I’m a genie in a bottle!

Darn it all! It’s been eight days since I got the vaccine, and I still can’t do my treadmill routine anymore. I went back and tried, and I got lightheaded. My pulse skyrocketed, so I turned down the speed of the treadmill from 3.2 mph to 2.5 mph (while maintaining the 4° incline). That got my heartrate down to a good level, but I was sweating bullets, and I looked like death in the treadmill’s TV reflection. I swear, I’m starting to be afraid that I’m having heart problems, or something. So, I quit after 100 calories burned (when my goal was 250).

Also, I’ve been checking my resting pulse since getting the vaccine, and it’s ranged from 88 to 99. Um… that seems unhealthy. I guess I could attribute it to my psych meds. (I’ve never taken my pulse before… who knows?) I hate to think that my meds are going to cause health problems for me as I age that wouldn’t be there otherwise, but… there’s no hope for it. I get crazy when I try to go down on one med. If I were to go off all four of them… [I’m shaking my head in despair at the thought.]

So I’ve got to be able to do my treadmill routine again! It’s my only salvation! But how? It’s killing me! I still feel hungover from the vaccine. I haven’t felt 100% since. What am I supposed to do, just put fitness on hold indefinitely? I could use my home gym, but it seems to pale in comparison to doing cardio.

It doesn’t make sense. I used to be able to do my treadmill routine twice a day. Now my body’s resisting. It’s like that Christina Aguilera song (“Genie in a Bottle”) on my little music player: Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. My body’s saying let’s go… Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. But my heart is saying no. OH MY GOSH IT’S EXACTLY LIKE THAT!! MY HEART IS SAYING NO!

Well, the vaccine hit me hard. I no longer feel headachey, muscle-achey, or fatigued, but… I guess I’ll just wait several days and then try again.

If any of you want to play the Derby with me, let me know. I have an online gambling account! Just contact me. I’m a huge fan of the Derby. Every year we try to get fresh strawberries from the local farmer’s market, and then we buy little cakes, ice cream, and chocolate syrup and go to town. It’s loads of fun, and it’s this Saturday! If you want to participate, there are ways where you don’t even have to send me any money. Please enquire within, because I have an online gambling account for the occasion. Oh, wait, I already said that. Well, it’s still true.

I was talking to my mom the other day, and I invited her to partake, and she said, “No, thank you. I choose to be responsible with my money.” So you all can imagine how badly I want to win big this year! Her snooty attitude reminded me of Goofus and Gallant. (I’ll let you guess which one of them my mom is.)

This is possibly (c) Highlight’s magazine:

gg

Goofus is the misbehaving tyrant on the left of each strip. Gallant is the sickeningly obsequious little boy on the right. My mother apparently wants to be Gallant. Good for her.

Goofus gambles on the Derby. Gallant saves his money for a rainy day. 

Oh, drop dead, Gallant. No wagering for you.

Yeah, morality was huge when I was a kid. Oh well.

I always pronounced his name Gah-LONT. (I still do.) Goofus and Gah-LONT.

Anyway, moving on, I’ve got a fun idea for a new book to write. I’ll share more about it later if I get it going. I may as well, seeing as I can’t do my treadmill routine. It’s something I could ideally even try to get published. New genre, too, which I’ve been wanting. I’d say it’s nonfiction New Agey.

Awww, LuLu is chewing up her chewy bone! She loves that chewy bone! What a sweet puppy.

Oh! I’ve got to feed the animals! I hope everyone out there is having a great day!

Regretful experiences!

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a 22-year-old college student. To avoid having student loans, I work hard and don’t have a lot of funds left over after paying for tuition. Thus, my wardrobe is not exactly high-end. My clothes are always clean and neat, but admittedly my winter coat is showing a lot of wear and tear.

At the beginning of a recent class, my professor told the class (of 12 students) that before we began, someone had a special announcement. Another student pulled out a gift bag, and presented me with a new coat that the entire class had pitched in to buy for me.

She gave a little speech about how some are less fortunate than others, and those who are in a better position want to be a blessing. Several students and my professor were videoing the whole thing on their phones.

After turning crimson from embarrassment, I said “thank you,” then welled up with tears. I think they thought I was crying because I was so touched, but actually I was humiliated. I had never felt so ashamed in my whole life.

They were all so happy and cheering. I just wanted to run out of the classroom, but I stayed until the end of the session, then made a quick exit. I heard that several classmates posted the video on social media.

How should I respond to this? How do I thank them when I am not at all thankful for their embarrassing me? And do I have to wear this coat to class now? They, of course, will notice if I don’t. It is a nice coat, but I’m embarrassed.

GENTLE READER: We have to suppose that they meant well, but this is what Miss Manners would call selfish charity.

The coarsening of society, where solvent people are shameless about asking for money — as presents or outright funding — has made them insensitive to feelings of self-respect and pride. They cannot imagine that anyone wouldn’t be thrilled to get something for free.

So you must explain. This is, in fact, a class, so teaching a lesson is warranted.

They will be expecting a torrent of gratitude, so you must begin by acknowledging their good intentions. Then ask them to please take down the video, because it embarrasses you.

Then you must counter assumptions that you are being modest, and explain how you really feel. Miss Manners suggests something like this:

“I believe in charity, and I recognize your charitable motive. Thank you for worrying about me, but I am not a charity case. I am not as well-off or as well-dressed as the rest of you, but I have my pride. I hope you will understand why I cannot accept this.”

Then you could add, “I will be donating this coat to a homeless shelter, and I will do so anonymously, so as not to embarrass anyone.” Or, if you want to keep the coat: “I will be putting aside money until I am able to pay your kindness forward by donating the amount to the truly needy.” (c) MISS MANNERS

Well, that’s… horrific.

In middle school I had a group of friends. We were all misfits who didn’t quite hang with the cool kids, and we got along quite well, for the most part. (The cool kids were nice to us, but I for one was too shy and intimidated to interact with them regularly.) Uh, let’s see… my friends’ names were: Denise, Kathy, Kelly, Taylor, and Martha. One of them also shared my last name (no relation).

Martha’s family was quite poor, and she wore the same jumper to school every other day. The rest of us were careful not to mention this and thus draw attention to it, so I find it appalling that this sort of occurrence is happening at the college level. Good grief!

(Coincidentally, my mom had the same wardrobe problem when she was in middle school.)

I think this was a misguided disaster. I feel beyond sorry for the letter writer.

