Why Can’t I Be Invincible, Too?

wear a mask, social distance, humor, Modern PhilosopherI’m beginning to wish that I could be invincible, too, Modern Philosophers.

I’ve given it a lot of thought, and the only reasonable explanation I can come up with for why people refuse to wear masks during a pandemic is because they are invincible.

I’m not sure how they attained that status, but if it is available for them, it had better be an option for me, too.

It’s like in grammar school when they teacher caught you sneaking a snack.  She’d scold you and say “I hope you brought enough for everyone”.

Well, there had better be enough invincibility to go around for everywhere, or I’m going to be really pissed!

Maybe this is my fault.  I’m leaning heavily on my Inner Introvert lately to get through this crisis, so maybe I missed the memo about Invincibility Testing.  I also ignore any calls on my cell from unknown numbers, so perhaps that was how people were informed about becoming invincible.

wear a mask, social distance, humor, Modern PhilosopherI try to be open-minded, but it appears to me that most of the non-mask wearing invincibles are Trump supporters.

Is it possible that he gifted his people with invincibility?  Is that why they are so loyal to him despite behaviors that prove Trump is more an insecure and belligerent brat than a caring and responsible President?

That would explain a lot to be honest.

Every time I leave The House on the Hill, a little voice tells me not to go because the virus and death are out there.  I try to get myself to stop doing that little voice, but it’s just a habit now.  I ignore the warning not because I feel invincible, but because I need to earn a paycheck, gather supplies, and not allow myself to become a paranoid shut in.

I also carry a mask.  If I’m just going to my car, there’s no need to put it on, but I know where it is for when I reach my destination.  If I’m going for a run, it’s in my pocket to put on the moment I see another person.

I hate to admit it, but I’m losing the battle to the paranoid shut in.  I never want to leave the house.  Last weekend, a friend tried to lure me out to go for a walk with her and enjoy the sunshine.  As much as I wanted to join her, I was too scared to say yes.

wear a mask, social distance, humor, Modern PhilosopherSure, Maine is the state with the fifth lowest  total of Coronavirus cases, and there have only been 8 cases in my zip code.  That being said, I’ve also seen and written enough horror movies to know that it’s the second you let your guard down that the killer gets you.  The more cocky you are, the quicker and more brutally you die.

When I’m out for a run, and I see another person approaching, I never wait to see if that person puts on a mask or crosses the street to avoid me.  I’m not playing chicken with COVID-19, Modern Philosophers.  I put on my mask and take the necessary precautions.

For the record, back in the early days of this, when I’d see another person, I used to turn around and run in the other direction.  Now I put on my mask, create as much space as possible between the invincible and me, and pick up the pace.  So that’s progress.

But I just don’t get the attitude of the other people who are out in public and don’t put on a mask when they see me coming.  For all they know, I could be hopped up on Coronavirus germs and about to sneeze when we cross paths.

Those invincibles are so damn cocky.  Must be nice to know that the deadly virus can’t touch you.  I wish I could have the same peace of mind.

It’s no picnic getting freaked out anytime someone comes a little too close, especially when they can’t bother to put on a mask.

I’d like to be able to accept an invitation to join a friend in an activity without having to calculate my likelihood of getting infected were I to do so.

I hate that the first thing I do every morning upon waking is swallowing so I can see if I have a sore throat.

wear a mask, social distance, humor, Modern PhilosopherAnd I really would love to lose that sinking feeling I get in my stomach every morning when they take my temperature upon my arrival at work.  It’s always normal, but that doesn’t mean I’m not worried that the thermometer will reveal a fever.

If I were invincible, I wouldn’t have to worry about any of those thing.

Why can’t I be invincible, too?

Posted in Fitness, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Smile Even When The Fish Are Fake

mood swings, humor, Modern PhilosopherOne thing I’ve noticed during this pandemic, Modern Philosophers, is that I have mood swings much more frequently.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Back in the old days, when life was normal, I often had a grumpy bastard filling hidden beneath an occasionally charming shell.

I know, I know…I come across as charming all the time, but that’s just the blog version of me.  In the real world, when I have to interact with people face to face, it’s hard to keep my inner grumpster under control.

When I say that more frequent mood swings aren’t a bad thing that’s because life has gotten to be so downright horrible that even the simplest things put me in a good mood.

The return of baseball was like the world’s greatest Christmas present, which I get to unwrap again every night when I sit down to watch the Yankees.

Recent offerings of free pizza and make your own sundae bars at work made me feel like I was the luckiest employee on the planet.

So I guess it’s a good thing to be so overcome by the doom and gloom of the daily grind that the littlest things can have a massive impact on my mood.

I’m glad that’s happening because life doesn’t seem to be getting any better on its own.  Sure, I’m willing to give it some time, but I’m almost to the point of calling it and setting the time lock on my basement bunker so the outside world can’t interfere with my happiness for the next year.

