Category Archives: pandemic life

The Mariners 2022 ALDS… (Part 3 of 3)

Picture of Tmobile field from the right field seats in section 107. Game 3 of the 2022 ALDS Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners, 10/15/22
A picture from my seat in right field at T Mobile field, before the game. Game 3 2022 ALDS.

This is part 3 of a series about the Mariners Postseason exploits.

Part 2:

Part 1:

The Mariners 2022 ALDS… Part 3

Song of the post: Roundabout by Yes

Game 2:

Thursday had much different energy going into work on the eve of Game 2 compared to Tuesday morning. In game One, The Mariners played very well and held the lead to 2 outs in the 9th inning. One more out, and it would have been different. But it wasn’t different. We lost on a walk-off home run. That is the most devastating way to lose in Baseball… Because the game ends right there after your team has been ahead for hours in the game, and there is nothing you can do. And it happened in the postseason, where every game counts. Our team was now playing from behind in the series. It is a best of 5 round, after all.

Some baseball games are fast, some are slow. This game was a pitchers duel, and the runs are scored fast.

This was a pitching gem by Mariners Pitcher Luis Castillo; two home runs ruined that by Astros hitters Kyle Tucker and Jordan Alvarez. The Mariners kept it interesting but couldn’t overcome the Astros. They had a couple of opportunities with runners on base but were stopped by the Astros bullpen pitchers. We couldn’t keep up or come back.

Astros 4, Mariners 2.

Which brings us to today, October 15th. Game 3 is at 1:07pm in Seattle at Tmobile Park. I am going there to see it!

With us being down two games. It is now time for a changeup. (A baseball reference for a type of pitch that is slower with different movements to fool the batter into swinging for a strike or to make an out). It’s time to retire the old Ichiro Jersey and buy a new one for the new generation of players. Since I will be going to the park for the game, I plan on purchasing a jersey of young star Julio Rodriguez at the ballpark team store. I could use a new Mariners ball cap too.

Out with the old, in with the new. (I’ll be hanging the Ichiro jersey back in the closet.)

Superstition & a sacrifice to the Ms “God”

Before the game, on a whim, I decided to make a prayer and tribute to the mystery man who named the Mariners Roger Szmodis. When Major League Baseball awarded the newly established team in 1977, the team contacted Roger Szmodis to give him season tickets as a prize. He never contacted them back. The following PR director tried to find this person, but his one lead of a man living in Pennsylvania did not get him back either. So, for the sake of this post and Mariner’s history… Szmodis is the God of the Mariners. Because nobody knows if the person exists.

I’m not a superstitious person, or a religious person. I’ve never done something that follows.

Baseball is a superstitious sport. Batters and pitchers are famous for having their quirks to prepare themselves to be ready to hit or deliver a pitch… Here is an example:

This is not an endorsement of arson

This is fine

I decided to write a prayer to Roger Szmodis, and burn it at a Mariners “holy site”… The site being a place where one stadium was burned down and another stadium was built on -Sicks Stadium- Now a Lowe’s store. My intial plan was to do the tribute, then drive back and park near the Columbia City light rail station and catch the light rail to the game. There is a stop about 2 blocks from the stadiums downtown, so it makes sense to ride it there. There is no free parking downtown. A round trip is about $5. But first, the tribute.

The historic site of Sick’s Stadium or Lowe’s home improvement is a short drive from where I live. Sick’s Stadium used to be the home of the Seattle Pilots before they were relocated to. Milwaukee and renamed to The Brewers.

The only people who could see the mischief I was up to was the Amigos hanging out on the edge of the property. The immigrant men who sit by home improvement stores hoping that someone hires them for work.

I parked in the farthest spot I could and lit the paper with a lighter from the drivers side of my car. It took a little effort. I had to ignite it a few times, but I got it done without incident.

I decided to pay for parking and drove to T-mobile Park. I figured: what the hell? I was giggling about tithe absurdity of what I just did to help the Mariners win.

Take me out to the ballpark

A map of T-Mobile Field 

https://img.mlbstatic.com/mlb-images/image/private/t_1x1/t_w1024/mlb/un8lzcvhdl7faermplqy.jpg
Source

It was a warm, humid October day. The air smelled of burnt wood from the forest fire smog. To be safe I decided to double mask. Even though Thursday was two weeks after I got the new Covid booster and flu shot.

(Be sure to get the newest Coronavirus vaccine and boosters, people! The pandemic isn’t over yet!) LONG COVID SUCKS!

Two hours before the game, it was packed. The energy is electric. As I walked around the street level in ‘The Pen’ area of the stadium, every so often, a “Let’s go Mariners” chant would erupt with cheers and clapping in time. People were shoulder to shoulder and moved like migrating birds as some stood in line at concessions, others getting their bearing, and some taking it all in.

Line buddy and line bro code.

