Furrr-iday

On this cold, snowy, winter storm Friday, I know I could use a little warm up….

Nothin’ officer— just sitting here.
Whachu lookin at punk?
Peek-a-boo
Who wears short-shorts?
Thirsty?
You like fitness bro? How bout fitness in your mouth.
Do I have enough yellow shirts?
Did I leave the iron on?
Don’t get dressed on my account.
Can you taste tattoos?
Nice labia.
Free Mustache rides.
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Li’l Bastard Comix

Because we all need a lil Bastard in our life.

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Pretty Sure I had Covid…

So, if I were a betting man, I’d say I just had a bout of Covid. This after being triple-vaxxed too. At this point, given the “California wildfire” spread of the Omicron variant, I firmly believe it’s just a matter of time until everyone takes a turn with it.

My issue? I didn’t get tested. So I don’t know for sure for sure. 😬

I think it was right after Christmas, or thereabouts. The problem is, I was looking for all the old Covid symptoms: loss of taste, fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, breath is issues. I didn’t really have that. I had a very slightly runny nose, and a slight wet cough. maybe I was a bit more tired than normal, but with Christmas concerts and the holidays and work and such, when am I NOT tired?

Because basically any sickness now is automatically assumed to be Covid, I wondered if I might have it. I looked for a home test, but didn’t find any available. Admittedly I didn’t scour all stores though, and kind of gave up. Mainly because of that denial of like “this doesn’t really fit in with what I was expecting”.

I didn’t learn until later that Omicron is presenting a bit differently and has some different symptoms. So, looking back, I might have had it.

I kinda isolated and used a mask (like usual). I didn’t go to the gym for a few days. But that was kind of it. Mostly I didn’t notice much and it sort of felt cold-like.

I am also noticing that we have had work exposures here. People are mysteriously “out” and only one is known Covid positive. But I’m also hearing sniffles, sneezes, and coughs around too.

I’m still masking up and washing hands and using sanitizer, but I know deep down that personably everyone here at work is gonna be hacking and spreading germs sooner or later.

Much like most of the public at this point.

P.S. I feel ok currently— no snot, cough, etc. I’ve been able to work out. And taste my food. Let’s hope I can Keep it that way.

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Comics I Enjoy

I do like an artist with an edge.

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That’s So Raven!

So, as I was at the gym yesterday, I caught part of the Baltimore Ravens football game. And they kept showing number 89, and even in the helmet I was like “who is this???”

Now, I know juuuuust enough about football to be dangerous. From his number and where he lined up, I could tell he was a tight end. A BIG tight end. Like Gronkowski sized.

Allow me to introduce Mark Andrews. He’s 26. 6’5”. 256 lbs. And ever so dreamy!

Damn. Now that’s some prime, Grade A beef.

And THEN! I’m watching 60 Minutes and they do a story on football kickers. Specifically one of the best in the game, who also happens to be… a Baltimore Raven. And also ridiculously hot!

Allow me to introduce Justin Tucker. He’s 32. 6’1” and 183 lbs. He is the most accurate kicker and holds the record for the longest NFL field goal at 66 yards.

Oh, and did I mention he sings opera?

Yeah. Droooooool.

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Poetry Corner

I don’t know if I have written about this in my blog before, but I like poetry. I mean, I’ve been keeping a blog fairly religiously for years now, so it’s fair to say that I like writing. I’ve written a couple short stories in my time and eventually I want to complete a novel. But in the meantime… poetry.

There was a time in my life (in my early to mid 20’s and into my 30’s) where I was writing poetry. I would experiment wit different forms and structure, etc. And I know this will sound snobbish, but for me poetry has to have a definite structure to it for me to like it. Structure meaning rhyme scheme or specific meter and feet. I don’t think of free verse as poetry— it’s more just bougie prose.

So most of my poetry is metrical in some fashion. And a poem for me usually starts as some interesting metrical and florid sentence fragment or idea. And then I’ll scribble it down and scribble some adjacent thoughts. And then see if I can make it into a coherent idea with rhyme. And the rhyme scheme I vary in order to get the flow. Like A-B-A-B or AABB or AABBA OR ABCAC… you get the idea.

And therein lies the fun for me.

