Prompts for November
Oct. 31, 2015, midnight
Edit 10/31: Finishing up. If someone has a suggestion better than
one I have, I’m still open…..
Edit 10/27: Added some. Still need more.
Sunday is All Saints’ Day, which means November is here….
I’ve been really bad about snarfing things for prompts. (I prefer to do my own, because it, like, makes me seem
more into it, or whatever, you know? O.o)
Honestly, the reason is I’ve been feverishly looking for new employment, and making a bit of an attempt not to
get fired from my current shitty gig.
With that, onto the prompts as I have them for the moment….
- Who is your patron saint? If you are not a member of the global Papist conspiracy, explain a bit about
what you know about Sainthood. (And the awesome Tegan and Sara album is totally acceptable, here.)
- It’s the first Monday of the month. Please rank the level of sucktitude on a scale of 1 to 100, then
describe your plans for the day.
- It’s okay when it’s in a three-way. Even with a honey in the middle, there’s no leeway. But what, if
anything, do you buy in threes? Do you believe in the celebrity death trifecta?
- I have four relatives’ birthdays in the next five days. I’m blaming Valentine’s Day. Do you have any
relatives with birthdays in early November? Write a bit about each of them.
- Write about your siblings. How many do you have? What’s the age difference between you and them? Tell a
bit about where they live, and what they do.
- What are your plans for this weekend?
- Name something you used to have a problem with, but are kind of okay with now. (This was one I’d saved
from a 2013 prompt, but have modified slightly…)
- Write a bit about what you do on a “normal” day. Where are you? What are you doing? Are you satisfied
with the situation?
- Where do you think you’ll be this time next year?
- What are some qualities of bad bosses? What woudl you not do if you were supervising others? (No, I won’t
aks for you to make your worst bosses, but you can write about why they sucked.)
- Libations. Do you partake? What has been in your glass recently?
- I’m trying to remember something about a real dozen. What was I like at age twelve? (Other than
obese….) So, this may end up being a bit of free writing unless someone brings me a dozen cupcakes.
- It’s Friday the Thirteenth. What superstitions do you have?
- Does anything have you excited for next year?
- Halftime. When was/will be the halftime fo your life?
- Write a bit about your drivers’ licence. How old were you, where did you get it? What kind of car did you
- Name a famous person to whom you are attacted, who is completely different from you “type.”
- What is your favorite holiday, and why?
- What opportuntities that you’ve passed up do you regret passing?
- Talk about your professors/teachers. What things they taught you have stuck with you?
- How about a list of things that’ve statisfied you this year, and a corresponding list of disappointments.
- Day of historical significance for “US Americans.” Do you know why? Were you alive? (I’m skeptical…)
What do you remember? (Bonus on this one for readers from Soviet Canuckistan….)
- Write about being 23. Other than the fact that nobody liked you, write a bit about being 23. What were
you doing? Where you were living? Relationship/who were you doing?
- It’s the final Tuesday of the month. Do you care?
- Thanksgiving is tomorrow in the US. Are you travelling? With whom will you eat? If you live somewhere
where they celebrated last month, describe what you did. glares North If you live somewhere where they don’t
celebrate, describe what you did on the most recent holdiay where friends/family/loved ones gather.
- The team that traditionally has had Thanksgiving football is the Lions. Write about Detroit. Have you
been there? Would you want to go back? Do you know anyone who is from there, originally? Would you want to
live there, yourself?
- What places hold particular allure for you; where might you like to live?
- Thanksgiving leftovers. How much? What did you do with them?
- What are you most proud of this year?
- Today is the last day of the month. Free write about the month, and your experience writing this month.
Nov. 1, 2015, midnight
*Who is your patron saint? If you are
not a member of the global Papist conspiracy, explain a bit about what you know about Sainthood. (And the
awesome Tegan and Sara album is totally acceptable, here.)*
Obligatory BuzzFeed quiz says I got the guy who is the patron saint of the unemployed.
I’m not unemployed, but I’m more than a little dissatisfied with my current situation, so it might be
So, today, in addition to watching the Saints’ game on TV (with the Redskins off?), I’ve been looking hard.
We shall see.
But another busy week ahead, I think. “Work,” finding health insurance for next year (since my company doesn’t
offer anything accepted locally, and my current plan leaves much to be desired….and isn’t available next
year), coming home Tuesday to vote, and….?
Let’s see if the Royals win tonight.
Nov. 2, 2015, midnight
*It’s the first Monday of the month. Please rank the level of sucktitude on a scale of 1 to 100, then describe
your plans for the day.*
The answer, of course, is eight.
Why so low?
- THE ROYALS WON THE WORLD SERIES
- What’s making my life at miserable at work isn’t here. So, there’s that.
I am very tired, as that game didn’t finish until almost 2am. yawn
Am I surprised by all this? Certainly. I didn’t think it was possible, in this world of uncapped salaries, for
a small-market team like Kansas City to put together a competetitive team.