Had a short conversation with a guy in line while waiting to buy a jersey and hat at the store located behind ‘The Pen’ section of the stadium.

The line guy was about my age and build and a bit inebriated. Said his uncle wanted him to get him a beer. He decided to get something for himself on the way– a teal Julio Rodriguez jersey.

I said: “Hey, it’s the post season.” He couldn’t hear me over the excited volume of the crowd. I repeated myself. He smiled and we high fived.

After a going through the store line twice, once to find what I wanted, and once to pay, I bought a white Julio Rodriguez jersey and extra large dark blue cap. $200. Pricey, but worth it. It’s the first jersey I’ve bought. The second Ms cap. (not sure what happened to the previous hat).

Selfie of me at Game 3 of the ALDS at Tmobile field. Me, dolled up at my sweet seat.
Me, dolled up at my sweet seat.

Game 3!

The pregame festivities began with former pitcher and Mariners royalty Felix Hernandez walked in from the bullpen to throw the ceremonial first pitch. The sold out stadium became LOUD. Louder than I have ever heard it at a Mariners game before. I or anyone else in the stadium didn’t know it then, but it would become a typical Felix style start. A game for the ages.

The last Mariners game I went to, was in 2014 on the last day of the season when The M’s were one game out of the Wildcard race. My uncle invited me to go with my cousin and my uncles brother. Win 1 game, and hope that division rival Oakland loses, and we were going to the post season. Starting was our best Pitcher Felix Hernandez. It was a close game, and Felix was brilliant through 5 innings… But it wasn’t enough. I learned on an overhead tv while buying food that our season was over and that Oakland had won. It would be the closest that Felix Hernandez would ever come to the playoffs in his career, all played as a Mariner.

On Saturday pregame, Felix was hyped, the crowd was hyped, and the Mariners players were hyped.

I bought a chicken tenders meal with garlic fries that had way too much garlic. I like garlic, but this had like half a cup of warm garlic for a extra large serving of fries. Also pricey. I’m glad I got the refill drink.

This was a classic pitching duel. An all time classic that had you on the edge of your seat and chanting “K” for strikeout pretty much every inning. For the entire game and into the night, the stadium was covered by a smokey haze due to forest fire smoke blowing into town. The sky later in the game was a hazy red.

6+ hours later…

After getting up to cheer many times for strikeouts and long fly balls, after a gem by Center Fielder Julio Rodriguez to make a diving catch out, we got to the top of the 18th inning. Everyone was exhausted. I heard people ask: “Who wants this more?” “Don’t they want to win?” I was ready to stay as long as it took. On the 15 inning, I opened my phone to search: What is the longest MLB playoff game? It was 18 innings, and had happened twice before, both involving the Astros. Three times during the game, before the 18th, the Mariners managed to get runners on base and into scoring position, but had failed to drive them in to score. The Astro Pitchers were matching the Mariners Pitchers every step of the way. At the 18th, the Astros had used 8 pitchers, and the Mariners were on their 9th pitcher with one remaining. Something had to give.

In the 18th inning, Shortstop Jeremy Pena hit a blast to centerfield. A home run. The Astros now led 1-0. Not impossible to overcome by the Mariners, but after this marathon and how the game was to this point… The tension was palpable and all us Mariners fans were exhausted.

We would have one more chance to score. Their pitcher, usual starter Luis Garcia had already thrown about 100 pitches and 4 innings by this point, so he was feeling the fatigue and vulnerable. All it took was 1 run however we could. Kelenic, Crawford, and Rodriguez were to bat. We have to score now or the season is over. And…

šŸ™ƒšŸ˜‘ We lost.

The game was 6 hours and 22 minutes. 18 innings long. It was the third longest playoff game of all time. 17 and 2/3rds set a new record for the most scoreless innings by both teams. Forty-two combined strikeouts by both teams. That meant 42/54 of the total outs were strikeouts. We fans were up cheering for each one… One for the Mariners hitters, and 1 for the pitchers.

Game over. Playoffs over. Season over. The home playoff losing streak continues. What a game!

Post game thoughts…

All in all, my best efforts, my cheering, towel waving, clapping, tribute, and superstition didn’t work out. That is baseball. That’s life. I did my part and went above and beyond as a fan. By far the longest baseball game I have ever been to. A disappointing end to a marathon. I’m glad I bought the tickets, bought the jersey, hat, and food. I’m happy for the experience. My throat is sore from cheering for roughly 6.22 okay, like 5 hours considering breaks, and I can barely talk.

For the first time in a long time, next season for The Seattle Mariners looks bright. Most of our players are young or under contract, and not too many players will become free agents. According to the sports media I follow (mlbtraderumors.com & ESPN), the team has budget space to spend more.

Onto 2023!


