Not Yet

It’s a deceptively beautiful day outside so far today, but I don’t think I’m ready to make a trip to the store like I was considering quite yet. My brain hasn’t really made it out of “weekend” mode, and after a night of bad dreams and waking up in a cold sweat a few times – I’m finding it easier to kinda just sit here with the doors open, trying to absorb some of the “nice” while I plan a few things I need to work on later this afternoon.

I think, lingering in the background processes of my brain, the way that a lot of the country is planning to “re-open” is filling me with an ominous feeling. 😳 Since not every state practiced a well-thought, simultaneous “shelter at home” order along with every other state – the effectiveness of such precautions has already been damaged. Sure, your state will have lower numbers while they individually practice such restrictions, but if surrounding states aren’t being as careful and allow their infection numbers to grow, what do you think’s gonna happen when your state decides to relax their rules?

You may have seen the videos on Twitter or the news… where, just because rules have been relaxed, hundreds of people decided to pour into the streets, the parks, the sidewalks, the beaches… basically just because they haven’t been allowed to for so long, and now they can. Good for them? πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Ÿ And when reporters ask them why they’re out and mingling with others, it’s almost always a “Because I can!” / “Because it’s our right as ‘murricans!” type of answer. Awesome. 😐 Way to prove a point. 😐 Job well done. 😐

If you look at the actual numbers though, you’ll see that we’re getting ready to open back up right at the time when people should be recognizing that the isolation is making a difference, and that if all states keep/start doing it, the downward trends should continue. But no, politicians are obviously gung-ho about opening up, the citizens hear the optimism, and far too many of them are now thinking and acting like the danger has passed and there’s less (or no) need for precautions. 😞 And in a further display of stupidity, our governor was going to mandate that for the time being – employees of stores and their customers must all wear masks. Sounds like a responsible idea, right? Well, he had to go back on that because of public outcry, of people being that vocal that they shouldn’t have to wear a mask, and so he not only backtracked on that – but essentially apologized for it by saying that they “went too far” with that rule.

It’s just amazing to me that there are that many people bitching about having to wear a mask. Something to protect them. Something to protect employees. Something to protect everyone by lowering the transmission rate. Who are these angry people? Who could be so selfish to angrily protest such a rule, others be damned? ☹️ It blows my mind…

So, yeah, I was originally gonna go out today and get pop for me and Dad, along with some other stuff, but obviously with all of that stuff swirling around in my thoughts, today isn’t the day for me to go out and do that. Especially since it’s likely that there will be a lot more folks out today than before. It’s just a creepy feeling to live in a state where so many people are vocally and angrily opposed to cooperating with a very simple precaution. 😟 Yeah, that’s not most people, but it doesn’t take many careless or indifferent infected people to cough or smear their cooties all over the place and ruin it for everyone else.

If anything, the state starting to “open up” is more likely to make me stay at home. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ It’s like if you’re at the beach and there’s been a shark warning – but the lifeguard says it’s all clear now, and people can return to the water if they want. 😧 You’ll have plenty of people who go running in, neck-deep… meanwhile, my ass would stay planted in the sand as I watched the water to see what happened. πŸ˜ŸπŸ€” That’s what right now feels like to me… the time to watch from the safety of my living room for a while, to see what’s gonna happen. πŸ₯Ί And if this virus is anything like what most doctors are saying, “what happens” ain’t gonna be good.

Another heavy blog entry… I’ll try to balance it out with something lighter this evening. 🀞🏻 My mood isn’t actually that bad otherwise, it’s just taking me a lot longer to get mentally and physically moving today than I’d prefer. I’ve got workers comp / settlement mail that I’ve yet to read, and then wanna do some typical straightening up around the living room and bedroom… so if I’m hard to reach today, I’m probably just trying to do something to make myself feel productive and normal. πŸ™‚

Longest Ramble In A While…

I’m not gonna link to either of them, but yesterday evening when I was catching up on the news on Twitter, I came across two different things that really bothered me. 😟 Both of them were in Michigan, and both were part of a protest against the physical distancing / stay at home orders that have been put in place due to Michigan being one of the most affected states in regards to coronavirus / COVID-19.

I wanna start by saying that I do get why people are frustrated and want to be heard. πŸ₯Ί In fact, they’re more frustrated than I can even empathize with because they’ve been off work, losing their jobs, their businesses going under, and that’s obviously gonna take a toll on people. πŸ™ I know that I have days where it even gets to me more than I’d expect it to, so when people are unable to pay their bills, their rent, medical bills, etc.

