Prompt 062: Evening Schedules
62. Evenings can get packed pretty easily with work, practices, social activities, and more. Do you think your evenings are too busy? Why or why not? Is there a middle ground between overworked and bored? If so, what is it?
[I stress that this is pre-virus time I'm reflecting on]
In general, my evening schedules are pretty much set.
In the evening during the workweek, I typically roll on my exercise bike, work on game designs, read a bit, play video games, write in a journal (like this) or to my pen pals, then go to bed. Once a week I have wash day and take care of the laundry (next to my room). Once I month-ish, I cut my hair (I own a set of hair clippers and do it myself). If I feel tired when I return home from the day job, I might fit a power nap in there before I do the rest of that stuff.
Actually, I've worked out a routine for myself these past few months. On the drive home, I'll stop at a Subway sandwich shop It's to the point now that they start making my "usual" as soon as I appear at their front door. I'll pick up that sandwich on the way home, have dinner round 4:30 or so, then tackle the rest of my evening tasks. I turn in for bed by 9:30 most evenings, because starting this year I wake in the morning somewhere round 5 to 5:30am. I don't stay up late during the work week.
My napping habits seem fairly unusual. I set an alarm for 25 minutes. I am able to fall asleep, have an intense, vibrant dream of some sort, and wake up - all before my alarm is triggered. I first found a way to do this when I was bicycle training on long rides. I would ride about 23 miles along a historical rail trail to visit my family, have a brief nap there to re-energize, hang out and socialize a bit, then ride the 23 miles back to my car. Those naps proved to be exceptionally effective, and now I feel like I'm conditioned to these short naps. I've been told that it's highly unusual to have dreams within such a short time. But they do happen, though they're almost instantly forgotten when I wake up.
The second part of the question above: is there a middle ground between overworked and bored? Of course there is. Unless someone is hardcore devoted to accomplishing everything on their to-do list, just sleep when you're tired (or when you can ensure a decent night's rest by going to bed at a certain time). I mention several things in the list above in terms of what I accomplish in a typical evening, but for clarity's sake assume I do as many as three of those in a single night. I don't feel stressed about my evenings at all. I live alone, I don't depend on anyone else to take care of my errands or chores or whatever, so I do what I want and sleep when I want.
This week, I was working from home. This virus shit is weighing me down and I am struggling to find peace within it all. I really feel for our clients as some of them are in a precarious situation (well, I think it's fair to say every human on the face of the planet is now in some form of precarious situation), and I'm concerned for their future. Some of them have kids, some of them haven't worked in months if not years. Now, barely anyone is hiring, beyond grocery stores and food manufacturers. There might be some openings at Amazon (like always), but personally I couldn't recommend them. Maybe some of them could be food delivery drivers. But the bottom line is that folks are already desperate to make ends meet, and with the advent of the virus there's been no relief to that anxiety and desperation.
Right now, we've technically finished up the second week of a three-week training for people to earn their CDL (commercial driver's license), but four of the past five days have been remote-only. Clients were forced to study on their own, and many of them were stressed-out about today's exam. I scrambled to come up with an online version so our Program Director could be convinced to not force clients to come in to the office and take the exam that way.
I've also been composing online study guides for the CDL material, using my video game-making software. While working from home, I've been doing a -lot- of voice recording. For each slide, I'm doing an unscripted talk-along, just as if I was in front of the class. These are kind of scrappy, but they are serviceable.
These are only a stop-gap measure, of course, for when our office can invest in a proper learning management system for online courses. Depending on if this job holds out, I'll be able to digitize the vast majority of our curriculum so that when things are evened-out, we'll be able to offer remote learning across the state and beyond.
Let me also state this about the coronavirus situation. American Exceptionalism cannot save us. The USA is not immune to the shit hitting the fan anymore, and if anything the current administration - which has systematically hobbled the country's ability to take care of itself in the name of "deregulation" and "the free market" - has doomed the people to a tremendously Lesser Than Life.
I don't want things to "get back to normal." I want a Revolution to emerge from the rubble left behind by the collapse of neoliberalism. I don't want to hear about people who can't afford to pay their medical bills anymore. I don't want to hear Republicans attempting to buy votes with a $1,000 or $2,000 check for every citizen, and then Democrats fuckin' blocking the checks. The fuck is that, anyway?
The memo on those checks should read, "We done fucked up. We admit our mistake."
This place was already an American Hellscape, and now it's being kneecapped by a contagion that could have been contained were the CDC not fucking disbanded and defunded. And no one is to blame for this other than the US Government. Fuck all of 'em who suck up to the corporations. You fucked over the rest of the country. I hope you all die, slowly and painfully, of this fucking virus you allowed to be let loose, you damn dipshits.
I'm reading a graphic novel collection of Grant Morrison's "The Invisibles" right now, and just last night I finished an chapter/issue which was more of a short story. For those of you who don't know, The Invisibles is best described as the X Files with a bunch of anarcho-punks at the wheel instead of Scully and Mulder. This most recent issue, however, didn't feature the usual crew. It focuses on a black borough in New York, where savage murder-rapes have been conducted for a few weeks. Turns out, a bunch of corporate white guys somehow distributed a "killer crack" on the streets that kills the person who takes it. Meanwhile, the corporate jerks use voodoun and technology to possess the recently-dead, then use them to commit all manner of perverse crimes in this borough, safe in their corporate high-rise offices.
To sum up (and to spoil it for you), a local voodoo priestess summons a voodoun mercenary/priest to solve the murder. He tracks down the corporate bastards and possess them with some fantastic scorpion-fueled voodoo magic. He then forces the corporate lackeys to eat their ringleader alive.
The final splash panel was visceral and shocking. But it describes what needs to happen to corporate America. I wish, I wish, I wish.