Living with Long Covid

Picture of the eastern side path of Seward Park
Picture of the eastern side of Seward Park

Song of the post: The Four Seasons – Summer – Allegro non Molto. By Antonio Vivaldi

I took my physical health for granted

I caught the coronavirus in January 2022, during the omicron spike in the US. I saw it at work after I bought pizza for everyone on the first Friday of the week I was promoted to department lead. (Which later changed). My place of work is a tiny building, and the break room doesn’t have excellent airflow, so I likely caught it there when everyone was eating… Masks down. I can’t remember if I went outside to eat. Everyone was vaccinated, and some were boosted; I wasn’t boosted due to the high demand during the winter Omicron surge. While we have safety measures at work, and ownership was generous to offer us a couple of hundred dollar bonus for the initial vaccine, there never was a booster policy. I, along with others who were concerned, asked, but it never became a requirement.

Mid-January, I caught coronavirus and was out for two weeks.

I wasn’t boosted for lack of trying. I could have gotten one if I had shown up to specific locations with extra shots after they closed. The fact is that I didn’t. Testing at that time was complex; you had to go to a drive-thru location and hope they had open appointments. This was before the at-home tests became widespread in the US.

I haven’t been the same person since

Today is one of many days that I have had to call out sick because of Long Covid symptoms. I took a short hike with my mom on Sunday afternoon at our favorite local park: Seward Park. It’s a park on Lake Washington in Seattle, close enough to walk to, an excellent workout that will leave you sweaty, and a good couple of miles with varied terrain. I used to be able to walk there, walk the loop around the outside of the park, and back. Since January, I can walk 10 minutes on flat terrain and be okay.

Up until July, I could go to work and back on most days and crash when I get home. Combine this with the depression, anxiety, inflammation flareups, and PTSD as a result of how about a third of the world refusing to vaccine or distance… Or another third not putting on their mask correctly, and brain fog. And I haven’t followed up on treatment. Which didn’t yet exist because this condition is so new.

On Sunday, I went on a short, roughly 30-minute hike with my mom at Seward Park.

Turtles on a log on Lake Washington, from Seward Park.
If you zoom in, you’ll see several turtles on the log. From 2021

A refresher on Long Covid Symptoms

From CDC.GOV

General symptoms

  • Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as ā€œpost-exertional malaiseā€)
  • Fever

Respiratory and heart symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)

Neurological symptoms

  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as ā€œbrain fogā€)
  • Headache
  • Sleep problems
  • Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
  • Pins-and-needles feelings
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety

Digestive symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain

Other symptoms

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Changes in menstrual cycles

Post-exertional malaise

In the past 8 months, I have had all of these symptoms except for rash, change in smell/taste, and menstrual cycles (for obvious reasons). The most common are: fatigue after effort, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, and diarrhea. I have slowly gotten my energy back, and have more good days than bad, yet the condition hangs on.

On Sunday, I decided to go on a walk in Seward Park with my Mom. One of the things that my therapist suggested was to spend time in nature. When I was in therapy the last time, going to the park and walking for exercise did help. I have gotten out of doing both of these things due to my health. It has been a long time since I pushed myself to exercise. I have been doing short ten-minute walks a couple times a week at work. What was I talking about again? Oh yeah.. The walk at the park.

Dory, a metaphor for brain fog.

The Park

From Wikipedia: Seward Park is a municipal park in Seattle, Washington, United States. Located in the city neighborhood of the same name, it covers 300 acres (120 ha; 0.47 sq mi). The park occupies all of Bailey Peninsula, a forested peninsula that juts into Lake Washington. It contains one of the last surviving tracts of old-growth forest within the city of Seattle. The park is named after U.S. Secretary of State William Seward. The 300 acres (120 ha) of Seward Park have roughly 120 acres (49 ha) of surviving old growth forest, providing a glimpse of what some of the lake shore looked like before the city of Seattle was founded. With trees older than 250 years and many less than 200, the Seward Park forest is relatively young (the forests of Seattle before the city was fully mature were usually 1,000ā€“2,000 years old).[1] Source

The Walk

Normally this walk, this is as the cliche goes… Is a walk in the park.

“walk in the park”:

Something that is easy to do or accomplish.

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/walk+in+the+park

Normally, or life before I caught covid, I could easily walk any route around Seward Park and back. I would be sweaty and be tired from a long cardio workout, but nothing that I couldn’t recover from. If I would go the long route, walking there and back, on the longest route, this would be about a 60-90 minute brisk walk. Which has always been doable, even in recent times where I have been out of shape.

Ever since I caught covid in January, and later Long Covid, I haven’t been physically able to exercise outside of work and every day chores. Since July, I have been able to do 10 minute walks on breaks a couple times a week. So, I thought it would be okay to try some longer exercise.

That was a mistake.

I was mindful to pace myself and to not overdo it because I hadn’t pushed my body this hard in months.

