Spring and Other False Starts

As we enter late February, we here in the South are now getting our False Springs. For those unfamiliar, False Spring™ is when temps jump up into the 70s and the sun shines and it’s just LOVELY outside. The redbuds bloom, the daffodils and paperwhites pop up and your brain says “Yay! It’s SPRING!”

Only to get freezing cold a week later and perhaps snow. Welcome to the South!

I am enjoying our first False Spring™. It makes me want to actually go out of the house and do things!

It also makes me think of other false starts I’ve had. Sigh. MANY MANY false starts. The most recent being a kitchen career. I managed it for 8-9 months, and I’m proud of that, but it’s not something I’ll go back to. My hands simply cannot take cutting hundreds of pounds of produce every day. I liked the job, actually, but my old body did not. Prep is for the young! I’m not going to get into the other false starts, that will lead to a rabbit hole of melancholy and I do NOT need that.

I just took a tiny little food plating class on domestika.com. It was on sale for $7 and there’s a 25% off Rakuten, so I said WHY NOT? I was an OK class, perhaps better for complete newbs. The girl was ok but her speech pattern ended every sentence as a question? You know that kind of speech? It’s endemic in millennials in particular? Yeah. And her advice on how to edit food shots was to use a PHONE with various apps. LOL LOL LOL! I actually DID laugh at this. Yeah, sure, use your fucking PHONE for editing if you plan to use online only, which apparently is all she does. A true pro who works in REAL media would NEVER use a phone for editing. You can take pretty dang good pix with a phone, but you need PHOTOSHOP to edit. Period. She also talked too much about Pinterest. Clearly she is all about being an “influencer” which I think is idiotic. Anyway, aside from those annoyances, the class was ok. I might take another since they are, like, $5.

Got Romeo’s brakes done – to the tune of $600. My mechanic told me $300, but neglected to be clear that it’s $300 PER PAIR. Sigh. He also pulled nails out of my tires and put the worst of the lot on the back. He also diagnosed my pressure sensor issue to ONE dead sensor, which is great since they are fucking $170 ea. The tires are toast, that’s the next big expense. I don’t feel bad about this, since we’ve spent thousands on that damn Ranger. A couple of grand on Romeo for NECESSITIES is fine with me. I’m going to try to keep the tires to $500-600. I might get the Michelins I was eyeballing, if Tire Rack has them on sale or something, but I’ll probably have to go a step down from those. My main need is wet grip and a quieter ride. These crappy Tiger Paw ones are loud and have zero grip. We hates them!

I’m thinking of Dave today. No reason, really. I was thinking about automation of our house and how much that would’ve helped Dave. I really wish he’d lived to see the beauty of smart phones and how much can be done with them. I know another blind guy, and his iPhone enables him to message and use apps like everyone else. Dave has been gone over 17 years. Here is his memorial page, if you’re interested. Can’t believe it’s been that long.

Which brings me to this: APRIL 1ST, WE’LL HAVE OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY! Can you believe that?? Celebrations will be had! We got married in 04, right after buying Maplehurst. Here are a few pix and here is the VERY amusing story.

Guess that’s it for the brain dump today. I hope you enjoy the Tale of the April Fool’s Wedding and the nice weather of False Spring™ #1. :) The image is all my wedding rings! Yep, ALL of those!

Musings on Life and Everything

First off, this post is about NO ONE in particular. It is about me, and Nick as well, where indicated. But mostly me. The things I bring up are things that have been bumping around in my head for a day or maybe 10 years. SO, do not assume anything – OR if you must, then assume this is about the fucking socials – which are CHOCK FULL of Teh Stoopid™. I’m trying to get back into blogging with actual content – not only recipes or the book list. This is the first really personal thing I’ve written in a very long time. This is a muscle that will need to be stretched…

First up: I am tired.

I am mentally tired of many, many things – and physically tired, too. I’m old, I’ve been there and done that. My patience for DUMB is pretty much NIL. Let’s address the things I’m tired of first – in a nice list, in no particular order.