Would the story hav eeen different if they’d been playing in the AL East? Maybe. It’s very difficult to
compete with NYC, Boston money.
Otherwise, I don’t have a lot to say today.
I’m refamiliarizing myself with “The FAR,” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Acquisition_Regulation) even
though it seems as none of the higher-ups give a fuck about it.
I’m going to do what’s right, not what’s expident. If you want to fire me because of that, please bring it.
I’m sure some folks in the trial law field will enjoy having me as a client…..
So there’s that.
Nov. 3, 2015, midnight
*It’s okay when it’s
in a three-way. Even with a honey in the middle, there’s no leeway. But what, if anything, do you buy in threes?
Do you believe in the celebrity death trifecta?*
Where the hell was I going with this? I have no idea.
I’m on the bus,writing on my phone. I know. GLWT
2015, 3:06 p.m.
*I have four relatives’ birthdays in the next five days. I’m blaming Valentine’s Day. Do you have
any relatives with birthdays in early November? Write a bit about each of them.*
- Today. A quarter of my genes. Used to like to fish, but sold the boat long ago. Still hanging in there,
despite many years.
- Today. THe only one of the three left, now. Didn’t expect that this time last year, but… Doesn’t talk
much due to health issues.
- Tomorrow. Only person on earth who shares my DNA. I’m wondering if his facial hair growth patterns are as
strange as mine. And, with that, I’ve reveled gender. That’s fine. And I’m leaving out my little jibe, here.
- Sunday. I have half the genes. Much like me, still working, though less reason than I’ve got. Half the
genes of two of the others here.
So, that’s that.
Nov. 5, 2015, 4:53 p.m.
*5. Write about your
siblings. How many do you have? What’s the age difference between you and them? Tell a bit about where they
live, and what they do.*
Yes, this one is a bit of a cop-out; I’ve had one brother for the past 33 years (today). I am a little more
than three years his senior.
He did a lot of the things I didn’t want to do when I was younger. I bear no ill will about it. I chose my
path, and I’m happy with who I am. Yes, he probably earns a lot more money than I do. Yes, he’s been a lot
places I haven’t. Even if we’d done exactly the same things, I don’t know that I would have ended up where he
is. I’m okay with that.
Or, to put it another way, I really don’t want to live where he lives. I’m thankful I haven’t had to deal with
some of the things he’s had to deal with, either.
As for what he does, well, he puts the air in pingpong balls. I do lose him sometimes on the higher math work
he does. I’d bet he would say the same of my bureaucratic prowess. He works for a legendary company in an
interesting-sounding place. I probably wouldn’t fit in there.
And I’m not married to a Cowboys’ fan……
Nov. 6, 2015, midnight
What are your plans for this weekend?
Well, birthday dinner tonight for one of the many this month….
Then rest. I really need it. Completely exhausted.
So, watching TV and sleeping mainly, I’d imagine.
This is kind of my “normal” weekend these days.
When my wife has a minute, we can look at health insurance stuff. With this wonderful Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act, I can buy insurance for us.
It’s not good insurance.
It’s not really affordable.
The 113th Congress tired so delicately to protect the US’s broken system of health insurance, and managed to
make it worse.
But it was change we needed!!1!
My temporary employer’s health plans have scant coverage for anything more than about twenty miles outside the
The contract isn’t inside the service area.
But other than those, nothing. Relaxing. Recharge. I need it.
Nov. 7, 2015, midnight
Back in NoJoMo for 2013, I listed
writing as one of the things that used to scare me, but I’ve gotten over it.
I also despaired about how bad some of my old stuff sucked. My writing still sucks. My blog still sucks. But
I really don’t care. I write in my journal/blog/diary/whatever for me.
Whatever feedback I get is lagniappe. I do go back and read my drivel on occasion. I try to remember what my
state of mind was, and analyze it.
Was I wrong to have felt the way I did?
Was something else about to happen that I was completely blind to?
2013 kinda drives that last one home; had I known how I was about to be unceremoniously dumped, I wouldn’t have
been trying as hard as I was to be a good “team player.” And I wouldn’t have been as complacent as I was away
at Shmoocon 2014.
Too often the past few years I’ve sold myself short. How many tesn of thousands fo dollars has that cost me?
I’m certainly not the same go-getter I was in, say, 2008. But there isn’t a reason I should be earning less
money than I was then.
Nov. 8, 2015, midnight
*Write a bit
about what you do on a “normal” day. Where are you? What are you doing? Are you satisfied with the situation?*
This is a bit of an appropriate prompt, because I haven’t had a “normal” day since the beginning of last year.
This situation I’m in has me so out-of-sorts that there’s just nothing to say.
During the week, I’m normally booked into my prison assignment around 0700, and stay there until someone can
give me a ride out. Normally, that’s by about 1615, though sometimes I do have to work later.
