#577 – Lazy Day and Long Streaks

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Woke up this morning at around 9:00 – unsurprising since I was still awake at 2:00 am – and headed to a friend’s house to visit with her for a while, and to play with her new foster kittens. I spent a couple hours at her place, then headed back home. The kittens are adorable and it was good to spend time with my friend.

My wife has been dealing with a headache all day, so there were some naps interspersed with working on the playlist for tonight’s show. Eventually I headed to the pharmacy to pick up a couple prescriptions and to the store to grab something for dinner tonight, came home, made dinner, and did the show. Tonight was Cards Against Humanity night but because of server errors we were only able to get one game in during our three hour long show.

Tomorrow is going to be hectic. I have a quiz to finish up for algebra by Monday morning, so I’ll be working on that, in addition to doing laundry and the weekly grocery shopping.

Eventually my wife lost her headache but I found it, so I apologize today’s post isn’t any longer than it is.

Oh, one last thing. Know those checklists that I try to accomplish every day? Yesterday I hit 180 days straight of completing my checklist. Kinda proud of that, considering how different things are now that I’m in school. So that happened.

The Last Three Days

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First off, I’m sorry I haven’t written anything of substance for the last couple of days. Things have been really busy on this vacation and I’ve gotten in with just enough energy in the tank to say “I’ll get you tomorrow” twice and then go immediately to bed.So today’s blog post is going to cover the last three days – Saturday, Sunday, and today.

Saturday was the day that my wife’s best friend held a party in her her honor. We went over to their place early so we could help get things ready. My wife and her best friend mostly cleaned (I helped some) and I mostly did homework and played Secret World Legends in an attempt to occupy my wife’s best friend’s three year old. (Trying to play a game in a zombie-infested town in rural Maine with a toddler watching is very interesting, and pretty amusing. About every fifteen to twenty seconds I was asked what I was doing, and then that was followed by a litany of “why?” until the next time to ask what I was doing came around. This was occasionally interrupted when it was pointed out that I was running down the middle of the street – a perfectly safe thing to do, since all vehicles were either abandoned or being used as a barricade – because you shouldn’t walk in the street. So I had to use the sidewalk for the better part of my gaming session. Oh, and I couldn’t jump over fences either. It was cute.) The party that evening was not a big one, there were sixteen people there total, but there were only six of those people that I knew before the party, and three of the attendees were children, so this was a big test of my anxiety. I had to be social for hours with strangers, and all while the kids were playing fairly to really loudly indoors. I did really well, however. I talked with everyone at least a little bit, had a few protracted conversations with people I’d just met, and only went outside twice to get a little peace from the noise of several conversations mingling with kids at play. We were among the last to leave, and I genuinely had a good time.

Sunday was the day that we went to do the one touristy thing that I asked to do during this trip, that being to see the Golden Gate Bridge. We got into San Francisco and traffic started getting worse the closer we were to the city, and then we hit the area around Golden Gate Park and traffic came to a complete standstill. It took us well over 30 minutes to travel a mile through the worse gridlock I’ve ever seen in person. We were on our way to a particular spot to see the bridge, and on the way we missed our turns twice, complicating the trip even further. With the second miss, we had committed to actually crossing the bridge, which we did just long enough to turn around and come back, and finally traveling this way the way to my pre-ordained spot was clear. There was traffic, however, and no place to park, so there were some hurried photos taken before we had to drive on. One of those photos is above, and the significance of the place is that it is marked on Google Maps as the future home of Star Trek’s Starfleet Academy. For those that have seen the movies, the background of this photo might look a little familiar. Once we finished there, we started searching around for a place to refill our loaner car, and once we’d done that, we headed off to meet a fellow DJ from the radio station. We had a great visit with him, probably a couple hours at least, and then we dropped him off at the BART station to head back home, and we then drove to my wife’s best friend’s house for dinner and conversation for a few more hours before heading back to where we are staying for the night.