If I were this letter writer, here’s what I’d do, although this may or may not appeal to the letter writer: I’d talk to the department head and ask about switching classes midsemester to a different teacher. This is so… horrific that I can’t imagine. If possible, I’d try to stay the course if switching wasn’t doable. I’d wear the coat, but a part of me would be dying inside. But when I really think about it, I honestly think that the college, if she could talk to the dean, ought to give her a financial credit to drop the course without monetary loss, because no one should have to keep going to class under these circumstances; and the dean ought to make good on that.

And then I’d seek out on-campus counseling, which is generally included with tuition, because this sounds borderline traumatic. My concern is that this could heighten the letter writer’s overall self-consciousness and make her feel more conspicuous. The psyche can be a fragile thing.

DEAR ABBY: Back around 1987, a girl asked me to take her to her high school prom. I was several years older, didn’t know her well and wanted to say no but couldn’t. In the end I stood her up. I don’t even remember her name. She worked at a grocery store with my brother.

That was more than 30 years ago. I am married now and have two fine children. I was recently asked what my biggest regret is, and I said standing her up. Not one week has gone by in the last 30 years that I haven’t thought about her and wished I could find her and tell her how truly sorry I am.

It’s funny. Although I can’t remember her name, there’s no one from my past that I have thought about more than her. I would give anything to find her and apologize. It haunts me. Any suggestions? — BIGGEST REGRET IN THE SOUTH

DEAR BIGGEST REGRET: What you did to that girl was brutal. Because it’s not possible for you to directly offer the apology she deserves, concentrate harder on the present and always try to treat everyone with kindness and sensitivity. (c) DEAR ABBY

God, I hate guilt. It hurts. This is the sort of thing I’m afraid of. Yeah, I’m actually afraid of experiencing this level of guilt. I think I grew up seeing what guilt did to my mother, and it’s not pretty. But most of my life has been so overly emotional and disorienting that fortunately there are no huge moments of guilt rising up above any other moments. Whew! 

Hmm…. I do wish he wouldn’t be so hard on himself. She put him on the spot, and he was rendered incapable of forming a negatory response. That’s hard to deal with at any age.

I’m not making excuses for him… okay, yes, I am. It’s just that when something’s said and done you can’t keep torturing yourself. I think that justifications and rationalizations actually play a good role when the alternative would be abject self-hatred several decades later. You were young and stupid. We’ve all done stupid things when we were young and stupid. 

What you did to that girl was brutal.

See? That’s not helpful. Geez. I’m angry at Dear Abby over this.

He could hunt her down and apologize. His brother might know her name. Regardless of whether that would be in her best interest, I feel so sorry for this guy that I’m thinking of his best interests at this point.

If he can’t figure out her identity, he could see it as a karmic debt to be repaid to the universe at large. I sometimes offer people karmic debts if I’ve screwed them over and I’m really, really sorry. It’s where you do whatever the person asks or give them whatever they want, within reason, of course. If given to the universe as a whole, he could pledge to perform a good deed, or that sort of thing, in order to absolve himself. Offhand, I’m thinking that confessing in a Catholic sense might help him, too, but I don’t know much about Catholicism.

It seems as if Dear Abby didn’t put any effort into her answer. It’s pretty much the worst answer that I can imagine.

I was talking to Mr. Self-Absorbed once (this guy I used to know who’s pathologically self-absorbed to the point that I got badly burned by it). This was after we reconnected and tried to work things out. He said that he was ashamed of how idiotic he’d acted when we were teenagers. He didn’t mean that he felt bad about having hurt me. He meant that he felt stupid for having acted so idiotic all the time. (One time he showed me how much snot he blew out of his nose. You get the picture.)

I told him that I understood, and that we were all idiots with overflowing hormones, self-consciousness, and emotions. (This is all true. We were all hormonal, emotional idiots.) It made him feel better.

I’m glad one of us benefited from reconnecting. [Groan.] (All he wanted to do was trash-talk me to everyone in our former youth group because of how mean I’d been to him over the years, as if he was only pretending to want to work things out.) I’m pretty much through with him at this point in my life. I have mixed feelings about helping him forgive the idiocy of his adolescent self, even though he’s never done a thing for me but be a bad friend. A very, very bad friend.

But minor regrets, like having been an idiotic teenager, are so common as to be a regular aspect of the human experience. I’m sure we all feel stupid about how we acted when we were younger–in small ways. I mean, when I was a teenager, I used to brag about tasting earwax. There you go. Would I do that today? Probably not. Do I want to beat myself up over it? Not particularly.

But I understand the letter writer’s distress. His regret is bigger and somewhat heartbreaking. I’d also recommend that he watch an episode of The Golden Girls called “What a Difference a Date Makes”. Dorothy’s prom date stood her up, too, and when they reconnect a million years later Dorothy learns why: when he showed up in casual clothing, Dorothy’s mother Sophia sent him away and told him to put on dress clothes before returning. He never came back. Dorothy never knew that had happened, and upon discover of this, she blamed her mom several decades after the fact for how she (Dorothy) wound up pregnant at nineteen and stuck with a lousy husband like Stanley Zbornak.

I doubt that Dorothy’s prom date spent his whole life beating himself up. That should give the letter writer some solace. Sometimes TV can help.

At any rate, he has my permission to forgive himself, for whatever that’s worth.

Set down the keys to the truck and walk away slowly.

I’ve been studying my anger issues from the perspective of power struggles. The concept of power struggles seems to apply to maybe… hmm… 85% of my outbursts. I watched a helpful YouTube video about power struggles, and it made some good points. It got me to thinking that we can’t control the other person. What he pointed out that resonated with me massively was that first, a problem arises, as you’d imagine. Then, you try to force a solution and control the situation.

This is key. I’m guilty of this. For example, at the grocery store, I could’ve gone home and then complained to customer service after the fact. I didn’t have to “solve” the problem right then! But I swear, there’s something about power struggles that warps your brain into thinking, I must take immediate action to fix this situation right this very second! And let’s face it: that’s not logical. Yes, it makes sense at the time and is very, very persuasive and seductive, but when’s the better time to solve a problem? AFTER THE FREAKIN’ FACT!!

I assume this would apply to interpersonal relationships, as well, although that’s not the huge area where I have issues. If you’re upset with a significant other or your kid, you can discuss it with them after everyone’s feeling better. Why not? At that point, it’s problem-solving time. But reacting in the moment is going to hurt everyone involved. (“You bad kid! You’d better clean your room, or else!” Not helpful.)

