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The Opposite of Aging Gracefully

Posted on March 22nd, 2024

Dave!This morning I was looking through some photos posted by an old friend. Among the photos was one which included a woman I dated for a bit. She looks... incredible.

Meanwhile... I look like what happens when sour cream sits out too long. And then explodes.

Whatever that gene is which causes people to look better with age is the gene that I have the opposite of. Which wouldn't be so bad if I didn't feel like I'm falling apart. Except I totally do. Yesterday morning I bent over to pick up some toys that Jake dragged downstairs and almost didn't make it back upright. I think that if I hadn't taken a couple Advil, I probably wouldn't have made it through the rest of my day. At all.

A part of me thinks that I should take up yoga or pilates or something. Except that may very well be the death of me, so maybe sitting on the couch and watching TV while eating potato chips is the better move?

I'm thinking yes.

At least until I throw my back out reaching for a chip.

Which may be painful, but at least I get a potato chip out of the deal. The same can't be said for yoga or pilates.

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Give Me All You Got, Doc

Posted on March 18th, 2024

Dave!Today at my doctor appointment, I asked for ALL THE VACCINES! I figure science has given us these gifts from God, so I might as well accept them. Alas, all he had for me was the TDAP blend update, which I am very happy to get, seeing as how whooping cough is making its way through the valley. Again. Other than that, my doctor said I should get the shingles vaccine even though I never had chickenpox. So I am absolutely doing that.

Sadly, I have everything else he recommends. Which is a bummer given how many people are skipping vaccines, and I'm sure polio and all that other crap we had virtually eliminated are most certainly coming back. God. How stupid are we as a society?

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i need a vacation

Posted on March 15th, 2024

A shitty end to a shitty week.


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The Kleenex of Clothing

Posted on February 27th, 2024

Dave!Today was cold so I wore two shirts. A long-sleeve Eddie Bauer blue henley that I've had for at least a decade. On top of that I wore a short-sleeve St. John's Bay light green cotton button-up that I've had for close to two decades. Sure they look weird together, but they're some of my favorite pieces of clothing.

But the blue long-sleeve T has the elbows ripped out and a couple small holes in it... and the short-sleeve shirt has several holes, one of which is too big to repair. And so when I change into a T-shirt for bed, I'll be throwing them in the garbage, like I should have done years ago. But I held onto them because, despite the tears and holes, they were very well made. Now-a-days you're lucky if a shirt will last two years. Everything is made with thin, fragile cloth and not built to last. Clothing is made like Kleenex because they want you to throw it out and buy more ASAP.

What's a few holes when compared to that? These shirts are stronger with holes in them than new shirts are fresh off the rack.

At one time I thought I would just sew my own and use good-quality materials... but sewing shirts takes longer than you'd think. It also takes skills that are not easy to master. The obvious solution is to just pay the money for clothes that will last, and I'm perfectly willing to do that. But finding them is difficult. I'm (obviously) not somebody who's into high fashion, but most of the tougher clothes I can find in tall sizes are made for construction workers and lumberjacks. Not exactly looks I can pull off very well.

And so... goodbye my faithful shirts. You did a good job these many years.

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Warm Pita Bread and Rory

Posted on February 26th, 2024

Dave!I had such grand ambitions for dinner tonight.

But my Monday was so exhausting that I just didn't have the energy to cook anything. So I'm having a hot dog, warmed pita bread, and roasted red pepper hummus while watching Rory Scovel's new HBO special (just like I promised I would yesterday... I'm a man of my word!)...

Rory Scovel doing his comedy thing.

The dude has always been funny in a kinda everyman-average-guy-sorta-way, but he's disturbingly good-looking now. He's got a nice haircut (with highlights?) and he's dressed very well. He's totally put together compared to other appearances I've seen from him, which I am not used to seeing.

The special itself, Religion, Sex and a Few Things In Between is actually very good. I don't want to say that it's more mature and refined... this is Rory we're talking about... but it does seem as though he's scaling back on the "wacky" enough to build a stronger rapport with the audience and court a new level of success. No more schleppy Member's Only jacket hiked up to his armpits with his shirt hanging out (which is what his last Netflix Special was about). Nope. Rory got himself a stylist!

But anyway...

After this I'm off to bed. Not necessarily to sleep... I'm not that lucky... but I will be attempting to rest.

Because I'm guessing tomorrow is going to be even more exhausting.


My Relationship with My Toilet is Not Complicated

Posted on February 16th, 2024

Dave!I read a bullshit article where millionaire Barbara Corcoran was reinforcing the old adages "Money doesn't buy happiness" and "Money makes relationships complicated"... which is what people with money have been telling people without money since the dawn of time. Because that way they don't feel bad about not sharing their hoarded wealth to make other people's lives better.

Get fucked, Barbara.

