Summer: Vacation, etc.

For some reason, this morning I woke up and decided I could write a post here, because I was vaguely aware it had been a while and I figured I could write about some recent happenings.

After coming to WordPress, apparently I haven’t written here since the end of February. Really?

I, uh, can’t think of much to report, or at least not enough to write a thousand or so words about the last (does math) five months, give or take a week. I mean, I probably could find the words to figure out how to write 200 words about March, April, May, June, and July, plus the first not-quite-week of August, but I’m not sure what I’d report about each month, particularly some of the earlier months. Therefore, I’ll stick to more recent events, like the past few weeks.

A couple weeks ago (July 21-24) I took my first vacation in a while to visit my sister, and it was nice to see her and get away from the daily grind. I hadn’t been to my former city of residence since I moved away about a year ago (July 29, 2020). We didn’t do much- I got my oil changed and a couple new tires (I had asked them to rotate my tires at Wal-Mart while I was getting my oil changed, and then they told me they couldn’t rotate the tires because they were worn down to the belt, and I had sort of forgot about getting new tires), we went for a couple walks, and we got carry-out for several meals. I enjoyed the pan of brownies she had made, and despite taking a couple Mom-made masks and being worried about the current state of the pandemic, I didn’t even wear the masks at all, so that seemed a bit pointless.

It seems weird to think about it being time to get ready for school, though of course it’s been over a year since I’ve taken any classes, and I don’t have any children, so I don’t exactly have to worry much about it (which I’m somewhat thankful for, in light of the current state of the ongoing pandemic). There are several people at work that are leaving, apparently, including the assistant manager and several of the night kitchen people, so that’s potentially a problem, but hopefully more people get hired and I don’t wind up having to work a bunch of overtime (or something).

Recently I’ve been toying with some Dungeons and Dragons/Pathfinder-inspired story ideas. Last fall, I think, I had an idea for a story that was inspired by reading about some of the class options in Pathfinder (specifically, the water elemental bloodline for sorcerers), and this spring (or maybe summer) I had another idea for another D&D-inspired idea, and most recently I’ve been inspired by a game I discovered while visiting my sister last month. The game is called Good Old Dungeon, and it’s a fairly simple dungeon crawl where you control a character and fight monsters and, of course, can use experience points, gold, and materials to advance your character. I created a wizard and thus decided I wanted to build a D&D wizard. I’ve been playing with some ideas recently for a D&D inspired story where this wizard is the main character, and of course building a D&D character has made me want to play D&D or a similar game, though I’m not currently aware of anyone that’s playing. As usual, scheduling is an issue- if I wanted to run a game, I could probably figure out how to find a group of people interested in playing, though the question as ever would be if they’re available or willing to play when I am- say, at 10 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, or after 9 pm most days of the week, or some other not-quite-conventional hour. What I always slightly disliked about playing with my former roommate and other friends several years ago was that we would get together to play on Sunday afternoons at noon. Since I usually worked at 4 PM on Sunday, losing my scarce time before work always slightly vexed me.

Recently, reading about the history of the county where I work has led me to some old books that are available online and were published in the 1880s. Aside from reading about the early history of the county, and the strangeness of imagining the area in the 1840s when it was the unsettled frontier and people were worrying about Indian attacks, I have to admit being amused by some of the flowery writing- I doubt that a history published in 2021 would talk about how “savages” made no use of the country and how the area has some of the most fertile soil in the world (or at least the United States). It’s amusing to imagine such a history- aside from an additional 140 years to cover, unless it was written by a Republican or similar conservative, it’s easier to imagine a more “politically correct” (“woke”?) history that, for example, would not use the phrase “savage” unless it was a direct quote from a contemporary source, and only used if it had good reason. For that matter, I imagine such a history written now might include some native sources, or at least sources that weren’t solely from white men. Some history about slavery in this area might be interesting, for example, though as this was the northernmost outcropping of legal slavery, my understanding is that there wasn’t a lot of it (as opposed to, say, the lower South where cotton and other crops were the basis of the economy). I’ll admit I’m not well versed in antebellum history on this local level!

As a weird and tangentially related note on local history, Wednesday morning on my way to work my mom called and said the local museum was closing and she had been called by someone who was trying to return things to the families that had donated/loaned them. After work Wednesday, I met my mom there and we picked up several things that had belonged to my First World War veteran great-grandfather and had been donated by my grandparents, including his uniform, chest, mess kit and some other memorabilia that had been in the chest, a hay knife, a green bean snipper, an egg scale, a chicken feeder, a table, and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting. We also picked up an old washing machine that didn’t belong to my relatives, but I think belonged to one of our neighbors (or at least someone that was the ancestor of some of our neighbors).