Yet, after 15 minutes of slowly walking through the evergreen forest and windy trails common to the inner forest path we chose, I was dizzy, wheezing, my heart was pounding, and I had to stop to catch my breath. I felt like I was hiking a mountain or sprinting at full speed, not shuffling along like a snail on a gentle park trail. I have walked this trail and others in the park several times a year during the summer, every year of my life without any problem.

Turtle crawling slowly through sand

This time, I felt physically like I did shuffling around the hospital wing after I had a couple heart attacks as a severe side effect of Amphetamine based ADHD medication at age 22. (Thankfully I recovered, there was no damage to my heart, and all tests after said I was healthy). It was a struggle and I felt weak after. I really hope these current symptoms are not current heart problems because of Long Covid. I don’t get treated. I am more afraid of the insane cost of treating chronic health problems in our messed-up healthcare system.

Thankfully, my mother drove us to the park. I would not have been able to walk back.

Monday was Labor Day, so this was a short work week. Even so, I was only able to work two half days. All I could do Tuesday morning was to drag myself to shower and dress before I was too exhausted to continue. Even though I have slept more, and taken it easy, I’m still not recovered as I write this today, the following Saturday. Work has been great with my health issues, with me missing so much time this year and I’m very grateful to them for that. I’ll always have a little fear of being fired, even if there isn’t evidence that I will be, but I am glad to have their support. Thankfully, I have sick leave accrued, so I’ll be okay this time.

I contacted my doctors office, and did an E-visit checkup. There still isn’t a cure or a specific treatment for Long Covid, but they can treat symptoms. Hopefully I’ll get some answers at the next in person appointment later this month. Just like the pandemic as a whole, I have to wait for an unknown time for this to be over. Maybe this is how my life is from now on.

Distant hope for the future.

All things considered, my life is alright. I’d like it to be better, to be different. The struggle with this chronic condition is so hard. Especially because there isn’t a cure or specific medical treatment yet. A lot of days, I wonder if what I’m feeling is due to this condition or a flare-up of the preexisting depression or anxiety that I manage. Well, one day at a time. I’m so tired of being patient. I’m so tired of chronic health conditions that I have little control over. Thanks for letting me vent a bit.

It took me much longer than usual to write this week. It’s hard to write when your health gets in the way and you need to prioritize that. Do you or anyone you know struggle with Long Covid? Let me know in the comments! If you like this and are a new reader, subscribe below and checkout my latest posts! Thank you for reading!


Step Up!

Person walking up the stairs of a Mayan structure

Well…

Song of the post: Make it Right by Foo Fighters.

It sure feels like a covid aftershock is on us. Some family members and people at my mom’s job are getting it. There’s been a streak going on at work. People have been either exposed to someone close or caught it themselves. The latest is my supervisor. Which means as the assistant manager, I’m the one in charge. I’m responsible for the room until he returns.

Thankfully, one of the big bosses has been in every day. It was a recent and necessary change. It’s so nice to have him around. I like how our owners care about everyone, care about the day-to-day details, want a safe and welcoming workplace, care about feedback while giving honest, professional answers, and model healthy communication.

Sleepy Thursday.

I didn’t realize it was Thursday yesterday until I drove home. I’ve been so focused on doing well at work, keeping up with new and old duties, and basic life maintenance that I’d lost track of the day.

I’m falling asleep as I type this. Eyelids slowly closing. I was so tired that I went to bed at 8pm.

Been going to bed early, not getting up earlier at 5am because I’ve been so tired. Except for Monday, when I had a migraine and had to recover.

I’m losing focus, so I’ll continue tomorrow…

Friday

Though I had a brief period back in January/February where I was a department manager and was okay overall, I don’t want to.

I’m better in a support role and working with my department lead. I came to peace with this in What if it all works out?, Two weeks ago. This isn’t to say I’m not ambitious or could improve on things like my people skills and communication. I’m at peace with where I’m, who I am, and who I want to become. I think we have a good balance between our department managers.

It’s been helpful to have the upper bosses around and checking in often this week. I’ve had a little experience managing people back in cooking school, which was half a lifetime ago šŸ˜¬…

Along with them modeling how to be a good boss, I’m learning how to effectively communicate and see nonviolent communication in action. I’ve read a lot and watched many hours of relationship skills. However, it’s different to see it practiced in a situation.

Recently our department and certain employees haven’t been hitting our goals. My gut tells me that there was a communication gap somewhere on the line. Based on how well we communicate, I know it wasn’t me, my department manager, or our boss. In any case, this is the work environment I’ve sought for a long time. I’ve had many jobs and haven’t had that right balance of work I’m good at + the work environment I fit into + employers/bosses that fit my needs + a consistent schedule + good coworkers. (Though I haven’t had trouble with coworkers in my work life.)

