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.
Only about 14% of the United States has the latest covid booster vaccine.
The pandemic isn’t over for me. Long covid is hellish.
I’ve accepted my lot living with long covid. This is my fate. I don’t like having it. I want to feel like I did before, I took being healthy for granted. This is what acceptance means to me. I have a chronic disease, and this is my life. I have a disability due to this.
Your energy still isn’t back to 100%.
You get tired easily.
Your heart rate varies.
You are short of breath.
You get sick easily.
Simple exercise wears you out and can knock you out for days from exhaustion.
Your trust in humanity goes to zero. How can you fully trust anyone when anyone can spread covid to you?
I’m tired of the pandemic too. But we ain’t quite out of the pandemic woods.
That major outbreak across China is an ominous sign. A new covid variant is sure to originate from that. Fuck, we were so close to the end of the pandemic. One more winter and it felt that the worst was behind us… I wouldn’t have to fear catching it again while vulnerable. I would rather avoid potentially shortening my life like that.
It’s 36 degrees Fahrenheit outside today. It’s been cold and snowing all week, and last night was an ice storm.
I called out one day this week because I felt unsafe driving to work. My Prius spins out in normal conditions; I’m not going to risk driving on ice. I may need new tires. It’s probably how the car is. I drive safely and maintain it, and the mileage is about 69k.
I’m waiting on whether or not work will be open today. One more hour and the boss will give the word. That said, I’m leaning on staying home for safety because conditions haven’t changed much since 730am.
Today is a metaphor for how I’ve felt about my life outside of work. Frozen in place, surrounded by ice.
I’m thriving at work, getting attention for working hard, and pushing myself to do things that I’ve never done at any job before, and I’m proud of myself for that. Proud but exhausted.
In the past month, I’ve: written 4 SOPS or standard operating procedures for work and writing a draft for two more. I can do this now because of my strong relationships with my department lead, boss, and ownership. There’s mutual trust and respect. This is possible because I stuck with this company when times were tough earlier in the year. This is possible. After all, I bet on myself because I chose to respond to situations differently than I had in the past. I decided not to give up.
I’m in charge of planning a Holiday Potluck Party for next month. I’m excited about that while being worried about it being a super spreader covid event 1 year after I got covid at a Pizza party I threw at work. I’m so tired of being worried about covid… This time will be different. I will do everything I can to prevent this from happening again.
Along with this, I’m making friends at work! Didn’t think it would be possible to be friends with a boss and have professional boundaries.
I’m successful. Finally! Despite this long-ass journey to find secure work, I’m successful because I’ve worked hard in therapy, despite years of struggling to find that too. All this persistence is paying off. Next month will be 1 year since I became a manager. My time was short as a manager. However, I’m content being an assistant manager.
Long-term, career-wise, I don’t want to own my own business or manage people as a life. I don’t know what I want to do, and that’s okay. I could manage a small group of people in the future like I’m doing now, but I’d prefer not to. It’s not a strength, and my social battery drains fast.
Physically I can’t be a full-time manager. I can’t because of long covid. Next month will be a year since I caught covid, and I’m just coming to terms with the fact that I might have this for the rest of my life. Maybe it will heal on its own like some who have long covid. Possibly there will be a cure. For now, I have to live with it. I am doing better compared to earlier in 2022… But it’s a daily thing to manage.
I’ve been getting by this month, getting home, watching anime, and going to bed early.
I shouldn’t be dating right now.
I’ve had some time to reflect on how I’m living and showing up outside of work, and I don’t enjoy seeing how I am.
I go to work and come home to watch an anime show, tv show, or movie I’ve watched several times before for comfort while browsing Instagram and occasionally playing with Coconut or playing video games.
I’ve let myself go, and I’m over 240 pounds… The heaviest I’ve ever weighed. It’s no wonder, considering how unhealthy I eat.
At the same time, I have to acknowledge that I am a disabled person because of Long Covid. Next month will be a year since I caught Covid. I have a chronic illness that doesn’t have a cure and might never ever have a cure. Medicines and treatments might be on the way, but I can’t control that. I am hopeful that treatments and drugs will come because I don’t want to pray for bad things to happen. Until then, I have to accept that it is my life. I’ve become a different person than I was a year ago. I haven’t come to terms with that.
I was browsing DuckDuckGo, searching various phrases, and I found this article by Dr. Nerdlove titled “How Do I Date When I Have A Disability?“ that I came up with as a related blog post at the end of “5 Times When You Shouldn’t Be Dating”. The original article is helpful, but it didn’t nail why I’ve felt this unique frustration that I have felt this year and the past couple of years. I should be taking a date from dating, but I didn’t know why. I can’t change if I don’t understand the problem. Knowing why helps me challenge anxious or depressing thoughts that come up. Knowing why helps me set boundaries and be mindful of when I need self-care. The article is much longer and has a bunch of helpful gems in it, but for the sake of this blog post, I feel this portion nails how I feel:
“I wonder – and you’ll have to tell me if I’m wrong about this – if part of the problem is that you’re still in the adjustment period. I mean, come on, you just had your life blown apart in a way that’s changed everything for you. Yeah, it’s been three years, but that’s less than a tenth of your life; you had thirty years of living life one way, then suddenly having to change almost everything. That’s not a lot of time to come to terms, to mourn or to build the new systems that work for you. And while I have no doubt that you’re a magnificent badass with the heart of a volcano and the passion of a thousand burning suns in your soul, even Lucifer needed time to say “well…. fuck” after hitting the ground.