I am tired of:
– people who cannot or will not adult and then whine about it and/or expect everyone else to accommodate their bullshit
– people who make bad decisions but refuse to change the way they do things
– people who are fucking EVIL and think that no one knows. Uh, we KNOW, darlin’. WE KNOW.
– gender discussions (sorry, y’all, but I am)
– working for a pittance (this is mostly Nick, since I cannot do SHIT)
– having my hands be too weak to ever work in a pro kitchen again (pay sucked, but I liked it)
– not being able to get above breaking even
– pulling money from the goddam TINY investment account to keep us afloat (we’ll end up with NO investments, eventually)
– just the relentless GRIND with nothing to show for it

Money is, as always, the issue. I’m tired of this, too, but we have to live, so it’s always front and center. If we just had an infusion of, say, even $100k, that would significantly get us going. I wonder if my mother re-wrote the will to leave it all to my brother? I’m betting YES, since I am noncompliant and he is her servant. If she didn’t, it is to be split between us, which means that fucking place is getting SOLD. It’s about 10-12 acres of land in an area that’s growing like crazy. The house is a big ole ill-kept monstrosity and the out buildings (garage and barn) are shit, too. No one will want that crap, but the land is perfect for expanding the subdivision. Zillow says $570k, but the description is 100% wrong – wrong house, only 1 acre lot. I think it’ll be close to a million with all that land. It would be great if I could count on that, but chances are slim June would leave anything to me. Sigh. I’ll have to make do with the vintage vinyl records, some tchochkis and an Asian secretary (desk, not an actual Asian assistant) that I have always loved. I don’t look forward to having to deal with my brother in any case – but if it’s selling that fucking place, I’m betting lawyers will be necessary.

As for physical, aside from my hands that are toast, we’ve stopped drinking during the week and that seems to be helping with sleeping, a little. I bought some herbal tinctures from Apothekary which are supposed to help you not want a glass of wine. We’ll see. It’s pricey AF, so I doubt we’ll use these constantly, but I thought it was worth a shot to get us off the wine.

We have decided to try to make more connections this year. We are on the path of establishing some good connections with old and new friends and that has us excited. I am particularly excited to be able to GO to someone else’s house rather than be the constant host. Being the constant host is exhausting and kind of expensive, too.

I love my reading list and I’m happy to have kept it up for so long! Looks like 2017 is the first full fledged list, with a gap in there for 2019/2020. Lots of books read, with short reviews. Here is the category.

I’m poking around for a p/t WFH job. There are a million listings and most are CRAP. Sigh. We need more money and I need to find something to fucking DO. Fuck.

We’re not coming into this year with a lot of enthusiasm. With the election looming, it’s more trepidation and anxiety than anything else. That fucking orange shitgibbon will run. YOU WATCH. And if he wins, we are FUCKED – ALL OF US. Not the rich as much, but still.

If we could flee, we would, but we cannot. We have no fat stax in the bank and we’re too old. Many countries have age and income requirements and we don’t meet them. We could go illegally, but then what? We don’t have money to live on for several years while we get established in a foreign country. So we are trapped here, with Gilead coming in hot. Hey, at least I can be a Martha since I can cook.

So yeah. Not a chipper post, by any means, but I guess it could be worse. We are mostly healthy and the cars mostly run. I think that’s about as good as it’ll be for us for the foreseeable future. We’re trying to get our shit straight and be more present. And pray the cars don’t die. Happy fucking new year! LOL

Autumn Arrives!

And with it, the impending birthday! It’s not as fun as it used to be, for sure, but still nice to keep having them, I guess.

Fall is usually a semi-depressive time for me in general and this one is no different. So, let’s get caught up, shall we?

– Last week of September, MRC laid me off, citing ‘labour cost is too high, gotta make cuts’. Hmm. Ok.

