Mysteries

Adulting is hard.

Adulting

Adulting. It happens to the best of us. We are in school and then we strive to get that first job. Then 40 years later we’re all like WTF! I can’t think of any 50 year olds that I know who wouldn’t want to go back to being 18 again or even further. And I’m not talking about the instant-health benefits of being younger – I mean the change in responsibility.

Youth really is wasted on young people. They all can’t wait to “get out of the house” and “get a real job” and “get out of school” and someone 50 is thinking – can I please stay home, not work, and maybe take some classes? We’d rock at it too. “Dang, my teacher wants this report by Thursday! UGH!” Thursday?? I have three reports due today at work before noon and I have two meetings back to back at 9am. Try that for 30 years and see if that Thursday report still brings you down. And don’t even mention the other stuff like… bills.

BILLS! They are never ending. I think that’s only because now months fly by like weeks used to. When you’re a kid, summer lasted forever. Now it lasts a few weeks. In those few weeks, I get reminded about 75 times that I have a bill due on my banks electronic billing page. I also get reminded multiple times – as if that will help me loosen the grip on my checkbook. You get billed for everything too. Things you never knew existed when you were younger. “Copayment? What’s that? You mean I have insurance AND I have to pay?” Personal property taxes. You mean I own my car AND I have to pay taxes on the car? Nobody told me that. Stormwater runoff fees? Now I get billed stormwater runoff taxes for water that I use in the house to help cover sewage. Wait – I watered my grass. Doesn’t matter, you used it, you pay.

Food. Food changes when you’re older. When you are young, you think “Two Whoppers? That might hold me until dinner.” You don’t even think about it. Some pizza and wings? How about A pizza and wings? Now I go out for dinner and can’t even finish it all and maybe because I don’t want to. Because you know how you are gonna feel later if you finish it now. Plus, taking some of it home means you get have a snack later. You’re gonna need a snack to keep your blood sugar up. God forbid you go to sleep without getting something in you to maintain your ‘sugars’ overnight. Ask any nurse at a hospital on the joint replacement wing and they’ll tell you the number of turkey sandwiches and ginger ale they have to pass out every night. Sounds like a turkey sandwich party.

Stress. When you’re a kid, do you stress about stuff? You wonder if Monica is going to go with you to the dance party on Friday. You might be smart enough to worry about a test you have on Wednesday so you might stress about it. Grown ups have STRESS. Try staring at a mortgage payment for 30 years. Did you ever wake up in the middle of the night and your mind suddenly does something crazy like “Oh, hi! I see you’re awake. Here. I just added up the balance on all of your credit cards and your mortgage… I thought you’d be happy that I did that for you. Well, go ahead – go back to sleep.”

Sleep! Ah, sleep. Kids sleep ridiculously long hours. My son will wake up at three in the afternoon, a full thirty minutes before he needs to be AT WORK. Goes to work until maybe eleven at night and then goes back to sleep. Somewhere amidst all of that he eats Whoppers, Pizza and wings. I don’t always see him eat. I wake up to go to the bathroom about three times a night. Even more fantastic is the occasional #2 at three AM. What’s up with that? Does your body think – “well, we’re already in here anyway”. Then your brain is like “Well, since you’re here – do you remember that insurance payment that was due last Thursday? The one where they were going to cancel your policy if they didn’t get it in time? Did you mail it? Because I can’t remember. Well, get some sleep.”

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Food You Eat

Cold

Shitter’s Full

I’m cold today. I slept cold, then drove to work cold in a cold car and now my office is cold. It’s really hot out. I think it was 80 this morning. 100 today probably. I used to love summer, and I guess I do lover summer but I’m not a fan of sweating in 100 degree heat while trying to do something in the yard. Last night I was trimming rose bushes while helping my wife put down lawn fertilizer. Helping = Lifting the Bag. My gloves, while really great, are no match for thorns. I had to articulate them around carefully to avoid wounds. I threw all of the clippings in the chicken yard and the chickens didn’t seem to care if there were thorns or not.