This morning we went around to some of the communities around the San Jose area just seeing what the towns looked like. I saw some places that were notable from my wife’s childhood, as well as a few tourist locations, including Winchester Mystery House and the new Apple Park complex. We also took a considerable amount of time to find a particular business that was very near and dear to our hearts, and after looking in three places using two mapping applications, we finally arrived at the corporate office for the Society for Creative Anachronism, the historical re-creation organization that my wife and I have been part of for around 20 years and that we met through. Having reached our fill of driving around, we went back to where we’re staying and took a nap.

Tonight will be a big dinner at our hosts’ house, with the two of them, their younger son – my wife’s best friend – and his family, and the two of us. It’ll be a last chance to visit with all of them before we start packing things up in preparation to fly home early tomorrow morning.

This has been an incredible trip. I’ve gotten to see a lot of the Bay Area and know now why the cost of living here is so expensive – the place is utterly gorgeous. More importantly, I’ve had the opportunity to see places and meet people that are important to my wife. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It has been twenty years since my wife was last here in California, and these last few days have been some of the best she’s had since we got together over seventeen years ago. I have made promises to several people that it will not be another twenty years before we come back to visit. There’s still so much that I haven’t seen, and I want her friends and me to have the opportunity to get to know one another better.

Tomorrow’s going to be a hectic day. Besides the flight, I have a lot of studying to do in preparation for a biology quiz on Wednesday and an algebra test on Thursday. I genuinely hope I do well – I would prefer not to have more grades that are on the low side, especially on that test. While the low quiz score will be dropped, that won’t be the case with the test, and I’ve been doing a lot of my work up to this point open-book, something that the testing center won’t allow. If I can get through this week, I think school will be easier to handle for a while.

Happy Birthday My Friend

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This afternoon my wife and I drove down to the west side of San Antonio to attend a dear friend and mentor’s 70th birthday party. The trip down was full of stop-and-go traffic, and I passed the time by reading a chapter of my biology homework on my tablet during the drive.

We got to his daughter’s home and finally got a chance to meet the rest of his family that we didn’t already know – his daughter and her husband and kids, and his youngest son’s girlfriend. They’re all super nice people and it was good to finally get to meet them.

There were also several of our friends there as well, and we enjoyed spending time with them all. I was fairly social until late in our stay.

One of my highlights was finally getting to spend some time with a friend’s service dog. In the time that I’ve known Gitte, she’s always been on duty, and you never engage a service dog while on duty unless given explicit permission by the owner. Tonight, though, her owner arrived, said her hellos, and then took Gitte’s vest off, signifying that she was free to just be a dog for the visit. She’s very sweet and was thrilled to be able to engage all the people at the party, and it was a very happy thing to see her enjoying herself so much.

As for my friend, the crotchety old bastard who reads these blog posts, well, I could say a lot of derogatory things here about him – he’d actually expect that, honestly – but what I’m instead going to say is that in the years that I’ve known him, I would be hard-pressed to find a more honorable, wise individual, who goes out of his way to help others, especially when they themselves are helping others still. He’s got a wicked sense of humor but the heart of a Lion (quite literally – it’s a long story if you don’t already know) and I would be very hard-pressed to find anyone that I’d rather have mentor me through my beloved hobby. Love you, my friend. Happy birthday.

Out in Meatspace

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Meatspace is a term that my wife and I use for interacting with friends in the real world, as opposed to online interactions. When we lived in Illinois, most of our socialization was through the computer with people in all reaches of the globe, but now that we’ve moved to Austin we have a lot of friends that are local and who are genuinely happy to see us.

Today we went to go visit a dear friend of mine and her son. While she and my wife did crafty things together, I was on baby detail, and he and I sat and watched Moana, which is apparently his favorite movie.

I’d seen Moana before and really liked it, but it was still fairly new to me, and so I got sucked into it pretty heavily, to the point that I wasn’t paying attention when I was being talked to from the kitchen. I apologized and said, very accurately, that this is one of the reasons that we don’t have cable and I don’t spend much time at all on our various streaming services – I lose myself in the story and could spend hours just blindly watching whatever popped up on that screen.

