Holy Shit, It’s a Blog Post!


Feeling lucky, punk? Well for the second day in a row, you’re getting a blog post. You’re kind of special.

The notable exception between last night and tonight? I’m using my iPad and wireless keyboard instead of my jank-ass Gateway which tends to freeze up quite a bit, which made composing last night’s post a bit of a pain. The only pain here is the freakishly small keys on this wireless keyboard and odd commands (Function + O = apostophe).

So what do you get with this post? An update from the previous one which outlined what I’ve been up to. Let’s see what changed.

Learning Japanese. For the umpteenth time, I started to dabble in learning the language as a means to kill time on the bus to work. And for the umpteenth time, I’ve given up. There’s no going back this time. If I do decide to learn something, it will be brushing up on my Spanish.

Speaking of the bus, the route changed to the summer schedule and it’s no longer convenient to take it to work since I’d have to leave the office much earlier or wait for the next bus at 6:30, then get home at 7:30. That’s a long day, and I’m back to driving until the schedule changes back.

I’ve Been Sick. Well, I had one day of being sick after the last time but it wasn’t so bad. Just took a day off from work to hydrate and recover.

I’ve Been Drawing On My iPad. While not lately, I do have a few projects going currently. Here’s one of them.

I’m Considering Leaving Instagram. Well, that never happened. It was just a rough time of being shadowbanned and just waiting until the ban was lifted. All of my accounts are now active but here is the main one if you’re so inclined.

Now you’re al caught up. Let’s see if I keep my blogging interesting going!

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They Really Do Like Me


English sentences with red penThe job of a proofreader is often the least appreciated at any organization and goes far beyond the scope of making sure the word public isn’t mistakenly spelled pubic.

Don’t laugh. I’ve caught that error in the past.

We are fact-checkers, legal liaisons, and basically a safety net between the organization or its clients and the public. In my case, the public is the auto-buying consumer who will review details of specific models in order to make an informed decision. After all, a car is a big purchase and things have to be right in general and in the eyes of the Legal Department.

But often the job demands ridiculous requests from any number of internal people who don’t realize or understand how the Creative Services Department operates. Sure, it’s easy for them to add a copy block to the middle of a brochure and think nothing of it – unless that block requires disclaimers, in which sometimes everything will have to be renumbered from that point on. You should see my notepad on my desk with said renumbering notes scribbled all over it. A real work of art.

And it takes time – a lot of time – to get this done right along with other changes and sent back to the Production Artist. A pat on the back for getting it done under a time-sensitive deadline? Forget it, pal. Just take your lunch and be back in an hour.

Flash-forward to today’s daily huddle in which Project Managers, Production Artists, and Proofreaders go over projects currently funneling through so that we all have an idea of our priorities. It’s also a time to make any other announcements that might affect the team.

Once projects were discussed, one PM spoke up and informed us that she had given her two-week notice and when her final day would be. Shocking to say the least as she has been with the company for some time now, and we lost another PM last week. We’ll be down two experienced PMs come July and will have to start the onboarding process with two fresh faces at that point. No pressure with everything we have going on.

When she was done with her announcement, I spoke up in order to bring attention to a recent change in the formatting of the websites we build.

“Before y’all run away, I’ve got something to say too.”

And the looks on the faces of everyone in the room were priceless. There were gasps, sighs, and other sounds of disapproval before someone said something.

“No no no, don’t even tell us you’re leaving,” one PM said, mouth agape. There were other mutterings in the background I couldn’t decipher but I can assure you they weren’t expressing joy. All eyes were fixed on me – and looking rather bulbous. I laughed, smiled, and paused a moment to build up tension – but didn’t really answer their question.

“You’ll know when I’m moving on,” I said. “But that’s not what I want to talk about.”

Always leave them guessing.

I then went into detail about the topic I wanted to discuss and gathered some input. In fact, it’s such a mess that it will require a second meeting tomorrow in order determine how to streamline the process.

With that, the meeting was over and all were relieved to learn that I wasn’t going to be the next one to make a hasty exit and they expressed it nervously. It makes me wonder what’s going on or if I should see what else is out there, but a longer commute would hardly justify the difference in pay, if any.

But just based on the reaction of all in the room it’s safe to say that, despite my impressions of being part of the most unappreciated department in the office, I’m a little more respected than previously thought for the job that I do.

And being in a position where kudos and thank-yous are rarely expressed, it felt good to get that kind of feedback and to know that we are an integral part of the machine.

So I Joined AARP. Shut Up.