It’s Wednesday. One more day left (tomorrow). Considering it’s only 8am, I guess two days. Then the weekend. So the guy never came to work on the house and I ended up finding a neighborhood guy to help me get up there and work on it. We were able to put a ladder on the top of the front porch and reach up to the second story. I really need to get a lift. Ah, a lift truck. You know what I should do? I should get a side job with a cable company and then I’d have my own bucket truck. That would work out. I’d help fix cable tv for old ladies during the afternoon and then I could work on my house at night. [Note to self]

I’ve gone a little vegan lately. Did I already post about this? I watched Forks Over Knives and well, really I was listening to the Change or Die audio book talking about Dean Ornish’ studies on heart disease. Dean Ornish did studies on people where you move to a complete vegan diet and you can reverse heart disease and other afflictions. He doesn’t call it vegan. Something else? Maybe all plant diet. Anyway, the idea is that in most all studies, a plant based diet will reverse heart disease. I stocked up on vegan sausage and burgers (both delicious to me, so that’s good), and I even found some vegan corn dogs – which are basically only a way to deliver mustard and ketchup – just healthier than the alternative. True vegans HATE when you mention all this processed stuff. “Oh, I ate nothing but fresh peaches for three years – and look at me!” – yeah, well. I’m for the vegan corn dog.

I used to know this old lady who had an oxygen tank with her and could barely get around. Then she died. I thought, that just maybe if she had exercised a little each day – built up a sort of resistance to old age? Maybe she could live longer. Honestly – you see guys who have strokes and heart attacks and they work SO hard to get back into shape. Trying and trying and trying to walk and then walking and then running. Meanwhile, a lot of semi-healthy people are sitting on their couches not doing anything. It’s a huge waste (and waist maybe).

We should all be out doing something every single day. Something beneficial to our lives to make us feel better. My wife got 17,000 steps yesterday working in the yard on her day off. I only got around 8,000 just from helping. She’s not slacking. I am probably slacking a little since I don’t think steps in Animal Crossing count towards my daily goal.

Weekend Update

Weekend Update

Weekend Update

Well, the guy never showed to work on the house. I also found out that my house is taller than my longest ladder so even if I had the courage to climb to the top of my ladder, I still can’t reach the house to work on it. Who buys such tall houses? I have a friend who has a living room that is open all the way up to the ceiling of the second floor. The means that whenever the light in the ceiling fan goes out – you have to call a guy and as I’ve seen, guys aren’t always the most reliable.

My ladder did, however, reach a tree and I was able to cut out some limbs. Even this task wasn’t easy because the limbs are directly over the power line leading to the house. No, the wires aren’t exposed and I’m not going to die from a shock, but I still have to maneuver the limbs around the wire so I don’t tear it off of the house. Success. Three limbs down. There is one more a little higher but it was already 95 degrees yesterday and I decided that I’d have enough.

I think I’m switching insurance companies. Mine is complaining that my house needs this thing fixed – hence the need for a guy. They say it could ‘fly off’ during a storm and then they don’t want to cover it. I don’t know why they just don’t set up a waiver for it. They didn’t cover it the last time it fell off and I didn’t make a claim on it. They also didn’t complain that it wasn’t there for years. YEARS! About three years ago I had a guy nail it back up and it’s loose. This guy is long gone. Steve Flybynite was his name. I found him on Facepalm. Him and some German lady showed up and did all the work and now I can’t get him to answer his phone. The guy I actually found to do the work – should he show up – is a spitting image of Cotton from King of the Hill.

Cotton

Acts like him. Walks like him. Talks like him. Just won’t show up to do any work. He didn’t even call back on Saturday. So now I’m at an em pass. I have to get the work done or switch insurance companies. I’d been thinking of switching anyway since it’s cheaper. That sounds win-win-win.

The two other accomplishments of the weekend was that I replaced my refrigerator filter for $10 instead of $50, but it still isn’t working. I called the warranty company and they’ll be out on Tuesday. I also managed to change the screen in the back door. It took three trips to the hardware store to get the correct screen and the cord to put around in, but it’s done so we can have the door open with the screen in-tact and the cats won’t get out. Another win.

Hope you all had a similar good weekend.

Get Motivated!

Off Friday

Friday Smells Good!

It’s Friday. I’m off work because we work four grueling days in the summer and get a day off. I can’t tell whether I’m a fan of that or not. I’m definitely a fan of three day weekends, but not the forty hours in four days prior. Here’s what’s going on, in no particular order:

Stranger Things – Season 3 Episode 3 – OMG! So I’ll try not to spoil anything for you, but I’ll say this. When El can go places in her mind to see what people are doing – it sounds fun when you are just checking on someone. But what if the person you check on is somewhere really bad?? I was freaking out a little watching this episode. So far, it’s turning into a great story line. I was worried the kids were too old, but no – it’s not an issue.

