Holding on and letting go

(Nov 25 4:05 p.m.)

Last time, I described 2020 as a rough year.  But ‘rough’ is… just too nice of a word to describe what people went through.  No, 2020 was painful.

First, the impeachment of the president fell through.  It may not seem like much today and was not surprising to many, but it revealed things of what was to come.  The Senate majority party basically cemented alternative policies that aren’t our national policy in dependence of a man who literally leaves his own supporters in the freezing cold.  They told all Americans again and again that they’re not going to check the executive powers as Donnie and his associates broke federal operations all the way to the postal service just to cheat in an election.  He knows that this government is very lenient on presidential authority, that charges would not be filed against him while he’s President.

Yeah… it’s not over.

(Jan 10 1:59 p.m.)

Then, a novel virus transformed the way we lived.  We all have either gotten it or know someone who was affected by it, from intubation to amputation, to outright death.  I got a strain of the virus recently (fully recovered), but 0.1% of the national population didn’t stand a chance.  Over 340,000 fatalities.  To give you perspective, the flu kills only about 20-62,000 a year nationally.  Death from complications of the virus made a new statistic as the third leading cause of death, under cancer and heart disease.  And that’s not counting the number of individuals who are still alive but have organ damage; there’s no statistic on that because it’s way too contagious.  The people who still attempt to call it a hoax or compare it to the flu don’t get that the coronavirus is extremely inflammatory but at the same time about as contagious as the cold.  They can complain as much as they want, but the use of masks in public is completely necessary.

Thankfully, vaccines are now being administered.

Et tu, Bob? (Dec 22 2:14 p.m.)

There wouldn’t be a pandemic with closures without permanent closures.  The Great Wall buffet, a Chinese restaurant with a great variety of food and good quality, closed for good.

(Jan 7 3:48 p.m.)

Continue reading Holding on and letting go

Peace

So…………………. I’ve been away from this blog for so long I don’t know what to do with it.  Okay, maybe not that long.  But long enough to see this new code-blocks rollout thing on my screen as I began to create this post.  And it looks like the WordPress gods are trying to simplify the layout to the point that almost nothing’s on the screen.  Copy from other websites like tumblr?  Styles popup?  Why not?  It’s not what WordPress is supposed to be, that’s why not.  It’s distracting in a different way: those popups are showing up over text I need to click on sometimes.  But hey, the Classic Editor is still available, so here I am repairing finishing this post with that.

(Sep 7 3:33 p.m.)

Why so many months away?  The main cause of the delay: I’ve not had the focus and peace of mind to write.  I mean, the other guy in this group household can make it difficult to rest or concentrate with his deeply spoiled nature.  Anything worse than not knowing what to do with my life is being distracted by pointless noise.  His willingness to have his way has gotten to the point he stole my old phone, treated it like his own (installed games et al), and then asked if he could have it.  I got it back, but everything on it prior was erased.  Years of history, gone.  It confirmed my instincts were right to lock the door months ago.  Getting the fuck away from him is a goal, pardon my language.

mall, no carousell
Carousel-no-more. (Sep 7 2:36 p.m.)

The second reason for the delay: I’ve been busy with the IT training.  I’ve finished with online classes, and only final exams remain; the exams are scheduled at my choosing so, here I am dipping my foot into writing waters again.

I need to get those brain juices flowing.

(Oct 12 7:27 p.m.)

Okay, so “brain juices flowing” sounds a bit weird, maybe like something out of a horror movie.

“You’re… mocking me, aren’t you?” (Oct 20 17:17)

The pandemic changed what masks are featured on Halloween.  It also added paper bags as the method of transport for candy.

More tyred? (Sep 11 5:18 p.m.)

Time flies when you never feel like you know what you’re doing. Continue reading Peace

Life update

Clouds… while waiting in line for a Hannaford store.  (They no longer require a line.) (Jun 14 12:50 p.m.)

Things had gotten a little busier since I’d last left off.  Since last post, I’d studied and passed the IC3 Digital Literacy Certification exams for the Information Technology field, and now I’m on the path toward certification.  Just part of vocational rehab, no biggie. 😉

Summer, summer… fog/haze on day two. (Jun 21 5:07 p.m.)

Of course, I’ll have to do interviews and other such things that bring some anxiety for someone who’s both introverted and autistic.  My people skills are not great… so that’ll be another challenge, another test.  Something to think about.  And my mind goes to Office Space… A classic, that film.

Most of all the testing has been online, and not because I can’t get out of the house.  (I can get out of the house.)  But because of Covid.  That virus has been a real drag.  I’ve seen stores close for good, and I’ve seen stores open.  And schools, well…

Metal play thing: dismantled. (Aug 3 11:56 a.m.)

I don’t know.

I saw two men digging in this very playground the other day.  The sight of that reminded me of California officials partially burying Venice Beach Skate Park… But these two were probably digging for some other reason.

Not everyone is following the rules.  Some people walk their dogs in areas that make use of the No Dogs Allowed sign, in red text.  I’ve seen so many people walking dogs in Portland, I start to think: what if that’s the only exercise the human gets?

