Preparation

Yesterday was a strange day. 😐 I feel good, having completed a bunch of stuff that I felt neededΒ completing, but the nature of the stuff left me feeling a little uneasy – and definitely unable to fall asleep at a normal hour. πŸ˜• Despite that, I managed to have some awesome dreams. Awesome enough to have actually woken me up every hour or so – but of course I can’t remember a single detail at the moment. 😠 I’m just lucky that they weren’t about the topic at hand yesterday.

Of course I expect my upcoming surgery to go fine, but being the type of person that I am I’ve gone into “prepare” mode – just in case it doesn’t. 😳 As part of that preparation process, I spent a good amount of time typing out letters to my cousin Jim and my ex-wife Genesee, as they would be the ones handling everything in the event that things need to be handled. Those letters are just my way of easing them into the process. (Since I was the executor for my aunt, I learned a few tips and tricks.)

They won’t even get those letters unless the situation calls for it, so that allowed me to be a little more free with what I said… but for the most part it was just explaining my will, explaining my wishes when it came to my personal belongings, explaining a good deal about how the process will go, and what they will need to do to keep things moving along, hopefully without too many hiccups and at a reasonable pace. 😎 It’s a lot to ask of someone, so I also made sure that my appreciation was made super clear.

But between the several pages that I wrote for Mongo, and then the three pages that I wrote for Gen… I was just doing a whole lot of thinking about a topic that nobody wants to have to think about. It wasn’t all bad… in fact, a lot of the thinking that I did was about good memories, good times, good things with family and friends, etc. 😊 Oh, and I’m up to 19 separate audio recordings when it comes to the little archive of messages that I’m recording for people to have and listen to after I’m gone… which, like I said, I don’t anticipate happening for a good long while. πŸ™‚ I’m actually really enjoying doing that.

Don’t take this the wrong way. 🀨 All of this preparation is just being done out of necessity, and it’s something that any responsible person would want to do before a major surgery. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€βš•οΈ It can just really mess with your head when you end up dwelling on the topic for too long. I’m still good though, and I know everyone that loves me has my back. 😏 I’m still optimistic about this surgery, I’m gonna get through it, and then whatever is next is next. One step at a time.

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The Calm

Tomorrow (if I stick to my current self-imposed schedule)Β is shaping up to be a doctor/test heavy day, so I spent today in a way where I mostly didn’t have to think or talk about all of that. Nothing out of the ordinary… saw a couple of friends, went to a couple of thrift stores, grabbed some food… keeping myself distracted with the good-yet-mundane. 😏

Since the holiday weekend is coming to an end tonight, I can no longer put off dealing with the stack of mail and bills from the past week and a half. πŸ˜’ I’m sure you can understand my logic… didn’t do it FridayΒ ‘cuz it was almost the weekend, didn’t do it Saturday since banking stuff wouldn’t go through on a Sunday, and didn’t do it on Sunday because today is Labor Day. 😁 I’m all out of procrastinator tricks, so here I am at the laptop. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Oh, and the thrift… I actually picked up a few things. πŸ™‚ There’s an obscure-ish British comedy show that I like called The Mighty Boosh, and I actually found a big ol’ hardback book that focuses on it. I can’t even imagine how or why it even got created, but yay me. πŸ™ŒπŸ» The second thing was a Roland EP-3 digital piano. (Because four keyboards in the house just wasn’t enough… heh) I haven’t tested it yet, but it looks solid, and was only $9.99. 😯 How could I not, eh? The third thing is actually pretty silly, but also not…

When I was a baby, one of my relatives (I believe it was my Uncle (?) Frank) got me a stuffed panda bear as a gift. I kept that thing with me when I slept for years… long enough that I have actual memories of it and not just from photos – not to mention that I still have the well-worn, one-eye-less guy still sitting in a box here in my house as evidence. πŸ˜…

Here’s where the silly comes in. Walking past the toys and stuffed things, I caught a panda bear in my peripheral vision – and when I actually looked over at it, I immediately thought about my own old bear, the family back then, not to mention all of the aforementioned pictures that I’ve seen of me and that bear. πŸ™„πŸΌ Heh… and at that point, my bear and that bear were suddenly, unintentionally, and officially connected through all of the feels that I was having at that moment – so I had to get him. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜„

