Monthly Archives: April 2018

From Rebecca: Time alone in the apartment

Joe is writing alone today while I write this post from home, and my husband Darren had an appointment this morning, so I had a few hours by myself in the apartment. Because of our schedules, this is an unusual luxury for me. The whole place is mine!

I got up, took a shower, made coffee, and ate cereal as normal. Then I spent the rest of the time watching shows that Darren doesn’t like. First I enjoyed Father Brown on Netflix streaming and then I watched The View on ABC. I haven’t been able to watch The View much in a decade or so, though I have watched it off and on since it began in 1997. Where we live, it is broadcast opposite The Price is Right, which both Daren and I love, so that is what we usually watch together – with the exception of a segment or so when he is in the shower.

It is a little embarrassing that my ideal plan for time alone is watching television, but there you go. Darren and I have shows that we both like and watch together, but we also have shows that one of us likes and the other one doesn’t. I go to bed a couple of hours after Darren, and that is when I usually watch stuff that he absolutely doesn’t like. Darren gets up a couple of hours before me and he can watch stuff I really don’t like, though he has time alone in the apartment when I am at work or on Sunday afternoons. It is a system that works for us, for the most part.

On another subject, I met Joe’s new cat Princess Josie yesterday. She is bigger than I thought she’d be for some reason, though obviously still a kitten. She took a great interest in my shoes, and in my armpit – in a way that reminded me of Keekee because she did the same thing. PJ also tried to get on the work table we set up with the laptop on it, but we had to stop her; that is a habit we don’t want her to get into, in case she accidently erases a day’s work with one paw on the keyboard.

Joe left me a voicemail message earlier, saying that he has written a lot today with the voice recognition program. He also remembered that he might have promised a short story for his blog readers as yesterday’s entry, did I remember that too? I looked up last Thursday’s post, and sure enough he did promise that. Joe does like to finish a post with a promise for next week’s content, and then by the time the next week is here he has another topic in mind. Oh, well. The short story, based on a dream Joe once had, is written and might need one edit, so it will be posted here one day soon. Stay tuned.

Next Wednesday Joe will be back with a blog post. Until then, as he would say, take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Advertisements

New kitten finally came out to play

Greetings, readers. Last Friday my new kitten arrived and for the first three days and nights all I did was hear her. She would come out in the cover of darkness, use her cat box, and eat a little something. This is the only way I knew she was okay and hadn’t died of shock from moving into her new home. On Monday, my friend Tasha from work, who gave me the kitten, came over to my place and bridged the gap between scared kitten and new owner. Once Princess Josie was placed on me, and I pet her and gave her the first little kiss on the head, all has been right with the world since.

Princess Josie has been very active, exploring her new world. Yes, she gets into a little mischief now and then, but the pink crate, which was also given to me by Tasha and her mother, is a perfect time-out penalty box. It has been most effective. (While I was taking a phone call just now, Rebecca was wrestling with P.J., trying to keep her off the work table and computer. P.J. in now sitting in said penalty box. Don’t worry, readers, I will not give the cat a complex.)

Here is a picture that Tasha took on her phone of me and the new kitten. I must say, she is very photogenic.

Joe and his new cat Princess Josie

Notice her pretty brown eyes. I believe she is Bengal or a Bengal mix. At only nine months old, I’m sure to have many great years with her, filled with love, affection, and cuteness.

On to other topics, I’ll be taking a personal day tomorrow, to try out my new summer writing schedule which goes into effect in about two weeks. I’ll be working my fast food job through the Penn State graduation weekend and I will go back right before the students return in mid to late August. Also … finally the warmer weather has arrived. Though not hot by any means, it is at least warm. I can dig it. When I can go to work in my hoodie and leave the down coat behind, I’m a happy camper.

Lastly, this is my therapy week, I’ll see my therapist later today as a matter of fact. I’m going to make certain to bring my computer with me to show off the picture of her royal highness, Princess Josie.

