Derailed

Every now and then, something happens that knocks us down.  We lose our place, our standing, and we are forced to re-evaluate our whole situation, and accept humility.  You work harder and make sacrifices or go home.  And I don’t have a home in which to return.

There have been so many things that have happened in recent memory that get me thinking, “had I’d known more, I would have done things differently.”

Red lights. (Dec 31 3:23 p.m.)

One week into 2022, it was already a shit year for me.  From the last post you could tell I wanted to rise and shine, and venture forward with my life, but I was set back quickly.

Even the turn of the year wasn’t great.  I missed my date with my close friend in Kentucky at the turn of midnight because I wanted meet a deadline with the previous post.  I was turning something I’d previously written into an NYE entry against the clock; and yes, it does takes me a long time to write and rewrite; my editing often goes past midnight.  With my OCD, I should have known that was going to happen.

But missing a date was nothing compared to what happened Wednesday. Continue reading Derailed

A look back

Well, it’s the last day of the year.  I’ve had plenty of time to look back, and reflect, and… mostly I can only think of the problems I’m facing today.  The whole year has gone by too fast.  Progress is slow, and I’ve been sick lately.  Thankfully, it’s not CovID.

Cole Road Café. (Oct 30 9:52 a.m.)

Things moved faster when aunt J visited.

(Oct 29 3:00 p.m.)

Decent restaurants were involved.

Surfer. (Oct 31 2:05 p.m.)

But that visit was only because things needed to be moved out of my mother’s storage unit.  (My mother and J. are okay by the way.)

Remember to wear a mask in the pool! (Oct 29 3:42 p.m.)

It’s harder to get a grip on things when it seems like everything is decaying too quickly, and you can’t catch up.  One of my teeth is really in bad shape, so I’m definitely going to have to move faster, and work harder next year.

And then I hear we all lost Betty White.  The legend.  Just 18 days shy of 100.  It takes the wind out of your sails, at least for a moment, when you see stars fall, lose role models, and hear about your friends losing loved ones.  There have been a lot of funerals this year.  My friend in Kentucky lost two… an awful year.

Addendum: It wasn’t just deaths either.  I all but lost my mother to mental illness and/or mold-dementia earlier in the year.  She’s alive but not at all the same person she was months prior—fragile, skin and bones, and can barely function or recall events.  She may have lost her sense of taste or smell from CovID but doesn’t remember.

(Dec 18 2:55 p.m.)

This pandemic isn’t endemic yet.

Dizzy Birds Rotisserie. (Oct 21 6:34 p.m.)

But to do nothing isn’t an option.  Living in denial is not living at all.  You must exercise or you start losing function. Continue reading A look back

How’s it going? It’s going.

Random house. (Nov 1, 2021 2:37 p.m.)

I’ve been away from posting here longer than ever this time.  A whole season has passed.  There are reasons… or some would call excuses.  Not much progress has been made since, and I can’t get enough sleep these days.  And most of the things that have happened are mundane or “this life is a lockdown” boring, or redundant from last year’s content, or low grade chaos like whenever the other client is childishly pissy… and I don’t just mean mad, but eliminating yellow where he shouldn’t… who wants to journal that?  Sometimes life is shitty or uncomfortable, and can put you in a state of shock without much of a break.

That isn’t to say I don’t talk about my days.  I do spend time with a close friend who lives in Kentucky.  But I’m just so tired of the irresponsible behaviors of others that make it harder to sleep.

The leaves have left the trees.  (They’re barren today.) (Nov 4 2:15 p.m.)

Of course, if I sat down and forced myself to write, even privately, I wouldn’t be taking up much of my alone time on YouTube.  Learning and having fun isn’t bad, but balance is needed.

I have been writing down dreams I’ve had in sleep.  And I’ve been updating software sometimes.  Sometimes I’m updating a spreadsheet.

(Oct 29 12:15 p.m.)

One of the events this year was when aunt J. came to visit… for the purpose of sorting through belongings from the old house— what goes to whom, and what’s salvageable.  I noticed new mushrooms on the dirt lawn there.  (Or maybe they were already there and I didn’t notice?)

(Oct 29 10:17 a.m.)

What’s left of that house.  So much time has passed that it has already been stripped and sold.  Gone.  There was so much water damage that it will be gutted if it already hasn’t been.  That place is still the most familiar to me, at least in layout and furniture.  Unfortunately, over time it became a “death trap” of mold, cold, and rotting wood— issues that became overwhelming to us, especially to my mother who lived in denial of accepting help, became anorexic, and had to be hospitalized.  People thought 2020 was bad… it’s been an emotional ride this year, and not a good one.  There was a lot of stuff to go through, just as there’s a lot of stuff to go through here in beginning to update the blog.

Continue reading How’s it going? It’s going.

Fresh air

(Jun 12 3:36 p.m.)

Sometimes you don’t quite realize how much you needed to breathe and walk in the clean air somewhere else on Earth.  In my case, I didn’t have to travel far.  I felt like I’d needed to breathe that unadulterated air.

(May 15 2:37 p.m.)

It’s not hard to wonder, with our A/Cs and plastic fans during summer (or near-summer) why the air quality index was so high one day this month that “unhealthy for sensitive groups” was displayed on the Weather Channel mobile app.  Air filtering is needed for certain times, and— what else, high voltage air filters produce ozone, making it worse?

(May 15 2:36 p.m.)

And the area that connects Biddeford and Saco is called Factory Island.  Yes, Factory Island.  At least the smoke stack isn’t being used.  (At least I don’t think it is.)

[STOP]
(Apr 9 2:55 p.m.)
Now, some of you may be wondering: “Why Saco?  Biddeford?  Why not Portland?  Isn’t that where you live?”  No, not anymore.  I moved.  In fact, I was forced to move because I the company that supplemented the rent gave up on Portland altogether with all the wage changes… wage changes it made unilaterally.  I don’t have the money to pay the rent — something close to $1,900 a month for a good three bedroom apartment, and I can only manage about a third of that.  And that’s why I lived with another person, and once again that’s why I am living with yet another person, just now a different guy… unfortunately with his own set of childish and unsanitary habits.  It’s a different kind of stress and sleep schedule.

Private pools opening.  (Not opening to the public.) (May 23 5:17 p.m.)

2021 has been with major change whether I or you like it or not, and again it’s been hard to find the peace of mind to write.

Some awful things have happened as a result of years of negligence.  And I’m not just talking what happened in DC.  My mother was hospitalized after pretty much starving herself since I left the old home, and worse after falling on the ice, where she ate even less.  Years of denial turned into straight up mental illness.  And now her moldy house is stripped of its walls and its contents, and the place may be sold soon.  The house I grew up in is gone.

So it has been an emotionally rough year.

Continue reading Fresh air

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