I’ve never settled into a routine, nor do I really want to, because this is going to be done soon.
One day, some day soon, I’ll have something more substantial to write about. I look forward to that day.
Almost as much as I’m looking forward to some downtime/quality time with my wife.
My wife and I were talking this weekend about whether I’d made a mistake taking this job. No. The one with the
But, as I said, it’ll be over sooner rather than later.
9, 2015, midnight
Where do you think you’ll be this time next year?
i honestly have to say that I really don’t have any idea.
There’s so many irons in the fire, I don’t know which one will heat up enough to use first. That may make me
have to move. Working from home, something else in Tidewater, DC, Cleveland, Buffalo, NYC, and…? Some are
more lucrative than others.
Obviously, the first two have benefits that aren’t really quantifiable.
What I do know is that I’m tired of being in a situation where I’m woefully underpaid, and publicly berated
almost every day.
Nov. 10, 2015, midnight
*What are some
qualities of bad bosses? What would you not do if you were supervising others? (No, I won’t aks for you to make
your worst bosses, but you can write about why they sucked.)*
- Lack of sympathy comes immediately to mind. I understand that my situation is odd for many people. Hell,
it’s odd for me! I don’t expect empathy; quit trying. Your situation is likely nothing at all like mine, so
you have no idea. To quote Coach Mora, “you think you know, but you don’t know.” And I hope you never will
I’m not being unreliable on purpose. If I need extra time off, or am having trouble doing something, I’m
getting better at admitting it.
- Unwillingness to take a wholistic appropach The little things do matter, but they’re ultimely less
important than the whole. Something that is utterly bad might have all those little things that you think are
important. Does it really do the job? Sticking with the football comparison, George Allen used to talk about
Sonny Jurgensen’s passes versus Billy Kilmer’s; he thought they won more games with Kilmer under center. This
was one of the big things I ran into with one job; having a perfectly-startched shirt was more important than
putting out a good, correct product.
- Abusing your subordinates in front of others to make yourself seem competent. Yelling at someone just makes
you an asshole, unless there’s something life-or-death at stake. Very little of the work I do rises to that
level. If I screw soemthing up, which I do more often than I’d like, take me aside, and say it in private. The
same goes for written evaluations; if you dish it out, be prepared for me to disagree. If you do not afford me
that opportunity, I’m going to snark about it when I’m forced to sign something “accepting” it. No, I don’t
accept it, and I can tell you you’re why you’re wrong if you give me the opportunity.
- Unwillingness to attribute anything. A “meeting” without an agenda, an attandence sheet, or minutes
- Unwillingness to own up to your own mistakes. You screw up. I’ve already told you that I do, too. I don’t
harp on your mistakes, and am willing to move on if you own up to your own shortcomings. Listen, I’m not a Red
Sox fan, and you’re not Bill Buckner.
- Being dishonest about compensation. I do realize that I’m in the current position I’m in because I pissed
off someone who’s now in Federal Pound-Me-In-The-Ass prison. I may be younger than you; I’m not a rookie.
- Putting your own need for a quick buck ahead of the customer’s needs, and demands. If the customer doesn’t
understand what he actually needs, do the damn research, and convince him. If you, and your employees aren’t
100% sold on your individual solution, it’s probably not the right solution.
I’m sure I could go on and on with those, but I’m tired today.
So, what would I do if I was supervising people.
- Offer suggestions instead of bark orders. If I can explain why/how doing something differently might be
better, I think I’m more likely to get cooperation.
- Figure out what someone really cares about in his work, and let him concentrate on that.
- Understand the bigger picture. One of the bits in Office Space was the new motto, “is this good for the
company?” No, is this good for the customer, first. Second, is this good for the quality of the work? Maybe
something’s different than what you’re accustomed to; maybe there’s a reason why what your’e accustomed to has
fallen out of favor?
Much like the bad thngs, I could go on and on about the things I’d do. That said, my dinner is getting cold.
Nov. 11, 2015, 2:36 p.m.
I apologize in advance for the
flippant prompt. I wasn’t thinking when I came up with it. The Eleventh hour of the Eleventh day of the
Eleventh month holds incredible significance for what happened almost a hundred years ago.
Nobody who fought is still alive. There are only a few people who remember it.
Several of the military folks with whom I wokr didn’t know why Veterans’ Day is always November 11th.
To me, though, World War I was probably the most important war of the 20th Century. Its effects are still
affecting events today. Other than one great-grandfather, who was an Army Lieutenant, I don’t know much of my
Living a few blocks away from this during college might have sparked some of my interest —
Given that the Eighteenth Amendment was working its way through the states at the time, maybe the prompt is
somewhat relevant after all…….
Libations. Do you partake? What has been in your glass recently?
Yes, when I have access and money. Lately, though, I’ve cut back a lot. Part of it is access. Part of it is
lack of desire. Maybe that’s medication-related. Who knows?
