough to understand, you’d call ARMY folks “Beatles Level” fans. 😏 Most of them are young girls, but there’s a growing percentage of ARMY that cover all ages, all nationalities, boys, girls, men, women. πŸ§’πŸ»πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦°πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘©πŸ»πŸ‘±πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ§”πŸ»πŸ§“πŸ»πŸ§‘πŸ»πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ¦³ We’re definitely outnumbered by the screaming and crying young girls, heh… but we still count.

But that’s the concert that I got the tickets for. 😳 They’re doing a world tour, but unfortunately no stops in Ohio. πŸ˜’ It was funny, on the Ticketmaster site, after waiting in the presale queue – once I was able to see the seat map to try and pick two seats, all of the blue dots (seats) were turning to gray (taken) so quickly it was like someone was playing a sped up version of whack-a-mole. πŸ˜„

Being a bucket list concert, I went for two seats (on an aisle… heh) in the first level of the bowl seating. No nosebleed seats, where you’re so high that you feel like if you stumble you’ll fall and disappear into the depths of the stadium, never to be seen again. πŸ˜―πŸ˜… I actually tried to get tickets last year, but they sold out before I could even pull the trigger. And this year, Cassi actually has a boyfriend now… but that’s hopefully only a slight complication. πŸ€”

I actually like the d00d, and I think he’s generally okay with me, and half of the time when I see Cassi now I also see him, so that makes it easier to try to plan something out where everyone is happy. πŸ™‚ He knows what a big fan Cassi is, and how much this concert means to her, plus he knew coming into it that there was a chance I’d be getting me and her tickets this year if possible. And he’d go to the concert, but he’s not really a fan fan, and the tickets were expensive… so he’ll likely just come along on our road trip and be a part of everything except the show. πŸ™‚ I think it’ll be fine…

And like I told Cassi… he has every right to put the kibosh on it if he wanted to. Not many guys would be okay with their girlfriend going to a concert with an ex, let alone on an overnight road trip – so I bought the tickets with the idea that he’d be going too. But that’s if his schedule will allow it. 😯😬 So if he can’t go, I’m not sure what will happen… but I told Cassi to let him know there’d be no hard feelings if he was like, “Umm… no, I don’t think I want my girlfriend going away with her ex for two nights alone, without me. Yeah, uhh… no.” πŸ˜‚ No hard feelings from me, anyway… but woo would Cassi be upset if she didn’t get to go to this concert.

Wow… I rambled quite a bit here. πŸ˜³πŸ€“ It helps though… helps me start mentally putting the pieces in place, keeps me excited and looking forward to it, and also keeps me on top of the situation so everything will go down with as few hitches as possible. πŸ™‚πŸ€žπŸ» But my life is so sedate, and I do very few “big things” anymore… and this is a big-ass thing, so of course I’m gonna be a little anxious about it. 😏 But right now my anticipation and excitement is far outweighing those thoughts.

Taste of Spring (and optimism?)

The mild weather continued yesterday, so that made it a lot easier to go in town for the bit of running that I needed to do. Mid-60s and mostly sunny at the beginning of February, so I rolled down the windows and took a meandering path into the city. Stopped at Tim’s for some dark roast, dropped off some mail that needed to go out, made a quick stop at a thrift store, and then before heading over to Dad’s I went out to Meijer to continue my grocery shopping from the other day.

It sure triggered my spring fever, as well as a hint of the photography bug… so, I dunno, maybe I’m slowly finding that missing motivation (and eventual ability) that I’ve been waiting for. Just gotta try to keep my gimpy bits moving enough so that when spring does actually get here, I might be worth a shit.

After messaging with Genesee last night about her art projects and my photography stuff, that’ll probably be what I do this afternoon… finding where I stashed my good cameras, and getting them out to make sure they’ll be ready to go, should I ever be. She got me a View Master as a gift a couple years, and there is a site that will create “reels / disks” from 2D or 3D digital images – and that’s something that I’ve yet to really try.

I’m still apprehensive or anxious when I start feeling more optimistic about things than usual, because of course any number of things could pop up between now and then. Things that might make it difficult for me to find the time (or energy) to spend on “frivolous” hobbies. But now more than ever, I think it’s important that I don’t allow those ideas to be written off completely. I should at least have some of these fun things waiting in the wings, just in case the stars align.

This is just my typical “overthinking it” way of saying I’m still feelin’ pretty alright today. 😏

Above and Beyond

Lemme take back a couple of the things I said in my most recent entry. 😏 I figured that Cassi (et al) would be completely wrapped up in everything surrounding their move, and that I probably wouldn’t hear from them or see them until it was all over, since she knows I can’t really help with anything heavier than a couple of pounds, plus I didn’t wanna absorb any stress if “stress” was the vibe of the day. πŸ˜πŸ€” Well…

I ended up going up there today to provide some help after all. πŸ™„πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜ Not much stress, and nothing strenuous… but Steven had to work during most of the day today, and with no car at the house – that left Cassi feeling (correctly) like it would be a precious day wasted if they weren’t able to continue moving stuff over to the new place. πŸ˜• And considering the deadline, I definitely agreed.

