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BY M

03/01 Direct Link
It has been a very long time since I've written here. I was thinking I should check back in case people thought I died of COVID. (Not trying to be funny--that has literally been what goes through my head if I haven't heard from someone in a long time.) 

A lot has happened. People have said that 2020 was the year from hell, and I can understand that. Every day I was hoping that my family and/or friends wouldn't catch the dreaded virus. 

My sister-in-law got it and one of my close friends got it. 
03/02 Direct Link
But they didn't die from it. In all honesty, they didn't get very sick. My sister-in-law felt tired and was out of breath going up the stairs in her house. My close friend felt like she had a cold. 

Even my 80-something-year-old great-aunt who lives in a nursing home got it and lived. 

But it seemed so random, like it would attack the most healthy people and completely destroy their lungs. Yet people who were over 100 lived. I would love to know why some people die from it and others don't. 
03/03 Direct Link
What happened in 2020? My husband and I finally bought a house. We were looking on and off for almost 3 years, since we got married. The apartment was getting too small for the three of us, and the rent was getting too high. 

When we went to the apartment to check it before we turned in the keys, there was a bullet hole in the ceiling and a bullet lying on the carpet. I had no idea what it was at first, so I picked it up and realized it was a bullet. I think it was big enough to kill someone. 
03/04 Direct Link
The apartment had been sitting vacant for about a month or so since we moved out. I wonder if the people who shot the gun knew that and were just acting like assholes. Maybe there was some kind of domestic dispute upstairs. 

It doesn't matter. We will never know. I just hope the "perpetrator" moved out. 

I do keep wondering who moved into the apartment after we left. Maybe a young professional or another young couple. Perhaps a single mom and her kid. Or a single dad and his kid. 

I hope they will be safe there. 
03/05 Direct Link
When we were looking at houses, I didn't like the house at first. We had looked at several houses in the same neighborhood and I wasn't too big a fan, but it was now or never. The lease was running out, we were going to get priced out of the market if costs kept rising, and we were realizing that no house we picked was going to be perfect. 

So the house grew on me. It's so bright and sunny. The neighborhood is super quiet (except for the people who like to ride four-wheelers on the street randomly).
03/06 Direct Link
3/8: How to help husband lose weight: focus on what I can control, which is the grocery shopping. I haven't been buying cookies or chips or snacks or anything like that. I stopped buying soda. The thing is, he refuses to drink just plain water and has to have juice or milk or sweet tea. Even flavor packets for water don't interest him. I think he would lose a ton of weight if he replaced all his fluids with plain water. I guess I could buy healthy snacks, but he wouldn't eat them. Just unsure of what to do.
03/07 Direct Link
3/8: I made a foray into Reddit. I never did make an account, but I lurk there all the time because sometimes the people have good advice, but other times they come off as condescending and like they know everything. That's the reason I'm not a big fan of forums. I always manage to say the wrong thing or unwittingly offend someone. I am not good at arguing in a productive manner or in any manner at all. I end up revealing the depth of my stupidity or my ignorance. How does one get out of ignorance? Educate oneself. 
03/08 Direct Link
In general, I have tried to avoid Internet discourse. My blog is the only place I write, really, other than here, and if people disagree, they don't have to read it. It's my blog with my opinions. They don't need to get upset over it. I've stopped all forum comments and long since got off Facebook and other social media. I used to leave a YouTube comment every now and then, but they were really innocuous. The Internet tends to breed little echo chambers. When one leaves an echo chamber, they get attacked by trolls. It's not a nice place.
03/09 Direct Link
Figuring out how to strategically plan a week's dinners is hard. At least for me. I am not the most confident cook. I stick to super easy stuff, like tilapia and pasta and tacos and stuff involving ground meat. I'm not a big steak fan. Never have been. I think it was from when I was younger, my mom used to overcook the steak and I felt like I was chewing for hours and hours. All the flavor was sucked out and I had a wet rag in my mouth. But eating less steak is better for the planet anyway.
03/10 Direct Link
My son became obsessed with baseball after he got his picture book about baseball from my uncle. I read the book to him several times a day. We have a baseball signed by a local mascot and he carries it around the house with him all the time. He always asks to see the "baseball show" on YouTube, and the first time he said it my husband thought he was saying "baseboard Joe" and I was thinking, man that's a great Mafia name. He whacks the people then stuffs their bodies behind the baseboards. But my son's true obsession is...
03/11 Direct Link
...this children's YouTube personality called Blippi. He is essentially a live-action cartoon character who explains to kids how things work and goes to various places (e.g., baseball stadiums, chocolate factories) to see how things are made and how games are played. I tend to dislike him because he's too jumpy and often fails to clean up after himself. I don't like the idea of my son watching TV or YouTube much at all, but my mother-in-law turned him onto Blippi. I suppose there are worse things he could be watching. Blippi is at least semi-educational.
03/12 Direct Link
Spring is practically here, and I feel like I'm getting seasonal affective disorder. I feel oddly depressed and there's literally no reason for me to be depressed. I guess every turn of the seasons is starting to remind me of my mortality, because I feel this way in the fall too. 

