The corporate workplace injury risk

In the world of internet sports fandom analysis, every sport’s offseason is often pocked with discussions on the player(s) that everyone’s favorite teams should want to acquire, whether it’s through a trade or free agency.  It’s a thankless and pointless black hole of exercises, because in the grand spectrum of things, the chances of a professional sporting franchise actually utilizing the opinions of a bunch of internet armchair general manager tough guys is probably pretty slim, and what it really amounts to is a bunch of dudes on the internet vying to see who might actually be right about theories or predictions.

Among one of the more predominant tropes of internet sports arguing is the dreaded injury risk player.  As the name insinuates, these are professional athletes who have a reputation of getting injured frequently, and therefore not capable of playing the kids games in which they’re contracted for large sums of money to perform.  These are often times players capable of above average talent when they’re healthy, but the constant fear of them getting hurt and providing zero ROI is significant of a deterrent to actually jeopardize their employment chances.

A good example of an injury risk player is linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.  This guy is an absolute monster defenseman who is capable of altering an opponent’s entire offensive scheme just to mitigate his impact; that is, when he’s actually playing, and not on injured reserve, nursing a laundry list of injuries throughout his seven year career that’s enabled him to play a full 16-game season only once.

Pitcher Stephen Strasburg is also another good example, as sure, he’s helped the Nationals win a World Series sure, but from a business standpoint, the guy isn’t glass fragile as he once was, but can be assured to miss at least a month every single season with some sort of really questionable (pussy) injuries.  He’s made 30 starts in a season just three times in his eleven year career, and someone I’d definitely classify as an injury risk player.

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Everything is inadequate

The following are health bars from Left 4 Dead 2.  The way the game works, the only time a player will be at 100 is at the very start of a game, and once they take any modicum of damage that brings them down from 100, you will never see 100 again, no matter how many health packs you use.  It’s kind of an appropriate analogy to life itself, that once damaged, it will never be unblemished, no matter how much repair and fixing goes into it.

Note the partial bars that are to the right of the solid colored bars.  These are what the zbs community refers to as “decaying health” or “pill health.”  It’s health that counts towards your overall hit points, but also ticks down over time, unlike the solid bar health.  In spite of the tropes and memes about L4D out there, you can take pills as often as you can find them in order to keep your health high, but it will always be temporary and degrading over time.

L4D health bars are a good analogy to how I feel my life is going these days, and often times why I feel like I could use some therapy.  I’m long past the point where I’m probably closer to 50 than I am 100, and much like in L4D, I don’t think I’ll ever see 100 again any time soon.  Right now, if I had to guess, my solid bar probably maxes out at 60, and if I ever want to be any higher than that, I’ll have to down a jar of pills to get up into the 90s, but that time will be temporary, fleeting, and will come back down naturally over time.

I realize that this makes me sound like I’m thinking that I need a lot of medication to get through my days, which couldn’t be any further from the truth, but from an emotional standpoint, I definitely could be in much better shape and I can’t really figure out why I’m in such a dark space in my head so often lately, when I really shouldn’t be.

But today, I am frustrated, sleep deprived and completely over basically everything and I feel like this is the culmination of weeks of a thousand cuts and I’m having a day where I want pretty much nothing but to be left the fuck alone and to have a little bit of time to myself. 

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Appreciation for what LeBron James has accomplished

Whether you like LeBron James or you don’t, what can’t be disputed is the success he’s had throughout his career.  After winning his fourth NBA championship, with his third different franchise, I think it’s safe to say that he’s on a platform that not even guys like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant can measure up to him.

Obviously most everyone in the sports world is generally under the belief that MJ is the true Greatest Of All Time, and if there was ever a person in history that would have come close to the crown, MJ himself basically said it was Kobe.  I don’t disagree with Jordan being the GOAT and that Kobe was the closest thing to the Heir to Air, but at the same time, I really began to think that there was a lot of deliberate disrespect sent to LeBron while these claims were made.

I kind of get it too, I thought LeBron was pretty shitty when he jumped to the Heat, and had the whole The Decision spectacle, but as time as passed, and his body of work has expanded and grown, and we’ve seen the kid grow into the man he is today, and all I really want to say these days is, fuck the comparisons to MJ or Kobe, LeBron is just out there being the greatest LeBron there could possibly be.  The GLBOAT.

Because when the day is over, LeBron is never going to get the respect that MJ or Kobe ever got.  So, and I’m guessing he’s already figured it out himself already, he’s fine with that, and he’s simply carving out his own legacy that doesn’t measure up to them, and raising his own bar, that will be the measuring stick for all sorts of future players to try to aspire to be the GOAT or the GLBOAT.

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When your brain wants you to be sad, you’ll be sad

Lately, I can’t shake it, but I often times find myself feeling sad.  A few weeks ago when I posted about wondering if I needed therapy, it really wasn’t one of those posts where I was trying to be humorous, it was more erring towards legitimate pondering than it was trying to be funny but I understand how it could be misconstrued considering the vast majority of the time on my brog I’m trying to be funny.

