Proof of life, again

I spent the whole day yesterday with my head swimming, and as far as I could tell no other symptoms– just massive, nasty dizziness that I couldn’t find any solution for. I got up around 5:00 this morning to see if it had gone away, and it hadn’t, and given the length of my commute the thought of the drive to work while fighting being tired and dizzy spells seemed … unwise. So I took the day off, slept until about 2:30, and since then I’ve just been, well, staring, mostly.

How has your Monday gone?

Just a thought

A warning: this post has the potential to start out sounding kind of grandiose, like I’ve got a Big Point to make and I’m Going Somewhere; don’t be fooled, this is just an anecdote that is a bit too complicated for Twitter or Mastodon. Calibrate your expectations accordingly.

My wife does the grocery shopping every week, on Saturday or Sunday morning. This started out as a Covid thing where it made more sense for just one of us to be out in the world being exposed to people and has more or less solidified into What We Do Around Here since then. While she’s gone, I clean up the kitchen and get the dishes washed. This involves emptying and refilling the dishwasher, which means I’m putting glasses and cups back into the cabinets.

How many of you put your glasses upside down in the cabinets? Is this something everyone does? An Indiana thing? I have no idea, because it’s not like I’ve paid attention in other people’s houses, and when I *am* in someone else’s house and getting a cup out of a cabinet, it’s likely that it’s someone related to me, so they have the same practices. I have no idea if this is “normal” or not.

Anyway, as I was putting a glass into the cabinet this morning, it floated through my head that the reason I have always done it this way is that it keeps bugs out of the glasses. That’s why you put them upside down. It’s so bugs can’t get in. That’s the reason.

And that thought kind of stopped me short for a minute. Like I literally froze, glass in hand, thinking about that belief that I’ve harbored, unexamined, for my whole Goddamn life.

Because you know what I’ve never had a problem with, not one time, in my entire life, from growing up in my parents’ house, to a couple of college dorms, to various apartments and now the whole-ass house I’ve lived in for the last twelve years? Bugs in cabinets. And one of those apartments had an ant problem for a while. I have probably at some point or another found a stinkbug in a cabinet. One. Because during stinkbug season those fuckers get everywhere. But that’s it. And this belief, that you keep glasses upside-down in the cabinet because that’s how you keep bugs out of them, has been hard-coded into me for my whole damn life.

Which got me wondering how many generations back you have to go, to find the ancestor who had cabinets and had a bug problem, one bad enough that decades later that person’s descendants are still automatically following this rule they– well, she, let’s be real– created. I know it came through my mother because when I was a kid mothers did all the housework, but my grandfather on Mom’s side had a lifelong, solid, post-WWII Silent Generation union job in a factory and if they were ever poor enough that keeping the bugs out was an issue I have never heard about it. So we’re talking probably at least three generations back.

It really makes me wonder what other things I do without thinking about it that can be traced back to, like, the Depression or something like that.

On 2022

Every year, I spend time during the week between Christmas and New Year’s thinking about writing a retrospective post about the previous year, and I almost never do it. I mean, I do blogwanking and sales recaps and top 10 lists and all that, but it’s rare for me to look at a year in any sort of semi-formal way and talk about how it went.

I mean, other than “That was the worst year of my life,” which I said of every single year between 2016 and 2020. 2021 wasn’t great, but was a better year than 2020. I mean, 2020 was not only the year the Covid epidemic hit but it was also the year my mom died, although part of me feels like I can blame that on 2019. It would have been difficult for 2021 to have been a worse year than 2020, and I really don’t think it was.

2022? It feels weird typing this.

2022 might have been a good year.

I feel like just by saying that I’m either bragging or tempting fate, y’know? But it’s hard to deny. I am, for the first time in years, Doing All Right, and by some measures, Doing Well. My family is all healthy and doing well. My son is thriving at his school and started playing ice hockey this year, which he seems to really enjoy. My relationship with my wife is as strong as it’s ever been. I have a new nibling on the way in a couple of months, and my nephew is walking and jabbering.