It's a Friday, so we can't have meat. Doesn't necessarily mean that you have to eat fish. I have never understood that. No meat means no meat, not that you have to have fish as a protein. You could just have rice and beans. Or eggs. Or pasta.
03/13 Direct Link
3/15: The Ides of March. Yesterday was Pi Day and I almost had pie but didn't. Wonder if that's bad luck. I'm not supposed to believe in good luck charms or things of the sort. I'm not very given to superstition. I didn't check the stores yesterday to see if pies were actually $3.14 but I'm sure some of them had that special. Maybe the more upscale stores where people are in the know. I doubt my humble store would recognize Pi Day because most of the shoppers would not. Is there a growing class divide in America? Yes.
03/14 Direct Link
3/15: I was thinking about who gets the stimulus payment. I think I read somewhere that 84% of Americans are getting the third stimulus payment. It's strange because most of the people I work with are most likely not getting it. So I don't want to say that I'm getting it because it would be like admitting that I belong to the "lower class," even though the great majority of people are in that lower class. Nothing wrong with that, though. Camel through the eye of a needle and all that, but to a degree, the poor are just as fixated on wealth as the rich. 
03/15 Direct Link
Because when you are poor, you are thinking about money all the time because you need it and don't have it. When you are rich, you are thinking about money all the time because you have so much, managing it gets complicated. "The more you own, the more owns you." That expression comes to mind. So would the "middle class" be the least fixated on money? Probably not, because they are "keeping up with the Joneses." Is there even a middle class anymore? They say it's shrinking. I don't know if I see enough evidence of that, at least where I sit. 
03/16 Direct Link
My blog is dead, but that's OK. These days you don't want too much of an internet presence. People will say "I have nothing to hide," and that is true until the FBI unearths their entire chat history on Facebook that was supposedly private. Or all the texts on their phone that were also supposedly private. Among your public posts, you may have nothing to hide, but "private" stuff is another matter. Should that prohibit people from speaking their minds? I suppose that is up to the individual's choice. The internet allows one to put one's thoughts in order better (sometimes).
03/17 Direct Link
What does it mean to have an emotional affair with someone? What does it mean to give one's heart away? I imagine that when one is a teenager, it is hard to tell the difference between love, lust, puppy love, emotional attachment, etc. I suppose they are all combined. Can two teenagers love each other truly? I still think so, even though I don't consider myself a hopeless romantic. It is too often clouded by lust and teenage hormones, though, which is why I would encourage teenagers not to date one person for too long. It can lead to trouble.
03/18 Direct Link
I have been lacking motivation this week or so. I hate feeling so lazy that I can't do anything worthwhile. Part of this feeling is caused by it being slow at work. The rest is probably hormones. Everything is hormone related. When I lose all my hormones, will I have no personality? Probably not, because the personality set by the hormones will be so entrenched. 