The thing is, I have no real reason to be feeling sad, too.  Sure, my paternity leave is over and I’m back to a job I’m often times feeling very lukewarm towards, but the reality is that I have a job, my mom is staying at my house and alleviating mythical wife and I of our biggest concern, which is childcare during the work days, and there’s a small sliver of normalcy starting to come back into our lives.  My child is healthy, often happy, and there are no adequate words to describe the happiness and joy that she brings to me, but whenever I get settled down and have the time and capacity to get into my own head, I can’t help but feel sad from time to time, and I really have no reason to be.

I think I’m generally unsatisfied with certain aspects of my life and it’s silly to think that I feel like a lot of things would improve if I were to win the lottery or find some way to take financial concerns off the table entirely, and whenever I get into my own head, these pessimistic and worrisome thoughts tend to permeate into my head and leave me feeling more blue than I really have any right to be.

I’ve been asking myself lately what I think would make me happy, and the answers that come up are often times further into the realm of impossibility, like being able to take my child out to certain places, because the world is fucking dangerous still because America can’t get their collective head out of their asses and put some fucking masks on for 2-3 months and eradicate coronavirus instead of waiting for a vaccine that large swaths of the country won’t take anyway because they’re anti-vaxxer dumb fucks. 

And then there are more realistic things, like wanting to make things with my hands, but that requires tools, materials, space, to which those require time, money, time and money, to which those are commodities in which I do not have a lot of to expend, because no matter what, my child will always come first.  By no means do I harbor any resentment towards my child for such reality, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but in the fleeting amounts of spare time that I do have, I feel like I want to do things that I just don’t really have the means to indulge in, at least not without a bunch of prerequisites.

In a perfect world, I have a workshop space, where I can create and do and build and explore things.  But in order to have that, I need to have money, to which I’m not struggling to pay bills or have a fairly normal life as it is, but I don’t want to take out loans for things that don’t add any true value outside of personal gratification, so this is where it would be nice to just win a lottery or something, just to jump start a lot of personal projects and to oh, quit my job while in the process.

But back to the point, I occasionally feel irrationally sad, and it doesn’t take a lot to trigger it sometimes.  It’s times like that in which I ponder on if I should seek therapy, which isn’t that easy of a decision for me to make, because my work insurance doesn’t cover any, and I wonder if I have the financial means to go out of pocket on it.  I’m not saying I want medication, quite the contrary, I barely like taking ibuprofen when I have a headache, but I don’t think it would hurt to know why my brain sometimes insists that I be sad, when I really shouldn’t have any reason for it.  My life is pretty good in spite of the dumpster fire ‘Murica is these days, but when the brain wants to be sad, it’s going to be sad.

Bust or World Series

It still doesn’t mean anything to me: the Atlanta Braves sweep the Miami Marlins, advance to the NLCS for the first time since 2001

Big whoop; if it were any team other than the Marlins, then the Braves would have guaranteed lost in the NLDS, continuing their streak of getting bounced in the (real) first round of the playoffs.  The Cubs would have undoubtedly throttled the Braves, if they could only have not choked against a plucky Marlins squad that shouldn’t have been a playoff team in any ordinary season.

It doesn’t really matter though; awaiting the Braves is most likely the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were one of the odds-on favorites to win the World Series when this hackneyed season even began, and are only not already in the NLCS because of an upstart San Diego Padres team whom is being willed to success by Fernando Tatis, Jr.  But the Dodgers are a team that is playing mad, and playing like they’re owed a World Series, seeing as how they lost to both the Astros and the Red Sox in 2017 and 2018 respectively, with both teams known or likely to have been cheating in order to beat them. 

Yeah, now that the Braves have gotten rid of the pretender scrubs and will be put up against a real contender, it’s only a matter of time before reality comes crashing down on things, and the Braves get swept by the Dodgers, an organization who has bounced them out of the playoffs in 2013 and 2018 and seemingly always has their number, but more importantly, Clayton Kershaw, one of the best pitchers in history and owns the Braves historically.

It’s really cute that the Braves are defying reality and have gotten some stellar starting pitching from kids like Max Fried, Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright, but it’s only a matter of time before their inexperience and the overwhelming pressure of the playoffs cave them in, and then it’s another sad pathetic October sob story is written, and Braves fans are left saying aw shucks, maybe next year, naively dismissing shit like free agency and elevator salaries, that will undoubtedly change the face of the roster by next March. 

Either way, I refuse to have any hope in the Braves, in spite of their current standings.  I know what awaits them in the NLCS, which will be a real contender, and the Braves will fold like bad poker player who thinks they belong at the big table, and I won’t be disappointed by it, because it was always the expected outcome.  Baby magic has carried them this far, and at the time I’m writing this, in the American League, the also-charmed Yankees have stretched the Rays to five games to see who will advance to the ALCS, and if Baby Magic is correct, then the Yankees will advance to the ALCS where the Astros await them.