But the first part of the protest that caught my eye were the hundreds of people who forced their way into one of the government buildings. I’m not sure if it was the state house, but it’s where the politicians were trying to do their jobs while protesters were shouting and screaming at law enforcement, banging on doors and walls, demanding that they bet let in. 😳 I think most people would expect a protest like that eventually, but this one went further – because many of the protesters were also dressed up like militia and were carrying loaded semi-automatic rifles. 😧

When you look at the video footage, I hate to say it, but those people looked and acted like you’d expect those kinds of folks to look and act… meaning, people who show up with guns when there’s no apparent reason to do so. πŸ˜’ And the ones who didn’t have guns, it’s not like they were discouraging the ones who did. Common sense says they brought their guns with them so they would be more intimidating, but I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the only protests they’ve really paid attention to are ones regarding gun control issues, where it would sorta make sense to “bear arms” while protesting… and maybe that made them think that all protests require dozens of armed people. πŸ™„πŸ˜ 

But yeah, you can look it up if you wanna see or read more about it. But with the way tensions were, I think they’re very lucky that there wasn’t even an accidental discharge of a weapon – which would have lit the very short fuse on that powder keg. It’s just sad, the smug look that you could see on some of their faces as they stood with their rifles, in the area above where the politicians worked. πŸ˜” And if their goal was truly to be heard, their stunt backfired… because all that people are talking about are the “white guys with guns” who occupied that building without so much as a ticket for ignoring social distancing rules, and questioning what may have happened if that group had been young black men instead. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I don’t like doing those “what if” scenarios normally, but the way all those folks chose to act… πŸ˜’ oh, and because of something that I saw in the second topic that caught my eye. For another part of the protest there was a stage set up where people were speaking against the current rules, talking about the damage that it has done… understandable stuff. But then they had a performance by a couple of girls who looked as if they couldn’t have even been teenagers, wearing skimpy little dance outfits and halloween type masks. πŸ€” One of them being of a black man with exaggerated features. (Looks like they could have been Trump & Obama masks.)

They were doing a dance routine to the old song “Candy Man” but it sounded as if the lyrics had been changed to comment on the current situation. That’s unfortunate enough, where children are essentially being used by their parents to make political statements… but as these little girls were dancing, you could hear men and women in the crowd hooting and hollering as if it were some kind of burlesque show – with people even shouting “TAKE IT OFF!” as these poor little kids did their routine. 😧πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜”

It honestly made me sick to my stomach. 😟 Not just because the kids were being used in that manner, or that gross people were shouting sexual things at them, but also because nobody else in the crowd said anything, stuck up for them, or did anything to show their disapproval. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ (At least not in the clips that I saw.) I understand that people can start “thinking as a group” when caught in a moment, but even when it comes to something as disgusting as that? It’s not a good look for whatever message you were trying to send. 😠

If you’d ask a bunch of those first folks why they felt the need to bring rifles to a peaceful protest and dress in camo… the answers would probably be of the “bEcAUsE wE CAn!” variety. 😐 But that display with the girls, I wonder if any protesters would try to defend or normalize that as well. It makes me feel bad for the “normal” citizens of Michigan, because it makes the state look pretty awful – and I know they’ve got to be angry and embarrassed by all of it, the way it makes their citizens look to the rest of the country. πŸ˜”πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

One might ask why I allow myself get caught up in “news” like this. I ask that of myself too, honestly. 😏 But I dunno… I do try to limit my exposure in general, since 99% of what gets reported seems to be negative, but I guess I just feel like everyone should try to keep up on the more important things – especially if they want to have an opinion and have conversations with others about any of it. 🀨 So with things being as wacky as they’ve been over the past four years, even just “normal” news can trigger someone’s anxiety… and stumbling across “extra” stuff on Twitter, like the topics in this entry, is almost unavoidable. πŸ˜•

But I look back on old news articles and broadcasts from when Mom and Dad were young, and I see different protests, via different methods, at different locations, for different reasons… and I can’t remember learning about any of them and thinking, “Good grief… those people were idiots.” πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’m sure “dumb” protests did happen, so maybe the news was just less interested in covering sensationalism back then? πŸ€” But hell… Today? I don’t think a day passes where I don’t read about or see something that makes me grumble, “Good grief, those people are idiots.” I think they were also lucky back then, getting their news (and only a couple hours each day) from either ABC, NBC, or CBS – and that was it. 😯 Not enough “room” to cover the stupids. Thanks to the internet though, we now have an endless supply that we have to work to avoid.

The “Anxiety Light” Version

Legal Eagle spells it out much better than I could… and with 99% less emotional exhaustion. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Ramping Up

It’s barely past noon and I’m already needing to disengage my brain for a little bit, before I put it back in gear and get to work on various upcoming shit. And today was supposed to be a day off. 😏

Rather than calling my doctor’s office about the pharmacy’s weirdness, I decided to just go in to talk to them so I could better convey what was going on, and so I could also check to see if my MRI request had been approved or denied yet. (It has been submitted but so far there has been no further action.) That was also the only way I could avoid making a phone call, since my anxiety re: that has been increasing lately. πŸ“žπŸ˜³

But just like my pharmacy problem reached out to inject itself back into my sphere of shit to handle, my workers comp stuff in general has reached a point where my lead attorney had to contact me today. By phone, of course. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ (And it happened right as I was preparing to go through the car wash.) So I drove into the Target parking lot, turned the car off, and had a 20 minute conversation with him.

