Category Archives: Society Sucks

Society Sucks: Detachment From Survival

Bread. I wanted to bake bread. Why? Because I didn’t know how to bake bread and that seems like something any civilized person should know how to do. Like it’s one of the cornerstones of society, a thousand-year-old skill that for some reason I can’t do. Bread is only second to making fire which I also can’t reliably do. I’m getting pretty proficient at using a lens on charcoal but this only works well if it’s daytime, it’s not cloudy, and the charcoal is dry. If I get bored enough on my upcoming vacation maybe I’ll try the “rub sticks together” technique. I put fire a tier above bread because it’s hard to bake bread without a fire. Fire was probably the first big invention that humans have pulled off and it seems like a disappointment to the human species as a whole if you can’t make fire or bread on your own.

Bread became more meaningful the more I thought about it, almost an obsession. Why do we outsource bread to companies? What’s so damn bad about baking bread that we can’t do it ourselves? You kind of have to buy a car because you don’t have the skill, the expertise, or the materials to build your own. Cars are fine things to buy from someone else because of this, but bread? This became clearer once I actually baked my first loaf of French bread. (Here’s the recipe. It’s the first one that came up and I’m lazy.) It was easy, like mind-blowingly easy. Like “Why the fuck doesn’t everyone bake their own bread” easy. Not as easy as microwaving some frozen dinners but easy nonetheless. My two loaves turned out amazing especially considering it was my first foray into baking. It tasted better than store-bought bread, was cheaper, sure it took more time than buying a loaf from Walmart, but most importantly it was fulfilling to bake my own bread. Why?

We seem to lose sight of the fact that we’re just one of the millions/billions of species on this planet. We’re moderate-sized, dumb animals just like our relatives in the primate family. Sure were pretty fucking smart — we can buy cars and bread from other people — but at a fundamental level we’re still critters. Our culture seems to miss this fact putting us way above other animals, almost like we’re a diety. Our pet dogs and cats are really more like our distant cousins than “lesser beings” and why do we think we’re so damn special? Birds are even more detached from us, but still an animal, still stupidly similar to us. The momma bird is making nests for the same reason we build houses. Even insects that I share almost nothing in common with bring me awe. What would it be like to be a spider? What do spiders concern themselves with in their lifetimes? Whatever it is, as seemingly simple and dumbed down to us, that’s the state they live in. They’re happily doing spider things like eating and having babies and, damn, isn’t that what we’re doing despite all of the extra bullshit we concern ourselves with?

It’s easy to lose sight of this in our society. It’s easy to think of how advanced and “ascended” we are as a species, how we’re well past the mental capacity of the lesser critters, but is this true? Sure we have all of these fancy things like blog posts and smart phones and cryptocurrency and TikTok, but are we really that different from the other critters we share this giant ball called Earth with? I’m saying a firm “NO” here, and that our detachment from our fundamental animalism is a big part of why so many people are unhappy in our amazingly technical and connected world.

Work never seems fulfilling. Sure I show up and get a paycheck but I’m always wondering what the hell it’s all for. You need money because money is a fun little invention. Instead of bartering for goods, we created money — something everyone can agree on as valuable — and this makes trading a lot easier. If my neighbor wants to trade me goats for my bread cool, but this only works if I actually want goats. If I don’t need goats I’m out of luck. With money, I can trade my bread to the goat guy for cash, and then trade the cash for something I do need that isn’t goats. All of the people whining about money as made up or useless seem to miss this fact; money is damn useful.

Money is what we get for our services to society. If you do something useful you get paid for it, ideally based on how ‘useful’ your contribution is. (Let’s ignore what exactly “useful” means here. I think a bunch of jobs that pay are useless, but if someone is paying for those jobs, then they have some use to someone.) This allows people to specialize is all sorts of fields (pun kinda intended); not everyone has to be a farmer, or a blacksmith, or a baker at the same time. You do your small part, people pay you for your items/services and you buy what you need from other specialized people. It’s beautiful when you realize that you probably haven’t grown or produced your own food or meat in years, maybe in forever. You pay someone else to do that. And your job? Someone pays you to do that so they don’t have too. It’s a great system.

But there’s the inevitable detachment from the animal self, the part imbedded in all of our DNA that wants to survive no matter what. To look death in the eye daily and tell it to fuck off for a bit longer. And what is life other than telling death to fuck off? Maybe I want to grow my own food or kill my own meat? I doubt people go that far though, and maybe most have a nearly imperceptible sense of pointlessness to life in general. A subtle disillusionment with life and society, thoughts at night wondering what the hell your purpose is. In a round-about way I work for my food and shelter, but it doesn’t feel like my survival is attached to my work. It doesn’t feel like a matter of life and death or survival. It feels like a stupid job that I have to work because people told me I need money or something. Sure, I’m aware that this is me playing a role in society and in turn I get to eat food that others provide, but knowing this and believing/feeling this are two different things.

I think that’s my point here. Our society has detached itself so much from survival — something we are required to do as animals, something that I think we have an inherent need to feel — that it doesn’t even seem like it’s there anymore. It’s hard to feel fully alive when you don’t have death and starvation only a few days away. I’m not saying we should turn our society back into a hunter/gather type of thing where kids die before they’re three, but it’d be cool have have our daily work actually represent something in terms of our survival in a more directly and easy to appreciate way. I really think this would make life more fulfilling. I ship packages at UPS, and this is how I survive? How fucking silly.

And bread. I know how to make bread. It felt good to make because it felt like I was actually doing something to survive. Not earning a paycheck and buying food with it. Not relying on some other person (or worse, corporation) in our society to feed me. It was all me. Yes, I bought the flower and the oil and the mixer, but it’s one step closer to real, legit, Jeremy-made bread. It’s one step closer to me having my survival directly in my own hands.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

The Hustle Sucks

God, how I hate the word ‘hustle’ and it’s cousin ‘side hustle.’ All side hustle seems to refer to is your shitty side ‘job’ where you rake in pennies on your own terms. I’m thinking DoorDash here because I’ve been seeing their ads on YouTube for quite awhile now. It’s such a shitty ad and maybe you’ve seen it. Some girl wanting to make cash on the side while ‘not being stuck at a 9-5 job’. They show her playing guitar — her real ‘job’ and ‘passion’ — writing down lyrics and chords and smiling and shit. Because she’s following her dream with DoorDash making her money on her own terms! One thing that really bothers me about the ad is how she says “I used to make money with DoorDash” or something like that. Notice the past tense. She used to make money; why doesn’t she still make money with DoorDash? It’s a small thing and maybe I’m putting more weight to it than I should but I can’t get that past tense out of my head and notice it every time the ad plays for me, which is about seven times per day.

I suppose DoorDash is a legit job/gig so that’s good. Let’s ignore the MLMers out in the world like my cousin. Or doge traders. Neither of these should be considered a ‘side hustle’ at all.

I really don’t like the r/blogging subreddit. I think I’ve bitched about it here before, maybe in passing. I don’t know what I expected from the sub, but I’m constantly disappointed by their focus on the ‘business aspects’ of blogging. Most of these people only care about SEO, views, referral links, promotional partnerships, and ad revenue. They’re trying to make blogging their side hustle and to me it misses the point of blogging which is to write. Maybe I’m an old and bitter blogger who is jealous because he isn’t making shit for money and doesn’t care enough to seriously attempt to make money. While I’m happy blogging for no pay whatsoever it would be nice to say the hours a week I put into is actually worth some monetary value.

