Yesterday, Thursday, I missed work because of a flare-up.
I wasn’t able to write because of my health.
It’s been a year and about two weeks since I caught covid, which became long covid. I have been fortunate that I have been slowly recovering. Recovery is being able to do physical tasks at work, grinding weed, and making joints on the knock machine, for hours or in a shift. Both of these require you to be on your feet and move around. While primarily small movements in a small space, the exercise adds up. I would compare it to cooking professionally.
Before covid, I could do this work a whole shift, and while I would be tired, I could go home and do other stuff without being completely wiped out. These days, my body feels like a cell phone with an old battery. I’m alright with average tasks, but I do something straining and need to rest (recharge). The past few times I have pushed myself, I had to take days off work to recover and sleep. The exhaustion and fatigue don’t match the activities I did to cause it. I have discovered that too many mental activities can cause the same exhaustion.
Even though I am recovering and can do more, I must stay home and rest some days.
When I wake up, my body feels heavy, and it’s hard to move; I can’t think clearly, and I feel exhausted despite getting 8-9 hours of solid sleep… I know I have to stay home. It’s like being high and drunk without any benefits, and you’ve just come home after a 16-hour shift and went to the gym for a hard workout. But right as you woke up.
I have reached a point where I can go to work some days despite not feeling the greatest. I’m debating that now, Friday, as I write this post.
I’m struggling to put words together because of brain fog. Concentrating is difficult, and the harder I do, the more my head hurts, and I become spacey. I don’t have as much full-body inflammation as yesterday, and my joints aren’t painful, but it’s enough to feel like I’m dragging an anchor around just doing my regular routine.
I am like an older cellphone with an old battery, like my current phone. Some tasks, such as watching videos, will drain the battery quickly, and some things cause it to slow down or freeze. While I’ll be able to install a new battery on my phone and change the charging port, I can’t do this with my body and this chronic illness.
So, I’ll continue managing my energy, eating better, getting extra rest, and making adjustments with the help of my doctor and specialists.
Maybe I’ll recover by next year at this rate? I hope so.
Once upon a time, Baked Alaska was known for a Baked-Frozen dessert from the oven. Twice upon a time in 2023, an hour later, the eater is baked again.
This is the story of a failed dessert that became something else. Sometimes failure leads to success because you don’t give up. This failure became a success due to experience and practice.
This is the first time in my life that I’ve made Baked Alaska, and this second dessert.
It is Sunday evening on January 15th, 2023, as I write this post’s first draft of this recipe. On Friday after work, I am bringing a cannabis-infused Baked Alaska as a dessert to a company potluck. The potluck is at the pot company I work at. Which is a potluck party I am spearheading. To make this a little easier on myself, I’ll be covering a recipe of Baked Alaska in the style of a Let’s Play video, but for cooking.
Baked Alaska, also known as Bombe Alaska, omelette norvégienne, omelette surprise, or omelette sibérienne depending on the country, is a dessert consisting of ice cream and cake topped with browned meringue. The dish is made of ice cream placed in a pie dish, lined with slices of sponge cake or Christmas pudding, and topped with meringue. The entire dessert is then placed in an extremely hot oven for a brief time, long enough to firm and caramelize the meringue but not long enough to begin melting the ice cream.
“A Let’s Play (LP) is a video (or screenshots accompanied by text) documenting the playthrough of a video game, often including commentary and/or a camera view of the gamer‘s face. A Let’s Play differs from a video game walkthrough or strategy guide by focusing on an individual’s subjective experience with the game, often with humorous, irreverent, or critical commentary from the gamer, rather than being an objective source of information on how to progress through the game. While Let’s Plays and live streaming of game playthroughs are related, Let’s Plays tend to be curated experiences that include editing and narration, and can be scripted, while streaming is an unedited experience performed on the fly.“
This is a Let’s cook, the story of making Baked Alaska for a work potluck.
I’m adding a twist to this classic dessert by making the cake infused with cannabutter, which will bake the eater a second time. Thus the name, Twice Baked Alaska.