I've lived with a toilet and glass shower doors sitting in my hallway for 6 months while I've saved up the money to have my bathroom put back together (after the first contractor did shitty work that caused a leak). I would be far, far happier if I could just throw money at my problems and have them solved instantly. My relationship with my toilet would not be more "complicated" because I have money...

Jenny looking at the toilet and glass doors in my hallway.

Holy shit do I detest deplorable assholes like this. You can enjoy your immense wealth and be happy about it while shutting the fuck up and not lying to people because you have an agenda to keep the working class under your thumb. NOBODY is buying it. Barbara even says that she "isn't giving the money back" so what the fuck is she even on about?

But anyway... first I had to pay to have the old shower demolished because that's where they said the leak was coming from...

My shower torn out.

Except... that wasn't where the leak was coming from. My tile guy figured that out when he decided to pull the toilet because he couldn't see where any leaks from the shower that got ripped out. Thousands upon thousands of dollars wasted FOR NOTHING. But at least my tile guy did a much better job of rebuilding my new shower than what I had before...

Remainder of the old shower ripped out.

New shower board and pan put in.

New tile going up.

Shower doors are installed.

Now that the glass doors were out of my hallway, I had to save the money for the ACTUAL leak under the toilet to be repaired...

Glass doors gone, toilet still there.

Which resulted in yet ANOTHER hole being put into my home so they could replace the pipe and flange going to the toilet...

Hole in my ceiling. Again.

Shockingly... despite the wood being continuously soaked and pools of water forming on the ducts (which left behind a lot of mineral scale) there's no mold to be found...

New pipe!

And now I have a toilet...


But I'm not done yet. Monday I have an electrical install. And then I need to have all the drywall repaired once I have the money saved. So that will be expensive fun. Because apparently home repairs NEVER END.


Love Languages

Posted on February 15th, 2024

Dave!I love languages almost as much as I love travel.

I watch a lot of videos and follow a lot of accounts which talk about languages, so "The Algorithm" is constantly feeding me more language content. Which just goes to show that it's not all bad, because cool stuff like this is what I want to see on the internet...

This guy is awesome! I love people who know things.

I missed two on the list. The same one he did #10 (which I wouldn't have thought of, even with three strikes available) and #9... which I should have thought of, but I didn't because I wasn't thinking of the other countries that also speak it (which is silly because I absolutely knew this).

For somebody who loves languages as much as I do, you'd think that I speak a slew of them. You'd think wrong, unfortunately. But it's not for lack of trying...

  • German. My great grandmother spoke German, so I thought it would be fun to learn how to speak it. This would be in Middle School, and I have long since forgotten all but the basics, which is sad because I've been to Germany a lot.
  • Spanish. Studied it in high school. I still use a bit from time to time, but to say "I speak Spanish" would be a gross overstatement. I dabble. And I can understand it being spoken far easier than trying to speak it myself.
  • Japanese. I studied it because I love Japanese cartoons and comics and wanted to try and understand Japanese language and culture so that the anime/manga would be more enjoyable. This was an off-and-on endeavor during high school. But then became an obsession when I started traveling to Japan for work and to see friends I had made. For a while in the early 90's I was fairly fluent. I could hold my own in a basic conversation so long as people weren't speaking too fast. Now-a-days? I have a tough time remembering much of anything. A lot of words, but grammar has gone right out the window.
  • French. I loved the idea of being able to speak French, but it was way past my ability to grasp. Five or six months before my second trip to Paris, I did nothing but listen to Pimsleur language tapes. It was a wasted effort. I managed to speak basic phrases and be understood, but it never really gelled, and my comprehension was awful so I gave up. On the plus side the French people, who have a reputation for being "rude," were incredibly nice and supportive of my feeble efforts in mangling their lovely language. I never met a single French person who was anything but kind to me.
  • Italian. I started studying Italian once my Japanese was pretty good. I wanted a second language and thought it might be an easier alternative to French. My passion for visiting Italy and eating Italian food sealed the deal. It was nice to be able to have basic conversational skills (especially the three times I took my mom) but I didn't use it enough to really have it take 'hold.
  • Swedish. For my first trip to Sweden, I studied really, really hard to learn the language. I had this fantasy that I would be all cool and be able to chat up hot Swedish women. I tried it out on some friends I was meeting and was immediately told "English is fine, please don't do that." Because of course their English was better than mine. I think I remember maybe five words.
  • Portuguese. During the time I spent visiting Spain (5 times in 6 years), it was always my goal to tag on a trip to Lisbon. And so I did. I wanted to have a little bit of Portuguese in my head so I could enjoy it more, and studied quite a lot. Alas, the people I tried to speak to had zero interest in entertaining me. They'd even pretend to not understand me... even when I was certain that I was pronouncing everything correctly. I gave up on that real quick.
  • Russian. After visiting countries like Poland and Romania where I was at a serious disadvantage by not knowing any of the language (English is not as ubiquitous as in other European countries), I decided that I would study Russian before a planned trip to St. Petersburg in 2013. I was not going to mess up an architectural dream-trip by not being able to communicate. So for nine months I studied. Which was insanely difficult because Russian, which I was told would be easier than Japanese, is not a simple language for Westerners to wrap their head around. But I pushed through and... had a visa problem and only made it as far as Helsinki. St. Petersburg would have to wait. Then, eight years later, I had a work opportunity where knowing Russian would be helpful so I started looking at it again. I'm far from fluent because... well, unless you're born speaking it, Russian is just next-level tough. But I have built a bit of a vocabulary and am not entirely helpless, so that's nice. I'm probably going to stick with it for a while because the difficulty gives my brain a workout and can hopefully keep me sharp in my declining years.