Speaking of my grandparents, they celebrated their 70th anniversary August 1. I worked that day, but their children (my aunts and father) took them out to lunch and I stopped by Sunday morning before work to see them. My grandparents are certainly in good shape for being in their early 90s, and I’ve sort of already decided that I’ve probably lost my chance to match that particular milestone (unless I somehow meet and marry someone and we both live another 70 years, which may or may not happen depending on medical technology of the late 21st century).

Let’s see- local history, family, vacation, story ideas- I’m not sure what else to write about. Well, I can think of some funny work-related anecdotes, but this post seems like it’s long enough already, so I think I might put those in another post. I don’t know about writing here more regularly, but it also seems like that’s not the worst idea. Until next time.

Changes afoot

Today marks the seventh anniversary of living in my current city. Next week, my mom and sister will be here to help me move, and at some point in the week or so after that, I’ll be moving back to my family’s house about two hundred fifty miles away.

I don’t remember offhand how much I’ve written about my plans here, but change is afoot!

While my sister is going to be renting a house with some friends in this city while they attend university (whatever that’s going to look like in these strange times), I’ve made arrangements to transfer to another store from the store I’ve worked at for the last almost-seven years (it’d have been seven in early August, but I’ll have transferred before then). As I’ve thought before, and probably written here before, I’m thankful that I am able to pull up stakes and move like this while not having to worry about, e.g., a girlfriend’s job prospects or a child’s school (or childcare in general, for that matter). Since I currently lack a significant other (and have been single for two and a half years at this point), fortunately I only have to worry about myself, rather than having to also consider the job market and prospects for a girlfriend/fiancee/wife.

As I’ve been thinking for some time now, I feel like I should probably be packing more. I do have a few boxes packed, and most of my books have already been moved, but I still have school supplies, my computer, some papers, food, dishes, towels, and various miscellaneous clutter (for lack of a better word coming to mind) to pack up.

While my current plan is to transfer to this other store and work there for a few months to at least get through the winter, I’ve also wondered what my next step should be. As I’ve been thinking for a while, I have no interest in working at a convenience store for the rest of my life, and I have no idea where I want to go next.

In other news, last week this city’s council passed a mask provision that took effect Thursday morning, so everyone over the age of 11 is supposed to wear a face mask in public for the following ninety days. It hasn’t been a major problem for me at work, but I also am not at the register by the front doors, and I’ve seen a coworker post on Facebook about how people are being jerks because they’re apparently stupid (or are being inconsiderate or don’t know where the city limit line actually is).

It continues to distress me that the President is, succinctly, an idiot. Probably more could be said, but this pandemic has not been handled well by the Malignant Narcissist in Chief. Surprise surprise, right?

There have been several occasions lately where I’ve thought about how my living situation is going to soon change from “my studio apartment where I’ve lived since September 2015 near the edge of this city” to “my family’s house in the middle of nowhere built in 1934”, and I also feel like I haven’t thought about that enough, as if refusing to think about it is going to make it not happen. Unfortunately, I don’t think it works that way (or else there would be other differences that I can think of that I wish were fact rather than my ideas). On the bright side, as I keep thinking, it’ll be nice to be closer to family (though it will be an adjustment going from my pet-free apartment to the house containing several dogs).

This is my second of three nights off this week (my last night off being Friday, and my last day at this store being Saturday), and I’m not sure what I should do. I’ve already started drinking, so that rules out driving anywhere, and tomorrow I have an eye appointment and some errands, so I should go to bed earlier tonight, but I’m not sure if I should watch something on Netflix and/or Disney+ or play some game or do something else. I probably ought to pack, or do dishes, or do laundry, or something similarly productive, but I also don’t want to.

Decisions, decisions.

Thinking about old news

It seems that about a month has passed since my last entry. Offhand, I can’t think of any major events recently. Sure, we got a new manager at work after about a month and a half, and perhaps other major events could come to mind, but at the moment I can’t think of anything major that personally affects me.

Last week I was able to get several days off work and go home for fall break with my sister, so that was nice. It was nice seeing family (including my brother and his wife, so I sort of got two road trips in one week) and being away from the daily grind. This week I somehow have 3 days off work, which I should make use of by looking for work and working on schoolwork and cleaning my apartment, but thus far today I haven’t been especially productive. I did cook dinner earlier tonight- I made rice, cooked some frozen corn, opened a can of baked beans, and combined that with chopped onion, green pepper, homegrown jalapeno pepper, and tomato that I fried in bacon grease. It was good, though I wasn’t very hungry (probably due to not doing anything today).