So it may be worth looking inward and seeing if you’re still holding yourself to standards – the “good working order” – that are literally impossible any more. Acknowledging your disability doesn’t mean you’re “not in good working order”, it means recognizing that you have a new reality and you need to adapt to it. Being upset at how your life changed and what you’ve had to give up – at least for now – doesn’t mean you’re not fit to share your life with anyone. Acknowledging that you’re lonely and feeling isolated and wanting more doesn’t mean that you’re not fit to date, it means you’re dealing with some shit.
“But it’s been three years!” I hear you cry. “Treatment and therapy hasn’t helped.”
OK… but are you sure that the therapy you’ve been getting is what you need? Is it possible that maybe you don’t have the right therapist? Or, hear me out: is it possible that you’re trying to fit into an able-bodied framework when you simply aren’t abled anymore?”
This is part 2 of a series of posts about my experience in my work fantasy football league for this NFL season. You can read the previous post below:
Week 13, the battle for the second-best league record and the second playoff seed.
The matchup of the year. My team record is 9 wins and 3 losses. My Opponent’s record is 10 wins and 2 losses. He is the commish of the league and put this all together. It is week 13 out of 14 of the fantasy football season. Weeks 14-17 are the playoffs.
I want to win to get the second-seed spot in the playoffs and earn a BYE or a week where I don’t have to face a top 4 team with the potential to lose. I want to win the league championship. If I don’t earn a BYE and have to meet one of the other lower-record top-four teams, I may have a bad week and lose, or despite my team doing well, I could still lose because their team has a record week. The latter is a distinct possibility because those teams are managed better, and my coworkers chose better players because they are invested.
Song of the Post: Rollin'(Air raid vehicle) by Limp Bizkit
The only way through is to…
‘Just win, Baby!’
Quote by: Al Davis, the famous late former owner of The Raiders NFL team.
The final result? Victory! 137.82 – 100.04
I had some luck with how games played out, and one of my bench players had a solid performance at a key spot.
Our season points gap is 58.36. This means that I have to score 58.36 more points than this team to earn the 2nd seed and BYE week if we both win and end up with a tied record. This a likely outcome seeing as his Opponent is 2- 11 with multiple players off this week on an NFL BYE (which in the NFL context means that the team has the week off. Every team earns 1 BYE week during the season. There is also a Bye week later on in the NFL playoffs), and my Opponent which is 4-9 with a full roster, but not as strong as mine. Both of us Playoff teams in the race for 2nd seed have faced these same opponents before and won. I don’t foresee an upset for my rival team since his Opponent hasn’t been active with his roster this fantasy season.
Now to do my part and hopefully overcome that gap!
The Gap: 58.36 or an upset loss. Week 14, the last week of the regular fantasy season, remains. This week determines two teams’ fates for the 2nd seed.
I would have to score 58.36 more points than my rival team to earn the second playoff spot in the final week. This is a tall order, considering how well his team is constructed. But anything can happen in Fantasy Football from week to week. All it takes is 1-3 players having an astounding week, or the whole team does well. Or My rival has an awful week. We will see. In summary, to win the 2nd seed spot: I have to have a terrific week and score at least 59 more points than my rival, I have a great week, and my rival has a poor week, or more unlikely… My Rival loses to a team with two starters on bye with an opponent who has had 11 losses because he doesn’t manage his team.
The final week of the regular Fantasy Football Season.
As you can see in the photo above, I had a fantastic week and won. A key detail, and why I chose to take a picture of my bench, is the player E(van) Engram. I picked him up off the waiver wire because my starting Tight End, David Njoku, had injuries to his ankles and knees and didn’t practice much during the week. At 940am on Sunday, Njoku was cleared to play. I put Njoku back in the starting lineup. He had a fantastic week of 18.7 points… Which is in the entire player productions for Tight Ends. I was debating whether to put Engram in the lineup in the second Flex spot since he was facing a favorable matchup, and Isiah Pacheco, a solid RB, is facing a more formidable opponent’s defense. Ultimately, I figured they would have about the same point production.
Naturally, Engram had a record week of 39.2 points. 😐 Which would have been enough for me to grab the second seed spot. Sigh. The final gap was 21 points. If I had started Engram, I would have had 27 more points. That’s just the way it is.
The season results?
My team is the third seed. I will have a harder path to winning in the playoffs. First, I have to win this week. If I lose, my season is over. There is a consultation bracket, but I don’t care about that. If I win, there is a rumor that the prize is an ounce of weed. But I don’t want that. I have too much already. If I win, I plan on splitting the prize and giving it to everyone in the league. The real prize is the social bonds formed this season because of the shared activity. I learned things about myself. I had an interesting subculture to write about and something to look forward to on the weekends. I’m considering doing this again in the next NFL season.
Onto the playoffs!
