New Place To Live, Same Fucked-Up World

Moving is never easy, no matter how many times you’ve moved, things always go wrong. Always the little things like where did I put that thing I want to find right away? Hal and I have been chopping our way through the jungle of boxes since Thursday and the place is really looking good now. At least we can say that about the rooms we’ve focused our attention on.

The next battle will be the closest. Always overlooked, but we don’t want to put boxes in there and never see them again until our next move, whenever that will be. We are going to sift through every box and every cable. Everything will either have a home with us, or it will have a home in the dumpster. There’s no middle ground or compromise anymore.

We love the new place, but it takes some getting used to. The one unpleasant constant is the fucked-up situation in the world right now. It’s difficult to strictly observe the “keep your ass at home” policy when we have to stock the pantry and the refrigerator after the move. We do have a great store not too far from here, but the same old problems persist. “Who in the ever loving FUCK bought all the GODDAMN toilet paper?” Luckily, Hal and I each bought our regular bi-monthly package of 20 rolls almost a month ago before the TP mysteriously vanished.

Hal and also bought matching neck gaiters from a local sporting good store to comply with the any mask is better than none requirement from the CDC. Even those items are becoming scarce now. I ordered a few more, but it will be nearly a month before they arrive. Strangely, I won’t be surprised if people continue wearing them for a long time.

Better than nothing as protection against droplets.

Breathing through a gaiter definitely takes some getting used to. We’re washing them every day to keep them as clean as possible. We wear these to the grocery store, we’ll, at least when we’re inside.

Another item I purchased before the move was cleaning supplies from BlueLand.

I like the idea that these don’t contain any harsh chemicals and that the refill tablets mixed with water save waste by reusing the bottle as well. The hand soap works very well and the multi-purpose cleaner is outstanding. The refill tablets are only $2 and that’s much cheaper than buying a new bottle of the harsh chemicals.

The last several days have been exhausting and exciting at the same time. As things get more organized and under control, I hope to be writing more.

It’s 0400

It’s 0400 on Friday and I woke up with my sinuses packed. Naturally, the nose spray that always helps me is still securely hidden in the mountain of boxes that must still be unpacked after the move. It is easy to feel sorry for myself, but I’m trying to stay optimistic since Hal, The Stooges and I are embarking on the next adventure in our life together.

This picture is overly optimistic, the place is still crammed with boxes and bags. We did manage to make a path for the cable guy who is supposed to be here today, as well as the new furniture items we purchased before the move. Thankfully, I took time off work to help with this madness so Hal doesn’t have to shoulder the burden all by himself.

The new apartment is much larger than our old one. It is also $500 cheaper per month. The trade off is that we’re much further away from DC now, but I don’t have to fight the commute anyway. I can still catch a train into DC when I have to go. Since I’ve been working from home for years, this isn’t a big deal to me.

In the interest of keeping it real, this is another view from the couch as I’m writing this on my iPhone. Only a few of the boxes are empty. We will be busy today but not as rushed as yesterday.

There are so many things that go through my mind at 0400. Why can’t I get back to sleep? Where is my sinus nasal spray? Why didn’t I inventory and index things when I packed them to make it easier to find things? That last one I’ll try to remember for our next move.

Stevie Nicks seems remotely interested in me as I’m writing this. I’m glad that The Stooges have all adjusted well to the new place. Stevie Nicks and Hal The Cat were fine on the hour + drive here today, but Jax The Cat was upset and talked loudly the entire time. To be fair, this was the first time that Jax has moved with us so we expected him to be nervous.

It’s 0400 and I’m looking forward to a new day. Everyone stay safe.

So Long , March 2020, And Good Riddance

March is almost over -FINALLY! I can’t recall a worse month in my 56 years. September 2001 used to be the benchmark, but even that tragedy didn’t directly affect the entire nation like the Coronavirus has. Almost 75% of Americans are under some sort of stay-at-home restrictions right now, but we cannot bring ourselves to call it a quarantine.

It seems like each day in March became worse than the day before. Sadly, we appear to be on this awful downward slope wearing blindfolds because no one knows for sure how much longer this will last. We just hold on because we have no choice.

We have also witnessed the worst lack of leadership in our history during March. The Dumbshit Orange Nazi shows his incompetence and complete corruption and narcissism every day. Having him in charge will cost us so many more lives than otherwise. And yet, there are still sheep who willingly follow this Dumbshit Orange Nazi to their own doom.

I desperately want April to be better, but there’s no evidence that points in that direction yet. Even after we overcome the Coronavirus, and we will overcome it, we’ll still have the problems caused by the Dumbshit Orange Nazi to correct. If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that stupid people never admit they were wrong. The stupid people will follow the Dumbshit Orange Nazi right over the cliff. It is up to the rest of us to outlast these idiots and restore normalcy as soon as possible.

Let’s hope that April is the time when we start to overcome the Coronavirus pandemic, so we can then address the FUCKING STUPID pandemic caused by the Dumbshit Orange Nazi and his sycophant followers.

Needing A Mental Health Day

I could really use a Mental Health Day right about now. The constant din and noise from the outside world is starting to wear me down. I haven’t had a day off in months because I want time on the books for our upcoming move that is supposed to happen early in April. I remain optimistic, but the chances seem to be growing that we will not be able to move at the appointed time due to the Coronavirus situation. If we had more flexibility, we would have arranged to move early, but we don’t have that luxury.