The one delay in that is working with the cable company to make sure I can still get reception once I lock the bunker’s impenetrable steel door.  After all, I can’t miss the Yankees’ games just because I want to prevent the world from raising my stress levels.

mood swings, humor, Modern PhilosopherThe other day, the perpetual motion machine that is my mood swing shot back in the positive direction after an unexpected journey to the aquarium.

I’m not a fan of water, but I really enjoy it when it is encased in glass and cannot possibly drown me.

I’m an even bigger fan of the beautiful creatures that miraculously manage to exist in an undersea world without drowning.  Watching them swim so effortlessly makes me envious, but then I figure they are probably pretty jealous of my ability to walk around with ease on the other side of the glass.

I had an aquarium after college, but it was a lot of work to maintain, and the pet store kept selling me fish with extremely short life spans.  So I didn’t have the aquarium for too long.

Truth be told, I much prefer admiring fish that are someone else’s responsibility.

The other morning, I posted the first two pics in this post to social media and shared my excitement about my surprise trip to the aquarium.

The photos earned a ton of likes as well as a bunch of comments from my friends asking me when I, the guy who won’t leave my social distancing bubble of safety, found the time to venture out to an aquarium.  Furthermore, they wanted to know where the hell I’d found an aquarium in Maine.

Do your friends ask so many questions as well?

mood swings, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt turns out that the fish weren’t real, but my smile and excitement were.

I might have been playing a little prank on my friends, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy to pose with those sea creatures.

My trip to the aquarium was actually a visit to one of the rooms at work, where we’d just had one of the audiology booths wrapped in an underwater image to make it look like a giant aquarium.

The under the sea look was meant to help kiddos be less apprehensive about having their hearing tested, but it also had a profound effect on this grumpy adult.

I guess you can say we’ve already gotten our money’s worth!  I’m headed back down to the basement bunker.  Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend…

Do you find that the little things improve your mood since the pandemic hit, or are you solidly locked in to a doom and gloom scenario?

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Drag Me Down The Aisle

flash fiction, short story, humor, Modern PhilosopherAaron and Holly sat across from each other on benches located on either side of the park’s once busy path.  It didn’t get as much use anymore, however, because people preferred to stay home and not deal with the pandemic that was ravaging planet.

They were able to pull down their masks, and let them hang around their necks because Aaron had determined that such behavior, though risky, was safe enough to take the risk.

And he had literally done the calculations to check on their safety.  He’d come down to the park with a tape measure to find the distance between the benches.  If they sat on the opposites ends of their respective benches, they were fifteen feet apart.

Other benches in the park, though still on opposite sides of the path, had less distance between them.  Yes, Aaron had measured the span between every bench in the place.

To write him off as a mere germaphobe and a worrier was an understatement along the lines of stating that the Coronavirus was just like the flu.

So the friends always sat on these benches when they went for a walk in the park.  Then, and only then, would Aaron give the all clear for them to lower their masks.

“You want to know the one bright spot of this pandemic?” he asked after taking a long sip of his Snapple.

A smile crossed Holly’s pretty face.

“You actually think there’s a silver lining in all this?” she teased.  “If I had to guess, I’d say that it’s allowed you to use your tape measure more often.”

Her smile only grew when he flipped her the bird from him side of the path.

“No, wise ass, although that has been fun,” he had to admit.  “It’s not having to worry about being invited to so many damn weddings this summer.”

Holly sipped her coffee as she let that sink in.  She was always amazed at how her best friend’s mind worked, and this was just another great example of that.

flash fiction, short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“We do know how much you love a wedding,” she chuckled.

“I believe weddings are excuses for narcissists and people insecure in their relationships to torture their friends.  My theory as to why I get invited to so many is because I’m single and have a steady job.”

Holly rolled her eyes as she normally did when Aaron was about to take off on a rant, but she always went along for the ride as they took her to the most entertaining places.

“Care to expand on that?” she egged him on, knowing full well he’d take the bait.

“Friends like to invite me to weddings to rub it in that they found someone, while I’m still a loser who’s not only single, but also can’t find a plus one for the wedding,” he explained calmly, but with a fire in his eyes that said this was coming from the part of his brain that controlled rage.

“We share a lot of friends, Holly, yet you don’t get nearly the same amount of invites.  That’s because you usualy have someone, and it’s always some really handsome and successful guy.  You and your date are generally more glamorous than the “happy couple”.  While I’m just ripe for the mocking as they put me at the crazy, awkward singles table and watch me squirm uncomfortably for several hours.”

Holly chuckled because, as usual, his rant had a logic to it that was difficult to argue.

“How does the steady job play into the equation?” she asked because she was bored and had nothing better to do than to listen to his rage.

It was like having free, unfettered access to the craziest podcast on the market, and she reveled in being his most loyal subscriber.

