I Feel Busy But I’m Not Sure If I Actually Am

Song: “Soul Bossa Nova” by Quincy Jones

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

The last while has been interesting. I think I’ve been keeping pretty busy but I don’t have a lot to show for it. A couple of my projects are waiting for parts or consumables, which is a little more difficult now because the covid rules have us locked down pretty tight, and I’ve been having more trouble than usual motivating myself to start on something and then maintain focus once I’ve started. But there’s a lot going on, so my mind has been dancing all over the place I think.

I was also in a bit of a down for a while there, too. A friend of the family passed away, J’s job is coming to an end in two days, one of my uncles was back in the hospital with an infection and another had another tumour. The surgery I had back in September has undone itself so I need to get yet _another_ scan and _another_ surgery. My right hand isn’t working quite properly but I’m not sure if it’s because I’m still getting used to it after the elbow surgery, if I’m sleeping on it wrong, if it’s just going to take a while to get back to normal, or if there’s something else going on. A buddy of mine’s kid ran away from home a little while ago and is now spending most of his time high. I’m getting really tired of being fat. I’m really tired of people who think that wearing a mask is tantamount to to slavery. People who know me would agree that I’m a hermit, but even a hermit needs to get out and stretch their legs and say hi to people once in a while. And it doesn’t help that it gets dark at 4PM now, either.

But there’ve been good things, too. Both of my uncles are out of the hospital, and the one who had the tumour had it successfully lasered away so he’s already been back out at his cottage hunting with his daughter. I know I mentioned J’s job in the previous paragraph, but with all of the work she’s done lately and the ridiculousness that’s been happening there over the last while, I’m going to be very happy when it’s all done and she doesn’t need to worry about email or getting a text from someone asking her for help or to do something that’s not her job but she’ll do it anyway because nobody else can/will help and she’s a better person than I am.

I’m worried about what comes next but at the same time I’m kind of excited. J and I get along very well at home so that’s not a concern, but she’s concerned about what her next steps should be and there’s not much I can do for her except be here and be a sounding board.

Speaking of the hermit thing, I’m a little concerned about almost everyone I know because of how the lockdown is affecting things. I feel bad for the restaurants, stores, coffee shops, and other social places like concert halls and museums – once all this stuff is done and over with, the commercial and social landscape is going to look a lot different around here. But it’s not just the stores. My parents are climbing the walls at their house because they usually hang out with friends and go for walks and wander around stores. My mother-in-law can’t hang out with her quilt group or visit people. FA and DM can’t play any of their sports or enjoy their get-togethers with friends for brunch. J’s aunt can’t hang out with her friends or just go to a book store and wander around (which is something J really enjoys too). It’s just crappy all around, but it’ll get better.

I miss my friends, too. FA and DM, DA, WG… lots of folks out there I’d like to be able to visit with.

It also sucks that FA and I can’t hang out in person to shoot the breeze, eat burritos, and work on projects (and play with her dog). We’ve talked about setting up a video chat to hammer some project things out, and that would be good, but there’s nothing quite like arguing across a table covered in parts you can just pick up and wave in the air for emphasis. 🙂

Which reminds me… I had a phone appointment with the liver specialist a week or two ago. My liver is enlarged and its numbers aren’t quite right so my GP referred me (which I think is great). So since this was basically the introductory office visit (but over the phone), she asked me a bunch of questions about my habits and what was going on. Do I take drugs? Only the ones I’m prescribed. Do I smoke? Nope. Do I drink alcohol? Nope. Then: do I drink coffee.

Coffee? Merciful Neptune, no – that stuff’s disgusting!

I was feeling good about having another reason to not drink coffee when the doctor said that she wanted me to start drinking between one and three cups a day; apparently there is some correlation between drinking coffee and a reduction in liver damage from several causes.

The next day I had a phone appointment with my dietician. I asked her if there was anything that had the benefits of coffee but wasn’t disgusting. When I told her why I was asking, she said, “What? Seriously?”

A couple of days later, I had a phone appointment with Dr C. She asked me what was new (she’s a big proponent of making sure your body is ok along with your mind) and when I told her that I was supposed to start drinking coffee, she said, “What? Seriously?”

I spoke to my mom on the phone. When the liver and coffee stuff came up, she said, “What? Seriously?”

