Sunday, March 19, 2023

Tummy Troubles

I am fairly certain I had food poisoning last week. My stomach was gurgling and upset Thursday night and then I spent the wee hours of Friday morning with bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. I don't recall ever having stomach problems like this before. I don't even think I'd vomited since I lived in Brooklyn and had a bad batch of Chinese food. This was bad. I'm recovering, but I'm still fatigued and not back on a regular diet yet. I believe the culprit of my tummy troubles was a frozen Stouffer's meal of Swedish meatballs I had for dinner Thursday night. That's what I seemed to be barfing up and crapping out. 

When I got sick from a Lo Mein meal in Brooklyn, I stopped eating Chinese food for years. The same goes for when I got sick from an Arby's roast beef sandwich years ago. I was done with Arby's for years. And, to this day, I've never eaten another McChicken sandwich or Catalina salad dressing after I'd barfed up both before I was hospitalized in my early 20s and had to have my inflamed appendix removed.  I've since gone back to both Chinese food and Arby's, but still get queasy just thinking about a McChicken sandwich or a salad with Catalina dressing. I feel the same way about Stouffer's Swedish meatballs right now. Never again.

Since I've been incapacitated this weekend, I've watched a lot of TV including two documentaries that were interesting:

1. MH 370: The Plane That Disappeared: I watched this three-part series on Netflix yesterday and was left with more questions than answers. How does an entire airplane filled with more than 200 passengers just disappear? I don't know but I also don't believe that the supposed debris from the plane found isn't really from the plane. Even if it was from the Malaysian Airlines flight 370, where's the rest of it? Where are the bodies? It makes no sense. With all of the sophisticated technology around these days, I find it hard to believe that on one can find this plane and its passengers. 

2. Who Killed Robert Wone: I watched this two-part series on Peacock last night and this morning and was fascinated by the case. Attorney Robert Wone went to his college friend's house in Washington, DC to spend the night after working late and he never made it out of the house alive. He'd been stabbed, but the three occupants of the house all claimed an intruder had come into the home and killed Robert. But no one actually saw an intruder. There was hardly any blood on the scene. And all three guys who lived in the house were sexually involved with each other and into bondage. I don't know what happened here. This is another documentary I watched that left me with more questions than answers. But one thing I'm certain of is that the three guys at that house are covering something up. If one of them didn't kill Robert, they know who did kill him. I personally think one or more of them did something, maybe things got out of hand and Robert was injured or killed accidentally, and the three guys covered up the debacle with a fake intruder story. The fact that the three guys walked on this really bothers me, but the case against them wasn't strong enough. It's all so bizarre, but the documentary was really riveting to watch. I hope Robert Wone's family finally gets justice here and the truth, but I suspect that will only happen if one of the three guys breaks and tells the truth and that doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Too Much TV

I am making an effort (a small one) to wean myself off of watching hours of TV each night after my day job is done and it's working (sort of). I'm trying to take time each evening to do something other than watch TV like read or write. (During the week, it's mainly reading time and my weekends are left for writing.) But I'm still watching TV (just not as much as I used to watch). Two things I'm watching now are:

1. Daisy Jones & the Six on Prime. Let me say up front that Prime has turned out to be a disappointment for me on the video front. It just isn't offering a lot of stuff I want to see. This one might get the boot before this year ends, but while I have it, I've been watching the series based on the book Daisy Jones & the Six. I read the book over the holidays and I enjoyed it, but the miniseries isn't good. I don't care for the guy who's playing Billy Dunn. There's something off-putting about him for me. His looks aren't great and his singing voice isn't either. He also doesn't look the way I imagined Billy would look when I was reading the book. I'm not crazy about the actor playing Daisy Jones either. She at least looks more like I imagined the character to look and I think her voice is okay, but I'm not bowled over by her performance either. Once I saw Reese Witherspoon was behind the film rights to the book, I should have known a movie version (or miniseries) would be messed up. Thanks to Reese, a good book was turned into a cheesy, lame miniseries. And the wigs are bad. The one they stuck on Timothy Olyphant's head is a disgrace. Ugh. It's a shame that I feel the need to mute the sound when the band starts singing, but I do. Color me underwhelmed by this one.