“Because they know that means I can pay the entry fee,” he growled.  “Not only do I have to sit there and have their relationship flaunted in my face, but I’ve also got to pay up with an offering in the form of a wedding present.  It’s like I’m an underling in organized crime, and I’ve got to kick up a portion of my earnings as a tribute to the boss.”

flash fiction, short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“And in this case, there are two bosses,” he continued angrily.  “One’s in a tux and the other wears a white dress.  What a scam!”

He lowered his voice and pulled up his mask at the sight of a runner appearing on the horizon.  He then glared over at Holly until she raised her mask, even though the runner was still twenty-five feet away and would quickly be past them.

If she wanted to spend time with Aaron, she had to listen to his rants and follow his extremely anal rules when it came to masking up against the virus.

Once the runner had passed, and was ten feet away (another Aaron rule), she lowered her mask and continued the conversation.  “Wedding gifts have gotten pretty expensive.  What’s with the items on wedding registries lately?”

Holly knew that a well thought out question would only inspire more ranting.

“You call them wedding registries, I call them hostage demands!  If you want to gain entry to the event you really didn’t want to attend in the first place, you’d better show up with one of the pre-approved items from the list.  If not, your experience will be even more horrifying than usual.”

Holly laughed out loud and almost dropped her coffee.  “You’re insane.”

“But I’m right,” he countered after a sip of Snapple so he didn’t go hoarse in the middle of his next rant.  “You know what I think?  If you really love someone, you don’t need a big ceremony and a giant party.  You go down to City Hall with two witnesses, and you do it in private.  Then a year later, if you make it that long, throw an anniversary party.  At that point, we’ll pick out gifts we think are appropriate, and stop by to congratulate you on making it 365 days without killing each other.  Because what’s the big change?  You were a couple with different last names, now you’re a couple with the same last name. Big achievement.  Way to go, guys.  You didn’t screw it up by making it official in the eyes of the law and maybe even your god if you’re people of faith.”

flash fiction, short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“Have you ever wondered if such strong opinions on marriage might be a major contributing factor to why you’re perpetually single?” Holly challenged with a smile.

“Never,” he replied without hesitation.  “I’m single because I haven’t found anyone who understands me.  I’m an acquired taste, and no one seem to have the proper palette.”

Holly finished her coffee, and placed the empty cup in the trash bin next to her bench.  When it had come time to choose who would sit where, and they always sat on the same benches since this had been decided, Aaron had offered her that bench because of his proximity to the trash.

Say what you would able Aaron, but he was a gentleman.

“Did you want to walk again, or were you not done ranting?” she asked politely.

“Of course I’m not done,” he snapped as if she’d asked the stupidest question ever.  “You know what I’d love to be invited to?  Apology parties.  That’s what I’d call the get together people would have after a divorce.  Friends could gather to roast the friend who’d just gotten divorced, the friend would have to apologize for putting everyone through the wedding, and then there would be gifts for the attendees.”

“You heard me.  We’d get gifts from the idiots who got married and couldn’t make it last until death as they’d promised in front of all of us.  Now I’d say the gifts would have to at least match the value of our wedding gifts, but we both know that’s never going to happen.  Divorce is expensive, which is another reason why you should never get married, so I wouldn’t expect the gifts to be pricey, but I’d want them to mean something.  They really should show that an effort was made to make reparations to those of us who had to suffer through the wedding.”

flash fiction, short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“I’m glad we never made one of those pacts that we’d marry each other if we were both single when we turned 35,” Holly informed him with a smile as she stood up and put on her mask to indicate she was ready to go.

“Why would I ever agree to something like that?” he countered as he stood and masked up as well.  “I’d never put our friends through such torture.”

“That’s why I love you,” she quipped.  “I’d give you a platonic kiss on the cheek, but that’s a Code Red Social Distancing Violation that would earn me two weeks of quarantine.”

“I’m so glad somebody gets me,” he smiled under his mask and then fell into step six and a half feet behind her to begin their walk home.

Posted in Humor, Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Baseball Is Finally Back!

Yankees, baseball, humor, Modern PhilosopherAfter months of bleakness and depression, during which I was out of work, cut off from the rest of the world, and fearing that I was going to become yet another victim of the pandemic that has been spreading unencumbered across the planet, I finally had a reason to smile, Modern Philosophers.

Baseball is back!

I know that in the grand scheme of things, the return of a sport shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but it was most welcome news at The House on the Hill.

Anyone who has met me or read this blog knows that I am a devout Yankees fan.  I was at Game 6 of the World Series when Reggie hit his three homers, I got married on the same day as Game 1 of the Yankees’ first World Series appearance in fifteen years, and some of my happiest memories of life in New York involved being at Yankee Stadium or watching Yankees games with close friends.

I’ve been an introvert almost as long as I’ve been a Yankees fan, and those two interests complement each other so well.  My plans for this weekend revolve around the Yankees’ TV schedule for tonight and tomorrow.

Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees, baseball, humor, Modern PhilosopherThere’s nothing I’d rather do than sit home and watch the game.  Not only do I love baseball and my team, but it’s also a great distraction for my ever running mind.  I love listening to the announcers talk about baseball, strategy, and Yankees history.  I’m constantly calculating statistics in my head.