Before closing, I just have to end with a funny for the day. I was watching YouTube videos of funny fails and I saw a little two-year-old girl happy and smiling while her daddy was flipping the channels behind her. All of the sudden he stopped on the news channel with President Trump talking. The little girl turns around, looks at the President, starts to cry and says, “No, no, no.” I laughed so much.

Tomorrow Rebecca will either have a new entry or a re-post for you, and we will be back together next Wednesday. I hope you all have a great day, take care, and as always, happy reading.

A small apology and top ten list of my summer plans

Greetings, readers. Before we begin the top ten list for today, I must apologize for not having the short story ready that I mentioned in yesterday’s entry. I wanted to use my voice recognition program while I sat at the computer with my coffee and breakfast. Wouldn’t you know, my back decided to choose this morning to go out. Back to bed I had to go with all lights off. What a pain in the grass. I’ll definitely try to post the short story either over the weekend or next Wednesday.

Now for the top ten list of things I’m going to do this summer. As I mentioned before, I have been granted the three months off from my fast food job beginning right after the Penn State graduation weekend. These are the things I am going to try very hard to accomplish before the end of August. Here we go.

#10. Take walks and get in better shape. [Even though I am not overweight, I have been having heart problems, and more exercise in the fresh air is always good for everybody. I think I can handle two loops around the block.]

#9. Not watch as much TV or YouTube videos. [When I’m in Maine, I do not have a TV. I’m very limited to my entertainment and I actually like it that way. I think for the summer, I’m going to imagine that I am in a woodland cabin by the lake. I think that will reduce stress and allow me to do a lot of writing.]

#8. Clean out my walk-in hall closet. [I’m going to need some help for this one, but I know where I can get it. This poor walk-in closet is my third, fourth, and fifth room. I’ll leave how much stuff is in it to your imagination. Lots of stuff I have in there I wish to keep, unfortunately not all of it is going to make the cut. I must trim it down by half.]

#7. Take back my bedroom. [Oh, dear readers, I’ve been trying to do this one for years. I take three steps forward, and slide five steps back. Keeping it nice is a never-ending process. With time off from my fast food job though, and with family coming in June, I should have plenty of time and motivation to get it at least company acceptable.]

#6. Eat better. [I found a couple of places within walking distance that serves healthy food. There is a Chinese restaurant close to where I live, and I think that all those vegetables can give me all the vitamins and minerals I am lacking. Also, The Corner Room at the bottom of the hill serves complete dinners. Man cannot live by ice cream and blueberry muffins alone. Lol.]

#5. Write short stories. [As mentioned yesterday, I have several story ideas on all four burners. I just need to turn up the heat and get them cooking. Again, the proper amount of uninterrupted time and relaxed atmosphere should do the trick in providing a writing frame of mind. The voice recognition program will help a lot too.]

#4. Train the new kitty. [This one goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. Tomorrow a new chapter of my life begins as kitty cat Princess Josie comes home. Of course KeeKee will always be remembered and loved, but I need a new support animal, and I think P.J. will fit the bill just fine. Of course, I’ll have to show her where the litter box is and teach her what she can and cannot scratch. Everything I don’t want chewed my first day out of the apartment will have to be put in the bedroom with the door closed.]

#3. Rest my feet and knees. [As I’ve told my co-workers, I’m not trying to be a wimp here, but I think these three months off will do wonders for my feet and knees. I’ll gladly trade-off a sore behind if it means plenty of pages written.]

#2. Get Four’s a Crowd published and selling. [This is a project that has been going on for several years and we are one proof away, I think, from having it ready to click for sale on CreateSpace.com. We have to find a way to publicize it though, I don’t want this new book to falter and drown like my books have.]

#1. Go to Maine. [I am reserved my cabin and am obviously planning to go to Bear Spring Camps again this summer. My week away from central Pennsylvania will recharge my batteries and get me ready for another year. It always seems to do that.]

