Farewell My Good Friend

I lost a dear friend this week. We have been friends for more than 10 years but we technically never met. He was an online friend but that helped with our friendship a lot. We had a friendship that didn’t look like it would work on paper but in reality it was an unconditional friendship. There were very few issues that we saw eye to eye on but it made for great discussions. We would tell each other just about everything and even if the other person didn’t agree with what we were doing, the other one always listened and gave support, even when telling the other that we disagree.

Curt’s views were not in line with mine. He was constantly teasing me about being from California while he worked in Tennessee and lived in Mississippi. He grew up in The Midwest and went on to join the military and I never gave the military a second thought for myself. He worked in IT and I work in health care. Our political views were quite opposite and and we just didn’t make sense on paper at all.

If I had had a rough day, I would call him on my way home from work and just ramble. He was used to my topic switching and just went with it. We talked about everything. I learned about what happens if you don’t submit your password changes on time (you get a very long one that is difficult to remember) and what happens when you don’t understand how cell phone upgrades work. He learned about my crazy busy schedule, and helped me finish up with my classes, especially when I needed the motivation towards the end.

I learned about a lot of euphemisms for masturbation. My favorite one was “taking Herman to the circus.” He sent me a photo of a sunburn that he had, and one of his fingers was in the photo, at an odd angle. I laughed because “it looks like you sent me a picture of Herman.” It was not Herman. It was his finger. I also once received a photo of Dick Van Dyke with the caption “unsolicited Dick Pic.” When Dick Van Dyke appeared on Masked Singer this week, I cried.

Having someone who wasn’t looking at someone something from your own point of view made a big difference especially when we both realize the other one wasn’t looking for advice just a sounding board. An opinion from the opposite point of view was always appreciated, since we were never trying to change the other person’s mind.

We saw each other through some difficult times in each of our lives. Basically just getting our random thoughts off of our chests and having someone else listen to us without giving advice and just hearing each other. His early mornings and the 2 hour time difference made it easy to chat with him during my insomnia bouts or early morning trips to the gym. He gave constant support, no matter what I was doing.

We knew what the other one was up to and listened without dwelling on the fact that we thought the other was wrong. I never gave him a hard time about his smoking, but he knew I would prefer he wouldn’t smoke. When he quit smoking, I was so proud of him. I checked in on him daily. I learned to call Jolly Ranchers “Gay Cowboys” because of him.

When it came time for the pandemic, Covid and vaccinations and all of the discussions came up with that, it was very clear that we were never going to see eye to eye . I listened to his point of view and understood where he was coming from and he understood where I was coming from and we knew we would never change the mind of the other one but we understood each other. No arguing. Just discussions.

Around New Year’s, he message me that he had pleurisy and was going into urgent care. He ended up getting a chest X-ray that found a large mass in his lungs unrelated to the pleurisy. He had a CT scan and shared the results with me knowing that I work in oncology. I knew from the initial report that it was not good news and I had difficulty trying not to let on what I know. I told him to go with the experts opinions and he was following along as directed . He had a few head bumps with the insurance companies, and you don’t want to get me started on the power that insurance companies have over delivering good medicine. He ended up having a biopsy confirming that it was cancer . He followed up with a PET scan and found that he had metastasis in his liver. He had a MRI and found that he did not have Metastasis in his brain so that was some good news.

He was going to start chemo right after the MRI , but again the insurance company delayed. He requested not have any treatment on his birthday so he started chemo 2 days later. The day he had the chemo, he checked in with me when chemo ended. He told me he was headed to the emergency room. He messaged me telling me that they thought he was having a heart attack and then again telling me that he had been admitted. The following morning he sent me a picture of him all hooked up to his monitors and settled into his room and told me he was going back to sleep for a little while. I heard nothing more from him after this.

Thankfully, his friend managed to reach out to me on Tuesday. Apparently sometime after he contacted me, he did have heart attack and ended up in the ICU. He had been unable to respond to texts or phone calls. He passed away almost a week after his first chemo treatment.

I have been tearful every time I tell what happened. I miss him and his way of just listening and telling me that I’m doing ok. I miss his IT advice, and telling me to think things through before jumping in. I’m not supposed to update to Windows 11 until he tells me to, so I guess I’m waiting a long time for that.

I learned to ask him before I watch horror movies. He knew what bothered me about the movies and told me what to avoid and what was more suspense than horror. I now have to figure it out with other friends who aren’t as in tune with my needs.

I’m sorry I won’t be able to attend any services that are planned, because of the distance, but I am glad that I have been kept up to date on what has happened.

Farewell Heywood, Jumper, Aslor70, Curt, and all other usernames that you used. I will miss you and so will so many others.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Most of my family and friends are supportive in my education goals. Some are not. These are the ones who ask all of the questions.

I have made it clear that I am getting my degree for bragging rights. I do not plan on changing jobs. I do not want to feel pushed into getting a different job, just because I will have the degree.