Having the game on in the background is the best company when I’m writing.  And when I want more company, I turn to my friends on Yankees Twitter.  If you are a Yankees fan, but aren’t a part of Yankees Twitter, you need to correct that.  It’s a great group of fans, who know way too much about my favorite team, and no one is afraid to share an opinion.  Plus, they’re always tweeting out clips from the game, which is perfect for the nights when the Bronx Bombers aren’t on TV in Maine.

Thursday was Opening Day, and the Yankees played the Washington Nationals.  I woke up that morning like a kid on Christmas morning.  For the first time in ages, I looked forward to going to work because it meant I was that much closer to leaving work to return home for the game.

Of course, the return of the Yankees means the return of baseball snacks!  I was even willing to set aside my anxiety about going to the grocery store during a pandemic in order to pick up treats for the game.

I don’t need a team of leading scientists to tell me that there is a direct correlation between yummy food in my tummy and a smile on my face.  Throw the Yankees into that mix, and it will chase away all the dark clouds.

Yankees, baseball, humor, Modern PhilosopherSpeaking of leading scientists and dark clouds, both made an appearance on Opening Night.  Dr. Anthony Fauci threw out the first pitch, and massive storm clouds brought rain.

Because it wouldn’t be 2020 if something that made me happy wasn’t cut short.

Sure, the rain caused the game to be called in the sixth inning, but that could not wash away my happiness and excitement at the return of baseball.

As for the game, the Yankees won.  Aaron Judge, my favorite player, got the Yankees’ first hit of the season and scored the first run.  Giancarlo Stanton hit the first homer or the season, a monster shot that drove home Judge with the first run.

And Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ big name free agent acquisition of the off season, picked up the win with five strong innings that proved he will be the ace the Yankees needed.

Maybe the best part of it all is that I get to enjoy the games again tonight and tomorrow.  The cupboards are stocked with baseball snacks, and watching the game alone is the best way to social distance.  If I want to feel super safe, I can always wear my Yankees mask.

Gerrit Cole, Yankees, humor, Modern PhilosopherWe need to find happiness in anything we can right now.  These are challenging times, the pandemic shows no sign of releasing its grip on our nation, and I don’t trust the man in charge to lead us out of danger.

I’m going to put my trust in the Bronx Bombers to lead me out of a state of despair and to a World Series Championship.

Hope is the light that can urge us forward during the darkest times.  My hope is that the Yankees will remind me that life is still enjoyable and only going to get better.

Are you excited that baseball is back?  What is keeping you going during these challenging times?  Does your favorite team have a rabid Twitter following?

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sometimes When I’m Bored…

life, humor, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherMy mind is almost always going a mile a minute, Modern Philosophers.  Deep Thoughts are flashing from one synapse to another, and my brain is like a pinball machine as creative ideas bounce around seeking to grab my full attention while my mind tries not to tilt.

I don’t sleep well because my brain doesn’t want to take a break long enough for me to drift off to Dream Town.

Even though I’m a certain first ballot inductee into the Introvert Hall of Fame, I am rarely without something to do in my lonely existence.  There’s always a story to write, a book to read, miles to be run, a TV show to watch, or an unplanned misadventure to be had.

That’s why I’ve yet to crack during all this stay at home time forced upon us by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The House on the Hill is a monument to tackling a lonely life.

Sometimes, though, I get bored.

Like right now.  It’s a lazy, humid Sunday.  The skies are threatening rain, but have yet to deliver on that promise.  If they would, I could busy myself by sitting out on the porch and watching the storm.  That’s always a real one man crowd pleaser.

life, humor, philosophy, Modern PhilosopherBut there’s something out of the ordinary going on today.  I can’t focus.  I’ve sat down several times to work on my novel, but have only been able to crank out a couple of pages.  I’d love to spend time with my characters, and get lost in their world, but I can’t quite find the portal I usually pass through in order to escape.

I tried going for a walk, but it’s too damn humid.  I wound up trimming branches off the giant bush in front of the house.  I have this one neighbor who likes to complain when it flowers enough to extend out to the sidewalk.  For some reason, she can’t figure out how to step a couple of inches to her left to avoid the impediment and continue down the street.

I sat out on the porch and read for a bit, but the story didn’t hold my attention.  The library has been closed for months due to the pandemic, so I’ve been forced to dust off old books I’d put in storage because I didn’t want to read them years ago.

Amy Pond, Doctor Who, humor, Modern PhilosopherI watched an episode of Doctor Who.  It was one I hadn’t seen from Amy Pond’s first season.  And we all know how much I love Amy.  She really is so beautiful.

Because I can’t focus, however, Matt Smith’s rapid fire delivery of lines mixed with his accent and all the scientific mumbo jumbo that goes over my head, left me dazed.

Yes, I did smile and come out of my funk every time the camera found Amy, but then it felt like a Dalek had marked me for extermination every time it cut away from her.