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Song of the post: Tired of Being Alone by Al Green
That doesn’t mean I’m going to settle. A rant on dating apps…
I don’t want to use dating apps again. I didn’t have much success after using Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble for a couple of years. It’s like looking for work on Indeed, but you can apply to every job. Unlike sites like Indeed, where you look for work, with dating and dating apps, you have a chance of success with people out of your training, experience, or attractiveness because of how dating works. Dating apps are worse than Indeed because at least you know if you have a fair shot of success with looking for work because you know your potential pool of employers based on your training and expertise. With dating apps, you see every job or person nearby. Sure I could apply for that CEO job in baking despite having zero experience or knowledge of that industry and have better odds of winning the lottery. But they won’t look at my application and do not reply, making me think I have a shot at an interview. They won’t match up like on bumble and force me to watch the match timer slowly tick away for three days before never responding. Jobs won’t make their needs unclear or not put enough information in their post for job seekers not to know what they are looking for.
Some posts on instagram that resonates with this new me:
What am I looking for in a partner?
Doesn’t have kids. I don’t want to be a father right away. I’d only consider kids after dating and living together for a couple years.
Willing to pace the relationship. Not too fast, not too slow.
Has a job. Must work.
A secure attachment or is currently going to therapy to heal this.
Must be left wing with politics.
Not narcissistic, or has any other major personality disorder.
Wants to meet in person for dates.
Not an addict.
Can communicate in a mature manner.
Is self aware and in tune with their emotions.
Is smart or open minded.
Not religious. (I might be willing to compromise depending on how religious the woman is. Lots of variables on this.)
Has her own life.
Respects my boundaries.
Is in reasonable shape. I’m not attracted to heavier women despite me being an obese man.
Is interested in me.
Accepts me being on the autism spectrum. Accepts me having long covid.
Preferably an introvert.
Is okay with me being a homebody.
Is okay with me consuming weed every once in a while.
Is okay with me living with my mother for rent purposes.
I’m probably forgetting some things in this list. I wonder if this is asking too much. I wonder if I meet these things myself.
I am happy being single.
I also want to know what it feels like to be in a healthy, thriving, romantic relationship. Ive never been in one. I feel like I have missed out on this part of life.
The closest I have been in one was earlier this year. That relationship didn’t work out because of pacing.
I did ask a friend I met through blogging that I have a strong connection with if she was down with a long-distance relationship, but she said she couldn’t do it because of the distance. Make sense, as she lives in Kenya. That hurt. Especially since I’ve never had a connection like this with an amazing woman like her before. (She is not a catfish or scammer for those concerned. I’ve become an unwilling expert on the subject, sigh.) I’ve been considering visiting her because we get along so well. On the negative side, it would be tough for either of us to start over in a new country to be with each other. Sigh. 😢 (I have given this serious thought since it would be easier for me to do with where I am in life.) Who knows what will happen with this. I’m going to hope for the best-case outcome as a change. Once again it’s nice to have an awesome friend.
I’m 36 and haven’t had a long-term romantic relationship before, which bothers me. I count this as a woman saying she is my girlfriend and that we are officially a couple. I had had short long-distance relationships before where this was the case, but they didn’t work out for different reasons. Dating hasn’t been fun at all for me. Between not feeling ready because of my mental health or job situation, living with my mother, mountains of rejection with online dating, and holding onto a fantasy bond crush that had a disastrous ending that was my fault… I hate dating. I’m fed up with how difficult it’s been.
Therapy has helped me heal from these prior wounds—especially the last one I listed as a reason why.
I feel that I’m a Demisexual and need an emotional connection to be attracted to a woman.
I have asked out women before, and had a handful of dates, but none worked out. All those dates were stressful because I was anxious or not enjoying them.
What could go wrong, has gone wrong.
I asked out a coworker, she was flattered but in a relationship. On the plus side I gained a friend and I am happy with that.🙂
I suppose that impromptu meeting with a woman earlier this year that led to a one-night stand and me having sex for the first time could be considered a successful date. That only worked because I chose not to wear a mask at the bar while hanging out at the rock show. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the experience and am grateful.
I’m honestly not sure if I’m interested in dating anymore. I loathe the process. I don’t like bars or busy places. I’m still cautious about any indoor area with many people because im afraid of catching covid again.
All things considered I have been crushing it this year with dating. I have had two feet in the arena and pushing myself forward despite not being in a relationship. (yet) for many years I wasn’t trying or not living in reality. My hard work of working on myself, learning from my mistakes, and growing has paid off.
I meant to write this post earlier, but life got in the way.
For about a year plus, my mother and I have walked my cat Coconut, or Coco for short. We take turns taking her outside of the house on a leash. She is the only cat I have walked out with a leash. Every cat I’ve had in life has been an indoor-outdoor cat. Every cat I have had has been The King/Queen cat of the neighborhood dominating other cats. Coco is only the second cat to jump out the front window to escape.
Songs of the post: Stray Cat Strut by Stray Cats, Jolene by Dolly Parton, Jump by Van Halen.
I chose to walk Coco on a leash outside because I didn’t want her to become comfortable with being an outdoor cat. This conflicts with a long goal I’ve had to move out.
I haven’t moved out because what could go wrong did. I’m so close. The only left as obstacle is my physical health. (Well, my physical health AND finding an affordable place to live on my own without roommates.)
Living with Long Covid is a drag. Some days I feel awful. I have to remind myself that the good days outn umber the bad. The unpredictability sucks. It sucks having a barely understood chronic illness. I have to remember that I am slowly recovering.