When I do have something, however, it’s normally to accompany a meal.
Apertitf (Martini, Manhattan, Sazerac, etc.)
Something with the meal (beer or wine)
Digestif (occasionally, but more often another glass of whatever I had with dinner)
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve drank to alter my state of consciousness.
And, of course, there’s a few times where I’ve let things get out-of-hand by accident…..
As for what I like these days? With my partial hipster vibe going on (yes, I have a beard right now….), I
like local microbrews. When I got laid off beginning of last year, I tried drinking on the cheap. It wasn’t
Not a big PBR fan, and too bald to grow my hair long enough for a ManBun(TM).
Something else I fail at.
And that’s okay.
Nov. 12, 2015, midnight
*I’m trying to
remember something about a real dozen. What was I like at age twelve? (Other than obese….) So, this may end up
being a bit of free writing unless someone brings me a dozen cupcakes*
So, twelve. That would have been nineteen ninety mumbles
Or, to put it another way, almost everyone who turned twelve in the 90s is now in his/her thirties…..
I was living in Northern Germany. The sun hadn’t come up when I got on the school bus in the morning, and it
was getting dark when I got home in the afternoon.
On the flip side, I could play tennis at eleven at night during the summer.
It was a small place, and it’s incredible how quickly things changed. We found out sometime maybe early in the
Spring that the post an hour south was closing within six months, and the one where my dad was stationed was
closing within eighteen?
What else do I remember?
Music. Grunge (Nirvana, Pearl Jam), Rap (NWA, Geto Boys)…..
Can you honestly tell me that Still isn’t earworming you right now?
I had a drink. I smoked a cigarette (so maybe it wa smore than an a….).
But, by and large, I stayed out of trouble, amazinly enough.
I despared about the Saints. I seriously wondered if the Royals would ever win another World Series.
I dreamed about what I might like to do when I was older.
If someone had told me that I’d spend almost a decade working in TV and radio, I would have laughed. Unless it
was on AFN, maybe.
I probably wouldn’t have been surprised I’d married. I probably would be surprised I’d gotten into two really
bad work situations in a row.
Nobody offered me cupcakes, so I wrote. What can I say? It’s what I do.
Nov. 13, 2015, 4:39 p.m.
I’d started on this this morning,
but I’m now distracted by what’s going on in Europe.
So, yeah, I really don’t give a shit about writing now.
The French are the wrong ones to fuck with, y’all
It’s Friday the Thirteenth. What superstitio.ns do you have
This one is tough, because I really don’t have any.
I understand that many successful people are incredibly attached to them. Even as a kid, before I went on my
Objectivist kick, I railed against them.
Some might have had a legitimate root, they’re no longer necessary.
I run into this woth work, where I hear advice to do something that won’t have an effect on the problem at hand.
Nov. 14, 2015, midnight
*Does anything have you excited
for next year?*
Nothing in particular, no.
I do seriously doubt that things will be the same as they are now. This situation I’m in is untenable;
something different will be happening.
I’m not going to elaborate, because so few of these things are decided.
Changes are coming. As long as I’m alive, I’ll deal with those. Maybe that makes me a bad person, being
comfortable with finding new ways of doing things. That makes me a bad target for politicians and insurance
I am certain I won’t be moving to a McMansion in the suburbs.
Nov. 15, 2015, midnight
Halftime. When was/will be the halftime fo your life?
This was a rather dark prompt now that I look at it again.
Do I think I’m past the halfway point? I don’t know. Am I there in other aspects of my life? Yes. My
professional career? Yep. This particular job? Certainly.
On so many things I ask myself why I continue on. Maybe NoJoMo should be one of those.
I will probably write next year; I don’t just quit, even when I have good reason to. I’m a Saints’ fan, so I’m
watching Buddy Ryan Jr.-B’s defense get a good start on serving up the fortyburger in FedEx Field……
So, a bit of freewriting as the Redskins score, what am I looking forward to the next few few months?
- Thanksgiving. For the first time in a very long time, I think I will be able to actually enjoy eating this
year. Actually being hungry for the first time in almost twenty years is something new.
- Travel. My wife and I are planning a trip, and I’m excited about that. The only details I’ll reveal are
that French food will be consumed.
That jewelry commercial was more than a little hetero-normative……
Nov. 16, 2015, midnight
*Write a bit about your drivers’
licence. How old were you, where did you get it? What kind of car did you drive?*
I was fifteen, driving my grandfather’s Ford, because I was nervous about stalling out my dad’s manual
transmission Jeep. I probably would have been fine, but i was freaked out about the rumor that you’d
automatically fail if you stalled….
i had a much longer entry written about this, but I managed to lose it.
This was the day after a tropical storm had strewn the course with limbs. Because of that, the trooper didn’t
make me parallel park (which might have been something I wouldn’t have been able to do in a somewhat-unfamilar
It was a bit odd, because I’d had no formal behind-the-wheel training. My dad was still in the Army, and I’d
taken drivers’ ed in Pennsylvania.