The cannabutter will be from this recipe I wrote back in December of 2022 and can be read here:
Twice Baked Alaska cake
For this classic recipe, ill be using a spiced version of a basic vanilla cake, homemade banana gelato, and Italian meringue for the topping. Usually, this dessert is baked in an oven with the ice cream mounded over the cake like a mountain, which is then covered in a layer of whipped meringue. Since I cannot cook this at work, I changed the meringue to a cooked, Italian-style version. Then, I can toast the outside layer of the meringue with a cooking torch right before serving.
I’ll be switching things up a bit by leaving the frozen gelato in a large pyrex pan, the same size as the cake.
This is the first time I have made Baked Alaska before, that I can remember. I have made cakes, ice creams, and meringues rarely.
This is a multi-day project, and I’ve been cooking it in parts. Wednesday morning, I made the spiced-edible cake. Wednesday night before the party, as I write this, I’m cooking the gelato. The key to ice cream is to slowly cool it after cooking, then churn it. It takes about a day and a half to gain the smooth texture and desired frozen state.
(my recipe for ice cream needs a dairy-free, sugar-free update
On a taste test of the batter, I thought that the weed flavor from the cannabutter (or Ganjagarine)
I failed in the making of the banana Gelato.
The ice cream or gelato was frozen solid like a sheet of ice. The banana gelato was more a frozen sorbet or flushed than ice cream. Which is a major problem for Baked Alaska. One needs a pliable ice cream that can be cut with a knife.
I figured that with the little time I had before the party, it was time to adjust to what I had, and I proceeded into the future with that. It wasn’t too late to change this into something else. I had the training and confidence in myself to make this happen. So, I had to abandon my idea of Baked Alaska. There was no way this sheet of banana custard ice would work for Baked Alaska.
The only blade that could cut this sheet of ice?
Okay, so it is possible to eat after thawing the edges of the frozen piece, but I had to chisel off pieces like icebergs to eat the (essentially) Banana popsicle.
Sometimes, you make mistakes and have to adjust on the fly.
For years, whenever I made a mistake, I would guilt trip and shame myself by ruminating on it for far longer than the event that led to it. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned that making mistakes is an indicator of growth and not a thing to be ashamed of. Making mistakes isn’t something I am, but a step in growth. To fail is natural. There is no growth without mistakes.
In my case, in this situation, this means that I have to change the recipe to achieve the results that I want: To bring a tasty dessert worthy of my talents to the potluck party.
As a recovering people pleaser, as a man struggling to break imperfection-type habits, I struggle with being okay with a “Good enough” lifestyle. Perfection is impossible. Good enough is enough to move towards the life you want. Nobody is perfect, and everyone is a work in progress. I’ll take making a mistake over doing nothing and living in regret.
I looked in my cupboards to see what I could make into another dessert with the finished spiced cake. I decided on Tres Leches because I had almond milk and, maybe, a can of coconut milk.
Presenting Dos-Dose Leches cake. Or Two doses (weed and bourbon) of “milk” cake. This is a vegan two-milk cake, double-infused “Tres Leches” cake. I happened to have a can of coconut cream on hand, and with Almond milk, this became a vegetarian version. This uses sugar instead of the monkfruit sweetener because I didn’t have enough for this recipe.
1T ground cinnamon & 1 T ground nutmeg to dust the whipped cream for garnish.
Combine spices, salt, and monkfruit sweetener in a 2qt measuring cup. Stir to distribute dry goods.
Pour the “wet goods” on the dry goods, and whisk them together, so everything is combined.
Wait 5 minutes for the sugars to emulsify with the dry. Stir with a whisk to ensure the dry spices and sweeteners are evenly distributed through the almond milk and coconut cream. (aka the fats/liquids)
Once the sauce is mixed, poke holes in the top of the cake with a fork, then slowly pour half of the liquid over the top surface of the cake. Wait an hour or two until the cake has absorbed the liquid, and pour the rest over it. Wait another two hours, and the cake is ready to eat. It takes several hours for the liquid to be absorbed, ideally overnight.
I didn’t have time to pick up the non-dairy whipped product from the store. The party began before I ever had time to clock out or set up the party in the room I wanted to, so this is the result:
Somehow it all worked out. The cake tasted amazing, without any weed flavor.
The cannabis edible portion was substantial, and in the future (if) I make this again, I’ll cut the amount in half. I don’t like being high for 8 hours. I had to wait out the high until 3 am to drive home safely. While I stayed at the potluck until about 8 or 9, I waited out the rest by napping in my car.