The man in the video also said that we should show understanding of the other person’s position. I do sort of understand where the other person was coming from. She was being paid to corral people around the U-Scans. However, I have to say that her abrasive manner in screaming “Ma’am!” at me repeatedly was rather vulgar. Hmm… thinking… [Tapping my finger on my mouse here…]

But anyway, he said that the problem can’t be solved in that moment, because no one’s good at “forcing” a solution. (Instead, in the moment, you need de-escalation, which I’ve used in a professional context.) This notion seems to be in alignment with my idea of putting my groceries on the floor and just leaving. It gives me the sense of having made a statement, and yet it prevents a massive explosion. Because this is where my anger’s headed:

A6C2A6MHMLVH75NQIOTOLQRCHA

“Cleanup in aisle three! Cleanup in aisle three!” And we’ve all been there, am I right? That trucker clearly took a wrong turn in frozen foods. [Shakes head in disapproval.]

I need a new temper mantra. “I’m not allowed to solve this problem now. I can solve it after I get home and talk to Codger.” [And repeat.]

This makes me feel better. Now all I need is some incentive to wait until I get home to solve the problem. Hmm… incentive… it comes to mind right away that I’ll feel better about myself. What’s weird is that I enjoy lashing out at people for the sole reason that they deserve it. But. However. The problem is that I always, invariably, wind up filled with self-loathing and the fear that I can’t control it. And besides, if they deserve it that badly, won’t they still deserve it tomorrow? I can always wait before deciding to go and tell someone off. Hypothetically speaking, the opportunity is always there.

So the motive for betterment needs to be for myself. And I could reward myself later with a shopping trip, or whatever. Okay, new mantra: “I love myself too much to express my emotions right now.” [And repeat.] That one also works. [Nods.] “I love myself too much for this. I’ll fix the problem later. Right now, it’s not fixable.”

That could be doable. And I’m being too hard on myself. You know how easy it is to hone in on everything we do wrong? Well, a few days ago I ordered a pizza. I went to pick it up at the scheduled time, and they got mad at me for entering the pizza place. (Circumstances: I’d ordered online and chosen pickup, not at-store car delivery, but it was a chain restauraunt. Also, they had a sign that I overlooked saying to call the store upon arrival, but hello, Meg doesn’t use a cellphone. So even seeing the sign wouldn’t have helped me that much.)

So did I get mad? No. The guy who told me the lobby was closed sounded apologetic about it. He added that my order wasn’t finished yet, and that I could wait in my car. I told him I’d parked down in the neighboring lot and then left to wait in my car.

However, twenty minutes later (geez!) I still didn’t have my pizza. So I went back and just stood outside the lobby, gazing through the glass.

I had my pizza ten seconds later. [Eyeroll.] I’d love to know if it had just been cooked and prepared in that moment, or if it had been sitting on the shelf, waiting for some divine message that I was still in my car in the neighboring lot. But the point is that when the other employee brought out my pizza, I didn’t get mad at him, either. No. I was one cool customer. I thanked him and took it home.

And I saw that as a success. I swear, I have the ability to “sniff out” when someone’s being sensitive and thoughtful (the pizza shop employees) versus being a jerkface because they can be (the screeching grocery store employee), and I react accordingly. I need to become less self-righteous and not act accordingly in the latter instance. Mostly for my own sanity and self-esteem.

I hope everyone’s having a great day! Thanks to all of you who comment with suggestions and/or support, etc.! It’s all helpful!!

Angry about anger!

Help! I’m angry about anger. Ugh. I’m trying to reason through how to be less reactive and volatile. I’ve been flipping through my anger books today, and only one thing jumped out at me: go back to when you were angry and figure out what you should’ve done differently.

It’s a tricky issue. So, we’ve got the grocery store employee yelling at me like, “Ma’am? Ma’am? MA’AM!” with me standing there, staring blankly at her like a doofus.

I can’t just let her lead me to the other U-Scans, because then I’ve let her win, and she’s turned me into a trained circus animal. Not happening.

But being reactive and soundly telling her off–the choice I ultimately went with–leaves me feeling sort of… scared,I guess, that I’m out of control and thisclose (all one word) to getting my stupid self arrested.

And I was trying to visualize what went wrong at the fish fry, with that man who was yelling at us about how we weren’t supposed to be inside. This, despite the fact that there were no signs to help us out, and there was no organization at all.

Interestingly, I was discussing it with my dad in the past hour, and he said that when he returned to the fish fry in subsequent weeks (I stayed home), there was a new sign up saying, “Don’t enter the building.” Either I got through to them and made them realize with my righteous anger that they needed more organization; and/or they were so peeved with me that they put that sign up front and center in case I returned. Either way, I like it. It’s good to know that when I blow my top, it actually inspires needed change, if nothing else.

I mean, for all we know, they’ll quit treating late-night grocery-store shoppers like animals; and that would all be thanks to me.

But still.

I don’t like this fear that my temper’s going to just go batshit on me. However, I’m never prone to violence or physical destruction. The worst expression of my anger is going to be verbal, albeit out of control. Part of this is that, as a writer, I want to hurt people with words, regardless of how well I “succeed” at that. I can be rather harsh, that’s for darned sure.

I might be being too hard on myself. There was no “good” way to react at the grocery store, because if I were to let her corral me over to the other U-Scan area, I would feel degraded, as if I were an animal.

That said, I’ve come up with a solution for such future situations: I’ll set my groceries down at my feet and exit the store without buying them. It’s classy, it makes a statement, and it saves me from feeling like I’m a dog on a leash at obedience school.

Power struggles are a huge issue for me. They go back to my mother, obviously. She was always engaging me in them. And that gets badly triggered when the employee at the grocery store is screaming at me to follow her irrational, illogical instructions with the implication that said instructions have no logic.

See, when there’s logic, it makes sense. For example, there are two ways you could tell a kid to do something:

  1. “Clean your room! Do as I say because I said so, and you have to obey me.”
  2. “Clean your room! Phew, it stinks in here. What died under your bed? You’ve got to develop better organizational skills. I’m happy to make suggestions. Here’s some air freshener.”

So when that lady at the grocery store was trying to get me to comply with something that seemingly has no rhyme or reason–as if she wanted me to obey her simply so she could have power over me–I was having none of it. I’m sure this goes back to my mother. Power struggles are bad. My mom went out of her way to engage me in them at every chance.