I realized that I need to speak less. Everything I say when I speak (or close to everything) ends up being the dumbest thing anyone has ever said. Why do I bother saying anything?
03/19 Direct Link
People always used to say (and to an extent, still do) something like, "You're so quiet. Why don't you talk more?" I feel like saying, "Because when I open my mouth, I inevitably say something stupid, offensive, or both." I have no pearls of wisdom despite seeming "smart." Maybe it's because I wear glasses. For a long time, I thought that if I stopped wearing glasses and started wearing contacts, people would no longer perceive me as "smart," but the way others think of me is starting to matter less and less. I like wearing glasses anyway. Contacts seem painful.
03/20 Direct Link
It's been an entire year since we were able to sing in church. They prohibited singing because it got particles everywhere. Projectiles full of virus, so to speak. It's depressing, not singing in church. I can sing alone in my car, but it's not the same, and with the commute gone, I don't get much opportunity to sing in my car. I have also noticed that I no longer relate to current music, as it seems to be written for teenagers. All the mushy love songs make me roll my eyes, but if I was younger, they would have intense power.
03/21 Direct Link
Can we talk about how Avril Lavigne never ages? I saw a recent music video of hers yesterday and she was singing with this other singer. She looked exactly the same. I'm sure there's a lot of makeup and possibly plastic surgery involved, and if I were to look closer, I'd see the wrinkles and possibly the gray hair, but in the video she looked flawless. Like a teenager, and she is older than me. I find it kind of sad that she hasn't had kids or a lasting relationship, but I guess that's what celebrities do sometimes. And she had Lyme.
03/22 Direct Link
It is a good day when strawberries go on sale, but you have to make sure you get ones that are ripe enough yet not too ripe or moldy. There was one moldy strawberry in the exact middle of the box I bought. Maybe I should have taken them all out and examined them, like one would do with a carton of eggs, but I was so excited about the strawberries that I didn't care. It was only one moldy one and didn't affect the others. Next time I will be wiser. You have to be careful when buying fruits.
03/23 Direct Link
Trying to get maintenance scheduled. That's the one thing about the apartment that I miss. If something went wrong, maintenance would be over in a second. One time, they couldn't diagnose an issue with my washing machine, so they had to send the manufacturer. All the machines now are computerized, so they had to actually hook a computer up to it and reset it that way. I think my new dryer in the house works the same way. Everything is so computer dependent. Manual stuff is easier to deal with, at least for the older generation. We are too dependent on computers.
03/24 Direct Link
They say that people who talk to themselves are geniuses. By that logic, I must be a super genius. (Doubt it.) I do believe that talking to oneself increases memory, though, and memory is a huge component of intelligence. If you don't have a good memory, you are at a huge disadvantage. They say writing longhand helps with memory as well, which is also something I believe. It really cements the words in one's brain. Word searches are supposed to help, too, but I don't really understand how. Sudoku might also be good. Anything to delay the onset of dementia.
03/25 Direct Link
Housewife/work from home dilemmas: I have two meetings today and a guy coming to look at windows. Will I have time to clean the floor? My husband insists on bare feet, so the floors get all sticky. Ugh. I want to enforce socks on in the house. I wonder if shoes versus bare feet would be worse on the floor. I think bare feet are better because with shoes all this grit gets on the floor. All the oils from feet get cleaned off pretty easily. Kind of gross, but that is reality. Yet my in-laws always wear shoes in the house.
03/26 Direct Link
I was looking back at my paper journals and realized that I miss writing longhand in an actual paper book instead of on a computer screen or on sticky notes or a notepad. So I wrote a journal entry. It felt nice, even though I was writing about mundane stuff that happened at home. In 2011/2012, there was so much drama due to work, and in my journals, I say that I will do something, then turn around do the exact opposite, which leads to me getting annoyed at myself. Human nature? Maybe. Stupidity? Possibly. Or just plain indecisiveness. 
03/27 Direct Link
I started writing in my paper journal again. I'm doing a top 10 list of things that happened today or things that were bothering me. It helps with anxiety/worries to make a list of things that are bothering me (no matter how minuscule they happen to be). Then I can look back on the list later and see how many of them are still problems or bothers. Most of the time, all have been resolved. Most of the things you are worrying about in a given year, you will not be worrying about in the following year. That is reassuring. 
03/28 Direct Link
My neck muscles hurt and I suspect it's because the ergonomics of my working from home station are off. 

In other news, husband starts a new job tomorrow. I hope it lasts. I hope he likes it. He has had issues keeping jobs because of severe anxiety and ADHD. Let's hope this one is his "niche." It would be great to save a little extra money every month to put toward the mortgage. 

How mundane I have become, talking about husbands and mortgages! My 2007 self would be appalled. Or proud of me. Depending on her mood. She was mercurial.
03/29 Direct Link
My son is at the age where he repeats words. He usually echoes the last two words I say. It's so cute, but if those last two words are bad words, he will repeat them too. He has been saying "crap" when he looks at my computer screen, probably because I got a work email I didn't like and said "crap" out loud. Fortunately that's the only "bad word" he says. The others don't come out of my mouth too often, but when I'm by myself or in my head, I cuss like a sailor. Time to start a swear jar.
03/30 Direct Link
What words do they find offensive? Now they are saying that something like "target audience" is offensive because "target" might remind someone of shooting. So would it then also be offensive to say something like "I was under the gun on a deadline"? Or even "he jumped the gun"? These expressions are innocuous to me, part of the wallpaper of speech, but to someone else, they could be "triggering." But even the word "triggering" is a reminder of guns or shooting. What about "provoking"? Would that be a better word to use in place of "triggering"? This requires some thought.
03/31 Direct Link
They say not to start the day by looking at your phone because it starts you off in a "reactive" state. You react to the news, to your friends' posts on social media, to your emails, etc. So how do you start proactively? I guess by actually doing something instead of just reacting to things that you see on your phone. 

I'm too dependent on my phone. I have my alarm on it, so I look at it as soon as I wake up. I've limited the things I react to, though. I get few emails, I'm not on social media.