Huh, seems like the respective championship series will truly be putting Baby Magic to the test, as the Astros have historically owned the Yankees over the last few years in the playoffs similarly to how the Dodgers have owned the Braves.  But in the grand spectrum of things, there’s something fucked up and appropriate if the World Series happens to be an Astros vs. Dodgers rematch too.

Welp, better get ready for the intrigue of that matchup, because that’s probably how it’s going to be.  Yay doofy baseball season that really shouldn’t have happened in the first place!

New Father Brogging, #025

If I had a dollar for every time my kid shit herself while riding in the car, then I could easily get a Chick Fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich meal.  Not the classic #1 combo, the spicy variant, which costs more.  With large fries and a large drink.  And a brownie.

Like at this point, it’s pretty laughable how routine this is becoming.  I/we decide to go run an errand, and bring our child, so that she can see a little bit of the world outside of the safe confines of the house.  When we get to our destination, I remove her from the car seat, and do the courtesy sniff test, to which is naturally like getting fierce punch Tiger Uppercutted by Sagat, and then it takes ten more minutes to actually get started with whatever said errand or destination I/we are doing, because I have to change her diaper in the back seat of my car, and pray to god that nothing leaked out and soiled her active clothing, not that her travel bag doesn’t already have a spare outfit in case of emergency.

It’s just funny how she can go days without pooping sometimes, but the second she’s put in her car seat and taken out on a ride, it’s basically automatic that she’s going to blow up.  It also doesn’t matter if she actually poops at home, and creates a false sense of security that the pipes have been cleared, that when you do go out, because it’s like there’s a separate release chamber strictly meant for while in the car that will be unleashed when taken out of the house. 

At least I know that if I’m ever concerned that my child is facing constipation or any strange digestive ailments that result in some backing up, I’ll know exactly what I have to do to increase my odds of helping alleviate her.

It’s naturally a little gross and off-putting at times, the whole notion of babies and poop, but historically Asian cultures are pretty laissez-faire about pooping in general, often citing good bowel movements as indicative of good health.  And since my child is half Asian, the topic of poop will not be off-limits or very taboo; if anything at all, it’s something of a personal trope that I can laugh about, at its absurd predictability.  And maybe one day when she herself is reading through my brog in the distant future, she’ll cringe and wince at the notion of dad putting this all down in writing.

New Father Brogging, #024

Today marks seven months since my daughter was born.  Since then, she’s over doubled her birth weight and creeping closer and closer to ten inches grown.  She’s gone from being a NICU baby that struggled to feed from a bottle to being a strong independent infant that doesn’t need mom or dad to hold the bottle for her to wolf down a full feed in eight minutes.  She’s now eating solids, and has been a very good eater thus far, consuming pretty much everything we’ve put in front of her.

It’s difficult for me sometimes, to not get emotional over every little step she takes and the growth that we watch happening right in front of our very eyes.

But last night was a particularly difficult pill to swallow, as it was the first night in which mythical wife and I both slept apart from our child, as we have begun the transition into having her sleep in her own room.  Monitored, obviously, but sleeping in a room outside of ours.  The reality is that she has basically outgrown the Snoo bassinet that carried her throughout the first six months of her life, and she needs room to turn and maneuver, otherwise it leads to a very grumpy and unhappy fussy baby.  Combined with teething, it led to what was basically the worst sleeping week of our lives over the last week and change.

Gradually working in her crib for naps has proven to be working that she can sleep in the crib, and it’s proven that the crib and its space is proving beneficial to our child’s sleep, so we finally pulled the trigger and had a few test nights where she stayed in the crib overnight, while I slept on the futon in the room as a safety net.  It only took two nights to really prove that she was up for it, and as of last night, we had her sleep in her own room by herself for the first time.

It was hard to not feel emotional going to sleep myself, watching her on a monitor, instead of knowing she were mere feet away, and I would be seconds away from swooping in to get her if there were any sort of discomfort or need to physically pick her up.  I had some unpleasant flashbacks to the NICU days, where mythical wife and I only had the comfort of a webcam that had limited times in which it would be on, instead of 24/7 real-life accessibility as we’ve had over the last seven months.

Ultimately, we know this is for the best, and is the natural progression of growth for children.  Obviously, she was never going to be sleeping in the same room with us forever, and it was only a matter of time before she’d eventually be in her own room.  This was always part of the plan.

Still, it doesn’t change the fact that it makes me all sad and emo-ey knowing my child is growing so fast and it feels like it’s only a matter of time before she’s asking me for $100 at a time so she can buy some frivolous crap, or will eventually be asking me for advice on which insurance plan she should be picking at work.

Seven months have flown by, and it’s going to be hard to not feel a little choked up when I have to pack up and move our $1,200 bassinet out of our bedroom and into storage.  As much as I’ll be glad to never stub my toes on the legs of it again soon, I’m going to miss like hell, the days of our sweet little warm baby sleeping right next to our bed.