The year-end post, circa 2020

This video by Carters encapsulates how I feel extremely succinctly.  I know 2020 has been a historically catastrophic year by any number of measures, and I’m not going to even try and change anyone’s mind who’ve already decided that there’s absolutely nothing at all redeemable about it.  It’s a fair judgment, and there’s tons of justification to where I just have to shrug and agree that such X and other Y really are terrible things, and leave people alone to continue believing that 2020 was the worst year in human existence.

Frankly, if not for the one obvious event in my life this year, I’d probably be right there with them.  But because of said event, there’s absolutely nothing else that could really occur that can make me possibly think that 2020 was anything other than among the greatest years of my life.  Like many, I too know my share of people whom coronavirus has dually affected throughout the year, or had some very unfortunate events or news take place, and my heart genuinely, sincerely goes out to them, and I wish for nothing but the best for them and their loved ones.

But nothing is going to change my perspective on 2020 being a magnificent year, because nothing has been a greater event in my life than the birth of my daughter, right before all the shit really began to hit the fan.  And throughout the remainder of the year, for every piece of horrible, shitty news, note about someone dying, bad day at work, or any other reason for stress and unhappiness, I was always mere steps away from being able to go pick up my daughter and hold her in my arms and will away the negativity.

As ironic as it may seem, and I’ve said it as much, as much as coronavirus and the global pandemic have been devastating to the world throughout the year, it’s inadvertently put me in the most optimal position in the sense that I’ve gotten to work from home since the shit hit the fan, and I’ve gotten to spend a tremendous amount of time more raising my daughter than if the world wasn’t in lockdown and I had to go back to work in the office while my child would be in a daycare, in the hands and responsibility of people I don’t know. 

I don’t fucking want that, even if there were no coronavirus in play.  I’ve been fortunate and I treasure all the time I’ve had and will continue to have being close to my kid, and it’s ironic that I have to thank the selfish stupidity of ‘Muricans for being so stupid and greedy that they can’t or refuse to comply to the behaviors that would’ve eradicated all of this if we just had some collective cooperation.

But outside of my child and coronavirus, 2020 has been somewhat of an eventful year.  Yes, most of it was bad, but not everything was completely putrid.  And as I tend to do every year, I take some notes on a daily basis of the things that happen that are remotely interesting to me, so I guess behind the jump, we’ll take a look back through the year that everyone loves to hate and can’t wait to see end:

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It’s a good thing my machete came in

Because boy, do I have some anger I’d like to take out on some unruly shrubs and wild growth that need to be scaled back anyway.

I don’t really like to brog about my job, because it seems so cliché and there used to be this off-chance concern that someone who doesn’t know me could piece two and two together, identify where I worked, and do something unpleasant with that information.  But I keep things rather vague enough to where that aspect of it has gone away, not to mention the fact that I have like, zero readers, so I don’t have to worry in that regard anyway, but it still remains pretty cliché to bitch about work.

Regardless, let me tell you a story about how I am rather displeased with my job these days, and this is a very specific reason to add to the lengthy list of things I’m keeping documented for if and when the time comes to where I ever can bounce out of there.

I asked my bosses (because I have 1.5 bosses, as in one person who is the actual boss whom I shall refer to as “boss,” and the spineless puppet husk under them who is technically my actual boss, whom I shall refer to as “puppet”) if I could have next week off, as I believed I had a week of vacation left, and was feeling pretty burned out from the combination of being a first-time father on a 24/7 daddy schedule, combined with an unnecessarily, artificially busy holiday month.

Boss said sure, I felt a little bit of relief and satisfaction at knowing that I might finally get a little bit of time to relax and to not be so, on, with a combination of work and baby duty.

A couple of days later, I get an email from puppet, saying “they thought I had used all my vacation, but could be mistaken, please give me a list of dates you took off,” which is pretty easy, because I only had three substantial breaks throughout the year, given the fact that because of coronavirus, I’ve been working from home since March.  I took a week off prior to the start of my paternity leave to extend my time, and I took three days off back in May when I was really fried from being a first-time dad, and I took two days off to celebrate my first-ever wedding anniversary.

I cited the week off as vacation time, and declared the five other days as the sick/personal time that all employees are entitled to get.  Puppet responds back to me that they’re “fairly certain” that salaried employees (like me) sick/personal time doesn’t act in the same manner in which it works for hourly employees (which I used to be), which is basically auxiliary vacation time, if you’re not prone to getting sick.

They’re going to check with HR.

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How to Combat Intentional Feeding in the NBA

After wasting 2.5 hours of my life watching WW84, I needed something to bring me back, something to make me laugh, and think about anything at all other than how much WW84 sucked.  And if there’s one good thing remaining about the NBA, it’s that they know no boundaries of how much to suck to the amusement of old man purists like myself who still think the 90s were the best era ever and that there’s no sports theme greater than the NBA on NBC theme, in history.