Well there you have it, the top ten list of things I will do this summer. I’d like to thank everybody for the 21 views of yesterday’s post. Very encouraging. I hope you all continue to enjoy the blog. Until next week, I bid you a wonderful weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Hodgepodge day and review of new Lost in Space

Greetings, readers. Much to talk to you about today. First of all, I have asked for and been granted time off from my fast food job for the summer. I talked to my manager two days ago and she okayed it. I’ll be off from May 7th until the third week of August. I asked Savannah if I will have a job to come back to after all that time. She smiled and said of course. That gave me a good feeling inside. I must still be a valued employee (I say modestly.)

What will I do with this time off you might ask. I’m going to sit my behind in a chair and write, write, write. I have three or four ideas on the board already and am anxious to flush them out and start the first drafts. My days will go something like this: Get up early, have my coffee while I wake up slowly, do some computer fishing on Fishing Planet, and after breakfast put on the thinking cap, as my dad used to say, and begin writing.

For tomorrow’s blog entry, if possible, I will try something new. I have an idea for a short story based on a recurring dream of mine. I’m going to relay that dream to you and have that be the blog entry for tomorrow. I think you will find it fascinating.

Switching gears, what happened to my summertime? We had 82 degrees F four days ago, and yesterday looking out the restaurant window, we had snow squalls and wind. Welcome to central Pennsylvania in April. Luckily I was able to get back up to my apartment from the bus stop without slipping or sliding. Low 50s are forecast for today. That’s better than a high of 25 I’ll tell you; I think we just got spoiled. Heck, even the crocuses were up.

On to another topic on this hodgepodge day. I watched all ten episodes of the Netflix reboot of Lost in Space. I went into it expecting it to be horrible. It is fantastic. Most of it was shot on location in the Vancouver area, which provided stunning scenery. I was also most impressed with the development of the characters. They stayed much closer to Irwin Allen’s original family idea than the 1998 film, except that John and Maureen started out distant and almost divorced; they grew closer as the season went on. Penny, Will, and Judy were right on the mark, and I was happy to see that Judy was a doctor, not just blonde eye candy as in the 1960’s series.

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know what happens next, skip this paragraph. At the end of the last episode, Jupiter 2 is pulled through the black hole and comes out in a completely different alien solar system. They are now truly lost in space . . . which does lead me to believe there will be a season 2. END OF SPOILERS.

When I first saw the trailer on Netflix for a reboot of Lost in Space, I thought to myself, oh boy, that will be a 2 out of 10 at best. My final score for season 1: a solid 8 out of 10. If you liked the series in the 60s, you’ll like this. Check it out on Netflix streaming.

Update after publication today: Also heartfelt condolences go out to the Bush family on the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush. She was a wonderful lady, and she will be missed by the world.

That’s my news for today. As stated before, tomorrow will be a short story as the blog entry. I think you will like the change of pace. Until then, take care, think spring, and as always, happy reading.

Hold music that puts us to sleep

Greetings, readers. It is Muzak to the rescue. Yes, dear readers, it seems like every time you call somewhere important and only have time to speak to a human being, you get put on hold after the automated beginning of the call. Today I had just such an experience. In between the automation and the person who was going to help me, was the music. Muzak, I suppose, or a service like it. I’ve heard many instrumental songs on hold over the years, some peppy, and some dang-near put me to sleep. Today’s was somewhere in the middle.

I vividly remember a decade ago, calling a doctor’s office with a specific question. This was before doctor’s offices had web-pages, and everybody had to call in with their questions. I was on hold for one hour and twenty-five minutes . . . with the same song, over and over and over. For a while I actually contemplated, when the person picked up, beginning my conversation with, is this your idea of torture? But they would not have known what I was talking about. Suffice it to say, it must have been a very important question, or I would have hung up after twenty minutes. Waiting is not one of my strong points. But yes, this doctor’s office had one song on a loop that repeated every two minutes or so. I couldn’t put the phone down, because what if they answered right at that moment? There is a scene for a comedy show for you.