An area is unusually dry. (Jun 22 2:29 p.m.)

This summer has been mostly okay.  Some days have been sweat-all-day hot; clothes stick, and you need to open more than one window to make any difference in room climate.  The humidity can be high sometimes, hence that fog near the top.  But it’s never too bad in Maine.  The need for an A/C was raised, and eventually one was installed, considering the other client here is heat-sensitive, and could literally faint if too hot.  The squeaky wheel got the oil.

(Jun 29 1:48 p.m.)

I can’t mention growth and change without including some new coneflowers that appeared near the front porch. Continue reading Life update

Summer heat, rising

Park fountain: on. (May 28 2:37 p.m.)

Well.  Summer is here.  Almost.  Okay, so it’s Maine, and 80 F feels hot to me and others used to shoveling snow.  And someone like me is also used to wearing a knit hat.  Now my exposed, balding head (with early-Fraiser hair, kind of) can’t take the direct sun without risk of sunburn.

(Jun 15 2:52 p.m.)

Likewise, this very tree has gone a bit… “bald.”  Or maybe it’s just me. …Okay, so this tree is not the one at the top, so it very well was just me lol.  The cherry blossom trees have all gone green too.

(Jun 6 6:06 p.m.)

The sun can be intense at times, but— like rain— the plants and overall life on Earth need the sun.  And the COVID mask will only prevent sunburn on the lower parts of my face.

Thistle or aster. (Jun 1 1:04 p.m.)

At night, people can appreciate the cooler side… and hopefully not sleep in sweat.  But it is also the season where kids can be heard in the streets on skateboards… even at midnight.

(May 27 12:13 p.m.)

It’s past mud season… and so it appears to be a season of road construction.

(Jun 3 1:09 p.m.)

That sidewalk damaged by a fallen tree last year (that also took down a power line our house depended on) was fixed earlier this month.

(Jun 7 4:34 p.m.)

By late May, the year took another turn. Continue reading Summer heat, rising

Season’s Greetings

(May 14 2:53 p.m.)

So… quarantine.  Someone who doesn’t wash his hands around here got sick, surprise, surprise.  But I hadn’t been stuck indoors due to that, not quite.  But because my right shoe broke in such a way that part of it rubbed slowly cut into my foot.  And thus I couldn’t walk outside.

(May 14 3:49 p.m.)

Gawd, it was good to get outside again.  Hobbling in the process of buying new shoes wasn’t great… and worse that the shoes we bought were awful dress shoes that did not match the display shoe (face-palm).  (Going back, I found none of them matched that shoe!)  But I got the idea to tape some paper towel into my broken Air Monarch shoe, and got back out walking.

So green, so blue. (May 14 3:50 p.m.)

Looking-like-a-dork-with-a-mask-on aside, I was grateful for the sun and fresh air.

Dandelions.  Dandelions, everywhere. (May 18 3:17 p.m.)

With all this pandemic and complications from it, I’d almost forgot that everything had been blooming.

(May 11 12:26 p.m.)

It’s spring!  I need to cover spring in the blog! Continue reading Season’s Greetings

Growth in isolation

(Mar 21 3:27 p.m.)

Oh, the places you’ll go after moving to a city with so many stores within walking distance.  And so many firsts.  And not just the Firsts of the day program I attended, such as visiting a fire department and a police department, or the Firsts of the new residence, such as the first snowstorm, or first long power outage.

We’ve had quite a few dumps of snow here.  It’s Maine, after all. (Jan 19 3:08 p.m.)

Or first frozen hard-boiled egg because I put a salad too far back in the fridge; or other more trivial things like first nosebleed, or first ant; it was no April Fools joke to see that a-hole ant in my room the first of this month.

(Mar 5 7:25 p.m.)

But firsts like restaurants I’ve never visited before, from greasy burger joints (sometimes those hit the spot), to a Chinese buffet of many types of food, to a native-Spanish-speaking Mexican restaurant.  My mother and I had gone out less and less over time until it was rare that we ever did, but ever since I moved out, we’ve gone out twice a week, for lunch or a movie.  I’ve now had more pizza and lasagna in months than I had in years.  And on one part of my desk sits a pile of tickets. 🙂

(Jan 14 3:59 p.m.)

Often, we’d walk thru the Mall, and eat at the food court, even if the food we got didn’t come from the court.

(Jan 28 3:26 p.m.)

And… then the economic struggles hit home.  Across the country, stores and whole malls have been struggling for years.

The lights are on, and the room is loud, but the place is nearly empty. (Jan 28 3:31 p.m.)

But never would we guess what would come next.

(Mar 19 2:41 p.m.)

The coronavirus SARS-2 pandemic was the second punch that shuttered the rest and a great deal of U.S. commerce in general. Continue reading Growth in isolation

Out and out

(Jul 21 7:06 p.m.)

Aah… some lovely sights since moving.

(Jul 21 7:43 p.m.)