So when the Dallas Mavericks blew the LA Clippers out by 51 points, my interest was immediately piqued, because it always fascinates me just how pathetic the NBA gets year after year and that there’s basically no more pride and this defeatist mentality that pervades in all the players of today that allows for all of this to happen.

Like, back in my day, it was pretty rare to see a 20-point blowout, and those were pretty rare to begin with.  Shit, the most bonkers game I’d seen in my life at that time was this one Knicks vs. Bulls game where Derek Harper had the NBA Jam fire code going and the vaunted ‘96 Bulls got blown out by 30 points. 

But it was literal decades before I saw a game where a team got blown out by 40+ much less 50 points.  Ironically, this isn’t even the worst blowout that I’d ever seen, as I’d actually brogged about it in the past when the Memphis Grizzlies somehow got blown out by 61 points a few years ago.

The thing is, when I was really into League of Legends, and the professional scene specifically, I used to make tons of analogies about how basketball strategies translated very well in League of Legends, most notably when at the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational that mythical then-gf and I went to, Edward Gaming employed the MJ strategy against SK Telecom, let Faker have LeBlanc and do whatever he wanted, but built their team around stomping the shit out of all of Faker’s teammates, en route to a critical game 5 win.

However, this is a scenario where the tables have turned, and it’s about time we applied some League of Legends, or competitive gaming logic, to the NBA.  Primarily the idea that NBA games occasionally go full tilt, and the players ultimately end up griefing, intentionally feeding, and just plain forfeiting, regardless of if the fact that games don’t actually allow for unconditional surrenders, no matter how much the players probably wished they did, like when the Clippers were down 50 points at halftime.

Needless to say, the Clippers phoned it in super early, as if Luka Doncic got two early kills, and the Clippers basically decided that there was no more point in playing the rest of the game because he was fed and was going to snowball and dominate.  And as much as I find ironic amusement in the ownage the Clippers suffered, really it’s still no good for the NBA that teams phone it in and don’t seem to care that they’re allow themselves to be humiliated like such.

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I wish for the 2.5 hours I lost back

My job put me in a shitty mood today, which sucks, but for the sake of writing out a post of criticism, it’s actually kind of advantageous.  I tend to believe that intent is sharpest when paired with an emotion that rides along the same wavelength, so when I’m in a pissed mood, lighting into something might be the right mindset for doing such.

Frankly, I knew what I was getting into when I sat down to watch WW84 because making a title card “Wonder Woman 1984” would have been the hardest thing to do for this day and age where people can sparsely be expected to use vowels when writing their shorthand bullshit, even in a professional working environment.

But I had already heard that this movie wasn’t good, and I’d seen the memes, my favorite of them being the title of this post because I felt the exact same way after watching it.  However, out of one part morbid curiosity and another part simply because Gal Gadot is gorgeous and I could probably put up with watching Boys Don’t Cry or The Boy With the Striped Pajamas if had Gal Gadot in it, I decided to watch it anyway.

Despite knowing that it probably wasn’t good, and despite knowing that it was 2.5 hours long and I could have done a myriad of things with 2.5 hours instead of watching WW84, I did something stupid and watched WW84.

And it sucked.  Unsurprisingly.  Frankly, in spite of the praise of the original Wonder Woman received, I didn’t think it was particularly close to as good as the praise it was getting, and I hate to sound completely sexist, but I think films like it and shows like Jessica Jones get a bump in credit solely for the fact that they’re stories about strong female leads with mostly female production crews.  Frankly, the gender of casts and crews are irrelevant to me, and I’d rather not know it at all as long as captivating and entertaining stories and presented to me.

Regardless, it goes without saying that the original Wonder Woman was easily the strongest DC property film since the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, and easily the best DC flick in the supposed Justice League universe they’ve tried to cobble together with most notably a Ben Affleck Batman.

But ultimately, that’s like saying the least stinkiest turd in the punch bowl because for whatever reason, DC Comics can’t seem to get their shit together when it comes to translating their properties into film.  Wonder Woman was alright, which makes it the strongest DC film in their respective universe, but honestly, I’d rather have watched episodes of the lowly Iron Fist or the fairly mediocre Defenders shows than DC’s top film.

I kind of feel bad for DC comics.  Because in the actual world of comic books, DC has plenty of quality properties and capable writers and some legendary stories told.  Batman alone carries DC comics way more than any single Marvel property can take credit for carrying Marvel Comics.  But no matter what, they just can’t seem to make good movies, and it’s almost as inevitable that a non-Batman DC movie is going to suck as much as the Braves will always collapse in the most embarrassing or heartbreaking fashions possible.

So needless to say, a sequel to a marginal quality film was bound to be a downhill ride no matter what, and to WW84’s credit, they basically lived up to expectation.  Thank goodness this never made it to theaters, because I already want my money back for it wasting 2.5 hours of my life, despite watching from the comfort of my own home on HBOmax.