“What do you mean, Patrick? Old people are the greatest! They’re full of wisdom and experience!” – SpongeBob SquarePants

Photo Feb 10, 9 31 42 PM

Call it target marketing.

A few weeks ago, I was reading a story online about something I can’t remember but none of that is important. Near the bottom of the page was an ad for AARP and while I’m usually pretty good at ignoring ads (read: they’ve never prompted me to purchase a damn thing ever), I decided it to give it a click and see what it was all about.

I thought I’d go a little in-depth with what they had to offer and see if it was worth my time. About 20 minutes later, I was reaching for my wallet to join at the low, low introductory rate of $12 for the year.

And here’s what I’ve discovered so far.

Anyone can join AARP these days. It was once restricted to ages 55 and up but that’s no longer the case.

I get a 15% senior discount at Denny’s when I flash my membership card which, two weeks later, I have yet to receive in physical form. Thankfully, it can be added to your Apple Wallet via the app so it’s cool. But for my birthday this week, my meal will be free since Denny’s still does that Grand Slam birthday promotion. It will be a good way to start my day when I do what I have planned. You didn’t hear anything. Shhh.

I took a hearing test, a whopping $8 value but free of charge to AARP members, and to no one’s surprise I discovered I’m a little hard of hearing, mostly in the right ear. It was a little sketchy though since the test was done over the phone where I had to listen to the sound a voice recite a set of three numbers over white noise that got louder each sequence. Then I had to enter said numbers – or at least what I thought I heard – with the keypad. I guess seeing Elton John last week didn’t help matters (but seriously, it was Elton Fucking John and he was spectacular).

There are discounts a-plenty: travel, health, auto insurance, hotels, etc. And oh yeah, cellular plans for Jitterbug. Because I’m so fucking old that I need to use a flip phone to call the police and let them know about the damn neighbor kids messing up my lawn.

But honestly, the discounts were all pretty disappointing. I’ve got good health insurance for me and the family so we’re covered there. I tried an auto insurance quote and it wasn’t much cheaper than what we pay with AAA which offers many more benefits. For travel and entertainment, my company has a corporate site where we can buy movie or concert tickets, book hotel rooms, reserve a rental car, etc. at substantial corporate discounts. What AARP offers doesn’t even come close to these rates.

There are also financial planning services offered but again, the job offers the same thing. So as of now, about the only thing this will be good/used for is the 15% discount at Denny’s and as often as we go there, it’s not even worth keeping.

Maybe when I leave my job and retire (HA!) I’ll get back into this whole AARP thing but until then, it’s a no from me and won’t be renewing. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and OOH SHINY NEW BIKE!

Photo Feb 10, 12 26 44 PM

It’s new. It was cheap. I rode it home in the rain and it’s better than anything you can get a big box store for the same price of $199 (original retail was $489). I still like to ride and since Ann’s old bike was absconded by some putz at the office, I can take my old one to work and use it instead of the left-out-in-the-rain bikeshare bikes that often need repairing.

50 might be approaching but I’m not slowing down much.

Well, except maybe when I see a Denny’s.

Yoga Kicked My Ass


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One of the many benefits that my employer offers is free twice-weekly yoga classes. Over Christmas break I decided that, after almost three years on the job, I would start to take these classes.

Once we returned to work after our break, I made a trip down to Ross and bought the last yoga mat they had to reinforce my commitment – a whole $15 for that mat – to taking these classes.

Last night was the first class. Last night was also my last class.

To put it simply, it kicked my ass. I mean, really. And it’s when you take a yoga class that you realize you’re not in the shape that you thought you were.

Granted I had never taken any classes outside of what’s offered on Wii Fit and some other fitness game I have on Xbox, so there was some familiarity with it but not a full understanding.

She says this to everyone

And from those games I knew the poses everybody knows: warrior, downward-facing dog, and the chair pose. But also, I would do these in the privacy of the den with nobody around and I got used to it, even if I sucked at it.

Taking yoga with people is a different thing entirely. For one, breathing plays a big part in yoga if not the main part. When you’re with a class of people in a small, quiet room listening to new age music and meditation bowls bonging, no matter how hard you’re trying to concentrate on your own breathing, you hear everyone else gasping for air and your focus – well, mine at least – gets lost. And for what it’s worth, I liked it better doing it alone.

Then there’s the flexibility issue. In a word, I’m not. I can easily walk/jog (75/25 I’d estimate) a half-marathon distance, go for a day of hiking without much water or ride 25 miles on the bike at any given time because I’ve conditioned my body and strengthened it for doing those things. Yoga isn’t any of those so it would take some getting used to and even so, I doubt I’d gain the flexibility of others.