My birthplace, Portland.  This area is the Eastern promenade.  Not exactly where I moved, but a great place to check out, and walk.

(Jul 21 6:37 p.m.)

A nice view, isn’t it?

Outside Tiqa Café … a place that seemed to have a hard time making up its mind on closing time. (Jul 24 5:24 p.m.)

Deering Oaks Park is closer to where I live.

Ducks at the pond. (Jul 24 5:35 p.m.)

The park looks great in July.  A nice memory.  But a memory for now.

(Jul 21 6:24 p.m.)

Things have gone downhill since.  Nevertheless, the past helps us understand the present. Continue reading Out and out

Trees, trains, trials and tribulations

(Dec 18 2:06 p.m.)

Well.  I’ve been gone long enough that you may be wondering what happened to me.  What can I say?  I’ve been busy and distracted.  I’ve settled in the group home, and for months it’s been one change after the next, in staff, and loud laughter, and spontaneous clapping by a roommate who revolves around the living room TV, most often channel surfing music videos.  (It didn’t take long for him to wear out the batteries in the Roku remote.)

(Nov 22 12:07 p.m.)

And then you count the chores we’re all used to—e.g., doing dishes… but then cleaning up others’ messes, which is not something I signed up for.  And that includes staff leaving plates and utensils in the sink.  Sometimes people don’t learn to not put utensils in the garbage disposal sink; they fall in.  To top it off, some areas are never cleaned despite the obvious warning of mold and ants come summer unless I bother.  Can you sense my frustration?

(Dec 6 3:35 p.m.)

Oh, and now the staff knock on my bedroom door to “check up on me” at times, even if it means waking me.  And on program days, I’m awake anyway for the unpredictable Logisticare service that’s so awful one of its drivers, who was already late, pushed his hybrid car so hard it broke down on the highway, Friday, with fumes entering the car.  Other out-of-the-ordinary things have been happening in the last few days; I lost a receipt as if it disappeared out of thin air.

So I’ve been pushed and pulled around in many little different ways that add up, and it becomes not only frustrating but time-consuming on top of that day program I’ve been too timid to end.  (Still, what do I do if I end it?  Always out of the loop, I don’t have ideas.)

(Dec 5 8:13 p.m.)

One plus: I’ve learned to cook pasta pretty well.

Nevertheless, peace and quiet is harder to find.  And without good ideas and new ideas, or fulfilling relationships, I’m not satisfied enough to rest.  So after a share of social media and informative videos, I don’t get enough sleep and can’t find my voice or be bothered to write a string of words longer than a tweet or two.  But surely I could have posted here, right?

Cabela’s! (Dec 13 2:20 p.m.)

I blame Twitter.  Again.

It’s addictive or seemingly welcoming but to the point of being oversaturated, and in a way apathetic towards thoughtful blogging, even though the platform was intended for micro-blogging.  Today, you can find endless retweeting of one-offs that serve the warning that quality is not appreciated nearly as much as retweeting among tribes.  Like any social media, the more you stand out in the “wrong” way, the less you will be heard.  And it all happens in real-time, further manipulated by Twitter’s popularity algorithm.

(Nov 20 3:08 p.m.)

But I digress.

The rush of the holiday seasons was rather pronounced at the Goodwill in Biddeford.  Christmas trees and decorations were on sale over a week before Thanksgiving.

Continue reading Trees, trains, trials and tribulations

Like a Hot Dog in the Sun

Flowers in a vibrant green around the sand. (Jul 4 11:51 a.m.)

The year’s gone by too fast.  It’s already well in to summer.  So on top of the year feeling like it’s gone by too fast, the days are getting shorter again.

Dandies. (Jul 4 12:11 p.m.)

Before summer came, the trees were sprouting, and seedlings fell from the trees.  Once summer hit, hard winds and rain began to knock leaves from the trees— and it can be harsh, some days.  But there always seems to be some kind of flower patch somewhere throughout the seasons.

(Jul 3 11:34 a.m.)

And when the flowers shrivel up, the stems just continue to rise.  Plants will take whatever they can, and adapt however they can.

(Jun 20 5:40 p.m.)

Humans, however, don’t even like being out in the rain.  (Okay, some do sometimes.)

Continue reading Like a Hot Dog in the Sun

Getting around

At another part of the beach. (May 8 2:16 p.m.)

Things are moving… and some things are stalling.  Such is life.  I’m behind.  Not enough time, and not enough sleep.  The year has gone by so frickin’ fast.  One week away from summer… even less than that.

I’ve been meaning to post more often here but my internet access at home has been unreliable.

(May 15 2:33 p.m.)

I’ve been here and there.  And my transportation has been funded by… gulp… taxpayer money.

(May 15 2:33 p.m.)

Okay, so I’m being a bit dramatic.  I haven’t been everywhere and every day, and it’s nothing compared to the cost of health care… nothing compares to health care in America anymore.

Mackworth Island. (May 17 2:36 p.m.)

But you ought to make the best of each day, right? Continue reading Getting around