Back when I was a little boy, my parents and I would visit big cities, and go into elevators in hotels. Muzak was there too. The music must have been from the older generation, because I remember my mother starting to whistle to it, and I didn’t know any of the songs.

In waiting rooms for dentists, doctors, etc., Muzak can still be heard. I suppose these offices can purchase a subscription and have the music beamed in by satellite. No commercials and no local ads, just music.

Today I’ve got music choices such as Spotify and iTunes. I can listen to the real recordings from the original artists any time I want to. But when you are out and about in a doctor’s office, in an elevator, or on hold on a phone call, you listen to what they are playing. If that is two hours of the Carpenters, let’s hope you like the Carpenters.

One song that must be on Muzak’s top ten list is “Fly Me to the Moon.” Do I like the song? Sure. Do I want to hear a crackly muffled version of it? No. But like every time you get put on hold, you take what ever music they play. It beats having dead air for so long that you think they have hung up on you.

I just had to rant and rave today about this topic (dictated on a Wednesday for publication on Thursday) because I had to make an important phone call and had to waste ten minutes of my day listening to Muzak. As soon as I got off the phone, I said to Rebecca, there is a good blog topic for ya.

That’s it for this one. Please leave a comment on Facebook or down below with your Muzak experiences. Take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Things to do before the new kitty cat get here

Greetings, readers. One week from today my new kitty cat Princess Josie will come home. She was supposed to arrive this Friday, but there was a slight delay. Actually that’s all right with me because I was not too keen on getting her home late on Friday afternoon and having to go back to work Saturday morning. That would’ve left her all by yourself in a strange place; not exactly the ideal situation.

This week I’m going to go to Target and pick up such things such as food, kitty litter, treats, and other feline supplies. At some point before next Wednesday, I’ll have to go to Wal-Mart to pick up a new litter box. I will gladly accept all the chores that come with owning a pet. I’ve already been imagining the new routines we will form.

I’ve not decided if P.J. will have the whole run of the apartment just yet, or whether I’ll keep the bedroom door closed to allow her to get used to the place one area at a time. I am planning on getting a cat bed, which is something I did not do for Keekee. If Josie wants to sleep on me, she may do so. We’ll see if she takes to her bed.

On to other news now. I am still debating on whether or not to take the summer off for my fast food job. I don’t want to lose the money, but my feet are hurting me more and more. I know I shouldn’t complain. I know everybody’s feet hurt. Perhaps it has something to do with my cerebral palsy, but at the end of the day I feel half crippled. When I first started almost a year ago, I was told by family and friends that my feet will adjust, and won’t hurt so much. Well, I have yet to see any improvement.

I was told by one of my managers that lots of folks from work read my blog. So, after today, probably more than one person will know I’m thinking about taking time off. If I did take the summer off, I would use it to rest my feet and write. I have family coming in about a month from now, so if I decided to take time off, it would be between May and late August. I would come back for the Penn State football season and the beginning of the new school year. If there was no job waiting for me when I returned, that would be my own fault.

Finally, I’m going to undertake a massive effort today and tomorrow to clean up the apartment and take care of chores which are long past due. I must tend to my banking, and pay off a bill. With my short-term memory issues, making a written list of everything I must do is going to be essential. I’ve got a notepad just the right size for such a list. I also need to stop at the pharmacy to see if they have a pill splitter. My new heart medication must be taken a half tab at a time. Here I was slightly overdosing two days in a row. I’m glad I caught my mistake early.

That’s going to be it for today folks. More tomorrow. I’m not certain whether Rebecca and I will get together for work here in the office, but either way I will dictate the blog entry via the speech recognition program, and Rebecca will edit it. Until next time around, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

New kitty cat coming next week and other news

Greetings, readers. A week from tomorrow I will be bringing my new kitty cat home. While I miss my Keekee terribly, the Princess Josie era is set to begin. Keekee crossed over rainbow bridge in late January. Why do I feel guilty about getting another support animal? I shouldn’t. In my estimation, I need a living thing to come home to. I’ve got Keekee’s remains in a nice box placed where I can see it. I know she can’t see me … but yet I still feel guilty. Is this normal?

