LOAD”*”,8,1 / LOADING / READY / RUN

I don’t want tomorrow to feel like today did, so I’m gonna try my hardest to push aside all of the bad things in my mind – and hopefully do some things that I know should be fun. It’s so strange how the past few years have kinda stolen “fun” in general from me. I’ve got two current game systems, several different cameras, that Playstation VR system I haven’t even set up yet, a couple decent musical keyboards, the C64 Mini system I got the other day… and all of it just sits here.

I think the more that bad, sad, or unfortunate things started happening to me, my friends, and my family… the less able I’ve been to allow myself to have fun. Even if I have moments where I’m not feeling bad about my own shit, I guess I sorta feel like it’s not right for me to have fun when some of my friends and family are dealing with their own bad, sad, unfortunate shit. I know it’s dumb, and I kinda know how I got here… but that doesn’t matter… what matters is changing my way of thinking and letting myself just enjoy shit now and then.

I have to just accept that some people might roll their eyes or have something shitty to say if they think I should be doing “this” when I decide to do “that” – because if I live my life making sure I make everyone else happy… well, that’s just some bullshit… but believe it or not that’s how I’ve been for a long while now.

Meh… but anyway, tomorrow has to be different. I think once I straighten up the living room a little bit I’m gonna hook up both the C64 Mini and the PSVR. Who would have thought, back in the late 80s, when Mom, Dad, and Aunt C bought me a C64C, 1541-II disk drive, Okidata 120 dot matrix printer, and 13″ color TV… that almost 30 years later I’d be so excited to have a baby version of that old computer that I can play on my 50″ HDTV. Oh, and I also have that CD of scanned slides that I still need to check out.

So many things stuck with me from my childhood. The computers, the classic video games, the nerdy interest in photography, radio, musical keyboards, and tech in general -and even a lot of the music from back then that still means the most to me… all of those started as these little seeds that were planted back then, which are still growing strong in me to this day. Well, maybe not “strong” for some of them, but I still want them to be…

Tomorrow’s gonna be different. Even if it’s just tomorrow.

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Inescapable

My brain and body have definitely been on pause today. Thursday night into Friday afternoon was a rough chunk of time… going over to say goodbye to my friend Christina with a ton of family around, then a couple hours sleep before heading to the hospital at 6.5a for the radioactive iodine treatment, and shortly after I got back home I learned that Christina was gone. 😔

We knew it was coming, and we were all there the night before because we honestly thought it would happen that evening – but she held on for one more day. It was so nice to be around all the family, many of whom I hadn’t seen in a good while, and I even met her biological dad… who was a really kewl old d00d. We all tried to keep the vibe as positive as possible for each other, but of course it was still really sad. I wasn’t even going to go over, feeling like it wasn’t my place, but Bri reminded me that I’m just as good as family – and that of course I was welcome and wanted there.

Meh… I don’t really wanna talk about that anymore. My thing at the hospital took over two hours, although most of that was pre-treatment lab work, having three pages of precautions read to me, and of course the signing of all sorts of documents. Once they opened the lead-lined container and used tongs to get the pill out to hand it to me, it was literally a minute until they were shuffling me to the door. They really want you to just gtfo once you’ve got the radioactive vibe.

The lady that did it all, you could tell that she was used to it… because even before the pill was in the area, she would still do things like asking me to place my ID on the tray table so she could grab it, rather than me handing it directly to her and risking actually touching her. And boy, once that pill was out and in my hand, she backed across the room until I took it – and as she guided me to the quickest way out of the building she reminded me to stay at least six feet away from her. Good stuff, eh?

I didn’t have any nausea or sickness as side effects, but it did make me have a funny taste in my mouth… and I unintentionally fell asleep that afternoon from about 4p until midnight – but that was as much from the lack of sleep the night before as it was the medication. I have to stay on this low iodine diet for a few more days, I’m supposed to not be around kids or pregnant people at all for a week, and six feet away from anyone else… and poor Maven, when she wants to sit on me or lay next to me, I have to put her down on the floor at the base of the recliner – but I make her a little nest in the blanket and share the space heater with her, so she’s okay as long as she’s close to me. She hasn’t left my side since I got home… pretty sure she senses the “bleh” I’m giving off.