I basically stopped driving in late 2012. After hitting some road debris, pretty seriously damaging my car, and
having the ability to work from home, I stopped.
By that point, I really couldn’t read the speedometer much of the time, so I was setting my speed by the sound
of the engine, and the gear I was in.
I tried again towards the end of that year, and I couldn’t make out traffic lights against green backgrounds
9think a light with a tree behind it).
Damn you, optic neuritis. http://www.mult-sclerosis.org/opticneuritis.html
I was also getting to the point where I’d often hit the brake when I was hitting the clutch. Some of that was
due to the car I owned, which had rather narrow spacing between the pedals, but……
When I’m home, I rarely miss driving; I can get pretty much everywhere I want to go by public transportation.
When I’m away for this job, however, I’m basically a shut-in. I can’t go anywhere once I’m at work. Where I
work, I can’t even get a cab.
When I’m at my mother’s house, I can get a taxi, but it’s expensive.
Nov. 17, 2015, midnight
*What normally find attractive in
a partner? If you’re “taken,” does your current relationship fit that? If single, have you ever been with
someone who fit those? Are there celebs who don’t fall into your traditional mold you’re nonethess attracted
I like different hair/eye combinations. Blonde/brown, Brown/blue, ???/green, ???//hazel, ???/grey.
Yes, my wife has one of those preferred combinations. When I met her, I didn’t notice anthing from the face
down. (At first, later, of course I did….)
As for celebs that don’t fall into the categories to whom I’m attracted, there’s a few. Joanne Nosuchinsky.(No
idea on that one, other than I see her on TV a lot) Charli XCX. (She looks suspiciously like someone I used to
know….) By the same token, there’s some who have the keys that there’s no way in hell; Megan Fox, much
(seriously, she is staling oxygen…..).
But being happily taken, and not seeing all that well, I really don’t notice often anymore.
Nov. 18, 2015, midnight
I don’t know why this didn’t save
yesterday. But it made ti to the blog, which I coped from here……
What is your favorite holiday, and why?
~o/Love to eat turkey/o~
I do like Thanksgiving. Family, food, football, etc.. I really don’t like the start of the Christmas mania,
but I guess I understand it. (At the same time, there’s a very Randy Marsh element there….the episode where
he bought a Blockbuster Video store….)
But lots of memories of what happened various Thanksgivings.
The Lions and the Cowboys switching years facing a division opponent, and the other playing an AFC team.
(Cluestick, Red-headed Spokeschimp Goodell….there shouldn’t be three all-NFC games! Seriously!)
The stoner passing out in line in front of me at Walmart, as I was packing to drive to my uncle’s house in South
But, also, occasionally, there’d be something new and unexpected to try. Maybe it was a guest who brought
something. Maybe it’s what they were serving….
(Holidays in the mess hall aren’t something people who’ve grown up outside the Army life won’t understand. Even
my Navy brat wife talks of holidays on the officers’ mess…..there isn’t one of those in the Army; my dad
would bring us to eat with his soldiers…yes, he was an officer, but that really didn’t matter…they were his
guys, even if they didn’t have something shiny on their caps…..) So, new things. Maybe not things I’d
traditionally thought of for Thanksgiving dinner, but, really, anything goes I guess.
Since this is a bit short, I suppose I should stuff it. I’ve never had a turkey filled with stuffing. I’m okay
with this. Cornbread dressing gets cooked in its own cassarole dish, not inside the damned bird.
I need to figure out what to bring to the office Thanksgiving meal. Hmmmmmm…..
And this for the Cowboys’ fans….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OriB0ihBedY
Nov. 19, 2015, midnight
*What opportuntities that you’ve
passed up do you regret passing?*
I’m trying to think of my frame of mind when I wrote this prompt.
I mean, there’s stuff that I could have done that would have greatly affected my life path.
but, then, I probably wouldn’t have met my wife, so I don’t really care about them.
I love my wife. I love where I live. I like that I feel like I’m getting some control over my health. My job
would have to improve to suck, but….can’t win ’em all.
Do I wish I’d been a bit less reckless on a few things? Sure. Do I sometimes wonder what would have happened
had I been more reckless? Absolutely.
But, for tonight, I’m home. I’m going to have a Martini, and wait for my dinner to arrive.
Nov. 20, 2015, midnight
Kind of at a low-ebb today. Tysabri
in a few hours, and I’m beyond ready for it. This has been an incredibly trying week, and I will never
understand how being overbearingly officious makes you right.
Talk about your professors/teachers. What things they taught you have stuck with you?
