Summer is almost over and I forgot to post my summer header pic. And it’s my favorite of all my header pics! So, for now, you won’t see a random header when you travel through the site (which mostly means reading individual posts). You’ll just see a boy enjoying his own summer in the best possible way—jumping into a stream. (Or any other swimmable water source. “Swimmable” is a real word. I’ve just made it up.)
Here’s the full picture (resized, because it is HUGE). It was a bitch to edit to fit the header dimensions.
I am a far cry from MCU’s (the Marvel Cinematic Universe) intended audience, being the wrong age and gender. Having grown up with DC’s Superman and Batman (from television) I knew very little about Marvel’s heroes. So when Marvel got into the movie business, I was a total newbie. And you know what? That’s okay. We neophytes serve a purpose, too, bringing a fresh perspective to the stories. When you know nothing about the history of Iron Man or Captain America, you get stories that are entertaining in their own right.
So, I’m not here to see a life-long interest brought to life. I’m just here for some good drama, good acting, and a good story.
This is why, after the third episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, I was lukewarm about the series. I didn’t understand what the “Flag Smashers” were fighting for. Or against? A little research tells me they are anti-nationalists. Yet their agenda for this series centers more on the fall-out from the “reverse-blip,” Iron Man’s finger-snap towards the end of Endgame that brought back half the world’s population after a 5-year absence. Gosh, wanting to get rid of half the world’s population seems pretty radical. And their motto “One world, one people” doesn’t really fit that scenario.
One writing goal for this year: write for an hour a day. The other writing goal for 2021: write a screenplay.
How do you read a novel? Do you skim through the words to quickly get to the next point? Do you savor each word or phrase for its meaning? Me? I’m a visual sort of person. So when I read a book, I tend to play a movie in my head.
For the past few years, I’ve been a part of the m/m romance community on Goodreads. I’ve never been a big fan of romances, so my interest in the gay subsection of the genre surprised me. I discovered some excellent authors and some really great books. A few of those books have stayed at the forefront of my mind. They are so entertaining and visually descriptive, I think they’d make terrific movies.
One of my very favorite books is a science fiction “space opera” called Dark Space. (I am a big nerd science fiction fan.) It’s written by Lisa Henry, an Australian author of gay fiction, who has become one of my favorite authors. I first read the book in 2018 and its sequel Darker Space became one of my “top 7 books of 2018.” (Dark Space would have made the top 7, but I had to limit my list to 7, and I liked the sequel even better.) In the summer of 2019, when I broke one leg and then fractured and dislocated the other—requiring hospitalization, surgery, and rehab—I re-read both books while in the hospital because I needed something to enjoy and savor.
The story is by turns funny, heartbreaking, and absolutely frightening. It’s entertaining on so many levels and told so vividly, it’s begging to be made into a movie. It won’t of course, because there’s little room (i.e., money) for gay romance in Hollywood. Hollywood might buy it if one of the main characters were female, but that would negate one of the main premises of the story.
Since it’s Sunday and I just got my second COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer—we didn’t get a choice), I thought I’d list a few things I’m excited to be able to do after a year of uncertainty. So, without further ado, here are:
7 Things I’ve Put Off for a Year
In-person doctor visits I’ve had a couple appointments via tele-medicine (and other health sessions via Zoom), but some things just need to be done in person. Like the dermatologist and blood work.
Get a pedicure Sandal season is just around the corner!
Have a glass of wine with my neighbor I’d hoped to get together this coming week, but the vaccine people told me I need to wait 2 weeks before I can safely hug another vaccinated person. Dang. I guess I’ll just have to drink that bottle of wine I bought to share by myself.
Get some junk out of my trunk house Those handy bins you used to see around town for donating clothes and shoes disappeared last March. So what to do with all the clothes I’ve bagged up? Supposedly Goodwill and Salvation Army are taking donations, but I’ve heard their schedules are iffy. A junk removal company may be expensive, but I live on the top floor of a walk-up. Besides, those strapping young lads will be able to take out some of the heavier stuff.
Call the plumber I have a few minor problems that need fixing. So minor that I decided I could live with them until I was vaccinated.
Schedule a contractor Sooner or later, I’ll want to move. And I need to fix up my condo before I can do that. Fortunately, I know who I want to hire, I just need to call him. I already told him ( a few years ago) that’s I’d keep him gainfully employed for a couple of years.
Get my taxes done No, I didn’t put off paying my taxes for a year. I’m just using it as an excuse for waiting until the last minute. Last year the feds gave us a couple extra months. However, Virginia did not give us a reprieve. And we have to file our federal and state returns at the same time. The only good thing was that Virginia’s deadline for income tax is May 31st. And yes, I delayed it until the last week. At least I’m consistent.
So there you have it.. Looks like it’ll be a busy spring!
(P.S. I’m trying something new with WordPress. I wrote this post on Saturday, Mar 27, but am scheduling it to publish on Sunday the 28th. You know, since it IS a Sunday Seven.)
The other day I was poking around the website, and what did I find? That I’ve written only one post per month for the past few months. Wow, that’s pretty awful.
Which leads me to contemplate my writing goals. It certainly wasn’t my intention to post just once per month. Granted, I didn’t have a specific frequency in mind (maybe once per week?), but I’m a far cry from whatever that goal might have been be.