Financially? 2022 was the year my student loans went away, in and of itself probably the biggest thing that happened to me this year, as that was nearly $70,000 in loans and a $545 monthly payment that I’d been making for over 20 years. Gone. The personal loan that I took out that wiped out my credit card debt is over halfway paid off and my payments are over a year ahead of schedule. Both my wife and I are making more money than we’ve ever made before. We’re slowly working our way through the whole house getting things renovated and fixed up; this year featured a new bathroom, a vastly improved basement, flipping the dining room and the family room, and new carpet and new furniture in the living room.

Professionally, I finally quit the dysfunctional wreck of a district I’ve been working at for nearly the entire time I’ve been back in Indiana, and my new district and my new school have, so far, been absolutely wonderful in every way. I’ve actually been happy teaching for the last month or so, which hasn’t been true in a very long time. The blog is … well, still here; there was a reason there was no blogwanking post this year– but I’m back to having fun with my YouTube channel, which you ought to be following me on, damn it. And, honestly, for someone well out of the age range of your typical YT video game streamer, I feel like I’m doing pretty well.

I’ve kept up two months and counting of learning Arabic with Duolingo, finally starting to fulfill a promise I made myself when I dropped the class my freshman year of college. Calculus? I’m looking at you. I mean, I’m doing it from a distance, and with a fair amount of distaste, but I’m looking.

Hell, even the world in general dodged at least a couple of opportunities to go further to hell. And Biden has been a much better president than I’d ever have believed in 2020.

Really the only thing I have to complain about is my health; I have pretty much contracted all of the Fat Man diseases at this point, and it really might be a good idea for me to do the utterly stereotypical thing and resolve to lose some Goddamned weight in 2023. I don’t do resolutions and I’m not doing one now, but I’m literally fatter than I’ve ever been before and I have to wear a mask to bed, so … doing something to change that is probably a good idea? You never know; now that I’m not spending 90% of my spoons on stressing out about work and money I might have the headspace necessary to take a shot at dropping weight again. No promises, though. I can’t break them if I don’t make them.

I dunno, y’all. I’m unused to optimism, although I feel like I can make an objective case for at least considering the idea. Although part of me is pretty well convinced that I’ve screwed the pooch by typing this. If my house burns down tonight or something, it’s probably my fault. On to 2023, I suppose.

Whoops

The day kind of got away from me– I got home from the comic shop, drank a big glass of eggnog, and took a nap, and I’ve been faffing around on the PS5 all night– so expect two posts tomorrow. I’ll do both of my book posts for the year. In the meantime, I’m still playing through God of War: Ragnarök over on The YouTubes, and you haven’t subscribed yet, so go take care of that.

In which I am fat and grouchy

Just got back from a performance at my kid’s school, made up entirely of fifth and sixth graders, that the drama teacher decided to call a “cabaret,” which put me not so much in mind of things starring fifth and sixth graders. There were puppet shows and speeches and some sort of weirdly avant-garde and possibly partially improvised performance that really had me wondering if I should be snapping my fingers rather than clapping at the end of each part of it.

Meanwhile, my ass still hurts from the chair. I have a fairly ample ass. No chair should be able to do this to me, but at one point during the performance I’m pretty sure I was paralyzed from the waist down. I had my arm around my wife, because they pack those damn chairs so close together that I didn’t have room for my shoulders otherwise, and that was falling asleep too, and … it wasn’t pleasant.

My kid’s puppet show about Icarus and Daedalus was pretty okay, though, especially when they managed to work the “Father, Help” meme into it. Raised that boy right, I have.

CPAP update: I continue to be unable to use the nasal pillows, and my “events” have stabilized around six an hour; still more than they want (the target is less than five) but way less than eighty. I must admit after three days of waking up feeling reasonably energetic (still nothing earthshaking, mind you, but three good night’s sleeps) I was dying on the drive in to work today. I have today and tomorrow and then I have a couple of weeks where I can sleep in. Everything will be fine. I can do this.