“Why can’t you be like that Lloyd Braun?”

road trip

I’m still paying off the debt to my body for eating like I don’t understand how consequences work.  I feel like my neurons are communicating via dial-up when I’m used to gigabit speeds.  The signals get there eventually, but I’m so exasperated and clumsy in the meantime.  I’d love to share about how executive function is involved, and the importance of eating wisely, but it’s not happening today.

I’m supposed to leave for my sisters’ place in a few days, but I have no idea if it will happen.  I can’t predict that far in advance how I’ll be feeling with any accuracy.  Thinking ahead requires too much bandwidth.  Driving for roughly five hours in a row is a challenge for me when I’m functioning at my best.  I’ve pulled it off a few times, but I’ve always been in awe of myself for a bit afterward.

Driving requires a lot of focus.  It’s hard for me to allocate that much of my attention on a task that doesn’t interest me.  It’s similar to being overtired and trying to pull an all-nighter anyway.  I have to remind myself every few moments to pay attention.  On top of that, I live on the prairie.  It’s flat and monotonous.  I sing with my system blaring until I hit a city.  Then fear of collision takes over, and it’s all good.

I’ve driven around Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska so far.  I tried a guided bus tour years ago, but it was to Deadwood, SD.  It sucked.  It’s only a fun town if you’re into gambling, (and even then fun might be a stretch.)  I don’t gamble.  (Gambling and lottery tickets are topics that raise my blood pressure.  I blame statistics.)  Traveling with strangers from an elder generation wasn’t fun, either.  (I strongly suspect my presence made them tired.)

prairie

The weather is perfect today.  It’s 62° F and sunny.  I’d love to go for a run, but I can’t trust myself to stick to my route yet.  When my brain is in this state, I’m extremely likely to keep going, and then eventually realize I don’t recognize my surroundings.  I hate when that happens.  I rely more on my sense of smell than any weather apps when it comes to rain.  I was once caught out in a lightning storm, but at least there wasn’t any thunder, (it levels me.)  Sigh.  Not today.

I dumped DirecTV Now and went back to PlayStation Vue.  It’s only $4 more per month, and it doesn’t suck.  I got tired of the buffering, and crappy picture before my introductory offer with DirecTV Now ended.  It also took more bandwidth than PlayStation Vue for a less reliable, sad result.  I can use picture-in-picture on my iPad Pro to have live TV or my DVR shows play while I use another app simultaneously with PlayStation Vue’s app.  I like the user interface on my Roku, too.

I dumped them because they raised the price, but after trying some competitors, I’m back, baby.  I think the channel line-up for the basic tier is better, too.  I hope M doesn’t look at the available offerings (for more money) and see all the games he could be watching.  I’ll probably end up upgrading out of guilt.  (I suck at feigning interest in sports.)  The DVR in the cloud rules, too.  Yay, Sony.  How about lowering the price of the PlayStation 4 Pro, eh?  $350 is more reasonable now that the Xbox One X is out (and no drop date for PlayStation 5.)  I’m just saying.  😀💜

“Kramer, there’s no way you’re sleeping with me.”

 

Goodbye winter!

My role at work is now a text-only advisor.  Yay.  I’m preparing for my next trip, but I haven’t yet picked a date.  One of my reasons for visiting my sister is to pass on things I no longer want.  She’ll pass along what doesn’t interest her to other relatives.  She’s got five adult kids, (the oldest a year older than me.)  I have a lot of nieces and nephews (considering only half of my siblings have children.)

It’s more convenient than Craigslist.  I’m going to load up my car with electronics that need a new home before I hit the road.  It’ll be fun to pack them safely for travel.  I used to enjoy loading vehicles in the Army.  It was like physical Tetris, only far more satisfying when done well.  I need to get a cheap memory foam mattress topper to protect the TV and monitor.   And locate my bungee cords.  😆

I’m already excited, which means it will probably be soon.  I’m getting rid of all my Amazon products, such as tablets, FireTV, Echo and Echo Dot.  I’m going to keep my Kindle Paperwhite, though.  My Prime membership expires next month, and I’m not renewing.  I’m a bit sad to be breaking up with Amazon, but the cons outweigh the pros.  I’m sure they’ll survive without my business.  Heh.

I’ll sleep better knowing I took a gigantic (for me) step toward reducing my impact on the planet.  It will eliminate impulse shopping.  I’ve given lots of thought to my relationship with material things recently.  I don’t feel overwhelmed by excess stuff anymore since I began my purge months ago.  Giving it away feels wicked good.  I’m addicted to witnessing the joy of others as a result.

Packed stuff

When you give someone something they need or love, they must release some form of contagious happiness endorphins.  (Not that kind of doctor, she said, unnecessarily.)  It’s in my top ten favorite life experiences.  I had the ideal parents for learning generosity.  It rubbed off on most of us.  A few times, I’ve gotten something back I previously gave away just when I needed it again.  (Furniture.)

I think it’s safe to say snowing is over for the season.  I’ll be glad when the 2 feet melting on my balcony is gone.  That last storm was a doozy.  It’s nearly 50° F today and getting slightly warmer in the forecast.  Yay.  I’m getting ready to set up my Privacy Pop tent on the floor in my playroom.  It’s going to be my ghouls (or gools.)  My safe zone.  I have a twin mattress and some string lights to cozy it up.  I think it will be good for keeping my anxiety in check.  I hope.