Finally, I just busted out the laptop and decided to write a blog post about my boredom.  Sorry if this isn’t as exciting as my regular posts, but I simply cannot get my brain to play along and do creative things.

Sometimes when I’m bored, I take photos of the figures on my desk in funny poses.  Like in this pic, where Han Solo and Doc Brown demonstrate the importance of wearing a face covering when going out in public during a pandemic:

Han Solo, Doc Brown, masks, humor, Modern PhilosopherI know those face shields are a little too large for the guys, but they were willing to be a little uncomfortable if it meant keeping other people safe.

If big time heroes like Doc and Han can tolerate a little inconvenience, why can’t you?

Sometimes when I’m bored, I pretend that an innocent thing from everyday life is somehow linked to a famous event from pop culture.

Take for example, this photo from a morning run earlier this week.  I posted it on social media with various witty captions about how I’d stumbled upon the final resting place of The Blair Witch…

Blair Witch Project, Maine, humor, Modern PhilosopherSometimes when I’m bored, I like to keep checking my blog to see if anyone has read and commented on my recent blog post.

Any guesses as to what I’ll be doing once I post this one?

What do you do to pass the time when I’m…I mean…when you’re bored?

Posted in Humor, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Georgia Governor Looks To Turn The Walking Dead Into A Documentary

Georgia,Zombies, humor, Modern PhilosopherI don’t even know what to say anymore, Modern Philosophers, about people who refuse to wear a mask during a pandemic.

I mean, I know what I want to say, but this is a family friendly blog, so I can’t use the sort of language that feels appropriate.

Apparently, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp really likes what he sees when The Walking Dead shoots in his state because he appears intent on turning the hit show about the Zombie Apocalypse into a documentary.

Of course, I’m assuming Kemp understands that the show is fiction.

Then again, with the way the Coronavirus numbers are surging in Georgia, he might think those Zombies he sees on the streets are actual Georgians who will not be able to vote for him in the next election since one must be alive in order to cast a ballot.

Kemp, Trump, masks, humor, Modern PhilosopherGovernor Kemp, shown here demonstrating how the brain dead wear a mask in the presence of their overlord, decided to sue other leaders in his state for trying to enforce mandatory mask wearing rules.

What the #$%^ is going on in Georgia?

The Governor of Georgia is suing the Mayor of Atlanta and other leaders for trying to enforce rules that make wearing a mask in public mandatory.

I had to type that out again just to make sure my use of symbols to cover up my foul language was appropriate.

I’m not sure whether to be infuriated, or to weep over how stupid people in this country have become.

This week, it was all over the news that Trump and his cronies were trying to throw Dr Fauci under the bus and blame him for the government’s mishandling of the pandemic.

Is it sad that I totally expected this to happen?  It’s become the norm of this administration to blame others, fan the fires of discontent, and take absolutely no responsibility.

How else could wearing a mask, the one thing that could help curtail the spread of a virus that had infected over THREE MILLION Americans, have become a political issue rather than a public health/common sense/basic decency issue?

Trump, wear a mask, politics, Modern PhilosopherAll the fingers of blame should be pointed at the very stable genius in this photo who isn’t wearing a mask.

I’ve got to say one positive thing about Trump, though.  The man was a visionary when he came up with the Make America Great Again battle cry.

The only problem is, he was four years too early with it.  Yes, we have to make our country great again, but only because of the damage he’s inflicted upon it over the past four years.

Maybe if he would just act Presidential for like two minutes and tell the entire country to wear masks, this part of the national nightmare could finally end, and tens of thousands of lives could be saved.

The second part of the national nightmare would then end on Election Night…

Perhaps he could sway the cult of the anti-mask to stop being so closed-minded, selfish, and just flat out stupid long enough for the country to hold on until there’s a vaccine.  And if he can’t, maybe he could use his Pied Piper-like hold over the anti-maskers to herd all of them into a large holding area (dare I suggest he build a wall around them???) where they can infect each other, but not the rest of the country.

It really is simple.  The CDC says that wearing a mask is “A critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease.”  Furthermore, CDC Director Robert Redfield stated, “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to stop and slow the spread of the virus, particularly when used universally within a community setting.

But let’s turn the conversation from the boneheads misleading our country, to someone who is leading by example.

Clint Frazier, Yankees, humor, Modern PhilosopherClint Frazier is one of my favorite Yankees.  He is also a very polarizing figure among the team’s fan base.

This week, Frazier announced that he is going to wear a mask during games.  MLB has not required players to wear masks for the season that begins on July 23, so he is doing this by choice.

Frazier said he wanted to set an example, and this decision has made me like Red Thunder even more.  He mentioned that he’s taken some heat for it on social media, which again, has me wondering what the #$%^ is wrong with people?

Good for you, Clint!  Thank you for making this choice and setting a proper example.