And that's it. Studied a lot, know nothing. The story of my life, really.

If I had tons more time to spare and the brainpower to handle it, I'd love to learn Mandarin. That seems as if it would be a real door-opener when it comes to work projects. And of course visiting India is still sitting on my bucket list, so learning Hindi would also be nice. Realistically, however? English, a smattering of Japanese, and Russian is probably it for me.


Inflatable Patch Kit, Anyone?

Posted on February 14th, 2024

Dave!I'm too tired to have a happy Valentine's Day.

Which is just as well because my blow up doll is leaking air.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Good luck out there everybody.


Self Care Deep Cuts

Posted on February 8th, 2024

Dave!"I GUESS MY CUT WILL BE SHORTER THAN USUAL!" — Me. After I dropped the #3 hair clipper guard, broke it, and had to switch to a #2 guard.

"WELL THAT'S UNFORTUNATE!" — Me. After my hair clippers died half-way through the haircut I was giving myself.

"DON'T PANIC! YOUR GRANDFATHER WAS A BARBER, SO YOU GOT THIS!" — Me. As I attempted to use scissors to even out my haircut.

"THIS ISN'T GOING WELL AT ALL!" — Me. After I realized that I am making matters far worse trying to scissor-cut my hair.

"I MAY ACTUALLY HAVE TO SHAVE MY HEAD NOW!" — Me. After an hour of making my head look like I stuck it in a blender.

"DON'T LOOK, GRANDPA! DON'T LOOK AT ME! THE SHAME! THE SHAME!" — Me. After giving up completely.

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Hard at Work or Hardly Working?

Posted on January 31st, 2024

Dave!I don't mind working. Honestly, I don't. My job is tough, time-consuming, and demanding, but it's also satisfying, and I love that my assorted skills and talents are put to good use. So, yeah, I've been a hard worker my entire life, I put everything I have into the job, and I'm okay with it. I'm not saying this because I'm expecting a medal or I'm waiting for somebody to hand me a cookie... it's just a window into my mindset for this post.

That being said...

I don't want to be working ten to fourteen hours a day, seven days a week when I'm 80.

And yet, it's looking like that could be a very real possibility. The government is likely going to increase the retirement age (again), and it's understandable. People are living longer, so they have to work longer or else there won't be any money available. I get that. But it probably doesn't matter. Despite promises to the contrary, if piece of shit pig fucking Republican lawmakers have their way, you won't get any Social Security anyway (despite being forced to pay into it your entire working life). Which means you'll be fucked if you stop working regardless.

The weight of thinking about that has been crushing me lately.

It's never, ever going to end.

  • I never wanted for anything I needed growing up, but in order to buy the "cool jeans" and extra things I wanted, I took Summer jobs and worked after school.
  • I worked multiple jobs and untold hours to get out of the debt I ran up in college.
  • I worked extra hours whenever I could to be able to afford to go on vacations.
  • I volunteered for charity work mostly because I want to do some good in the world... but also because I could expense food and tack on a few days vacation to the places I had to travel. That way I didn't have to buy as many groceries or pay for plane travel (just my hotel and food for the extra time outside of work).
  • While caring for my mom, I worked my main job from home and took on any extra work I could get... from freelance design to proofreading... so I could help pay for her care and get a safe home for her.
  • When my mom had to move to a care facility, I worked an extra job so she could get into a better place and I could buy what niceties I could afford for her so she'd have the best life she could under the circumstances.
  • And of course I had to find extra work so I could afford to fix all the problems with my home.

COVID shut down my volunteer work... and my job at work changed so I don't have time for other jobs now... but I'm still working hard. And that's good. Like I said, I want to work hard to make my way in the world and be able to afford a few fun things in my life. Nobody is going to throw millions of dollars at me, so hard work is the only way it's going to happen.

But holy shit I don't want to be working like this at 80.

I need something to look forward to in my sunset years.

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