2. Breaking Bad on Netflix. I'm late to the Breaking Bad universe, I'll admit. I never watched this show when it aired. I only got into it after I started watching Better Call Saul (that I enjoyed), so now I'm playing catchup with BB. I almost bailed on this series early on because it wasn't holding my interest, but I just finished Season 4 and I'm all in. Bryan Cranston deserves all the kudos he received for his work as Walter White. It's amazing to me to watch a supposedly mild-mannered high school science teacher turn into a stone-cold drug dealing killer. But maybe that side of him was always there and it was just suppressed. Or maybe the circumstances he was in made him change. Whatever the reason, his story makes for good TV. 

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Bye, Lori

The public has spoken and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot won't be given a second term. The runoff between Paul Vallas and Brendon Johnson will determine who will be the next mayor of Chicago. Since I don't live in Chicago, I don't have a dog in that fight, but I do work in the city (whenever I'm forced to go back into the office), so I do care who's elected even though I don't get a vote. Lightfoot, in my opinion, never had a chance. She alienated too many people, she was too stubborn in sticking to people and plans that weren't working, and she seemed often to be in denial about the crime problems in the city. Police superintendent David Brown was ineffective and should have been shown the door a long time ago. (He really shouldn't have been hired in the first place, but I digress.) I hope whoever the next mayor is that he does make crime in the city a priority. The shootings, carjackings, problems on the CTA, muggings, etc. are bringing the city to its knees. I'm glad I've been able to work from home so I don't have to go into the city on pubic transit. I can't even imagine getting on the L and riding to the Loop these days. During my few trips into the city for work, I've taken Metra that costs more, but at least feels fairly safe to me. 

As someone who has been an advocate for public transit, it pains me to have to say I'm seriously afraid of taking public transit these days. I never feared riding the subway while I lived in New York or even when I was commuting to my day job in the Chicago Loop. But I fear it now. A huge part of the problem is the revolving door of criminals being let back onto the streets with an ankle monitor and a court date. If you tried to shoot someone, you need to be locked up and stay locked up. No bonding out. No ankle monitor.

People want to feel that they can venture out of their homes safely and do things like see a show, go out for dinner, or go shopping without wondering if they're going to make it back home alive. I wish the new mayor the best because he's going to have his work cut out for him.

Saturday, February 25, 2023


In Evanston, IL, where I currently live, the city council members have been debating about whether to ban some businesses from being cashless. Some council members (mainly one council member) believe that businesses that don't accept cash discriminate against the unbanked. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, cash is legal tender and it should be accepted by all businesses, right? On the other hand, even the unbanked have access to electronic methods of payment via prepaid credit cards, etc. that can be purchased from a variety of places, including your local Walgreens. (There is a fee for these cards, but the point is that they're available for anyone to purchase and use.) You don't have to have a bank account in order to have a credit card that can be used at any business that doesn't accept cash. My father, who refuses to use a debit card and prefers to pay cash for just about everything, complained that the self-checkout registers at his local Walmart store don't accept cash. They used to, but now are for credit transactions only, so he's forced to go to a register with a live cashier in order to buy anything. My father is not unbanked, he's just old. He really should just get a debit card and call it a day, but he won't. So I guess he'll have to wait for a cashier to ring him up whenever he's at Walmart. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023


At times, I feel like I curse too much, so I make feeble attempts to clean up my language and use words other than curse words to say what I mean. There's been a lot of nonsense going on at my day job and rather than saying a lot of bullshit, I'm going with "chicanery." (I can't really curse like I normally would at work anyway unless I want to be summoned by the HR folks.) 

Chicanery is the perfect old-timey word to describe trickery or shenanigans going on. Too many folks are lying and doing weird underhanded stuff. Chicanery has run amuck in my workplace. I even described a coworker as our own in-house George Santos because he lies so much with a straight face. And yet the guy, like Santos, keeps moving on up. He was promoted recently. Ugh.