Maybe this is why kids look up to athletes and not politicians…

wear a mask, stay safe, Modern PhilosopherOne again, I implore you to wear a mask when you go out in public.  Even if you hate it, or you feel like it’s an affront to your personal freedom, try to think of it as an unselfish act that will help get things back to (somewhat) normal again.

Can’t we all agree that’s it better to live, and be slightly uncomfortable or frustrated, than it is to die arguing over something that quite possibly contributed to your death and the death of numerous people around you?

Call me a sheep all you want, but I’m going to do what the experts say has the best chance of keeping me alive.

And of keeping the Zombies from trudging unencumbered down the streets of Georgia…

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Driving With My Head In The Clouds

Monday, work, humor, Modern PhilosopherIt was a typical Monday, Modern Philosophers, which means I returned to The House on the Hill beaten and exhausted after a long day in the trenches.

Rather than just wallow in my basement bunker as I wondered why people still refused to wear masks to stop a pandemic, I decided to do something to shake up the mundane Monday.  I turned to writing, my favorite escape and a brilliant weapon for fighting a case of the Mondays.

It wasn’t like it was a horrible day.  It was just Monday.  You know how it is.  The labor elves sneak into the office over the weekend, and mischievously pile mountains of work on your desk so it’s there to greet you when you arrive.

Today’s mountain took me longer to scale than usual, and I don’t think the heat and humidity helped the situation.

Despite my blah day, I did notice two exciting things, and I figured that was probably just enough around which to craft a surprise Monday blog post.

I woke up excited to drive to work.

Not because I wanted to go to work, mind you.  I knew the damn labor elves would have left their gifts behind for me.

I was excited because I wanted to get behind the wheel of my new ride.  How crazy is that?  I hate driving, but suddenly I wanted to rev the engine and take to the streets.

Monday, work, humor, Modern PhilosopherSpeaking of my new car, here is a better photo of Ravioli II.

Isn’t she kind of bad ass?  I like the redesign of the front.  Makes it look tougher, as if it wants to find Snow Miser on a dark, snowy road and knock him miles into the woods.

I spent most of the drive trying to figure out what all the buttons on the steering wheel did.  I’m sad to report that none of them made the car fly.  That was disappointing.

I took side streets home today, but tomorrow, I might go a little out of my way just to let her get a decent workout on the highway.  After all, a healthy car is a dependable one.

The other thing I noticed was that the cool clouds had returned.

I cannot wrap my brain around why I’m so obsessed with clouds lately, but these ones made me think of Bespin.

They have since brought some much needed rain to the neighborhood, but before they did that important work, they were nice enough to pose for some photos for me…

Monday, work, humor, Modern PhilosopherMonday, work, humor, Modern Philosopher








Monday, work, humor, Modern Philosopher



Monday, work, humor, Modern Philosopher





So that’s about how my day went.  I worked, I drove, I lost my head in the clouds.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a Monday if you really think about it.  And the cherry on top of this bizarre sundae of a Monday is that there’s ice cream waiting in the freezer.

I guess the lesson here is that life is what you make it.  You can just order off the menu and take the same old Monday that’s served to you every week, or you can create your own sundae on a Monday and better enjoy yourself.

I’m rambling now, but I’m in a much better mood now that I’m in writer mode…

What’s your favorite weapon for battling the Mondays?

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Ravioli II: Long May She Reign

humor, cars, money, Modern PhilosopherAs promised, Modern Philosophers, I have returned with Part 2 of the story about Saturday’s wild adventures.

Loyal readers know that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of driving, that I haven’t had good luck with cars, and that I once suffered from a paralyzing fear of driving in snow, which can be a total drag when one lives in Maine.

Especially when you factor in my ongoing feud with Snow Miser…

Those problems were solved to a large extent three years ago when I turned in Zombie Car and leased a brand new RAV4.  For the first time in my life, I had a dependable vehicle that could properly get me through a Maine winter.

Of course, I also had a car payment for the first time in my life.  That was a whole new type of stress, but I was happy to deal with that rather than white knuckling it through yet another blizzard.

Ravioli, as I dubbed my car, made my life so much better.  Honestly, being relieved of the stress of winter driving totally changed my life.  I had no idea how horribly it had affected me until I no longer sweated through the week before a snowstorm in anticipation of having to drive in it to get to work.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.  The meanies at Toyota only let a lease run for 36 months, and my time with Ravioli was about to expire.

humor, cars, money, Modern PhilosopherAnd, yes, this end of lease scenario during a pandemic had been gnawing away at the stress apex of my brain for the last few months.  Would the dealership be open for me to deal with this issue?  What if they sent a Repo Man for the RAV in the middle of the night and left me without wheels?  Would there be new cars to lease at a time when most of the country was still shut down?

Obviously, I’m incredibly resourceful, Modern Philosophers, when it comes to finding new things about which to stress.

Ironically, it was a bit of bad luck with the RAV that might have saved the day.  For the first time in three years, a warning light illuminated on the dashboard.  I had no idea what it was, and was forced to pull out the owner’s manual to discover it meant there was an issue with the tire pressure.

