I need to just not leave my house anymore

Today, mythical wife and I went out so she could find some holiday decorations for the house.  As it is our child’s first holiday season, she felt it was important that we make the house somewhat festive and relevant to the seasons, and I’m okay with that idea.

While we were driving to our destination, you’d think there was no pandemic still going on, based on just how slam-packed the shopping centers and surrounding streets were.  Parking lots getting backed up, because the access roads were being congested by the volume of cars getting stuck at lights, causing this colossal domino effect of typical traffic that I’m appalled but not surprised is going on given the whole pandemic thing that’s supposed to be encouraging people to be staying home when necessary, but we are in the midst of the holiday shopping season, and coronavirus or no, people are absolutely out and about.

When we got to the store, naturally my daughter shit her pants in the car, as is the usual routine, and it seems apparent that for the first years of her life while she’s still in diapers, that I’ll have to build in an extra ten minutes to any car ride at all, to account for the inevitable deuce that happens like clockwork whenever we go anywhere.

But anyway, when we got to the store, it took all of five seconds of being inside of it, did I spot the first no-maskers milling about, acting like nothing at all was wrong with ‘Murica and the air they breathed was as clean and pure as it probably is at the highest altitudes of the Appalachian trail.  Not long afterward, their shithead sons joined them, also wearing no masks, and the feeling of disgust immediately began bubbling up within me.

And while we were there, this one family was hardly the only cluster of people not wearing masks, and I saw several other individuals and families also shopping sans masks.  The ones that bothered me more than the no-maskers were the people who were wearing masks; around their necks as not on their fucking faces, obviously having said “I wore my mask to avoid scrutiny coming in, but now that I am inside, off with it until I’m reprimanded.”

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How easy it can be to forget

During lunch, I ran out to run a few errands.  It was a beautiful fall afternoon, and cool enough to where it was appropriate to wear one of the numerous hoodies that I own because I like hoodies.  I drove out of my neighborhood, admiring the beauty of fall leaves and colors everywhere, and the gratification in knowing that my own property no longer needed to be raked anymore, due to my hard work.

I parked my car, and popped the hatch and grabbed the garbage bag full of baby clothes that I was going to drop off at Goodwill.  I was two steps walking towards the building when it hit me that I wasn’t wearing my mask yet.  Annoyed at the brain fart, I set the bag down and quickly retrieved my mask from the driver’s seat console and put it on.

Eight months into the global pandemic, and here I am forgetting to put the mask that all people with a modicum of intelligence and/or courtesy make mandatory of themselves.  It’s like, the day felt so pleasantly ordinary for 30 seconds that I forgot that we’re still in the middle of the aforementioned global pandemic, and the dreadful reality that there’s literally still no end in sight.

Scary how the world can look and feel so ordinary, so back-to-how-life-used-to-be, but still be the arena where an easily-preventable but still devastating disease is always wafting around all over the place, indiscriminately waiting on some idiot with no sense or too much freedom to latch themselves onto, and keep the cycle of spreading alive for yet another victim.

Such a reality check was enough to reel me back from feeling pleased with the weather to feeling the need to be weary about the people around who may or may not be as CDC-compliant as I try to be with myself, and that the world is still a scary fucking place.  It’s scary just how easy it is to forget it sometimes.

New Father Brogging, #028

I was at a Target the other day, and while we’re checking out, I hear this little girl at the in-store Starbucks, ordering a caramel macchiato.  Now I think Starbucks’ caramel macchiatos are definitely tasty, but the thing is that this girl was like, ten years old.  And a Starbucks caramel macchiato probably has ten times the sugar and caffeine that a grown-ass adult ever needs in one sitting much less for a ten-year old twig of a girl.

Basically what I saw was a future Karen in the making, with a child already having developed a penchant for froufrou Starbucks coffee drinks, and for her own sake, it was good that the espresso machine was down, but I’m surprised that she or her completely disinterested looking dad didn’t demand to speak with a manager, and she walked away saying she was good instead.

One of my dreams now is to one day sit with my daughter in a coffee shop and have some coffee together.  However, seeing as how I would prefer for her to not start drinking coffee until she is like 17, that’s going to be a ways from now, but I’m willing to wait it out as long as I don’t risk stunting the growth of my daughter and/or make her a slave to caffeine as much as her dear old dad is.