I became a little more social once the movie was over, but that’s also about the time that I realized I had a pretty bad headache, and my wife realized that her back was really bothering her, so we sat and chatted for a little bit longer and then headed home to try and kick our various pains.

I had a great time, though, and really hope that we can do it again soon.

Today Was a Blur

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I honestly can’t remember a lot about today. It went by so fast, and I really didn’t do that much worth noting. I do know that I spent a couple hours doing algebra homework, and I cooked dinner, and I spent some time playing Secret World Legends today, but beyond that it’s honestly just a blur. The day went so quickly it barely registered with me.

I’ve decided that I’m going to take a day off from school during the weekend if my course load will allow it. So as long as I don’t have to put in some extra time studying for quizzes and tests and exams, I’ll have at least one day to myself each week. I think that’s going to be an important thing to try and maintain, for sanity’s sake.

This week I’m taking tomorrow off to go spend some time with a very dear friend of mine. Neither my wife nor I see this person nearly enough, and we cherish the chance to get to enjoy her company. It’s going to be a crafting day, and I might dive in and try my hand at things, or I might just sit back and enjoy the conversation.

I must remember that even though I’m a college student now – that still seems so weird to me – I have to make time to be sociable with others in my circle of friends. It’s going to be a long program, as associate’s degrees go, and I can’t go that long without regular socialization. I’m going to have to get out there and make myself available to people, even if it’s going over to someone’s place and watching a movie together. I’ll need that break from my studies.

I don’t have class on Monday because of the Labor Day holiday, but I’m still planning to spend a good part of the day studying. I feel like I’m ahead of the curve – already have Wednesday’s biology homework done and am about a sixth of the way through an algebra assignment that’s due a month from today – but there’s a quiz in biology on Wednesday that I need to study for and there’s also a take-home quiz for algebra that I’ve got to start.

I’ve said it before, I’m enjoying the structure required to study most every day. It helps to give me something to do that’s not filler activities, stuff that I do because I enjoy it but also because it helps pass the time. I think I’m going to enjoy that aspect of being a student.

So Sleepy

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Today was a pretty lazy day. I did a few chores around the house, but largely I took it easy. I was supposed to go see my doctor for a non-urgent issue today after dropping my wife off at work after lunch, but I was falling asleep at stop lights heading back towards our place, so I called and postponed that appointment.

A good portion of my day was spent in Secret World Legends. Recently I had an issue on my main character with progressing on the central story line – I couldn’t get past a locked door and the game managers couldn’t figure out a way to fix the bug. They were able to jump start my character past that point in the story line, but it meant that I’d miss out on all the stuff in the zone beyond the door. I figured it was a small price to pay to be able to play again, and besides, I could always see what I was missing on another character. This morning I did a mission that somehow managed to reset the locked door so I could get through it, and that zone became available to me again, so I spent the day on that character exploring the new areas.

We had friends come over for a visit during the early evening – they were dropping off the Cards Against Humanity Bigger Blacker Box that we lent out on Saturday for the party – and we had a good visit, talking about all sorts of things of common interest. It was good to see them again.

As I type this, I’m beyond exhausted. I’ve been tired all day, and I can’t wait to go to bed. I have an early morning tomorrow, but there will be plenty of opportunity to catch up on sleep once I run my morning errand. Looking forward to that.

Plans Thwarted

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This afternoon we went to a barbecue put on by some friends of ours. We saw a few mutual friends that we already knew, a few that we hadn’t met yet, and one that we haven’t seen in years and years. The food was great – pulled pork and coleslaw bagel sliders, pork ribs, sausages, a phenomenal corn dish made with corn, cream cheese, and garlic, and other assorted munchies. The food was fantastic and the company was awesome. The plan was to eat and then throw water balloons at one another and then retire inside for a game or three of Cards Against Humanity. We carried our new, improved Bigger Blacker Box that contains about 90% of the entire CAH line.

