Rough Visit

My father got to see my mother today for the first time in a long time. Mom recognized him but wasn’t in a good way. I suppose it could have been worse. When I got there she was in a rough place. It’s difficult, but I’d feel worse if I couldn’t get there.

Back at the house, Jen has introduced Harry to Arrested Development. We are burning through it at breakneck pace.

We are also planning to go for a walk in Boston tomorrow. Both film cameras are coming. When the Nikon runs out of film the Pentax will take over.

Until then, we are about 90 minutes away from winning Mega Millions. 1.1 Billion US dollars? I’ll take it.

55 Years

Today is my parents’ 55th wedding anniversary. On this day in the summer of love, 1967, those two crazy kids got hitched. They are not currently living in the same facility. Dad is in an assisted living place in Billerica and Mom is in a nursing facility in Andover. It’s devastating. Any time I visit Mom I try to call Dad so they can connect a little, but my Mother mostly doesn’t get what’s going on and it fails. Dad was insistent that he see her today, rightly so, and my brother is taking him. My brother saw Mom yesterday and it sounds like it was a pretty rough day for her. The fear is that the same thing will happen today and it will some how make things worse for both parents. When I try to pretend I am an optimist, I try to envision something in Mom’s head snapping into focus when she sees Dad. Fingers crossed. Really hoping something like that happens. Seriously.

Anyway, 55 years is a huge number. Do me a favor and take a second to wish my folks a happy anniversary. Maybe some happy vibes from the electronic universe will help them connect today. Wouldn’t that be great?

Things to Do in the Coming Days

Tonight after work I need to go to the store and buy a new belt. My jeans are kinda falling off and the belt I am wearing can’t go any tighter. It’s sort of an emergency at this point. A belt has been purchased online, I just need to go and get it.

After that, Bellana is super hyped about watching the first episode of season four of Stranger Things. We’re going to try and watch it tonight. Harry wants in too but he’s working and has an after-work task. Bellana’s at her aunt’s house. They are both going to be here tonight but they are going to be on the late side. We should still be okay but if not the make up date is Thursday.

Why Thursday? Because tomorrow night after work we are going to see the new Thor. Tomorrow is the make up date for the movie we were supposed to see over the weekend.

I also think I might be going somewhere and buying a lottery ticket tonight. The Massachusetts Mega Millions jackpot is pretty huge right now. Do I risk it? Where did I put my KN95 mask? Oh yeah, I have 100 of them and they are everywhere. Let’s do it!

Tonight’s Agenda

The plan for tonight is simple. First, make some mashed potatoes and fry up some ground beef for a sort of faux Sheppard’s Pie kinda thing.

After that… Stranger Things season three. The plan is to watch the first episode of season four with Bellana on Wednesday. Harry is going to watch season four with friends after he goes back to school. Bellana has already seen it but wants in on episode one… which implies that episode one must be world rocking.

Six minutes until the work day ends. Are you ready kids? Aye aye, captain!

ADDENDUM: I sure have been using the word “faux” a lot lately, haven’t I?

Evening Drive

Harry and Jen and I just drove up to the ocean and back while listening to Pink Floyd. It was epic.

The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon all the way through.


We all needed to get out of the house. You know how it is when you’re 2.5 years into a pandemic. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house…

…and sometimes you need to blast The Floyd while you’re toolin’ up route 495 North.

Accordion Day

I went to visit my mother today. She slept the whole time I was there.

I had forgotten that Sunday morning was sing along time hosted by the son of one of the residents. He plays beginner song book kind of songs on an accordion and sings along. The residents get together and listen and some of them sing along too.

I think the experience taught me that I am seriously starving for live music. It’s pretty bad.

I wrote down the set list, in case anyone wants to make a playlist on the streaming service (not Spotify) of their choice.

Accordion Guy’s Set list:

  • My Country Tis of Thee
  • Let me call you sweetheart
  • Daisy
  • Michael Row the Boat Ashore
  • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
  • Doe Re Me
  • God Bless America
  • I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
  • Take Me Out to the Ballgame
  • You’re a grand old flag
  • Yankee Doodle
  • The Bible Tells Me So
  • Beautiful Heaven
  • Battle Hymn of the Republic
  • Baby Face
  • Beautiful Dreamer
  • Star Spangled Banner

Movies Revisited

Okay, so the movies didn’t happen. It’s okay. It was a scheduling thing, not a fear of viral infection. We moved our tickets to Wednesday.

