Undefeated, no longer

One of the many things I hate about very likely having COVID is whenever anyone insinuates that it’s remotely close to okay, because the infection numbers are so rampant that it’s almost inevitable that everyone will have caught a variant of it at some point.

My response to that is that a loss is a loss, and there’s no wiping a loss from your record, no matter how successful you are afterward.

Because I’m me, everything is an analogy to sports or wrestling, and the way I see it, everyone who has managed to evade COVID as long as I and my household had, was basically undefeated. 

Fewer things in competition are as hallowed as undefeated streaks, and there’s little more frequent narrative of a streak to inevitably break, with it growing more and more value the longer it goes unbroken. 

The ‘72 Dolphins. DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak. Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive game streak.  The Oakland A’s 20-game win streak. The Cleveland Indians’ 22-game win streak. Goldberg’s 173-0 streak. Asuka’s 914-day undefeated streak. The Undertaker’s 21-0 Wrestlemania streak.

And in my head, every single person who has managed to go without COVID since it came into existence, y’all are also undefeated.  And up until a week ago, my wife was.  Up until more recently, so was I. 

But now, (very, very likely) not anymore. 

No, it isn’t the end of the world. My wife will recover. I will recover. We could thrive afterward. But it’s still a loss on our records, and that will never go away.  And I fucking hate it.

Back in like 1995, I was playing a season NBA Live ‘95. I wanted to have a season where the Orlando Magic went undefeated with my Penny Hardaway having 100% field goal percentage and averaging like 169 points a game and a triple-double.  I put a lot of time into it, but after about 30 games, the game apparently didn’t like such unrealistic conditions, and next thing I knew, I had a loss to the Seattle SuperSonics on my record and my Hardaway’s numbers were all tarnished. 

I quit the game.  That and-1 was a loss that I couldn’t expunge no matter if I won every single game afterward.  It ruined the ultimate goal.

Having the ‘Rona brought into my home and infecting my household makes me feel like the 2007 Patriots.  We were doing so well, only to be derailed and defeated by an unlikely party.  And the worst part is, I highly doubt the offending party realizes just how much they’ve fucked us.

Whereas they can go home to a childless environment with nobody but themselves to care to recover over, or any real demanding jobs to go to, mythical wife and I have two young kids to be mindful of, boatloads of duties that still have to get done no matter how addled we are; on top of our respective jobs.

Ask any parent how it feels to have to deny their kids an embrace that they want, and tell me that it’s still “fine” that “everyone’s going to get it eventually.”  Don’t try and calm me down with that bullshit reassurance that everyone will get it or that Omicron isn’t as lethal, because I will tell you to go fuck yourselves.

Life is already very difficult as it is right now, but to throw fucking coronavirus into our mix, sounds like a pretty crushing loss and way to end an undefeated streak in a terrible fashion.  I will always resent it, and unlike a video game, this loss on the record is permanent and there’s no turning off and quitting it.

How today should be versus how it is

Today is my last day with *Fortune 50 company redacted*.  I’ve been here for a hair under six years, and this is the longest job I’ve ever had.  As much of a stressor and source of frustration the job had turned into over the last two years, under normal circumstances today really should be a bittersweet one, because there are still a lot of good people there, I’ve made a lot of good relationships, as I close this chapter of my career.

Instead I’m just bitter, at all the life’s circumstances that are swirling around in play right now, and I’m having a very difficult time letting go of all this anger and frustration I’m feeling. It’s tarnishing absolutely everything around in my life right now, and I’m fully aware of it and how calm people always wax poetic about how it’s never good to hold onto anger, but I can’t help it because my entire household has been compromised by one fucking person who thinks vaccination means they can resume living life like it were 2018 again and going into crowds and picking up plagues to spread unto others.

I should be excited about my new job starting up soon, but I’m not.  I haven’t even worked a day, but I’m already dreading it, because my home is still fucked with COVID, and in spite of me originally thinking I may have been asymptomatic, I’m feeling shit in my throat that is saying otherwise and I’m 99% sure I too now have dropped off the list of the undefeated but I can’t know definitively because the America is too full of stupid fucks, the disease is everywhere and I can’t get tested because all sites are slammed to oblivion and and all home tests are sold out everywhere until like 2025.

Instead of embarking on my new career path full of optimism and hope eternal, it’ll more than likely be just like a day like today: me on double duty with my girls because we can’t bring in help because of COVID and mythical wife still having to go to work because the school system is more fucked up than Heaven’s Gate and they’re more than willing to turn a blind eye to someone with a very recent exposure as long as they don’t have to go get a substitute teacher.  So I’m quadruple stressed out because I probably have the ‘Rona, I’m still on the clock with my last day of work, I’m worried for my wife, and dealing with both kids.