It’s not like I don’t have things to say. I have plenty to say. Currently, it’s mostly political stuff. I’m not a great follower of politics in general, but the past few months have made me care very much about this country. In the wake of January 6th, I’ve pondered questions such as “What defines a patriot?” Then there’s my curiosity about whether we’ll see an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among Texans and spring-break participants in the coming weeks. And let’s not forget all the ways Congress sucks.
The problem is, whenever I try to write down my thoughts, the words fail me. Posts I’ve so eloquently organized in my mind just disappear. I envy people like Jim Beaver and K.J. Charles, who seem to be able to easily discuss even controversial topics in meaningful, intelligent ways.
How do bloggers do it? Not only provide content every day or so, but upload photos and other media with seeming ease?
I came to the blog today yesterday with the idea of writing a post, although I had no idea what to write about. Despite having 11 drafts, I’m just not inspired. Chalk it up to mid-winter and pandemic ennui. So I thought I’d spend some time organizing the website. Ha.
When I changed themes (last summer?) I created new stream-themed headers. But I had trouble loading them. Today Yesterday I decided to load one of a winter scene. Of course, the winter pic was one I hadn’t yet made, so I had to create it. That entailed resizing (not hard) and improving its general appearance. I’m not good with seeing optimum results, so I have to create several versions and decide which one is best. This photo entailed improving contrast and sharpness, both of which provide me with nearly infinite options. So it takes a long time for me to find those optimal results—and it eats into my writing time.
Then I screwed up and managed to “hide” all my headers. That required searching for a way to undo my mistake. The WordPress dashboard gave no option to “show” hidden headers. So I searched for an answer on the web, only to come up with nothing. Bummer. Through some trial and error I managed to show the one picture I’ve uploaded. So it will show on every page. I hope.
Eventually I’ll load more headers, but one is enough for now. As part of organizing my blog, I need to update several things. Like the copyright, which I first have to find. And categories and tags. And access to pages, which I’ve now realized isn’t obvious.
Perhaps I need to dedicate an hour or so to blog maintenance in addition to an hour to writing. But… but… it interferes with my game-playing. Yes, retirement is wonderful, with all its extra free time. But it can lead to an unscheduled life. And with above said ennui, that’s a slippery slope—which I have managed to slide down.
At least this stream of consciousness post (hey, it is the title of the blog!) has given me ideas for new posts: writing goals, retirement thoughts, and time-wasting games.
Now, if I could only find a picture to post. Ah, here we go…
Oh good God! How do I resize this damn thing? Once again WordPress has modified its dashboard and now I can’t find how to edit and resize this photo. (I finally gave up and resized it in my graphics program, but I still can’t find how to properly edit the photo, so it’s going out as is.) See? WordPress life is hard!
Now, if I can just figure out how to add categories and tags in the new interface…
There’s a movement called “The Last 90 Days.” The idea is to end the year strong, concentrating on October, November, and December to improve yourself—whatever that may be. Personally, I think it’s a gimmick to buy feel-good guru Rachel Hollis’ merchandise. Still , either with or without journals, checklists, etc., it’s a great idea since most of us wait until the New Year to improve ourselves.
Since I missed October and November, I decided to start in December and rename my foray into self improvement The Last 30 Days. Sure, December can be a tough month because of all the extra holiday doings we force upon ourselves. But there’s still room to be better, at least there is for me.
There are lots of things I have to do before I can move to my retirement place, wherever that may be. I was going to start with kitchen new appliances and living room furniture this year. The latter might not improve the resale value, but it will make me feel better, which will give me a sense of peace and encourage me to do more Then…
(Paraphrasing here, but not by much.) “Eradication of COVID-19 is the greatest achievement of Trump’s first term in office.”
What the fuck??? I don’t usually do political posts, but this just got on my last nerve. There is so much that’s wrong about this claim! Where do I start?
First of all, we’re still suffering from this disease, and I doubt that’s going to change by January 20, 2021. Nor will a vaccine be ready by then (and I believe that’s the only way we’ll be able to get rid of COVID-19). So, even if the verb was “will be” rather than “is,” the statement would still be erroneous.
But what makes this statement ludicrous is that Trump is the reason we’re in this mess in the first place. If he hadn’t put his head in the sand when the pandemic was making its way around the world, maybe we wouldn’t still be holed up so many months later. Oh, wait. He didn’t ignore the pandemic, he blamed it on the Democrats.
Now he makes fun of people who wear masks, even though many governments have made it mandatory—because it helps prevent the spread of the disease. Nearly a quarter of a million people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19, and the president thinks it’s a joke.
The good thing about being at a low point in your life is that there’s nowhere to go but up.
Fracturing my right fibula in mid-June last summer was inconvenient, requiring crutches for only a couple weeks. The biggest annoyance was that I couldn’t drive and had to use Uber to get to and from my doctor’s appointments. The bigger challenge came shortly thereafter when I dislocated and fractured my left ankle in two places. That required surgery, a week in the hospital, and follow-on rehabilitation. Losing Romeo only added to my despair. It was one of the lowest periods of my life—only two or three things have left me more devastated.
That was 13 months ago. One year ago I made the trek down 4 flights of stairs to visit the orthopedic surgeon for follow up. That may not sound like much, but it was. Partly because that trip also required coming back up the steps, by myself.
Living alone is hard when you’re physically incapacitated. There’s no one to help you with anything.