While I’ll do that every time to never drive under the influence, I’d rather not put myself in those situations.
I have some things to think about this week.
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Tomorrow after work, we’re having a Potluck Party.
A Potluck at a pot company. Couldn’t pass up this pun. Lol.
This is a a party that I’ve been leading as I proposed the event. It started as a holiday potluck, but changed to a general potluck after rescheduling to mid January so everyone could attend, and to limit the risk of spreading or catching covid after the holidays.
I’m bringing two dishes to it, which will be recipe posts next week. One: Twice-baked Alaska and braised greens. I also wanted a 30-day advent calendar with weed as the prize each day, but… I’ve been too tired after work and spread myself too thin organizing the party. My duties at work have changed in the past month and turned to much more physical tasks of knocking joints and, much more often, grinding weed.
Being able to knock joints or grind weed is a massive step in progress. For long stretches last year, I would not have been able to do these for half or more of a shift. I would compare it to the physical and mental focus that working as a cook in a restaurant requires. One needs physical energy, being able to stand on your feet for hours of the day, attention to detail, checking for quality and speed, and focusing on repetitive tasks for hours.
Despite the tight time before and after work to cook this week, despite my worry about catching covid in a small space –though it will be required that everyone take a covid test and have a negative result–, despite the stress and exhaustion I’m feeling… It will be all worth it once it’s party time. Then I can relax and enjoy myself like I did at the company Halloween party.
I’ll be doing my part to see that not too many people are in the trim room getting food to mitigate exposure risk.
Well, this short post is all I have time for this week.
This week marks 1 year since I caught covid, which became Long Covid.
Song of the post: Virus by Del The Funky Homosapien · Dan The Automator · Kid Koala on Deltron 3030.
Lat year in 2022, during the Omnicron Surge in the middle of January, I caught covid at work.
It may seem strange that I am giving my catching covid an anniversary… The concept is most known for getting married, being at a job, or being a marker of success for relationship longevity. Since I have read The body keeps the score, I’ve learned that those under the effects of PTSD can hold up traumatic events. Between catching covid, living in a pandemic, and still randomly suffering from long covid, it’s no wonder I’m feeling off today.
I caught covid at a pizza party I threw after my first week as a department manager. While everyone then was wearing masks, and to my recollection, the majority wearing kn95s… I could have been safer and limited how many people with masks down were getting food in our small breakroom. Masks are useless if they are pulled down when people are eating. It didn’t help that the space where I set up the pizza was in our work breakroom, which is tiny and has poot airflow (still). I probably should not have brought the leftovers home and eaten them later. (Even if I did reheat and store them properly, that was too risky.)
I should have been more persistent in getting the booster shot then. I was not boosted because demand was so high in my area.The new covid booster had just become available in December 2021. Nowhere I called or looked had open appointments. The only way I could have received it was to drive to every pharmacy and wait until it closed, after work, for there to maybe be an extra shot.
Now that I think of it, I could have died if I did not have the original vaccine series.
Other factors that didn’t help:
A) I was exhausted by keeping up with safety after 2 years;
B) I wanted to treat everyone at work to pizza (people pleasing);
C) to that point in time, we had not had a work party, and I had barely socialized with anyone outside my immediate social circle.
20 minutes with my mask down/off to eat pizza in a closed space with many people, during peak covid infections was all it took.
This short post below I wrote in the middle of it when I was home sick.
Since it’s going on year 3 of the pandemic, let’s review what catching covid feels like
To begin with, I am not a Doctor. I am a blogger. This list is from the CDC:
I would add symptoms: Feeling so tired that you can’t focus or do anything but rest, confusion, rapid or slow heartbeat, and the worst fever you have ever had.
If you are sick and suspect it is covid, STAY HOME. The U.S. government is giving away free covid tests here. If you test positive, stay home for 14 weeks. 5 days with a mask is not long enough. Even going to work with a mask on is like having a loaded gun where your mouth is. even if the safety is on, it’s still loaded. A loaded gun that is pointing at others. Your mouth doesn’t have a safety switch, and people make mistakes.
Don’t risk your health. Take your time to recover and prevent the spread to others, please.
Do you really want to put your health in the hands of the American healthcare system?