Being a frequent reader of Datalounge, I came across a thread recently asking how people's lives have changed during the Covid pandemic and someone posted: I'm seeing my job as the joke it is and enjoying more time on my own. I feel the same way, Datalounger. 

I work because I have to, not because I necessarily want to. If I had the means, I wouldn't work at all or I'd do something I wanted on a part-time basis. But, bills have to be paid, I need food, health insurance, transportation, and shelter, so I have to work.  

Can you tell I'm feeling better? I am, physically. Mentally, I'm just trying to stay afloat and rise above the chicanery in my workplace. That's a full time job in itself!

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Work in Progress

I vowed to try and stop being so much of a recluse during 2023 and get back out into the world. Well, one month into the new year, and my attempts to be out and about have been mixed at best. First, I caught Covid at the start of the year. Then I started having some other health problems that, hopefully, aren't serious. So I've been to the doctor and I'm trying to get my issues resolved or at least controlled. But, in more promising news, I am writing something new and it's coming along. I'm really working to get this thing moving and finished in the next month. I've been trying an failing to write a stalker story. It's something that's been on my mind for some time now. Finally, I feel like it's coming together. It's a work in progress, but it is progressing! 

I really wanted to take a trip this year, but I don't know if that's going to happen with health issues I'm having right now. I was out of the country after Christmas and for New Year's, but that was for work and I really didn't get to enjoy it. I had one free day to enjoy Bermuda. It's a lovely, expensive country and I'd love to go back on my own dime and my own time when I could truly see the area.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Random Thoughts

I've been reading and watching a lot over the past few weeks and here are some of my random thoughts about random things:

1. George Santos (aka Andrew Devolder, Kitara Ravache): I find the Santos story fascinating for a number of reasons, but mainly because of the pathological level of lying he does. This guy didn't just lie about what school he went to or about a previous employer, he lies about everything: playing varsity volleyball, having health injuries due to his non-existent volleyball career, dressing in drag (per him, he wasn't a drag queen, just a guy dressing in drag and having a good time), owning multiple properties, how and when his mother died, being Jewish, having grandparents who were Holocaust survivors, running an animal charity, helping a disabled vet pay for animal care, providing his campaign with $700K, and the list goes on. I can't believe this guy could keep so many lies straight. Actually, he couldn't! It must be exhausting to keep making up lies about yourself. Who does that? Someone who, clearly, doesn't like who he is. I could see a kid lying about where he came from if he's ashamed of growing up poor or something. But Santos is no kid and so many of his lies are downright ridiculous. Still, if this guy gets tossed out of Congress, I doubt it'll be for lies about his personal life. It'll be for lies about his financing. Follow the money, folks.

2. Annoying Commercials: I swear, if I see one more commercial with Kevin Hart or with the Shriners Hospital kids, I'm going to lose it. Do the Shriners fund certain channels because I sure see their commercials running all the time on channels like MeTV. Get some other funding, folks! Mix up the advertisers. And is Kevin Hart doing endorsements for whoever asks him? Chase, Draft Kings, whatever. Enough already! I have to mute the sound on the Draft Kings commercials where he's featured. Just the sound of his voice makes me reach for the remote. Also, ugh to the Dupixent commercials with the dancing kid all dolled up in bad makeup. Who thought this would be a good idea to highlight a medication for eczema? 

3. Timothy Olyphant and Conan O'Brien: I'm going to end this post on a high note by confessing my love for the duo of Olyphant and O'Brien. These two guys are hilarious together. I've been watching clips of them on YouTube from Conan's talk show and from his podcast and they're so great. I am a huge Olyphant fan. He's the kind of actor who gets better looking as he ages. He's also very charming and very funny (at least he is in all of the clips I've watched with him). I didn't even watch Justified when it was on (although I will watch the new shows when they air) and I bailed on the Santa Clarita Diet after the first episode, but I still enjoy Timothy particularly when he's teamed up with Conan. Such a delight and highly recommended.