I woke up this morning with the sudden urge to learn how to play the bongo drums.
I woke up this morning with the sudden urge to learn how to play the bongo drums.
Here’s William Shatner
Ch ch ch ah ah ah Stab!
Friday the Thirteenth
I’ve mentioned all my frustrations with US Cellular every since we left Verizon for them. Things like their “we’ll pay you to leave your cell phone carrier” scam to their “no activation fees” claim.
I’ve now had my service cut off twice, neither of which I feel were justified and when they reactivated service, they charged me $25 per line each time. Wait. That’s an activation fee, isn’t it?
I finally got so fed up I wrote a letter, not an email, a real sent through the Post Office with a stamp two-page letter, detailing all my grievances with their customer service, how I feel we’ve been misled, and how we are currently being charged as much as we were being charged by Verizon, despite the fact the rep said we’d be paying nearly $100 less and no one can explain why.
I doubt he’ll read it or even receive it (secretaries usually just trash crank letgers, right?), but even if he does, I doubt he’ll bother responding.
But writing complaints is the American Way. I remember back in 1993 or so, we had bought a stairstepper from Sears and it broke almost immediately. We called for service and someone came out to look at it and then said it needed a certain part that he didn’t have.
After not hearing back, I called customer service again to see what was going on. Had they ordered the part? When would it arrive? When will they fix it?
I kept getting the runaround. I kept asking to talk to their supervisor, but nothing came of it.
Finally, someone said, that product was no longer serviceable, either the company stopped making that model and it’s replacement parts or they simply went out of business. I don’t recall which it was, but I was mad.
So I wrote an angry letter to the President of Sears, complete with dates, times, what was said, and how poor their customer care was.
I didn’t expect anything to come of it, but a few days later I got a whiney phone call from the store manager.
“Why did you write the President? You should have contacted me first.” Waa waa. To be honest, it hadn’t occurred to me to contact him since my beef was with Sear’s service department and not that particular Sears store.
Anyway, he offered me a replacement piece of exercise equipment similar in cost and I picked out the CardioFit that I still have.
So yes, sometimes writing a letter does get a response.
One thing I’ve learned in dealing with my ADHD is, it doesn’t take much to knock me off-kilter. It’s why I need a reliable routine. Some might call it a rut, but it’s essential to preventing what I can only describe as a flare-up that can override my meds.
I have a set routine of things I do in the morning and any deviation throws me for a loop. At work it’s the same, I turn on my computer, log in, go get coffee, come back and set up my desk with notepads, reminders, and important info I’ll need throughout the day, each item has its own place.
Yesterday, I logged in and noticed all my icons were gone from the task bar. I always open Outlook first, but it’s icon was gone as well. *twitch*
Then I noticed new icons on my desktop. I only have a few icons on my desktop and they’re in a specific order. *twitch*
Overnight they had updated to Office 2016. Ok, no problem, I can just save the 2016 icons in my task bar, then I’ll start Outlook and … *TWITCH!*
Aside from Outlook nowhaving an even uglier interface, aside from it defaulting to having the emails opening in a Preview Pane, which I hate, and despite other changes that I’ve spent the last two days correcting, the *twitch* biggest problem is that all my email Archive folders are gone!
I need my archive folders. Every project gets its own folder and I drag all the responses to it’s respective folder, so I can work on it as the deadline looms.
I have deadlines looming and all my response emails are gone! *twitch*
So yesterday, as well as today, it’s like I hadn’t even taken my Adderal. If I had foresight, I would have taken a double dose. Instead, I feel like a ball in a pinball machine bouncing this way and that waiting to Tilt!
In June, I was walking with my son around an outlet mall. We passed a kiosk where they were selling these weird little triangular things. My son said, “Look. They’re selling those stupid fidget spinners.” And I had no idea what he was talking about, even after he tried to explain it. “You do what? Hold it and spin it? Why?”
Fastforward to now. We both have fidget spinners. I’ve got four.
We both have ADHD and despite the fact they really don’t do anything except spin, they are oddly compelling and satisfying. Instead of constantly twitching and moving and as my grade school report cards all said, “Cannot sit still, always distrupts the class,” I’ll pull out the fidget spinner and give it a spin, then I can focus on other things a little bit better.
