#602 – Goodbye 2017!

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This will be my last post this year. I am packing for a flight to Orlando to spend some time with my wife’s family for a few days. We leave very, very early in the morning so tonight’s post is going to be short, but important.

One of my first posts of 2017 was on January 21, where I talked a bit about what everyday life was like for me. I was barely being social, I was pretty much a shut-in, I was only driving if it was absolutely necessary, and I was very prone to anxiety attacks at the drop of a hat. I was still pretty early in The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, Sixth Edition, and my meds were keeping my mood low but stable.

Fast forward to today. I’ve completed the Workbook and had my meds tweaked to a super effective combination, and together they’ve allowed me to make progress that I could never have foreseen in January. I’ve recently completed my first semester in college, with both classes being taught in the classroom and not online. I started driving pretty much anywhere and going to stores on my own. My confidence started to come back, although it still has a ways to go. I have far more good days than bad. My mood is usually fairly medium but it’s easy for it to spike and rare for it to plummet even for a brief time.

This has been nothing short of a transformative year for me, and I’m hoping that 2018 is going to be more of the same. I’ve got a hell of a workload in the spring semester that starts next month, and just at the beginning of it I’m moving, but if I can get through that with mostly A’s and the occasional B, then I’ll consider myself very prepared for anything else that college – and life – can throw my way.

I want to thank you for following me through this banner year. Your words of encouragement and wisdom mean the world to me, and I appreciate every one of you for taking time out of your day to read my (sometimes nonsensical) musings about my life.

See you folks next year. Enjoy the turn of the calendar and all the promise and hope it brings.

#601 – What a Lovely Day

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Today was a fantastic day. I got to spend the afternoon with one of my favorite people, and when I picked my wife up from work found out that she had an even better day after a conversation with her supervisor.

The evening’s been spent lying in bed and goofing off on the computer. I’ll enjoy this little bit of respite. We’re going to be packing tomorrow night for a flight to Orlando Saturday morning to spend time with my wife’s family for New Year’s. Once we get back, the packing and preparation for our move is going to start in earnest, and it won’t be many days before I’ll be back in school.

Gotta enjoy the downtime while I can. There’s not a lot of it on the horizon.

#600 – Playing Around

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So I was going to write a bit longer today about what’s been going on lately. The morning was quiet, but the afternoon and evening were very busy. I went to run errands with our house guest after my wife’s lunch break, and only came back home for a few minutes before going to pick my wife up from work. We were home for a little while, but went out to eat with another friend we all know. We had a great time, and afterwards all came back to our place for a couple games. We own one of them, but the one our friend brought was one of the most amazing concepts I’ve ever seen in a game. It’s called DropMix, and it uses an electronic base, NFC-enabled cards, and a phone app to create unique musical mixes for points. There’s a competitive mode and a cooperative mode, and the songs involved use various tracks from popular songs to create a sometimes surprising and always creative, ever-changing mix of music. We both decided that we have to own this game, so hopefully after we’ve settled into the new apartment we’ll be able to pick it up.

I’d write more but we have to be up early to get my wife to work and then go straightaway to the airport to drop off our house guest, and I could use the sleep.

#599 – Hotspot Hero

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I’m writing today to say that it’s been a good day, I had a lot of fun, and our internet has been out for the majority of the evening. I’m logged into my hotspot on my phone just long enough to get this out and apologize for not writing more or earlier. I’ll have more tomorrow, provided the internet connection allows.

#598 – Holiday Wishes

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This is late, I know, but I hope everyone that celebrates Christmas had a good one today. No matter what you celebrate this winter, I wish you prosperity, good cheer, and peace.

I’ll write more tomorrow. Today was a good day, but I’m exhausted and my head and back are killing me, and I want to go lie down.

 

#597 – Gotta Catch ‘Em All, But This One In Particular

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Today my wife, our house guest, and I drove two and a half hours one way for the chance to catch a very specific Pokémon.

Some folks might think this to be a little excessive, but bear with me, it was warranted.

Pokémon Go has hundreds of Pokémon available in the game, but not all of them are available everywhere. Each continent has its own regional-exclusive critters that you can’t catch anywhere else in the world. If you happen to have one of those regional Pokémon from a different continent, it’s almost always a sign that someone’s been traveling.

Our house guest is very much into the game, and as such has found ways of tracking specific Pokémon almost in real time. His research showed that there was a bit of an anomaly with one of the regional Pokémon – the South American regional, Heracross, is only available south of the 29th parallel.

That parallel crosses south Texas, which means that some places in Texas have been reporting Heracross sightings and captures.