That’s one way to make AEW more interesting

Unfortunate: Jon Huber AKA Brodie Lee in AEW, Luke Harper in WWE, passes away at the age of 41, due to alleged non-COVID related lung disease

Firstly, I genuinely do feel bad to hear about this story, because Jon Huber was an extremely good wrestler, and it is always a tragedy to hear of a guy leaving the world this soon, especially when he’s leaving behind a wife and two kids.  At 41 years of age, he’s not much older than me, and many of my current friends, which is also very harrowing to hear of.

I had a high opinion of Jon Huber, and it was a running joke between one of my friends and I that he was a picture-perfect future IWGP World Champion if he ever decided to cross the ocean and go to Japan, because the mold of the evil foreign white man that NJPW loved to use to have their heroes pursue for championships was basically built off of guys like him.

Instead, he went to AEW, where he briefly enjoyed a modicum of success, being unveiled as the leader of the Dark Order, having one World title shot at Jon Moxley which he lost, but then squashing Cody Rhodes for the TNT Popeyes Championship, before losing it back to him a month later.  To my knowledge, that was his last appearance, and he never appeared again on television until the news of his passing.

Here’s the thing though: the news is still fresh, the grief among the industry and the fandom is still outpouring, but I hate to be the guy that wades through all the sadness to wonder just what really happened.  From what I’ve heard, Lee passed away from an unnamed “non-COVID” lung issue, but I can’t help but feel all sorts of skepticism for these vague circumstances.

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I want a machete

Actually, I should rephrase that headline: I am getting a machete.

I’m not particularly fond of doing any sort of yard work or landscaping.  The idea of having a nice-looking property is, nice, but I don’t particularly want to put forth the effort in doing it myself, and I don’t particularly want to pay what I feel is outlandish rates and be locked into contracts with a landscaping company to have someone else do it for me.  So it usually ends up with me doing the bare minimum to have a remotely passable yard, as in the grass remains cut, and the edges are barely maintained, but there’s not much in terms of fresh mulch, neat little accents or any of the small things that make yards look pretty.

But when things become what I think are necessity, then I guess I’ll go ahead and put a little more effort into things.  I have some shrubs that really need to be tamed, because I’ve literally watched squirrels use them as a springboard onto my physical home and for those that know me, I fucking hate squirrels, and the idea of them infiltrating my home now makes me feel homicidal, so I need to nip this in the butt before it becomes problematic.

Furthermore, my property is adjacent to county-owned land, so in some regards it’s nice to not have a neighbor on one side of my house, but in the other hand, the county doesn’t particularly do a good job of maintaining public land, so there’s a good bit of brush and wild growth that has encroached onto my property that needs to be tamed as well.

Needless to say, it’s more work than a trimmer and blower would be capable of doing, but I don’t want to spend the money to get some power tools for what is basically amounting to a single job.  Frankly, in my mind, a good afternoon with a machete is what I really need, so I went online and ordered, a machete.

It’ll be interesting when it gets here, because I’ve never actually used a machete for its intended purpose, and only known of them for fantastical scenarios of killing zombies.  In my mind, it’ll be a gratifying, satisfying and a stress-reliever of an activity, hacking away at wild plants and shrubs, while at the same time bringing order to my property and gaining land back from the county.

But I know there’s an equally strong chance that I am underestimating the whole task, and that ten minutes in, I’ll find that a machete isn’t that efficient, or that there are some plants that are far too thick for a machete to be of much use, and I’ll be exasperated and disappointed with the results, throw in the towel, and end up springing for some power tool(s), and just be behind on my anticipated timeline of getting this task done.

I won’t know until I try though. The machete is en route, and pretty soon we’ll see if it’s everything I hoped it would be, or if I’m going to regret making this decision, and be angsty about the time and money wasted.

I’m going to be screwed when/if the pandemic ends

As is often the case, I struggled immensely to come up with things I wanted for gifts for Christmas.  In the end, my general listed pretty much revolved around all sorts of sweats, compression gear and athletic apparel, and I was fortunate enough to be thought of by enough people to have gotten quite a good bit of it.

That being said, since none of this stuff really serves me much purpose outside of the gym, or at home, or while working out at home, when and if the pandemic ever ends and I have to start going back on-site to work, I’m pretty much going to be screwed as far as the usefulness of all this stuff is concerned.

I’ll definitely be better equipped for the gym, outdoor running, or when I feel like feeling like a sausage at home, but in the grand spectrum of time spent in this kind of stuff is going to pale in comparison to the kinds of clothing that I’ll be expected to wear in the workplace, or going out for societal functions again, not that I couldn’t just be that guy who always wears athletic gear everywhere he goes.

It’s just kind of funny though, since this just feeds the narrative that as we get older, the more and more practical our gift choices become, and how ecstatic we are to get things like socks, accessories and mundane clothing.  Because this isn’t in the least bit facetious or resentful for my gift haul, I couldn’t be any happier with all the things that I got, because they’re all things that I’ve wanted, but been too cheap to spend my own money on, and now I don’t have to, but can have all the athletic gear I always wanted in the end.