A sad reminder of how much I miss the gym

A week ago, I ran 13.1 miles to fulfill the obligations of the Disney Dine & Dash Wine & Dine Half Marathon that mythical wife and I signed up for months ago.  We were itching for redemption to run it this year, as we had to bow out the year prior with lots of sour grapes on how runDisney handled it, because of a little unexpectedly quick turn around on pregnancy, but we signed up for it in 2020, thinking we would have our opportunity to redeem ourselves as well as introduce our little one to her first Disney trip.

Among other things ruined on account of coronavirus, this too was denied to us again for a second year, but we opted to stay registered and run our half marathons virtually.

Mind you, in spite of having obligations of a half marathon, I’ve basically been living on auto-pilot for large swaths of the year, and I hadn’t really done any proper distance training leading up.  I run regularly, but only around three miles per run, mostly for maintenance and health purposes, and not necessarily with a distance goal in mind.  Regardless, because I was planning on doing run/walk, I was still confident that I would be able to pound out 13.1 miles without killing myself.

Sure, some preparation probably would have made things easier, but I did just that, and finished my half marathon’s distance without dying.  I admittedly hit a wall a little faster than I had hoped, and by mile 10 I was running out of gas pretty quickly, and my right calf was telling me that it was very unhappy with my choices in life, but I still finished, and under my goal time of 2 hours and 30 minutes to boot.

I figured I would be in pretty rough shape afterward, seeing as how such was usually the case whenever I’d done any prior 10K or 10-milers in the past, with training, but the following day, it was nothing more than the atypical tender quads and achy ankles, leading me to be quite satisfied that I wasn’t a complete train wreck of a physical specimen after having not been to the gym in literally eight months.

A day ago, as is something that always has to be done this time of year, I went outside and raked leaves, as I have three very large trees on my property, and therefore have a metric fuckton of leaves to have to rake.  It was a massive pain the ass last year, as I had but a cheap wire rake that I had procured from Amazon, so I decided to not be a cheapskate and get myself a real, effective rake, even if it meant that I had to leave my house and go to a Home Depot to buy one. 

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I want to like this more, but the jokes

Impetus: Thirty years after WWF Wrestlefest is released in arcades, some company announces the release of RetroMania Wrestling, the “official” sequel to WrestleFest

As the title of this post says, I really want to like and be excited about this game more than I am, but there are just so many jokes and snark to unleash and get out of my system before I can resign myself to the fact that I’ll still probably impulse purchase this on Steam so that I can play with my brother and my bros.

When I was a kid, I loved Wrestlefest.  I almost always picked the Ultimate Warrior despite the fact that by then, I was already well on my way to being one of those contrarian mark types of wrestling fans and was a by far bigger fan of Mr. Perfect than I was the Warrior, but the cheapskate cheesing kid with very limited quarters didn’t like the fact that Mr. Perfect lacked many power moves, but most importantly the ability to drop a body slam, so there was no way to get cheap easy eliminations with Mr. Perfect when playing in the Royal Rumble mode.  One of my fondest memories of this game was being a such a master button masher, that no matter the fact that I had zero health in a Royal Rumble match, I would still kick out of every pinfall attempt, and I ended up outlasting two other human opponents, with me winning the rumble after back dropping the last human player out.

Hell, even as an adult, I loved Wrestlefest, and I installed Mame and got a rom of Wrestlefest, it was basically the greatest thing on the planet, that I could now play one of my favorite arcade games ever, with basically unlimited quarters, since credits could be added with the press of buttons.  I dabbled with all other characters I didn’t want to waste money with when I was a kid, and realized that the best player in the game was Sgt. Slaughter, who not only had good power moves, but an automatically initializing submission move in the cobra clutch, that anyone slapped into it had like a 20% chance of actually not tapping out of.

Needless to say, you’d think I would be over the moon that when a “sequel” was announced, I’d be more excited about it, especially since at first blush it’s basically the same game, just with different characters, settings and some modern polish.  But you hear the title, you see the roster, and realize that there’s obviously no legal affiliation with the WWE, and it kind of feels like something is missing, and the whole thing kind of comes off like a non-canonical fan-fiction of a production.