A reminder on how to properly wear a mask:
This is what the symptoms of Long Covid are
AS is currently understood by science and those suffering from it. Research is underway to treat Long Covid and how it attacks the body.
“Long COVID (sometimes referred to as ‘post-acute sequelae of COVID-19’) is a multisystemic condition comprising often severe symptoms that follow a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. At least 65 million individuals around the world have long COVID, based on a conservative estimated incidence of 10% of infected people and more than 651 million documented COVID-19 cases worldwide1; the number is likely much higher due to many undocumented cases. The incidence is estimated at 10–30% of non-hospitalized cases, 50–70% of hospitalized cases2,3 and 10–12% of vaccinated cases4,5. Long COVID is associated with all ages and acute phase disease severities, with the highest percentage of diagnoses between the ages of 36 and 50 years, and most long COVID cases are in non-hospitalized patients with a mild acute illness6, as this population represents the majority of overall COVID-19 cases. There are many research challenges, as outlined in this Review, and many open questions, particularly relating to pathophysiology, effective treatments and risk factors.
Hundreds of biomedical findings have been documented, with many patients experiencing dozens of symptoms across multiple organ systems7 (Fig. 1). Long COVID encompasses multiple adverse outcomes, with common new-onset conditions including cardiovascular, thrombotic and cerebrovascular disease8, type 2 diabetes9, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)10,11 and dysautonomia, especially postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)12 (Fig. 2). Symptoms can last for years13, and particularly in cases of new-onset ME/CFS and dysautonomia are expected to be lifelong14. With significant proportions of individuals with long COVID unable to return to work7, the scale of newly disabled individuals is contributing to labour shortages15. There are currently no validated effective treatments.”
Long covid is considered a disability under the ADA:
“This guidance explains that long COVID can be a disability under Titles II (state and local government) and III (public accommodations) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),3 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504),4 and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 1557).5 Each of these federal laws protects people with disabilities from discrimination.6 This guidance also provides resources for additional information and best practices. This document focuses solely on long COVID, and does not address when COVID-19 may meet the legal definition of disability.
The civil rights protections and responsibilities of these federal laws apply even during emergencies.7 They cannot be waived.”
As I work on this post on 1/8/23, I am waiting to see if The Seattle Seahawks NFL team will make it into the actual NFL playoffs. They came into the day with an 8-8 record, tied with the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions for the 7th seed in the NFC division playoff race. While all three franchises have a season record of 8-8, only 1 team can make it in with one game for each to play. Due to the tiebreaking procedure, The Seahawks have to win today, and The Packers have to lose or tie with the Lions for the Seahawks to advance to the postseason. The Seahawks will advance because they won in week four of the regular season with a 48-45 Victory.
Seven teams in the NFC and AFC Conferences make it into the NFL playoffs. They are called seeds, and the number is determined by season record. The top seed has the best record, and it gets interesting with tie-breaking procedures, but the remaining six are organized after that by second to seventh-best records in their respective conference. Teams play each other at least once in their forum and twice if in the same division… Which decides the majority of potential tie breaks.
After a wild game that went into overtime, The Seahawks won! Now, I and every Seahawks fan are praying that The Packers Lose or Tie on the last game of the regular season.
This result is one that many experts in the preseason did not predict. The Greenbay Packers were expected to easily make it into the postseason because they have Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers who won the Most Valuable Player Award in 2020 and 2021 and has long been one of the best players in the League. His team, The GreenBay Packers, has been a perennial playoff team almost every year of his long career with them. Last year the Packers made it to the NFC championship game, one before the Superbowl.
The Seahawks and Lions were expected to team build for the future, with lots of rookie players and a few veterans. Sometimes, the coaching is excellent, the players selected in the NFL draft by the team General Manager are talented, a great fit with the staff, and the roster already has some talented veterans. Every year a player can break out, such as quarterback Geno Smith of the Seahawks, who became a top 5 player after being a backup player most of his career. He said this fantastic quote after a stellar performance in game one of the Season against star quarterback Russell Wilson of the Denver Broncos… Who was the starting QB from 2012 until March 2022, when he was traded after the relationship between him and the Seahawks became contentious.
The year before, Geno Smith was the Seahawks’ backup to Russell Wilson. One year later, after a massive trade, he beat out everyone else in training camp and proved to be the guy going forward.