Work and my bosses are giving me an example of the man I want to be. The person I want to be. I want our department to be successful. I want the business to succeed. I want to be successful.

Today, my department lead returned. It’s nice to have him back, as some of the pressure to be the person in charge is off. I do enjoy being the lead for a couple days a week. We have overlapping duties, and I have been letting him do many of them… But I’d like to do that a little bit more than trimming full-time. I’m sure he’d be happy to rotate duties a bit since we get along well. I just got to do it.

Everyone’s performance reviews are coming up next week. I’m nervous, fighting off the “You’re going to be fired” thoughts, even though I have no reason to be. I am enough. I am doing well. I am worthy of this management job.

This means I’ll have to increase anxiety-related self-care. This part of me is saying that it needs attention.


I got to get ready for work in a minute. Coco is lying on me on the couch, purring after her morning neck nuzzles, and I want to finish writing. I don’t want to get up for work. Despite enjoying work. I don’t want to let my boss down. I’ve missed too much work recently and have no sick time.

Alright, gotta psych myself up to get out the door…

(I did it! And made it through the day! A good day at work!)


Post Script: Man, it was hard to write this week. Finding time when I wasn’t exhausted or spent was a challenge. The key is that I’m improving. I increased my time management skills by pushing just enough to write a little bit, edit a little bit, and recognize when I had 10 minutes here or 15 minutes there to put words on the page. Sometimes writing is a psychological negotiation with yourself. I’ve won by focusing on improving a little bit and committing to finishing. Hopefully, this will help someone else out there struggling to write.

In short, I stepped up at work. I stepped up at blogging.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoy my work, please comment below or subscribe!

Copyright Reilly Anderson 2022

I caught Covid.

Picture of a Binax Now brand covid test, with a positive result.
What a positive covid test looks like

I’ve been really busy this month

Last weekend, I got the news nobody wants to hear… A coworker came into work positively and spread it. They didn’t know they had it. I was feeling off on the 15th but was well enough to go about my weekend. Monday, I woke up and felt like shit. As I’d done the entire pandemic, I stayed home because I was sick.

Tuesday morning I still felt like shit and took the at-home test shown above. Results: positive. Fuck.

So, I’ve been home this week. Fever, chills, muscle weakness and pain, runny nose, head fog, dizziness, fatigue, occasional confusion, coughing, and trouble breathing sometimes.

It sucks. Thank science for the vaccine.

This after the previous week, I was promoted to department lead. That week, we did well, and I was blown away by all the positive feedback… But that’s another post. (On the way, been on hold)

I’m waiting on the PCR test results I took yesterday. Driving to get that and treating myself to Taco Time wiped me out.

Thankfully, work immediately took action, and the owner immediately bought take-home tests for everyone, and they tested everyone. Also, they finally increased our safety requirements which have been a bit lax so far. It seems more tested positive recently, so I hope it’s not too bad. We require everyone to be fully vaccinated and have for months. This incident goes to show just how dangerous the coronavirus is.

I’m only not boosted because my previous two appointments were canceled due to illness. (My doctor, then me.) I couldn’t get a booster appointment because it’s been so in demand in Seattle. Welp, I’ll be getting it eight weeks after I recover. (8 weeks after because that is the best time for your immune system to recover.)


GET VACCINATED

https://www.vaccines.gov/

A New Year, 2022.

Picture of cat paw prints in a doorway.
It’s been cold, and snowy. Coco spent like 20 minutes total outside last week.

Negatives

The past week has been stressful. I’ve been sick since Christmas Eve and worried that it’s Covid. Muscle pain, physical exhaustion, weakness, dry cough, dizziness, mild breathing problems. I had to cancel a doctor’s appointment because of Duh! So no flu shot or covid booster. And it snowed 3x this week, so it wasn’t easy to get a test. I couldn’t drive because of my symptoms, and I didn’t feel safe because of the snow. I tried to wait in line at the closest test station but had to have made a prior appointment. No luck and every place in the county was booked for days… I managed to get one for Monday.

I missed a week of work, thankfully, my job was incredibly understanding, and said: “No worries… and to get healthy.”

My mom helped me get an at-home test from Walgreens, and I tested myself on two days. Results: Negative, negative. I’m grateful, but I will feel much better later this week with the more accurate test at the station. I’m like 90% recovered and going back to work tomorrow.

So far, it’s Covid zero, healthy 3. I want to keep it this way. I’m so exhausted by the pandemic. Self-isolating makes me stir crazy.

I found out that my cousin died of covid on Christmas. Damn. I don’t know how to feel yet.

Positives

It’s a new year, and I don’t care. I’m ready for covid to die out, and every day is like: “Are we there yet?” I’m alive; that is something.