Things that trigger my anger:

  • Making me feel stupid, like the guy at the fish fry: “You’re not supposed to be inside!” Um, then why wasn’t there a sign? And why was no one outside being helpful?

I hate feeling stupid, and if made to feel stupid with deliberate intent (e.g., I don’t sense any regret from the speaker, and I feel as if I’m being blamed for something I should’ve just known somehow in the absense of any written rules), then I can really lash out.

  • Being intrusive, like the employee at the grocery store. As Ashley Leia pointed out, her job should be to man the U-Scans in case anyone needs assistance. Treating us like animals shouldn’t be in her job description.

Being intrusive goes hand-in-hand with forcing me to interact. I can tolerate forced interactions if it’s a valid emergency. Otherwise, I won’t even initiate such an interaction. For me to initiate an interaction with a stranger, I’d have to be having an extreme and debilitating emergency. Like, whoops! My right hand appears to have been mostly severed from the rest of my body. Methinks I need help. That sort of thing.

  • Not meeting my needs. This is interesting. I have a need to see the U-Scan as being a safe landing place for introverts, but it isn’t. The employee lurks over your shoulder to see if you’re stealing, and that’s on a good day. Don’t go there late at night!

It’s hard to deal with this sort of issue, but when I express my needs and the other person rejects them, I get really mad. As you all know, I have a phobic response to Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”. One time when we went to the now-closed Borders bookstore, they were playing it through the speakers. I went to the desk and said, “Can you please play different music? I’m afraid of ‘Adagio for Strings’.” And the woman rolled her eyes and said, “No.”

“But I’m scared of it.”

“So?” She shrugged.

Fair enough. I took to my browsing and went to all my favorite departments in the bookstore–with both fingers shoved deep into my ears. After about five minutes of this, an employee tracked me down and tried to talk to me. I couldn’t make out her words, so I just shook my head in confusion. She finally raised her voice, megaphoned her mouth with her hands, and yelled, “We turned off the music! You can take your fingers out of your ears now!”

I know it seems like entitlement, but that music genuinely scares me.

So I’m thinking that I need to maximize that sort of reaction–the sort where I’m making my point with my physical actions (but not including flipping someone off, ideally, although other rude hand gestures are fine) and asserting my needs with an obvious yet unspoken statement.

Because the fact is that I can’t seem to get a better grip on my anger. All I can do is send my message without causing extra drama. Disappointment needs to be seen as the lesser of two evils–if I can’t get my groceries or my fried fish, that should be less important than protecting myself from my anger. And if I already ordered the fried fish (which was the case), I could definitely challenge the charge on the credit card. I went to get my fish, and they yelled at me and kicked me out. Refund, please. 

So… that’s all I’ve got in terms of anger management. I need more, though. Oh well. It is what it is.

I’ve manifested!

Well, you all are not going to believe this, but… let me back up. My good friend Ashley recently wrote a post about how manifestation is pseudo science and doesn’t exist, I guess meaning that we can’t find what we need by chance. She used the example of a purple-people eater, which I’m still hoping she’ll find one day. Let me find that post so I can reference it… Found it!

This is definitely one of those areas where I don’t mind disagreeing with people, because I’m accepting of any philosophical or spiritual or religious or practical thought, as long as it doesn’t involve devil worship or criminality, etc. For me, it’s all good if someone is an atheist, or Catholic, or spiritual but not religious, or pretty much anything. (I’m half-spiritual and half-Christian in a largely Episcopalian sense. You gotta love Episcopalians. They’re good people.)

But! I just manifested something. Woo hoo!

For months now–going back at least to last October, maybe further–I’ve wanted some computer speakers. See, I have headphones which I keep hauling up here after using them at the gym on the treadmill. I always bring them in from the car so they won’t get stolen, but it’s a hassle otherwise to have them perform double duty. My computer area is on the second floor. The headphones’ cord keeps getting twisted. You get the picture.

I haven’t wanted to spend money on speakers because I can’t think of a way to justify the expense. (This, even though I dropped $20 on Dominos pizza when I was massively stressed from the vaccine side effects several days ago. [Eyeroll.])

So I’ve been hoping for speakers for a long time, but unwilling to buy any. Then, last night while I was walking the doggie around the block, she wanted to go up the street behind us (I think it’s Harvard Drive… yeah, that’s it) so we went that way instead of coming up the closer alley. And lo and behold! I saw something in the road that looked intriguing: a square box of some sort. So I picked it up and carried it home.

It’s one of these bad boys! It must’ve fallen off someone’s bike! Based on today’s Amazon sale price, it’s a $40 or $50 speaker!

It works great! I set it up for bluetooth discovery, and I turned off the bass, which was making a screeching noise (I think because it’s meant to be heard outdoors on a bike). So now, with the bass off, the audio quality is wonderful. I was jamming all night. All I have to do is buy a cheap $5 charger for its battery. And it fits perfectly in the handle of my keyboard’s lap desk, which I have to use with a huge wrist support for ergonomic reasons.

(I’ve got three different cushy supports up here for: wrists at the keyboard, wrist at the mouse, and elbows on my chair’s arms. My whole joint and skeletal systems are unbelievably sensitive to stimuli.)

So, wow! Even if you doubt, maybe try to manifest something! You never, never know.

*****

In other news, you all aren’t going to believe this, but I still feel as if I was vaccinated to death. I’ve quit doing anything with exertion beyond walking LuLu around the block. But I can just tell that my body’s off-kilter. Random achiness, muscle tension, etc. I’m going to keep forcing rest and try to get caught up on restful tasks, like reading my anger-management self-help books.

I was sleeping so soundly last night when LuLu woke me up. I’m not upset about it. I’m glad, because it enabled me to remember some very moving dreams I had. In the dreams, I made up with two people from my past: Stevil, who lives next door and rejected me romantically because I’m not pretty enough; and Nick, my childhood sweetheart who outgrew me in high school because I wasn’t cool enough. (Not pretty, not cool… but so magical! Let’s ride the rainbow, right?)

I’m sure the dreams had symbolic import. Well, they couldn’t have been literal, because as soon as I woke up, I was repulsed. No way will I ever work things out with them! You can’t make me!

But I think it meant symbolically that I’ve come to terms with aspects of myself, and that could be a beautiful thing. Stevil probably represents my passive-aggressive “You’re not good enough” side, and Nick probably represents my “You’re too childish and emotional” side, or something along those lines.

