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Good Times, Bad Times

Saturday, July 31st, 2021 No comments

This has been another busy month. Since I’ve been vaccinated, it seems like every weekend has been packed with activity. Summer always seems busy because Portland only had a few months of non-rainy weather each year. Add onto that the fact that we had go a year without being able to go out because of covid-19. Today is my first weekend day that in a while that I’ve decided I’m not going anywhere. It’s nice to relax and recharge. I just hope the delta variant doesn’t disrupt our lives too much.

I’ve seen my friends a lot and not just on weekends. We celebrated one person’s birthday 2 weekends in a row and had a wine get together on a weeknight this past week, among other things. We went to a wine tasting out in Oregon wine country (I think that was this month). An old friend, Aaron, came back to Portland to visit with his boyfriend and his (Aaron’s) twin brother. I met the brother last time he was here. I miss Aaron a lot. He’s was one of the 1st people in Portland to make me feel welcome. He invited me to so many of his parties and night out excursions. That day I met some of Aaron’s local friends I had never met before and I’ve seen them a few times since.

PDX Gaymers had an outside in the park event that I refused to call a picnic. I first scheduled this in April and had no idea at the time how open things would be or how comfortable people would be around each other. It was originally supposed to be our 1st in-person post-lockdown event. A few days before I suggested people bring food if they wanted to, so it ended up being a picnic I guess. I brought a cooler, which ended up full of drinks that I got to take home. About 35 people showed up to this event, making it the biggest since I took over as leader in October 2016. We even had to borrow a couple of tables from an neighboring picnic area. It was so much fun! A lot of the time I wasn’t even playing anything. I was just trying to make sure people were playing something. I think everyone had a good time. I learned a lot that I’ll keep in mind for next year.

I’ve seen a ton of movies lately, thanks to Regal Unlimited. I’m going to see 2 more this week.

At work, full-time employees got every Friday off in July along with a 1 week in August. As a contractor I don’t get that and technically I’m not supposed to work. However, my manager gave me permission to work those days, adjust my schedule so that I can get those days off and still get 40 hours for the week, or just take some off. I’ve done the first 2 so far. I think I will work that week in August., but I’m not sure. Either way, it’s been nice having some extra days off this summer.

I found out this week that 1 person I went to school with and 1 person I met online because of LOST are in their final days because of cancer. I hope that we really have more treatment options soon. This has been a bad month for friends and their pets and not all of them recovered. Reese has been exhibiting some weird behavior lately. Of course, over the past 13 years I’ve always gotten worried when he started acting weird.

I’m busy and happy and fortunate. Eager to see what the rest of the year brings.

How about a few pictures from this month?

Portland Pride 2021

Monday, June 28th, 2021 No comments

There wasn’t a traditional Pride this year because of coronavirus. It’s better than what we had last year though.

Pride month is exciting and exhausting. I looked at my work and personal calendars early in the month and I was amazed at how much was going on.

I’m glad that things have opened up more and I’m glad to work for a company that values its LGBT employees. Most work Pride stuff throughout the month was virtual. We did a HIIT workout, had speakers, learned choreography to “Rain on Me”, and more.

Outside of work, I had a lot fun, though not all of it was directly Pride related. BBQs, a math-themed birthday party, a Timbers game in really great seats, kickball and picnic with my work team, PDX Gaymers’ first in-person event in well over a year, Portland virtual’s Pride parade, and more.

The end of the month has been a little bit of a bummer. The Pacific Northwest has been hit with a record heat wave. Today and the past 2 days have been the worst, with highs around 110 degrees or higher. Portland just isn’t built for this. I think somewhere around 60% of homes don’t have air conditioning. I heard yesterday that Washington and Oregon were hotter than 99.8% of the globe. My air conditioning was doing okay until yesterday. Some of my friends were also having trouble with their A/Cs keeping up with heat. The birthday party I went to 2 days ago was fine at first, but as the day went on and more people came, it started to get really warm. My biggest concern is keeping the dogs comfortable. They look at me like they’re expecting me to do something. I’m doing what I can to help them, but it’s mostly just waiting for things to cool down each day. Last night I don’t think it even went under 80 degrees. Max seems okay for the most part, but Reese (who celebrated his 13th birthday yesterday) has always gotten hot quickly and is having the most trouble. Even I’m starting to feel a lttle sick, like my heart is working harder. The hour I’m posting this is supposed to be the peak temp and temps should start dropping. They will drop almost 40 degrees tonight and tomorrow’s high should be around 90, which is better thought still about 15 degrees higher than it should be this time of the year. The rest of the week should be much better and next week even more so.

Happy Pride, everyone! It’s been a great month in spite of limping to the end. Our governor is lifting covid restrictions in 2 days, so hopefully more fun next month.

How about a photo dump? I need more light-colored clothing for summer.

Let the Good Times Roll

Monday, May 31st, 2021 No comments

This month has been amazing. Getting to go out and do things again has been great!

