The Day Before

The Day Before

Today is January 19th. Tomorrow is my birthday, and I’ll turn 57 years young. I feel old since my health took a turn for the worse about six months ago, but mentally I feel almost like a teenager. It doesn’t seem possible that I have been here for 57 years. That still seems old to me.

I wonder where I would be, or if I would still be alive, if not for Hal. We have been together for 21 years; over one-third of my life has been with him. We have known and loved one another longer than any relationship I have had, including family.

I am fortunate when I met Hal. I was on my way to becoming an alcoholic. I could throw down with the most hard-core drinkers imaginable. Within six months of meeting Hal, I almost stopped drinking altogether. I will still have a drink or two occasionally, but in 21 years, I’ve never been drunk since I met Hal. I quit smoking five years ago, as well. Hal did bother me about smoking, but he never said those first few months about drinking. I suppose he didn’t want to seem too overbearing.

Anyway, tomorrow is my birthday. There aren’t any big surprises after all these years. I don’t need a thing besides a nice birthday dinner. With the pandemic, and since Hal can’t drive anymore, I already told Hal what I want for my dinner. We’ll go to Bonefish Grill and pick up a salmon dinner and some shrimp to bring back home for my birthday meal. There’s no way in hell we are going to eat in a restaurant during the pandemic.

My birthday is also Inauguration Day, just like it is every fourth year. Getting rid of DumbShit Orange Nazi is a gift all by itself. I hope that the terrorists have been arrested and that there is no violence on my birthday. I never want my birthday to be marred by violence or terrorism.

So, Happy Birthday to me tomorrow.

First Real Post of 2021

We made it through 2020! I’ve never had a year that was as completely fucked up as 2020 was. I hope that 2021 will at least offer some slight improvement for us all.

My sense of optimism has returned with this New Year, at least for the first few hours. I must admit that I went to bed immediately after midnight and a few kisses from Hal because the need to start the association from 2020 was so strong.

Now, at 0500, I’m awake, and I’ll soon be taking a shower to greet 2021 properly. I’m thankful to report that I’m feeling good, with no shortness of breath. Of course, I want 2021 to be a much better year in terms of my physical health and well-being. I want to avoid any trips to the hospital in the New Year.

I hope that everyone, except for republiKKKans and Nazis, will have a great year. Those two groups can all leave the planet and die as far as I care. They tried to destroy this country, and we must remain on guard against them in the future.

I have to pull out one of the laptops or Chromebooks to continue writing this post so I won’t be guilty of breaking the one pseudo resolution I made myself for 2021. Just as soon as I resolve to get out of this ultra-comfy bed this morning, I’ll get right on that.

I am glad to report that my creative and writing juices are flowing without interruption right now, and it is a welcome change because my love of writing never went away. It suffered at times as the overall awfulness of 2020 just sapped the strength out of me. I don’t miss that feeling at all.

Overall, I am delighted to welcome you in 2021. Let’s hope it lives up to the promise of being better than 2020, which, after all, is a very low expectation of meeting.

Tuesday update

As I prepare to start Tuesday here at home, there are several things that I want to take care of. First of all, I want to walk this morning for exercise. I’m going to try and get back into shape as safely as possible. I’m going to browse for some new comfortable walking shoes later today. I don’t have a lot to spend, but I do want to take care of my feet.

I am not working today because I’m fighting the system to get approval for short-term disability. If I go back to work now, I’ll look be surrendering my chances to qualify for short-term disability unless I am hospitalized again. I definitely don’t want that. Therefore, I’m not returning to work this week as I go through o all of my follow-up medical appointments. I’ll submit all the paperwork after those visits and hope for the best.

I don’t miss work yet. I’m not sure when I will, honestly. I just know that I do need time to recover from all that I’ve gone through recently. I also know that work stress doesn’t help at all.

I decided against shopping for shoes today because that would violate my deliberate plan to avoid crowds of people. I can always order some shoes online and return them if they don’t work out for me. I just want some comfortable hiking shoes so I can start exercising again.

One last thing that is sort of related involves our new method for getting groceries. Placing an order and then picking things up curbside at the store is working out better than planned because it makes us plan more deliberately for what we need rather than just run into the store without a clue. Definitely a win for us.

Ignorance is Killing Us – Part 2 – Racism

    The second danger that we are facing now is Racism. I have been with my partner Hal, who is black, for more than 20 years, and in that time, I have learned a lot about how he sees the world as a black man. The things that he has seen in his life are frightening to think about for me. As a white man, I grew up with privilege that I never realized I had. To me, the local police were people I could put my trust in, especially in a small townh. I never thought that the black children I grew up with could have such a completely different view of the world, but after being with Hal, and then talking to some of the people I grew up with, I now know that the feelings of fear and distrust did exist even when I was a child.
    Those fears and feelings were never shared with me growing up because those feelings are deeply held in the black community. The common perception is that no white outsider can ever appreciate those feelings, that they would be called irrational or ridiculous. I never knowingly felt that way towards my friends, but I never realized that those feelings were being hidden from me either. My parents taught me as best they could to respect everyone, and to never look down on anyone. I am glad that those friends I had growing up never associated me personally with any of the problems that they encountered, but I wish that I had known about those problems so I could have helped to overcome them.
    As the number of murders committed by the police continue to grow, it becomes apparent that the real problem is ignorance. Pretending that this is a recent phenomenon completely proves the very point that my childhood friends, and Hal, have taught me. The problem has been around for over 400 years and is deeply rooted in our society. Slavery might have been outlawed, but the repercussions remain to this very day. White society has the remarkable ability to filter out unpleasant things and pretend that things are completely fine, unless the problems affect white society. This willful choice to be ignorant is a huge part of the problem.
    I am proud to be part of the #BLM movement, but I can never speak for  those directly affected. I can only speak from the perspective of a white man who is woke and proud of it. I choose to not be ignorant, because ignorance is killing us, all of us. To be silent is to be complicit.

My Own Private Idaho

It sounds strange, but in the midst of all the chaos and turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic, I seem to be closer than ever to my own Private Idaho of Inner Peace. For whatever reason, things are falling into place with my life. There are still struggles, there always will be, but they no longer seem as insurmountable as they used to.

We moved on the first of April and have settled into our new place. As quiet as the last apartment was, this one puts it to shame. We are basically in the country in a medium size apartment complex, but without a major airport within 10 miles like the last place. Planes flew over all day and into the evening until 2300 or so each night. I don’t remember seeing vapor trails here in the sky since we arrived.

My sinuses acted up immediately after we arrived here. There were several days when I began to think that we must have moved to the worst place in the world for my sinus problems. But after starting Yoga on a daily basis, I have gotten better rather quickly, and I am sleeping better at night as well. I cannot describe how much better I feel.

Hal and I have not had any problems with the new neighbors. Everyone here is in the same situation as us with regards to the world situation, and that gives us all common ground to stand on.

We will save money by living here. I am relaxing with the knowledge that I can pay things off without as much stress every pay period. Things got too damned expensive at the last apartment, we just couldn’t stay there.

So there you have it. My personal story although a brief one, about how I have found my own Private Idaho and Inner Peace.

Be Kind to One Another

False Confidence

As a wonderful and inspiring day winds down here, I found myself thinking about dipping my digital toes back into the social media pool. I have these feelings from time to time and I always find the willpower to resist. Today, thankfully, was no exception.

I deliberately ended my social media presence a long time ago because things got out of control. The attacks that came from people I never interacted with were just too damn annoying. The whole experience turned into a swamp of negativity. While the temptation might arise every now and then, I just no longer want to deal with fake people.