So yeah… J has been helping me get used to the stuff – I don’t like it because I don’t like hot drinks and I don’t like the taste of coffee at all – and we’re making some progress. I’m up to two cups a day now and I’m making progress and don’t feel like gagging while I’m drinking it now. Or not as bad, anyway. I need to let it cool down a bit before I can drink it, too. But there are some good things to me getting used to drinking some coffee during the day: there’s the whole liver thing, it also seems to help me finish rebooting faster in the mornings, and if I actually get to the point where I can tolerate it then there will be many more places where I can get free drinks. I was always the designated driver when I went to bars with friends, and coffee was always free but I had to pay for pop. Which is dumb. But there are coffee urns everywhere, so if I’m ever thirsty I can just stop in at a car dealership or a store or an accountant’s office or a faculty lounge at a university (one of the benefits of being old).

Otherwise, J and I have been watching more episodes of Bob’s Burgers (which is a hoot) and we’ve been playing Neverwinter online together. I think we spend more time talking and making fun of stuff than we do playing, but I think that’s part of what makes it so fun to hang around with her.

Anyway, this post has already gone on for a lot longer than I’d originally intended. I should try to get back into the habit of writing smaller posts more often than an enormous one every few weeks.

Stay safe.

I Haven’t Ran That Much In YEARS

Song: “Skyliner” by Charlie Barnet

Mood: 8

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Today was pretty fun. FA had an appointment in our part of town and DM was at work, so I got to do something I’ve never done before: dog sit!

I was a little nervous beforehand – our house is not what you’d call dog-proof, and I’m not even sure how to dog-proof some things, but J and I moved around and tidied up what we figured was some common sense stuff and I would be supervising the pup the entire time so we weren’t too worried.

FA stopped by with the dog and a brief hello, then hopped back in her car and zipped off to her appointment. I felt a little bad for the pup because she stood staring at the door her person had just left from.

But then I got out the treats and everything was fine. I showed her around the house and then we sat for a while in the living room. J and I bought a toy for her yesterday and when I gave it to her she didn’t quite get it until I made it squeak, then she was all over it and it lasted about 14 seconds before she’d already started pulling it apart and I took it away. Then we sat and talked for a little bit and she plopped down and leaned against me while I gave her scritches.

Then we went outside. I kept her on her long leash at first because while our yard is fenced, I’m not sure if it’s dog-escape-proof. Our yard isn’t large but we went over every last square millimeter of it, sniffing away at all kinds of stuff, only pausing in that to jump up and give chase to a squirrel.

Then I got her attention with a fake chew bone (it had peanut butter in it) and I spent time scritching her ears again while she played with that. By this point I was feeling more comfortable about taking off her leash because just crinkling the treat bag slightly would get her attention instantly and she’d trot back over to me and give me puppy dog eyes.

Who’s a good doggy? My goodness, who’s a good doggy?

Picture of dog sitting on the grass, giving me puppy dog eyes for a treat.


Then – for reasons that escape me right now – I thought it would be a great idea to play chase-catch-wrestle, so there I went, running around the yard like a maniac, waving my arms and making whooping sounds. Any neighbours or people walking by probably think I’ve lost my mind – with the fence, they wouldn’t be able to see the dog – only my head and arms waving as I ran back and forth around the yard. She was good at keeping up, and I think she enjoyed it because her tail was wagging pretty good. Then I’d heave myself down to the ground and (gently) wrestle with her for a minute or two, but she mostly just rolled over to get belly rubs, for which I was happy to oblige.

Filled up a little container with water and she drank a bit, then we ran around the yard some more. And some more. And then some more. It was good fun, and I haven’t ran that much or that fast in a loooong time. FA and DM have been working on some commands, so I figured I’d see if we could try that, too. “High-five” ended up with me getting knocked on my butt by two paws in my face, but she’s getting pretty great at “sit”.

And what fun is looking after someone’s pet (or child, for that matter) if you can’t spoil it? I was splitting the treats in half but we still went through quite a few of them, but it was for a good reason – we practiced catching treats out of the air. She let the first couple of them bounce off her head but then she started to get the hang of it.

I’d had several plans for activities but they kind of all went out the window when she seemed to enjoy scampering around outside. And after what seemed like only half an hour, J and FA showed up at the same time and the three (four) of us had a good little chat outside. We showed off the tricks we worked on, ran around a little bit more, then FA and I took the pup on a short walk around the block before they got into their car and headed out.

It was fun! I’ve never done that before, but I’d be happy to do it again sometime. I’m going to be sore tomorrow but hey – a bit of exercise for an old fat guy isn’t a bad thing, right? I also really appreciated DM and FA trusting me with their dog, and J (as always) was fantastic with boosting my confidence and helping me prepare for a little furry guest.

There’s other stuff going on too, but it will have to wait for another post – I just looked at the time and I REALLY need to get to bed.

Stay safe.

To My American Friends

Today is going to be a strange day. I hope you and your family and friends all get to where you need to be safely, and you can spend your evening comfortable at home doing something that makes you happy.

Stay safe.