NoJoMo 20

Now that you’re two-thirds of the way through, write about whatever you’d like. Will you finish this year? When have you done this previously?

You know, there’s not a lot I really want to say right now. That’s probably okay considering how few reads I’m getting. My opinion is rather unimportant, I suppose.

Most of my coworkers are confused by my facial hair this month. One of the senior NCOs did get it, however. “Movember!”

So, what else… Writing, I normally throw things into a draft message, which I can access from anywhere, and never send. If it accidentally does get sent, it goes to another of my email addresses. Not that I’m particularly trying to hide what I write (obviously, I wouldn’t be publishing it on my shitty blog, PB, if I was….), but the Intertubes are so locked down I don’t have much of a choice. I can type away as thoughts come to me.

Will I finish? Pretty sure I will, considering there’s only ten days left. I started doing this in 2010, right after I was diagnosed. Getting sick certainly helped me focus on writing again. I can sit back, shut my eyes, and pound out whatever I’m thinking. Please to be excusing the typos.

When I’ve gotte through each, I’ve felt a sense of accomplishment, I suppose. That I could still dedicate myself to something. As my health’s continued to deteriorate, that’s been important. I’m not ready to hang it all up. I think I still have places where I can contribute. Can I work like I did when I was in my twenties? No. Are there other things I prioritize? Certainly. Do I need a lot more rest than I used to? Absolutely.

And, obviously someone else thought so, too, today. I applied for a job last week. Twice referred, twice not. Nothing says sense like the Federal Government.

But I’ve written enough for today. Ten more to go.

NoJoMo 19

Have you ever been to a foreign country? List the ones you’ve visited, and what you remember about them?

Considering my dad was stationed in Germany for six years … is a pig’s ass pork?

Let’s try tro get through the list, in no particular order.

United States
The Netherlands
United Kingdom (England)
Czech Republic

Then there’s the ones I barely remember; should I even count those? Actually, come to think of it, though, France almost falls into that category. In the days before the EU, France had a really stupid visa policy in effect at the border. If you were an American coming across, you needed a visa (which tooke about two weeks to obtain, and cost like $15.). We toured things like The Somme before they put htat policy into effect. My parents went back a couple of times, but I never did as a kid. I guess the EU has pretty much fixed that sort of thing.

I also wrote a joke in there. Since I can count the number of people who are reading these on two fingers, I hope it’s enjoyed.

NoJoMo 18

Have you started your holiday shopping? Any idea what you’re going to get people?

My holiday shopping has been rather significantly affected by my seven months without any income. My wife’s picked up a few things for folks, but, no, I’m nowhere near finished.

So, the rundown that I can remember….

  • Help buy a gift card that’ll go towards a new computer
  • Gift card to ____ ___
  • Various Amazon gift cards
  • ???

At the same time, all I really want to do is spend some time with my wife. This year’s been so unhappy and hectic; just ready for it to be over.

NoJoMo 17

~o/When I was seventeen/it was a very good year/o Write about seventeen year-old you.

Seventeen year-old me had a lot more zits, and smoked a lot more tobacco. He also drank a lot less alcohol. My old OD entries start at around my twentieth birthday. , so even they wouldn’t be a lot of help. By that time, I was working in radio, no longer with high school girlfriend, etc..

At seventeen, I started my first “serious” relationship.

I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, really. Where did I want to go to school? What did I want to study? Do I believe in God?

Some answers came quicker than others.

But I graduated high school. I got accepted to most of the colleges I applied to. I got threatened with disinheritance if I accepted the offer from Ole Miss.

I didn’t help form babby. I didn’t get in trouble with the law, mainly because I did very few things tghat were against it….

I was rather dull, if you8 ignore the zits. And bad hair.

I guess I do have to wonder what I might have done differently if I’d known I was going to get sick.

But I can’t dwell on those. Maybe there’s some things that I would have done differently, but, overall, I think I made the right choices for the situations.

NoJoMo 16

What’s the best place for brunch in the city where you live? When did you last go?

I wrote this prompt thinking of a couple of places I went in DC. Norfolk doesn’t have anything close, really, unfortunately.

I blame a scarcity of real restaurants, along with Virginia’s backwards alcohol laws. (Thank you, DPVA for keeping ABC around!)

I think my pick is probably No Frill Bar and Grill. ( There have been some others that were decent, too, but nothing standing out like Belga Cafe in DC. Mmm. Beer and waffles. Stupid Flanders.

People in Virginia Beach will be surprised to learn that there aren’t leftovers to use making brunch from those plastic bags at Max ^ TGRobyChilibees.

We haven’t been to brunch in awhile. This summer, sometime, maybe? That’s easily attributable to my health, employment (or lack thereof…).

With the prompt out of the way. I could rap a bit about what’s ahead for me this week. It’s another week interrupted, as I’m not working Tuesday, on account of a visit with the white coats. Next week, of course, is Thanksgiving. Then….?

NoJoMo 15

Of which libations do you partake? When were you last drunk? What’s in your glass now? What will be later?

There’s nothing I really favor in particular, though I will say I don’t drink very much wine. To me, it tends to be about appropriateness with whatever else I’m going to eat or drink along with it. The chances of me having a glass of chardonnay with a steak are pretty low. Lower, still, would be having a glass of chardonnay with a black fly. Is that ironic? (

Last night, I had a gin martini, then a beer as dessert. (

I really don’t remember the last time I was drunk. I don’t like getting completely sloshed. With the frequency with which I drink, there’ve been a few times where I’ve cut myself off, but, completely blitzed? It’s been a long time. Maybe Shmoocon 2010, where I spent most of the night on the nice cold bathroom floor in the hotel room?