The night is still relatively young, though I don’t expect to do anything exciting the rest of the night. I might boot up a game and play Stellaris or something, though.

I’ve been thinking about my ex lately, which, as I’ve said, I probably shouldn’t be. Continue reading

The Fall of Summer

Meteorological autumn is upon us! Not that you would know that from the weather today, but it does tend to take at least a couple weeks for the weather to start cooling down (or, conversely, warm up in the spring and summer). Of course, in about a month it might be more autumnal and significantly less summery. In any event, I’m looking forward (as I have been since probably March) for the weather to cool down again. Fall and winter are, by far, my favorite seasons, because I’m not a fan of being outside, I don’t like warm weather, and there are significantly fewer annoying insects in the dead of winter than there are in the “dog days” of summer.

Weather discussion aside, it seems like I usually feel a desire to start some kind of new project as a month ends and a new one begins. Today I’ve thought it was interesting that I haven’t really been thinking about anything along those lines recently, though I suspect there may be a few potential causes (existing projects, being busy with classes and work, spending time with “F”) for recent preoccupation.

As far as existing projects go, there are certainly options if I feel like working on one for a time.  Continue reading

Summer mix

Finally renewing my domain for this blog (less than a day before it was due to expire) reminded me that I haven’t written here for a while.

Procrastination and stress continue in my summer writing class, but I met for an individual conference with my teacher today. After arriving 5 minutes before I had signed up for the conference, we talked for a few minutes before we were done, which was still a few minutes in advance of 11 AM, which was the time I had signed up for my conference. We didn’t have class today, and don’t have class tomorrow, so a couple extra days of being able to sleep in slightly will be nice. Long story short, my grade is better than I had expected, but since there’s now just under a month left I need to step it up so I haven’t completely wasted my time and money and have to re-take this stupid class yet again.

As for the non-academic parts of my life at the moment, work has kind of been dominating my “free” time. For whatever reason (sleep deprivation?), I don’t think I’ve done much of late as far as playing computer games or otherwise entertaining myself, but I’m still probably spending too much time on social media. On the other hand, as much as I may dislike my current job, I do have to pay rent, tuition, and other bills somehow.

Other recent amusements have included online versions of the board game Diplomacy, continuing conversation with the young woman I’ve been texting since late February, and last week’s quick trip home. Continue reading

Springing

Have I really not written here for over two weeks?

I requested last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (April 3-5) off from work, expecting to get only those three days and hoping to be able to go home for Easter with my brother. To my pleasant surprise, I instead got nearly 2 weeks off work, which ends tonight. Tomorrow and Saturday I work until midnight, and Friday (my 24th birthday[!]), I only work until 8 PM. It being a Friday night, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up having to stay at least a few minutes late.  Continue reading

Still it moves

I am indeed still alive. I’m not entirely sure why I’d forgotten about this blog, but a friend recently posting an entry about her two-week hiatus from Facebook to her WordPress blog reminded me that I too have a WordPress blog. After skimming my previous entries, I realized I hadn’t written anything here for almost six months.

In early August 2014, I moved with my roommate to a new apartment, and about a week after we moved my brother moved to the same city I’ve been living in for a year and a half now (!) to attend university. In contrast to my half-time academic status, he’s a full-time student and, if I remember correctly, his goal is going into sports medicine (or physical therapy or something like that).

I’m having trouble thinking of any major events from the last six months, but I guess there doesn’t always have to be something exciting. (Below the cut: What I’ve been doing since July 2014) Continue reading

Family history

I thought this story in the New Yorker about the family of 2000 Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Allen (1941-) during the first half of the 20th century was interesting. In two words, his family was “Old Money.”

In contrast, I think most of my ancestors could be described by the word “Farmers.” This isn’t bad, of course, but I think it’s interesting to read or hear about people’s families (Albert Einstein, for example) and think that, instead of being from an urban middle class family, most if not all of my recent ancestors have been farmers.

Both of my grandfathers served in the army, but that’s sort of an accident of being born male in the mid- and late 1920s – one grandfather served in the South Pacific during World War II, and the other served in Korea during the Korean War.  

I think one of my great-grandmothers had a college degree, which probably wasn’t terribly common in the 1920s, and divorces probably weren’t that common either, but I’m not exactly certain just how common either of those things were at the time.

Anyway, I always think this sort of thing is interesting to think about. On a lighter note, I started watching “Community” earlier today, and now I can understand its popularity among my friends. I remember seeing an episode about 4 years ago, but now I’ve seen the first three in order and it all makes a bit more sense.