This is why the players play the sport. This is why as a fan, it’s entertaining to watch games. Because you don’t know how it will go until they play.
While the records of these real-life teams are not relevant to Fantasy Football… The individual players’ performance is. The playoff teams are usually the top defenses, which are a part of Fantasy Football. (Each team’s defense has a player slot in the lineup in our league).
Ironically, these records are relevant later in this post to the work fantasy football league playoffs I have written about before and the focus of this post.
More on this below…
I present the conclusion of this series about my time with my work Fantasy Football League. This post is about the Fantasy Football playoffs.
This post is the conclusion of a three-part series. The other two parts are linked below.
You can plan your team and research players, matchups, and min-max all you want, but in the end, your team’s fate and the performance of each player are determined by real-life game performances by the NFL players. Sometimes you get lucky, and a non-star player has a huge game. Sometimes you aren’t; the player gets injured, or the opposing team’s defense clicks that game and doesn’t allow them to perform well. In the worse case, your player doesn’t do well and gets injured. On rare occasions, something happens in real life that affects both teams playing. It’s the rarest of rare events that nobody can see coming. The most stochastic, the most random of events… Life.
For the most part, you can rely on star players. It’s why in the NFL, they are paid millions of dollars a year to play a sport. They have rare physical and elite football knowledge. These are athletes that train their entire lives to reach the NFL. In fantasy, it’s why they have a high value, according to the game creators. But it is gambling.
In the end, it’s random.
The first thing to know about the NFL postseason is that, typically, your season is over once you lose. Your record to that point doesn’t mean anything once the games start. Once the postseason begins, each team that makes it in has a record of 0-0, no matter their in-season record.
Since my lineups for the season were set, and no more roster moves were to be made, I stopped paying attention. My Season was over, even though I was going to the consultation bracket. Maybe I could get third place, but that felt like settling. I was bargaining for outcomes that could have, should have, and would have happened instead of accepting the loss. I was upset because I spent the whole season totally invested in my team, doing everything I could to win, making 96 transaction moves between deciding my lineup, picking up players, and making trades. My opponent made one. He auto-drafted his team. I chose every player myself. It didn’t feel fair. I only know the word Stochastic because I was reading r/fantasyfootball on Reddit to cope and find others in the same situation.
I put meaning to a random mathematical process.
I know from my therapy journey that it’s okay to feel strong emotions. This Fantasy Football season was meaningful to me, and was further exciting because I was successful at it. For it to end like this is naturally upsetting.
Right after the game was decided, I congratulated my opponent in Slack. He didn’t respond, but it felt good to do the right thing.
Next was my own grief to deal with this situation.
Ugh, I need a distraction. What a perfect time for Halftime.
But first, How the playoff format changed from how it was at the beginning of the season, where the top four teams played in the top bracket instead of six. Second a story about the mid-season bargaining stage of Fantasy Football… The trade deadline and two trades I was part of:
That is the all-time most views for the blog, which happened in 2020. I was close to topping it last year in 2022 but fell short at 2,254 views.
My blogging goal for 2023 is to exceed these numbers. The plan (the CRAZY plan) so far to meet this goal is to post twice a week, or 104 posts in the year. This was 26 more posts than in 2020, when I wrote 78, and more seats than in 2021 and 2022. One thing to note about the 2020 stats is that I posted 28 times with a total of 841 views because I wanted to. I will not repeat that because I worked part-time then, and this was before I had Long Covid.
Ah… I regret making this decision to post twice a week… That’s a total of 104 posts in a year.
My goal for 2023 is to exceed 2,477 views.
For new bloggers, it is wise to ignore the views each post gets and the overall views your page receives. This is because it is more important to focus on discovering and polishing your writing routine, discovering how many posts you can publish that are high quality and stand out from other blogs, mastering the art of writing and blog writing, learning about and increasing mastery of SEO, and patience because it takes time to build an audience. Of course, if your blogging goal is to use it as a journal or post whatever for whomever, this doesn’t apply. That is okay too.
(The movie adaptation is solid and I would recommend watching it. If you are interested, I would recommend reading the book and watching the movie, as both are excellent for their formats.)
