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. ๐Ÿ˜

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜ž 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. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜… 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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜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. ๐Ÿ˜ง 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. ๐Ÿค“ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ Most of them are young girls, but there’s a growing percentage of ARMY that cover all ages, all nationalities, boys, girls, men, women. ๐Ÿง’๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆฐ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง”๐Ÿป๐Ÿง“๐Ÿป๐Ÿง‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿฆณ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ณ They’re doing a world tour, but unfortunately no stops in Ohio. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿ˜„

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜… 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. ๐Ÿค”

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ฌ 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.” ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿค“ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป 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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜

Above and Beyond

Lemme take back a couple of the things I said in my most recent entry. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿค” Well…

I ended up going up there today to provide some help after all. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜• And considering the deadline, I definitely agreed.

Since I honestly had nothing planned (well, other than lying around the house, enjoying a total day offย ๐Ÿ˜) 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. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ 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. ๐Ÿ™„ (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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป 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… ๐Ÿ˜Œ 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. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ 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. ๐Ÿ˜’ 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. ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป 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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

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. ๐Ÿ˜• 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ 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. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿค•

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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿค”

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. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ”ง๐Ÿš˜ 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. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ And I get not being a “car guy” but employee training will give a person the skillz required for any given position. ๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ 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.

Couple Days Off

I’ll definitely admit that I’m not the NASCAR fan that I used to be, but I still ended up watching much of most of the races this year… so I still get that “meh” feeling that fans get this weekend, now that the 2019 season is over and the races are done. ๐Ÿ˜• Luckily the Penn State vs OSU game is on, and it should be a pretty good one, so I’ve got that on the TV while I side-eye the stack of mail from this past week and try to talk myself into getting into it all. ๐Ÿ˜

This is gonna be a low-key weekend for me though. Was busy through a lot of the past week, and already know that I’ll be busy next week getting tires put on, furnace looked at, garage opener likely installed (among other things) so I’m hoping to keep my ass planted at home and take it relatively easy today and tomorrow.

Of course I’ve still got random little shit around the house that I’ll probably work on if the motivation hits me, but my only planned project is getting the new mailbox mounted. I guess it’s gonna be sunny and decent tomorrow, so I’ll probably wait until then to take the old one off, measure out the holes on the post, and drill out the piece of wood that I’m gonna end up using as the mount.

I bought a cheap plastic universal adapter type thing, same brand as the mailbox, but for some reason not only does it not line up with the horizontal screw holes on the mailbox, but in the plethora of holes for mounting to a post – none of them appear to be in the locations needed. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜ That’s probably why Grandpa fastened the old mailbox to the post with a piece of wood underneath too… which, over many years out in the weather, has slowly rotted away. I’ve already found the perfect plank of wood, so I’m just hoping that it won’t be difficult to remove the old bolts from the post. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Worst case scenario, if they’re rusted solid or I don’t have the torque to loosen the nuts from the screws, I’m sure Rick would come over and get it sorted. (But I’ve got to at least try to do it myself first.) That’s the irritating thing about my left arm, man… ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ something that should and would be a piece of cake if my shoulder wasn’t gimped – it’s now sitting out there as this intimidating prospect, knowing that I’ve only got Sunday to get it done before mail resumes on Monday. ๐Ÿ˜ณ When simple things can’t be simple… it’s just frustrating.

Meh… it is what it is. Just glad that I’ll have decent weather to (hopefully) figure it out w/o killin’ myself. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

EDIT: Damn… this game is moving fast. Either that, or I’ve just been really slow as I was typing out this entry… ‘cuz I feel like I started it right after the game started, and it’s already down to two minutes left before half-time. Good… guess that means my plan of taking it easy is working, if time is passing that fast. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿˆ

Unexpected Success?

I did a pretty good job of clearing my mind of workers comp stuff this weekend, and it resulted in some strange dreams both nights. Friday night’s dream had a cast of most of my friends and family that are going through some shit right now. But in the dream, everything was great. ๐Ÿ™‚ Everyone was dressed up in nice clothes, had their hair and makeup done up, and part of it was taking place in some sort of classy, multi-level club that was full of similarly “dressed up” guests. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ It was if we were all there to celebrate something, because everyone was happy and laughing and just having a normal good night out with friends.

In that same dream, I actually left the folks who were enjoying the evening in the club and went out to my car so I could deliver a couple of my other relatives to a cabin where many of us used to go decades ago. ๐Ÿค” I’m not sure why, but one of my aunts was excited to get up to the cabin (which was apparently a two hour drive from where we were)ย because she knew that her first husband would be there – and she didn’t want him to have to wait there, awkwardly, by himself. ๐Ÿ˜„ Why her first hubby? No idea… but we were then immediately at the cabin, somehow having skipped the drive, and everyone hopped out of the car, went inside, and started happily unpacking as if we were going to be staying for several days. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Next night’s dream, Dad and I were walking along the sidewalk by the canal in the town where I grew up. It was current day, but we were both significantly younger … and I’m not sure why we were walking in town, but I stopped as we were slowly going past the house that we lived in when I was in high school. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Dad actually bumped into me since he wasn’t expecting me to stop, but I had noticed (as I was looking through the front doors) that they had added several different flights of stairs in the living room – probably attached to the recently built rear addition, which is actually bigger than the original house. (Also true in reality.)

I then noticed that there was makeshift scaffolding around the entire house, made of wood that was basically the size and shape of railroad beams… and I was able to climb up some of these angled beams to get to the windows of the front upper bedroom, which now had a swinging wooden door in place of one of the windows. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I knocked on the door, and the people inside let me in…

It turns out that they were all living in this upper addition to the house, but without the homeowners below knowing about it… so nobody was talking, nobody was making any noise, and they motioned that I could come in – even though nobody spoke to me. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿคซ Everyone was wearing Hogwarts type robe / uniform things, like from the Harry Potter movies, and they all seemed to be moving about the house with purpose. ๐Ÿง I stood and watched for a while, being careful to stay out of everyone’s way, and that was about it.

I know “other people’s dreams” are essentially of negative interest to everyone else in the world ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ so I don’t expect anyone to really care what I dreamed about, and I’m only posting about them because it was amazing how not about “my stuff” they all were. Plus, it was nice that everyone who is going through some shit in real life… it’s nice that in my dream,ย all of them were having a great time, feeling good, looking good, and not worrying about much of anything. ๐Ÿ˜Š Tough dreams to wake up from though… when you become awake enough for reality to come back to your brain, but it was still a nice change of pace.