I still have shitty WordAds running here (notice the tacky Duck Duck Go ads?!) and that’s fun. I earn about a penny a day. $3.65 per year, unless it’s a leap year! Then I’ll make $3.66! Getting rich off this hustle, am I right? I noticed something interesting yesterday regarding WordAds though; they only pay out once you reach $100. Let’s do some math, shall we? 100/3.65 is……………………..27.39 years. After 27 years of blogging I can transfer $100 to my PayPal account. Yay?!

I think I’ll shut it off soon because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

(What’s with company names that are two words smashed together with the second one being capitalized? WordAds. GameStop. DoorDash. YouTube. BlackBerry. AdSense. When is Papa John’s going to rename themselves PapaJohn’sPizza?)

My Amazon book sucks dick too. During the GameStop frenzy I thought it’d be a prime time to advertise the book on Reddit and Amazon. I actually sold some books too! I think I sold like 20 or so and was super excited about it. People actually bought my book! Amazon gave me $20 in royalties and that’s almost real money that you can actually use. How much did advertising cost me? About $200. Huh…

I’m proud of my book and think it’s a good introduction to options trading so I tried to advertise it again a week ago. So far I’ve pissed away $150 and have sold zero books. Yikes.

I really think anyone who’s successful selling books is that one in a million person that is stupidly stubborn. They don’t give a shit they haven’t sold anything; they’re going to keep churning out book after book until they blindly strike it rich (or find moderate success). Keep throwing shit at the wall until something sticks sort of deal. Is this who I am? Probably not. I’m more bored than stubborn. I find myself not wanting to publish books or blog posts or do any hard SEO work, but out of boredom I do get around to being somewhat productive.

What was my point here? Oh yeah, fuck the side hustle, especially with blogging and Kindle books. These two make DoorDash seem like a legit, career-defining job. At least DoorDash pays you money without you being lucky or doing everything perfectly. Better yet for a side hustle: McDonald’s. Seriously. Rake in the $12 per hour with set scheduled shifts. It’s easier cash than any other side hustle. Sure you’ll be miserable and unfulfilled, but you’ll have a few extra hundred dollars every week.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

On the Quest for Skittles

A friend at work just got hired at the Post Office. Good for him and I’m glad he’s gotten out of UPS. Sadly, he only found this out Wednesday and he starts next Monday. Wow, so much for the two-week notice. So much for giving the rest of the crew time to actually adjust to this guy leaving soon. Two full work days and he’s gone! It’s kind of shocking really.

He’s a cool dude, and over the past year I’d like to think we’ve become pretty good work buddies. He’s one of the guys that I was going to miss with our dreaded crew shift change this week, and I guess I get to miss him some more because he isn’t even going to be there after tonight. Eh, enough crying from me; I really do wish him luck and am glad that he’s found something bigger and better. I always admire when people live up to their potential. Not that his potential is to be a Postal Worker but I hope you get the idea. He’s moving forward in life.

I like to get people going-away gifts if I care for them enough and can actually think of something to get them. The last time someone left I bought a fifty-pack of Pilot G-2 pens from Amazon; she was leaving to be a hot-shot supervisor and what better gift for a supervisor than a metric fuck-ton of G-2s! (I only use G-2s, preferably the 0.03mm G-2s. The 0.05mm ones are fine while the 0.07 and 0.1mm pens just have too fat of a line when you write. They’re smooth, but they’re sloppy. I’m not joking here either: I only use G-2s and refuse, REFUSE! to use any other pen. You can take your shitty Bics and fuck right off because I have about three G-2s in my pocket at all times.) Despite this, I couldn’t really think of anything to get this guy. Nothing at all.

BITCH, YOU THOUGHT I WAS JOKING? WELL I WASN’T. #G2LYFE #G2GANG

Then inspiration struck like lighting. Where do thoughts come from? No one knows, they just kinda appear out of nowhere and you have to be aware and lucky enough to grab one out of the ether when it appears. It’s the essence of creativity! My great idea: Skittles and Gardetto’s. Seriously.

The past few months at work we’d sit in the crew van and eat Gardetto’s and Skittles. They’re somehow the dream team of vending machine snacks. You eat the salty Gardetto’s and wash them down with the ever-so-sweet Skittles. I don’t know why this combo is so damn good but it is. We bonded over our love of Gardetto’s and Skittles!

After therapy I drove to Schnuck’s to find two massive bags of these snacks, the bigger the better. And what better place to go than a legit grocery store? Apparently I was wrong. I only found a couple of ‘large bags’ of Gardetto’s; 8.6oz bags containing a measly eight servings per bag. I bought two of these because they were so damn smaller than I wanted. The candy aisle was even more of a letdown; they didn’t have any large bags of Skittles. What the fuck Schnuck’s? What a shitty fucking store. I wasn’t about to buy the smaller vending machine sized bags in the checkout lanes and was also stubborn enough to not give up. I had only two hours until work to find a big fucking bag of Skittles and I was more determined than I’ve ever been. No one was going to fuck up my plan. No one.

Onto Walmart. Luckily Walmart being a total dogshit store has a massive selection of candy and chips. Schnuck’s is too far up their own asses being a proper grocery store to stock total bullshit items like bulk bags of Skittles. Walmart (for the first time in my life) did not disappoint. I found my big bag of Skittles — a whopping 1lb 11oz bag with who knows how many servings and calories — as well as a bigger ‘family sized’ bag of Gardetto’s. Mission Fucking Accomplished.

So this was kinda a silly and stupid post, but please appreciate how even your best and simplest ideas and plans somehow get fucked up. I’m not trying to get into a big spiel about how hard work and persistence is the key to success, but that’s actually what I’m saying. Look at me, today I’m the perfect example of it. I faced untold hardships and struggles and somehow accomplished my dream of getting a giant bag of Skittles and Gardetto’s for my friend’s last day of work. He’s gonna be eating this shit in his mail truck for weeks!

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Comcast Sucks: The Worst Company Ever

Today I was going to write a high-minded post. Maybe tips on how to stop drinking. Elaborating on how I have video-making “writers block” or whatever you’d call it. Or a post on why I don’t want to go full-time at UPS. So maybe these aren’t amazing mind blowing posts, but they’re better than this one.

I have my laptop open and ready to go but I’m writing this on my phone. Why? Our internet is down. Why? Fuck if I know. Everything is plugged in correctly, the modem and router’s LEDs are all lit up, except for the ‘internet’ light on the router. Why? I don’t know, but I’m blaming this on Comcast.

Fuck Comcast.

There are few no companies I hate more than Comcast and I’m going to put all my hatred of the company into this post. Say it again with me, fuck Comcast.

First off, cable TV should be dead by now. It’s not a viable business plan. I haven’t watched TV in years, literal years, and I couldn’t be happier. There’s YouTube and streaming services and almost anything you want or need to watch can be found there. Local news? Internet. You don’t need to watch the news. The same is true with weather, just look that shit up. My local news stations even have video clips online if you must watch them. Local news is probably a bad example because you could get a fucking antenna and watch it for free anyways. But the rest of the 300 channels I pay for every month? I watch none of them.

TV is also insulting when you realize they still have commercials everywhere. Like the stations don’t realize that cable is basically dead and still try to cram ads down your throat. That’s a great idea and people will totally be fine with that and not migrate to streaming services. Sarcasm obviously.