Since I honestly had nothing planned (well, other than lying around the house, enjoying a total day off 😏) and since I can relate to the feeling of wanting to “get shit done” but having something outside of your control stopping you, I couldn’t really say no when she asked. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Yeah, it ended up totally sucking the air out of my day off, but that would be a lame reason to not help a friend in need. πŸ™„ (Moving sucks. Especially the older we all get, the more stuff we all accumulate… yeah, it just sucks.)

I don’t know if the Soul would have been better equipped, size-wise, for the trips back and forth that we made, but we still ended up getting quite a bit of stuff over to the new place. πŸ™‚ Lots of little bitty things and boxes, since that was the easiest stuff… then once Steven got home he was gonna recruit some relatives to continue the work with the bigger stuff tonight and tomorrow. πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘πŸ» But yeah, still better to have moved the shit that we did, rather than having that time completely wasted.

And while I’m glad to have gotten back home, kicked off my shoes, and gave the kitty some attention since she was excited to see me… 😌 in the back of my head I’m thinking about all of the work that they’re still gonna have to do tonight and tomorrow. 😟 I don’t blame them for wanting out of that shitty neighborhood, but I also don’t envy them for all the aches and pains they’re gonna have once the job is done. 😳

Lengthy Grumpy Ramble

I’m glad that I don’t have anything on the agenda for the rest of the week, since that allows me to take the things that I wanted to do today and move them to tomorrow. I must have slept funny or rough last night, because man did I wake up feeling beat up today. 😣😟 It looks like I’m going to have to actually go in to the pharmacy to deal with two of my WC prescriptions, since I’m gonna have to get some printouts proving that they’re unwilling to pay this month. πŸ˜’ But with my knees and neck acting up today – tomorrow just seems like the better option. (Stress can add to my physical pain, so I don’t need the BS at the pharmacy to pile on today…)

The insurance crap that I was gonna work on… that didn’t go anywhere today, since they needed all kinds of specific info that I didn’t have handy when I made the call. I figured since a bunch of paperwork had already been sent in, giving them the account number along with my name would have been enough. But nope, gotta get into my files and dig out the little notebook with a few dates and some other specifics that I need.

So I dunno… I guess the little bits that I accomplished today will serve as the “getting ready” for tomorrow, when I’ll hopefully conclude things with both of those situations. πŸ“žπŸ˜•πŸ€žπŸ» My mood is shit today anyway, so waiting until tomorrow will probably help me when it comes to not barking at the people who are trying to help me, since they aren’t the folks who are making things difficult. 😏 Those call center / customer service jobs must be awful, since most folks aren’t as considerate to their lack of power or responsibility when it comes to any given account or situation. πŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ“žπŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Oh, speaking of crappy jobs… I guess Jim felt like he wasn’t gonna be able to cut it at the Whirlpool factory where he recently started working. πŸ˜• He’s worked in stocking type positions most of his life, sometimes also driving a forklift – sometimes not, so when he’s basically worked one type of job for most of his adult life – you could imagine how his first taste of assembly line work would feel intimidating. 😯😳😬

The difference between his job and my former job… the line at Whirlpool is controlled by the machines, where my line was controlled by the people. Plus, even though we worked at a ridiculous pace (that did end up eventually damaging me) we didn’t have parts that weighed upwards of 40 pounds to deal with. 😣 It’s also concerning when he tells me that he hurt his neck, and that it also caused his shoulder and arm to hurt… ‘cuz that sounds way too familiar. πŸ™πŸ€•

It just sucks that after years of being able to switch stores and jobs if he wanted to, and having an excellent employee / work record, he’s hit a phase where nobody wants him for those positions now. I mean, he didn’t “job hop” a lot, so I don’t think it’s that… so I’m wondering if it comes down to employers seeing his age on the applications. Glowing work histories don’t help if you can’t get past the HR people who see “47” and throw his application on the “nope” pile.

I was trying to think of what to say to him to keep his optimism up and his twichy-ness down, but it’s difficult when life seems to constantly bag tag a person. 😏 It sucks that he lives so far north of Columbus now, because I have a friend that could probably get him into Jiffy Lube almost immediately. But after I described the job to Jim, pointing out the ways it would be so much easier than a factory, he just replied that he doesn’t know how to work on cars, so the job wouldn’t be for him. πŸ˜’πŸ€”

It’s frustrating, because he’s almost always good at whatever job he’s working at… and you don’t have to know how to “work on cars” to work at a Jiffy Lube. Not to mention the fact that they’ll obviously train you before letting you loose on customer cars. πŸ€“πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ”§πŸš˜ For example, if he started off working in the pit, under the floor, he wouldn’t have to do much more than locate the oil plug, drain the oil, plug it back up, and perhaps change some oil filters on the cars that have them more easily accessed from the bottom.

I hate to see him not working and struggling, but I think the anxiety from all of the things that have happened… it’s got him to a point where he’s questioning his own abilities, and thinking that he’s not good enough for even basic “some skill required” type jobs. 😟 And I get not being a “car guy” but employee training will give a person the skillz required for any given position. πŸ˜žπŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Meh… he’s a good d00d, and he’s done a lot of good things for other people who were struggling at various points in his life, so it just sucks watching life doing its best to chew up yet another friend who doesn’t deserve it.