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Rambling On…

2020: Hold my whiskey — 09/16/2020

2020: Hold my whiskey

I started writing this post for my birthday on January 28, 2020. Apparently, the year started out hard and I didn’t want to write about the hard things. The rest of 2020 took a turn for the ‘Hold my beer, early 2020’ and it got too hard to write about any things.

I have been overwhelmed with the amount of horrible things going on in the world and in our country, and the day to day challenges of living in that world with a brain that does not really know how to process it all. I see that even people who are generally good at that type of thing are also having trouble processing it all. I am trying to have hope for a better future for everyone, but it is not always easy.

I miss writing. It is a thing I do to organize my thoughts, but lately, there are too many to organize. There are a few things that stop the chaos in my head, and I am very thankful for them, so I will write about those things.

My favorite part of the ‘new world’ is that Karen is working from home. I know that it is not all good for her because she misses her work people and going to work in her office, but the cats and I love getting to spend so much time with her. I know she is happy to get to spend so much time with us too. Working from home is much less lonely than it used to be.

I like the way people have quickly adapted to virtual meetings and socializing. Zoom, and similar video conferencing apps, can be overwhelming, but it is a nice way to get to see people when you can’t see them in person. A favorite pandemic thing has been getting together with some friends for Zoom movie nights. We meet on Zoom and all press play on the movie DVD at (approximately) the same time, then hang out together and watch the movie, have drinks, and have a good time together. I am not so good at socializing in the actual world, and this has been a nice new way to socialize. Thanks to Paul and Lisa and Terry and families ūüôā

I miss my family terribly. Facetime is nice, but not the same as seeing them in person. I am not so good at traveling, but since I’ve been back on the same coast as them it has been easier and I wish I could see them more. Instead, I call them a lot. It makes me happy to hear their voices and to know how they are spending their days during this crazy time. It breaks my heart that Karen has to visit her mom through a window in the parking lot and that so many families are separated in so many ways.

I have come to appreciate distractions even more than I already did. At some point every morning I get very agitated and can’t think, or work, or sit still. Going outside until I can think again is a nice distraction. My brain goes on auto-pilot and almost always takes me to the train station.

Karate was a nice distraction, even on Zoom, but I have to take a break for a few reasons, including a very annoying hurt shoulder. Hopefully I can do that again soon. It is helpful to kick stuff, even if it is just the air.

Video games are always a good distraction. Favorite game of the year has definitely been Fallout 76, even though it has so many bugs and annoyances.

Podcasts are another favorite distraction. I like a lot of audio dramas and listen to a bunch of work related podcasts. I started a post about favorite podcasts a while back. Maybe I will finish and post it sometime.

Last, but definitely not least, favorite distraction of the pandemic: Whiskey. I am thankful to whiskey for making things more bearable. Before the pandemic, I mostly liked to drink it straight up or with ice. That is still my favorite, but Karen and I have taken advantage of this form of stress relief during the pandemic to learn a few cocktail recipes (Old Fashioned and Whiskey Sour) and to try some new kinds of whiskey.

I hope you are all doing okay and getting by as best you can and I hope we can all fix the world and get to a better place soon.

Sad Robot — 05/01/2018

Sad Robot

I am in a bad place. Not the worst place by far, but it keeps getting worse. My brain is starting to shut down and it is getting harder to come back. It happens whenever there are too many things. It has always happened, and no matter what kinds of medicines I take, or therapy I do, I am pretty sure that there is nothing that can stop it. Except for the obvious, which is to not have too many things. I don’t think that is possible. Life is things.

Sometimes, writing helps to sort out the things. I have not written here much in a while, but have many spreadsheets and Evernote notes filled with attempts at making order out of the things. Somehow, my attempts at figuring this out have led to more things, such as working with the Maryland DORS to get help finding a job working for someone else instead of myself. I don’t know if I even want that, or would be able to do it if given the chance, and going through this process is stressing me out. I am pretty attached to my business, even though it drives me crazy.

I want a business partner. I can’t seem to give up that idea even though I can not figure out how to make it happen. It is a miracle that I make money each year. It is not much, and no matter how much better I get at making estimates and charging the right amount of money, I still end up working all the time for very little in return.

Sometimes, I think finding a few other people and starting an agency would be better than finding a single partner, but that is even more confusing. I have no idea how to make that work. There are so many details — the same details that I already can not figure out in my own business, only more so.

I am a coder, and when necessary, a designer, but a web business needs more than that. Thankfully Karen helps me with billing. Having a project manager on retainer has also helped a lot, but it is very hard for me to be organized enough to even give the PM what she needs to be able to organize my projects. I would not need to do that if I worked with other people. We would all do what we were skilled at.

I am so tired of trying to do all the things all the time. It is wearing me down and it makes me tired and it is hard to sleep and I dread the next day. Stupid money.

I don’t know what to do. There are too many things and I have a ton of work to do and I can’t think. I need to send estimates for projects, and do research for other projects, and work on my current projects. I spent half the day working and then had to escape. Went to the PO Box to check for checks. It was empty, but it was nice to take a walk and listen to my new favorite podcast of the moment for a while. Now I should work again, but I am here rambling. That is what I come here to do.

I will stop rambling for now. Some things are good. Awesome even. Karen and the cats and my family They are the best, and they make me very happy, and I am lucky to have them all!