I want to move out on my own this year. I’m so tired of having no social life due to the pandemic. I’m bored of spending all my free time on my computer or phone. I don’t see people or do stuff because I’m afraid of getting covid. And not being able to fully trust people to be honest about their vaccine status or simply not knowing they have Covid Delta/Omicron.

I’m not sure what I want in terms of goals. I think I’m ready to date again. I deleted Tinder and hinge back in September due to frustration. I learned that I don’t like texting as a primary form of communication with strangers. Dating and relationships are so complex as is. Also, I’m not a big texter.

It’s been three months since I stopped my antidepressant. I’ve been doing alright. (Well, as alright as anyone is these days šŸ˜…)

One thing I want to change this year is not to be so hard on myself.


I hope everyone had a good holiday. Stay safe out there. It still is The Pandemic. Mask up, and get the vaccine.

Merry Christmas 2021

Coconut by the Xmas tree.

I’m sorry for disappearing

I’m sorry for not following through on the 10 recipe posts that I promised. I thought I could do this. (I need to start over and plan this out. On a schedule I can reasonably work on) I have professional experience and training doing so. I’m ashamed that once again, I failed. I need help with this mean perfectionist inner voice. I need to get a new therapist… It’s been too long and it’s time.

I didn’t plan this gap of 2+ months without a post. I had two emotional events happen shortly after the previous post. It’s almost 10pm, and I’m writing this on the fly. I feel that I have to post something. I owe it to you.

I obsess over my mistakes and my faults. I haven’t forgiven myself for anything I’ve done wrong. I feel I deserve to suffer and be punished. If I don’t get from others, I punish myself. (Lately I’ve started to talk back to these thoughts saying “Blame yourself once and move on”, a great quote from The Simpsons)I don’t like this part of myself. Or the shadow part of me.

I’m alive, doing great at work, and okay overall. I have zero reason to be afraid of failing there. I work hard, my bosses trust me by giving me special tasks, and they see management potential in me in the future. I even got a small raise, and a bonus for the first time ever.

I should be ecstatic, but I’m worried about the other shoe dropping.

I’m so fucking tired of the pandemic. At least 1 more year of this in the US, and longer for many other countries. Someone I work with tested positive, so I’m worried about that. Everyone wears masks, being vaccinated is required at work, so the odds are low. I’ve had some minor symptoms, but I’m not sure if this is due to covid, my sinuses, or regular work fatigue.

I haven’t had a covid booster shot yet, it’s been about 2 months since the second shot wore off, and I have to wait to get tested again since it’s a holiday weekend. Maybe there’s openings tomorrow.

I’m also exhausted with the state of US politics and the news. It feels like the end of the world… I know this is bad for my mental health, but I feel I can’t stop.

… I need help with my personal life. Not sure where or how to start. I just kinda exist.


Song of the post:

A Week complete!

Man outside waking stairs to a bridge

The first week at my new job!

This week I started a new job as a Processor at Walden Cannabis. Working in the legal weed industry is like a job in a warehouse where you process and package food in bulk. It can be repetitive work, but isn’t so bad wearing headphones and listening to stuff. I’ve been catching up on audiobooks, and listening to music. It’s minimum wage work ($16.67, which may sound like a lot but not really in Seattle.), but the company offers benefits once I hit 3 months. I also get paid based on how much I produce daily based on a unique point system. So far I’ve been keeping up with other coworkers. I’m a little anxious about future performance reviews because I haven’t had this before in the workplace, and college was so long ago. It’s been 15 months since my last 5 day a week full time job, so this new lifestyle is a dramatic change. From sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen, at home with cats, occasionally with mom working remote… To starting at weed, trimming each piece, and sorting as usable and grinding material, sitting in an (uncomfortable) office chair with coworkers.

The only problems with this job are tiny: The chairs we sit in are really uncomfortable, and the workspace is cramped. I believe, based on the faded sign out front, that it used to be a auto shop of some kind. Maybe two cars could fit in it bumper to bumper.

I like my coworkers, I like my job, and I have experience doing this work. I don’t know my long term career plans, but that’s okay. That isn’t anything new, and what’s important is that I have something stable finally. This company has been around since pot became recreational in WA state around 2012, and they have been expanding, so those are good long term signs. There are many possible futures opening up. I could stay here and learn on the side, rise up in the company, or go back to school for something else. It’s nice to have possible options. The goal for now is to be mindful and live day to day. To do my best these next three months and lock this great opportunity down.

Getting this job means I had to change my therapy appointments. My therapist has been great with this, fitting me in at the end of the day. It’s frustrating how a huge portion of available therapy appointments are during the day shift. Maybe this is different outside of the US. In the past, I was able to do therapy when I worked restaurant night shifts, or when I was unemployed. I can’t afford to take an hour off work on minimum wage. I could do appointments at work… But my current workspace is tiny. Even though everyone has headphones on, and a bluetooth boombox is on during work, I don’t think that would be enough privacy for therapy. I dunno.