Burger King Tacos – I didn’t even know this was a thing until I saw a video of Carla Higgins trying it out. Then I watched a few more videos. Apparently, Burger King has decided that they want to conquer more than just the burger market, so they are branching out to tacos. The marketing worked. I ran by there this afternoon while I was out running errands and picked up one. They are a dollar. Mine was hideous. I don’t know if they are all like that, or just the one I bought, but if I had a choice between a dollar taco and a dollar burger, I think the burger would win. This was really crunchy and didn’t have a lot of flavor. I also wasn’t hungry. Maybe if I was starving it would taste better. Honestly, though, I’d already had a tantalizingly delicious lunch of Pollo Mexicano.

The guy working on my house still hasn’t shown up. I have to get some siding fixed so it doesn’t start rotting away and I called a company who referred a contractor guy. He kept trying to get over here but couldn’t. Then when he could I didn’t have the money, so I told him to hold off. Now I have the money and he’s supposed to come over. First yesterday, then today, and now he says tomorrow. It’s like those scenes from The Money Pit where the contractors always drive off in a fancy car leaving the home owner in a cloud of dust. If he doesn’t show up by tomorrow afternoon, I’m getting the ladder and some nails and taking it on myself.

I’m tired. I usually get up at 5am and leave for work by 6am. Today I woke up at 8am, but now it’s almost 4pm and I’m beat already. I think I was up late – later than normal certainly – we were watching Stranger Things. I also got into a bag of those orange candy slices, which may as well be called kryptonite since I can’t keep a bag of the damn things around me. I thought I was addicted to chocolate, but I’m pretty sure candy orange slices win.

The icemaker in the fridge isn’t working. It usually gets frozen up inside and then doesn’t get water. We called a guy once who basically thawed it all out so it would work again. Now we do it ourselves. Right now, though there isn’t any water at all in the fridge. Ice or water. I checked the hose on the back this morning and it’s getting water. It could be the filter. You know that water filter in the fridge? The one you are supposed to replace every 6 months? The one I’ve replaced once since we bought the refrigerator in 2007? Yeah, that one. I drove to Home Depot and found it and it’s $49.00. Ghastly! They had a two-pack off brand for $54. Both of those figures are high to me. I wanted to hold off until payday for any major purchases. While I was standing there lamenting, I Googled it and found one from Amazon for $10. $10… with a bunch of good reviews. Same damn model. So I ordered it – free shipping and it will be here tomorrow. Wait a day and save $40? Umm, okay.

Why is it that I have a two story house with an accessible attic, yet I have two cats that are either under my feet whenever I’m walking, or they are climbing all over my chair while I’m relaxing? The one who wasn’t fixed was constantly trying to get outside of the house to “meetup” with the boys. Now that she’s fixed, she’s stuck to my shoes like gum. This morning, I physically put her outside while I was working on the fridge because she wouldn’t get away from it. My brain was melting trying to keep her away from it.

We started watching a show on Hulu called “My 600# Life” – which documents people who weigh over 600 pounds and decide they need to lose it. I weigh around 260 and I feel like a fat slob sometimes, so I don’t know how you get to that point. You don’t just wake up weighing 640 pounds one morning. Like Louis Anderson said, it’s not like you call work “Hey! Yes, good morning. Remember how was I telling you that I almost couldn’t get out of the front door yesterday because of my weight? Well, guess what? Yeah. So I’ll be working from home today.” No, you work up to it. I guess it’s just like any other thing. You ignore it until one day it catches up with you. Like old, unpaid personal property taxes.

That’s about it – but isn’t that enough? Hope you have a great weekend!

Gaming

Guilty Pleasures – Animal Crossing

I don’t know that there is anything guilty about them. Okay, so I really enjoy playing Animal Crossing: City Folk on the Wii. When my son was little, as a family – we played Animal Crossing. Then he grew up and started playing with cars and working in the garage and now I’ve drifted back into my town and really enjoy it for the most part. I say “for the most part” only because while I’m fishing and keeping my flowers arranged, inevitably some animal “neighbor” will come up and want something. They’re a little needy to say the least – well, many of them. Some just give me stuff “Here, take this Exotic Sofa! It’s so out of fashion, I can’t stand it”, or “Here is a shirt I bought when I was drunk”. Stuff like that. However, others are always worried about their catch phrase. “I say Howdy! Do you think that’s weird? Can you help me pick out something else?” For a while I was picking anything from YeeHaa to Howdy to Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah. I later decided it probably didn’t matter. It’s not like they are going out while I’m not there and having conversations with people. I’ve started just putting my name for everything. Eventually, I’ll just hear my name constantly. That’s not horrible.