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New Father Brogging, #027

Mythical wife and I were playing some games online with our friends because we’re still very much immersed in pandemic ‘Murica and this is how things are done these days in order to be safe, and as we’re in between games, the topic of conversation goes towards what television shows everyone is watching.  Talking about The Mandalorian and Utopia among other shows, and how some of us might like them, or if they’re not any good at all, etc.

But mythical wife and I haven’t really seen or finished any of them, because we don’t have time.  Story of parenthood now.

We then start talking about video games; mythical wife and I just started playing Man of Medan, and gotten maybe three hours into the game, before we realized it was midnight which might as well have been 3 am for new parents like us, but reality sunk in that we weren’t sure when the next time we’d have a chance to play more of the game, because we just don’t have time, the perpetual story of parenthood now.

Even playing Jackbox games with friends for an evening means not having the opportunity to do another thing that we may or may not have wanted to do with what limited free time we have available to us, because as the story of being new parents go, you just don’t have much of it, because the primary meat of our time is spent raising our infant child and putting her needs first and foremost above everything else.

I do not have a single iota of regret for having a child and I love my daughter more than anything else in history, but as the objective of these new dad brogs go, is to express the realities and genuine thoughts that I have going through my own personal journey as a first-time father, and the reality is that I just don’t have a lot of time, like ever, for myself anymore, and that part is something that’s always going to be a tough pill to swallow, especially in conjunction to our lives pre-children, where we’d sometimes have nothing but time to sit around and literally do nothing at times.

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The only good thing to come out of a season that shouldn’t have been

Inevitable: Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman wins National League Most Valuable Player

Not bad for a guy who went into the season recovering from coronavirus.  But then again, professional athletes with professional athlete money typically can afford to get the best treatment possible, on the dime of their organizations who see them as working assets to begin with.

But I’m going off track here, shocker.  Freddie Freeman has quietly been one of the better players in all of baseball, almost since the day he arrived, and it’s about time that he was recognized as the MVP all Braves fans knew he was going to receive one day.  Sure, there will be many naysayers, myself included if it had gone to anyone not on the Braves, citing shit like partial season and asterisk season and other bullshit, but because it was awarded to one of the guys I’ve been a fan of since the days of seeing him in the minor leagues as a Myrtle Beach Pelican, I cast all the snark aside and can just be happy for Freddie Freeman.

In a massively shortened, 60 game season, Freeman put up gaudy numbers, hitting 13 home runs as well as slashing .341/.462/.640, which is extremely good.  The Braves themselves went 35-25, and actually didn’t choke in the minus round or the first round of the playoffs, making it all the way to the NLCS, where they gave all Braves fans hope going up 3-1 on the Dodgers before Atlanta-ing away three straight losses and getting eliminated.  But as is often the conciliatory remark, they wouldn’t have gotten to that point in the first place, without the contributions of outstanding performances like Freddie Freeman.

What means the most to me though, is that major awards are given with no care or concern to the people themselves, just solely based on numbers and production.  Freddie Freeman is one of those baseball players that has a squeaky-clean image, is seemingly nice to everyone, and his earliest reputation was built on the fact that he was a massive hugger, who hugged all his teammates, all his coaches and all his peers.  He came out to Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe for two years on his own volition, and was one of those guys that clearly played the game of baseball like it was fun, the way it was originally meant to be for children.

There have been loads of grumpy, standoffish tryhards in history that are phenomenal baseball players, but are just kind of dicks as people, who go on to win MVPs and have tremendous individual success.  Sure, those MVPs pave the way for financial success and gain, but it’s always like the bad guys win whenever one of those types takes home an MVP award.

Such is hardly the case for Freddie Freeman winning the MVP award all Braves fans knew he was capable of winning.  It’s like a case of the nice guy actually winning, and the world needs more instances of good people getting great results.  I mean seriously, look at the reaction of this guy when he found out he was the winner; hugs all around first and foremost, and it’s just a guy surrounded by his family, soaking in the elation of baseball’s most prestigious individual award.

There’s really not much else to say about this; this was a season that I personally didn’t think should have taken place from the start, but as the Braves neared the World Series, the obvious hypocrisy of my tone changed, that is until the sore loser emerged from another shortfall from an Atlanta team.  But if there were ever such a thing as an acceptable consolation price to come out of a polarizing season, Freddie Freeman winning the NL MVP was definitely it.  I’m genuinely happy for him, and glad the blowhards in the BBWAA actually got something right for a change.