– It was fine, tho, because I had a big catering gig at the condos! Great Gatsby party for 75+ ppl! It was a huge success and I was very pleased overall, as were my clients. Shout out to Nick for helping me set up at the party and keep things filled.

– The layoff continued and I decided to poke around for another prep job. Got a callback from a well known BBQ place here in ATL. I’ve got an interview today and I might stage tomorrow. The only drawback is a 7am start time. OUCH. But I think their pay will be better than MRC and I know I’ll do more than be a human veg-o-matic.

– I also contacted MRC to see if they’d be recalling me, because the schedule is perfect and I can do the job with my eyes closed. They said ‘SURE! You can come back and work the line!’. Um. I HATE working the line. I feel like I was demoted. Not happy with that. I’ll work one shift this week, but I hope the BBQ joint is cool and I can take that. It’ll be worth the hellish start time if I can actually cook and learn about BBQ.

– I am also pursuing a retail job at a local well known liquor store. They’ve been incommunicado, so I doubt anything will come of it.

– Just this morning, I got an Indeed lead for a food research company looking for contractors. The pay is bleh ($15), but it’s actual research, so that interests me.

That’s pretty much all that’s going on. The headcold that has plagued me for 2 wks is on the way out. Trying to get back to exercising 3x/wk. I consider working in a kitchen exercise, but I want to try to keep doing weights at least. We’ll see. And with that, I’m off to do said exercise and get ready for my interview. Kinda hope I like the BBQ place despite the hours. I really like being in the kitchen. :)

Whittling Away the Socials

This is a crosspost from SubStack. I usually post from here to there, I wanted to try something different.

The other day, I logged out of Twitter (“X”), probably for good. I was seeing the exact same posts with different users and slightly different titles – the work of bots, no doubt. It’s bad enough I can’t see anything from anyone I follow, but adding bot posts to a feed that’s already logjammed with ads is egregious. NOPE.

A couple of days ago, I get a mystery warning from FB about a post that “violates cybersecurity rules” and had been removed. Um? What? Of course the post in question was not given. I could not find anything missing from the last month, so one can assume the post is old. Hell, it could be FIVE YEARS OLD for all I know. Whatever, FB, WHATEVER.

THEN, this morning, I pop over to IG (in Chrome) and there’s ANOTHER warning about a comment “violating community rules”, but the popup advising me of this is in a reload loop that cannot be stopped. I tried everything, disabled my ad blockers, etc., to no avail. I could read what it was about in between reloads (of about 1-2 seconds) and the comment they were bitching about was me telling an IG semi-celebrity how much I loved his posts and how helpful his videos are! LOL Yeah, buddy, that is some horrible shit right there! How AWFUL of me! So I closed the tab and tried the app. While not in a reload loop, the app is also disabled with the challenge message and will not refresh. So, just for shits, I tried Safari and IG worked fine. It did not give me the popup at all, so again: WHATEVER. FB has ruined IG just as I said it would.

If the IG app continues to misbehave, I guess I’ll stop using IG as well. It’s a shame, I like to post my food on there. There goes TWO socials in a week. :(

Which brings me to Substack.

I normally post to my blog, then repost here (to Substack), but today, I decided to post here first. Just to see the results. I’ll likely repost this to the blog since it’s turned into a longer essay than I anticipated.

I’m still reading books at a pretty good clip. I’ve read 23 this year with 2 in progress now. I average about 30 books a year – a number I’m proud of. Reading has always been one of my loves. It’s why I have a huge vocabulary and a wide knowledge base. [Edited out the reference to this blog, if you’re here, you know about the Reading List post, right?]

I have a catering gig at the end of the month. It’s the biggest one I’ve done: 75 people! I have done the recipes before, the biggest issue is storage of the prep and finished food pre-party. I’ll figure it out. I’ve got 2 fridges, which helps, and I have several items I can prep early in the week and hold until the gig. I hope IG gets straightened out, I’d like to post this catering gig there. Sigh.

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