The after effects of yoga didn’t sit well with me either. Years ago, Ann got me a massage for my birthday and while it was indeed relaxing, the release of the toxins messed me up by way of a headache and severe sinus issues that lasted for days. Last night I came home to the same symptoms plus I looked like I was hit by a Mack truck. Thankfully all these symptoms went away by morning.

On the plus side: I slept so good but parts of my body are still sore today.

Finally, the class ran really long. I guess for free this shouldn’t be a legitimate complaint but when I’m off at 6 pm and don’t end up getting home until 8 pm, it not only makes for a long day in general but it also bites into a big chunk of family time. And with things being the way they are lately, I don’t need to be around them less.

So I came, I tried, and I didn’t like. I’ll keep my gym membership and not try not to think about that $15 investment not being the best one I’ve made recently.

Unless the cats decide it would make a good bed.

Of Mice and Mental States


I’m not the one to keep resolutions because frankly, I never make them. My motto is “Commit, don’t resolve” because to me a resolution sounds like a one-time deal that, once accomplished, holds no promise for the future. You did it and it’s over. Boom.

Whereas a commitment means you’re in it for the long haul. And when I make up my mind to do something, I commit myself to it.

Photo Jan 13, 9 44 24 PM

The nifty little notebook you see here has become my companion over the last year. I’ve been taking it to Ann’s doctor appointments, Anthony’s high school orientation, and using it to jot down notes whenever I needed to. And in December, I started to compile a list of things I was planning on doing in 2019. The whole new year, new me thing looked like a really good idea.

And it was going fine – until shit hit the fan. Now working on that list is the last thing on my mind. But for shits and giggles, let’s see what it said and how realistic these goals were in the first place or if I plan to pick them up again.

1. Health: weight loss, Buddhism, meditation. From the start of the year up until this weekend, I had lost 3.6 pounds. Then the weekend came and as I stressed out about the baby-daddy bullshit in Texas, I pretty much ate my way through it with only one day at the gym, and it wasn’t even a long day there. I haven’t picked up any books, digital or otherwise, on Buddhism and haven’t meditated. Just not in the right state of mind although I could probably use both. I am, however, going to start taking advantage of the office’s free, twice-weekly yoga classes this week. After being there three years I might as well give it a shot.

2. Following through: getting caught up on bills, cleaning. This is one area that we could definitely use some help with and we have all but one bill under control. Much like sports teams, this is a “rebuilding year” for us and we don’t plan bringing home the hardware; we just want to make it to the finish line in better shape than the start and be ready for the following season after learning from our mistakes. For lack of a better term, you could call this “adulting.” As for cleaning? It’s happened in small bunches.

3. Reading in general. No, no, no. I’m not quite sure who got a hold of my notebook and wrote this one in there because if there’s one thing I simply cannot do for an extended period of time, it’s read. I usually fall asleep when I do and considering I’m stuck in front of a monitor all day proofreading fine print and whatnot, reading on my own free time is the last thing I want to do for fun.

4. Less Facebook. I seem to say this one quite a bit and it almost never works out. My goal was to post less and use it only as a resource for news and other things of interest I follow. Even then it’s a rabbit hole. It’s still a possibility – I can keep to myself rather well, unlike others who feel the urge to post every. single. thing that they do, no matter how mundane or stupid.

5. Learn Spanish. Yet another thing I have tried to accomplish in the past but like reading, bores me to tears. I end up putting the tablet down and having nightmares about the Duolingo owl pecking my eyes out. Granted my comprehension of Spanish is limited to reading and listening and I’m pretty good at both. But speaking? Ay, dios mío.

6. Creativity: writing, drawing, etc. I’ve actually taken action on this one and bought myself a new sketch pad and ink pens. Whether it continues is anybody’s guess.

Again, I had planned on doing all of these things before that fucking letter arrived. Having to go through this bullshit has not been fun for either my wallet, my family or my mental health, and all I’ve been wanting to do at night is put on my earbuds, listen to white noise and fall asleep. Despite the fact that this case is obviously does not involve me directly, I hate having to deal with it and just want it to all go away hopefully without having to spend any more money on my attorney.

I mean, how would you feel? This isn’t a parking ticket; this is some serious shit. I’m pissed, annoyed, and defeated. And while I know it will be worked out in the end, I won’t be truly happy or satisfied until it is.

But until that happens, I just want to find a hole to hide in and not be bothered.

(Note that I really am annoyed with all this. Therefore, language here might be on the blue side until matters are finally worked out but until then, buckle up. Sorry about that.)