I even started to think about all the cute phrases I used to use with Keekee, such as, ”Do you want your dinner, would you like a treat, or it’s time to go nappies or sleepies?” I’ve convinced myself that I should use different phrases for Princess Josie. Perhaps I could use goody instead of treat, or din-din instead of dinner. Am I just being the silly?

Keekee lived to be 12 and when I get Princess Josie here, she’ll only be six months old. I hope to have at least a dozen years with my new kitty. That will make me 64 years old. My point being, P.J., as I’m going to call her, I do believe will be my final pet. When you have a pet as a youngster, first of all you might think it will live forever. Secondly, even when you know of death, you figure you have many more chances to have pets.

On to other news. My heart has pretty much been behaving itself, only giving me a few irregular heartbeats over the last few days. I’m going to get my new medication from the pharmacist this afternoon. That should solve the problem permanently. I decided yesterday that besides taking this medication, I’m not going to worry about my heart anymore. I’m going to let it do its thing, and I’m going to live my life; to do the things I want to do and that’s that. That might sound a little irresponsible to some people, but my point is, I’m not going to be afraid to live. I’m going to get up early, walk to the bus stop, do my job, as stressful as it might be sometimes, and do all the other things that involve daily life.

Before I close, just a brief word on the JMK Gaming Channel. I found out that I’m really only able to put new videos on my YouTube channel about once a week. This irks me. To have a successful YouTube channel, one must put videos up more often than that. I might have to readjust my morning schedule to accommodate my channel.

That’s it for today, readers. I bid all of you a great weekend, do take care, and as always, happy reading.

My stress test results and ice cream

Greetings, readers. I don’t mention this often, but I am Catholic, and for Lent this year I decided to give up my comfort food. Yes, I gave up ice cream, for a little over six weeks. To my surprise, I actually didn’t miss it nearly as much as I thought I would. In some ways, I felt better.

One oddity took place though. My irregular heart beat began just about the time I gave up ice cream. Is there a correlation there? I’m not a doctor and I couldn’t begin to tell you. I mentioned that to my cardiologist and I seem to recall him saying that he couldn’t figure how that would tie in.

Speaking of the old ticker, I still get a couple of irregular beats now and then, but things seem to be improving. My stress test actually went well. I was able to walk and even jog on their treadmill. I felt like the Bionic Man. I was hooked up to a gazillion leads, getting my heart rate up to at least 150. When the nurse said okay we could stop now, in a panic I said, “Please slow it down slowly. If you just stop the treadmill, I think I will go flying.” I was extremely happy to be put back on the examination table, and I could hear my heart in my ears. I’m quite certain it hasn’t pumped that hard in years. For your chuckle for the day, my idea of exercise is walking to and from a bus stop, plus any lifting of boxes of sauces at work. After the test, they told me my heart was absolutely normal. However, my doctor is going to put me on a five milligram medication to see if it will stop the irregular heart beats. I’m perfectly fine with taking another pill. I’ll just add it to my morning medicine cabinet. Even though the heart is fine, those occasional irregular heartbeats do freak me out. Prayers or good thoughts, please, for a favorable outcome.

Finally, a friend of mine turned 40 years old today. God do I feel old. Let me explain. I’ve known this lady for many years and we’ve been friends for most of that time. When I saw on Facebook this morning that she hit the big 4-0, I felt like the big 9-0 … even though I am only 52. Isn’t it funny how time flies. There is a theory going around that time appears to be speeding up. I have news for you readers: Time is constant but older people just have less of it. Even though I think of myself as a kid at heart, I have to realize that if I’m going to make my splash in the world it had better be soon. The clock is ticking.

Rebecca and I will both be here tomorrow as usual and we will have another interesting blog topic. Until then, I bid you a great day, take care, and as always happy reading.