This week, when it’s believed the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest, has been rather pleasant. While I haven’t noticed any spirits trying to cross over in my presence, I certainly find the energy of this week rather noticeably different. As I mentioned recently when posting about the 70+ horror movies I watched this month, I love this time of year. That’s why I posted last week about the season’s history.
It’s hard to believe it’s already November. October seemed to fly by so quickly. For me, it was a difficult month given the sudden change in living situation. I would not characterize it as bad, though, but challenging with a lot of reflection and big emotions.
November means that we’re getting very close to turning the page on 2023. There are less than 2 full months of the year remaining. Seven full weeks now remain.
I’ve continued the process of migration from my previous blog this week and worked on cleaning up the content significantly. I’m definitely enjoying working with Astro and Firebase. There are some things I miss about working with Ghost, and I’d like to think that at some point I’ll write a post about my experience.
For now, though, let me recount something from today:
Today’s Unexpected Encounter
Today, I experienced a bizarre interaction.
I encountered a rather unpleasant person.
While walking Ollie, a beat-up white Prius caught my attention. The car sped over a speed hump about 20 ft away, noticeably faster than the 15 mph limit, causing the vehicle to bounce and lurch. As we crossed the street, the Prius accelerated towards us, its combustion engine roaring loud and clear.
This behavior was unexpected and piqued my interest, naturally prompting me to observe the car as it approached.
Upon reaching the stop sign, the middle-aged driver lowered his window, his tone brimming with anger. “What are you looking at?” he demanded.
Seeking clarity I asked, “What’s the problem?“.
Given how noticeably he was driving, it seemed logical for anyone to pay attention. Was I missing something?
His temper flared as he pressed, “Why are you staring at me?"
"I was trying to figure out why you’re driving like a maniac down a residential street,” I replied reasonably.
Dismissing my explanation, he laughed mockingly and accused me of being “full of shit.”
Bemused and somewhat taken aback, I wished him well and resumed my walk with Ollie. As he drove off, accelerating sharply, he cautioned me to “not lie too much”, possibly murmuring other comments I couldn’t discern.
I may have shouted back that he could go fuck himself. I’m not exactly proud but it seemed apropos in the moment. Also, I doubt he could actually hear me anyway.
Reflecting on this, I’m perplexed about his expectations. Drawing attention with such driving and then resenting the resulting attention seems counterintuitive. I believe he’s a neighbor living a few blocks away; I’ve observed him recording passersby from his porch quite conspicuously.
In retrospect, I wonder how I could have handled this interaction better. The guy seemed needlessly hostile. The man’s aggression was unwarranted. Accelerating menacingly towards pedestrians and then challenging them for noticing seems truly baffling to me.
Meanwhile, it’s about time that I recount the week as I do.
I had a nice little Sunday.
Most notable of the day was that I finally got around to hanging hammocks in the living room. It’s been on my list for some time. Given that the weather has begun to change and that I’ve long wished to have a little indoor hammock time, it seemed worth finally getting around to it.
I’m so glad that I did.
The experience is absolutely sublime! Everything that I hoped for!
The rest of the day was spent taking care of various chores and watching horror movies.
I also played more Alan Wake 2, and it’s an absolutely fantastic game. It’s beautiful, the story is extremely meta, and picks neatly where it left off 13 years ago. I really enjoyed it the first time after the 5 year wait from when the original was announced.
It was a reasonably uneventful day.
I did some work.
Lou came and we talked a bit.
Moira came and we watched S14E4 of Bob’s Burgers while we ate some vegetable soup.
I slept in a hammock.
It was a fine day.
Tuesday — Hallowe’en
As my favorite holiday, I took the day off and watched the last movies for “Spoopy Movie Month” - Ari Aster’s films: Midsommar and Hereditary.
I also wrote a “scary” blog post about our supposed lack of Free Will. I’m not sure it was effective, but it was a kind of a fun.
In the evening I went downtown to partake in the festivities of Halloween. It was a lot of fun seeing folks out and enjoying themselves, people in costumes, some of which were amazing.
I got to see Liz in her costume.
I spent a little time with Lou at the Kitsap Community Food Coop table until Ollie couldn’t take it any more.
I had brought Ollie in his little lion hood but that didn’t last long before he decided I would not wear it but instead would shake it off and, ultimately, try to bite it repeatedly. He did pretty well with everyone out and about - though he was not a fan of folks’ inflatable costumes at all. Once it started to get dark he started to get a little over protective and we had to leave.
The path of the ghouls and goblins was wildly efficient and entertaining. It was rather impression to stand in the middle of the streets on 4th and Pacific and seeing the crowds rotate around, their path making a clear cross shape, were you look down on them from above.