We only have cable because my mother in law loves to binge watch MSNBC. I think she also watches shitty Hallmark movies but from what I’ve heard the TV is always on MSNBC. That’s seriously the only reason we still have cable; she loves the news. We’re paying to watch like four channels at most.

She’s also the reason we use Comcast for our land line phone. Yes. Land line. In case you don’t know, these are phones that are wired to your house just like was standard in 1992. She has a cell phone, but has some fear that people who need to contact her at the house number won’t be able to if we get rid of it. Nevermind transferring the number. Nevermind telling people your new number. Let’s just keep the landline. I’m not really bitching about her but bitching about how Comcast is somehow relying on shit like this to stay in business. Like their entire business model is preying on people who are set in their ways and won’t change anytime soon.

More bitching about Comcast: bundles.

Hang on. Our internet is back on. Let me migrate from my phone to an actual computer and keyboard. Fucking Comcast internet, fucking piece of shit!

Ah, that’s better. But where the hell was I? Fucking Comcast breaking my concentration and shit. Oh yeah, bundles! We only need Comcast for internet really, at least that’s the primary reason. As I’ve said, the phone and cable can fuck right off (if my MIL didn’t love them so much), but we need internet. Internet is basically like electricity and gas now, it’s a utility. But when you call and ask Comcast for internet, they do some voodoo shit on you. “Ah, yes sir, we can get you internet. In fact we can get you the Comcast Triple Play with Xfinity™ XD Bullshit for only $79.99 for the first twelve months! Only for you sir! You see internet by itself is like $60 per month, so for $19.99 more you can get cable and TV!”

“Okay, whatever.” And then you forget about it. You got your phone, internet, and cable all for cheap as shit and are saving money. Then the ‘introductory period’ is passed and your bill skyrockets up to $170 per month: only a 112% increase, totally not a big deal. They even raise the price slowly over a few months so you don’t get spooked. $20 here and there and that’s not too bad until it settles near $200. It’s some shady shit.

My point is Comcast bundles this shit to make it harder for you to leave. It’s bullshit too. Let’s say we did want to cancel our landline phone; then we’d probably be in the Comcast Double Play Xfinity™ XD plan and it’d probably still cost like $150 for some reason. It’s almost not worth the effort to try, and that’s coming from someone who is super fucking cheap and loves saving money.

Let’s also acknowledge how stupid Xfinity™ sounds. Xfinity™. It’s like they tried to create a fancy sounding word, the -finity in Xfinity coming from the amazing word and concept infinity and plopping an X at the front because X is by far the most unique letter of the alphabet — but damn does it sound stupid. It reminds me of when Verizon purchased Yahoo and renamed the company Oath. Seriously. Oath.

And let’s talk about when you do try to lower your bill. Some people have success in calling Comcast threatening to cancel their service and can sometimes get back into the introductory plan. But this takes effort and talking on the phone and I haven’t had luck with it. I usually try to be nice — “Times are tough and is there any way I can lower my bill?” — but they call my shit each time. They know I’m a passive little bitch who doesn’t like confrontation, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they troll through my internet history (like what I’m writing now) to know my weaknesses. (Maybe that’s a bit over-the-top paranoid, but it’s Comcast: you never know!) We went to slower internet last year and I shaved off like $20. Sure, money saved, but it doesn’t feel as successful as locking in that $79.99 for another year.

Another fun fact: you can upgrade your plan on their website — it’s really easy! — but you cannot downgrade it. Anytime you want to downgrade you have to call Comcast’s customer service. Because they know most people don’t want to fuck around with calling them and talking to someone on the other side of the world. Of course Comcast has outsourced all customer service to foreign countries — it makes sense business-wise — but sometimes it’s pretty fuck hard to understand what they’re saying. I’m not hating on people that have difficulty speaking English here, but you know Comcast is aware this makes calling customer service slightly more of a pain-in-the-ass than it already is.

I’d say my biggest gripe about Comcast is how they lord over their customers and business. They act like you don’t have any other choice, and if you do find a better deal you can fuck right off, they don’t actually care about their customers or keeping them, only tossing out introductory deals at the very last moment before someone leaves. They’re abusive as fuck. Introductory prices, bundles, all of this shit to gaslight you into thinking you’re getting a good deal and then they fuck you. Hard. In the ass. You could probably find a few videos about Comcast in the BDSM section of Pornhub. And if you don’t like being violently sodomized you can find another provider except there is no other ISP in the area! Oh, poor customers, we’re sorry but we’re going to have to raise your bill another $20 because reasons.

***

I signed up for SpaceX’s Starlink internet service a few months ago. Service isn’t offered in our area yet but the email stated “mid-2021.” I happily paid the $100 deposit and will happily pay the $500 for the antenna when service is available. Hell, I’ll happily pay the $100 per month for the service too. Why? Because it’s SpaceX. They’re innovating. They’re doing some crazy shit in rocketry. They land rockets! They’re literally trying to get humans to Mars! This is some cool shit and I’d love to dump money into them rather than Comcast because Comcast is such a shitty company. What’s Comcast’s lofty goals? Fleece their customers as much as they can for as long as they can before they wise up and jump ship. Like my personal economics don’t even matter here — I’ll take the more expensive internet option just because Fuck Comcast. I seriously fantasize about the day when I get Starlink internet and can call Comcast and tell them to go fuck themselves. Sure we’ll have to figure out what to do about cable and phone — maybe Comshit can get us a cheaper deal on those two — but even this will be a victory.

From the seething hatred in the bottom of my blackened and dead heart and soul, with all the rage and latent anger that has slowly built up over the years:

FUCK COMCAST.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

The COVID Vaccine Sucks (Part Two): My Selfish Family

The first part is here. It’s not really a ‘hard’ part one — it’s not required reading before this post — but if you want to check it out go right ahead.

I dragged my ass out of bed to help my dad change his oil. The first thing I said to him after I fired up the coffee maker was, “Yeah, I feel like shit today. I got the COVID vaccine yesterday and it’s fucking killing me.” He replied with the always-present passive-aggressive laugh along with, “I don’t care.” Okay, well nice to see you too. I cannot wait to change your car’s oil for you! I wasn’t really upset or pissed — I wasn’t farming for sympathy and was only making idle conversation, explaining why I felt awful — but getting shit on so quickly was jarring.

So my dad obviously doesn’t seem too worried about COVID and the vaccine. Most people are at least selfishly worried about it, they don’t want to catch it themselves, and he’s a very high-risk person. A few years ago he had a pulmonary embolism and almost died, so his lungs aren’t the best. He also smokes. You think this would kick his ass into gear to get the vaccine, but no, he doesn’t seem to give a shit about it. The little information I got from him (besides the condescending ‘I don’t care’) is that he wants the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine; he doesn’t want to be bothered with getting two shots, even if his life actually might depend on it.

My mom is the only person in my family that seems to take COVID seriously. She still hasn’t gotten her shot though, which is confusing. Seeing as I’m one of the ‘lower risk’ people, I assume if I got my shot anyone can get one now. Making this even more frustrating is the fact that her job — she takes care of old people in their homes — is paying her a bonus to get the shot! She still hasn’t. My mom is famously bad with money and being logical at all and this is a great example of it. And Why the hell didn’t I get paid to get the vaccine?!