It’s interesting to reminisce about them now. Yesterday, as my mother was giving me a ride home, I was thinking
about one of them who’d been a counterpart of my dad’s in the Army. We were talking about writing. This
professor said something about how he’d see other officers who were not inspiring leaders, and wondering why or
how they got promoted….until stumbling across things they’d written. I don’t know what happened to this
professor; he was married to a professor at a nearby school, but I haven’t been able to find him. Even the
totes-not-worried-about-being-evil company doesn’t give good info as a result of his common names.
So, who else…..
The History professor who helped me become a more-effective writer. There were a few things he’d focus on that
have stuck with me. An impact is a collision. “In-depth” is for people who don’t know how to spell “thorough.”
Still, he was big on college being about teaching you how to think, not what to think. In the world of
multiple choice tests for everything, this has been lost. (And that reminds me I need to needle on something
I’ve been considering as a joke that I can put up, string initials after my name on LinkedIn…..)
One who lived through “massive resistance” in Norfolk. This white protestant kid ended up at a Catholic school
because the local Democrats closed all the public schools rather than integrate.
The business law professor who obliterated what I thought was a great analysis on a case. I’d treated the case
as a tort, and she thought I wrote it well as a tort. “You should have used the UCC. C.” Ouch. So much for
the grade on the final pulling me up to an A for the course….. At the same time, she spoke to a campus group
I helped run a couple of years later, and was very gracious to me.
I’m wandering here, though, and could write little vignettes about several others. Instead, I’m going to cut it
off, think about how I’d never fit in on a modern campus, and tell those kids to get off my lawn.
Nov. 21, 2015, midnight
Major drama between two tow
drivers outside to wake up this morning. I don’t even….
I ended up calling the non-emergency phone number because while one left, another seems to be circling the
block, and someone is yelling profanities at the truck. Umm…..
So, for the prompt, another where I wonder what I was thinking about when I wrote/accepted/recycled it. I
understand the importance of the After-Action Review, and this prompt isn’t one…..
How about a list of things that’ve statisfied you this year, and a corresponding list of disappointments.
- Surviving this awful job which made me….
- Buy new letters after my name.
- Buck up with my problems with venous puncture to be able to start Tysabri. (with a new neurologist because
the one I’d been seeing since just after I was diagnosed didn’t accept my wonderful Federal health exchange
- Seeing my wife succeed in her college endeavors.
- The Kansas City Royals. Duh.
- That I’ve gotten zero movement on the many outstanding applications for Federal employment.
- That, because of this awful job, I’ve not had the opportunity to really make a push on the business I’d
- That my financial situation hasn’t gotten better.
- Realizing that due to this awful job, I’m earning roughly what I did in 2006. But the economy is totes
getting better. Forward
But I’m thinking it’s time to try to go back to sleep now…..
Nov. 22, 2015, 12:05 a.m.
Day of historical significance for “US Americans.” Do you know why? Were you
alive? (I’m skeptical…) What do you remember? (Bonus on this one for readers from Soviet Canuckistan….)
Cheating a bit here, since I really haven’t gone to bed after SNL.
To the prompt, no, I wasn’t yet born. My ancestors were committed Democrats, but you’d rarely hear them say
something positive about a Masshole
JFK would feel very out-of-place in today’s Democrat Party; most modern hipster progressives wouldn’t understand
why. (Clluestick: He was Catholic, and very much anti-Communist…)
But, I’m sure the big three news networks will roll out the “where were you” segments in tonight’s newscasts.
But the President was in diapers, and a lot of us ween’t yet born.
Update on the drama that woke me: http://wavy.com/2015/11/21/drivers-cars-towed-in-norfolk-without-prior-
So, yes, the tow drivers probably were shouting at each other, along with the pool]ple whose cars cars were
First Look has yet anotherr new host. She’s in Worst Korea(TM). I miss the US focus.
Nov. 23, 2015, midnight
*Write about being 23. Other
than the fact that nobody liked you, write a bit about being 23. What were you doing? Where you were living?
Relationship/who were you doing?*
Let’s see….I was still working in radio, but with lessened on-air duties.
This would be a lot easier if I had access to my old OD entries, but they’re somewhere stuffed away on a
powered-off PC at my apartment.
I should really move thoes to somewhere more accessible.
But, working from memory, I was single. I can’t even remember if there was anyone I was interested in. I
think that would have been the summer my brother got married (for the first time), and I helped ruin the paint
on his car after his groomsmen weren’t ready to decorate it. Cheap shaving cream from 7-Eleven does wonders to
brighten faded paint.
I’d moved back home so I could concentrate on school, and didn’t have enough money to move out again. That
certainly made me a magnet for the opposite sex….a weird work schedule, fat, and no income to speak of.
So, what else? I think that was also the first time my dad was really sick; if memory serves, tha was the
first near-death scare. It would have been later that summer that I came to terms that he wouldn’t be around a
long time. Heavy stuff for someone that young, with a newly-married younger sibling who hadn’t yet finished
That also probably would have been a summer of spur-of-the-moment trips. I think that was the summer I drove up
to Redskins’ camp in Carlisle on a whim. I met Spurrier, Wuerffel, Matthews.
