The Thanksgiving post, circa 2022

I am thankful for this photograph coming out pretty decently.  Through Facebook memories, I’ve seen pictures of past Thanksgivings where I remained home with my group of other vagabond friends who didn’t travel or have local family in town and we always got together for evenings of traditional Thanksgiving food, games and eventually Brack Friday shopping.

Then I got married, had kids, and it’s been a minute since we had a traditional Friendsgiving.

I called an audible this year, and made the choice to stay home for Thanksgiving this year.  With three adults and one child that no longer qualifies for lap travel, and no real place for us all to stay whilst up in Virginia, the idea of going up for Thanksgiving seemed like a colossal clusterfuck, so I made the call to forget the plan and just stay in Georgia in the comfort of our own home.  

I just didn’t want to sink a boatload of money on a trip that was going to stress me out when I could’ve gotten the same results staying at home.  Needless to say, the tone of this post is probably going to go downhill really fast now.

Because aside from the obvious things, like the health of my kids and having a better job than my old one, I can’t really think of anything that I’m thankful of this year.  I understand that putting such a sentiment in writing makes me sound like a bitter and miserable person, but at the same time all of the above isn’t really that inaccurate.

My job doesn’t burn me out on a daily basis, but the rigors and daily tribulations of parenthood more than makes up for it these days.  Even with an au pair that is like a gift from god, there’s still way more time than I want where I’m on double duty with both girls, and it’s just so tremendously difficult to manage a toddler and an infant at the same time.  It always makes me feel like a failure, because I can’t really give any one of my kids quality attention because I’ve always got to remain on defense that one doesn’t hurt herself while trying to man the other, and it fills me up with resentment when I logically should not be on double duty but I am anyway.

I am so burned out on a daily basis that people in HR would probably be willing to extend me a little leniency.  I haven’t had a proper or adequate break from being in this stage of dad mode, and I think I might be headed towards a breakdown if I don’t.  I love my kids more than anything in the world, but the day-in and day-out responsibilities that they are, and the fact that I get less than 2-3 hours a day to unwind unless I want to jeopardize sleep and being even a shittier dad the following day never helps.

Even trying to be introspective and analytical, I genuinely don’t feel anything to be thankful of otherwise this year.  I’m just so perpetually full of piss and vinegar that I have no thanks to give.  I am on an island where maybe one or two other people I know probably understands what I’m going through, and my mood swings are becoming more scathing and bitter the longer this continues.

I probably need therapy, a solo vacation wouldn’t hurt, and maybe stopping saying I’m fine when I’m actually filled with anger is a good idea too.   Maybe a Fight Club-like cry session would help.  But none of these seem particularly feasible without clashing objectives and wants, so I’m just left in this bitter mass of existence within myself where I can only hope to find solace in the little things and try to convince myself that they’ll make everything alright.

I don’t really want to shop this year

In years past, I enjoyed holiday time shopping.  I would scour the interwebs in advance and come up with plans of shit to purchase for myself, for famiry, for friends and whomever might actually warrant getting a gift for.  And by the time Thanksgiving rolled up, I would go start going gangbusters on purchasing things from all the retailers that might or might not have had early, Thanksgiving day, or Brack Friday deals.  By the time December rolled around, I was mostly done with my holiday shopping, save for those closest to me that I’d want to keep getting things for maybe.

Obviously, the big variable in those years past was the availability of time, and having the time to do research, think about other people, and to come up with plans, and seeing as how this year can mostly be summed up that as far as time goes, I just never fucking have any, and as a result, I look at holiday shopping and gift giving as something more a nuisance and an obligation, as much as it’s something that I’m feeling enthusiastic and eager to partake in.

Yes I understand how curmudgeon and shitty that sounds, but that’s where I’m at right now.  Overwhelmed, overworked, exhausted and perpetually pushed past my limits, that I’m finding it incapable to enjoy things I’ve enjoyed in the past, much less any and most of the little things that might’ve lifted my spirits in the past.

Additionally, I’m not working now, as I opted to, and it turned out to be extremely essential, in taking my extended leave of absence from work beyond my normal paid paternity time, but that also means it’s 1.5 months of not getting paid, as my job is secure, but the paychecks stop.  So I have financial concerns on top of everything else, and I’m wondering what wells in which I should be pulling the necessary funds to make sure my famiry and loved ones can actually have some gifts from me, because we’re all capitalists and all feel obligated to buy shit for one another.

As the Thanksgiving week rolled around, my email box was bombarded by e-blasts and messages from retailers that I ordinarily would want to browse through.  Brack Friday prices now, extended, Cyber Monday, etc., etc., for an entire week.  Of course I wanted to look through and peruse and hope to find some shit for myself or my loved ones, but with what fucking time?  I don’t have any.  By the time I have any time to do anything of the sort, that time is spent cleaning shit and resetting shit for another day of parenting, before I’m too gassed and tired to do anything else.