One advantage of living with My mother is that she has helped to walk Coco too… I’m usually wiped out after work because of this chronic illness. Well, and laziness.🤦 My job isn’t physically taxing most days, so it’s not why I’m so tired when I get home. I’m getting better about making time to walk Coco.
Coco wants to go outside immediately when we arrive home from work. Natural for a 2-year-old Siamese cat. Well, maybe. I need to explain some background.
The original plan was to have her be an indoor cat. I didn’t then, and I don’t want her to be comfortable with this area, then have her be an inside cat at a place I move to. Coco enjoys being outside. I like going out with her on our zen cat-walks.
I used to come home from work and smoke weed outside to unwind. I don’t smoke at all anymore.
I changed my mind about letting her outside because I felt terrible seeing her inside, wanting to be closer than the window, watching me on the back deck. Coco is a talkative, social cat to those she knows and is comfortable with.
Coco would hang out on the kitchen windowsill and watch. Over time we trained her not to explore the kitchen counters while we were outside.
I decided on a compromise which was to take her out on a leash.
Over time, Coco has become more vocal about wanting to go outside. A meow/yowl that sounds like “Out.” She has become more clever in her escape attempts. She was trying to wiggle by whenever one of us came through the doors to the house. I have to play man-to-cat defense with her as a basketball player would.
Unlike dogs, it’s not guaranteed that taking cats out on a walk on a leash will work. Cats are independent creatures and can decide one day that they won’t allow me to walk them on a leash.
As Coco has grown up, she has become much more intelligent and figured out ways to escape the leash while outside. She has figured out how to climb up places none of our other cats has climbed up on. She has explored every inch of the inside of the house. Coco has become more assertive about wanting to go outside more, even when she has already been outside for a walk for the day.
For context for this story, I need to talk about the only other time a cat escaped our house from the front window.
The Orange and White cat Saga, & a brief history of our cats.
About five to six years ago, a white and orange cat with a collar showed up regularly at our back door. I assume it was a neighbor’s cat because it had a collar with a name on it… Which I have since forgotten. This cat was affectionate, and my g,guess is that it lived nearby and explored the neighborhood while expanding its territory as cats do. This cat was smart enough to show up whenever my cats at the time, Lucy and Flip were not nearby. Lucy was in her prime at age 5/6, and Flip was about 12 and was fit enough to challenge Lucy as the ruler cat of the neighborhood.
King/Queen-Cat of the Neighborhood
Our block had one other cat who was dominant and lived in several different houses, a half-Siamese all-black cat buff as a bodybuilder cat named Oliver… However, Oliver was below Lucy and Flip in the hierarchy. Oliver was originally a kitten from one of our family friends to another family friend. Was part of our family’s cat after he left our neighbor’s house when they got a dog and moved residences along the block along with living outside in his younger days. Oliver was the only neighborhood cat that visited our family regularly, often to come inside and eat food, and all of us to pet him. Oliver, the bluffest cat you have ever seen, was a submissive baby to our family. My cat Flip would allow him to eat crunchy cat food but would complain if he saw Oliver in the kitchen. Oliver would usually leave if I was not there to stop Flip. Flip was the second generation of our cats to be dominant over Oliver after our cat Tip was already a couple years old before Oliver was born. Eventually, Tip got older, and Flip took over. Flip got older, and Lucy took over. Oliver respected the chain of command, was respectful if rebellious of Flip, and feared Lucy, who would assert dominance and chase Oliver away. Flip would sometimes assert dominance but would allow Oliver to come in if I was there.
To summarize, Oliver was the only cat who would visit, want to come inside, come to eat, rarely play if it was safe, and leave.
Cat flow chart:
Generation 1: Tip
Generation 2: Tip, Flip, Oliver part-time.
Generation 3: Tip, Flip, Lucy Oliver part-time.
Generation 4: Flip, Lucy, Oliver part-time.
Generation 5: Lucy, Coconut.
Our family would know our cats were the top because our neighbors would tell us, I digress; back to the main story.
Once upon a time, an Orange and White American Short-hair cat jumped out the window.
For this story, I will refer to this neighbor cat as Orangey instead of Orange and white neighbor cat. This story occurred 5-6 years ago at home during the summer.
Orangey began showing up more often at the back door, and would want pets and attention from me outside as he was a friendly cat.
One day, Orangey was looking in the back door window to look inside. I opened the door, and he cautiously looked in for other cats, then proceeded in. He sniffed around, snuck to the dry cat food bowl, and ate.
As I remember, I was cooking something at the time and focused on it.
Next thing I know, Lucy is yowling and puffed up in the kitchen staring at Orangey. Orangey runs downstairs, and Lucy dashes after him. I hear them downstairs yowling as cats do in a fight for territory. I text mom what’s going on, and we meet in the basement, where we find both cats on a storage rack with boxes of stuff. Orangey climbs to the top and to the window to shield himself. Lucy is about a foot away on a box growling. I pick up the box with Lucy on it, put it on the floor, and carefully climb up on the drier to pick up Orangey. He allows me to pick him up, and my mom watches Lucy. I bring him to the downstairs door, and Lucy dashes towards him again. The chase is on.