Indeed, I’ve been accepting of myself much moreso than ever lately. When I was falling asleep after the grocery store disaster a few nights ago, my thoughts were like this: That was disastrous, but I still have loads of value and worth as a person, despite these issues. No one’s perfect. I have amazing worth in other ways when I’m not telling off grocery-store personnel. 

And I actually believed it, and I fell asleep soundly that night, too. Does that mean I’m not interested in fixing my anger issue? Absolutely not, and I’ve got nothing else to do today anyway, since I’m sidelined with this ridiculous vaccine reaction. (I thought I was feeling better yesterday, but shortly before bed, all the symptoms came back. Go figure.)

I hope everyone out there is having a great day!! Remember, try to manifest something! You never, never know!

Calm heads shall prevail.

Morale is down but not entirely dead. It occurred to me that my bad reaction to Pfizer #2 could be due to an interaction with my psych meds. I did some research, and to the best of my interneting abilities (read: don’t quote me on this), I found that there were no clinical trials done with mentally ill people. They did trials with people who had common physical issues, but none with the rest of us. What if my medicines have been aggravating the vaccine’s side effects? I had a fascinating conversation with my dad about it earlier today:

“Hi, how’re you?” he said. “I brought you some tea.”

“Oh. Thanks.” I took the tea. (He gets carryout tea about twice a day, as per his eating-out lifestyle.)

“Are you feeling any better?” he inquired.

“No. I’m afraid to take my meds,” I said.

“You are? Why?”

I explained it to him. This was his reaction:

“TAKE YOUR MEDS! TAKE YOUR MEDS!”

I groaned. “But what if they’re–”

“TAKE YOUR MEDS! TAKE YOUR MEDS!” He seemed rather adamant.

I rolled my eyes. “But I really think it might be better if–”

“TAKE YOUR MEDS! TAKE YOUR MEDS!”

I sighed. “You aren’t hearing me. What about my concern that–”

He shook his head. “TAKE YOUR MEDS! TAKE YOUR MEDS!”

“Okay, fine, whatever.” I took a deep breath.

“Oh, my God!” he exclaimed. “Heaven help us all. Have you been off your meds for a few days now?!” This was amusing, as he’s usually so unflappable and composed.

“Uh, no.” (True, that.) I made a face. “I take my meds with religious fervor.” (Also true.) “Gee, don’t get your boxers in a bunch, old man.”

“I’ve never had to encourage you to take your meds! Oh, God, I can’t cope.”

I rolled my eyes. “Okay, that’s fine. I was merely positing a connection between my psych meds and the vaccine, but if you can’t cope–”

“I mean, you can’t function without your meds! Your paranoia becomes uncontrollable! You… you… oh good Lord, you have no idea.” He waved his arms through the air. “God in His Heaven wouldn’t let you past the pearly gates if you were off your pharmaceuticals. Don’t you understand the magnitute of–”

“Okay, okay!” I raised my hands in surrender. “Take a pill, why don’t you? Geez. I’ll go take my meds right now, just as soon as I put on my shoes and socks.” I reached for my socks.

You know, at this point in my life, I have to concede that my life would become hellish and unmanageable if I were to somehow lose access to my meds. I mean, losing access would require a zombie apocalypse or a horrendous vacation where all my travel gear gets lost, etc., etc., but it’s still a scary thought. God bless my meds! You have to wonder about things like Stephen King’s The Stand miniseries. (I’ve seen the original but not the current remake. I’ve also read the unedited version of the book.) What if there was a character in that post-apocalyptic world who was dependent upon psych meds? It wouldn’t be pretty.

I still feel awful from the vaccine. I’ve decided to stay very calm and do nothing. Even taking a walk brings back all the flulike symptoms, so I’m not going to walk any farther than to take LuLu around the block ever so often. That’s it. I might send my dad to the grocery store for me, too. I don’t know or understand the connection, but walking seems to greatly aggravate the reaction to the vaccine that I’m having.

Everything the U-Scan stands for.

So, I just completely lost it at the grocery store. My dad says I shouldn’t go there at night. Quite honestly, I shouldn’t go at all.

When I got there, I parked and saw someone sneaking out of the side door and immediately getting inside a getaway car driven by someone else. Intrigued, I wondered if there was some shoplifting going on. I figured I wouldn’t tell anyone because no one ever takes me seriously anyway, but I made dagger eyes at the inhabitants of the jeep to let them know I disapprove of stealing.

Then I went inside and grabbed some sherbet and Sprite. I went to the U-Scan and waited for one to open up. U-Scan area one was opened but all were full. U-Scan area two was cordoned off, but people were still buying things there.

This has happened before.

The employee saw that I was next in line and started yelling at me. “Ma’am? Ma’am? MA’AM!”

I stared at her, unwilling to jump like a trained seal. Agitated, I scurried away as if I’d decided to keep shopping. The laughter of several people followed behind me.

I returned several seconds later, found a U-Scan in area one, and used it. Then I left.

Outside, the shoplifters were now parked by the front door that I’d used. Just sitting there, probably wanting to murder me, or something. (They could try, but they’d be walking funny. There are times when I’d pity anyone who’d try to murder/abduct/mug me.)

I felt irate. I walked a few steps toward my car and then turned and re-entered the store.

I approached the bascarts that were strung from end to end, blocking the U-Scan area, and tried to figure out how to untie them. Hmm. They seemed to be attached to either end with carabiners.

The employee came over. “Can I help you?”

“Why are these here?” I gave an imperial wave and returned to trying to unfasten the carabiners.

“Are you trying to exit?” she asked. “You can go that way.”

“Uh, no. I mean, why are these here? You’ve got the area cordoned off, but people are using it. It defies logic, which I studied in college.”

“It’s not my call,” she replied.

“Look,” I explained. “I come to the U-Scan to avoid interacting with people, and you forced me to interact with you.”

“I’m not forcing you to interact with me,” she insisted. “You’re–”

“You were! You were like, ‘Ma’am! Ma’am! MA’AM!'” My voice shot up, and everyone turned to stare at me. I sounded like a shrieking banshee. I think it was a spot-on imitation of her, but… people were staring.

“I was trying to get you to go around so you could use one of these U-Scans,” she explained.

“Yes, I know. But it defies logic! If you wanted me to use one, then the area wouldn’t be cordoned off!”

“I have a reason, but it’s not mine,” she said. Hmm… grocery-store mafia? 