I went to happy hour at Robert and Alex’s place. I went to movie night at Aaron’s place. I’ve been to see 3 movies in the movie theater. I’ve gone to 2 clubs. I’ve been back to my gym. I wasn’t unmasked the whole time. I followed the rules at each establishment and sometimes wore a mask even when I didn’t have to.

Also, work has been going well. I’m really enjoying my job right now.

I was supposed to be in Sunriver with friends this weekend, but I was left without a dogsitter at the last minute, so I had to stay home. Maybe I need more close dog owner friends, not that I would feel comfortable asking a friend to take care of my dogs. It was nice to have my first holiday or vacation day off since last July. It’s weird waking up on a weekday and not working. It’s been a while.

April Showers

Friday, April 30th, 2021 No comments

April was actually a pretty dry month relatively speaking. I think I remember hearing that we set a record for most consecutive days in April without rain. Anyway, that’s not why I’m here.

I started working as a contractor at Nike at the beginning of the month. I’ve wanted to work for Nike for a long time. They’ve been my dream local company for a while now. I really like the team that I’m on and the work that I’m doing. I’ve already taken 1 trip to the employee store and bought a whole bunch of stuff at discount. The only thing that took away a little enthusiasm is that around the time I interviewed with them, another company showed interest. I couldn’t get an answer from the other company a month ago, but they reached out again a couple of weeks ago and I formally interviewed with them this week. I would feel terrible about leaving Nike so soon, but it would be hard to pass up this opportunity.

I got my 2nd dose of the covid vaccine on April 20. Yeah, the next day was awful like I expected. I had chills, a fever, nausea. Thankfully, I felt much better the next day. I already have plans for some social activities this summer. Some friends and I are planning a cabin getaway Memorial Day Weekend. I’m so excited.

I have so many plants now. I’m sure they were happy for what rain we did get. I’m still a newbie when it comes to raising plants. A lot of what I’m doin now is experimentation.

I got talked into trading in my last week Toyota Corolla for a new car. I decided to get a 2021 Toyota Corolla hybrid. I really loved that Corolla, but I like this one better so far. I remember joking after moving to Portland and seeing so many hybrids that my next car would be one. I didn’t happen that way and all electric seems to be the way to go now, but I’m usually behind on this kind of thing.

Things are looking up. Life is good.

A Dream of Vaccines

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 No comments

The covid-19 vaccination effort has been underway since December I believe. It’s been just a matter of waiting for my turn. My turn finally came yesterday.

I kind of had a feeling early on that I would be in the last group to get it. Well, when Oregon finally finished defining the groups, it turned out I was in the next to last group, being pushed into that group by my BMI. All this time I’m jealous because I’m seeing people I know get the vaccine. Some I couldn’t figure out how they got to go so early, though I was happy for them all the same. The time my group would be eligible was pushed up to April (early estimates were July and then May 1) thanks to an increased supply. Then one day last week I got an email with a link to schedule an appointment. I didn’t think much of it. I figured that maybe it was pushed up again. I scheduled my appointment for March 30 at the Convention Center. Well, the next day I found out that due to an error 11,000 people were invited to schedule their appointments earlier than they should have been, but the appointments would be honored anyway.

I haven’t made that big a deal about it publicly because so many people are still waiting. The whole process of getting the shot once I got to the Convention Center was quick and painless. They were giving the Pfizer vaccine.. My arm is still pretty sore, but that’s the only side effect I’ve had. I’ve heard the side effects of the 2nd shot are the worst, which for me is scheduled for April 20. Two weeks after that it should have taken full effect.

I’m so excited to be able to spend time with friends again and go out to do things around town.

It’s Not Covid

Sunday, February 28th, 2021 No comments

I’ve had some kind of respiratory thing going on for about a month now. I think it started at the end of January or first of February. Most of the time it’s just shortness of breath. Sometimes a cough or sniffles or a little nausea comes along with it. I’ve been tested for covid, so I don’t think it’s at. I check my temperature every few days and that’s been fine. I hope it’s not something in my environment making me sick. Hopefully I’ll feel better soon.

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What a Crazy Year

Sunday, January 31st, 2021 No comments

Who’d have thought 2021 could be crazier than 2020? Early on, it looked like it could be.

An armed assault on the Capitol building in the first week which was spurred on by President Trump. Then Trump’s 2nd impeachment following that.

I’m glad things calmed down though. I was glued to the TV during the history inauguration of Biden and Harris. I think he’s already doing a good job with executive orders. I want everyone to hold his feet to the fire, but I think everyone needs to give him a chance. It’s so nice to not hear what Trump is thinking about everything since he’s been banned from pretty much all social media. It’s also nice to not worry about what insane thing he’s going to do next, not that worried a lot about that before.

The GameStop story was also nuts. Ordinary people sticking it to rich folks. I love to hear it.

The covid-19 vaccines have been going out for over a month. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get one. Hopefully, in the next few months. The covid variants out there now have me a little worried, but hopefully the current vaccines will give some protections and we’ll just need to get a new shot every year just like the flu shots.

My contract with Walmart was supposed to end on the 29th, but I’ll be staying on for now.