50 Random Thoughts On or About Turning Fifty — 02/17/2017

50 Random Thoughts On or About Turning Fifty

I turned 50¬†on January 28th. It was a pretty exciting birthday for me. For a person who didn’t think they would make it to eighteen, 50 years old feels like an achievement. 18¬†seemed like one too, but more like one that was achieved by luck. 50 took a lot more work.

In honor and remembrance of my 50th year on this planet, I would like to list 50 random thoughts that have been jumbling around in my head…

  1. 50 is the age that I consider to be “officially old‚ĄĘ”. I am okay with that. Being 50 is a privilege and rite¬†of passage.
  2. When I was younger, I was very unhappy, but also very lucky. I have a family who loves me and has always  taken care of me the best that they could. It is thanks to them and other kind souls that have befriended me over the years that I am still here to write this post.
  3. Over the years, I have managed to make a few very close friends and to become closer to my family.
  4. Being with Karen has been an adventure in love and life that provides joy and hope even at the hardest times.
  5. Life has been extra challenging since we moved to Baltimore 6 years ago and I do not see an end to that any time soon.
  6. My day to day life is kind of lonely and I have not made many close friends here.
  7. I am not good at having friends, and not completely sure how I have managed to make such good ones over the years.
  8. It is hard for me to be with people and in crowds, and hard to concentrate well enough to keep up with conversations. It drains me until my brain completely shuts down.
  9. Running my business is a challenge and I work way too many hours for way too little pay.
  10. I am good at my job and I am bad at running a business. Still, I keep trying year after year and make enough money¬†that it would be badly missed if I didn’t have it, but is barely above the poverty level and much less than it would be if I was working with or for somebody who knew how to manage a business.
  11. I am still hoping to find my “magic business partner” ¬†or employer someday.
  12. Even with all the challenges, life has been good to me in so many ways and I am very thankful for that.
  13. I am glad we are here to help K’s parents.
  14. I love Baltimore and many of the people I have met here.
  15. I love being with Karen and Nikkyo and Buster (cats) and living in our awesome apartment (Thanks Lisa!).
  16. I love my karate school, and sometimes wish I could just do karate all the time.
  17. I wish Karen and I had enough time and money to get out of town once in a while.
  18. I wish we had enough money¬†to not stress about it so much.¬†Maybe money can’t buy happiness, but it can relieve stress¬†and less stress can cause happiness.
  19. I miss Lake Merritt in Oakland and the San Francisco Bay.
  20. I wish I could work for AWN (Autism Women’s Network) full time.
  21. I wish I had more time to code for fun and not just for work. I have some ideas for projects that would teach me new skills, possibly lead to income, and/or would provide a helpful service to some people, but no time to work on them.
  22. I miss my family terribly. It is easier to see them now that we live on the same coast again, but still hard for me to travel, especially on airplanes. I wish we lived in driving distance of each other.
  23. I miss the Russian River and Armstrong Woods.
  24. I¬†wish the world made sense and that people didn’t lie.
  25. I wish that people really cared about each other and helped each other.
  26. The only thing about turning fifty that has made it seem very old is writing this list and realizing how many items 50 actually is.
  27. I am pretty sure I spend more time than the average person thinking about dinosaurs.
  28. I like to spar.
  29. I wish my brain worked “right”, but am not completely sure I would want to be a RegularPerson‚ĄĘ.
  30. I have been a vegetarian for 30 years and think that if I started eating meat again I would have more energy. Was going to try it when I was 50, but as of yet, have not.
  31. I think I would excel at being a cat.
  32. “Cutting the Cord” is much cheaper than cable TV, but I miss the ease of use and channel availability of Comcast.
  33. I wish the haters would always lose. I am not sure what that means for me if I hate the haters.
  34. I used to build and fix “WinTel” computers, and was amazed at the awesome quality, reliability, and ease of use when I switched to macs 13 years ago.
  35. I first learned to program on an Apple IIe that my dad had, and a Commodore 64 and VIC-20 that were at my high school.
  36. I rarely took part in extra-curricular activities when I was in school, but over the years spent some time as a member of the computer club, Mathletes, and the Spanish club.
  37. When I was younger, I understood Hebrew pretty well. I can still read it, but have a very limited vocabulary now.
  38. I love WordPress.
  39. I love Laravel more than I love WordPress, but see many advantages to using WordPress for the types of websites I most often build for my clients.
  40. I love Drupal, but have no reason to use it. Sometimes I go out of my way to look for a reason.
  41. If I had time, I would learn Python.
  42. Lisa baked me the best cake in the whole world for my 50th birthday. Thanks Lisa!
  43. I like cold weather when I have the appropriate outerwear.
  44. Hexagons make me feel peaceful.
  45. I am a cat person and a dog person, but prefer cats because they are easier to take care of.
  46. I occasionally contemplate what life would be like if I was a panda.
  47. I am a lot like my dad.
  48. I wish I was also a lot like my mom. She is a social and organizational genius.
  49. I like to play video games and currently play WoW. The Fallout series is probably my favorite of all time.
  50. I would like to learn how to play D&D or something similar with real people.
chaos — 07/22/2016

chaos

Part 15 of 15 in the series distracted by haiku

chaos is in me
one step closer to the edge
trying not to fall

chaos confuses
wraps word order wrong and fails
to stop the echo

chaos surrounds me
closing in fog and laughing
when i disappear

lonely — 03/09/2016
monday at five — 10/19/2015
abyss — 08/16/2015
conference — 08/06/2015
unfocused — 08/01/2015
stuck —