It’s funny though, because in researching them, I’ve seen a ton of articles declaring the fad is now dead. I find it interesting when people don’t understand the usefulness of an item, they label it a fad then try to say its dead.
If you don’t understand the point of fidget spinners, don’t get one. Problem solved. You’re welcome.
I lost a pound according to my scale’s app, but then I remembered I didn’t track last week, so I might have gained a few ounces.
I’m taking the pound.
Have a great weekend. I’ll spare you the political rants again. There’s just far too much stupidity and assholery to discuss.
Just keep resisting.
And here’s a song to lead into the weekend:
NOTE: For some reason WordPress posted a duplicate of this blog post. One filled with typos. I deleted it. Unfortunately, that was the one that had the most likes.
It’s Friday and you know what that means. Right. A haiku.
It’s been a long week
Trump displayed more ignorance
We all need a drink
My oldest son has recently begun running regularly on the treadmill. As a running father, I was pleased to see it. I never made him run. Haven’t had any discussions about running. He just one day started.
I asked him once how far or fast he would run and he gave me a shrug that he didn’t know. Not that it matters, I was just being nosey.
I did notice he was running in an old pair of Asics I had given him years ago and had been his regular street shoes. So, I sacrificed my newer pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 that I alternated running with my Hoka One One Clifton 3.
After all, a good pair of running shoes is essential to staying injury-free.
Maybe I’ll bring my Runner’s Worlds home from work and see if he wants to read them.
Well, not officially. I didn’t use my phone app to record it, but I did sneak a peak. I’m down 1.2 pounds.
I need to eat oatmeal fir breakfast more often. I had it on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Yesterday and today I made a bacon, egg, and cheese English muffin sandwich.
And maybe salads for lunch next week.
As part of a team-building exercise, we took a Myers-Briggs personality assessment. I received my results and, not surprisingly, I’m a INTP.
First, they have things split up into four groupings. Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. To various degrees, we all fall into one or the other of those pairings within those four.
As an INTP, my preferences are Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Perceiving. My snapshot reads “INTPs are rational, curious, theoretical, and abstract, prefering to organize ideas rather than situations or people. They enjoy working alone with ample autonomy for their own ideas and methods.”
Pretty much. I’ve always been introverted and curious.
A couple things that I found interesting. It said, “Thinking is yiur favorite process, the one you use most frequently. It is used in the inner world.” That’s very true. And it’s probably why I write.
The other interesting thing was, “If you are stressed, you may Become opinionated and unwilling to change your point of view.” I do, especially arguing with someone on-line. “Have unexpected and uncontrolled emotional outbursts.” I thought that was because of my ADHD? “Be hypersensitive to suspected slights.” Yes, I’ve not spoken to people for months. “Take criticism very personally.” Which is why story rejections put me into a fetal position for weeks.
In a couple weeks, we meet as a team with the Interpreter to go over our results. Should be interesting.
But if I’m being honest, I’m not sure how accurate something like this is. I mean, sure, it’s much more believable than astrology or numerology, and probably more accurate than an Internet meme, like, “Which Star Trek Captain are you?” But compared to a real assessment by a real psychologist? I don’t know.
Nero fiddled, Rome burned
Marie said, “Let them eat cake.”
Trump golfs and tweets hate
When I began this blog many years ago, I wanted it to be a fun place, where I’d think (see Myers-Biggs above) and reflect upon the day’s events, society, writing, entertainment, and other things that interested me.
In college back in the 80s and early 90s, I wrote a weekly opinin column for the smaller conservative newspaper and it was called, “Upon Reflection.” Why the conservative paper? Because the larger, campus-sponsored one, the UWM Post (yes, we had to fund ourselves) had so large a writing staff they couldn’t guarantee anything you wrote would make the paper.
Whereas the UWM Times was just starting out and you could pretty much pick your own assignment. For a long time, I covered the UWM Police beat. Then I moved into production, laying out the entire paper.