Just hoping I don’t irradiate her too much until it’s out of my system.

Too Lengthy For People To Care

This is the post I made to Facebook yesterday. I guess it’s worth sharing here…


  • I dare you to read all of this 😏

  • Most of us were raised to not be assholes. To not be racists, not be sexist, conduct ourselves in the way that we’d like to be treated, etc. And for a good long time that worked, and people in general conducted themselves in a pretty respectable way.

  • But I don’t think people acted like that because they *wanted* to, or because that’s how they were programmed… I think a lot of folks acted that way because they assumed there would be a down side or backlash if they acted like selfish buttholes.

  • And that’s why we now have a *whole* lot more crappy people than we did even a decade ago, because the more that people have seen high profile people acting like nutsacks and not paying any price whatsoever – a lot of folks decided that “decent, kind human being” wasn’t for them.

  • It just fed on itself at that point… because the more you see shitty people getting away with shitty things, the more that other people will decide to follow that shitty path – since it’s working so well for the others. More shitty people breeds more shitty people, sometimes literally heh

  • It just seems that more and more, people are going to do what benefits them, with less consideration of others. If someone doesn’t agree with you, don’t bother discussing it with them… just put them down, make fun of them, get your friends in on it too.

  • Have you always wished that fewer darkies would move into the neighborhood? Go ahead and let your other racist friends know too, because there’s strength in numbers, right? Get enough people that agree with you and you won’t even need to hide it anymore.

  • Getting tired of your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend? Good news… you don’t actually have to split up with them. Keep them around for the few good things they can do for you, and just get yourself someone on the side for all the other stuff. Chances are, even if your significant other finds out, they’ll stay with you anyway. So why deprive yourself of other strange?

  • Oh, and if something doesn’t go your way, make sure you absolve yourself of any responsibility … because playing the victim is how we do things now. Nothing is actually your fault, and fuck anyone who even suggests it. This includes babies. Did your girl go and get herself pregnant? Well that shit sure wasn’t *your* idea, so why should *you* be expected to do anything to help out?

  • Another thing… if you ever actually *are* wrong about something, for God’s sake NEVER admit it! Admitting you’re wrong or have made a mistake… WEAKNESS. You don’t want to be a pussy, do you? And of course if you never admit you’re wrong about anything, ever, then you’ll never need to apologize for anything. Apologize to someone and they’ll have that to hold over your head forever.

  • Someone wants to merge in front of you on the highway? Fuck that guy. He should have planned ahead better. Someone taking too long with their order at McDonalds? Roll your eyes, bitch about it under your breath, and by all means make sure you take it out on the cashier once you finally get to order. And if you use the restroom first and accidentally piss on the seat… just leave it – someone “lesser than you” gets paid to clean up shit like that anyway.

  • At school or work, especially if you’re insecure about yourself, make sure you team up with as many other insecure people as you can – because then you can be an entire *gang* of insecure assholes who can lash out at anyone even weaker than you. Nothing makes a person feel *better* than making another person feel *worse*. And yes, I know you were probably raised to not do any of these things … but trust me, nobody cares anymore, so why waste your time trying to be “good?”

  • Agree? No?

Phil Collins: Not Dead Yet

Last night was concert night in Columbus, seeing Phil Collins with my friends Jim and Adam at Nationwide Arena. 😊 I was already nervous the day before, thinking of the handful of things that could make my day difficult, and despite doing my best to screw it up from the start – waking up at 4am and not being able to fall back to sleep – everything ended up alright and the show was great.

For anyone that’s a fan, it’s common knowledge that Phil is pretty gimped up from a failed back surgery and a “fucked foot” as he put it, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. 😳 But despite remaining seated for almost all of the performance, he seemed to get along reasonably well with a cane, so it didn’t feel as… um… I guess I was just worried that it would feel a little “Wheel the old man out and make him sing.” but that wasn’t the case at all. 🎤👴 It was a relatively long show too, playing his stuff and some Genesis songs, and he seemed to be enjoying it all. (And another “bucket list” concert checked off for me.)

