The chair again, and a question

I admit it: I’m kind of achy. This chair has so many different ways to tweak it that I’ve spent all day fiddling and changing things, and I haven’t figured out an optimal way to sit in it. Part of this is my desk’s fault; the front of my desk is lipped in such a way that getting my legs underneath my desk while still reaching my keyboard comfortably isn’t exactly impossible, but requires some precise settings from my chair. At any rate, I’m not worried that I’m going to turn on it or anything– I just need to figure out how I want everything set and I’ll be fine.

That said: look at that image. The chair can actually recline back farther than that; I don’t think that guy is at full recline.

Is there anyone out there who thinks they could do that in a desk chair without freaking the fuck out? Because one of my major peeves with desk chairs (and even recliners, sometimes) is Sudden Unexpected Rocking. I react very poorly to unexpectedly feeling like I’m going to fall(*), and leaning backwards that far in a desk chair– or, truly, even close to that far– is simply not possible for me. My wife tried it last night and got maybe to 110 degrees before she decided she’d had enough. But you see these people in the videos about these chairs just leaning all the way back without a care in the world, and I want to have whatever magical ability they have that’s allowing them to do that. Because I seriously can’t.

(*) I have said many times before that I’m not afraid of heights, but I’m afraid of falling. People react like this is contradictory, and it’s not. I don’t care how high off the ground I am so long as my feet are planted securely, but I can and have very recently had serious panic moments from a brief involuntary shift in my center of gravity while sitting in a chair. I have never had a problem in an actual rocking chair, though, something I sit in all the time, and if you can give me some insight into why a desk chair or a recliner might trigger my lizard brain and a rocker doesn’t, I’d genuinely love to hear it.

In which I fail, at least at first

This post is going to get filed under “idiocy,” in case you were wondering at all.

I am– and I don’t know how common this combination is– not afraid of heights. Like, at all. That glass floor on the skyscraper the kid is on? I’d have no problem with that. So long as my feet are planted firmly and what I’m standing on is stable, I don’t care how far off the ground I am.

What I am afraid of, and I’m coming to realize just how debilitating it’s becoming– is falling. Falling literally any distance. I have had recliners or chairs shift suddenly underneath me and had a fit. I’m not bothered by skyscrapers but you put me a foot off the ground on anything rickety and I turn into a shuddery mess.

So, the bike.

I said this yesterday, but I have officially confirmed that it is possible to forget how to ride a bike. It is even possible to forget how to get on to a bike. I literally looked it up on YouTube last night. I had three problems yesterday: one, general not wanting to fall, because I really do have to relearn this skill from scratch, and two, a general paranoia about the possibility that anyone could see me while I am getting over this ridiculous fear.

I managed to get on the bike and make it move twice. The first time I made it about six feet and then realized right away that I didn’t have the seat tightened enough, because it was changing angles underneath me. So I stopped and fixed that.

The second time, I made it almost to the foot of the driveway, which is on a very slight slope, before HOLY SHIT TOO FAST NOT IN CONTROL kicked in and I had to stop again, and at that point I was done for the night. I need to go around and tell all my neighbors to leave town for a couple of days while I straighten this out; I don’t need my fat ass showing up on TikTok because the teenagers next door noticed me panicking in my own Goddamned driveway.

(If your first impulse is to be nice to me about this, feel free to squash it. This is ridiculous. I am a grown man and I need to get over my bullshit and learn how to ride this bike, and I will continue to mock myself in public until my morale improves.)


11:11 AM, Thursday June 4: 1,854,476 confirmed cases and 107,235 Americans dead. I figure we’ll be at two million cases in, what? A week? Less?

One way or another

…nevertheless, we persist.


giphyI had a stunningly easy day at work today, to the point where I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and it never really did.  No drama, no nonsense, I had time to get shit done, which blows my mind– that never happens– and now I have tomorrow off.

My wife has to work and my son has school.  So I’m at home, by myself, on Election Day, trying my good Goddamnedest to keep myself distracted.  If there was some sort of drug I could take that could guarantee I could just wake up Wednesday morning and have the carnage already dealt with, I’d already have taken it.

I mean, I could make predictions, but I was literally the wrongest I’ve ever been about anything two years ago, so I’ve got no room left for optimism right now.  I also think I’m probably not capable of being surprised, but the world has a way of proving me wrong about that too.  I considered finding something, anything to volunteer for tomorrow, but to a certain extent I question my own ability to keep my shit together in scenarios where people are talking politics around me, and if I go volunteer for something it’s gonna be kinda difficult to avoid politics.   Better for my mental health to spend the entire day stuck in 1899 robbing caravans and hunting bears.  I gotta stay the hell off Twitter until at least 7 or 8:00; I will fail utterly in this goal.