In the meantime, I just keep going through the daily grind, over and over, and feeling more exhausted at the end of each day. While I am not the most optimistic person in the world, I keep hoping for the best. I am a realist which, I know, is another word widely associated with pessimism, and I try to do the best I can. Some days that is much easier than others.

I don’t know what I would do if I took a Mental Health Day right now. The weather is miserable and going outside is not an option because of that. We are not under any “stay at home” quarantine orders here……..yet. That is why I am concerned about our move next week. Things could change at any moment.

Everything seems to be moving in slow motion this morning. The only thing missing is a migraine, and I don’t want one of those to appear to harass me today. I am amazed that I have made it through until lunchtime without throwing in the proverbial towel and taking the rest of the day off. Staying busy does make the time go by much faster, although it does make me more sluggish as the day goes on.

And, at approximately 1330 in the afternoon, the migraine announces its arrival with several sledgehammer blows right behind my eyes that completely threw me for a loop. I have taken some Aleve but the bell is still ringing inside my skull and probably will be for a few hours at least. There is one more meeting that I have to get through before quitting time, so I should survive.

Cooking To Pass The Time

Sunday was the day when I finally stepped into the kitchen, determined to cook something that I hadn’t tried before. I prepared pork chops with asparagus and mushrooms and egg noodles in cream of mushroom sauce. Here is how I went about it.

First, I cut up some asparagus and set I aside. Then I opened a package of mushrooms to have them ready as well.

Next, I drained four center-cut pork chops and coated them with my seasoning, which consists of:

  1. 1/2 tbsp salt
  2. 1/2 tbsp pepper
  3. 1/2 tbsp rosemary
  4. 1/2 tbsp onion powder

The next step was to prepare the Instant Pot by coating the bottom with a thin layer of avocado oil (you can use olive oil if preferred). Then I started the Instant Pot and set it to “Sauté”.

Once the Instant Pot heated up, I put the four pork chops in and let them cook for two minutes on each side.

After the pork chops were finished with the “Sauté” setting, I turned the Instant Pot off to get things ready.

I put the asparagus over the pork chops, followed by the mushrooms. Then I put in a bag of egg noodles, followed by 4 cans of cream of condensed mushroom soup, and about 2-2 1/2 soup cans of water.

The beauty of the Instant Pot is that the egg noodles go in right out of the bag without cooking them first.
I set the Instant Pot to cook “Meat/Stew” for 20 minutes, closed and secured the lid, making sure that the pressure release was closed.

That was it. It takes the Instant Pot a few minutes to pressure up and then start the countdown timer. Once it completed, I waited about 12 minutes before releasing the pressure. The timer counts up after the cooking cycle completes. This is called “slow release”.

After bleeding off the remaining pressure by opening the release on top of the Instant Pot, I stirred the awesome meal before putting it into a serving/storage container.

Et voila, it was finished. It came out delicious. And the best part was very little cleanup afterward.

Sometimes

Writing isn’t always easy. There is nothing more disheartening than staring at a white screen, wondering why the words just won’t appear is if my magic. An idea that seemed so brilliant suddenly appears terrible and you want to start all over again. These are a few of the things that curse writers and bloggers each and every day. It seems to effortless to the outsider to just sit and throw some words together and call it a blog post. Trying to weave those words and ideas into a story is much more complicated and requires more attention and effort.

Another pitfall is repeating oneself. Original ideas are hard to come by, and even harder to capture and write about coherently. The fear of sounding just like everyone else is enough to stop some bloggers for good. There is an entire cottage industry dedicated to telling other people how to write. Most of the ideas are good, but they are not enough to get someone motivated without real-world examples to go along with them.

Sometimes the words just flow out of me and I am amazed at how quickly the screen fills up with words. These are the wonderful days, no matter what else is happening, or how I feel, the words flowing out of me bring me nothing but joy. Even if I am sad as I write, I rejoice in the action and the effort because it makes me feel alive.

Crisis Doesn’t Change Some Things

There is an old saying that difficult times bring out the best in people. I believe this is true in the general sense, but for some people, a crisis like we are facing makes no difference at all to them. My extended family is a shining example of the latter scenario.

For most of my life, I’ve known that my extended family on my Mom’s side are some rather unpleasant pieces of work. Long story, but Mom was orphaned as a child and wasn’t found by her older siblings until she was well into adulthood. The result is that there has never been a true familial bond. Mom was always the “outsider” and my Dad and myself were shunned as well.

You cannot miss what you never had. This is true in regards to a close relationship with my extended family. There is no surprise at all when I naively attempted to reach out to them last week to see if they were doin ok with the Coronavirus situation. Not surprisingly, I’ve had no response from any of them. I officially give up on them. They have no regard for, nor interest in me. I’m done trying to be the nice one. I don’t wish them I’ll, I simply just don’t care anymore.

This decision wasn’t arrived at in a hurry, or with any rush to judgement. I hoped that facing this common adversary called Coronavirus might enable us to finally connect and start to build some bridges over the chasms that have separated us for our entire lives. We know that each other exists, but that will remain the extent of our contact from this day forward.

I say all of this calmly and without emotion because there has never been a time to feel bad about the situation, at least in my life. I can’t miss what I never had.