I run after the cats, hoping to somehow make it upstairs to open the back door to allow Orangey to escape. I don’t make it. Lucy chases Orangey around the kitchen, Flip sees this and follows. I see Orangey make a beeline to the living room.
The window is wide open since it’s summer. Orangey dashes to it, and I follow.
I make it before seeing him dash across the living room to the window and jump out to safety.
Lucy stops at the window and sees Orangey land safely on the garden strip below. Orangey pauses to clean himself and wanders off. I’ve never seen a cat make a jump like this before or after. Lucy has a look of utter satisfaction. I never see Orangey again.
This brings us to October 2022, when Coco managed to escape outside.
Figuring out the Great Escape
I did not witness Coco escaping. I couldn’t find her around the house when this event happened, despite searching everywhere and calling her name. The window was open, as shown in the picture above. Coco enjoys sitting in the window and peering outside. It’s a way to calm her down when she wants to be outside, but she either has had a long walk outside, and/or we are busy doing something else. To this point, it had not been an issue. Keeping the window open like this has been a thing we have done for our cats when it’s warm.
Coco would see this from her point of view, sitting at the window. This is about 10 feet to the driveway and about 6 feet to the edge of the concrete wall shown here. Even if she were to jump, it would be difficult with all of the plants in the garden growing at this time. I estimate that it would be about 8 feet to the spot in the center of the photo beneath the mint plants at the top of the concrete wall, above the rusted frame of a chair. Missing this jump would be dangerous and likely cause severe harm to a small cat such as Coco.
While a cat can make this jump at full speed, as I described earlier, I suspect that Coco was savvier about her jump. This is the cat that figured out how to climb up to my bed as a 6-week-old kitten to sleep on me on the first day I adopted her. This is the same cat that can open unlocked exterior doors by clawing and pulling at the corners.
However, she did escape; it’s an unsolved mystery.
The moment of truth, the Auto Corrected Text:
So that’s the story of a cat jumping out of a window to go outside.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this or have a pet escape story, share it below in the comments! If you enjoy this blog, be sure to subscribe below! You can find more posts about cats below, or in the archives.
November 23rd, 2003, My father died in a car crash
Music of the post: Father Time by Kendrick Lamar ft Sampha
Two nights before, he sat us down at the kitchen table and said that he had a problem with drinking.
He said that he was going to stop because he had a problem.
He seemed sincere… But…
I was 17, so I didn’t know how to react. My first reaction was to be skeptical. I’d seen this play out before with my addict aunt—his sister.
I had long given up on needing anything from him after him being a lifelong alcoholic. From him being a shitty father.
I didn’t know then, but it would be the last time I’d see him again.
After work that night, in the middle of the night of the 23rd, he went to a bar with coworkers. The accounts given there, say that he only had one drink. Later confirmed by a blood alcohol test.
Like the many times he did before… He drove drunk.
He had been in multiple car accidents in the past, which I didn’t know about until recently after a conversation about addiction patterns on my dad’s side with my mother.
The vehicles he drove were a reflection of how he lived life.
Used, beat up junk vans with hundreds of thousands of miles on them, near death, poorly maintained.
He was a carpet and floor installer. He needed a van to store the materials he needed for work.
Always a junker from the 80s or earlier, each van being replaced yearly or more.
He ran his life, his vans on eggshells.
Booze came first.
There always was something wrong with his cars.
If he faced his problems earlier, if he stopped drinking he easily could have afforded repairs for the brakes, other engine problems, or simply buy a car that isn’t an excuse to avoid his personal problems.
A reflection of what was wrong with him.
He drank to cover up his problems. He drank to not deal with his shit. He drank to escape.
He was yet another addict in the chain of generational trauma. Of family dysfunction.
To my grandparents credit, they stopped drinking and smoking cigarettes late in life after my addict aunt caught aids.
I don’t know if anyone went to therapy, I suspect not.
I suspect not because of what I know about addiction, codependency, trauma, grief, and generational trauma.
This ends with me.
Maybe I am so comfortable working at a cannabis company because of this. Hm.
That last van was a death wish. It had a couple different engine problems which caused it a constant screech, and the brakes barely worked.
He drove home from the bar in Sodo, next to the Home Depot where he worked in the flooring department.
On his last drink.
The accident happened on top of Beacon hill, which is a couple miles from our house.
He died instantly from a broken spine.
Maybe he could have survived if he had maintained the brakes on his van. Perhaps he could have survived if he had a seatbelt made past the 1980s design on his van. But he didn’t. He chose these risks on top of driving drunk. He put himself and us, his family because he chose to run away from his problems.
Until he embodied being a living problem. As said in modern therapy terms, he was a danger to himself and others.
Another driver was disabled due to the accident crash. There was a third car involved, but I guess they were okay. More on this later.
Seattle Police came to our house, knocked on the door and told my mother what had happened.
My dad was in a car accident crash and died.
The morning after, my Aunts on my mom’s side came over. It was that day that I was old enough to understand, and know first hand… What it feels like to have your father die suddenly. My grandfather on my moms side died in his 40s from heart disease when my aunts were teenagers and my mom was young.
It was comforting to hear from my late Aunt Ann that they knew what it felt like to be where we were. That we would get through this hard time. And though I’m not religious, it was comforting for my Uncle Gene to lead everyone there in prayer, asking for grace from God. (I wish I could have told this story at her funeral last year.)