One day at a time.

One step at a time. It’s been 14 months since the last full time job, 13 months since the pandemic began. Gotta remember to be patient. My goals of getting a car, and moving out are in progress. Maybe it’s time to slowly test the dating waters.

It feels good to have a full time job that has pleasant coworkers, and work Im familiar with. A set schedule. With this, I can build a foundation for the life I want. I’m so grateful for all of this.


For the first time in years, I’m excited about the future.

Life isn't sunshine and rainbows quote from Rocky VI
Love this classic speech from Rocky VI. I’d add that sometimes you need help, and that is healthy to do. I’m winning because I keep moving forward. Last year I was knocked down, and barely got up at count 9 of ten. (Boxing reference) A year later I’m back in the ring, ready to fight.

Song of the post: Harder, better, faster, stronger by Daft Punk

Inflection Point

Dream catcher

When was it that I gave up on dreams?

When was it when I lost hope in the future and being optimistic? My meds do help… To a point. Therapy helps… To a point.

When was it that I gave up on the world. Or more importantly, myself? There’s only so much one person can do for that.

Maybe all this insecurity has ignited because of this solitary pandemic lifestyle. Lately I’m not so sure. I feel like this current lifestyle isn’t that different from before covid-19.

I don’t believe in myself… When did this happen?

I don’t have any dreams anymore. For a long time, my only goal was to become mentally healthy. It’s hard to tell if I’ve improved since last March.

These days, I wish I didn’t have to wake up. I wish I could sleep all day. Sleep feels great, and I look forward to dreams, though I haven’t had many over the past year I can recall. Sleeping is awesome. Especially when it’s REM sleep, and you wake up refreshed.

Goals feel pointless. It feels like a never ending hamster wheel.

I feel like I’m procrastinating until the pandemic is over. I’m at the point where I don’t enjoy things. Depression or pandemic fatigue? I can’t tell. Probably a little from column a and column b. Once again I’m wasting precious time. I don’t know what to do.

I’ve reverted back to being a NEET /hikikomori once more, and that worries me. I do like watching anime, but I also feel ashamed because I spent years of my life doing this activity to pass the time. I feel I should be using this time to do something productive.

Im at a point in therapy where I’ve hit a wall, and don’t feel motivated. I don’t know if these changes are actually worth it. I’m unsure because I’m confused at what I want from life.

Im at a point in looking for work that I have to consider: “Would I risk getting covid and possibly dying for this job?”

All I want is a job with the same schedule, no overtime, no weekends or holidays, and I’m not exhausted from work after. Decent health insurance would be nice too.

Maybe all this is the monkey brain gone wild.


On the other hand…

I’m so lucky to have unemployment income. I’m lucky that I live in wa state, and qualify for amazing healthcare due to my income. I’m lucky that I don’t have to work . I don’t have to risk my life because I need to pay bills.

When will I not be crazy, and be enough?

I’m not sure I understand life… I sure am tired of feeling frustrated.


Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Donā€™t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19!


Ā© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

Fight Idiots, Become an Idiot.

A lit match burning through.
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

One Piece, Facebook comments, and idiots(me) oh my!

” Not everything can be solved by acting recklessly.” Princess Vivi, from the anime One Piece.

In a nutshell, One Piece is about Monkey D Luffy, who is on a quest to become the King of Pirates. Luffy and his pirate crew, The strawhat pirates travel on a ship to find the ultimate treasure called One Piece. Also, there are these things in the story called Devil Fruits which grant you abilities. One is that Luffy ate the rubber-rubber fruit, which gave his body the properties of rubber. It’s epic fantasy, action focused. One of the best parts is silly character moments such as this:

” Not everything can be solved by acting recklessly.” Princess Vivi, One Piece. The straw-hat pirates land on an island, and are ambushed by the residents.

One piece episode 80 An Island Without Doctors? Adventure in a Nameless Land!
Credit, One Piece episode 80.

Vivi breaks up a tense situation with guns drawn on the ship by saying this to Luffy, who is the captain. She reminds him that they are there to find a doctor to treat the sick ship’s navigator.

I need to remember this in the future whenever I feel angry at Trump and his supporters. Basically, why am I acting out like this? What does this really accomplish?


Hooked by Troll bait.

I need to stop getting into comment fights with Trump supporters on Facebook. The past two days, I’ve been arguing with Trump supporters after I saw a post in my news feed asking why Biden supporters haven’t been bragging about his accomplishments. My reaction:

As I write this, it’s obvious that post was bait. Bait for a fight and I fell for it. Like, first thing…. BIDEN HASNT BEEN PRESIDENT FOR 2 WEEKS YET. God damnit they piss me off so much. Thank goodness that Trump is out, what really scares me is his base. Thank goodness that they were so fucking stupid on the coup January 6th. They had the doors opened for them, and with barely any police presence, with weapons, tactical gear, and armor and couldn’t succeed. Don’t forget republican white privilege… The most privileged white people in America, and they couldn’t do it. I’m not saying this wasn’t a tragedy or a good thing. That could have been so much worse if they weren’t so fucking stupid.