Our trip today took us to Victoria, Texas, where Heracross has been popping up regularly. We spent hours setting lures and traveling between them to see what the lures attracted. We went to many places in town that had Heracross sightings, hitting Pokéstops along the way for supplies.

The trip was very productive. I restocked my supplies and caught several new-to-me Pokémon during the day. Both my wife and our guest had similar results, although our guest didn’t catch as many new Pokémon, since he’s much more active in game than either my wife or I. But despite getting advice from players in town, we didn’t find a Heracross.

Eventually we decided we needed to make the trip back to Austin, so we grabbed a bite to eat, checked a couple more places, and then headed home. While we were heading out of town, our guest was checking our route, and as we approached one corner, he called out “HERACROSS!”

We pulled into the convenience store and frantically pulled up our game clients in order to catch this elusive prize. It took some of us a few tries, some of us only one, but all three of us eventually captured the Heracross. Triumphant, we wrapped up the game and drove home.

It was a fun day and a good time was had by all.

#596 – What a Show

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I was supposed to go out with my wife and our house guest to play Pokemon Go this morning, but a searing migraine put a stop to that. So the highlight of my day was delayed until the evening.

Tonight we had planned a very special radio show. Our house guest is also a DJ for the station, and so we were going to do a take on the Whose Line Is It Anyway? skit called Scenes from a Hat. In this, the participant are given a scene to portray, and a situation they need to involve in the scene. For the radio show, we’ve been collecting quotes in our Discord server for some time and about a month ago started collecting styles as well. The point was for us to call up a random style and deliver a random quote in that style. The quotes are all great examples of things being funny out-of-context, and the idea was that saying these quotes during our talk breaks would be at least amusing.

We invited a few friends to join us during the show and participate if they wanted to. In the end, we had seven people here: a very dear friend of ours and her daughter, another fellow DJ and her husband, and the three of us. Five of us participated, and it was absolute mayhem from the beginning.

We ran about an hour and a half longer than we were scheduled to, because we were having that much fun. We delivered lines as Sean Connery, the Golden Girls, William Shatner, Gollum, and more. And we all had a blast.

Our listeners were already asking for us to do this again sometime before we ever signed off the air, and it was agreed by all that it would definitely be something we’d want to in the future.

It was great fun.

#595 – Not the Best of Days, Not the Worst of Days

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Sometime around 7:45 or so this evening, I noticed that my mood was rapidly tanking, usually a sign that my blood sugar is low. My wife got me to eat a couple yogurts before heading to dinner with friends around 8:15. (More on that in a minute.) My mood stayed down throughout most of the meal, however, and persisted beyond that to an outing to a local game shop afterwards.

I really don’t know what’s triggering this downward swing, but I dislike it intensely. I feel isolated and alone, even with friends around me, and the only thing I can do is grin and bear it.

Having said that, dinner this evening was fantastic. We went with our house guest to meet three more mutual friends of ours for an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ. The food was very tasty, I tried kimchi for the first time (not bad, but nothing I’ll go out of my way to eat in the future), and I actually had a great time, even though I was fairly anti-social throughout the meal. It was good to get out and see folks that I know and like.

#594 – Catching Up and Setting Up

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Today has been a productive one around the apartment for me. All the things that started stacking up from yesterday have been addressed and resolved.

Today was highlighted by two deliveries. The first one came straight to our door, in a shrink-wrapped cooler. Inside were several cuts of meat and a couple side dishes from Omaha Steaks, courtesy of my in-laws. We will eat well for days off this gift.

The second one was delivered to the management office around the same time, and it’s that one that I was most interested in. That shipment was my new school laptop, which I’ve spent the afternoon and evening trying to get set up. There have been some challenges getting things working, but with a little help from our house guest, all was set right before long.

The laptop is going to have two users, one strictly for school, and another strictly for stuff outside of school. The idea is that it will be able to play games in a pinch should I find myself traveling, as I will be late next week. It means that I don’t have to take more than one laptop, which quickly becomes heavy and bulky.

Right now, it’s going through a very large download, which will take several hours, so it was timed to run overnight. It should be ready for use in the morning.

 

#593 – Finally

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Today I finally got my grades for algebra. I pulled down an 85.76% for the semester, for a solid B. I’m very, very happy with this, given the struggles I had with the second half of the semester.

Today has also been a very lazy day, and I’m going to enjoy it while I can, despite feeling guilty that I didn’t do more around the house.

It’s a far cry from last year this time, when I was doing very little because that’s all I could do at the time. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, but what was once the status quo feels like so much less today. I know I was doing the best that I could, and I’m trying to go easy on myself about it, but the guilt about not doing more today and about not doing more then is still fairly strong.