The other people in my family have even more questionable beliefs. We visited my grandma a few days ago. She had just gotten back from a stint in a nursing home/rehab facility for falling and also caught pneumonia. I asked if she had the vaccine and she hasn’t yet, but her health isn’t very good. She’s almost 90 and a smoker so I can see the doctors not wanting to stress her body anymore at this point in time. Luckily she seems pretty level-headed about COVID; she’s never been a big science nerd or anything but hasn’t spouted any conspiracy-level bullshit either about it. I’ll give grandma a pass on not getting the vaccine.

My uncle was there when we were visiting. I’ve never talked to him about his political beliefs because fuck that mess, but I have an idea of what he believes. Right wing, yes, conspiracy nut and Q? I don’t know, maybe. He’s a big fan of the NRA and carries his fucking pistol with him all the time. I’ve probably mentioned how jarring it is seeing a loaded gun on my grandma’s dining table when we visit. Basically if anyone has some crazy-ass beliefs in the family it’ll be him and I don’t even want to bring a conversation anywhere near politics if he’s around. Since everything is politicized for some reason I don’t talk to him very much.

According to grandma, him, my aunt, and my cousin (who were also visiting) at the very least don’t think COVID is a big deal. They don’t want the vaccine because why the hell would you get vaccinated if it’s not a credible threat? Once again I don’t talk to them about their beliefs, but my cousin posts some questionable stuff on Facebook. I think a year ago she was proud of not wearing a mask in stores probably because she’s sticking up for ‘liberty’ or her ‘personal freedoms’ or some trash such as that. Such a hero for liberty by not wearing a mask! She’s right up there with Paul Fucking Revere! Anyways, she probably thinks some extreme shit: COVID is a hoax, COVID isn’t dangerous, COVID is just the flu, COVID is blah blah fucking blah. At least my aunt wore a mask around us when we were over there. My cousin? Nothing. Fuck COVID. Fuck masks. And so on.

Uncle and Aunt (according to Gramma) seem concerned with any side effects and such. I like to think of this as ‘conspiracy lite’ beliefs or something; even if my aunt did think COVID was legit, she’s still doesn’t want to get the vaccine for vague reasons that aren’t actually reasons.

I feel like some strange odd-man-out in my family. I said it in the last post, but I’m a huge fan of the ‘greater good’ (I’m starting to consider this one of my elusive ‘personal values’) and in terms of a pandemic this isn’t abstract at all: the more people that are vaccinated the better. The virus can’t propagate through the population and the entire key to ending this is just to stop the spread. Masks and social distancing we’re good initial steps (that the US totally fucked up anyways) but a vaccine is the endgame. If a bunch of people, and I don’t know the number exactly because I’m not an epidemiologist, get vaccinated, BAM, the pandemic is over! It’s such an easy action that anyone can do that’ll contribute greatly to society. It makes you into a hero, a shitty small hero but a hero none-the-less.

Then there’s my family. Even if their reasons are ‘legit’ like worrying about the side effects, I still see these reasons as selfish at a basic level. Yes, your health is important, but the health of the 300+ million other Americans is also important. I don’t think it’s extreme to view yourself as at least equal to the rest of your fellow humans, and ridiculous to think that you are someone so special that your personal beliefs negate the need for you to get the vaccine. I just don’t get it. It makes even less sense when they’re around my grandma, the definition of an ‘at risk’ person, without the vaccine. As much as people toss around the word ‘Love’ in my family, they sure don’t show it. Yes, they take care of my grandma and do tons of shit for her but the lack of getting the vaccine for shitty personal reasons seems like a huge oversight in the ‘Love’ department.

And let’s not even get into the hoaxers like my cousin probably is. It’s selfish as well, but so ridiculously selfish it’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so dangerous. Imagine thinking that you are one of the chosen few that truly understands what is going on in the world. Fuck the scientists and experts that studied things like these for literal decades; you see right through their lies!

It started with me feeling odd being the only one that has gotten the vaccine in my family but I feel even stranger thinking of the reasons behind it; it’s because I’m not selfish, at least as much as they are. Damn that sounds egotistical as fuck but I’m serious. This shit does not compute in my brain and it seems so simple! Get the vaccine, protect strangers, protect those around you, end the pandemic, and what’s the downside to that? Oh, you might feel like shit for three days. It’s an easy tradeoff. I’m not worried about side effects because if they’re serious enough they’re also rare enough that I don’t mind taking the risk. I’m certain the risk my family feels is totally blown out of proportion as well, kinda like being scared to fly when it’s mathematically shown to be the safest form of travel we have. Like I said in the last post, JUST GET THE FUCKING VACCINE! (Unless of course you’re immunocompromised or have an actual legit reason to not get it, obviously.)

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

The COVID Vaccine Sucks (Part One)

About a month ago I got the COVID vaccine. A month prior I had signed up over our county’s health department website to be notified when I’d be eligible to get the vaccine; I figured those guys are the main coordinators of all of this shit so why mess around trying to do it all myself? Why in the fuck would I want to call my doctor or a handful of CVS/Walgreens trying to figure out if they had openings? They sent me an email that Friday with a vaccination site and a link to schedule an appointment. I was bored as all hell so scheduled a time; surprisingly they had appointments open on the same day so I gave myself an hour and scheduled one at 4 p.m. It was 3:05 at the time.

I of course drove to the wrong church because Riverside Blvd. has about six churches along a three mile stretch of road. But eventually I got there, followed the signs and was greeted by military dudes in camo! Huh? They all seemed pretty cool and the guys at the entrance desk were super professional.

It all went smoothly enough. I was herded to a table with two other camo dudes, these not as professional as the others and they seemed almost mind-numbingly bored with stabbing people with needles all day but I guess I could see their point-of-view. It didn’t seem like the funnest use of your time. You sign up to protect America from all enemies within and without the country and you end up battling a fucking virus by giving shots to the lame civilians in Illinois. Not glorious, not fun, but maybe that’s what being a hero really is.

One guy said, “It’ll just be a little prick,” which I’m used to thanks to donating blood sorta frequently. When they jam a massive needle into your arm to harvest a pint of blood you stop caring about those lesser shot needles. Get that baby shit out of here, I’m a real man! And it was a little prick, but what he didn’t tell me was when the vaccine is actually administered it hurts like hell. It felt like my right arm was being injected with a gallon of liquid, like a balloon was being blown up inside my arm. It also slightly burned but I didn’t notice that because of the whole balloon feeling. The shot was over, so “Please go have a seat over there for fifteen minutes. If you feel fine after that, you can leave.”

For the next few minutes it felt like someone Charlie-horsed the fuck out of my arm. But that went away and I sat there bored for the remaining fifteen minutes. Part of me wanted to get the hell out of there after ten minutes just to prove my theory that no one really gives a shit about you or notices you — no one is going to jump up and say “Hey! He’s escaping!” — but I’m a good boy and sat there for exactly fifteen minutes. It was the first time I had been in a church in years so it couldn’t hurt. Maybe God would forgive my sins if I sat there for my allotted time.

The rest of Friday was normal. No arm pain, no aches, no strange side effects; I was fucking immune to the vaccine obviously. I went to work, asked some friends about their COVID shot and one of them said she felt like ass on the third day. She also said she never has any effects from vaccines — this is not true for me– so I was probably screwed.

Luckily I didn’t have to be nervous for long. 10:30 p.m. rolled on by and I felt…off. Tired, kind of dreamy, and I thought maybe it was the lack of alcohol in my system; usually my body has alcohol at 9:30 so maybe it was asking where the good stuff was. As time went on it got worse and people would talk to me and I couldn’t really get a grasp on what was being said. My brain was too tired to hear, listen, process, think of a reply, and then move my mouth and lungs to say said reply. So I’d just go, “Umm. Huh? What? Oh,” to everything said to me.