I had approached the founding editor early on about doing an opinion column, like Mike Royko, or locally, like Joel McNally at the daily Milwaukee Journal or Art Kumbulek at the more liberal independent Sheperd Express (sadly, they’ve since corrected the spelling). Well, the UWM Times board at the time didn’t think I was conservative enough (oddly enough, when I contacted the Sheperd Express to work for them, they said I was too conservative). I wasn’t interested in politics then so I wasn’t really liberal or conservative.
It wasn’t until they all graduated that I used my tenure (ok, I threatened to not do the layout any more and since I was the only one who understood Ventura Publisher, they capitulated) to get my own column.
I wrote an extreme caricature of an angry conservative, at first. For example, my very first column was about instituting a death penalty for people who won’t get off welfare. My tone pleased the founding board and my column became very popular, but it also generated a lot of hate. I was even challenged to a duel once, except he didn’t leave his name or a contact number. That would have been fun.
Eventually, it evolved a moderate slant where I’d sarcastically slam both sides of an issue. Playing both sides against the middle was more interesting.
I’m sorry, I forgot my point. Anyway, I didn’t want this blog to become a political rant, liberal or conservative, and until last year, I had succeeded.
But then America’s toilet backed-up and out came a slimy orange turd and we didn’t have a plunger big enough to clear the vile obstruction of hate, ignorance, and bigotry that resulted.
And with a racist asshole in the White House spewing an average of three lies per day, I have no choice but to write about politics. The only way to fight cockroaches is to keep the light shining on them.
And lucky you, I’ve run out of time for an orange turd update. I wanted to talk about his ignoring Puerto Rico, how he set a new record for the number of lies told in one week, 40 (and he averages 3 lies per day since January 20th), the GOP tax plan to gut funding to Medicare and Medicaid, as well as some other vile shit our current Congress has committed.
Have a great weekend, or as good a one you can. I leave you with two songs to get the weekend started.
This first one is gypsy punk! How can you not love that?
And the second song, I’ve rewritten some alternative lyrics for the chorus for you to enjoy. It takes a bit of work to match the song’s timing, but in no time you’ll be singing it loudly for all to hear.
Wish we could turn back time
To the good dope days
When we had a Prez
Who cared and was intelligent
After work, I had to stop at the pediatrician’s to pick up my son’s prescription for ADHD, then I ran it over to Walgreen’s. All that extra running around and gas is thanks to the U.S. government and their pain-in-the-ass laws about ADHD meds, which they classify as a controlled substance.
By this time, my own ADHD meds had worn off, which means unlike what amphetamines would do to normal people when they wear off — and that is crash and zonk out — when ADHD meds wear off all that pent-up and suppressed hyperactivity comes out full force like a rocket. In other words, I’m like Taz.
I dropped the prescription off and they said it be 15 minutes to fill. In reality, it turned out to be almost half an hour. I wandered around, looking at merchandise, picking things up, playing with them, turning on Halloween decorations and a few early Christmas decorations.
Finally, they paged me. I went up and that’s when the fun started. I had to hand over my driver’s license to prove who I was. My distractability was at an all time high. I’m looking everywhere except at the pharmacist. I think I was looking at a advertising display for something, it probably had interesting colors, or I was reading the text, whatever. He was trying to hand back my license and I didn’t notice until he finally waved it in my face.
Then he started ringing everything up and I got to play with the debit card reader thingie, whatever they’re called, and I had to put in my pin several times because I kept making errors. When I finished, I started drifting again, and didn’t notice the process was complete or that it was beeping for me to remove my card. He again had to tell me to do that.
And all this time, I never made eye contact, I’d just sort of pass over him as I talked as if I couldn’t focus on him.
I left embarrassed and worried he thought my erratic behavior came from abusing my own son’s ADHD meds, maybe even alerting authorities, when the reality was, I was off my own meds.
Nevertheless, I was very proud of myself. Why?
They had a display of toy cars and it was the first time I’ve ever saw a Fiat 500, however, I exercised a fantabulous amount of self-control and did not buy the car even though it was only $5.99 and even though I walked around the store with it in my hand until they called my name.
And that’s the truth.
Another week gone
Where do they go? I don’t know
To join dryer socks?
If you’re anything like me (and if you are, I apologize), you tend to hate certain exercises and quickly get bored with others.