Since I went to prison, my consumption has dropped considerably. I don’t have my own fridge, or stash, or …. Listening to my young coworkers discuss what they’re drinking also serves as a deterrent. Bottle service at a casino, and you ordered Vodak? Really? (And I’ll skip the whole rant about vodka being unfinished gin.)

Nothing’s in my glass right now. There is Coca-cola in the can next to me. I think if i was drinking before 8:00 Eastern, someone might say I have a problem.

This afternoon/evening, I’ve been kind of craving a Manhattan, after hearing the pols talk about Kentucky Bourbon. (Obligatory: RAND PAUL)

NoJoMo 14

What are your plans for the weekend?

Since my wife is getting close to the end of the fall semester, I’ve been informed I’m probably going to be ignored quite a bit. I’m okay with that; I’ve been ignoring her while I’m up in jail.

1. Unwind. Really, this job is seriously kicking my ass. I can’t sleep when I need to. I’m tired all the time. Being in what is essentially a prison every day isn’t working for me. Hell, prisons might have more sunlight piped in than this place does.
2. With number one, Drink. I seriously want a Manhattan. And beer. With what I asked my wife if we had leftovers in the freezer for dinner, red wine might enter the equation, too.
3. Watch football. Not that there’s any games I particularly care about, really, but, it’s what I do.

Please excuse the griping about work. I know; I should be happy to have a job, etc.. I’ve heard it all before. That said, I really wish the twenty-some agencies I have outstanding applications with would get around to making a choice before I try to bite hard on another contract slot.

I used to think the four-letter was horrible; it looks like a cakewalk, now. And, maybe, those oh-so-awesome anger management classes they made me take have paid off. Or I’m just out of my element, and don’t know for sure that the things I’m being told to do are wrong.

NoJoMo 13

Now that we’ve talked about being sick, what medications and/or supplements do you take? Why do you take them?

Oh, let’s see….

Morning: Tecfidera, Lisenopril, Prevacid, Vitamin D3
Evening: Fiber, Tecfidera:
As needed: Ibuprofen

I really don’t have a lot to say today. I’m tired, and my body is doing strange things. Nothing too out-of-the-ordinary, but still strange. Almost feels like a cold coming on. Maybe it’s just the weather.

The weather is getting cold. I could really go for a strong beer to make me feel relaxed, warm.

NoJoMo 12

Did you get a flu shot this year? Describe the last time you really had “the flu.” I’m really looking for the real flu.

Yes, I got my flu shot. My primary care is provided by faculties and residents at Eastern Virginia Medical School. I guess they get some sort of boost someway for making sure their patients get shots every year.

I started being seen there just as I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. When the resident I was seeing kept urging that I get a shot, I waited until I had a chance to ask my neurologist. Essentially, his take on it was that, yes, I want to get the shot, not the nasal thing.

Every year since, I’ve gotten a shot. Anything I can do, as a patient, to help, maybe?

I don’t remember the last time I had the flu. Probably when I was a kid. I know I had something similar in 2008, where they gave me sizzurp (

But I don’t know if that was really the flu.

NoJoMo 11

Today is Veterans’ Day in the US, and Armistice Day everywhere else in the civilized world. 2014 is the hundredth anniversary of “the great war.” Write what you know about World War I. Do you have any relatives who served in the military? Anyone currently? Do you have to work today? Go to school?

Oh my. I was trying to figure out what I should write about, here. I’m glad to see World War I getting attention this week, again. It still affects so many things in the world. I heard someone say that it really wasn’t over until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. While I initially agreed with that assessment, look at what’s gone on with the “Arab Spring,” and other places in the Middle East.

So many of the things going on are due to division of the spoils between the British and the French during and after the war. Why is Iraq even a country? Syria?

But, back to the prompt. At least one of my great-grandfathers was an Army officer during World War I. My great grandmother had some interesting stories about how pretty much everyone in his Company went and married during their time (a week?) between training and deployment to France. They were married nearly fifty years.

Neither of my grandfathers served in World War II, both being too young. Both were in the Navy in the late 40s. My maternal grandfather left the reserves after my mother was born. As a merchant mariner, my paternal grandfather was still a reservist during Korea.

My dad turned down an appointment to the Merchant Marine Academy, in favor of an Army ROTC scholarship. I found out, recently, that this was part of the rift between them, and played a role in my grandfather’s absence at my parents’ wedding. I didn’t notice that until a few years ago, when my wife was looking at photos my maternal grandfather had.

My dad was commissioned in the Army right at the end of Vietnam, and served until 1997, retiring as a Colonel.

As for relatives, the only one who is currently serving is my sister-in-law’s husband, who is in the Navy.

As for me, I earned an Air Force ROTC scholarship in high school. Since I didn’t have perfect vision, they weren’t going to let me fly. They were also going to select my major for me. Yes, I had some influence in the selection, but the decision ultimately would not have been mine. After four years of ROTC, I would have been expected to serve four years active duty, but they could have extended that to eight. When I finally got off active duty, I would spend four years in the reserves.

Because of my dad’s active duty status when I graduated, finding an undergraduate school was odd. I was technically a Mississippi resident, but I’d been born in Florida. I tried to get in-state tuition at several Florida schools. The only one that approved me was the University of West Florida, which considered me in-state on account of their proximity to my Mississippi address. They didn’t have Air Force ROTC. Florida State, who’d accepted me, had Air Force ROTC, but wouldn’t give me in-state tuition.

So, as a seventeen year-old kid, I’m looking at paying more as an out-of-state student than taking something here in Virginia, where I qualified for in-state tuition because my mother had worked for two years…. I wasn’t exactly amped about devoting the next sixteen years to the Air Force. So, off to CNU, and try to win an Army ROTC scholarship. Of the around seventy cadets, I think one got a scholarship. Since it was apparent that I wouldn’t get one, I left ROTC as a sophomore.