Just the fact that the Senate building has less security than a Seahawks game. It’s like they are villains from a Mel Brooks movie.

I can’t do anything about that. I feel ashamed, angry, and resentment as an American about this country. All due to Trump and his supporters. I do not want to forgive them. It’s his fault that the pandemic is so bad. And his supporters are overwhelmingly anti maskers and spread Covid-19 by not wearing one.

Rant continued…

Going around people without a mask is playing Russian roulette with people’s lives. It’s fucking selfish. I feel like it’s at the point where nothing else works with trump supporters/ Trump Republicans (or, MAGATS/maggots for short). Protesting isn’t acceptable. Conversation is impossible as facts, logic, good faith arguments, and boundaries don’t work. There’s no compromise. It has to be their way or nothing. They say they bipartisanship, then go back to business as usual. It wasn’t enough that republicans who support him were targets during the coup. The impeachment trial is going to go along party lines, and republicans aren’t arguing whether trump was guilty or not, they’re arguing about if it’s legal to impeach after the president leaves office. Just… No. That isn’t how a criminal trial works. It’s two sides present evidence whether they are guilty or not guilty. It doesn’t matter when you committed a crime, it’s still a crime. It’s still breaking the law, whether you’re president or not.

It should be acceptable to slap people for not wearing a mask. There needs to be criminal punishment if anyone doesn’t wear a mask. Fines against businesses. And jail time if ignored.

Whose the idiot now?

“When it comes to idiots, America’s got more than its fair share. If idiots were energy, it would be a source that would never run out.”

Lewis Black

“No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot.”

Mark Twain

I’m at the point with all that, that I don’t care about being fair, logical, or nice to Trumpers anymore. Not after covid-19. Not after the past 4 years. Not after they acted like sore losers by attempting a coup.

Ugh, I need to join a gym to work this out. Nothing quite like unleashing all your stress, anger, and frustration onto a punching bag.

Ugh, is this what I’ve become? By acting like Trump, I’m becoming what I hate. I feel like they deserve a taste of their own medicine. Each time I lash out in comments acting like this, I feel disgusting instead of relieved. I end up still feeling angry and stressed. I don’t like this person I’ve become in political comment sections.

“Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pidgeon. It’ll just knock over all the pieces, shit on the board, and strut about like it’s won anyway.”

Source

Today I made the decision to unfollow that thread. It’s not helping anything, and in the end, I’m hurting myself by arguing with people who don’t care what I say, I’m there to work out stress rather than communicate, and I have to argue against multiple bad faith bullshit claims. There is no end. All I’m doing is mental self harm.

So, I need to stop starting fights because it accomplishes nothing. Nobodies mind is changed, and I end up looking like the idiot.


Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Donā€™t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19!


Ā© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

Burnout 2021

Cloudy forest road.

I am spent. Totally wiped out. Numb. Again. It’s merely Sunday in the pandemic.

None of the usual stuff is giving joy.

I’m tired of suffering. Tired of being depressed. Tired of the pandemic. The loneliness is killing me.

It’s frustrating living with mom. 1 year of a pandemic is enough. I desperately need to move out. We are just too different people to be living together. But, I can’t move out to an apartment because I don’t have a job or steady income.

It feels like I’m not suited for the work available right now. I can’t do variable schedule, customer service, or fast paced work because of my autism needs. I don’t like using this as a crutch.

Tired of daily, new PTSD from reading the news. Enough with the historical events.

That isn’t to say that Trump or his enabler Republicans shouldn’t be held accountable. They do. Treason/Sedition must be brought to justice. Our democracy and country is more important than any individual or political party.

Can’t even get a breath of fresh air by going outside or into the world. Shielded for safety behind a facemask. Going grocery shopping gave me a mild anxiety attack in the store. It’s like everyone doesn’t care that over 400,000 + have died from covid. Barely any distancing, business as usual at Safeway.

I’m not sure which is more dangerous right now: never leaving the house and being isolated, or getting covid. Therapy, medication, and self care only help so much in this difficult world. Yet, the worst of the pandemic is yet to come.

I need to get a car, so I have some agency. So I can get out of this area any day of the week. But then I’d have to choose between savings or a car. And unemployment is almost done.

I’m tired of this prison I’m in. I committed no crime, yet I feel punished for doing the right thing and staying home. I want to see friends. I want a life. I’m tired of no job = no life.

Heartbroken.

I feel like I’m about to fall apart and shatter. Damnit.


Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Donā€™t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!



Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19!


Ā© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

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