Saturday I was dead. Legit dead. I slept until 2 p.m. when my dad woke me up wanting his oil changed. We had planned this out days earlier, but I had forgotten about it. I made some coffee and tried my best to get on with the day but I had zero energy. I was achy. I was sleepy. I wanted to lay around and exist because that’s all I could do. Despite this, I somehow dragged myself to the store to get the oil/filter and changed the oil. It was a struggle though and was probably the longest it has ever taken me to change oil! I was moving in slow motion; grabbed the 15mm wrench when I needed the 17mm and it took considerable effort to get off the ground, walk into the garage, and grab the damn thing. Constant inner monologue of, “Okay, just stand up. You need to get the 17mm wrench. Good job! You’ve stood up. Let’s take a couple of minutes and then we’re going to walk 15 feet to the toolbox and find the 17! Are you ready? You can do this! One step at a time! GOOD JOB, YOURE WALKING JUST FINE!”

That day was shit. Day 2, Sunday, was fine. It was Easter and we went to a park. I was over the shitty vaccine side effects.

Work on Monday was fine…Until about 7:30 p.m. that is. I started to get those spacy feelings and became tired and achy. I tried to do some work but I couldn’t so sat in the van for a majority of the airplane load. My friends noted that I “wasn’t with it at all,” or that “Jeremy isn’t doing so good right now…” I don’t remember the rest of the night but I’m here writing so I guess I somehow managed to survive just fine.

And I’ve felt fine ever since. (Fine in regards to the COVID shot. I was still fucking dead from all the drinking, but that’s a different post.) It seems the US has shitty vaccination rates as it is, and I think if everyone really knew how shitty they might feel from the COIVD shot it would just lower the rates even more. Luckily people are stupid and detached so hearing, “aches, pains, nausea” as side effects doesn’t really click until you’re actually feeling it yourself. It’s all an abstraction until it’s not.

I’m not trying to say that I felt so fucking bad that no one should get the shot, and my goal is quite contrary to that. I felt honorable feeling like shit because I knew I did the right thing for everyone. It wasn’t fun for me, but life isn’t all about making yourself feel good. I mean it kinda is, but there’s also literal billions of other people out there, many more susceptible to COVID than you are, and you have to keep that in mind. It’s not about you — you’re not the sole protagonist in the world — it’s about us! In a way I felt like a hero for getting the shot, for the ‘self-sacrifice’ I did for the greater good and for how I stood up for what I believe in. Science, doing what’s right, helping others even if they’re strangers, not falling for bullshit-ass propaganda. Not being a dipshit. And so on.

Apparently I’m mostly alone in feeling this way, at least when compared to the rest of my family. People are stupidly self-centered even if it puts everyone else at risk, even those close to you that you purportedly love. They don’t want the shot because reasons or something. That’s a big part two to this and I PROMISE I’ll post that tomorrow. Just go get the fucking vaccine so we can go back to socializing at eating at restaurants or something.

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Viewing a Home Sucks

In an hour we’re going to go look at a house and I’m pretty nervous about it all. The reasons are pretty irrational but I’m still nervous. I have to meet someone new, maybe get to stared at by the current neighbors, and apparently the place were looking at is kind of a rental property so there’s tenants. If we buy this house these people will be paying us to live there. That’s a terrifying thought. In fact the guy, Jorge, that we talked to seemed confused as to why we were interested in it. He asked me if it was for “an investment” to which I replied, “Uh, we’re just looking to buy a house to live in.” Whatever. We can live in 2/3 of the house and maybe rent the other part out. That’s a smart move, right? It’ll be stressful evicting two of the other people/families though. My anxiety just increased quite a bit…

A view from Google Maps. Isn’t this gorgeous?

And then there’s the debt. I have a strong aversion to debt that is justifiable but also not. I was terrified to take out a $12,000 loan to buy a car, so the prospect of going $100,000 in debt for decades is…eh! I think my views on debt differ from about 80% of the general US population but I have no data to back that up with. People seem to love debt! Credit card debt, student loan debt, personal loan debt, auto debt, mortgage debt, payday loan debt, medical debt, and so on. I also have the suspicion that people don’t know how debt actually works. There’s this little thing called “interest” that you also have to pay with debt and owing money is always a net loss compared to just paying up-front in cash. To me debt is a tool to be used sparingly when you need to buy something that you need but can’t afford in cash.

A good example here: a coworker just quit his job to move to Arizona. He bought a quarter-million dollar house and this guy, sorry for the blatant stereotyping, doesn’t seem to be the type of person that should be buying a quarter-million dollar home. Maybe he’s loaded with cash, but probably not. My other coworkers/friends have the suspicion that this guy doesn’t know how interest works. In his head he can probably pay off the home in 10 years; after all $250,000/$25,000 is ten, right? We also joked that he probably isn’t aware of a thing called “property tax” and will try to sue the State of Arizona for plopping a yearly $15,000 charge to his yearly payments. He probably also has like a 50-year mortgage and being in his 50s will be dead before the place is paid for, but rambling story aside, this guy probably doesn’t know how money works.

I think my aversion to debt comes from my parents. They were/are terrible with money and I learned how not to be like them at a very young age. My mom and dad used to have vivid and violent arguments about money as my sister and I were growing up. It always seemed we were living on the edge, just barely making it with zero margin for error. Any unexpected expense that came up could derail the entire family’s security. Worst of all, whenever any extra money did appear (like in the form or a tax return or stimmy check) it would somehow be instantly pissed away and we’d be back to living on the risky edge of poverty again. Like, shit, save some money so you guys aren’t stressed and arguing all the damn time. It makes so much sense in my head that other people not seeing it my way just does not compute. Like at all.

They’re still bad with money. My dad’s car has a stuck thermostat and instead of borrowing the $90 from me (at zero percent interest!) from me to fix it, he’s going to buy coolant at $20 a bottle until his stimmy check comes in. He’s getting his mailed so this could be quite a long time and while he waits…cash losses towards coolant. My mom still itemizes all of her expenses to me whenever we talk. It’s always a woe-is-me story about how she doesn’t make that much and how many bills she has. That fatalistic view where she doesn’t have any say in the direction of her life or anything; she’s just a passenger along for the ride. What happens, happens, and what else can she do other than float along?

That wasn’t to be a woe is me story by the way. I’m just stressing that I’m so goddamn good with money and terrified of debt because my parents are so damn bad with money that I have zero ability to not be this way. And goddamn am I thankful for it. I’m a cheap and greedy bastard who hates to owe anyone anything and find I can never have enough cash on to ever make me feel safe. As if some $40,000 emergency expense will somehow appear out of the ether and ruin my life. All of our cars could instantly blow up and it wouldn’t cost near that much money to cover. Despite having more cash than would ever be needed I still feel I must hoard it.

This is turning into quite the rant about money, isn’t it? It’s about time to go look at that house, so let’s see how that goes. Maybe I’ll write about that later.

***

Well, it’s a hell of a lot later and while I was thinking of tossing this proto-post straight into the trash I’ll allow it to live on. I’m having a six-pack of White Claws as a “celebration” to our failed endeavor: the house is trash, the search continues, and life as I know it is still as boring and mundane as it has been for the past few years. We’re still stuck living at my mother-in-laws home and I’m surprised I haven’t bitched about that entire situation yet on this blog. It’s a mess, and that’s all I’ll write about it at this time.

