Goals Reflection: May 2020
[any identifying names and locations will be changed for protection and privacy.]
GOALS REFLECTION - May 2020
Well wouldn't you know it, the garden coordinator did come back to me. Maybe like the first week of May or something. I am registered, and I now have my own garden plot to mess around with. The first plants I put in were a bunch of bush beans, a cucumber plant, and a tomato plant. Added to those about a week later (as gifts from friends of mine) were another tomato plant, a couple green bell pepper plants, and a couple onions. We shall see what comes up in a couple months. I visit every day and see if anything has died.
It was completely unexpected to have been granted the plot, and I do feel as if it is a late start. But this is my first time working with that plot anyway. I have no idea as to the condition of the soil, and due to avoiding other people and only visiting the grocery, I've not tilled the land or added potting soil, fertilizer, or garden soil. I've actually cleared out plants only in the places I've planted my own, so it's quite overgrown. I trim down weeds that seem a bit too zealous for their own good (and I want to stay on good standing with the garden coordinator), but I'm experimenting with "completely lazy-ass gardening" techniques. If I have any sort of yield this year, I'll be pleasantly surprised. I will also have a good chuckle, in the shadow of all the rest of the gardeners who by all appearances, are much more professional than me.
In any case, having a reason and an agenda to go outdoors will be good for me emotionally, even though I have to inevitably dodge dipshits who aren't wearing masks outdoors.
My video game project was released in the middle of the month, definitely on schedule. I find it amusing, and I'm proud of the work I was able to do with it. One of the new things I did was a lot of voice narration. The story is something I would describe as, "Monty Python meets the Muppet Show," and the narration I did was inspired by an old stop-animation cartoon from my youth called Paddington Bear. In the episodes, there was one person who did the narration in a pleasant voice, and also did different vocalizations for the different characters.
This story has a frog as the main character, and two other characters: an owl, and a miniature primate called a slow loris. The voices for all three are different, and the narration is a distinct fourth voice as well. It was a treat for me to make it. I played through it even today, and had a good laugh at it. It was also my first project in which I used a graphics program called Aseprite, and I think I "leveled up" in the art department with it. I like it a lot. The game looks good.
The only thing I can say about this topic right now is that as far as my day job is considered, I am liked a lot and it his highly likely I will still have a job into next calendar year. That means I can still contribute to my savings, and still build a safety cushion for another six months. When considering something as soon as January 2021, all bets are off. In the failed state in which I live (and I'm talking about the USA), I see nothing good. Even if my day job is propelled into 2021 and beyond with high demand and high effectiveness (I work at a non-profit workforce training center), I acknowledge that it is only because the rest of the United States is in the shitter, economically speaking.
Who am I kidding? The USA is bankrupt: financially, ethically, and morally. It's not gonna make it out of this in one piece. After some lunch-time reading today, I even considered what it would take for me to pull up stakes and somehow move to one of the countries in Europe where my pen pals reside. I could find a plot of land, live off savings, immerse myself in the language until I've learned it, and find a way to get by living in a shack and eating turnips and onions or something.
FAMILY TIME & FRIENDS
One of the most thoughtful things I had experienced earlier this month was an old, old friend of mine hosting a surprise Zoom birthday call for his wife. I sang at their wedding a few years ago. There were about a dozen of us in on the call, distant friends and family, and we muddled through the Happy Birthday song and everything. She was very touched by the effort her man went through to pull it off.
I speak with my mother on the phone once a week, but that's about it. I had a long call with my mid-western aunt some time ago, and she was okay.
FITNESS & HEALTH
Like most of the rest of the world, I suspect my mental health is deteriorating due to isolation and feelings of inescapable powerlessness and despair. This past Sunday, after shopping at the grocery, I drove in the car for another half hour, not going anywhere but taking the "scenic route" home.
There are people shouting to reopen businesses, and wander round public places without a mask, mumbling a half-hearted apology: "Whoops, sorry, I forgot," or, "Uh, I left it in the car, it's just for a little bit." The good news is that I'm not the only one freaked out by this. I was contacted on the dating website I check occasionally, and a woman asked if I was "still doing the social-distancing thing," as I had mentioned in my profile an offhand comment that I was "so over it." I quickly updated my profile so I wouldn't broker any confusion: "If you aren't wearing a mask right now, if you prioritize your 'individual liberty' over public health, then I'm not interested. Go away."
Meanwhile... On the exercise bike, I started doing interval training: 30 seconds as hard as I can, 90 seconds gently. An acquaintance of mine is a phys ed teacher and in the videos he's been creating and posting for his students he mentions how interval training is useful if you are interested in trimming some fat. So I am working on staying lean and at least somewhat toned while away from everyone and everything, and it's been good for me.
All Cops Are Bastards. Cars Ruin Everything Around Me. Humans are revenants, the Vengeful Dead, their various xenophobic tribes circling the wagons, while we as a species are circling the drain. I feel so sorry for kids these days. The future is horrific, and it is due to no fault of their own.
TO SUM UP
The social fabric of the United States continues to unravel, and I'm trying to stay functional and useful instead of being a burden. Being outdoors, gardening, and exercising are things that help keep me in a positive routine, though I honestly dread even imagining what even one more month of life will foist upon our already crippled, bankrupt society.