As the week progressed, and in what fleeting moments I might’ve had that I could have done something so frivolous, I was basically at the point where every commercial website I’d go to had countdowns at the tops of their page ticking down the amount of time left that such deals would be in place.  And I hate working against clocks, much less visible ones, and then I’d remind myself, with what fucking money? And then ultimately just start closing browser tabs, and sink back into my general hole of angst.

Believe me, I don’t like admitting all this stuff as much as I am putting it in writing for it to be immortalized, but that’s where I’m at.  It’s like, I only want to shop for my immediate household, and would like to be alleviated from the feeling of obligation to shop for anyone outside of it.  Because that’s all my world really is these days, the people within my own walls, and I have no idea what anyone outside of it might want, or needing to exert thoughtfulness, because it’s just adding unnecessary stress and anxiety to me, and I really don’t need it.

Ultimately, I’m going to just start kicking down doors and demanding ideas for what to get people, because we’re still in a pandemic, I don’t speak or interact with people enough to have ideas of thoughtful observational gifts, and I kind of just want to be done with needing to feel like I have to shop for others.

Maybe, hopefully, in the future years, this’ll go back to being typical slaves to capitalism, where we’ll all be happy to throw our money around at shit nobody really needs, but at least we’ll be in better spirits.

Happy holidays!

Three years later… FINALLY

I’m actually still in disbelief that it’s finally coming: WWEShop announces the upcoming release of NXT UK Tag Team Championship replica blets.

I’m not even kidding, I have had this tab open on both my browser on my laptop as well as my phone, for over two years, refreshing daily, hoping to one day see the NXT UK Tag Team blet available one day.  In that span, I have witnessed numerous tribute blets, reproductions of older WCW and WWF-era blets, and several individual specific blets of particular legends that have had gaudy $700+ price tags associated to them.

But never the NXT UK Tag Team blets, despite the fact that they were literally, the only active blet in the entire company, to not have replicas made available.  It was maddening to a collector like me, and no amount of complaining, or utilizing a sock-puppet Twitter account to troll the WWEShop online to shame them for racism against Brits or other ludicrous bullshit to just spread awareness of their faux pas.

I could’ve gotten Pakistani reproductions, but I remained hopeful that these would eventually come to fruition.  And then NXT was ripped out from under Triple H, and I had concerns that the NXT UK brand would be in danger, and then these blets would never see the light of day.  But with no other real choice, I just continued to wait, impatiently.

The funny thing is, after plunking down $500 for my Unicorn blet, I had this thought in my mind that, wouldn’t it be funny if fate thought it would be funny and trolling to me, if suddenly the NXT UK Tag blets I’ve been wanting for over three years, were to suddenly become available, after I’ve been rendered cash poor?

Well fuck you fate, the joke’s on you; the last freelance project I did in 2018, I literally set aside an estimated amount of what I figured this blet would one day cost, based on the general cost of blets on WWEShop was.  And much like those browser tabs, I have been sitting on this cash for over two years, waiting for this day to come, and it has, and not even burning a ton of my blet money on my Unicorn blet can stand in the way of getting this UK blet that I’ve been wanting since I saw its reveal in 2018.

I was actually at the vet with my dog, getting his annual shots, when while my dog was whisked away to the back for some testing, that I pulled up my phone to do my daily check, did I realize with wide eyes that the day I had been waiting for, for the last three years, had finally come.  The NXT UK Tag replicas were fucking FINALLY listed, and I texted at least three different parties with crying face emojis, that my day had finally come.

The funny thing is, in spite of how long I’ve been waiting for these blets to finally become available, I’m in no rush to pull the trigger on them.  At $399, it’s a little bit higher than what I had set aside for it, not that that really matters, but it’s because anyone who ever pays full price for a replica blet is only fucking themselves.  The WWEShop runs sales on blets on almost a monthly basis, ranging from 20-40% depending on the promotion.  I don’t know if these will make it to the likely Brack Friday sale they typically do, but even if they don’t, I’m not going to be in too much rush to purchase these.

I’ve waited three years for this replica to come into existence, so what’s a little bit longer to make sure I don’t play the sucker that pays full price on mine?

I shouldn’t be stressed out about this

This is the time of year when the thought of buying gifts is swirling around in the heads of many.  I know that I should really start getting ready to purchase things for the numerous people in my life that I’d want to give gifts to, and at least I can say that I’ve already started drawing up battle plans for things I think I’d like to try and get for others.

Conversely, I’ve been asked by several to provide a list of things that I’d want as gifts.  But no matter how much I try and think about things I want or even try to put together lists of things that I want, I simply can’t, and I struggle tremendously; mostly on account of the fact that when the day is over, I’m just a person who doesn’t have much of want, for well, things.