A quick trip to the dealership revealed that it was open, but that inventory was very low.  A call to the nice salesman who helped me with my first lease confirmed that the pandemic had led to a shortage of vehicles and an increase in the monthly lease price.

Oooo, more things to cause anxiety and stress.  I was in my natural habitat.

I made an appointment to look at what was in stock and discuss my options.  I still had a couple of weeks until the lease ended, but I didn’t want to leave this to the last minute and find myself having to walk to work every day.

Sure, my inner runner made an argument for running to and from work if I had no other option, but I could just picture my coworkers complaining about all the sweat.

So after I finally dried off from yesterday’s run in a downpour, I headed to the dealership to try to get a better understanding of where my stress levels should be.  I did go with a positive mindset, however, because I cleared out the RAV and brought the spare key.

In the back of my mind, I was driving out of there in a new lease.

When I arrived, I could find only one 2020 RAV4.  It was a decent color, so I was willing to consider that as my next set of wheels.  Unfortunately, someone else already had dibs.

humor, cars, money, Modern PhilosopherMy salesman reported there were no other RAVs on the lot that he knew of, but he’d do some quick research.  Before he left, we talked about other options.   The best one being to pre-order a vehicle from the Toyota site and hope that it could be delivered before my lease ended.

He then told the story of a woman who pre-ordered a car, had to wait three weeks for delivery, and it still wasn’t really what she wanted, but she took it out of need.

When I asked why vehicles were in such short supply, he said it was because the factories had closed due to the pandemic, and then for the longest time, trucks were not allowed to transport product across state lines.

After a long absence, he returned with exciting news.  A RAV4 had just been delivered, was out back still wrapped from the truck, and needed to be put through a safety inspection.  It was mine if I wanted it, but it would be about an hour before it would be ready for a drive.

He suggested I head out back to see if I liked it.  I know it might sound silly to some, but color was important.  After always having white cars, I was a big fan of Ravioli’s being midnight blue.  I didn’t want another white car because they’re impossible to find in the winter once all the snow falls.

I checked out the red one, loved it, and agreed to come back in an hour.

humor, cars, money, Modern PhilosopherIt was more like two hours before the car was finally unwrapped, inspected, and ready for a test drive.  In this time of pandemic, when my anxiety levels about getting infected were off the charts, I was thrilled to know that no one else had test driven the car.

When they brought the car around for me, the seats were still wrapped in plastic.  I was in heaven.

Let me tell you, Modern Philosophers, I’m not what you would call a “car guy”, but the 2020 version was a very awesome upgrade from my 2017.

I’m not going to bore you with details, mostly because I don’t what what any of them are, but there is this cool, huge touch screen on the dash that controls the music.  And that comes with a free trial of Satellite Radio, so I had some choice tunes blasting during my test drive.

I felt like I was flying when I was on the highway.  It was such a smooth ride, and I was zipping along at 65 without even realizing I’d increased the pressure on the gas pedal.

Ravioli II had me wrapped around her finger before I’d made it back to the dealership.

It really was a no brainer.  I needed a car, I felt safe behind the wheel of a RAV, and the red looked really cool.  Don’t you agree?

RAV4, humor, cars, Modern PhilosopherI thanked Ravioli for her years of loyal service, and now I’m looking forward to the Reign of Ravioli II…

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A Madman Running Into A Storm

running, health, fitness, humor, Modern PhilosopherAnyone who knows me either in real life, or via my loquacious online persona, knows I am an introvert, who hates change and making any sort of major decisions, but truly loves running in the rain.

As a result, today was a very challenging one for me, Modern Philosophers.  So much so, that this might require the first ever serialization on my blog.  There is a good chance you will have to come back tomorrow to see how this story ends.

When I set out for my run today, the sky was dark with storm clouds, and it was obvious that rain was imminent.  Since I don’t like change, I wasn’t going to deviate from my routine and put off my run until the weather cleared.

Besides, running in the rain is my jam.  Not only does the steady patter of the raindrops soothe me, but the nasty weather also keeps other people off the road.  That really pleases my inner introvert.

Because a storm was brewing, I decided to run along the river again today.  I’d had good luck with that on Thursday, taking a chance and hitting my favorite path for the first time in months, so I figured I’d go for a repeat performance because no one else would be stupid enough to be out in the rain.

Now I’d heard something on the news about a tropical storm passing near Maine.  I wasn’t really paying attention, though.  I think the storm’s name was Faye, Hazel, or Esmeralda.  Definitely a name I’d associate with a grandmother or a maid from a 50s sitcom.

Before I’d even covered the fourth-tenths of a mile to the river, the skies had opened, and the full, merciless wrath of Tropical Storm Grandma Housekeeper had been unleashed upon the poor fool who enjoyed running in the rain.

running, health, fitness, humor, Modern PhilosopherI was drenched, Modern Philosophers.  Soaked to the skin.