He’s obviously quite a bit healthier looking than my well-loved teddy, so it won’t creep me out if I put him on my “no explanation” bookshelf of crap in the bedroom, which is probably what I’ll end up doing. I texted Genesee about it, so I could sort of laugh at myself as she laughed with me, and ponder over what unknown history that bear has… and explained to her why I couldn’t leave him there on the shelf with the rest of the low-rent stuffies. 😏

Silly, but not…

Kleeko

I made a lowball online auction bid the other day for a Colecovision system, Atari adapter, several joysticks, and about 60 games with instructions. Never thought that I’d actually win it at the price that I bid, but I did, so yesterday I drove up to Pataskala to pick it all up. πŸ™‚ I was worried I’d have to park a block away due to the small driveway being clogged with picker-uppers like me, but when we got there it was pull in, walk about 20 feet to pay the d00d, grab the goods, and then bounce. 😎 I paid around $25 for it all, and according to recently sold item checks on eBay, it’s easily worth 3x that price parted out. My first “score” in a long, long time.

Before heading up for all that I swung by and picked up Dad. Neither of us had been over towards Millersport (where I grew up) or Buckeye Lake recently, so we kind of did the fifty cent tour of the key spots after grabbing the auction goods. It’s hard to imagine that it’s been nearly 40 years since we originally moved there, with the town now being a 50/50 mix of “familiar” and “different.” 🀨 The first house we lived in looks like it’s been updated and well kept over the years, while the second house we lived in… heh… let’s just say it’s a real shame what’s been done to it, and that I’m surprised that the town’s powers-that-be haven’t had a word with whoever owns and maintains it. πŸ˜’

The drive around Buckeye Lake and Leib’s Island was more about checking out the damage done by all of the new dam work around the north shore, and whatever the hell they’re doing in the formerly peaceful bits at the entrance to the island. 😠 You can tell that once it’s done it’s probably going to be fine, not counting a few folks who used to have lakefront property who no longer do… but yeah, it looks like a giant clusterfuck at the moment, and you can’t help but feel bad for the folks that have been putting up with all the construction and mess for the past couple of years.

But the tour was a good test of our brains… trying to remember the names of all of the people who lived or worked in this house or that business as we drove down each street. I think we both had at least sparks of memories that we probably haven’t thought of for several decades. πŸ˜… It’s just weird that I’m actually old enough for so many things or buildings to have been thought of, built, used, updated, and razed to the ground… like the truck stop that Mom worked at for a while, where I used to play Star Castle and Spiders in the arcade there. 😁 At least the pizza shop is still in Millersport, where I used to play to get the weekly high scores on Pleiades and Donkey Kong Jr to win a free pizza now and then.

Let Them Words Out

Feeling a little better, even though my sleep is still really screwed up. I really do give credit to the sunlight that was coming in through the picture window all day today… until I unintentionally fell asleep for four hours in the recliner. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I had a really amazing dream though, and I did need to catch up on my sleep, so I can’t be too upset I guess. Hoping that means that I’m coming out the other end of this recent bleh, but I don’t wanna get ahead of myself on that. Heh… it’s quite the balancing act.

So anyway, probably a bit over a year ago I was dealing with a weird thing where I’d be listening to all of my favorite songs, yet not feel a damn thing. Nothing. And this was with any of the couple thousand songs on my car’s flash drive, all of which I selected to be on there for a reason – so of course I should feel something. Well, now that’s completely flipped. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I can’t listen to anything without being instantly transported back to the moment where that memory was formed with that song… and unfortunately nearly all of those times feel a whole lot happier than “now” feels. 😞

So rather than torture myself with memory-filled tunes, I’m gonna try something different. I’ve got satellite radio in my car, and it has a ton of stations and a lot of options, but it’s still like traditional radio – they play what they want, and you listen as it comes. πŸ˜’ That’s no good anymore. Not when there are cheaper options for music like Spotify. Ten bucks a month and you can basically listen to any song you can think of, within reason. So that’s what I’m gonna do… drop the SiriusXM and just use Spotify and bluetooth with the car.

Oh, and unlike XM I’ll be able to use it anywhere. (They’re really gonna have to re-think their business model if they wanna be viable in five years.) And it’s funny, the thing that finally prompted me was when I watched someone’s long-form abandoned exploration video and they had several songs that I had never heard, from bands that I’m completely unaware of, but that I absolutely wanted to hear again. πŸ˜ƒπŸ€˜πŸ» Heh… this is a new thing for me, because I’ve been so content for years to listen to the songs I already like, with maybe a few new ones sprinkled in here and there.

