I have taken worse selfies, I guess.

I’m also going to keep telling the internet to send me birthday money until it actually happens. C’mon, one of y’all take the hit. Somebody out there has to have more money than sense. ūüôā

I have spent my birthday recording a Platinum Trophy Guide for Return of the Obra Dinn and reading. It is hotter– or at least more humid– than Satan’s asscrack outside and I just dispatched my wife to Long John Silver’s for dinner, mostly because neither of us feels like cooking and the boy has been begging for it lately. It occurs to me that on a day like today working at Long John Silver’s might literally be the worst job in existence, so I apologize to those poor fryer-burnt bastards for anything they’ve experienced today. It has, truth be told, been a fairly regular day, which … well, 46 ain’t exactly a milestone year. 45 went pretty well, at least personally, even if the entire world went to hell. In an ideal world this next year is as good for me mentally and physically as last year was for me financially.

We shall see. On to 47, I suppose.

My mid-life crisis

Honest truth: I didn’t mind the white at all, and if you’re looking at this wondering why I’ve posted a bathroom selfie, it’s because my glorious white beard is now a glorious beard something closer to my actual— uh, no, let’s say original— hair color. I’m going to be 45 in a couple of weeks, so this is probably more of a 2/3 crisis than a midlife crisis, but I bought the gel dye quite a while ago just for the sheer hell of it and then never used it, and for some reason tonight turned out to be the night.

I shoulda gone green.

On the limits of my principles

I’ve mentioned that my wife broke her foot the other day. She does most virtually all of the grocery shopping. While I am perfectly capable and willing to step in and handle that job, the simple fact that I don’t do it means that it will likely take me twice as long to get the job done because I don’t know where everything is, and I’ve discussed my (getting better) issues with panic attacks while wearing masks a couple of times as well. So as soon as we discovered that we could do curbside pickup for our groceries for just $5 extra plus the tip, we decided that at least for right now that’s how we were going to handle things.

Now, they allow you to set general rules for what to do if something you want isn’t in stock. I’m not sure what the options are (she did the ordering) but basically it boils down to they pick substitutes or they don’t. Our son has some allergy issues so she decided that the best move was just to go with no substitutes, and if for some reason we’re denied something that we feel like we need I can always make a run tomorrow for a couple of things.

You may recall also that I wrote a Comprehensive List of Things I am Currently Boycotting a couple of weeks ago. One of my friends mentioned Papa John’s in the comments. Papa John’s is another sort of edge case for me; I generally avoid eating there but that’s as much because my aging digestive system can no longer handle their garlic sauce (which is absolutely essential to the Papa John’s experience; do not insult me by suggesting that I can eat their pizza without drenching it in garlic sauce) than it is because of their politics.

That said, I’ve been craving the damn place ever since reading that comment. It’s a terrible idea, so we haven’t caved, but it’s been lurking there in the back of my head.

We decided on the way home from getting groceries that we’d have pizza for dinner, as there were supposed to be two pizzas in our order. Then we got home and discovered that one of them wasn’t there, presumably because they were out of stock on that specific kind of pizza.

Damn. We briefly discuss other options, and Papa’s comes up, and I shoot it down, because it’s a terrible idea. And then I interrupt the conversation to go use the bathroom, and while I’m in the bathroom I hear my son yell for my wife from our other bathroom. And when I come out, she tells me that I have something I need to deal with in the other bathroom.

And, well, a minute or two later, after seeing what I had been summoned for, I sent this text:

If you’re thinking “Okay, this sounds like that happened, but the size of a baseball? It has to be something else.” No, it doesn’t. That’s what happened.

I have about an hour to get my affairs finished off for the evening before I begin paying for dinner.

8:45 PM, Friday May 8: 1,283,846 confirmed cases and 77,178 American deaths.



The boy is in¬†kindergarten, y’all. ¬†Or at least he will be, once summer vacation is over.


May as well tell the whole world

tmi.png.htmlI thought, for reasons that will¬†quickly¬†become quite obvious, that maybe I ought to not go ahead and fill the Internet in on certain recent developments in my life. ¬†But I’ve been pretty open about being on anxiety medication since they put me on it, and this is related to that, so to hell with it. ¬†A warning: if you know me personally, it’s possible that you might not want to read this. ¬†Certain of you I’m giving license to¬†never ever stop mocking me again, which… eh. ¬†It’ll be okay.

So, to get straight to the point: I’ve taken myself off of Lexapro. ¬†If I were a more intelligent human I would probably be¬†weaning myself off Lexapro, but I’m not an especially intelligent human and I was on a pretty low dose to begin with so I’m cold-turkeying the shit. ¬†I had several reasons for making this decision. ¬†One of the big ones was that I’m not in the environment (teaching) that led me to¬†need Lexapro in the first place, so the direct cause of my anxiety issues is gone. ¬†The biggest one, though? ¬†It turns out that one of the rarer side effects of drugs like Lexapro is…

…this is the part where you stop reading, if you ever want to¬†not think of this when you see me or talk to me again…

…urinary incontinence.

I have had, perhaps once a month in the past six months, what I will describe as a “bloop” and assume that your imagination can fill in the details. ¬†They have always happened when I was asleep, always when I was on my back, and have always instantly awakened me, at which time I’ve cleaned myself up, swearing profusely under my breath, and gone back to sleep. ¬†Last week, it happened twice¬†in two days, and what was previously merely an excessively irritating thing that I was attributing to getting older abruptly had me Googling things like “prostate cancer.” ¬†There’s never been an issue when I was¬†awake, although I feel like I’ve been having to race to the bathroom more urgently in the last year than I had previously.

Now, it’s a¬†rare side effect. ¬†But I was seriously considering calling a doctor and scheduling a prostate exam, and if I can just¬†go off a drug I already don’t want to be on¬†rather than enduring a prostate exam, I think maybe I’ll try that first.(*)

So I did a couple things: ¬†I stopped taking my Lexapro and also stopped drinking pop, since caffeine and sugar have¬†also been linked to urinary incontinence. ¬†Not only have I had no nocturnal issues since then, but I’ve¬†slept through the night most of the nights since then. ¬†It has been¬†months since I slept through the night five nights in a row; waking up at 3:30 in the morning needing to take a piss five or six times a week was¬†also something that I had previously attributed to getting older that may have been caused by the drugs. ¬†It’s only been a week, mind you, and until last week this was¬†not a thing that happened frequently, but the absence of further bloops¬†and being able to sleep through the night have me thinking I’m probably on to something.

Negative side effects of stopping Lexapro have been minimal; I was weirdly dizzy today and that’s been about it. ¬†I haven’t noticed the anxiety coming back, really; I did let everyone at work know that I was off my brain meds and that if they thought I was behaving strangely they needed to let me know right away. ¬†Predictably, this has led to¬†every fucking interaction I have with anyone now¬†involving someone accusing me of being overly emotional, because the people I work with are caring and serious grown-ups.

(*) The word first means “first,” not “only,” just to be clear. ¬†I have since discovered that they’re recommending annual prostate exams start at 40 now instead of 50, so I actually will be talking to my doctor about that¬†soon, and I’m not as het up about the idea as most men seem to be. ¬†I’ll tell you about it if it’s a funny story, but I don’t expect it to be a big deal. ¬†Just be aware that I’m not ignoring it.