All because one person brought the fucking plague into my home.

I should be coasting to the finish line and feeling melancholy as I bid adieu.  I should be excited about my new job coming up. 

I should be in good spirits.

But I’m not.  I’m angry, frustrated, disappointed and disgusted.  Brain full of bile, throat full of phlegm, feeling bitter and resentful and helpless because there’s absolutely jack shit that can really be done about any of this but wait it out.Have to power through orientation and day 1 of new job while putting up a facade that everything is fine.  Have to wait out 10-14 days to hope that this Omicron bullshit works its way through my house’s residents.  Have to eventually find somewhere to test or have to pay for fucking home tests if they can even be found.

Have to keep life in fucking hold stasis for even longer, because of the conduct of someone outside my home.

Today should be a good day.  But it’s fucking not.  I can get over me getting sick, but my wife and my innocent children getting sick, is inexcusable.  It’s not fucking fair, and this is anger that I will be incapable of letting go of, for a long time. 

A kick in the balls at the buzzer

If you’ve never seen one of these before, no this is not a pregnancy test.  God forbid, no.  Mythical wife and I used those fancy tests that could actually run Doom on them.  Two kids was the plan and mission accomplished.

No, this is a rapid COVID-19 test, and the two lines that are shown indicate a positive, yes you have coronavirus within your system.

For all the caution, masking, distancing, isolating  and other measures mythical wife and I have done over the last 22 months, it still made it into our home.

To clarify, this is not my test, although considering someone in my household is registering a positive, it’s safe to say that we’re all exposed.  I, or anyone else in my house can’t really go get confirmed, because everyone in my area has gone bonkers and any testing sites are all slam packed not to mention it’s New Years fucking Eve.

I’m quite upset over the likely circumstances that brought this unfortunate development to light, but what’s done is done and raging about it will accomplish nothing at all.  But the result is still the same, and for the next week, maybe two, my household is going to be wonky, my wife and kids and myself will have to play spatial chess as we try to minimize together time so that those with symptoms avoid those without.

It upsets me that the world went from intelligent avoidance to eventual acceptance that everyone was inevitably going to contract coronavirus at some point, and in the case my home, it wasn’t anyone here that went out of their way to get themselves exposed.  We’ve been doing our part to minimize exposure and stay safe, but unfortunately we can’t monitor the world outside our doors and the activities that the people outside our doors are doing.

I’m just upset on varying levels and degrees right now.  There’s never any good time for anyone to get sick, but happening right on a holiday makes things a little bit harder and more inconvenient.  There is no consolation in me being negative or asymptomatic, when my wife and one of my kids are ill and addled.

My daughter registered a fever of 103F. Ordinarily, that’s a need to go to urgent care, but clinics and facilities all over are so overrun, that they do an assessment to see who’s at the greatest risk of death to determine on whether or not they should go or.  Seeing as how my daughter is acting fairly normal in spite of the temperatures, we’ve been recommended to “stick with what you’re doing – at home” instead of going to urgent care—that’s where the fuck we’re at in this state of the world right now.

Life is already fucking difficult enough as it is, but to throw coronavirus on top of it, and I’m just feeling defeated and owned and all sorts of dejected.  Things will seemingly never get easier, and all I can really feel like is the endless need to endure and be patient, instead of thrive and enjoying life more than I am.

It’s funny, because as I was finishing out my last post and ending it with how the book on 2021 was closing with that post, it was almost like tempting fate that something should occur with the one day we had left.  And much like the title of this post is called, it really does feel like a kick in the balls, right at the buzzer.

Happy fucking new year, everyone.

A 2021 year-end post

Looking back at all my old posts on a near-daily basis through the On This Day plug-in I use, I realize that I’ve written a whole lot of year-end posts throughout the years, which makes me feel somewhat obligated to write one for this year as well.  Initially, my thought was “fuck, ain’t nobody got time for this shit,” but then I stopped to actually think about the year 2021 as a whole, and realized that making one, really shouldn’t be that difficult.

Seeing as how in my double dad duty life, I’m typically always in search of the path of least resistance, “shouldn’t be that difficult,” pleases me.

Although plenty of things happened both in my own little bubble, as well as the rest of the world, for me, the year really can be summed up pretty succinctly as a tale of two halves.  The first half of the year was spent preparing for the birth of #2, where my job made me miserable and was sucking the life out of me.  And then literally halfway through the year, #2 arrived, embarking on the second half of the year where my job still made me miserable, but it was compounded by the ever-living difficulty of parenting two under two with insufficient help.