Amelia Bedelia will assume it’s for her, but I don’t mind her company.  I remember ghouls from playing tag as a kid.  And calling, “Ollie Ollie och-ten free!”  It’s funny to me now because we all knew these words by rote but could easily explain them.  I used to shout, Ollie Ollie oxen free (until someone noticed.)  I’m still notorious for mispronunciation and getting the lyrics wrong.  😂  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.

“What’s your definition of scary cold?”

travel

I’m back in Sioux Falls.  We had a thunder blizzard last night.  It felt pre-apocalyptic, but I was overwhelmed at the time, (so assume a minor adjustment for reality.)   I’m sure I’ve mentioned how thunder freaks me out, (beyond my ability to pretend I’m fine.)  Strong gusts of wind against my improperly weatherized balcony doors made it worse.  The howling wind in my living room was creepy.

Today there’s a layer of ice covering everything, including my windows.  It’s as if it rained sideways, froze, then snowed.  I opened my balcony doors to have a look because the windows provide a trippy view.  It took lots of effort to open them.  Then after gawking for a bit, I struggled to close them again.  I had to dig through two feet of snow to step outside.

It’s supposed to snow all day, then twice more next week.  Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow shiver this year, I guess.  I’ve already determined my next travel destination:  Northeast to visit my sister.  It’ll be both visit and tech consultation.  I send her my former gadgets, knowing she’ll pass along whatever doesn’t interest her.  She’s repeatedly surprised me with her interest and eagerness to learn.

groundhog

I’ve made the drive before, and there are only three turns.  Heh.  It’ll be soonish (before my sister leaves for her summer place.)  I’m a bit leery of my niece who she’ll be visiting afterward, (her oldest kid.)   I still have the occasional nightmare of her beating me up.  She punches like Miss Sophia in The Color Purple, (and from a similar training ground.)  She knocked me out when I came home from basic training for Christmas.  (Just to remind me of my place in her world.)

My sister has that toughness in her, too.  But she uses it to endure rather than bully.  I’ve only seen her be violent to a brown bear who invaded our camp.  She calmly pelted it with rocks until it fled.  😂  I’m going to teach her a bit of Photoshop and lots of tutorial links since she has a DSLR camera.  I’m also going to give her my 25-key Novation midi keyboard to try some music apps on the iPad.  And a keynote presentation on why she needs to get broadband.  She uses her iPhone for all things interweb.  (!!!)

I probably have a Wacom tablet in my retired gadgets closet.  I’d like to see her embrace her creativity digitally.  I love teaching tech to people who are older than me.  They’re so easy to train it’s delightful.  The only thing you have to do is pretend you’re doing it for the first time, and say what you do out loud as you do it slowly.  Then give it to them in writing as an ordered checklist, and done, (they master it after you leave.)  They also usually end up teaching me about features I’ve never used before.  (Probably because of RTFM.) 😂

Baby boomers tend to be less intellectually lazy than Gen X’ers in my observations.  Let’s blame corn syrup.  😶  I’m going to try and watch more Star Wars:  The Last Jedi.  I’m already anxious as hell, so I may as well knock out some anxiety-provoking activities while I’m already maxed out.  Too bad I don’t need anything from the mall, or I’d throw that in, as well.  😂  Peace.

“It’ll be like a permanent road trip.”

open road

I’m doing better.  I think I lost a few friends, but I’m not sure. 😔 I decided since it’s outside my control, I’m not going to obsess over it.  It hurts every time, happens often, and I rarely understand why.  At least I learned something in the process.  I think forcing myself to practice my drums triggered my brain to stop spiraling down.  I’m almost positive playing music releases whatever hormone(s) I need to start regaining homeostasis.

The hard part is doing it.  It’s like swimming in a pool full of peanut butter.  At first, I have to keep stopping to give myself a pep talk just to gain an inch.  It’s like trying to read while sitting in front of Mick Fleetwood while he’s doing a drum solo.  I seriously think people living with mental illness would shine at using The Force.  Sometimes, just focusing enough to complete a simple task is like lifting a spaceship out of a swamp with your mind.

But when the clouds clear, I’m intensely aware of how a chemical imbalance can completely alter my perception.  I remember what I was thinking only days ago, but today those same thoughts seem extreme, and black and white.  When I’m not having an episode of depression, the difference in how I think is astonishing.  I find it disturbing.  I probably read too much speculative fiction, but it seems like mind controlling drugs are inevitable.  I only wonder how tailored to the individual they’d need to be to have any predictable effect.

I’m preparing for a road trip.  I’ll probably hit the road this weekend and begin ticking off locations on my bucket list.  I’ve never driven for more than five hours in a row, so it’ll be a challenge.  I have made it to Minneapolis and back in a single day.  Same with Des Moines, so I’m not too worried.  I haven’t broken 3k miles on this car yet.  It’s the last car I’ll ever own, so I’m going to drive the shit out of it until it dies.  I have an appointment to get a new battery and tune up Friday.  I’m taking a laptop so that I can write on the road.

I’m estimating it’ll take me at least a year before I finish writing my novel.  Maybe longer.  I’m going to look around during the process.  I’m heading south and west first because I’ve had enough winter.  I want to take my cat along, but I’m still working out the logistics.  I had a lengthy discussion with M. yesterday.  I haven’t processed most of it yet.  He wants me to call him daily, but I despise talking on the phone.  I don’t like talking at all, to be honest.  But I agreed to do it anyway for him.  I’m excited to hit the road.  I’m off to plan.   ☮️