(It’s a shame, this deserves more than 150 views in well over a year.)

I read an article long ago that said once a person reaches a certain age, their brain is no longer “open” to new music. That’s my poorly worded summary of what they said… but they made it sound biological. πŸ€” Like true enjoyment of new music just doesn’t really happen… not like when you were a kid. I can see where is is psychologically difficult though, because when you are young you aren’t jaded or worn down by the world. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ The lyrics you hear, the hope, optimism, happiness, etc… it all seems absolutely possible. The older you get, not so much. 😏 Of course one person is different from the next, but when you’ve been through some shit – sometimes those songs with hopeful upbeat lyrics can be almost annoying.

But, and especially now due to digital media, I think it’s more that we grow up liking what we like and then as we get older we just tend to stick to that. The stuff we know, the stuff we really did feel back then. ☺ Now that everything is just a click away, I don’t know if that will continue to be the case with most people. For example, when I get Spotify and click on Fly by Sleeping With Sirens, after that it’ll probably suggest other shit like them or by them. Same thing when I listen to tracks I already know and like. It could and should keep expanding my range… giving me new shit I like, without the annoying attachment of some other place and time.

And hey, ten years from now when I hear all these new songs I discovered “back in 2018” I’m hoping I’ll look back on them with the memory of “Whew… glad I don’t feel like that anymore.”

Other Shit

New Year’s Eve was a big ol’ meh. I can’t even remember my exact mood that day, but I could make a pretty good guess. 😏 Luckily I saw a post on Twitter that said if you started watching “Doctor Who – The End of Time: Part II” at 10:54pm, at exactly midnight it would be at the part where The Doctor visits Cardiff and Rose spots him and wishes him a Happy New Year. It’s just a nice moment – because he’s already traveled with her extensively, and he’s actually dying now, but in this particular moment he has gone back to before they had met – so she didn’t even realize who he was yet. 😒😊 I dunno, you have to be a fan of the show I guess. πŸ€“ But I barely remember it working out just right, she said “Happy New Year!” right at midnight, then *ploop* I was out.

As for a potential “Doctor Visit #2” regarding the “Oh, hey, there’s something on your thyroid.” noted by the technician that ran the MRI for my spine… I’m really not sure what I’m going to do about that yet, if anything. 😐 It doesn’t help that I just watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy where a couple of the characters were referring to a family member who had cancer on her thyroid without even knowing it, and died soon after it was detected. πŸ˜• Thinking about that… I dunno, if I really start feeling some sort of effects from whatever it is then I might go see what’s up, but if it’s something bad bad already – I’m not sure I’m interested in finding that out. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Foolish? Probably… but only for someone who isn’t prepared for what “not knowing” could bring next. Meh… I’m still discussing it with friends. It’s hard to say “It’s okay, I’m kinda ready to check out anyway…” without people getting all concerned and up in your business. πŸ˜… But anyway…

It’s still effing frigid here in Ohio. 😬 Waking up to five degrees, or one degree… with the house cracking and popping from enduring the constant sub-freezing temperatures… yeah, this shit is for the birds. 😰 Today, just a couple of miles from home, while trying to thaw their work truck – some poor folks managed to explode the building they were working in… and the sound, even from that far away, jolted me awake by shaking the house. 😨 I honestly looked outside to see if a car had skidded into the house or something, even though the house is like 80′ from the road.

Hopefully now that the holidays are over I’ll start feeling a little more normal, relatively speaking. It’s not that I don’t like Christmas and New Year’s… there’s just a lot of emotions wrapped up in the memories right now, so getting back to boring old crappy “regular” time again is comforting. ☺ I finished shaving the cat, got the living room all vacuumed and straightened up, so I’m gonna slowly build on that progress. In what fashion, I’m not quite sure yet… but just moving forward instead of being frozen here would be an improvement. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

And on Twitter I’ve unfollowed any accounts related to politics and news. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I did it once before but couldn’t make it stick, because it’s in my nature to stay informed… but Donald Trump is a fucking moron, and I can’t keep clicking open that app each day to see him comparing “nuke button” sizes with Kim Jong-un and planning “Presidential Fake News Awards” and other equally insane bullshit. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ People say he’s just trolling the world, that he’s pointing out errors that journalists have made… which is fine… but he’s still a fucking moron, is ridiculously unqualified to be President, and is making the United States a laughing stock and much more hated than we’ve been in a long time. 😣 And my watching it on Twitter isn’t gonna make a lick of difference one way or another… so I’m gonna try to shield myself from the stupid and stupid’s followers.