More tomorrow, I suppose, if the world doesn’t end.

Well, that was easy

090819164319_1_540x360
Pictured: not my tooth

The tooth extraction has basically turned out to be nothing worth talking about, honestly, which isn’t going to stop me from devoting an entire blog post to it.   The most complicated part was convincing the … nurse? not-the-dentist-but-not-clearly-a-hygienist?  Dental assistant?  I dunno, the lady who wasn’t the dentist– that while I appreciated the offer of sunglasses and would happily wear them during the procedure, the idea that the television in the room should be tuned to my needs (“Christ, no, not the news, anything but that”) or that the in-room bluetooth should be playing my own personal pullin’-teeth playlist was utterly unnecessary.  The TV doesn’t even have to be on, and if it’s going to be on my only condition is that it be either not turned to a channel that’s going to provoke rage or muted.  I really don’t need music.

She really had trouble with this idea.  Apparently it’s rare that patients for extractions don’t have media demands while going through the procedure.  Personally, I don’t get it.

Anyway, the nurse smeared my tongue and the area of the tooth with some sort of numbing gel and left me alone for a few minutes and then the dentist came in.  We talked about Hamilton for a few minutes and then he did … something inside my mouth for maybe a minute and said “Okay, all done!” and left.

I was surprised to learn that a tooth extraction takes less than a minute; I hadn’t felt a damned thing.  I expressed my surprise (“Holy shit, that’s it?”) and then discovered that, no, he hadn’t even touched the tooth, I’d just received three numbing shots to complement the numbing gel; the various non-dentists in the room were vastly entertained by my theory that the dentist declaring “all done” meant that “all” was “done” and that I could go home.

It was not, and I could not.

That said, the actual extraction took maybe five minutes.  He warned me beforehand that he suspected he might have to break the tooth to get it all out; as it was maybe 97% of it came right out and then he had to do a touch more fiddling around to get a tiny piece of root that stayed behind.  There was no pain whatsoever.  There wasn’t even any real sense of pressure or discomfort or even tugging.  If he hadn’t shown me the tooth I don’t know that I’d have believed he removed it, since I couldn’t feel anything inside my mouth– it was hours before I could actually feel the hole the tooth left behind with my tongue.  My appointment was at 10:00 and I was texting my wife that I was finished at 10:30.

Several hours of lazing about the house and occasionally switching out my gauze ensued; as of this moment the extraction was ten and a half hours ago and while it’s been a bit obnoxious I still can’t say that I’ve felt any actual pain at any point.  I ate ice cream and applesauce and had macaroni and cheese for dinner.  I’m going to take some painkillers before bed strictly as prophylaxis but I’m not sure I really need them.

So, yeah.  Kinda feel like an idiot that that had me more nervous than my gallbladder surgery did ten years ago.  I mean, shit still has time to go south if I lose the blood clot or something, but so far this has been cake.

In which fear is stupid

IMG_6721Holy cow, that tablecloth has gotten raggedy.

I had an idle thought the other day and put it on Twitter– I wonder what kind of artist I could be if I drew something every day for a year, it said– and now suddenly I own a sketchbook.

Well, “suddenly” if agonized over the idea of spending $5 on a sketchbook for two days counts as “suddenly.”  I mean, as projects go, this isn’t much of one, right?  I’m not talking about full-blown landscapes or some shit, just, like, a quick sketch every day to elevate my ability to draw from not the worst artist on the planet to maybe somewhere in the top half of humanity.  I’m not about to start a webcomic or anything, although I’ll admit thinking about the first Questionable Content vs. how it looks now as a perfect example of what practice can do for someone.

So I own an inexpensive, yet reasonably robust sketchbook, and I bought some new pencils, which probably wasn’t strictly necessary but hey, pencils.  And all I have to do is draw something.  I don’t even really have to do it every day!  Just draw some shit once in a while!  Like, I get to set the rules!

And I put the sketchbook down, because I found the idea terrifying, and here I am blogging about it instead of just picking up a pencil and drawing something simple and calling it a day.

It’s so weird how hard I work (we work?  It’s not just me, right?) to hold myself back sometimes.


EDIT:  Boom.  Don’t expect me to post these too frequently, if I even continue with the project (I’d estimate no more than a 50% chance this lasts longer than a few days) but at least I did it once:

IMG_6723

Also, I need pencils with better erasers, as you can tell from Uncle Grandpa’s incorrectly-misshapen head up there.