It was a lovely evening overall and I had a lot of fun.
Another relatively uneventful day.
I dropped off my car at MaxRPM for my Thursday appointment (due to the aforementioned car troubles).
Liz came. We had a nice little evening. I made us pesto pasta, we watched shows, and played some games.
Thursday was a rather big day for Liz. We allowed her to try riding public transportation on her own and go on a little adventure. She went to the Kitsap Mall all on her own. It was a little unnerving to let my child out be free- especially in 2023. It’s certainly not like things were when I was a child, there are dangers around every corner.
She made the trek without incident, however, and it was, I think, a positive experience for her.
Meanwhile, early in the morning I got the call from MaxRPM that my car had been diagnosed. It was, as I suspected, the coil packs. They quoted me about $1400 to change the spark plugs, replace the coil packs, and a shockingly high amount to replace the battery at the same time (as it’s been in need for some time and here on the doorstep of Winter seemed the right time).
I was assured it would be done by EOD on Friday but, thankfully, they were able to get the parts ordered and repairs completed before the end of the day on Thursday so I found myself no longer without transportation.
Friday was another eventful day.
It began with parent / teacher conferences with Liz. The general vibe is that Liz is doing well academically and seems to be well loved by the staff. It makes me happy to see her doing well in school despite the sudden transition to a brick and mortar.
I took the afternoon off from work to spend with her and we wound up heading up to Silverdale, stopping first to solve a craving for Taco Bell and then swinging into GameStop and BestBuy, two of her favorite stores.
Despite not wanting to spend any more money, I conceded that her broken keyboard was in need of replacing and, spoiling her as I so often do, I purchased her a Glorious Gaming GMMK 2 65% barebone with Panda tactile switches and Nebula (purple to pink) keycaps. It was way more than I wanted to spend but she’s ever so happy and really enjoyed assembling the whole thing.
Meanwhile Fortnite launched a new season - they’re calling it Fortnite OG. This is Chapter 4 Season OG and seems to be more like a mid-season break than anything.
I didn’t play the last season at all. I tend to drop in and out but often I play the Summer and Winter seasons, most often when Mikey comes to visit.
This is kind of a huge deal, however. While I didn’t play a lot of the first season of Fortnite, my kiddos did. They are overwhelmed with nostalgia over the map being reverted to the way it was when they first started playing.
I was able to play for a bit with the kiddos and Fortnite has managed to pull me back in, as it does.
I don’t want to love this game.
I wish I wasn’t old-man potato reflexes against the sweats. I can hold my own, mostly, but dang.
Saturday — Today
Now I’m writing this post, as you can plainly read.
I started the day making pancakes for Liz and I for breakfast. From scratch.
It’s the first time I’ve done that on my own in a very long time.
I used a rather simple recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- pinch of salt (should have used a bigger pinch)
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups almond/coconut milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
I sifted together the dry ingredients and then mixed with the wet ingredients.
I may have over mixed them, didn’t let the batter rest enough, used too much milk or butter, or something because, ultimately, they came out a little more dense than I would have preferred and, I think my pinch of salt was too small as they were just a touch on the bland side.
However, they were still pretty good and with syrup the flaws were almost unnoticeable.
I’ll try again, maybe next week, to get it right. I’d like them to be more fluffy and perhaps have a bit more of that umami flavor.
I had the unpleasant interaction I mentioned above.
Liz went to hang out with some friends.
Lou came and we chatted a bit about how we move forward from here. We wound up going out for tacos. It was a good conversation. I still love my wife very much, and she loves me. We’re trying to figure out a way forward for us that works. This is hard. We don’t want to simply throw away 13 years of marriage but we know that we have work to do to make things work.
The rest of the day was spent on this post, playing some Fortnite, attending to a few chores in need of doing, and things of a Saturday nature.
This evening I watched A Haunting in Venice and found it was rather good overall. Its Halloween theme was fun, the cinematography was excellent, it may not hold up super well, much like the rest of Agatha Christie’s oeuvre, to most folks in 2023, but I think they did a rather good job. It was, perhaps, the best of the Brannagh Poirot films.
That’s it for Week 44!
I’ve done it again, another post in the books, a promise to myself still (mostly) fulfilled!
I’ll see you next week!
Tonight we experience that time travel of Daylight Saving coming to an end when we “fall back” an hour when the clock strikes 2 am. Only once, however. We don’t get a permanent time loop where we’re stuck experiencing 1am to 2am forever.
I’ve been thinking a bit about trying my hand again at some prose. I’ve also written some poetry lately that I’ve considered posting here with a few other ideas in my head. Consider yourself forewarned.