Hope everyone is doing well. I feel like things are looking up.

Christmas 2020

Thursday, December 31st, 2020 No comments

Christmas was last Friday. It was another day in quarantine with not much happening.

I worked half a day. I streamed Overwatch for a few hours after work. I had Chinese takeout and watched Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max. The food was good, but the movie wasn’t nearly as good as the first one.

Hoping for better times next year. And snow.

What did I get for Christmas and my birthday this year.
  • a map of Portland neighborhoods poster
  • lots of fish food
  • fish cards and stickers
  • a bristlr worm trap
  • star wars card deck
  • an exercise ball
  • a pack of Reese’s trees
  • Star Trek: Picard Season 1
  • Overwatch Monopoly
  • Wakanda Forever board game
  • Star Trek Five-Year Mission board game
  • I treated myself to an Oculus Quest 2, an Xbox Series X, and a PlayStation 5, though the PS5 won’t be here for another couple of weeks.

    I’m at a point where I’m tired of hearing about how rough this year has been. Hopefully this will be one of the last times I mention it. Everyone can go into the new year with a new outlook and attitude

    There were many positives this year: finally getting a new job, making health a priority, getting to see Xander again, getting into a streaming habit, taking part in all the virtual events with PDX Gaymers, helping elect a new president elected, getting new gadgets, spending so much time with the dogs, and so on.

    As soon as the pandemic hit, I decided I wasn’t going to stress over that list of goals I set last year. It’s okay if I wasn’t productive as I wanted to be. I did meet a few of them I think. I’m not going to bother setting any for next year. Hopefully before the end of the year we’ll be able to start having game nights or going to happy hours again.

    Time will tell.

    Unfortunately, I had to work today and I’m working a half day tomorrow. Tonight, I finished a book to meet my book goal for the year. Now I plan to play video games, watch TV, and chat with friends while enjoying the most expensive bottle of wine I’ve ever bought.

    As always, have a great year and take care of each other!

    Thanksgiving 2020

    Monday, November 30th, 2020 No comments

    Thanks to the pandemic, Thanksgiving was fairly uneventful.  I’m writing since I have a tradition of doing a Thanksgiving post every year. 

    I worked half a day on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  Since I don’t get any time paid vacation and Walmart doesn’t have paid holidays, most of my team was working that day.  But it was quiet for the most part. It was nice working without so many distractions.  I did a water change and got caught up on Star Trek: Discovery and The Mandalorian (2 eps each) during the extra time I had on those days.  I had pizza for dinner on Thanksgiving

    I’m glad for the people who are already living with someone and didn’t have to spend it alone and got to have traditional meals.  They got to spend time with others.

    And for those that didn’t heed the advice of the experts and stay home, I hope they don’t regret their actions.

    Since I didn’t write about the election, I’ll say I’m thankful we’ll have a new president in less than 2 months.

    The Happy/Hard Holidays are in full effect. I’m determined to enjoy them this year, but I’ll also be glad when they’re over.

    Xander Visits

    Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 No comments

    My good friend and former roommate Xander this morning around 10 to head to the airport. He’s been here since Friday the 9th, so 11 days. He just texted me a little while ago to say that he was halfway home.

    He came to visit and to help take care of the stuff he left behind, which was most of his possessions that he had here. I shipped a few boxes of stuff and his bicycle to him not too long after he originally left. It was so great seeing him again!

    He admitted that it wasn’t until he got here he realized that he wouldn’t be able to be social much because of COVID. I think Portland might be adhering to guidelines better than where he is in Pennsylvania. Before he arrived, I was a little worried that he would be coming in and out all the time, but he quickly assuaged my concerns. I felt bad that he was cooped up here, but he seemed okay with it.

    He spent the first few days just cleaning stuff out of his old room and the garage. He works nights in PA, so he was on a different schedule than me those first few days. Eventually though, he got adjusted. I helped when I could even though I was working. He didn’t realize how much stuff he had left here. He ended up throwing out a lot of it and shipping a little bit. The rest he left here to take care of later, which is fine. I’m happy that I have much more room than I did before.

    He got meet Max for the first time and see Reese again and do some work on the fish tanks. I think I drank more coffee in the time he was here than in the year and a half before.

    We did do some fun stuff away from here. We went to see Hocus Pocus at the drive in. We went to a social gathering (social distanced coffee and donuts) at Eric’s. We went on a little hike at Sauvie Island (my first time there). He got me Pokemon Go again, which I don’t think I played past the first month of release. He did some stuff with a couple of his other friends a couple of days ago. There wasn’t enough time or energy for everything, but that’s something to look forward to next time.

    But he’s still Xander. He still has some of same idiosyncrasies that drove me crazy when he lived here. It’s going to take me a few days to get everything back the way I like it around here. Some stuff is probably lost to me forever.

    Before he left we got to have a brief but needed chat about the weirdness that was going on before he left and for months afterward.

    Once again, it was great seeing him again. I remember picking him up at a coffeeshop he went to after he landed and seeing him drive off in the rental car he picked up yesterday. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I see him again

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