Instead we have continued with The Great Stranger Things Binge of 2022. We are in season two and we just watched that episode. You know the one. The one that is so terrible it makes you want to puke. Every episode of the series that I have seen (I haven’t seen season four yet) is an A+ excellent experience except for that one. That one is suck. Pure suck.

Now that we’re through it though… bring on the good stuff.

Friday at Last

It wasn’t really a long week, but now that we’re up to Friday it suddenly feels like a long week. Eight hours and 11 minutes to go until the weekend. Who’s ready?

I was hoping for some car music today but I didn’t get a chance to write any lyrics last night. Maybe tomorrow. The plan as it stands now is to go to see a matinee of the new Thor movie tomorrow. That is both exciting and nervy. It will be our first visit to a movie theater since the pandemic started. That’s why we’re going to the first showing of the day. We’re hoping the place will be empty. We’ll see.

I thought about asking the bariatric surgery facebook group about the pros and cons of small amounts of popcorn, but then I re-declared the facebook boycott so… yeah. I’ll stick to water, thanks. Wicked smaht there, Robert.

I am going to visit my mother tonight. Hopefully I’ll get there once or twice more over the weekend. I need to stop by Dad’s too. We’ll see how things shake out.

I want to do some music, preferably car music and guitar playing and some lyric/melody/riff writing. The faux 50/90 is still happening, but I am about an astronomical unit* behind schedule. There are only six songs in the pipeline right now and none are even remotely close to finished. Also, July ends next week. I should have 13 songs complete by the end of the month. Not happening. Not even close. Still, it’s fun. I just need to get into the groove somehow. I was feeling pretty good on Wednesday. Let’s channel that and do some more.

Photography… I don’t know. Downtown Andover? Downtown Lowell? Boston and Cambridge? We’ll see. I want to have one or two more rolls finished (I have two finished now and one in progress) before I ship off to a lab somewhere, but that could take ages at this point. We’ll have to see.

Okay. Let’s get through the work day before we worry about any of this stuff. Happy Friday, folks!

*An astronomical unit is defined as the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. That is a perfectly accurate description of how far off the pace I am at the moment.

Come Home Already

I made it home from the office pretty easily. There was a little traffic jam in Waltham, but nothing too bad. It took me about an hour to get home.

I had dinner. 4.6 oz of roast beef. After 2.6 ounces I stopped. I’m not sure why. I was still hungry, I wasn’t feeling any nausea, it tasted good. I just needed to stop. I had a little sugar free pudding to try and fill my tiny new stomach, but I’m still a little hungry. I am not sure what happened. We’ll keep an eye out for any future occurances.

Bellana went to her dad’s house for a bit this evening. We are waiting for her to come home so we can watch the 1st season finale of Stranger Things. Bellana has seen all of season four so far. I was going to start watching it over the weekend, but Jen had never seen any of it and Bellana talked her into giving it a try. So Jen and I are watching it together. We burned through the first seven episodes in two sittings. I think my beautiful bride might be enjoying the show.

Okay, Bellana is almost home. Time to watch some tube.

Complaining About Being Here

I don’t like to complain about going into the office out loud, but I am okay with doing it here.

The main complaint is always the same. I miss the gigantic 10,000 inch monitor on my desk at home. I have the laptop’s monitor and a little tiny second monitor here, but even combined they aren’t even close to as big as the 1,000,000 inch monitor at home.

The AirPods Max I brought in with me are wonderful headphones. Still, I greatly prefer listening to music or podcasts during the work day on the HomePod we have in the cellar. I just prefer a little space in my audio, you know what I mean? And I don’t mean the horrible, awful spatial audio garbage Apple came up with for their headphones. No thank you. That shit is the worst. I mean actual space. I want to have air moving. You know, sound. That’s not a knock against the AirPods Max (other than the crappy spatial audio thing), it’s just a personal preference.

When I work in the office I have to make my lunch ahead of time. There’s nothing wrong with that, I just like the idea of being able to change my mind about what I want to eat at the last minute. You know, after a lifetime of being a pathological picky eater, sometimes you just can’t see that far ahead. It’s a thing. Trust me.

I miss my keyboard and mouse. The keyboard and mouse I have at home are both swanky and awesome gamer level stuff. The keyboard is mechanical and makes tons of clickity clack noise. Here in the office? Simple and straightforward. No bells and whistles. I typo like crazy, and sometimes my right mouse button just ignores me.

I mean, let’s be honest, there is nothing here in the office that makes my life difficult at all. It’s just that after 2+ years of working from home… I’ve gotten a little spoiled by the goodness.

The biggest complaint of all though: No Jen. Sad face. These days we can include no Harry and no Bellana as well. Sad face times three.