When I started blogging a couple of years ago, I naturally started the same process of figuring out how to be successful with the information I had available to me with the resources I had at the time, which weren’t much. I was at rock bottom emotionally, recently laid off, and barely hanging on with unemployment, the pandemic started, and everything shut down. I didn’t feel safe seeing friends or family. While I was living with my mother, she had her own struggles then to face, so I had to learn to support myself and learn how to heal on my own at the darkest time in my life.
Thankfully I gave therapy one more shot and was assigned an excellent therapist who was part of a wonderful mental health organization called Sound Mental Health.
For me, blogging is multiple things. I use it to track my life, journal publically, grow as a writer, and challenge myself. It is a way to hold myself accountable and prove that I can do better and deserve better. I like blogging because it’s a perpetual goal to write. Being an excellent writer is one part of it. In this world, to stand out, you have to acquire skills in multiple areas. If I want to be an author, showrunner, or professional writer, I need to view writing and my brand as a small business.
Naturally, as I change, I want the blog to change and grow. Therefore, I like the traffic to my blog posts to increase and the blog traffic to grow.
Blogging and this website are something that I have complete autonomy over. Its success or lack of it is tied to how much time and effort I put into it.
Blogging/writing makes me feel alive.
I feel I best express myself through writing. I think it’s the one way I can impact the world.
Blogging feels better than being an anonymous message board person. People read and react to your comments, but it’s not the same as coming up with an idea for a long piece, writing it, editing it, and posting it online for everyone worldwide to see. It feels good when people follow you and connect with what you wrote. It feels good to build something that is yours.
At times it makes me crazy because I’m pressed for time. I need to write before work because I’ll be too exhausted to write after work. Bloggers need day jobs like most creative people. Sometimes I do have the energy and clarity of mind, but… I have no idea what to write. And the only way to get it done is to grind the post out one word at a time until you discover inspiration.
No more excuses, Reilly
One day the pandemic will end, and I won’t have to be afraid of catching a deadly strain of covid. Maybe this will be in a year from now. Once China recovers from this current covid wave, the world will feel safe. There is the threat of the XBB strain here in the US, but thankfully I live in a city and state with a high vaccination rate. As long as I avoid packed places, continue to wear a mask, stay up to date with vaccine boosters, and avoid conservative political dominant areas of Washington state (because the vaccine rate is lower here and every other conservative dominant county of the US), I’ll be safe. All that and avoid socializing in big groups in winter in closed spaces. All I can do at this point is protect my health. Safety is different from excuses.
This year will be the one where I finally heal from trauma. Make this the year where you grow up. Make this the year you finally follow through on things you said you wanted.
3/104 posts done for 2023. As of the time of this post at 719am, 123 views have been achieved toward the year goal of 2477+.
Thank you for reading! I hope that you enjoyed this post! Have you set a goal for 2023? If so tell me what it is in the comments below!
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Back to our regularly scheduled programming. New blog posts are on Monday and Thursday mornings, Pacific Standard Time.
It is now 2023, as is tradition on social media and the world at large… It’s time to reflect on 2022 and review my life of the previous year. Unlike the cliche, 2022 felt like a year and didn’t go by fast and, more often than not, slower for me than others.
2022 can be summarized by the following themes: Work, Long Covid, Going out into the world again, online dating, and Inner growth.
My favorite posts which underperformed:
This post is about when I went to a book signing for Alton Brown, one of my cooking idols. I used to want to be a chef and worked in the restaurant industry, so going to buy his new book, get it signed by him, and have a word was something I wasn’t going to miss!
Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls is a recipe I created, which is to add pumpkin pie filling and double pumpkin pie spices to the classic cinnamon roll. This recipe is dairy free and doesn’t use sugar. instead, it uses an erythritol blend.
The Mariners 2022 ALDS… (Part 3 of 3). (Not a fan of this title after the fact) This post is about my experience going to the first Seattle Mariners home playoff game in 21 years! It was the first time I had ever gone to any home professional sports game in my life. Boy, was it worth it. It’s the conclusion to a 3 part series, in which previous posts are linked in the post. It was game 3 of 5, win or go home for the Mariners, the entire state was covered in dangerous forest fire smog, and I did my part by writing a prayer to the god of the mariners by visiting its first stadium site in town, and burning the prayer to the god before the game.
The top 3 posts according to readers:
This blog post is about a time I felt depressed and down on myself after a recent breakup.