Since he’s unable to play the drums, his son Nic filled in for him. 🥁😎 The kid is pretty amazing… he’s 17 now, he was 16 when the tour started in the UK, which means he was probably learning and perfecting all of his dad’s songs by the time he was 14 years old… knowing that he’d eventually be going on a huge tour like this. 😯 (Oh, and he plays piano too 🙄) It was all the way back in May of 1992 that I saw Genesis in The Shoe at OSU (26 years ago… holy shitballs) but I never thought that I’d get to see him perform his own songs solo, since he swore quite a while ago that he’d never tour again.

Jim’s an awesome friend, surprising me and Adam both by getting us all tickets. 😃 (Five years ago this month we were in Kansas thanks to him as well) And like I told him, I have enough “concerns” about myself that I wouldn’t have even thought about buying a ticket for myself if he hadn’t. The neck and shoulder pain, the thyroid stuff, the random back stuff, the anxiety that comes in times and ways of its own choosing… I don’t think I would have trusted myself to be able to go – but when a friend makes not going not an option, you just put your head down and keep moving forward.

Oh, there were moments that I still wasn’t sure… even up until the point that I was standing in line, waiting to get in… 😳😬👫👬👫👭👫👫👬👫👭 … but I’m absolutely glad that I went.

I’ve been a mess since getting home last night around midnight though. 😕 The “post-concert buzz” ended up keeping me awake until about 5am, and man did I hurt. 😣😢 It’s mostly better now, but between the cold, the sitting, the standing, the singing, the recording of video, the crowds, the traffic… as usual, my body and brain eventually weren’t having any of that nonsense, and they let me know as soon as the show ended. 😟 I think Jim and Adam could see it in me once the lights came up, so we all sat for a bit and let the crowd clear. After we left the arena they walked along at my pace until we parted ways at the parking garage. Luckily Jim gets me though, so he knows that all of that “beat-up old man” stuff doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t do it all over again. 🙂

One More Day

I’m taking one more day, tomorrow, and then I plan on doing my best to return to society and engage with the humans again when necessary. 😐 I already know that I have a crapload of phone calls to make and take, but I’m actually talking about not looking like a hobo anymore, and actually leaving the house more than once a week. See, I haven’t shaved since the day before my surgery, so that means I’ve got 18 days of mostly gray beard that needs to get gone. 🧔🏻 I haven’t shaved through this point because I didn’t want to risk mowing over my stitches and ripping the incision open. 🚜😯

Being somewhat laid up, unable and/or unwilling to go out in public… it’s been grand. 😊 It’s selfish, yes, but “me doing me” for the better part of two weeks, even though I’ve been physically “bleh” for most of it, has done wonders for my mood. 😏 And discussing with friends, when I noted my unusually “okay” mood lately, they suggested that maybe my thyroid was actually causing some of the “mood disorders” – and now that it’s out and its function is being replaced by medication, it’s a possibility that it could be easier for me to maintain an okay mood because of it all. (There’s also a good chance the whole idea is psychological trickery, and I’m psyching myself into a decent mood under false pretenses. 😅)

I did get a ton of shit done yesterday. 🤨 Pretty sure I’m completely caught up on medical, mail, and bills… and it’s a good thing that I’m going through the medical stuff in such detail, because I’ve already caught a fraudulent bill for over $100 – for services that I know I shouldn’t have been charged for. (That’s one of the folks on the list of Tuesday calls…) The side effect is that my living room floor, where I do my work, is covered with various piles of paperwork, pens, envelopes, receipts, file folders, etc. 😯 I”ll take care of that tonight though, so tomorrow can be reserved for just laundry and a shave.

