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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!

    I’m Exhausted

    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 No comments

    Don’t ever think life can’t get crazier, because it can.

    A lot of the West Coast has been on fire recently. In the middle of a pandemic. About 2 or 3 weeks ago there was so much smoke in the Portland area, it was hazardous to be outside for more than a few minutes. I blocked off the windows and doors as much as I could, but enough was still getting inside to make it hard for me to breath. This asthmatic did not like that. Air quality here is back to normal now.

    Work is good, but it’s been hectic. My team has a lot of requests thrown at it that need to be done in a short period of time. I like being busy. I just hope I can maintain a good work/life balance.

    The first presidential debate between Biden and Trump last night was insane. I’ll be glad when the election is finally over. 34 days until Election Day.

    A Little Less Crazy

    Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 No comments

    Things have settled down a little bit this past month. People are still protesting every night in Portland and maybe in other cities, but the news isn’t covering it as much.

    More of the country is opening up. There have been spikes in covid cases. Some places have put a hold on opening up. I got tested last week and I was negative.

    I’m still interviewing and still getting passed over. I got some bad news on a position that I really wanted. Hopefully, something will happen soon.

    I did take on some contract work to complete a short project for a local company. It’s been nice to write code again on an actual product.

    Crazy Times Got Crazier

    Saturday, May 30th, 2020 No comments

    I haven’t mentioned COVID-19 on here in 2 months. While March felt like it lasted forever, April and May have flown by. I think that’s a sign that quarantine life has become normal.

    The monotony of daily life is still there. The Zoom activities have helped. I started watching Drag Race weekly with people from Out in Tech. I’ve been streaming on Twitch more and that’s been a lot of fun.

    People are starting to relax. The county I live in is entering Phase 1 of reopening in 2 days. The county that encompasses most of Portland will follow in a couple of weeks. Most of the state and many parts of the country have already reopened. I actually went to a park in the city yesterday. I was nice to be outside for an extended period of time.

    This past week has been tough and intense. Another black male killed by police officers. The President’s bad leadership made the situation worse. Protesting and riots are happening all across the country. There’s been protesting here in Portland the past couple of days and even longer in other cities. Police are often using force to break up crowds. It feels like we could be on the brink of some major here. It is promising to see the entire country so fed up with racism. Whatever happens, I hope Trump loses in November and we can start to heal as a nation.

    RIP Bailey

    Saturday, April 4th, 2020 No comments

    Last week I found out that one of my furry friends had passed away the week before on March 18. He was almost 13. Bailey was my roommate’s dog. I lived with him from 2007 to 2008 and got to take care of him a time or two even after he moved out. He’s probably the first dog I really made a connection with. The last time I saw him was in 2015. He remembered me and licked the top of my head like he used to do. I mention him in a few entries on this blog.

    Happy trails, little fella.

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    COVID-19 and Me

    Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 No comments

    So this is what living through a global pandemic is like.

    I think most people in the US are beginning their 3rd week of quarantine. I had already started canceling and skipping events about 2 weeks before then. If my memory is correct, I haven’t had any in-person social activity since the end of February. Trips to get food don’t count. I am going crazy over here. The dogs are great, but it’s not the same as being around humans. The loneliness and depression have definitely crept in. It was already bad from not working, but not being able to go out has made it worse. I envy people who are in relationships and don’t have to quarantine alone. Maybe they envy me.

    I’ve had video chats with friends and I’ve arranged some online events with PDX Gaymers, so that has helped.

    My trip to the UK and France in the beginning of May has been postponed. Once Expedia gets caught up, I should be getting a voucher that I can use up until April 30, 2021.

    Other than inconveniences, things have been pretty good. I’ve made good progress on some video games, TV shows, and books. I’ve seen a lot of movies. I’ve done so much cleaning and organizing.

    I got pretty sick a a few weeks ago. I think it was the first full weekend of the month, but this month has felt like a year, so who knows. It started out as puking and feeling lightheaded. I couldn’t sit up for long and I was sleeping pretty much all day. I figured it was food poisoning because I ate something the night before it started that didn’t quite taste right. A couple of days later I started sniffling and I had a sore throat. I was all better within days. I don’t know if it was coronavirus or not. Coronavirus seems to affect people differently. I’ve had some tightness in my chest most days for the past 3 weeks and sniffles. Could just be allergies. Could be paranoia. I had one of my daylong colds yesterday, but I’m all good now.

    I think coronavirus started to hit home for a lot of people when celebrities started getting sick. Most of us I would imagine don’t know someone who has tested positive for it or has died from it. I’m thinking that before this is over, we’ll all know someone who has. I’m worried about my friend Xander who works in hospitals. He told me the other day that he had to perform CPR on someone who they think has coronavirus. They were waiting for test results to come back the last I heard. I’m hoping that he remains healthy and safe.

    Not the downplay the serious of the virus and the lives lost, but I guess it could be worse overall. I don’t want to get too much into how our president mishandled the situation, but he it could be even better. Hopefully, this will pass soon and we can get back to some sense of normalcy.

    Wizard World Portland 2020

    Friday, January 31st, 2020 No comments

    This past weekend Wizard World Comic Con came to town. I didn’t realize it until the 1st day, but I hadn’t been to a Wizard World Comic Con since 2014. Something’s always coming up. They think they changed the time of year a few times and maybe it was cancelled one year, but I’m glad it’s back in January.