All while the coronavirus pandemic that plagued most of 2020, still raged on throughout the entire 2021, regardless of how stupid, arrogant and ignorant the rest of the world seemed to become because we’re all a bunch of selfish fucks who can’t understand the importance of quarantine and distancing, and have to be out in public events and crowded restaurants.  Vaccinations came into fruition, and smart people got them, but it didn’t make everyone suddenly invincible, as much as it dulled the fatality capabilities of coronavirus.  But that was good enough for everyone, and I stopped pondering which was worse between the unvaccinated and the vaccinated who thought they were bulletproof.

On that description alone, it sounds like 2021 may have sucked, and I’d be the first to admit that I did have a tremendous amount of time with dark clouds over me and inside my head.  But none of it has any bearing for the love I have for my children, no matter how hard they’ve made my life in this current juncture, and no matter how much I bitch and write pissy brog posts, they are still my happiness and the greatest things to have happened to my life along with mythical wife.

This isn’t to say that the year was entirely a wash.  It’s just pretty easy to sum up in very broad strokes, that make it sound negative.  Aside from the birth of my second child, she brought baby luck into play, and despite thinking I wouldn’t ever see it in my lifetime, the Atlanta Braves won the World Series.  I mean if that isn’t the very embodiment of baby luck, I don’t know what was, the Braves had 88 wins and had no business making the playoffs, but they did, got hot, and rode the momentum all the way to the Commissioner’s Trophy.

I also got the NXT UK Tag Team replica blet, that I’ve been waiting to come into existence for three years.  That pleased me greatly and was a good way to wind down the year.

Oh, and the new job I secured with the year winding down.  A substantial raise, elevated job title, and for the inevitable future where I have to report back into an office, a shorter commute.  Plus, it gave me the long-awaited departure from my toxic current boss, and I can’t wait to get the fuck away from her.  That shit is really fantastic news too.

But because I’m a nerd that takes general notes on the happenings that interest me, the following things also occurred in 2021:

  • Baked potato worshippers basically tried to throw a coup and invade the Capitol in Washington DC in defiance of the failed 2020 election
  • I took a UX course to try and pivot my career path
  • Got vaccinated, had it kick my ass. Got a booster later in the year, which kicked my ass again
  • Tried the Dr. Now diet from My 600 Lb. Life of eating 1,200 calories a day; I lasted a week before throwing in the towel, but still lost 3.1 lbs.
  • The housing market in America went completely bonkers, and I capitalized on it by refinancing on my house to help ourselves financially
  • Alabama won its 52nd National Championship
  • Tom Brady won his 43rd Super Bowl; but first with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • The Milwaukee Bucks, yes Milwaukee Bucks, won the NBA Finals
  • My upstairs HVAC died in the middle of summer and had to be replaced, causing a very uncomfortable week in August
  • And finally, speaking of deaths, notable passings in my world included: Hank Aaron, Larry King, Screech from Saved by the Bell, Jessica Walter, New Jack, Norm Macdonald, John Madden, Betty White, and most tragically, Sonny Chiba. 

But let’s not end this post talking about deaths.  As droll and depressing some of the tone of this post might’ve read, there is absolutely no reason for me to not be optimistic about 2022.  I have a new job that pays better and gets me away from the toxic situation that shit all over my 2021, and as my girls grow and develop, life should become a little simpler, and pave the way for me to get bits of my own life back, gradually, little by little.

Those things alone carry great weight, and as long as those things can progress positively, not even the dismal state of the world’s handling of coronavirus can drag me down.  And with that, I close the brog book on 2021, and hope for nothing but the best going into year 22 of fairly consistent brogging.

2 Under 2: A very different story this time (#076)

As I wind down my second paternity leave, I feel pretty much not much from the dread of returning to work, and a lot of anxiety at the uncertainty of what life is going to be like in the coming weeks.  I went into this paternity leave feeling burned out and exasperated from the combination of a job that I’d soured on plus the rigors of parenting two under two.  I conclude my paternity leave feeling burned out and exasperated, except this time there is no work to blame for the overflow of stress and in fact, I’m going back to it.

I had hoped that taking the working part out of the equation would alleviate a lot of pressures of daily life of parenting, but things just didn’t really work out that way, much to my disappointment.  A vast combination of parenting factors, such as sleep issues with #2 that are wildly inconsistent and persistent, #1 entering a very precarious stage in her life where basically everything is a hair trigger to a crying meltdown, the fact that I have basically little to no help on a regular basis, and have spent an inordinate amount of hours doing double duty on both kids at the same time.

Most every day over the last twelve weeks has had at least one instance where I get upset or exasperated, and by now I’m often feeling so over parenting and as I’ve said numerous times, just want a single day where I can not have to be a parent so that I can appropriately recharge, but know it’ll never happen because my circumstances are precarious and difficult for anyone to really handle plus I don’t trust anyone to do all the ungodly amount of chores and tasks I do on a daily basis as well as I do.