I was told to call my friends to tell them what happened. I managed but was traumatized for a long time after. I was only able to heal in therapy about ten years later.
After those calls, my brother and I decided to go to a friend’s house for a few days.
I felt like a stranger at Dad’s funeral. It was a decent-sized crowd at the act theater where it was hosted. (Grandma had connections in the Art community through her corporate job at Safeco Insurance). I wasn’t that sad because he had died. I barely knew the man, and he was emotionally unavailable or distant from my brother and me. I was sad for others there that I knew were sad about his passing. Because of their Alcohol addiction and many personal problems, he never dealt with them.
As a result of dads blood alcohol level being at or just under the state legal limit at that time, he was deemed at fault for the crash.
The driver who was disabled because of the crash, sued my mother. Which led to an 8-year-long lawsuit for everything we had.
For eight years, I didn’t know what would happen. Even though my mother dealt with the majority of the shit involved, for that entire period, I didn’t know if we would become homeless or be forced to move to another state just so our family had a place to live. There wasn’t much I could do to help since I was in high school and then going to college.
I had no idea what this person looked like. I don’t know their name. All I knew was that he was a threat to my family and our survival due to spite. Yes, my dad was at fault for him being in a wheelchair and breaking bones. The injured guy did recover, and didn’t have any worse injuries. However, to sue the family for everything and spend years chasing it is messed up.
The lawsuit ended because the bastard died of a heart attack, which was in 2011. That was when I was finally able to start grieving. It took several more years and several therapists before I could process that grief.
I obsessively read all I could with the limited information and the internet to teach myself about being a man and psychology. But since I struggled to find a consistent therapist, progress was slow. Or there wasn’t any. I was stuck in a swamp and needed help. Eventually, I got it.
One story I learned about my dad is that he once went to therapy in the 80s. But, he acted strangely and later on said that he made up what he said to the therapist he saw, which made me so mad when I heard about it.
More on my experience with therapy in this post below.
All said, I’m grateful to have turned the corner.
It took until 2020, to try dozens of different medicines for ADD, Depression, adding many supplements, reading lots of self help articles and books, psychedelic mushrooms used therapeutically, cannabis, and not giving up on therapy to get to where I am today.
I still have healing to do. Im not perfect, and I make mistakes.
I only feel down regarding dad this time of the year. I think of him as examples of who I don’t want to be.
I take care of myself; I am mindful of my mental health. My biggest life goal is to end this chain of dysfunction.
Therapy tips and helpful information
Attached by Amir Levine & Rachel Heller
No more Mr Nice Guy by Robert Glover, The body keeps the score by Bessel A. van der kolk
The dreamer and the fantasy relationship by Natalie Lue
The six pillars of self esteem by Dr. Nathaniel Branden
Complex PTSD by Pete Walker
Dating Greatly by Brene Brown
Man’s search for meaning by Viktor Frankl
Codependent no more by Melony Beattie
Healing from a narcissistic relationship by Margalis Fjelstad
Late bloomers by Rich Karlgaard.
All of the above are on audible. Most of these I’ve read twice.
I’ve been stuck in a perfectionist mindset for a while, and that needs to stop.
This is the old me. I recognize that this is an old voice in my head. I know this isn’t good for me. I recognize these thoughts as other people, such as family or society.
It’s still a pain to sort through these, and get to what I want. What I feel. What is true to me.
Change is hard, and comes slowly.
At the time of this post, I have 52 draft posts.
I haven’t published these for many reasons. All are signs that I have changed. That I have grown as a person since I started blogging 2+ years ago.
Reasons why for the drafts: lost interest, procrastination, felt it didn’t sit right, potentially over sharing, the post needed more time to breathe, timing for SEO wasn’t great, or the post simply needed more work, or I had to prioritize self care.
I accept and resent that I have Long Covid. Like all chronic illness, it is unpredictable. I have been doing well on self care and asserting my needs to others with this illness. It’s come first this year since I caught it in January. I really took for granted all that time I had before this disease that I could write with some effort. All that time that I could choose to do activities instead of not having that choice due to symptoms.
I have to remind myself that it’s okay to not be perfect. Perfect is subjective. Life is often lived in the gray area. Yes it is possible to sometimes have it all line up, and things unfold in a perfect manner, in your point of view.
All this is to say that I have to remind myself to be okay with good enough. Putting an imperfect post out like this is better for yourself and the blog than nothing. Every post counts. If only for the sake of writing it. Publishing it is good too.
Good enough is better than nothing at all. Each step is progress. The doing is the point. The doing is living life.
This is good enough for today. The “perfect” amazing posts are in your head, Reilly. Sure it would be nice if one or a few went viral, or hell, brought slightly more attention with new readers other than people you already know, and the few subscribers who do read your stuff. (Love Y’all)
If you fuck up, or nobody reads this post, which has happened before being as this blog is tiny… Whatever.
I am finally living the life I want, and who I want to be. I’m not perfect. I’m simply doing my best and being open to what life presents me. With these five words, this post is over 500! Good enough!
If you live in the US, today is election day. Yeah our system sucks and needs change. Fucking do something about it by voting. I don’t know what will happen. Nobody does.