However that doesn’t change the fact that I’m still pressured to put together a list anyway, because I’m fortunate enough to have people in my life that care about me enough to want to get me things for the holidays, which puts me in a position of where I struggle and get anxious and stressed out because I just can’t think of reasonable things that I want, that aren’t like expensive $400+ power tools or wrestling belts.

Like, I can’t really think of a more stupid reason to get stressed and anxious about, oh, people want to buy me shit, why can’t I think of anything??

And yet, here I am, sitting in front of my computer when I should be working, with like 15 tabs open to various eCommerce sites, trying to think of anything at all that I’d really want.  It’s getting to a point where I try and delve into the things that I still do on a regular basis like run, and then I get choice paralysis, because there’s like 50 gozillion options of compression gear, socks and other things, and then I get frustrated and end up with nothing at all.

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Only in the south

What could possibly go wrong – Georgia senate panel approves legislation that would make it legal to “pull or show” your firearm during a dispute as long as you don’t “aim it offensively” at someone

In other words, Georgia is trying to make it completely legal to show that you have a gun in order to attempt to deescalate a conflict, but not necessarily point it at another human being.

Yeah, that’s really going to go over real well; especially when jobber A flashes that they have a piece during a heated argument over the last $16 waffle maker at Walmart on Black Friday, and then jobber B responds by flashing their larger, more powerful piece.  Surely, the hypothesis is that jobber A will immediately stand down and forfeit the waffle maker to jobber B and then everyone will resume what they’re doing peacefully.

But the reality is that the two of them will eventually reach this uncomfortable and tense stalemate before one of them inevitably breaks the law and flashes it at the other, causing mass hysteria around them, before the highly armed and concealed-carrying rest of Georgia all begin brandishing weapons all around and then Milledgeville ends up on the news for the first time since Ben Roethlistberger raped a chick way back when.

Seriously, this is some only in the south kind of shit logic, and if there were ever any more proof that industries like firearms have their hands in the pockets of old white men in political power, dry rubbing their flaccid old dicks, it’s stories like this, because in no scenario in the world involving people who are not law enforcement, does the introduction of firearms ever have a chance at hell at deescalating anything at all.

Digging deeper, I love how the impetus behind this ridiculous bill is that the previous punishment for brandishing a weapon is a 20-year felony, and a bunch of hicks decided that they shouldn’t have to go to prison for two decades because they have a gun and want to show it off.  So why not just change the fucking law?

Anyway, I look forward to the statistics that will never be published where gun violence actually goes down as a result of laws like this.  Or the amendment where it will not-so subtly exclude black people from this law and in fact make it a 25-year felony for the colored folks for even saying the word “gun” around old white people.

I feel like the Black Friday bubble has burst

It’s probably just me, because I have the penultimate first world problem in the fact that despite how much I look around my personal belongings, I have just about all the things that lots of people typically get themselves geared up for Black Friday for.  Television(s), game systems, laptops/computers, tablets and other miscellaneous electronic gizmos; these are all things that I’ve got already and/or don’t really need to be replaced yet.

Men’s fashion doesn’t change so dramatically that I need to go out and replace all sorts of clothes, and for the most part, I dress fairly neutral, often times wearing things that are fairly timeless and/or devoid of any real time stamping.  Needless to say, I bought a few things here and there in terms of clothing, but nowhere near the hundreds of dollars I’ve spent over the last two years’ Black Friday periods.

I had a few ideas for gifts for certain people, but they were all pretty cut and dry, and were not at all that difficult for me to acquire, so I haven’t really had the necessity to get out in my car, go out somewhere, and risk fist fights in order to get the things I had in mind.

Continue reading “I feel like the Black Friday bubble has burst”

Thanksgiving musings

The following is a spatter of random thoughts that have gone through my head throughout the course of the holiday. I may or may not attempt to chronologically sort them when I’m done, as I’m pecking this out on my busted iPad.

The above picture is my wailing niece. I wanted to have some sort of visual to accompany this post.

This trip is the first time that I’ve brought my own car into the Commonwealth of Virginia in quite some time. The last time I drove my own car on my old stomping grounds was when I still had my old Nissan and I still felt it had the legs to make the trips from Atlanta to NOVA. Part of it is refreshing and fun to drive my own car on old familiar roads, but another part is apathetic and piteous of the residents of Virginia, whom have apparently been beaten into submission of driving like sissies in fear of the overzealous ticketing and fine system in place here. Safety is one thing, but the legions of people camping the left, passing lanes, going the approximate speed limit are bigger hazards to other motorists than the occasional tryhard going 88 mph, I would hypothesize.

Continue reading “Thanksgiving musings”