Things started coming undone when the bottom fell out and made the water balloons superfluous. All we needed to do to get a proper drenching was just go stand outside for a few seconds, and we’d be soaked to the bone. It was mentioned that of course it rained now that water balloons were purchased for the occasion.

The other thing that affected me and my wife is the bad headache that I started coming down with shortly after we started eating. I tried to tough it out as best as I could, but it just wasn’t having any of my socialization nonsense, despite taking something to combat it. So we said our farewells, left the Bigger Blacker Box for them to enjoy, and headed home.

I hate that we had to leave early. I was enjoying myself and feeling very comfortable being social, which my regular readers know is a recent thing. Just two months ago I would have hidden in the house and done anything I could to keep from being social. My therapy is really producing results, and they are assisted by finally getting me on an effective medication regimen. The capstone on the recovery is the stuff that I’m learning in The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, Sixth Edition by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD. While I’m in the process of giving the whole book a once-through read before really starting to get in-depth with the recommended exercises, even this first reading is revealing a lot of new techniques and mindsets that are helping me a great deal.

It was mentioned to me recently by a friend that my normal seems pretty normal these days, and I’d have to agree. I haven’t had a bad day in a couple months, perhaps even longer. I hope this trend continues. I could really get used to a more normal normal.

Partay!

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So today is the Fourth of July which is a really big holiday here in America in which we celebrate our forefathers’ desire for separation of church and state by spending our children’s inheritance and setting it on fire to hear the boom. This day is usually marked by rampant patriotism, copious amounts of alcohol (usually beer) and food, sales galore, and parties everywhere. It is that last item that I wish to have you focus on, as it’s what I’m going to be discussing here today, and I’d prefer that we were both on the same page, as it were.

People that have known me for a while know I’m not a big party person. I prefer small gatherings to larger ones, because larger groups are louder and it’s harder to work my way into conversation with many than it is for me to work my way into a smaller crowd.

But today, I not only went to a party where there were easily 20 people, but I was looking forward to it, and had a great time. I wasn’t anxious about the day, I didn’t feel left out like I tend to do in larger groups, and there were lots of people there that I knew as well as people I’d never met before. I socialized, I watched a game I’d never heard of called Timeline – interesting premise, you have cards that each represent an event at some point in history, and using a seed card, your job is to guess where in the timeline your cards will fall; the game starts out easy but gets more and more difficult as the timespans between cards narrows significantly – and I ate some great food. I got a chance to visit a while with many of my friends and the only reason I think we left when we did was because my wife wasn’t feeling very well, and both of us were quite tired. (I got up this morning about quarter of five to go to the restroom and suddenly felt very dizzy and lightheaded. I went to check my blood sugar and it was perfectly normal, so I checked my blood pressure on a whim and got back a reading of 99/63. I woke my wife to let her know what was going on and took it again a few minutes later, and this time it was 86/54. I normally have high blood pressure that’s controlled using six different medications, so something this low was alarming for me. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with dehydration and given a bag of saline for my trouble. Neither one of us managed to get back to sleep before the party.)

We said our farewells and excused ourselves, and headed home for a nap and to prepare for an evening of ignoring everyone that was illegally lighting fireworks in city limits.

Feeling Sociable

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We had a friend spend the late afternoon and evening with us tonight. She came over initially to drop off something, but that turned into conversation, which turned into her taking a conference call from our kitchen table, which turned into dinner, which turned into more conversation. I wasn’t very talkative but that was mostly because I didn’t have that much to add to things. That tends to be the case with me socially, sitting back and letting others dominate conversation. I’ve always done it. I think it’s because I was taught at a young age not to interrupt when other people are talking, and conversations naturally flow from one topic to another, so usually by the time I can hop in and not feel like I’m stepping on anyone’s toes the conversation has typically moved on, so I just sit and listen mostly. I should try to figure out a way of breaking that habit.

It’s been a productive day today, but it was an early start – I was up at 3:30 am thanks to a splitting headache and a horrible backache, and I never got back to bed. That means that I’m super tired tonight and really want nothing more than to go lie down.