(Hint: The entire ‘writing-desk situation’ is partially due to my mother-in-law dictating the shit out of her house to where I never have a spot to properly “set up shop.” My shit is constantly being moved, relocated, and lost so it’s hard to gain my bearings and just, ya know, sit down and fucking write.)

The house was nice, but also a dump. I mentioned that it had “three rentable units” and this was true to some degree. Two of the units were being rented at a whopping $900 and $1,500 a month and at first all I saw was dollar signs. Shit, $2,400 a month just from the tenants? Damn. Free money! As for the third? Nope, non-existent. It was a bombed-out, currently-being-renovated mess with no walls, no working plumbing or water, with wooden trim boards and linoleum strew all about the floor. It would cost a small fortune to fix up, and while I’m a DIYer at heart this was well above my skill level. I felt like Gandalf warning the others of the Balrog…

The tenants didn’t have anything good to say either. “There is no heat,” one lady said, “so we’re using space heaters.” The other guy said they had to move to a hotel when the temperatures became sub-zero and even lawyered-up to get the landlord to pay for the costs. There was also an impressive amount of the same model of space heater located in each of the rental units; the landlord had to buy them for the tenants due to the lack of heat in the building. Holy fuck, this guy was buying space heaters to keep the renters warm? And since the electric bill is on one meter, he had to pay the entire thing, apparently passing on the costs via the rent to the tenants. As someone who wants to eventually solar power his entire house I’m totally against any form of electric heating. It’s expensive. It’s inefficient. It’s bulky and it’s awkward from a Second Law of Thermodynamics perspective. Just burn natural gas for heating and even my “let’s protect the world from climate change” self knows this is a smart move.

The basement had signs of flooding with no sign of any building-wide heating. No pipes, no old furnace, nothing. So…what was there to be done if you did buy the place? Fuck if I knew; there were no easy and obvious solution to the heating problem. Hilariously enough, space heater boxes littered the floor of the basement and I had the image of the landlord, someone who stumbled into a disaster of property management, desperately buying 30 space heaters from Amazon to stop from being sued by the tenants. The same model of course: just smash the “quantity” button until they’d cease threating to sue your ass. What a guy. What an unsung hero. i really wanted to meet the guy just to be like, “Bro, what did you get yourself into here? Jesus Christ…”

So let me pour out a beer White Claw for what could’ve been, what I was so anxious about. Was I about to own a house? Was I about to have people paying me for rent? Was I about to be a real adult and own property? No, apparently not. But it was a good first step. We actually talked to someone and viewed a house. A disaster, sure, but a house none-the-less. I suppose this day was one of the days that slowly breaks down your barriers and insecurities and makes the next opportunity easier to seize when it does arise. And I suppose it’s some small success that even I, someone with no landlord or property holding experience, could see that this place was a disaster. A place to dump endless cash into trying to make it work. Trying to make the margins just high enough to be positive. A place you want to save but you just can’t. It’s a shame. The house is nice enough but damn are there problems.

The other reason for celebrating tonight is that I raked in $4,500 this week in the stock market. Not that I can dump that into our soon-to-be future home, but it’s a success none-the-less and is worthy of celebration. Let’s have a drink for the following week and hopefully I make lots of tendies because I sure won’t be owning a house in the near future. Here we go guys…

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Depression in Stardew Valley Sucks: Part Two

Part One is here.

After platinuming Death Stranding (something I recommend only masochists do) I started Grand Theft Auto V. I had played it a year or so ago but never fully got into it. I was doing good for about a month — it’s a fantastic game — but it couldn’t stand up to the release of Stardew Valley version 1.5. This updates adds a whole new area to the game as well as local multiplayer on the Nintendo Switch. My wife and I started a game and me being the old pro at the game proceeded to boss her until she got the gist of the game. This has been my all-consuming addiction the past two or three weeks.

I can’t shrug off the feeling I get mid/late game though. I get depressed and bored while playing it. I already made a post complaining about video games endings and how games like Stardew Valley are especially depressing because they don’t have a hard ending. You can play the game literally forever raking in cash, fucking around, and whatever else you can find to do. Eventually nihilism comes in and you wonder what exactly it’s all for; does your in-game person even have a purpose in their life or is it just to make as much money before you die get bored and quit?

Having already written about that particular topic I didn’t think I’d have much more to say about it, but Stardew gives me a few more things to muse about because it tosses a bunch of capitalism and automation into the “everything is pointless” nihilism of late-game.

Stardew Valley, if you’ve never played, is a farming simulator. On it’s surface it’s a kid’s game; it’s easy, you can’t really die or fail the game, and if you want you can ignore your farm and fuck off the entire game with zero penalties. Sure, you’ll be poor, but since you don’t need to eat food or anything it’s fine. The music is cute, the art style is that of mid 1990s SNES games, and the whole thing basically shits cute/friendly/laid-back vibes. Until you get to the plot that is.

You inherit your farm from your dead grandpa. You leave your soulless, life-draining corporate job at Joja Mart (basically a stand-in for Walmart/greedy capitalism in general) to farm in Stardew Valley. The game stresses the importance of hard work and community, making real connections with real people doing fulfilling manual labor to contribute to your society. If you look slightly past the pretty/cute surface, the game emits anti-capitalism vibes and seems to be a statement against our current society where making money seems to be the most important thing to do in life. Why can’t we all leave our Joja Mart jobs and go farm in Stardew Valley?!

Now I don’t know if this is intentional on the video game creator’s part, but it seems most playthroughs end with you becoming exactly what you’ve been fighting against the whole time. Somehow I don’t think this was intentional. Game progression has to come from somewhere and starting with a quaint farm and turning it into a fucking money making machine makes sense progression-wise. But looking back on my current playthrough I wonder what the real message of Stardew Valley is, intentional or not. Is it that you can’t escape the rat-race? That every wonderful dream-fulfilling career turns into a slog? That there’s no escape from this? That eventually all you care about is making as much money as efficiently as possible? That you want to make the farm as easy to manage and as automated as possible because work fucking sucks?

At the start of the game, you’re a hard working farmer. You only have about 20 plants and you need to water them every day. You chop down trees, water, harvest the plants, and go to bed at like 5 p.m. because you’re so damn exhausted. This is fun for the first few seasons, but as the farm grows the work load increases. The chores start to feel like chores. You naturally want to make as much money as possible — who doesn’t? — so you upgrade your tools to make the job easier. You can eventually water 3, 5, and 9 plants in one go, so you expand the cropland. You now have 100-200 plants and diversify your farm into animals and artisan products. You make some fish ponds, start brewing wine and aging it, and before you know it you’re rolling in more money than you know what to do with. You endlessly farm for iridium ore so you can make the best damn watering sprinklers in the game — you’re sick of watering the damn crops everyday and just want enough sprinklers so you don’t have to do a damn thing on the farm anymore.

You also start doing a bunch of math to find out the best crops on a gold per day basis; some crops just aren’t worth fucking around with. You start growing only one or two crops to maximize your income. You know not to turn iridium-tier goat milk into cheese because you’ll take a slight loss on it. Let’s not forget the opportunity cost of making cheese either! You install junimo huts on the farm so you don’t even need to harvest the produce anymore: let the illegals junimos do all the work! You invest in the ‘auto-grabber’ tool so you don’t need to pick up eggs or milk the cows anymore. Hell, there’s even an ‘auto-petter’ that loves on the farm animals so you don’t even need to interact with them to keep them happy anymore. In a few short years you become Capitalism Incarnate.