“Are you sure?” I sneered at her as if she was an idiot. “Are you sure you have a reason?” I spoke as if she was an idiot. “Have you put any thought into it at all? Because it’s pretty stupid.”

“I’m sure.”

“I’m not a shoplifter,” I told her. I swear, everywhere I go, people tag me.

She made a surprised face. “That has nothing to do with it.”

“Then what? What’s the reason? I don’t like interacting with people! I don’t like being forced to interact! It goes against everything the U-Scan stands for!”

“It’s over now,” she said. “You can go. It’s over.”

“This has been going on for years!” (This is true.) “And it will keep happening. I’m not your trained seal to jump at your command.”

“Fine! You just stand here and keep talking to yourself.” She turned to leave.

“FUCK YOU!” I shrieked.

“Oh, okay,” she muttered. “You went there.”

“BITCH!” I’d officially lost it. (Hell, Meg, you never had it.)

“Get the hell out.”

“Up yours!” I headed toward the exit. “It defies logic! I studied logic in college! I’m not a trained seal! Bitch!” People from all the way across the store were staring at me by this point.

And then I was outside. The shoplifters were, interestingly, having a similar argument. “Effin’ get the hell out of the car,” one yelled to another. “Go on, get out!”

I scurried past them, got in my car, and went home.

So, I’m thinking that the Buddhist cow approach to my anger issues might not be working…

In my defense, I’m very sick. I’ve only gotten worse since I got that vaccine three days ago. I think I need to see a doctor, because according to my internet research, the side effects should be long gone. Ironically, I made a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow… and it’s at the grocery store’s little clinic. [Groan.] We’ll see what happens.

A little detective work!

Dear Annie: I am 70 years old and have just relocated to the U.S. from overseas, after an unexpected divorce. It was my daughter’s suggestion for me to move here. I’ve bought a house and am 5 miles from my daughter’s house. This is the first time in years that I have lived close to her and my two grandchildren. It’s been a huge change for me, and I am still getting used to things here.

My daughter is still married, but she and her husband haven’t lived together for seven years. She is currently furloughed from her job.

While I want to be here and be involved in their lives. I also want a life of my own as I cannot be with them all the time. Using a dating website, I met a woman. I wasn’t sure whether to tell my daughter, but my daughter told me how she’d met a man on a dating site and they were planning to meet soon — so I figured I’d open up and tell her about my new friend. It seemed like she approved or at least didn’t disapprove.

Then it came to my eldest grandson’s birthday. I forgot his card and present, so I asked my new lady friend to bring them to my daughter’s house for me. I got it from her when she arrived outside and gave her a quick kiss goodbye. I went in and gave it to my grandson who was overjoyed with the present. My daughter on the other hand was unhappy, as she saw my lady friend.

Now my daughter wants nothing to do with me anymore because she thinks I’m only thinking about myself. During the last three months, my daughter has only been in my house three times and for less than 10 minutes on each occasion. I’ve been to their house many times and each time for several hours at a time. I’m told I only care about myself and she doesn’t want anything else to do with me now. I’m partially reliant on her regarding the final part of my immigration here. If she withdraws from that, then I’m in trouble and may have to leave as a result.

She feels that I am selfish and don’t care about her and the boys but that isn’t true. I just want some life of my own along with being here to be close to them. This is a huge problem for me and I have no idea how to make it right. — Dissed By Daughter

Dear Dissed: I don’t know what your daughter’s problem is, but it’s not you. Some unhappiness in her personal life is probably causing her to lash out so irrationally. Hopefully, she comes to her senses and apologizes. The immigration factor does complicate things. I’d recommend consulting with an immigration lawyer to see what other options you might have so you don’t have to rely on the whims of a petulant daughter. You didn’t lug your whole life 2,000 miles to be her punching bag. (c) Annie Lane @ Creators.com

[Graciously edited to remove a glaring typo, the likes of which you wouldn’t believe!]

Hmm. This is like playing medical mystery, or murder mystery, only way more fun. What on earth is the letter writer leaving out?!

Evidence:

It seemed like she approved or at least didn’t disapprove.

Okay. A lack of disapproval is… interesting. I can’t tell if he told her the extra news here (“She’s really a hooker!”) or if he acted as if everything was kosher. Why would anyone disapprove of online dating, especially if they’re doing it themselves?

I asked my new lady friend to bring [the grandson’s presents] to my daughter’s house for me.

There’s a heavy implication that the “lady friend” is living with him, for her to have immediate access to the grandson’s card and present. And he told us he just moved to the country recently. Huh! Is he a fast dater?

I […] gave her a quick kiss goodbye.

So… did she show up looking and acting like Jessica Rabbit, by any chance? Regardless, it was poor form to be engaging in PDAs when no one had met her yet. If my dad were to introduce to a new girlfriend, I wouldn’t want the meeting to involve any PDAs. Um. Yuck.

My daughter on the other hand was unhappy, as she saw my lady friend.

She sure saw something. The plot thickens.

Now my daughter […] thinks I’m only thinking about myself.

Hmm… what sort of tawdry romantic situation would equate to selfishness? Is his “lady friend” underage? Nah. [Shakes head.] Hmm… selfishness… hmm… I’m close to a breakthrough here. I really am.

During the last three months, my daughter has only been in my house three times and for less than 10 minutes on each occasion. I’ve been to their house many times and each time for several hours at a time.

Okay, what’s going on at his house?! The daughter’s distancing isn’t a rejection of her dad, or she wouldn’t let him come over to her house.

Uh… do we have a harem situation going on? A brothel? A house of… ill repute? [I didn’t manage to type that with a straight face, but golly gee, I sure tried.] A meth lab? I’d avoid such a place, too. I’d hate to go kaboom.

I’m partially reliant on her regarding the final part of my immigration here.

Okay, so he wants to engage in illegal and/or lewd activities without any consequences? Mm-hmm.

And the selfishness theme is repeated many times. I just don’t think she’d consider it selfish for him to be dating someone. There’s got to be more to it. A lot more to it. But what?! He talks as if she’s not giving him any space to do his own thing, but no one would find it selfish of him to date someone.

Hmm… I wonder if the unexpected divorce was from his daughter’s mother? He’s recently divorced, and maybe his ex told their daughter all about what a womanizer and adulterer he was, and how crushing it was to the ex. Maybe the “unexpected” nature of the divorce involved his ex-wife catching him in bed with three women at once. That would be unexpected!

