Thursday, May 10, 2018

As I was saying.... we are again. Did I miss anything?

So last time we checked in with Your Humble Blogger, that is, Yours Truly, I had just moved to my new home in North Carolina and was settling in for a lower-stress work life as a telecommuter. And for a while, it worked out that way. But that didn't last, and without going into the gory details, I ended up working even LONGER hours as a telecommuter, sometimes up to 14 hours a day. A lot of this was due to processes changing, and then changing again, and again, and again, and a new system, and Perpetual Disagreement on how to assess tumor response, and general corporate red tape and nonsense.

But a lot of it was due to the reality that widow brain never really goes away. My ability to concentrate has never really come back from Mr. Brilliant's death in 2013. I had an insourced helper who basically saved my bacon and covered for a multitude of sins for four years, but she quit in early fall last year. I bumbled along for a few months, but after attending a training in November that might as well have been conducted in Aramaic for all that I understood it, and then coming home and having to pull an all-nighter because of something I'd forgotten to do and in danger of missing a deadline, only to be bitched at by my manager for not delegating the work to a new person who I hadn't had time to train, I realized it was time to throw in the towel.

I was exhausted. I'd developed hyperthyroidism due to Graves, which is an autoimmune disease. My hair was thinning at an alarming rate. And the more time and effort I threw at The Job That Ate My Life, the further behind I was getting. So I quit. I let them decide my departure date (January 31). I left a shitload of money on the table and after COBRA runs out in July 2019, I'll have to scramble for health insurance for 11 months before whatever empty husk of Medicare is left by then kicks in. And I haven't regretted it for one minute.

You'd think that after spending the last nine-plus years with my head buried in That Damn Black Box, including the last five years of Mr. Brilliant's life (something that haunts me every single day), I'd feel a void in my life; that I'd be bored, that I'd feel like "What do I do now?" But I don't. For three months I've been sleeping till 7 AM, poking around Facebook and Twitter for a couple of hours, following along with the Trump Era Follies, having lunch with friends, and puttering around the house. I even joined a wellness center, which is a fancy way of saying I've joined a gym, except this one is affiliated with UNC and is across the street from a continuing care community, so it is patronized primarily by the old and the fat and the infirm, so I am actually one of the more spry ones who goes. I take tai chi for seniors. Once a month I go to my neighborhood book club. I crossed "Attend a Green Day Concert" off my bucket list last fall. I run a Triangle/Triad Area Mets Fans group, where a bunch of us unfortunate Mets fans get together at a sports bar to watch our team lose horribly. And when there's a day when I don't get anything significant accomplished, I always have another one tomorrow.

So why on earth would I take a giant leap forward into 2004 and start blogging again? Mostly it's because I've been doing too much ranting on Facebook, and I'm not sure that's the best place for it. The Trump administration (I'm amazed that I even have to type that, so let's just call him "#Schmuck45") is off-the-charts horrifying, and I think we all need the catharsis of ranting. And frankly, I miss writing about stuff. I miss writing about my cats, and about movies I've seen. I want to weigh in again on politics and religion and television and all the things about which I'd be talking with Mr. Brilliant if he were here, but he's not, so you all get it. I want to regale you with funny stories about the people who, when I ask how long it's going to take me to not sound like The Sopranos anymore (and yes, people here have told me that), say "Oh honey, you ain't NEVER gonna lost that accent." And you can follow me on this journey or not, as you like.

So I'm not sure where all this is going to go. I'm under no delusions that I'll ever be a Big Name Blogger (is there such a thing anymore?). I'm even Facebook friends with some of the people I snarked about at the old place. I'm not trying to do fancy template design anymore, because my web skills got stuck at HTML4 and I haven't written a lick of code that isn't C# (and precious little of that) for the last five years. I'm not concerned with traffic or page views, I'm not looking for ad revenue or anything else. B@B was always primarily an outlet for me until it started getting attention, and then I got seduced by fantasies of grandeur. I don't have that now, especially as vlogs on YouTube have taken over what people used to write. So if you'd like to pull up a chair and take this online journey with me, feel free. Put up a pot of coffee and fix some breakfast. It may even occasionally be brilliant.


  1. So glad to hear from you again! Thanks for posting a link in your old blog too. This is why I never delete blogs from my feed - it's like a little miracle when you start writing again. : )

  2. Welcome back! We kept the blogosphere dusted while you were gone. Well, kinda.... :D

  3. I'm glad to see you're back in the blogosphere! Best wishes, too.

  4. I came across your old blog on Badtux's blogroll and read several entries and was disappointed when I saw that you had mothballed it. I am glad you have resumed.

    One reason I like it as it reminds me of the Triangle. My wife and I lived in Chapel Hill. I worked at UNC Health and Safety, she was a Respiratory Therapist at UNC and Duke. In 98 we moved to Asheville, then to Johnson City, TN. Retired to Salisbury, NC in 2013.

    We share your dismay toward The Orange Imposter and are hoping for a giant blue wave this fall to check him. Then it's waiting for Mueller to bring down this White House of Fools.

    So I'm glad you are back blogging, we share you love of cats and have 4, 3 marmalades and a Tuxedo. They are currently ages 6-9. Since we've been together we have had a total of 15 cats, All but 1 have lived to at least 13-20; Gus was our outlier, only 1 when aplastic anemia took him away. And our other outlier, Pixel, was adopted as Kitten from the Chapel Hill Shelter and lived to the ripe old age of 26.

    Look forward to your continued blogging!

    Jack the Cold Warrior


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