Running, I’m good to go, even if I sometimes take more days off between runs than I should; I still look forward to my runs and enjoy them (well, except for those first several minutes where you question your own sanity and wonder why you torture yourself so until the endorphins hit, the sun comes out, and the birds sing).
But other exercises I’ve always hated.
Stretching has always been my ultimate nemesis. I could neven touch my toes in grade school (and still can’t). So any stretching regimen I start ends quickly in pain and frustration. I don’t need such negativity in my life. I get it, I’m a failure at flexibility.
Push-ups are another. Loathe them. I don’t know what it is about them, but I really have to force myself to do them. Bench presses, on the other hand, I don’t mind and in fact, when I can feel the burn in my chest, shoulders, and triceps, I become motivated to do extra reps. But push-ups, I just collapse on the floor and give up.
Sit-ups and crunches I hate as well, and not because they sometimes hurt my back. I always need something to hook my feet under or I just sort of thrash away like a turtle on its back. In high school gym it was very embarrassing.
And that must be the reason for my dislike of certain exercises, there is some sort of psychological association with high school gym where all the other boys were towering over me, muscles rippling (think The Crusher from Bugs Bunny), and they could pound out dozens of push-ups, sit-ups, as well as the dreaded chin-up, and throw in an iron cross for good measure, while I’d struggle with my skinny spaghetti limbs trembling and flailing around, never accomplishing anything.
Now that I think about it, high school gym class was exactly like that for me.
Anyway, I meant to talk about how I start doing some exercises, but then quickly forget to do them, but I got off on a tangent on why I skipped gym all the time.
I was noticing a pain or weakness in my hamstrings and buttock the last few weeks when I step up onto something, like curbs or stairs.
Running was causing a strength imbalance and the stretches I attempted weren’t helping.
I realized I had gotten away from doing hamstring curls on my Weider Crossbow and doing rows on my CardioFit. I call them rows, but the machine is like the Tony Little Healthrider (see below).
These machines were all the rage back in the 80s, so I picked mine up at Sears after our stairstepper died (and Sears wouldn’t do anything so I wrote the CEO, then got a whiny letter from the store manager. “Why didn’t you contact me first?” Because I wanted you to squirm). The Healthrider seems more aerobic, with little resistance. My CardioFit has an adjustable piston to increase the resistence, making it more anerobic, although I’ve rarely dialed it past 2 (it goes up to a muscle- and joint-punishing 9).
Sorry, I did it again. The point is, after a week of this cross-training, my hamstrings feel much better.
And I apologize for taking forever to make that point.
I’d say I’m about 80 to 85% done with my first round of edits for my urban fantasy fairy tale.
This is the first time I’ve read it through. Strangely, I’m still very excited about it. That must mean it’s horrible.
Right now I’m editing for flow and continuity. I see where I called one character Bill, when his name is Benton. That’s what happens when you grab scenes from a trunk novel and don’t do a thorough read to catch things like that.
I’m back to a concern I mentioned several weeks or months ago about the relationship between two of the characters. They’ve known each other for less than a week and they’ve already fallen in love. Yes, I know such things happen in real life, if infrequently. And yes, I’ve read some urban fantasy romances and it seems the characters are jumping in the sack almost immediately. And therefore, I shouldn’t be that worried, but I am.
I’ve never written anything romantic before. I’ve never been concerned with the love lives of my characters. But beyond this being my first attempt at romance, its also my first attempt at writing a sex scene. To be honest, I haven’t even read very many sex scenes.
And this one has two so far. Scenes that, lacking any literary experience in the matter, I don’t know if they come off as hokie, or cliched, or downright boring.
I wonder if I should pass it to some beta readers to get outside reactions?
Despite only running on Monday, although I did do some weight training, and eating more than my fair share of my wife’s Dairy Queen ice cream birthday cake, my weight is down below 200 pounds at 199.7. Woot!
For you couples out there, when you go somewhere together, who drives? The man or the woman?
I grew up in a time when men were the drivers and women were passengers.
Lately, I’ve been noticing more women driving with men as passengers and it still looks out of place to me.