One not so supportive friend asked me what I want to be when I grow up. He was stunned when I answered “educated.” Education is never wasted. I hope I’ll finish up this year, though.

School starts again tomorrow.

Adjustable bed controls

A friend got a new bed. We were several miles away from her home when she was telling about how great the bed is. It is easy to adjust from her phone. She can raise or lower the head. She can adjust the temperature at the feet. She can adjust the firmness of the mattress. She was so excited. Then she looked at me and said that it was too bad that her spouse was the only using it at the moment, since she wasn’t home.

I, with my always working brain, asked her if she can adjust it with her spouse in the bed from where we were. No, because the phone and the bed both have to be connected to the same Wi-Fi to get it to work. Suddenly, she realized what I was saying and it dawned on her how funny it would be to have the bed suddenly adjust while her spouse was home, asleep. Ding ding ding! She won the prize! The bed still wouldn’t adjust, though, but it was a funny thought anyhow.

What do you mean you’re busy?

Between work and school, I’m carrying a lot. I’m finding I am forgetting stuff trying to get everything done. I have people thinking I’m trying to avoid them, but, really, I’m just overbooked these days.

My schedule is crazy right now.

Mondays, I’m working from 7:30 to 3 ish and then getting on my laptop for class until 4:45. Then I wander home to do a few chores and do homework. I have Molly for company until my daughter gets home from dance around 11 pm.

Tuesdays, I work from 7:30 until 12:30. Then I head to school campus to do a zoom class from the library before I head to an in person class. Then I swim with a friend and get home to shower and do homework.

Wednesday mornings are variable, but I work until 2 ish then head to campus for an in person class. Then Zoom class at 8 pm.

Thursdays are similar to Tuesdays, minus the swim. But I have bookclub in the evening.

Fridays are the days that I catch up in the afternoons at work. I never know when I’m going to get out of there.

The weekends are schoolwork catch up days. More book clubs. Social time with those who catch me early enough to get stuff onto my calendar. Laundry day. Other catch up day.

I have several friends who think I am avoiding them when I say that I can’t drop what I am doing and meet them randomly on a Wednesday evening. I have work the next day. Give me a break.

This is temporary. I’ll be back to being social one of these days. I do find time to meet with people when I know ahead of time. Keep this in mind. Plus, I am still a little freaked out about being with a group of people, so I don’t do it often. It does depend on what the event is.

Out in the Open again

I am still training for my 1.5 mile swim in early October. Until this week, all of my training has been in the pool.

I grabbed a friend and we set off to get me back into the open water. I had a little trouble with the swim watch, but my friend had hers going. We actually did .66 miles. It was a slow pace, but we were out there!

I plan on getting out there again soon.

Well, I Did It!

As many of you know, I struggle with the gym part of bookworm at the gym. I used to sign up for races and events all the time to keep myself motivated. All of the events were canceled with the pandemic, or postponed, or became virtual events. Motivation flew out the window. With the gym and pool closures, it became even more difficult to inspire motivation.

I have two friends who regularly do events with me. One does running and the other does swimming. They keep me moving. Sometimes literally. In the last few weeks, we’ve discussed going back to doing events. This week, we pushed each other. I am signed up for a 10k a year from now. I am signed up for a 1.5 mile open water swim in September. I have goals again!

The swim is a fundraiser, and I’ve posted my fundraising page below, if anyone is interested in sponsoring my swim. I have already made the minimum amount required to swim, so anything after this is just pushing me into wave maker status.

Wish me luck! Help keep me motivated.

Fundraising Page

Did you mean to do that?

I was meeting a friend who asked me to stop at the grocery store on the way. While I was there, I realized that part of her instructions weren’t clear. I had been messaging her but I decided a phone call was faster.

I didn’t think much about it and I just called her through the app that we were messaging on. She answered right away. She didn’t even say hello. Just “did you mean to do that?”

She’d assumed that I butt dialed since I never phone. I didn’t. I was just trying to get a series of questions answered faster than I could type.

How often do we just message a friend and never hear their voice? It’s nice to hear them once in a while. Next time you think of texting someone just to say hi, think of calling. I think we all need as much human contact as we can get these days.

Adding friends on goodreads

Because of the blog and my Instagram account, I’ve received friend requests on Goodreads. I don’t mind accepting them, since there really isn’t much personal information up there. Name general location and a photo is all that is up there, other than my reading log.

I have found that many of the requests are fake. I will add the person, then I’ll get a private message from the person, asking for my name and location. Ummm, it’s right there in my profile. Anyone who’s added me as a friend can see that info.

I asked a friend who I know well to look and see if he could see my profile. Yep. Name, location, photo, book lists. Just as I thought. He sent a screenshot. Exactly what I can see.

Well, at least I have a way to figure out who the fake people are. I’m not big into chatting there. Other than getting requests to review books or following up on a challenge or discussion in a group, I really have no reason to use the private message area.

Are these people bots? Are they hackers? Well, if they can’t even figure out how to find my profile info, they aren’t worth chatting with, other than to point them to tech support. Good luck to them!