You do have a choice. While the federal races are frustrating and only matter if you’re state is considered a swing state where the race is close, your local races matter far more in your daily life. Change starts small at the local level. District race margins are far smaller. It’s an odd year election so turnout will likely be lower. That means you have a bigger impact.
If there are any problems you have with where you live, or feel that you don’t like something where you live, voting gives you that opportunity to voice your opinion with choices. It’s not perfect, but that’s life.
Voting is about having faith in democracy. To have faith that generations before have fought for in the trenches of war and the trenches of the streets to battle to earn the right to vote. So that everyone can vote or the choice to vote. For the choice to run for office. For the choice for change.
You don’t even have to completely fill out your ballot. It doesn’t take more than 20 minutes.
The image above is previous weeks fantasy football score
This post’s title is a play on the movie Any Given Sunday. This movie is alright if you like American Football. This speech delivered by Al Pacino, who stars in the movie is pretty good.
The picture above is week 6 of our works fantasy football score between a coworker and me.
I was ahead in points 107.92 to 86.26 and won because the running back he has waiting to play, Jamaal Williams, is on the NFL injured list. He has one other player who is not playing -Tight End Darren Waller- whose team is on a Bye or a week off this week. These are choices… In this case, my intention was not to do anything by my co-worker. He was asked to participate in the fantasy football league because we needed at least 10 people. So, he was there for the draft and set his roster back in September before the NFL season. He is 1-4 after 5 games, and I am 4-1 after 5. His registration is decent, and he had a good chance of winning against me this week, but he did not because he joined because my coworkers and I were more invested in playing Fantasy Football this NFL season.
If he had changed J. Williams and Waller for another player, he might have beaten me. I ended up squeaking by with the win. That gap in points at those roster spots was small enough to hit.
What is Fantasy Football?
From Sports Illustrated:
Fantasy football … That thing everyone talks about around the water cooler. Well, fantasy football is a game that allows you to be the owner, GM and coach of your very own football team. Competing against your friends, you draft a team made up of NFL players and based on their on-field performance in a given week, you score points. For example, if you have Lamar Jackson on your team and he throws a touchdown, your team scores points. Add up all the points and the team with the most at the end of the NFL week is the winner. Not too complicated, right? Well, maybe, maybe not.
In addition to drafts at the start of the season, there are also auction leagues. This is another league type that will be further explained later. As the game has grown, the complexity has grown along with it. But at the end of the day, your team competes in a league typically composed of 10 or 12 teams. Each week, you go head-to-head against a different team.
If a player is struggling, you can release him, just like in the NFL. You can trade with other teams. And if no one has a player on their team, they are available to be added to your roster from the waiver wire.
Just like the NFL, your league has a postseason as well. The fantasy playoffs are usually played from Weeks 14-16. In the final week, a champion is crowned! You can play for fun, you can play for money. Either way, that’s fantasy football!”
It’s a way to connect with people. I am connecting with people at work who like the NFL or want to be part of a group activity. I like stats, things that require attention to detail; I grew up in the Moneyball era of baseball, and I love fantasy sports-themed manager games such as the Out of the Park Baseball Series and Front Office Football 7 (Between these two PC game series, I have probably have played about 6000 hours over the past 13 years… When I had problems finding consistent work), so this is right up my alley. And I get to play against other people around work. A needed boon for my social life and deepening relationships with others at work. I wouldn’t be surprised if this resulted in friendships later on.
Suppose you have a competitive streak like I do. In that case, you can have an edge on your league mates by reading NFL news, watching videos on Youtube by long-time Fantasy Football channels, reading blogs dedicated to the different styles of leagues, or subscribing to services such as ESPN+ to get expert takes.
Nobody really is an expert in this. The stats estimate each player’s value, or what they feel based on observation, past experience playing this game, or making decisions based on team and player news; in a nutshell, it’s gambling. Some Fantasy leagues are gambling, others for the fun of it. As the season continues, however, you start to get an idea if players can succeed after enough stats have accumulated. So, if a star player goes against a poor defense or a poor defender, you can assume they will produce points.
Naturally, I did research before our league draft was held.
How are points scored?
“In a standard league, the eight players on a team’s active roster earn points based on the statistics they generate in actual NFL games. These fantasy points are added together for a weekly team score. Statistics from bench players do NOT earn fantasy points. The winner of an fantasy football game is the team with more points earned for the week (two weeks for playoff games). In the event that both you and your opponent accumulate the same number of points, a tie will be awarded. No playoff game can end in a tie (see the Playoffs page for more information).
Offense: Quarterbacks (QB), Running Backs (RB), Wide Receivers (WR), Tight Ends (TE) 6 pts per rushing or receiving TD 6 pts for player returning kick/punt for TD 6 pts for player returning or recovering a fumble for TD 4 pts per passing TD 2 pts per rushing or receiving 2 pt conversion (note: teams do not receive points for yardage gained during the conversion) 2 pts per passing 2 pt conversion 1 pt per 10 yards rushing or receiving 1 pt per 25 yards passing
Bonus Points 2 pts per rushing or receiving TD of 40 yards or more 2 pts per passing TD of 40 yards or more (note: the player must score a touchdown to score the points)
Penalty Points -2 pts per intercepted pass -2 pts per fumble lost
Kickers (K) 5 pts per 50+ yard FG made 4 pts per 40-49 yard FG made 3 pts per FG made, 39 yards or less 2 pts per rushing, passing, or receiving 2 pt conversion 1 pt per Extra Point made Penalty Points -2 pts per missed FG (0-39 yds) -1 pt per missed FG (40-49 yds) (note: a missed FG includes any attempt that is blocked, deflected, etc.)