‘Twas The Night…

A little bit of down time here on the evening before Christmas, so I figured I’d go ahead and throw up a blog entry. I’ve currently got “Twas the Night Before Christmas” playing via YouTube on the TV (Frosty is next) and Cassi is napping in the recliner next to me. πŸ˜‹ Surprisingly I don’t have that one on DVD, so I’m stuck with the slightly sped-up, angle skewed version here… but it’s one of my “must play” shows, so I’ll take what I can get with only a few hours left until Christmas.

Having company wasn’t in the original plan, but it’s nice to have her here. While I’ve been able to help out with their move and then run back home away from the stress, she’s basically been stuck in it… so Athena decided to spend time with her boyfriend, Leona went to stay with her mom, and I went to pick up Cassi so she could spend time with me and vice versa. πŸ™‚ I’m hoping the current nap status isn’t a reflection on me, but rather just relief of getting away from the chaos for a while.

It’s nice to have someone in my bubble for today and tomorrow, because like the past several years – I’ve just been struggling to grab hold of any Christmas spirit. I don’t feel awful or even bad… I just miss how I used to feel, but I suppose the older everyone gets the harder it is to hang on to the feeling we had as kids. πŸ€” In fact, I’m probably lucky to have held onto it as long as I did – probably longer than most, because I think my Christmas experiences as a kid were better than most. πŸ˜€ Yes, I’m probably biased, but they really did it right when I was little. πŸŽ„πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦

It’s been difficult this year to listen to our traditional family holiday music. I still haven’t figured out how to not let it make me sad… sad that things are so dramatically different than when I was a kid… but the way it goes is a) listen to old carols, b) feel good for a few seconds, remembering, then c) feeling shitty because this isn’t how everything was supposed to end up. Yes, everyone in the family is getting older, and getting older brings various forms and levels of suck – and it’s something that should be expected and therefore able to be prepared for, but yeah… that’s not how it goes for me. 😟

It’s okay though… like I said, I’m not miserable… I’ve got surprise company that I’m glad to have with me, and Genesee made sure that Santa didn’t forget me and Maven when it comes to having some little surprises on Christmas morning. Things could be a whole lot worse, and I have to remember that. 😌 I don’t wanna seem ungrateful for what I’ve got, but it’s hard not to feel selfish when I think about the things I wish were better/different. But at least I’ve got lots of “good” to be sitting here missing, eh?

Merry Christmas everyone… make the best of it.

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday was rough. 😐 I woke up and hit the road shortly after dawn, because I wanted to allow myself plenty of time to compete with rush hour traffic heading towards Columbus. I just wanted to get up there early enough so that I could spend a while with Cassi and Lily before we had to head to the vet’s office. 😞 Once we were there, I couldn’t make myself stay in the room when the time came – but thankfully Cassi was strong enough to stay in there with Lily through all of it. As I sat out in the car waiting for her, I found what I felt was the best way to think about it…

Cassi loves Lily and didn’t want her to go, obviously, but she knew that for Lily’s sake – that’s what needed to happen. And Lily… I like to think that Lily didn’t want to go, but only because she didn’t want her adoptive mommy (and the other kitties in the house) to be sad and miss her. 😒 But Lily herself, I’m sure that if she would have been able to say it, she’d have said that it was time to go.Β  Thinking about it in human terms… as all of us approach our final years, there’s a pretty good chance that we ourselves will go through days, weeks, or maybe even months where we’d probably like to ask God to go ahead take us – due to the discomfort that often comes with that old age. πŸ‘΄πŸ»πŸ˜Ÿ

We were sniffling and sobbing all the way back to the apartment, and she was telling me even more little stories about Lily and some of the other cats that I hadn’t heard before… kind of a rolling “wake” of good kitty memories. πŸ™‚πŸ˜Έ Of course I couldn’t help but start thinking about Maven’s age, wondering how I’m going to be able to face it once that day comes for her… but luckily I’ve got both Cassi and Genesee who said they’re willing (and want) to be there. I wish I could have made myself stay in the room for Cassi, but she understood – and actually said that she never expected me to. 🀨 She basically said it in a way to let me know that she stayed in the room not only for Lily, but also so that I didn’t have to.