So, he moves overseas, shacks up with the first woman he meets, and shoves it in his daughter’s face at her son’s birthday party. [Nods.] It’s making more sense now. And you know what? That does seem selfish. It’s flagrantly disrespectful to his daughter’s mother. Maybe the daughter tried to remain neutral regarding the divorce, or she wouldn’t have suggested he move nearby. But then, when he formed his drug-cooking harem (or whatever), the daughter got fed up.

Nothing like a fun bit of detective work! He’s guilty! Guilty of being a bad, bad now-ex-husband to the mother of his children. Aha! Aha!

I also want a life of my own as I cannot be with [my daughter and grandkids] all the time.

Translation: I have sexual needs, and I can’t keep it in my pants! Don’t make me! But please, I still want you to help me immigrate. 

I think I’ve got this guy’s number. This has been fun and enlightening!

*****

I was still sick today. My digestive system seems to believe that I ate charcoal, or something. Good Lord, that vaccine was horrendous. I can’t quit wondering: if the vaccine is that bad, how awful is the actual virus?! I don’t want to know, and ideally, I won’t find out now that I’ve been vaccinated. Sigh.

In contest news, I won’t get results for round 2 until around May 19th, which can probably be translated as May 20th. [Eyeroll.] Three people on the forum have posted in my group, and their stories are all good. This is the hard thing about round 2 and beyond: the only people left are good writers. (Still, some good writers don’t make it this far.) I feel like my chances of making it to round 3 are statistically random, which would give me a 5 out of 25 chance of making it. (Top five in my group of 25 make it to round 3.) So… that would give me 20% odds. I can live with that. It’s just hard knowing that there’s so much solid competition from this point forward.

I haven’t been posting on the forum, just lurking. I have no intention of ever rejoining the forum. It’s toxic in ways that are senseless. But no one seems to mind that I have a stalker profile over there. This way I can check out the competition without having a presence.

False advertisement!

The websites make it sound so harmless! Side effects may be mild and will only last a few days. Symptoms include [insert a long list of scary symptoms here], but don’t fret! Many people have no side effects, and it’s different for everyone. 

I feel like death.

I felt ill yesterday after getting Pfizer #2, but I attributed it to the stress of traveling. No, that wasn’t it. I got up and went to the gym this morning, and I really think I came close to (accidentally) killing myself. I was doing my treadmill routine when I started wondering, dimly, why my calves were sore again (my shin splints must’ve returned, I reasoned); why there were flashes in my head (I must’ve ingested too much gluten for breakfast! I’m convinced I have a mild case of undiagnosed gluten ataxia); and then why my… holy flip… my pulse was dangerously high.

I’d been treadmilling for over twenty minutes before I realized that something was wrong. Maybe I’m not in touch with my body! I’ve never done extreme exercising like this since I took ballet until age fourteen. That would be thirty years ago.

So I slowed down and lowered the incline. My pulse was still in the range of 150 to 155. Shortly therafter, in a desperate attempt to stay alive, I just gave up. As I drove home, “I Will Survive” was playing on the radio.

It was weird, because I felt exhausted on the treadmill, but I otherwise felt fine. I still figured I was tired from yesterday’s travel. But when I got home, I started feeling worse. I got achey, and the flashes in my head developed a soundtrack (I can hear them flashing!). And now I’m like, screw it, I’m sick.

It’s several hours later (after 7:00 PM), and I again feel worse. Worser and worser. Why did I think getting vaccinated would be so freakin’ great? Was I delusional? Yeah, probably.

I tried reading one of my anger management books about Buddhist philosophy of anger. It’s called The Cow in the Parking Lot. It makes sense to study Buddhist teachings here. How often does anyone run afoul of a mob of irate, enraged Buddhists? (Hey, let’s put that on my bucket list! Bucket list goal: anger some unsuspecting Buddhists. “Hey, buddy, your mother’s ugly!”)

So far, what I’ve taken from the book is this: if someone makes you mad, then pretend that person is a cow. So as you can imagine, I decided I wasn’t understanding the book in my delirious state, and I gave up. I’ll try to read more of it later. (But if anyone wants to look inside the book and read the beginning, I’d love to hear how “off” my interpretation is.) (Never mind. The opening parable, or whatever, isn’t included. I checked.)

For whatever reason, probably because I feel close to death, I was thinking of my favorite scene from Pollyanna in which the minister gets just a little bit carried away. I wish I had audio up here to watch this properly. Let’s just say he’s a bit too empassioned for my tastes. And Pollyanna’s all like, what the freak?!

I would love to perform this as a monologue. Oh no, I shouldn’t be encouraged.

DEAR ABBY: My sister and I are best friends. She has always been caring, empathetic and passionate about helping others. Now, however, COVID has turned her into a real piece of work.

Since the pandemic began, she has become increasingly selfish. She interrupts other people’s conversations to talk about herself and complains nonstop about how COVID has ruined her life, as if the rest of us weren’t experiencing this too.

She shouts hysterically at me when the Wi-Fi stops working and refuses to volunteer for the most basic household tasks. At first I tried to be patient because I understand it’s a reaction to an incredibly stressful time in her life. However, after 10 monster months of this, I’m at my wits’ end.

We live together, go to college together and share the same friends. How can I tolerate her self-centeredness until the pandemic is finally over? And what if this new version of her never goes away? — IRKED IN IDAHO

DEAR IRKED: I wonder if the friends you share with your sister are having the same reaction as you are to being interrupted and having their conversations hijacked. If the answer is yes, a group intervention may jolt her back to reality and help her recognize how obnoxious it is.

As to the rest of your complaints about her behavior, the next time she comes screaming to you about the Wi-Fi failing, tell her you’ll be glad to help IF she agrees to pull her share of the workload around the apartment. It goes without saying that when you can make other living arrangements — perhaps in the fall — you find a roommate more compatible than your sister. If you do, your relationship with her may improve because you will be exposed to her less often. (c) DEAR ABBY

Hmm… I disagree. The letter writer needs to find new living quarters right away. Maybe this hits too close to home. Back before my sister assaulted me nine years ago, leading up to it were several blowups of hers over our internet situation. I just have to say that bad WiFi is no excuse to shout hysterically. And with my sister, it progressed to her waving a threatening broom in my face and then ultimately assaulting me.

I wouldn’t blame the coronavirus. With this situation, my inner knowing and intuition are blaming the fact that they’re young-adult roommates. I don’t think that was a good idea, and it needs to be undone as soon as possible. Their relationship could become permanently destroyed by this, and/or it could become violent. Even if it’s secretly all the letter writer’s fault and not her sister’s, same advice. They shouldn’t be living together.