Not for any sexist reasons; I certainly don’t believe gender innately makes someone a better or worse driver. Nor do I believe men are somehow ordained to rule over or control women.
In my case, I drive because for one thing, I get carsick as a passenger. For another, I drive my wife crazy because I don’t know what to do with myself as a passenger. I can’t read or play on my phone because of the motion sickness. So, I fidget, tap my feet, or drum my fingers, play with all the dials and switches, and constantly change the radio station. Being a passenger magnifies my ADHD.
So, very early in our relationship, my wife realized it was better for everyone all around if she let me drive.
Then she could read and play on her phone and ignore the fact that I wait until the very last second before applying the brakes.
Since I spent most of this blog going off on attention deficit fueled tangents, I’ll spare you any political rants for the week.
TheRump is still an orange turd though. Never forget. Never normalize his hatred, bigotry, or incivility. Resist.
Enjoy your weekend. Here’s a song to send you off with:
One characteristic people suffering with ADHD have is impulsivity. We are impulsive! We do things first, then think about it. We don’t consider the consequences of our actions beforehand. In other words, we leap before we look.
Long before the phrase, “Dude, hold my beer” came into the vernacular, those of us with ADHD said, “Watch this.” We don’t need alcohol to deaden our self-preservation center. We were born this way.
My childhood was rife with examples of impulsivity, of “Watch this.”
Friend: Bet you can’t jump off the garage roof.
Me: Watch this. *screams*
Friend: Dude! I’ve never seen anyone do a lawn belly flop before.
Friend: Bet you can’t climb to the top of that tree.
Me: Watch this. *screams*
Friend: Dude! Good thing that big branch stopped you.
Friend: Look at this minibike I made. Wanna try it?
Me: Watch this. *screams*
Friend: Dude! I forgot to mention it has a high center of gravity and you can’t turn at high speeds.
Friend: Go kick that cat off of our baseball field.
Me: Watch this. *screams*
Friend: Dude! I’ve never seen a cat that mad, clinging to a person’s leg before. That’s a lot of blood.
Friend: Our dogs are fighting! We’ve got to stop them. Go grab yours.
Me: Watch this. *screams*
Friend: Dude! That’s a pretty deep hole in your wrist.
Anyway, I could go on.
But you get the point, impulsivity sucks.
It is also expensive. I become suddenly interested in something, a hobby, or what have you. I read everything there is about it. Join tons of forums so I can talk about my interest with others. And I spend money.
Then I lose interest. And again, impulsivity kicks in and I purge my life of that interest because, of course, “I’ll never be interested in this again.”
My most famous and regretable “I’ll never” was when I threw out all my Silver and Bronze Age comic books when we were moving. I had Captain America #100 through 150. I had Conan the Barbarian #1 through 35. And others. All in the trash. “I’m in my 40s. I don’t need these. I’m not interested in comics any more.”
Yeah. You guessed it. Over the last decade or so I’ve been buying them back on eBay.
A more recent example, but not nearly as costly, was an interest in drawing. I went out and bought some drawing books and several types of drawing pencils. I worked for several months learning how to draw. I could draw a realistic human eye like nobody’s business. I’d like to show some samples, but I purged all my drawings from that period. (Somewhere I have a blog post featuring drawings from high school, if you care to look. Found it.)
Then I lost interest (or found a shiney new interest). After a few years of not drawing, I finally got rid of the books several months ago. I mean, it had been years, right? “I’ll never want to learn how to draw again.”
Yeah… Who’d have guessed? I mean, really? I went searching my bookshelves for the drawing books, then realized, oh, yeah. I got rid of them.
Today, I wisely went to the library to check out a couple beginner books on drawing. At least I’m not spending money.
Yes, impulsivity is the reason I’m a jack of all trades, master of none. I learn as much as I can, as quickly as I can, about an interest, but I lose in it before I can master it.
By the way, if you play guitar, I’m thinking of selling my 2008 Gretsch Duo Jet in silver flake. I mean, I haven’t touched it in two years, right? “I’ll never play guitar again.”