I’ll probably make sure the Insta360 is charged up tonight. Oh… yeah, I didn’t go out today – except for a quick trip to the truck stop down the highway for foodstuffs. 🌯🍩🍞🥤 But I’m gonna have that cam charged in case I wanna try anything, and then there’s also the Dover NASCAR race, the premiere episode of Series 11 of Doctor Who, and then I think the new season of The Walking Dead airs tomorrow evening as well. 😃🧟 Haven’t yet decided what I’m gonna do with my Monday though. When I made that “Three Day Weekend” post, I was only joking – because I was treating Friday as part of the weekend… and I didn’t even realize that there actually was a legitimate holiday this Monday. 🤔 Hmm, note to self, don’t put all these envelopes out in the mailbox until Monday night.

Abundance Of Caution

We’re down to about a week-and-a-half before my surgery. 😳 And let me tell you, I’ve been dealing with some serious anxiety issues since the beginning of this past week – and I’m finding it hard to shake. 😥 I’m right on the edge, always, and the slightest thing will push me over into labored breathing, chest pains, dizziness, etc. 😟 So while it might make me “difficult” in some people’s minds between now and my surgery, I’ve got to do whatever it takes to keep my anxiety levels low, or at least unchanged if I’m still managing to hang on to being okay.

It’s kind of embarrassing, but I honestly need to keep myself in a mental health bubble for the next 10 days. 😒 I don’t want anything to happen that will risk me not being able to have the surgery when scheduled, and going to the ER for a panic attack with severe chest pains probably wouldn’t help that cause. 😕 Now, I am gonna tell the doctors and surgeon everything that I’ve experienced up to that point, before I go in, because I absolutely want them to know… but yeah, right now is not the time for me to deal with anything that I don’t absolutely need to deal with.

Cassi helped with that over the past couple of days. 🤷🏻‍♂️😏 I went and got her on Thursday after she got off work, because she had two days off in a row and wanted to spend them here with me. ☺ We never figured out how to make our “couple” relationship work, but boy are we good at being each other’s “person” in times of need. And it’s because neither of us need much… just the distraction from our respective lives that’s somehow provided by just being in each other’s presence.

As for what we did over those two days… there’s really not much to talk about. We just plop down in the living room, turn on Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix, and just sit with each other and watch, talk, eat mac and cheese… heh… just “normal” stuff that doesn’t add to the anxiety. The only times it got a little rough for both of us was when one of the episodes would be about thyroids or cancer and the results. Probably shouldn’t have watched those particular episodes, but it’s also good to think about everything realistically, all of the potential outcomes – and letting myself cry a little bit and be scared with her… it was much better than doing that same thing by myself. 🙂

So yeah, the last couple of days were really nice, and really needed… and today, well, I’m calling it “a day off” since I don’t intend to do much (if any) communicating with anyone, and instead focus on things that I just personally need to do before it’s time for my surgery. 😊 The doctors and surgeon haven’t give me any reason to worry about the surgery. None. But you know how it is… you still wanna kinda get things in order, just to give yourself that peace of mind. And doing that sorta thing makes me feel better… makes me feel productive, which is something I always aim for.

Mood is good… I’m hangin’ in there.

I’m Right Here

Got a call from the doctor’s office. I guess one of the “referral” folks trying to get ahold of me called them back and said that I was unreachable. 🤨 Strange, since I’ve got no incoming calls or messages, but whatever… I got their number and will give them a call back soon.

Right now I’ve still got a week before I have to go for the ultrasound, and that’s the nearest upcoming appointment that I’ve got… but the thing is, I’m hoping that when I call this ENT that they aren’t gonna want to get me in too quickly – cuz, quite frankly, I don’t want to go through the embarrassment of shuffling into their office, in front of everyone, like a hunched-over old man with a cane. 😣😟

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that all this stuff is in process now… but what a shit time for my back to be doing what it’s doing. 😠 As if going to different doctors to get poked and prodded isn’t enough of a pain in the ass. (No pun intended.) I guess I don’t have to feel too rushed… as long as I get ’em done before my next family doctor appointment, which isn’t for a while. That is, unless the ultrasound shows something extra scary, I suppose. 😳