Yesterday while playing my wife took care of everything on the farm and mentioned that she didn’t use any energy in the day. It was time for bed, she had been busy, but her energy bar was still maxed out. Holy shit, what happened? Remember the good ole days when we had to actually work on the farm and chop trees and pick vegetables? It was only a few years ago, but now our farm is so automated and easy to run that there’s not even a game to play anymore. Everything is a chore; you wake up, check the wine casks in the basement, sell and restock as necessary and that’s about it. I think that’s the point I’m trying to make here. The game wants you to use these fancy upgrades because that’s how it shows progression, but the progression is all about making the game easier and you lazier as time goes on. And as this happens you just don’t care anymore. As the work becomes easier, it becomes less fulfilling, and after the end of the third year you can’t help but feel that something went wrong, that this wasn’t the dream you had, and that you’re working another Joja Mart-type job, and worse, it’s a fate you walked into thinking it’d be better for your mental and spiritual health.

Like I said, I don’t think think this is exactly what Concerned Ape, the creator of the game, was trying to say, but the game is saying it anyway, and is saying it better than any other games trying to make this point. You try to escape corporate hell by farming but end up making your farm into a massive cash-making machine. All you care about is how big you can make that number at the top of the screen even if you have nothing to spend it on. You’re just as bad as Joja Mart, aren’t you? And by making things easier for yourself with better tools/automation, you take the achievement out of what you’re doing, but you’ve been wanting to get out of work all along, weren’t you? But now that the hard work is past you realize you don’t have shit to do, so you do what I’ve been doing in game. You set up a bonfire and some chairs around it in a quiet, unused portion of your farm, and sit ponding your purpose at 3 p.m. “My life in Stardew Valley sucks now. I’m rich but I’m bored. What the hell am I supposed to do now…?”

Not sure why I have three other chairs; I have no friends in Stardew Valley.

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February Sucks

February. FebRUary. Feb-YOU-airy. To start this post, just look at the word. I’ll write it one more time. FEBRUARY. Really look at how the letters actually form the word. February. It’s a classic example of a word that if you look at it too long it starts to seem wrong. It just doesn’t look right. And say it too. You probably pronounce it ‘feb-you-airy‘ if you’re like me. Maybe this is a defect of my Midwesterner’s accent; we pronounce all kinds of things all silly-like. (The only two I can think of right now is ‘milk’ as ‘melk‘ and ‘lawyer’ as ‘loy-yer‘) Now look at February again. Why in the fuck is there that R at the beginning? It doesn’t seem right and I had to look up the spelling just to be certain it was spelled correctly. It’s not a good look if you spell the topic of your blog post incorrectly. Anyways, grab a computer and type out February. See how clunky the word feels on a keyboard. It’s like driving down a bumpy road in keyboard form. February. It takes me five seconds to type it despite having an average pace of over 100 words per minute. I’m going to just copy it and past it when I need to type it again. Do you know how to spell February? ‘Ctrl+V’.

Let’s run through the rest of the months together to prove my point.

January. NOT JanRuary.

March. One syllable.

April. Rolls off the tongue nicely, doesn’t it? This is why people are named April and not MARCH.

May. It’s the ! of the calendar. MAY!

June. Nice.

July. Nice.

August. A bit longer at two syllables than the previous three, but thank you first Emperor of Rome. (Just imagine still having a month named after you 2,000 years after your death. That’s mad crazy.)

September. Fun fact: sept- is the prefix for seven.

October. Fun fact: octo- is the prefix for eight. Octopus. Octagon. October.

November. Fun fact: non- is the prefix for nine.

December. Fun fact: deca- is the prefix for ten. Ten months in a year…cool huh? Read about the Romans to learn more Fun Calendar Facts!

Februrary (sic). I mean, c’mon.

AAAANYWAYS…..Let’s get to the real post without as much shitposting.

The Vibes…

Months to me always have ‘vibes’ to them. For example June has connotations of warm and friendly summers when it hasn’t gotten too damn hot and summer is enjoyable still. July: hot and muggy, but not as bad as August. August is summer in all of it’s hot and muggy miserable hellishness. October? Kinda depressing. Everything is dying, the days are getting shorter, and it’s getting cold out. I don’t want to get into all of them but let’s give January a shout-out because it’s a shitty winter month just like February. But unlike February January feels new I guess. It’s the first month of a new year and winter has yet to really set in and kick everyone’s’ asses. January feels clean and crisp whereas February feels like the mud in the yard once the snow starts melting. Cold, miserable, squishy, disgusting, and looking exactly like dog shit. Not that there is melting snow in February, but that’s what the month feels like.

The Cold…

Through a thing called seasonal lag most of us Northerners get the worst winter has to offer in February. Even though December 21/22 is the shortest day of the year, the sun’s heat doesn’t really come back despite February being two months later. February is cold. February is frigid. February has the kinds of temps (or lack of temps) that make you want to lay down and die when you’re outside for more than ten minutes. February is snowy, and by the time the month begins I’ve already given up on shoveling. It’s easier to wait the season out a few more weeks than to fuck around with shoveling anymore. It’s my own fault, but February means sheets of ice wherever I park the cars. It means getting stuck countless times on my way to work. It means grey salt specks all over my car. It’s trying to spray window wash on my car and watching it freeze instantly or not come out at all.

Making all of this worse is the fact that the days are getting longer. The sun is out longer than it has been since October, but it doesn’t really mean anything. It’s like a tease — there’s the bright sun and it’s out for quite a while — but it doesn’t actually warm anything up. “Boy, it looks nice outside! Look at how sunny and clear it is!” Then you walk outside to be greeted by -40 degree air. It doesn’t matter if this is Fahrenheit or Celsius because -40 is the same in F or C.

The 28 Day Month…

February is also the only awkward month with 28 days. This is kinda cool in a way — it’s an even four weeks — but when you’re struggling to remember if a month has 30 or 31 days what in the ever fuck is February doing with 28? Hell, add two days to February and take away one day from two of the months with 31 days, whatever those months are. This would make more 30-day months which would be easier on the mind to remember.

The Leap Days…

And leap days. The rare February 29th every four years, but not actually every four years! Any other 29th day of the month isn’t a crazy thing, but here is February 29th being all strange and rare. What if we did what I suggested in the previous paragraph and tack on a February 31st as a leap day? February could have 30 AND 31 days! Wouldn’t that be fun!

The Valentine’s Day…

February is also home to Valentine’s Day. V-Day has always been the bane of my existence ever since I was an awkward and lonely teenager, and I’ve never fully forgotten how awful the day is. Even now, being married, I hate the day. What the hell are you supposed to do for V-Day in February? My wife and I are pretty shy, reserved, and don’t like to be around large crowds. We like going to the parks and walking. How do you think this works out in the coldest month of a year? And remember, this isn’t just cold, it’s a frigid you-stay-outside-too-long-you-lose-extremities-and-perhaps-die sort of cold. Walking to the car to eat at a restaurant is painful. Waiting for the car to warm up is uncomfortable. We usually sit around the house feeling antsy like we should be out doing something but have no clue what to actually do because fuck going outside.