I looked like I had gone for a swim in the river, and then poured another hundred gallons of water over my head.

I’m not sure if this picture does it justice, but I’m drowning a little inside because the rain had seeped through my skin.

That photo was taken at the very start of the path.  I wasn’t even half a mile in, and already, I’d absorbed more water than Aquaman after a night of sleeping with his mouth open on the ocean floor.

Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t like change.  I see deviation from my routine as a horrible character flaw for which there is no excuse.  I run every Saturday morning, so the run had to continue, even if that meant I was a madman running into a storm.

At least I was right about there being no one else around.  If you ever want to ensure proper social distancing on a run, head out into a downpour.

It was raining so hard that the path flooded and left me no option but to run through the mini lakes that had formed on the blacktop.  Ten hours later, my sneakers are still soaked.

When I got to the little tunnel along the route, I paused to get my bearings.  And to try to wring out my clothes.  And wipe off my glasses so I could see again.

running, health, fitness, humor, Modern PhilosopherAfter a quick assessment, I realized that the storm was not letting up, there was no way I could get any wetter, and I might as well just keep running.

As I sit here now, dry and safe on my couch inside The House on the Hill, I realize that my brain was drowning and could not perform basic functions.  Had there been even an ounce of rational thought inside my thick, yet saturated skull, I would have turned around and headed home.  I would not pass Go.  I would not collect $200.  I would not stop several times along the way to take more photos of my great underwater adventure.

But this creature of habit, by now an amphibious creature of questionable genus, just kept running.  Spurred on by the steady, squishy sound from my waterlogged socks, I set a pace and took full advantage of the Shower Feature supplied by the tropical storm whose name I still can’t remember.

The one silver lining in the unrelenting storm clouds was that I completed my deep sea adventure in very good time.

Normally, I’d joke that I don’t need a shower after running in the rain, but I couldn’t wait to take a warm shower.  It was the only way to ensure I’d cleared away all the sea life that had clung to my sweaty body during my run.

running, health, fitness, humor, Modern PhilosopherSome of you might foolishly ask if I’d learned my lesson.  Clearly, you’re the ones who don’t know me very well.

I will definitely still run in the rain if Mother Nature tries to interfere with a regularly scheduled run again.

And that wasn’t even the end of my Saturday adventures.  To find out what happened next, come back tomorrow!

To be continued…

Posted in Fitness, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Uncle Sam Wants You To Wear A Mask

Uncle Sam, Independence Day, humor, Modern PhilosopherHappy Independence Day, Modern Philosophers!

I know it’s not the same since you’re stuck at home, the fireworks have been canceled, and a pandemic is sweeping through the nation and killing your fellow Americans, but try to remember what it is we celebrate today.

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear on our nation’s birthday: America wants to live to celebrate another birthday.

So wear your damn mask when you go out in public!

Uncle Sam wants you to wear a mask.  Don’t mess with the dude.  He might look old, but he kicked King George’s ass, so he won’t have any trouble with yours.

And before you go into your whole prepared speech about how Independence Day is about having the freedom to choose not to wear a mask, let me just stop you and tell you not to be a selfish prick on the day that celebrates our independence from an oppressive, close-minded ruler.

Do you really think our forefathers fought the Revolutionary War just so that the new nation they created could be wiped out because you won’t put a cloth covering over your mouth and nose?

They were willing to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs.  You are willing to sacrifice the lives of others for your belief that not all men are created equally responsible for wearing a mask to help stop the spread of a pandemic.

Trump, wear a mask, humor, Modern PhilosopherI know you’re just following the lead of your beloved President, who tells you that you don’t need to wear a mask, and that wearing a mask would make him look weak.

Haven’t you figured out by now, though, that your President doesn’t care about you or the country?  He just cares about himself and how much he’s liked.

Trump is like a babysitter who only cares about being popular.  He needs the kids to love him, so he lets them have ice cream for dinner, allows them to stay up late playing video games, and encourages them to throw shit off the roof because he thinks that’s funny.

When the parents gets home, he grabs his money, revels in the adoration of the kids, and then splits before he has to deal with the fallout of what he allowed to happen.  Then he expects the kids to tell other kids how awesome he is so he gets more babysitting gigs.

Stop thinking like a spoiled kid strung out on sugar and planning for the next night of video game debauchery.

Instead, try to approach things like a mature adult who isn’t so self-centered.

Put on a mask when you go out in public.  Stop picking on and cursing at the poor employees who are just doing their jobs.  Stop acting like the world revolves around you.  Stop emulating someone who is just using you to line his pockets and get re-elected.

Fourth of July, wear a mask, humor, Modern PhilosopherAnd, yes, you do have the right to do whatever you choose.  That doesn’t mean you’re right if you choose to put your needs before the health and welfare of the rest of the country.

I hope you choose not to be a selfish prick, and force Uncle Sam to kick your ass…

Posted in Holidays, Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments