I Was Thinking...

these are unpolished, journal-style thoughts

Being an adult is… a lot. Last week I got very little work done, and yet I was so busy, I never felt like I was procrastinating. Just CONSTANTLY ADULTING.

This week is starting the same way. This morning, we got served with a court summons. And yeah, that’s about as nerve-wracking as it sounds. At least it was nerve-wracking for me. Perhaps if I were expecting the summons, or knew it was a possibility, I wouldn’t have been so stressed out. Thankfully, Donna was at work, and she wasn’t here to experience the mortification.

The issue has to do with healthcare. Over the past year, Donna has had 3 surgeries. Early on, we paid so much for things that we met our, “total out of pocket” limit with our insurance company. That means services are supposed to be covered 100%, without any co-insurance required on our part. But the insurance company disagreed, apparently. They didn’t cover all of the anesthesia bills, and that company sent our bills (which we thought were covered) to collections, which then went to court.

The only explanation I can come up with is maybe the separate billing from the anesthesia company was out-of-network, even though the surgery was in-network. But at this point, that’s just a guess. I spent the entire morning making phone call after phone call to get the bills, fees, legal costs, etc. paid off so the court case can be dismissed. Plus I dug up other bills during the process that I paid off before the same thing happens again.

And to add insult to injury, due to my job loss, we ended up changing insurance companies partway through the gauntlet of surgeries, which adds another layer of frustration. Not because the insurance companies aren’t covering things, but because the doctors (and anesthesia places, which are separate) bill the wrong insurance company every single time.

Anyway. I think we’re no longer in legal trouble. It cost $1,100 dollars today, for something that was supposedly fully covered. But whatever. At least we don’t have to go to court. SIGH.

Wow, what a day.

Big step forward for Donna, literally and figuratively today. Her cast came off, and she’s in a walking boot now. She can’t walk or put any weight on it yet, but it means she can start physical therapy tomorrow. Unfortunately, since this was a repair of a rupture immediately following a reconstruction of the same Achilles’ tendon — it’s going to be a very long road. Her foot is currently pointed like a ballerina, and she has almost zero mobility with her ankle. Physical therapy will be months and months of slow, painful elongating of her still-healing tendon and emaciated calf muscle.

But the cast is off, and that’s forward momentum, however small.

To add insult to injury, we’re having a winter storm today. The wind was so strong this morning, it completely destroyed the wooden gate to the backyard. Since Donna still needs to use the ramp and go into the back door, that means I had to build a new functional gate instead of just sealing off the opening until summer. And since the dogs go in the backyard, I couldn’t just leave it open either. So with 35MPH winds, and pelting lake effect snow, I was out in the yard making a gate out of scrap wood and an old broken baby gate. To be honest, it turned out better than I expected! (don’t mind the air conditioner on the patio — I had to make room in the shed to get out of the wind for a few minutes)

Yes, the gate is held shut with a bungie cord, and it’s re-using the hinge from the broken gate. But it opens and closes. Plus with the hollow center, it doesn’t act like a sail in the wind. (The other gate was a privacy-fence style 6 foot tall monster that was begging for the wind to tear it down)

Did I get work done? Sigh. No. Tomorrow is a new day though, and looking backward doesn’t help anyone. Or something encouraging like that.

Our youngest, Lizzie, made it through the interviewing gauntlet for a job a local art center. It’s a pretty big deal, as it’s a, “career type” job with a salary and benefits. It’s a big deal for Donna and me too, because Lizzie is the last of our children who didn’t have a clear path to health insurance once she’s too old to be on ours. That seems silly, but knowing your adult children have healthcare is really, really comforting.

She didn’t get the official job offer yet, but once she passes a background check and some personality tests, they’ll give her the official offer. I understand the need to dot all the t’s and cross all the eyes before extending the official job offer, but it does mean a weird sort of limbo state. She’s been very up front with her current employer (she manages a retail store now), but without the official offer, it’s awkward to plan for her transition date. Yet, the current employer would really like to know a schedule. I’m sure it will work out, but the anxiety about, “leaving well” sort of tempers the excitement about the new position.

ANYWAY, thanks to the hours spent at the orthodontist yesterday, I didn’t make any progress on my fresh start with my own job. But today is a new day, and once I’m done procrastinating by writing this journal entry — I can get busy on the next thing. (Which… is probably cleaning my office? I mean, GETTING TO WORK!)

I’m getting BRACES.


I mean, I know I had an appointment with the orthodontist, and braces are their bread and butter — but I’ve had perfectly straight teeth my entire life. It was just an injury and the misalignment of my bottom front teeth. I figured it would be an easy fix with Invisalign.

It turns out, I’m not eligible for Invisalign, because I wear a bite splint at night due to grinding my teeth. So I have to get braces. BRACES!?!?!?!

The ironic twist is that I only went into the orthodontist because when I recently got the bite splint, my tongue apparently misses cozying up to my top teeth at night. So it plays with my bottom teeth now. And since my bottom teeth are crooked due to the ice cream incident, it’s sharp down there. So now, because of the bite splint, my tongue just fiddles with my bottom teeth while I sleep all night, and basically flays itself open. And because of that, I wanted to get those teeth straightened. (Otherwise I’d just have left them alone, slightly crooked teeth don’t really bother me all that much)

And since I wear a bite splint (which is what started this whole thing), I have to get traditional metal braces. Thankfully, it’s just on my bottom teeth, but still.


Tomorrow is an oddly nerve-racking day for me. It’s my, “new start” with regard to working at CBT Nuggets, where I can focus more time on doing my actual job. But also tomorrow I go to the orthodontist to start the process of getting my bottom front teeth fixed.

About 5 or 6 years ago, we were on vacation in Gatlinburg, TN. I was eating some ice cream of all things, and somehow while smooshing the ice cream around in my mouth, my top and bottom teeth collided in a crazy horrible crunching, tearing sounding incident. It hurt BAD. We were on vacation, and since none of my teeth were cracked, I just sorta moved on with my day. By the time we got home, my teeth were a bit tender, but they seemed to be OK.

At some point, however, my front bottom teeth started to shift. Now, they sorta overlap one behind the other right in the middle. My dentist said I must have torn something during the injury, and the swelling must have pushed them out of alignment. Then they healed up, and now they are… wrong.

The hope is, that since they were perfectly straight for the bulk of my adult life, something like Invisalign might put them back in place. Right now, the tooth that slipped behind is pretty sharp on my tongue, and I don’t like the way it looks as well. I also hope that since the correction is fairly localized, and seemingly minor, the cost and length of time it takes will both be reasonably low. Tomorrow I’ll find out. Hopefully.

The stress of my last job ending and needing to do well at the new job, along with Donna’s surgeries and recovery, etc., etc., has also made my face think what I really need in my life is a few pimples. Because nothing says, “almost 50 year old adult” quite like multiple pimples on your face.


Today I shaved open a Yorkshire Terrier’s butthole, because her fur had grown long, and dingleberries merged into a sort of cement made of hair and poop, which attempted to spackle off any feces elimination potential.

This is what being an adult means. You’re not a different person. You still feel young and silly. But it falls on you to shave the dog’s butthole when the need arises.

Just FYI.

Well, on Friday we shut down the last of the datacenters I was managing in my last job. It was bittersweet. I did manage to salvage about $250,000 worth of cryptocurrency that would have otherwise gone to waste, so I feel pretty good about that. (No, none of that went to me, but it wasn’t about whether it benefitted me personally. It was about my own integrity. I try to do the best work I can possibly do, and in this case, it saved my employer a buttload of money. The fact that I was earning far less than minimum wage for the work at this point is irrelevant.)

I hope that now I can focus more on my DayJob, which is making training videos for CBT Nuggets. I struggle to find passion in that job anymore, but it pays really well if I actually get videos completed, so if I can get into a steady production cycle, it will mean I can devote non-work time to things I’m passionate about. One of those things is writing…

Here’s the thing: I suspect I don’t write more often because I’m decent at writing. No, I’m not incredible, but I’ve written a lot of professional things, and so when I write something it feels like it should be a good something. And journals aren’t about writing good somethings, they’re literally about putting your thoughts on paper (physical or otherwise). Not all thoughts are bangers. In fact, most of my current “journaling” tends to be just thinking, and anyone who knows me is fully aware that my thinking is fleeting and ephemeral.

I think this tiny little blog, which I’m not hosting (too easy to get distracted with the technical parts), should become my journal. So if you’re reading this, and you’re not me: fair warning, this will likely be boring. Very few bangers, mostly mash. (see? This is the type of humor to expect, but less funny)

Tomorrow is an opportunity for a fresh start regarding work. I told my manager on Friday that we closed up the last datacenter, so I’d be able to focus more on making CBT Nuggets videos. I just need to follow up on that, and do it. Ideally, I could make a skill (the collection of videos which makes a complete “training unit” and is what I actually get paid to complete) every day. If I can do a skill on Monday, and another on Tuesday — that’s sufficient for a full week’s work, and I could spend the rest of the week doing passion projects. And I’ve got a LOT of passion projects I never find the time to do.

Will I be able to start and complete a skill on Monday, then again on Tuesday? Honestly, if I buckle down and do the work, probably yes. That might change when the topics need to be learned, or require more setup. But the two-day work week is actually a feasible, if not ambitious goal. And tomorrow will be my opportunity to start the process.

Tomorrow I actually have multiple appointments that will interrupt my day — but that’s what life is like, so it’s as good of a start date as any. Wish me luck, person reading this. I need it. :)

email gateway. If this shows up on my journal, it means I can post via email. That's one more potential way that I might actually post more often.


I’ve never wanted an adult-sized ball pit more in my life life… 😜

As a grandpa with green hair, I have renewed appreciation for Grandpa Shark. 😜🦈

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