I love the challenge of trying to get a coherent picture across in a constrained metrical structure. And then the delicious challenge of trying to find the mot juste that fits the meter and rhyme scheme and still conveys what I want it to convey. Scouring the English language for words is the fun (and often supremely frustrating) part.

While I finish poems (rarely are they finished in one setting or without multiple edits) I don’t know if I’m ever satisfied with them. None of them feel “perfect” or fully realized to me. So I almost never share them with anyone. I just don’t want folks reading them and going, “Eh.”

This frustration and disappointment led me to kind of stop writing poems for awhile. Like a long while. But then we had chorus on Tuesday night. And a couple of the songs we are singing have such nice lyrics and form that it got my juices flowing. (We also sang a composition by our director where I may have contributed some of the lyrics, so…)

So I wrote a poem yesterday. It was based on Carl Sagan and his Cosmos work. The germ for the idea was Carl’s quote about us being made of “star stuff”. I always liked that. Star stuff. I guess I was thinking about it because we’re singing a piece about stars set to a poem by Sara Teasdale (I quite like her).

Anyway. Star stuff. So I googled this and googled Carl and watched a couple video clips of Carl talking about our connection to the stars. I jotted down some of the language he used— And ideas started to flow.

The initial fragments of ideas I came up with were:

Galactic children born
From fiery mantles torn
Forged in nuclear hearts

So I have mostly formed poem now. Again, I’m not fully happy with it, so there may be edits to come. But I think I’d like to use it and set it to music. Music that I also write.

We’ll see though. We’ll see if I can let go of the idea of perfection enough to let it go out into the world.

EDIT: I revisited the poem today. I revised my syllabic structure to 7 beats per line. Adjusted some wording. Moved a line or two around. And I gotta say— this is I think one of the most profound and pleasing poems I’ve created. I’m kind of chuffed about it!

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Happy Anniversary.

It’s been one year since “He Who Shall Not Be Named” tried every means at his disposal to overturn the election results and stay in power. This was an attempted coup. A failed insurrection. Treason.

And it very nearly succeeded. I mean, it was close. Closer than we realize.

If Pence had not certified the results and overturned the electoral process, the United States as we know it would basically have ended. I’m being deadly serious right now.

I read an article on this yesterday. If the electoral college and the will of the people was overturned, there is no clear, legal recourse on what to do. The power to certify the election resides with congress and if the VP (Senator Protem) tosses a monkey wrench in the works, everything gets thrown into chaos until it gets resolved.

“He Who Shall Not Be Named” would probably have stayed in power in the short term, solidifying his chokehold on America. The Supreme Court would have eventually gotten involved— but who knows what they would have done. And even if they said “whoa, you can’t do that Pence” it’s not clear if their authority would be recognized by congress.

So yeah. America fractures. The government fails. Free and fair elections are gone. A dictator prevails. And the great democratic experiment crashes and burns after 233 years or so. And we were basically a couple breaths away.

This terrifies me as a citizen.

And the problem is— we are still on the precipice. Elections and voting rights are under attack. The Big Lie is still believed by over 20% of America. “He” isn’t in jail yet and his threat still looms. And mid term elections are coming. If the senate gets retaken by Rethuglicans, the investigation into January 6 will most assuredly he halted.

So yeah. Never forget, everyone. Never forget thst one year ago the biggest attack on our democracy and our nation came from inside the house. Literally.

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Panic! At the Disco

The Disco in this case being my condo.

For Christmas, one of my presents was a gift card for Apple. My mom couldn’t quite figure out how to order the superdrive I needed, so she got me a gift card instead. A hefty gift card , I might add. Which would cover the drive and more.

On New Year’s Day I decided that I would start the ordering process and get some Apple stuff (including a replacement earbud). Only when I went to look for my Apple gift cart— I couldn’t find it. Not anywhere.

So I started tearing apart my condo looking for it.

Now I know I brought it home with me. I distinctly remember putting it in the bag with all my stocking stuff because I had almost accidentally thrown it away amidst the Christmas wrapping paper on Xmas morning.

Part of the problem is that the Apple gift card isn’t a gift card, per se. It came in an odd size square envelope and was just paper. Not a card.