This post is about my only brief relationship, which happened in June 2022.
This post is about my experience getting an article published in the Seattle Times newspaper about the challenges of finding a therapy that works for me and learning that I was on the Autism Spectrum at age 36.
Days in a Life is a post set in a challenging time in my life, right after I had finally had sex for the first time and was a virgin no more. My cat Coco wasn’t doing well either, and I was worried she might have had a UTI. I was freaking out and was sure something was wrong with me too. You’ll have to read the post to find out. Unfortunately, I haven’t had sex since.
And finally, Long covid. In about 10 days, it will be a year since I caught covid and I haven’t recovered. While the severity of sickness has improved slowly since I’m not the same person physically, I was a year ago. If you haven’t gotten the covid vaccine or the latest booster yet, please do. You don’t want this disability. I wasn’t able to blog for long periods due to this disease. I can barely exercise without becoming so exhausted that I need to go home and sleep. There’s no cure. There are treatments, but that isn’t a guarantee because it’s basically throwing shit at a wall. Even if there will be treatments, I bet it will be expensive and not covered by insurance in America. Which is the case with conditions that do have medical solutions such as ADD or diabetes.
Now announcing a new site address: Unknownreilly.com!
I felt it was time for a change, being the new year. This has been something that I have been considering for six months, but I was hoping that the old site address theunknownreilly.wordpress.com would do… However, my needs have changed.
Song of the post: You ain’t seen Nothing yet by Bachman-Turner Overdrive
It’s time for me to commit to a domain website instead of one hosted a subdomain under WordPress.
I’m doing this because I feel that I hit a wall with the old host. The free plan that I had was limited by design not to be the best website it could be. Therefore, I’m going up one step to the WordPress Personal Plan. Considering that this blog is still a hobby, unlikely to be my primary source of income, and I don’t want to blog full time as a job, the $80 per year is reasonable.
This plan is $48 a year before taxes, but I bought a domain name before buying the program without knowing WordPress requires a plan to change domain names. Que sera, sera.
Making a living blogging or writing, or the minimum wage is incredibly and statistically unrealistic. Making a living writing or in the arts is hard. I’m not against hard goals. If were to shoot for a difficult goal, it would be to become a showrunner or, to be a novelist who has their work adapted into an animated tv show or movie. (animated because I love anime and animated tv shows and movies.) Most creative people have a day job and create on the side like I do.
Maybe it’s time I start to consider working towards the goal above seriously. It’s been something that I have had to drop for years because I was living in survival mode and because I had to go through the slow process of healing my mental health. I digress.
This is an investment in myself. However I go forward, the first step is by improving this blog. The skills and time I’ve spent writing and learning about SEO and blogging will help me in all aspects of life moving forward.
More changes to come
I plan on making more changes such as a theme change for the front page, which is something that I’ve thought about doing for a couple months but wasn’t sure what I wanted, or what would better fit this type of blog. I’d prefer not to have to pay for this.
One thing that I would like to change is the posting schedule. In 2022 it was, frankly speaking, random. I wrote when I could, procrastination was part, and I had to focus on self-care because of my health. It was a busy year of change too, which required more rest. For now, I feel that the content schedule I would prefer to be Monday and Thursday.
How can I achieve these changes?
The Screenshot above is of the 2022 total app use by me, tracked by Stay Free app. In 2022, I spent 2516 hours on my phone—an average of 6.9 hours daily. While a large chunk of this time is due to me watching videos on YouTube or movies on Amazon prime while working, a significant share is not. It’s time I could have used doing something else.
That being said, I could have written more or been more disciplined. I like to watch anime or animated tv shows after getting home from work, and pretty much watch tv shows or movies on the weekend… But it’s time for a change.
Experience from past failures has taught me that incremental progress and doing things imperfectly are how I grow. I get in my head too much and rationalize why not to do stuff instead of being okay with being “good enough.” I grow by doing.
The only way I can improve is by investing more time into it.
I have three planned posts coming up. First on how the blog performed, second on how my life was in 2022, and third, on the finale of the fantasy football series. I discovered that I like this type of analytic stuff last year.
I want this blog to grow and I want to grow as a writer. This is a step forward. Onto 2023! Onto Year three of blogging!