    I went Friday late afternoon and the 1st thing I noticed how short the lines to get in were and how few people were there overall compared to Rose City Comic Con and to the last time I attended. They weren’t using up nearly as much of the convention floor and were not using the big rooms for panels. It makes me wonder if Portland just can’t support 2 big conventions like this or if of Portland is just more loyal to the locally founded RCCC. Whatever the case, I hope Wizard World continues to come back.

    One thing I liked about this con compared to Rose City is that it felt far more laid back. You didn’t have as many people screaming orders and herding you the whole time. The celebrities seemed more accessible. I saw John Glover go watch the band play on the entertainment stage and he started dancing. The food court area was near the bathrooms everyone was using on the floor. Sometimes I would sit there and relax if I had a long break in my schedule. I saw people like Chandler Riggs, Sam Levine, Michael Rosenbaum, Erica Durance, and Laura Vandervoort go to the bathrooms that everyone else was using. No I didn’t bother them because I didn’t want to be creepy. I’m just used to the celebrities at cons being out of sight unless they were on a panel or doing an autograph signing or photo op and secreted off when they were done. There weren’t people or signs saying to not take photos of people at their tables and I feel like I could’ve gone up to anyone to say hi. I didn’t though.

    They had an entertainment stage at the entrance where they would have bands playing, karaoke, trivia, etc. I didn’t realize until after the first day that the person MCing the events and dancing around was Kato Kaelin, who gained notoriety during the OJ trial. I went to see panels featuring Chandler Riggs, Ross Marquand, Holly Marie Combs, Emily Swann, Smallville cast members Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, John Glover, Erica Durance, and Laura Vandervoort, and Craig Parker. I had my picture taken with Thomas Dekker and the Smallville cast. I ended up missing panels with Thomas Dekker, Sam Levine, and James Marsters so I get my Smallville cast photo done on Saturday so I could skip the last day of the con. There just wasn’t enough going on and I needed a rest.

    On Saturday night Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum did their Smallville Nights show that they have been doing in different cities. There’s no recording of any kind allowed at these. That apparently is the reason why Tom was convinced to do it. He’s more of an introvert and I don’t think he really likes conventions, but this allows him to be himself.
    There were a couple of times where Michael was goofing off and would get right in my face and yell, but it was all in fun. They told stories, acted out scenes from the show, and then would direct audience members in acting out those same scenes. I got picked to play Lana Lang in the graveyard scene in the pilot while someone else played Clark. I think Tom thought it would be funny for me to wear a wig, not realizing it wasn’t my first time in a wig. They all thought I looked good.

    I spent over $500 on Smallville experiences that weekend. I don’t regret it at all. The online communities around Smallville, Heroes, LOST, and other shows helped me get through hard times when I was feeling lonely and different back in Mississippi. I made many friends and continue to be friends with them to this day. I’ve met many in person, traveled with them, and we’ve stayed in each other’s homes. I don’t mind spending money to spend a little time with some of the cast members that helped make it possible.

    I had a lot of fun at Wizard World Portland this year. It was low key and I liked that. The first day I didn’t even take my DSLR with me. Once I saw how low key it was, I decided not to bring it the rest of the weekend. All of my pics and videos were made using my Pixel 4. It was nice not having to carry my big camera around and not feeling stressed to get as many good pictures as possible.

    Portland Pride 2019

    Sunday, June 30th, 2019 No comments

    Two weekends ago was Pride Weekend here in Portland. Pride has become one of my favorite times of the year. The positivity and excitement is infectious.

    The Out in Tech group that I participate with had a kickoff event the Wednesday before Pride Weekend. They had a makeshift “photo booth” and I used my camera to take pictures. It was fun.

    On Friday night I went to Crush to hang out with friends and have drinks. I have a core group of friends that I have become close to this past year or so. I spend a lot of time with them. They’re great people and there’s so much positivity and love between us all.

    Saturday night my PDX Gaymers group had its 2nd annual Pride Game Night. We had a great turnout. Probably bigger than last year. My only regret is that I didn’t play games with new people who I hadn’t met before that night. Game Night was early enough so that people could still go to parties afterward. I went to Blow Pony. Blow Pony is a monthly dance party that I’ve been hearing about probably since I first moved here in 2012. I keep saying I’m going to go one of these months but it had never happened until now. It was awkward going by myself, but I did run into some people I knew.

    Sunday was the parade. I marched with Intel for the 3rd year in a row. A lot of people don’t like the idea of corporations being involved in Pride, but my corporation does a lot for it’s LGBT employees. My manager actually marched in the parade with his wife who works for another company, but he did stop by the Intel float to say hi. Two of my other teammates marched to show their support, one bringing his wife and daughter and the other’s girlfriend was somewhere in the crowd. Once again, I was amazed by how excited the crowd was to see us. I didn’t see as many people along the parade route that I know as I did last year, but I know that some people saw me.

    After this I went on the Big Gay Boat Ride with some friends. It’s an annual event that I had heard about, but never thought much about going on myself. At this point I was exhausted and at the end of my energy. I still had fun though. There were drinks, food, and a drag show. Two contestants from Rupaul’s Drag Race were there, but they weren’t two that I recognized.

    Portland Pride 2019

    Pride month ends today. The suburb of Hillsboro had it’s first Pride celebration and Beaverton had its first Pride parade this month. It’s so exhausting, but enjoyable and fulfilling.