It’s been a long time. And, yes, if I had a lawn, I’d tell you to get off of it.
I was still on the air overnights three nights a week, and in the mornings on Saturday. I lived in a perpetual
state of jet lag. It wasn’t as bad as it was a couple of years prior, because I wasn’t also taking a full
course load in college. But it certainly wasn’t easy. When you live at night, things “normal” people do you
have to plan well in adavance. Traveling. Going to the doctor and dentist. Meals.
That was also probably the summer I spent fishing. There wasn’t a lot else to do when you had two solid nights
to yourself, and those nights were Monday and Tuesday.
Grab the rod, grab a box of squid, wander out onto the pier to try to bring in something worth eating.
Instead, I spent a lot of time listening to the radio, sweating in the 80F+ humidity.
When I find my old OD entries later this week, maybe I’ll revisit.
Incredibly, if I’d been in a relationship, fathered a child, then, he/she’d be in middle school.
What is this? I don’t even.
Nov. 24, 2015, midnight
It’s the final Tuesday of the month. Do you care?
Not really, no. All it means, really, is that next Tuesday will be the first day I haven’t written in a month.
Although there’s still a few days left, I think I’ve proven to myself that I can still keep a commitment to
something sometimes tedious.
By the same token, though, the fourteen months I’ve spent in this horrible, very bad job indicate teh same
I’ve endured a lot in my life. Some of it deserved. Some of it undeserved. But all of it flavors my values,
who I am.
I can endure a lot; the quetion is why do I keep doing it? When will I get to do something that I really enjoy
professionally again? I’ve considered a lot lately, mainly to get out of my current situation, but should I go
do something else I really won’t enjoy, for very little money?
But one day of work left. I’m ready for a break.
25, 2015, midnight
*Thanksgiving is tomorrow in the US. Are you travelling? With whom will you eat? If you live
somewhere where they celebrated last month, describe what you did. glares North If you live somewhere where
they don’t celebrate, describe what you did on the most recent holdiay where friends/family/loved ones gather.
Not traveling, really. Going to my inlaws’ house, which is about twenty minutes away. So, it’ll be her
parents, her sister, her sister’s husband, and her grandmother. Since my brother isn’t coming to the East Coast
until Christmas, my mom is going to come join the festivities.
I think mom had originally planned to do the churchlady stuff, but most of that got cancelled after the preist
died a few weeks ago. :-/
Since my FIL keeps hours liek he lives on Central European Time, I think we’re eating at like 1400 Eastern.
Menu is kind of traditional Thanksgivng fare. Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean cassarole (which I found out
that my MIL strains the mushrooms out of the cream of mushroom soup since she doesn’t like mushrooms….yeah, I
don’t know, either). My mom is bringing a couple of pies for dessert.
As I mentioned, we’re basically not traveling. It’s been probably more than ten years since i went anywhere
out-of-town, and I’m okay with that. I’m not much one for trips these days, anyway. Some previous trips were
memorable. Others I’d just assume forget.
I don’t think there was a single Thanksgiving weekend I didn’t have to work when I was in radio. Part of the
job. I do miss it sometimes, but not terribly often.
Nov. 26, 2015, midnight
*The team that traditionally has had Thanksgiving football is the Lions. Write about
Detroit. Have you been there? Would you want to go back? Do you know anyone who is from there, originally? Would
you want to live there, yourself?*
This prompt was heavily-influenced by a recruiter I guess I ran off. He wanted me to work at one of the “Big
Three.” (The one that didn’t go bankrupt.) I was worried about going without a long-term gig. I was also
worried about being able to get to and from in “The D” not being able to drive a car.
Some of it is flavored by frequent TV; Red Eye on Fox News has a few somewhat-regular guests who are from
I’ve only been to the airport, which was a hub for one of the merged/bankrupted/gone US airlines. I’ve never
seen any of the inner parts of the city, though some of it looks pretty awesome. I have acquaintances who are
big into urban exploration, and Detroit seems like it’d be an interesting place to do that.
Places like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_Central_Station
Not that I’d be much for exploration, based on my limited mobility, but…. Maybe there’s a way that someone
could explore some of those old places with a drone….
Back to the prompt, I’ve been going through my memory bank, and I can’t think of anyone who was from Detroit, or
nearby. A few people from Michigan, but nobody from Detroit, specifically. That’s a bit surprising considering
how big a city it once was.
Would I want to live there? I don’t know. I think there’s a lot of potential in the old real cities, but the
people who brought endless miles of suburbia wouldn’t understand it. Everybody should have a 3,000 square foot
McMansion, and buy groceries somewhere miles away. And pay not a dime of Federal income tax as a result.