Twenty minutes of unexpected, serious legal conversation… when my brain is already mostly full with my concerns about the upcoming Industrial Commission hearing as well as the actual court case that is meant to bring my situation to a resolution. I took in everything that he said, but I need to take a break here at home for a little bit before I can start lining it all up. 😐 Right now it’s bouncing around in my head, waiting for me to find a place for it among all the other WC nonsense.

It was an overall positive conversation, but still… anything regarding workers comp, meds, treatment, settlements, court, etc… it’s still friggin’ exhausting to process after having been in the system and fighting the good fight for well over a decade. πŸ˜• And while he is the lead attorney, handling all the bigger issues, he isn’t the one that handles my case on a day to day basis, for lack of a better term.

So he said he’s gonna talk to my trial attorney, and they’re going to set up a time when I can go up to Columbus again to their main office (which is an entire floor of a downtown high rise) to meet with the team. πŸ€“πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’ΌπŸ—ƒοΈ Even though “the other side” is the party that initiates all the complications, it seems that they’re finally getting tired of fighting these same fights over and over again. Especially since the IC almost always finds in my favor. The total billable hours they’ve spent to challenge me must be insane.

So I’m kinda in the driver’s seat right now, but I’m well aware how quickly that could change. Once I’m done with this little break I’m gonna have to figure out the implications of all of the things we discussed, and then I’ll start a list of my questions and concerns that I’ll need to discuss with him and my other attorneys about before I make any decisions. πŸ€”πŸ€¨ Okay… I could probably ramble on with more details, but I think that’s good for now. I need to sit on this for a bit and not screw it up.

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. πŸ˜• 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. 😏

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. 🀨😐 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. πŸ˜¬πŸ™πŸ»

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… 😟 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. 😳 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. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

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. πŸ™‚πŸˆ

It Works For Me

Today was really nice. πŸ™‚ And I know, it’s not over yet, so it could still get all fuckered up… heh… but this was the most relaxed and carefree that I’ve felt in a good long while. It’s amusing though, that I had to useΒ most of the previous dayΒ to set myself up for it, so that today would go down properly. 😏 But hey, I’m making progress – even if it’s just a day at a time.

I spent the afternoon watching the NASCAR race from Kansas, and now I’m getting ready to watch the season eight premiere of The Walking Dead. πŸ˜ƒ Along with that frivolous time spent, I’ve also started working on a “to do” list of things that I seriously need to accomplish before fall sets in, ranging from personal health issues to random landscaping tasks that I’ll need to hire someone to handle for me.

But along with a “responsibilities” list, I’m also thinking about doing what I’ve done a couple times in the past – where I make a long list of all of the memorable toys and goodies that I’ve owned when I was as young as a toddler, so I can then look them all up on eBay to see how much they’re worth now. πŸ˜„ I thought I actually saved the list the last time I typed it up and did this, but apparently it got lost between owning my last laptop and this one.

But it’s just a fun possible side project… and while it can be surprising how much some of the things can be worth now, it’s not like it’s a depressing exercise where I’m wishing that I had saved them all or kept all of my toys sealed in their packages, never to be played with – because what kind of boring childhood would I have had then, if I never played with the stuff that was meant to be played with? πŸ˜‹

But yeah, I’m hoping that I can hold on to this positive mood into tomorrow… or at least long enough for me to go in town and get a haircut. That’s another thing that has a surprisingly positive effect on me, when I no longer feel like a hobo and can come across as quite presentable if I so choose. 😎 But for now, here’s to more days like this one.

Reassimilation

The trip ended up being a lot of fun, mostly because we all picked up on each other’s vibes and really only did the stuff we actually wanted to do. Translated: For a while now, I haven’t really had much enthusiasm for going out and taking “good” pics… not sure why, but I figured for the trip I could feed off of their enthusiasm. Luckily, they had no enthusiasm either. πŸ˜… And since we were all “meh, whatever” about making an effort, we ended up with a nice combination of swimming, boating, exploring, and being lazy. πŸ™‚

The photo-nerd in me didn’t goΒ completely dormant though. Between regular and slow-motion video from my phone, pics from my phone, and video from this cheap-o “action camera” that I got from Wish… I still ended up documenting the trip, probably even better than I would have, and mashed it up into four different videos.

Coming back home from this trip was even worse than usual though. Not only the mental “meh” that I get after getting back home from something brain-clearing, but physically… omg… this trip kicked my ass more than any other. πŸ˜– Three days and two nights, where if we weren’t just chilling in the cabin (which we didn’t do much) it meant that we were out doing something, moving around… sometimes moving around a lot. (ie: anything around the lake) So the first 24hrs after getting home were comprised only of hot showers, pain meds, my TENS unit, staying off my phone, and sleep. It was pretty miserable… but I’m slowly getting back to normal.

The second 24hrs after getting back home… heh… it’ll get its own entry here shortly. 😏