Future Me: *screams*
One thing about having ADHD (OK, there are dozens of things but I’m trying to focus on one here. Don’t distract me) is that for me, I have this tendency to become hyperinterested in something and for the next few weeks or months I spend all my energy on that interest (and unfortunately, my money as well sometimes).
Until I become burned out and lose interest or a brand new shiny interest shows up.
Past interests have been swords. I wanted to collect them. I read about them. Became an expert on them. Before I knew anything about them I had purchased three wallhangers (swords only good as decoration) and before my interest waned I had acquired two genuine swords and three antique fencing foils.
Silver Age comicbooks. Having grown up in the Silver Age, I still regard this period, into the early Bronze Age, as the greatest period for comic books, specifically Marvel. So I go through periods where I purchase collectable copies of S.A. comics. Usually reader’s, which are the lower grade of comics and the most affordable.
At one time I was interested in collecting beer steins, and also beer memorabilia, but since I stopped drinking over two years ago, these things are just taking up space and collecting dust. Anyone want a German beer stein that has a naked woman in the bottom that you can only see once you’ve drained the beer and hold it up to a light?
My latest interest is cars. I’ve never been a car guy. I mean, I grew up during the muscle car era of the ’60s and I still oogle a well-maintained car from that era, but I’ve never had any interest in their mechanics.
Outside of changing the oil on my 1986 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z, the rest of a car’s mechanicals are a mystery to me. As far as I’m concerned when you turn the ignition key, the car starts because of magic.
But now my ADHD has taken a turn toward an interest in cars. Beyond just wanting to change the oil, and wash and wax my vehicles, I want to know what makes them tick, and click, and squeal, and knock and ping.
I want to learn how to work on them and keep them running well. (I’ll simply mention that part of this is because I’m cheap and tired of paying mechanics to do things I should be able to do just as well.)
I’ve been to the library several times and have checked out four books so far on maintenance for beginners. Three out of four of those books were geared toward women and/or written by women.
I guess the sexist assumption there is women don’t know jack about cars, but men do. Nevertheless, I’m finding them very educational because I probably fit into that level of inexperience. My dad never worked on cars (or my mom). They relied on the corner gas station to keep things running and, I might add, were at the mechanic’s mercy when it came to problems and cost.
I don’t want to be like that any more. Did you know that a car’s internal combustion engine is also called a four-stroke engine because it takes four strokes of the piston (up and down and up and down) to make the car go? I didn’t. As I said, I thought it was magic. Who knew it involved valves, fuel injectors, combustion chambers, spark plugs, cam shafts and so on? Seriously? Who knew?
I’ll admit, I had a few friends in high school who worked on their cars and I often got roped in to do all the grunt work, but I never understood what they were doing. It was like watching a magician summoning a demon. If you told me it didn’t involve a pact with the devil and blood sacrifices to get that car to run, I wouldn’t have believed you.
How long will this new interest of mine last? Hard to say with ADHD. Could be anywhere from three months to the rest of my life.
All I know is I’m chomping at the bit (shoukd i have used a car analogy?) to change the oil on one of my cars, but they were all recently in for that and I don’t want to just waste oil time and money on something unnecessary.
In the meantime, I’m actually going to clean the garage, put up shelving, and get everything organized for when I finally do get a chance to work on one of the cars.
The books I’ve read so far (in order of how I read then and coincidently, in order of how I liked them):
I enjoyed Clueless About Cars and found it to be easy to read and understand. Lisa Christensen is a female auto mechanic. Her experiences made for factual and interesting reading, whereas the women who wrote Dare to Repair are not mechanics and admitted they knew nothing about cars until they started eriting the book. Dare to Repair is a much thicker book, but it’s geared primarily to women who, like me, are complete novices and think cars run by magic. The book is informative but I still think Christensen’s book is much more useful.
The Car Book is last on the list primarily because it was written for a British audience and the differing nomenclature was confusing and I don’t just mean boot and bonnet. Aside from that, by the time I read it, most of its information was just repeating what I had already learned in the previous books. Which is a good thing for me because it means I’m actually learning, and possibly retaining, this new knowledge.
If you have any suggestions on what car book I should tackle next, I’d be happy to hear it.
Learn something new every day to keep your mind young. Learn a hobby to keep it active.