(Yes, I am a bit bitter that because I didn’t choose to enter into a contract I couldn’t afford in 2006/7, I
paid more in income tax in 2009 than I grossed in 2002…. Go south from Detroit, and you’ll see what a
wasteland a country that doesn’t have tax breaks for renting a house from a bank has… Still, all this is why
Hillary will be the conservative candidate in 2016, just as Obama was the conservative candidate in 2012. And
now watch as the hipster progressives’ heads spin around and around)
Would I want to live in Detroit, specifically? I don’t know. Maybe. But one of the other recovering big
cities might be better for me. Cleveland, Buffalo, Baltimore, even Philly…..
But it’s really not up to me. My wife’s career aspirations dictate. I know my days of going somewhere to work,
then enduring a commute home (public transport or not) are over. Oh well.
Nov. 27, 2015, midnight
*What places hold particular
allure for you; where might you like to live?*
Writing in the middle of the night, because I fell asleep during the Packers-Bears game, and am now wide awake.
(And also still uncomfortable from overeating today….)
This prompt is kind of related to yesterday’s; I think Detroit has a lot of potential. I think the same of many
of the “rustbelt” cities — Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, Twin Cities,
Milwaukee, Buffalo, some of the NYC boroughs outside Manhattan. (Aside: I still, and probably never will,
understand why Cleveland and Milwaukee don’t have NHL teams. Not that I have the least bit of interest in
hockey, but it seems like those would be two places that are natural hockey towns.)
Yes, that includes Brooklyn, even though I can’t grow a hipster beard or manbun. Hell, I’d even consider
something in northern Jersey if the right job presented itself.
Almost universally, these places are known as being cold. When I was younger, that’d have bothered me more. I
really don’t notice it as much anymore, though. I notice cold a lot less than I notice heat. Yes, this is
directly-related to the MS, but…. My mother is very concerned about me being under-dressed in cold weather,
Still, hypothermia seems less likely than passing out because I can’t breathe in the heat. I’m also very much
intrigued by cities that are good for living without a car. That I can’t drive anymore has a lot to do with
I find Southwest DC interesting for some reason. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest,_Washington,_D.C.
There’s also gentrification going on in Southeast. I’d still probably not want to live in Anacostia, but you
I do like Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia. If I manage to score a DC gig before my wife finishes school,
that’s probably where I’d look to live until she can come join me.
I mentioned NYC. Maybe I’ve got an idealized vision, but I know at least I could get around without a car.
I can get most places when I’m in Norfolk. When I’m at my mother’s, where I stay when I’m working, OTOH, I’m
nearly a recluse. I can’t go anywhere. sigh Even when I’m home on the weekends, though, I don’t have a lot
of energy to get around.
I think I might be settling down again, so I’m going to cut this off now.
I have to get up in a few hours to go get another flu shot. When I got the first one, it was the first day I
got Tysabri. Something about immunosuppressants killing a vaccine’s effectiveness. Go figure.
Nov. 27, 2015, midnight
*Thanksgiving leftovers. How
much? What did you do with them?*
I wrote this while watching a TV food show, obviously.
Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything you can do with leftover turkey that’s good. Sandwiches, reheated as
it is, etc., but….
Ham has a lot of potential, turkey notsomuch.
I think all we’ve got left now is some of my SIL’s pumpkin pie, which, again, doesn’t need any modification. Or
I apologize for the lackluster prompt. It happens. There’s two prompts left, so maybe I’ll do better, grow up
to be a division manager, drive a Dodge Stratus.
29, 2015, midnight
What are you most proud of this year?
This is a tough one, because I’m really not proud of where I am in a lot of areas of my life. A lot of it has
been happenstance, but I pride myself in my ability to adapt to the circumstances.
For this year, though, I guess it’d be dealing with my disease. I was in a tough situation early in the year,
then found that my doctors didn’t accept my new insurance.
My company’s insurance, which has zero local coverage, I’d declined, so I ended up buying a plan from the
Federal Exchange. Incredibly expensive; so much for affordable care. My primary care docs at EVMS, especially
Drs. Grant and Newman, have been so helpful in finding new specialists.
So, I got a new neurologist. She worked with me to find the best disease modifying drug for me. That ended up
being Tysabri. But getting to the point where I could take As a monthly infusion, with periodic blood tests,
Tysabri required me getting better with venous puncture.
So, I’ve done that. I’ve also worked faithfully, despite an incredibly bad work situation.
I could dig and find something else, perhaps, but I really don’t think anything would come close. Nothing’s had
a bigger effect on my life. I feel better than I have in I don’t know how long.
I wish I’d done a few things differently which would allow me to enjoy this newfound “health” more, but…
Nov. 30, 2015, midnight
*Today is the last day of the month.
Free write about the month, and your experience writing this month.*
Like so many things in my life, I don’t feel like I’ve had time to really concentrate on this. Even if I had,
it still probably would have been pretty disjointed.
This situation in my life isn’t working at all right now, and I’m exhausted.
What more can I say?
I got through this for another year.