I know there is a new version coming out next year. New Horizons. The trailer for it looks good, but then I really liked the old Sim City – The first one. The one where you build it and just tend to it a little every so often and it self-sustains. The latest one wants you to build stuff and people are never happy. You have to get money and buy materials… ACK! I ain’t got no time for that. Just let me drop down a residential property and a good power station and I’m good. I can’t even find a copy of the old Sim City anymore. That was a great game.

Anyway. So Animal Crossing. I’ve found a lot of new bugs and fish lately. A slew of cicadas are out. My latest goal is planting flowers everywhere and I just donated a bunch of money to the town officials and they are talking about building a windmill where the lighthouse is. I’m up for that.

Maybe I’m getting ready for old age? If I’m going to be locked in an old folks home for the last part of my life – I’m going to have a good town to play in and a lot of Star Trek reruns to watch.

That's what he said

Life – Live It!

So, a couple of quick things. Every once in a while, I wake up in the middle of the night during a new moon and it’s so dark that I freak out a little. Freak out to the point that I have to get out of bed and go downstairs and sit on the couch. Because it’s too dark. It’s “Coffin” dark. As I get older, I’ve found that I have a terrific set of anxieties that I guess I never knew I had. I don’t like dentists. I specifically don’t like fillings. I don’t like laying back in a chair and wondering if I’ll be able to breathe after getting a shot of Novocaine. I don’t like tight spaces. I went under the house a few years ago – just like any other time. I’ve been from one end in the crawlspace to another. But a few years ago, I went under and I couldn’t get out fast enough. There was an episode of dirty jobs where he was crawling through some crevices in a cave and he got stuck. Between two huge boulders. Stuck. He’s like “Oh, I’m stuck” and he wriggles around until he is out. If that were me – I’d most certainly have died. I can imagine being stuck and it’s not fun. So then today, I started thinking about death. I’ll think about death only a little longer and then I’ll move on – so I won’t keep harping on it. But death. Can you imagine dying? Almost dying? Being dead? That’s the ultimate coffin experience. If you think you need anxiety meds to get an MRI – what’s it going to be like when the shadows start falling around you and you are walking towards the light? What if there’s no light? Chilling.

Okay – enough of all of that talk. And now, for something completely different! Back in the 70’s when I was in middle and high school, I used to listen to the radio every night. We had radio shows. It was probably a resurgence. It certainly wasn’t like in the 50’s or 40’s, where there was a whole dial of shows to listen to. No, this was just on one local AM station. Every night, they played “The CBS Radio Mystery Theater”. It was great. I’d lay in bed before going to sleep and hear stories from all over and so many different things. Some were scary – some made you think, but they were all good. A friend of mine is an old radio afficionado, so when he went to a meeting I asked him to look for some CD’s for me and he found me some from a show called The Sears Radio Theater – which had one of my favorite episodes ever called “Weekend Pass”. The show was hosted by Andy Griffith. Recently, I found that all of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater shows are online! I listen to them when I’m cooking or working – and they are so fun. Check them out!

CBS Radio Mystery Theater

Life... Live it!

Terminal Velocity and other fun facts

You really just never know what to expect. You can be trucking along with great momentum, working on a project either at work or around the house – and BOOM, a life-changing even occurs. This could be a sudden illness for yourself or a family member. It could be the death of a close friend or a family member. It could even be your own death.

I remember a few years ago, it was a normal June evening when a policeman came to my door to let me know my father had passed away. They were unable to get me on the phone. I followed him over to my dad’s house where I called the funeral home and started the arrangements – all in the wee hours of the night. I was working on some project at the time, as I was always at my job. But in an instant, you put all of that aside and you jump to the next level of responsibility and really, life. You make arrangements, call family and friends, etc. It seems almost like a dream looking back. Then you return to your job and your project and life goes on. Life just happens.

Likewise, one day I’ll be done also. I may or may not have any indication of my doom – it will just happen. My kid will have to do the same for me that I did for my parents. It seems overwhelming a little when you look at it from that angle. No one wants to think about death. In fact we often say things like, “I don’t know what I want to do when I finally grow up” – this is when you’re in your 50’s. We don’t see our mortality creeping around and stalking us. Don’t even think about it. I remember one of the guys in our Denver office bought a new webcam and set it up one Friday to take pictures of people visiting his desk. Sort of a montage of “Look who stopped by today” – except one oddity resulted. One ghost in the system – one of the ladies who stopped by didn’t come back to work on Monday. No. She died. Aneurysm. Just like that.

It’s almost hard to imagine that you’ll work really hard today, you’ll have some things you can’t finish and you make a list and say “I’ll do these tomorrow” or “I’ll finish this on Monday” – and then no tomorrow. No Monday. End of Story.