I’m not sure when I realized that some family members can’t live together, but after my parents’ divorce, we all moved one by one from our mom’s house (she was awarded primary custody…) to our dad’s house (…but he wound up with it).

My dad never provided any rules or structure. My brother and I never needed any. We were those rare teens who never wanted to rebel.

From what I understand, my mom made my then-teenage brother crazy (well, she made all of us crazy), and then she insisted that he take antidepressants. He refused on philosophical grounds. My mom took my brother to court, and my dad attended too. The family court judge asked my brother how he felt when not taking the drugs, and he said fine. He asked if he does his homework at my dad’s house, and he said yes. Stuff like that. The judge wound up suggesting that my brother move in with our dad, and he said that he absolutely didn’t have to take antidepressants. I think he somehow saw through my mom’s machinations. Mother was outraged, but my dad felt quite triumphant.

I don’t know why lately, but I’ve been remembering the psychological testing. My brother and I were poorly behaved children, so Mother took us to the University of Louisville to be studied. I was around nine, and my brother seven. A man put us in a room and told us to play normally with all the toys, and then he left us there alone. My brother, who always “played the game” of subservient obedience, sat at a small table and played nicely with the toys as instructed. I kept making faces at the wall-sized two-way mirror.

The man returned and assured me that there was no one behind the mirror. I pretended to believe him, and he left. Then I started really hamming it up, doing ballet moves and everything. It was great. We weren’t there much longer. [Facepalm.] I can’t imagine what they concluded, but the truth–that our victimized mother (who, in her querulous voice, would explain that she gave us so much love and just wanted us to be happy, after all) was an abusive monster–probably didn’t get revealed that day. Oh well. They should’ve closed her in the room with the toys.

I still remember my then-blond brother playing politely with the toys, shooting me these looks like, what the heck are you doing? We’re not supposed to know they’re over there. These toys look fun! Aren’t you going to pretend? The adults expect it. If not, you’re on your own. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, sis. 

He and I never resented each other’s choices: his to play the game by being compliant as could be, and mine to throw screaming tantrums and get in massive trouble for it all the freakin’ time. I never had his ability to just “play along”, so to speak. That’s why I was the main brunt of my mother’s crazy. Being the oldest, I was glad to protect him, so it worked out.

Well, this has been fun. We’ve discussed the angry minister, the vaccine from hell, dysfunction and abuse, and my mother. Oh! And cows. There were cows, right?

Poor Bob!

Well, my paranoia has been at it again. I think I was wrong about Aunt Judy. I received an email from her today saying, “Meg, I changed the date of the party I invited your dad to. Please tell him it’s now on May 29th.”

And I was thinking, gee, what moxie! [Eyeroll.] Before I could go off on her with both barrels, it occurred to me that it was too much moxie. My aunt isn’t a total bitch, or anything like that. I’ve always liked her. Aside from the time she failed to protect me from being abducted by aliens at the great sand dunes, I’ve never had any major issues with her. And I’d really blame the aliens for that.

So I stopped and thought about it. Several years ago, she hosted a similar reunion and invited me, and I declined, explaining that that level of socializing would make me uncomfortable. She probably filed that away in her brain as her default response to any future gathering. Thus, I could probably finagle an invitation (which would normally be rude, but it’s a family reunion sort of thing, and I’m family) if I were to ask nicely.

Indeed, I do feel more sociable these days, and I could wear a hello-my-name-is tag to prevent anyone from calling me M-word. But to be completely honest, the trip would be tiring, and we’d have to leave Mr. Kitty and LuLu the pup in a kennel. We’ve never left the pets in a kennel before.

Also, I want to save my travel energy for going abroad. I got my second vaccine dosage today, and now I feel like shit. I’ve got the runs. I’m taking the day off of the gym, and I’m hoping my dad can buy some Pepto. But anyway, the whole point of being vaccinated (aside from not getting the coronavirus, obviously) is to be able to travel to Prague and visit Sonya for a third time. Eventually, you’d think the Czech Republic would open its borders to those of us who’ve been vaccinated. Here’s hoping! Ever so often, I check at this website for updates.

Oh no. I’ll be right back. I hope.

Okay, I’m back. I just dispatched Codger to get me some Pepto. But my cursory research indicates that stomach upsets aren’t a side effect of the vaccine. It could be what I’ve eaten today, though–I’ve eaten some odd foods.

Anyway, I just now came across this interesting tidbit about the vaccine I got:

Although few people in the clinical trials went to the hospital or died, data suggest that people who got the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were less likely to have these more serious outcomes compared to people who got the saline placebo.

(It’s from this website.) And I’m thinking, really? People have died from the placebo? Wow! Is that even a thing? What would that entrance into heaven look like?

St. Peter: “Hey, buddy, welcome to Heaven. What was your cause of death?” 

Bob: “I was stupid enough to participate in a clinical trial for coronavirus vaccines.” [Shakes his head in frustration.] “That must’ve been some deadly shit.” 

St. Peter: “Well, actually, I’ve got some interesting news for you. I’m not sure how to tell you this, but… you got the placebo.” [Shrugs.]

Bob: “What?! Then why the hell am I dead?!” 

Ah, the sweet mystery of life. Because I know I’d be wondering. Like, for seriousness?

I guess it would be terrifying to take a pill that you believed could kill you. Like, this pill will either kill you or turn out to be a placebo. Under those circumstances, I can indeed imagine dying from the fear or expectation alone. I’m thinking Bob shouldn’t have participated in the clinical trials.

There was no Bob, silly. You just now made him up. 

Well, someone’s dead here!

Oh well, moving on.

I’m just thinking that no spirit in Heaven would live that down. “Did you all hear about Bob? He died from the placebo effect!”

“Hey, Bob, are you sure you’re dead? Have you checked?”

Head in Hands

Poor Bob.

Anyway, I don’t know what to expect with my health this evening, and the stats suggested that 31% of people had issues after my vaccine’s second dose, so I’m not going to the gym. However, I have solid plans to go twice a day for the next eighteen days. After that is May 10th, my birthday, during which I’ll naturally take the day off.

Also, driving to Lexington and back was exhausting. At least I found the way home this time instead of getting lost in Lexington’s downtown with its one-way streets to nowhere.

Yeah, I’m just exhausted, so I need some rest. I hope everyone out there is having a great day!!

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