Really, why is the prime ‘romantic day’ of the year in February? I don’t think the ‘holiday’ has any historical basis or anything (but I could be wrong), so what’s wrong with putting it in the summer or something? Spring and summer feel more like “seasons of love” than winter does. Is this okay to do? Can the National Valentine’s Day Committee please hear my request and pass a resolution moving Valentine’s Day to May or June? Maybe I should start a crowdfunding campaign to get it moved…

In Closing…

Remember how I said that December, according to prefixes, should be the tenth month? Yeah. So if that’s the tenth month, what would the “first” month be? March. What about January and February? We stole our calendar from the Romans (who dictated a bunch of shit our western culture still holds dear) and they didn’t have January and February. Like, holy shit, how cool/dumb were these people to have an entire ten month calendar that was somehow ~60 days short and they just didn’t give a shit to fix it? Apparently people in Rome just didn’t count these days because winter is a useless time of year and they just existed without a calendar until March. That really makes a ton of sense seeing as one of the skipped months was/is now February. Even they knew February would suck so just didn’t even give it name or recognize it. Let’s go back to that! Fuck February. Seriously, the month can straight-up fuck right off. It’s spelled funny, it’s cold, it’s dark, it has bad vibes, it only has 28 days for some stupid reason, leap day is awkward, and Valentine’s Day is in February. February fucking sucks.

BIG NOTE HERE: According to Wikipedia, the old Roman Calendar existence is disputed by some. Apparently this calendar was called the ‘Legendary 10 Month Roman Calendar‘ and people aren’t totally sure it was a real thing. I still like the story of it though and didn’t want to pass on misinformation. Read into it yourself if you’re really curious.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Life‌ ‌Protips‌ ‌#1:‌ ‌Protips‌ ‌for‌ ‌Life‌ ‌(The‌ ‌First‌ ‌One)‌

A friend at work mentioned he was tossing around the idea for a “life protips” series on YouTube in a very tentative, brainstormy kinda way. I guess I thought about it enough that my insomnia-riddled brain at 3 a.m. started coming up with my own list of life protips. It’s a stupid enough idea to make a quick post about it here.

Number blog posts even if there isn’t a series. Just put a #1 at the start to save yourself the trouble even if you never make a second post.

Check the toilet paper before you ‘get started!’ When you first enter a bathroom make sure there is enough toilet paper to clean yourself. You can always enter another stall or quickly grab another roll, but once your ass has shit all over it you’re stuck on the toilet unless you want to get shit in your underwear. Do yourself a favor and check before you use the toilet.

Check the seat before you sit down! Who knows what sort of fluids are on the toilet. Before you drop your pants and plop down, inspect the seat and clean it as needed. No one wants to sit in some stranger’s piss.

Check the shopping cart before you enter the store! No one wants to load their cart up with a hundred pounds of food and junk to find out one wheel is shit, drags, and pulls to one side. Check it before you start shopping and get a better cart right away. Save your wrist and back from constantly steering to one side to go straight.

Load heavy shit in the back of your shopping cart! Yes, another shopping cart protip. Because shopping is such a pain in the ass experience you want to make it as easy on yourself as possible. By putting heavy shit in the rear of your cart you’re minimizing the angular momentum when you need to turn the cart. There’s some physics involved here, but by moving heavy stuff closer to the center of rotation (the rear wheels) you minimize how much force it takes to turn the cart. Try it out and thank me later.

Always get a shopping cart! This is the last tip about shopping carts, I promise. Never grab those shitty little baskets you have to carry. Sure, you think you’re going in the store for milk, eggs, and bread, but you know your hungry ass is going to load up with way more food than you initially planned for. Do you want to haul twenty pounds of heavy shit in a basket? No. There is no downside to grabbing a cart even if you’re “only grabbing a few items.” Carts have wheels, baskets don’t, so just grab a fucking cart.

Use the self-checkouts near the pharmacy, not near the grocery section! All Walmart’s seem to have this setup: groceries on one end of the store and the pharmacy on the other. Both sides of the store have similar self-checkout lanes with one key difference; most people are at the store to buy food, not lightbulbs/toys/toothpaste. Everyone goes to the lanes nearest to the grocery section because most people are stupid. Take the time to walk down to the other end of the store to check-out and you’ll save five or ten minutes not waiting in line.

Leave a dedicated roll of paper towels in the garage! These do not leave the garage! If they run out, replace them. You never know when you’re going to get your hands dirty fucking around with the random shit in a garage. Need to air the car tires up? Well now you have brake dust and road grime on your fingertips even if it was a simple task. They’re also great for spontaneous window cleaning when you’re bored in the summer or for changing oil. This also saves your sink from being destroyed.

Speaking of paper towels, use their empty cardboard rolls to wrap Christmas lights around! Put the female cord in one end, wrap the strand around the roll, and you’ll be treated to tangle-free lights 9-10 months later. I learned this from my grandpa who I thought was a goddamn genius for using this method. As with all amazing protips, it’s a lifesaver with zero downside. Just fucking do it.

Open bananas from the bottom! Don’t open them from the stalk — this is the tough section of a banana and usually just smashes the fruit to a pulp before you can get it open. Pinch the bottom and start peeling for an unblemished banana experience. Big thanks to my old boss Coach Dave at Sam’s Club for this protip. He was kind of a douche at times, but I’ll always be fond of his banana protip.

Only charge your phone to 70-80%! Lithium batteries wear out faster if you constantly charge them to 100%. Phone companies don’t want you to know this and don’t lock their batteries at 80% charge because you’ll fork over money on a new phone in two years after you’ve wrecked your battery. Battery swaps are difficult with sealed phones, so stick it to Big Electronics and save your phone’s battery life. (Big post about this coming soon…)

Do not put knives into the soapy water! I learned this one from my mom and my grandma. Grandma would always put knives in the dishwater with everything else and blindly reaching into the water would give her fingers a nasty cut every week or two. How many times do you need to cut yourself before you figure out a better technique to not get injured? Anyways, my mom would stress to me the importance of not putting the sharp objects into the sudsy water and it’s such a good idea why would you do it any other way? Set the damn knives aside and wash them individually, unless you enjoy washing your dishes with bloody water for some reason.

Clean ceiling vans by turning them on reverse! Have a fan covered in cat/dog hair and dust on the windward side of the blades? Too lazy to get a ladder and properly clean them? Fans have a switch on them that reverses their rotation; if you do this and crank the speed to ‘high’ most of the dust will fall into the floor like dirty, disgusting snow flakes. Vacuum these up and your fan will be kind of clean. It won’t be spotless (thanks to something called the ‘boundary layer’) but it’s good enough if you’re lazy.

Clean coffee makers with vinegar. Hard water builds up in the internal plumbing and can quickly turn your coffee maker into a useless item for your garbage can. You do not want to wake up unable to make coffee. Run some vinegar through the thing monthly to have a clean and efficient coffee maker that won’t give you a severe caffeine-withdrawal headache when it spontaneously shits out.

Make Kool-Aid/powdered drinks with hot water. Not a lot of hot water — just enough to dissolve all of the sugar — and you’ll have an easy time at it. Sugar dissolves slower in cold water meaning you need to stir your Lipton tea forever until you drink it. Fill up the cup/jug about 25%, add hot water, and mix in the powder. Once dissolved, add cold water. Sure it won’t be as cold as it could be, but it saves a few minutes of frustratingly stirring waiting for it to dissolve.

Uhhhhhh….that’s all I have right now.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.