Anyway, so I found my bag of stocking stuff. Not there. Not with my mail. Not in my cabinets. Not in my sock drawers. Not in my backpack. Not in my truck. Can’t find it anywhere!

So I start digging through my garbage where I’m reminded of a Christmas 30+ years ago when we accidentally tossed a $100 bill that grandma had given me for Christmas. That also caused a garbage rooting session.

A first pass through the garbage did not yield the card and by now I was really starting to panic. Thankfully I still had all my garbage as I was just in the process of cleaning my place.

I retraced my steps. I knew it was in my bag o’ stocking stuff. Which was mainly toiletries. So I looked again in the bathroom vanity. Not there. BUT…

This reminded me that I had a bag saved to return a garment that mom got me for Christmas. Only I decided not to return it, so the return bag (and shipping labels) were tossed in my bathroom trash. So I rooted a second time through my garbage.

And lo! Mixed in with the shipping labels was the gift card!

Fuck. Me. Sideways.

Such a close call! I was literally minutes from pitching my garbage down the chute when something made me think about redeeming that damn gift card. So lucky! It would have been awful to explain to mom that I accidentally lost such a generous gift.

A true Christmas miracle!

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2021: A Year In Review

All in all, it was kind of shitty.

Blah blah Covid. Blah Blah lockdown. Blah blah no toilet paper. Blah blah total disruption to daily life. Yadda yadda yadda.

But, we persevered didn’t we?

Only my life wasn’t crazy disrupted in the grand scheme of things. I never got to work from home, and I didn’t lose my job so daily life stayed semi-constant. I guess I was pretty lucky in that regard. I didn’t have concert band though. Chorus went virtual. No gym until I was vaccinated. Etc.

I did really pretty decent on my resolutions. I helped mom through her knee surgery. I found a new job. I increased my savings. I got vaccinated (and boosted) as soon as I could and managed to avoid Covid. I successfully managed virtual rehearsals and concerts with the chorus. I built my Bianchi bike. I got serious about my fitness and weight loss- so I’m now at a weight where I’m fairly happy.

And while my new job kinda sucks, it’s still better than my last job. Plus? My old company was just sold and my guess is that the plant will be closed and the land sold within the year (as its prime real estate).

Chorus and band both started up again this fall and had successful concerts, so that’s good. And I’ve been able to get back to the gym. And I biked a lot.

For next year, my new goals include maintaining my health gains, Finding another new job, and perhaps going on a vacation or two. And making sure mom is still doing ok.

So, bye bye 2021. Don’t let the door hit ya. And here’s to a better 2022 for all of us.

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All I Want For Christmas…

Is a new job.

The saga of all things job related continues. My choice to join this company back in May felt like the right decision at the time. But once I got in the door, it fairly quickly shifted to “oh no, what have I done?”

I mean, it’s still not as racist or misogynistic or republican as the old company, so at least there’s that. But it has its own host of issue.

The biggest problem as of late is turnover. It’s insane. We have some manufacturing employees that just basically stopped coming into work. Then there are the people we hired who just never even showed up on their first day. And then there’s our new Controller who made it 2 whole months before turning in his notice. And his replacement? Well he lasted 5 whole hours before packing up and never returning.

Yeah. It’s a shit show.

So, once again I’ve started the process of looking for a new job. I updated my resume a few months back, but I’m concerned of course by this brief blip in my employment history. I Men’s, how does one tactfully explain that they were hoodwinked in the hiring process and the management is a fucking disaster?

The good news is that having gone through this failed job, I’m a bit “sadder but wiser” now. I know my worth and know what I can negotiate on. And I have a clearer understanding of what I’m looking for in a company. And what to look for when interviewing.

I think I’m also better prepared to ask probing questions about how they manage certain parts of the organization and what resources they have. Especially after experiencing the veritable goat fuck of my current situation.

And while this is not a great time of year to be looking, I have managed to get my foot in the door with a company here in the cities. I’ve had one interview and a second is being formed up for early next week.

So far I’m kind of hopeful about this one. It’s night and day different from my current situation in so many ways it’s laughable. Like where were you last year dammit!

So again I’ll ask you to keep your fingers crossed for me. And let’s see if I can land somewhere decent.

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