Defensive/Special Teams (D)
3 pts per defensive or special teams TD 2 pts per interception 2 pts per fumble recovery (Note: includes a fumble by the opposing team out of the end zone) 2 pts per blocked punt, PAT, or FG (Note: a deflected kick of any kind does not receive points) 2 pts per safety 1 pt per sack”
Each play in an NFL game by players who meet these requirements are given points based on the above criteria.
Who is my team?
Starting Fantasy Football lineup:
Quarterback (QB): Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City Chiefs. 5th overall at his position, but can be the best in the NFL when he’s on.
Running back 1(RB): Joe Mixon. Cincinnati Bengals. 14th overall in points at this position.
Running back 2: Raheem Mostert. Miami Dolphins. 27th overall at his position. I picked him up on waivers September 21st. Been solid since.
Wide Reciever 1(WR): Justin Jefferson. Minnesota Vikings. 5th overall at position, and was the 5th overall pick in the first round in our initial draft.
Wide Receiver 2: Amon-Ra St. Brown. Detroit Lions. 28th overall at his position, but has been injured a few games this year. When healthy is one of the top 10.
Tight End (TE): Hayden Hurst. Cincinnati Bengals. While a waiver pickup, and my backup or Flex Tight End, and 11th in points, Hurst is my starting player this week because starter George Kittle is on Bye (or off week). One of the better waiver pickups I’ve made thanks to information by ESPN.
Flex spot 1: Allen Lazard. Green Bay Packers. 36th overall at Wide Receiver. Before the season when I chose him during the draft, I thought that he would be higher up based on being on a team with legendary QB Aaron Rogers. He has been solid, but not a top end player I expected. Oh well.
Flex spot 2: Khalil Herbert. Chicago Bears. 20th at position. Picked up on waivers on Monday…. Started him today, and he didn’t do well.
Defense (DEF): Buffalo Bills. Each fantasy team chooses one NFL team defense to have as a starter. 3rd overall at position.
Kicker (K): Daniel Carlson. Las Vegas Raiders. 5th at position, been great all year.
Fantasy Football Bench:
Bench 1: George Kittle. Tight End. San Francisco 49ers. 12th overall in points, usually my starting TE. Is on a BYE week.
Bench 2: Garret Wilson. Wide Receiver. New York Jets. 32nd overall at position, a rookie player, but is looking good lately.
Bench 3: Romeo Doubs. Wide Receiver. Green Bay Packers. 40th overall at position. Got him on waivers, but I’m not sure with his team offense being strangely inconsistent this year.
Bench 4: Alec Pierce. Wide Receiver. Indianapolis Colts. 49th at position. Another wavier add.
Bench 5: Pat Freiermuth. Tight End. Pittsburgh Steelers. 9th at position. On Bye, a great waiver add.
Bench 6: Isiah Pacheco. Running Back. Kansas City Chiefs. 66th at position. Waiver add. From what I’ve read, he could be a good late season pickup as The Chiefs like him as their top RB.
Bench 7: George Pickens. Wide Reciever. Pittsburgh Steelers. 51 at position. Wavier add. But looking to be the top Wide receiver on the Steelers.
Injury reserve: Jameson Williams. Wide Receiver. Detroit Lions. Has been injured all year with an ACL injury, but is looking to be back in in December. Was the 12th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft by the Lions, and was known as a really good WR in college, so hes a gamble pick for December.
The team name that I chose is a reference to the anime One Piece. It currently has 1,039 episodes and has been published as a manga or comic in Japan since July 1997. It’s an epic fantasy set in an ocean punk world, and the story is maybe 70-80 complete. Only the author knows.
The name is specifically the devil fruit of the main character Monkey D Luffy. Gomu gomu no mi, or Gum Gum fruit in English is a magical fruit that gives the person who eats it in that story a specific magical power. In Luffys case, he becomes a rubber man with the properties of rubber.
My teams current overall record is 6-2 on week 9. Which is 2nd place in my division, and tired for 2nd best record in the league. That might change after today as I am in a close match with a team who has a record of 5-3 with a good roster. We will know after the 520pm game.
Update: it is 511pm and my opponent is ahead 140.42 to 140.2, and we both have a star player left to play. If I don’t score at least 0.43 points than my coworker, I will lose by the smallest margin this season. I am wishing that my Star player, Patrick Mahomes and his team The Kansas City Chiefs defense can stop Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans. It could go either way, as Henry is the focus of the Titans Offense.
This will be the first part of two posts, maybe 3?, about this Fantasy Football Season at work. I haven’t written much in the past few months due to my health, and had to prioritize that, so we will see how many and how often I post. I am hoping for at least 1 post a week for now. Finding time while working a full time job, and dealing with long covid, the smokey weather, and self care has been tough. The forest fire smoke has been gone for a couple weeks, its finally cold, and I am starting to feel healthier again.