Make no mistake, I feel like shit and am endlessly guilty admitting to all of this, but inherently therein lies just how difficult the journey of life with two children under the age of two is, and made more difficult in the midst of an endless pandemic where we can’t send #1 off to daycare or have a larger pool of people to trust with child care that isn’t the family that lives 3-10 hours away from us.

But at the same time, I’m not going to sugar coat it, lie and say everything is fine, because it most definitely isn’t.  Parenting is hard.  Parenting two kids is even harder, especially when I’m having to do it on my own as often as I do.  Multiply that by difficult behaviors, a lack of sleep, no breaks or times to unwind, and you have me.  Obviously, it would be arrogant to think that I am a genuinely unique instance as dads throughout history have undoubtedly matched my circumstances if not worse countless times, but I sure as shit don’t know anyone who is or has, in my little bubble of life.

I don’t have enough help.  My wife and I do not have enough help.  The state we live in, in the country it resides in, isn’t doing enough to help us much less themselves, based on the rise of Omicron and the endless existence of coronavirus.  Child care is expensive and bleeding us, especially since the last six weeks of my leave were the unpaid portion of it.  I really didn’t want to go unpaid for six weeks, but the needs of my children still come first, and seeing as how we still have no fucking clue to what’s going to happen once both mythical wife and I are both working, there is no light at the end of the tunnel right now.

I want to enjoy the last moments of this leave with my second child as I did with my first, but it’s proving to be difficult to do so.  Time is never on our side, and I am always against a clock somewhere for some reason.  Again, it sucks balls writing all of this out and admitting to just how upset I’ve gotten more than I like to admit, but shit, life has been hard, and there’s no reason to deny it.  One of these days, I hope that it won’t be as much so, but I’m definitely struggling to navigate things beyond a few hours of each day at a time.

Maybe in the near-to-distant future, or later on down the line when this post shows up on my On This Day, I’ll re-read posts like this and cringe at just how stupid I sounded, because life then will be so much better, or hopefully not, still be in this depressing state in the future.  But true to the brog, this is where I am at in this juncture of time, and shit ain’t easy.  And with going back to work on the near horizon, it probably won’t be getting any simpler any time soon.

2 Under 2: Days like today I’m over parenting (#075)

I should be happy and excited right now.  I have received some very good personal news.  But I’m not.  I can’t be, because parenting two under two is soul sucking draining and there’s no room in my life for anything me, because I’m dealing with two crying kids all fucking day every fucking day and I have no idea when it will ever get any easier. 

#2 sucks at sleeping and doesn’t nap or stay asleep which already drains me daily, but has now devolved to where it encroaches into my one-on-one time with #1, because she’s insisting on waking up earlier than ever, despite not getting any more nap time or night sleep, so I am literally handcuffed to her from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed.  And to think she had one really perfect day earlier in the week where she slept until 8, had two perfect naps, and didn’t fight me Mortal Kombat when it came time to sleep.  

To make life any easier, #1 has apparently begun entering the terrible two phase where everything warrants crying and tantrums, and we’re talking real tears and snot and screaming and shunning.  And there will be moments in the day where both kids are crying, fussing, screaming, or all of the above to where I just have to stop, stand there still, and contemplate that this is where my life is at, and wondering, what. the. fuck. 

Obviously I’m not the only dad or any parent who’s ever been in this situation, but I would really like to know how other dads have fared or handled this specific scenario of simultaneously raising two under two, in similar aged kids to my own.  I need to know I’m not alone here, because I’m constantly overwhelmed, constantly overworked, often miserable, and at times completely over being a parent and just wanting a fucking break that will never happen because two under two is too much to ask of anyone to alleviate me of and I can’t rely on anyone and I don’t know any two people or don’t trust anyone to do a fraction of shit I do on a daily basis to get me one. 

I know that I’m not alone under these circumstances. I just want to hear it. 

But the disheartening thing is that I don’t know anyone in these circumstances. My friends and our generation itself are all so anti-kids or they have just one kid, or they’re fortunate enough to have family and other free care to lend hands, that it really does feel sometimes that I am alone.  

All I want for Christmas is a single day where I can turn off dad mode and live like a regular human being for a day.  Sleep without an alarm. Past 7 am. Eat when I want to eat and not when #1 eats so she doesn’t get pissed that I’m eating without her. To have a moment where I realize that I can run, write, or workout or watch tv for an hour without getting interrupted. Not be on double duty with two kids by myself for 3-5 hours a day.  Not to have to deal with pets.  To have an evening where I don’t have to sprint upstairs at a moments notice 3-5 times to pacify a kid because they can’t stay asleep.

Just one fucking day.  Happy Kwanzaa 

Oh, and my nanny just called in sick. Today’s going to be awesome.  Happy Hanukkah 

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!