…I can almost make peace with getting back to normal.

I’ve been reluctant to go unmasked and start doing stuff again. But when I think about it, it’s not because I’m actually afraid of getting Covid. Not anymore. I’ve been vaccinated and boosted, and so has my family. And the case rate here is okay.

What’s really holding me back is that so many people around us are just honestly awful. They took off their masks before the pandemic, then they showed us just how little they care about us or anyone. There’s no going back. I can’t make nice with the devil.

I have no idea how to interact with the unvaxxed and the Trumpers. I don’t. I know they want me, my family, and my friends dead. They’ve said as much. They’re proud of their hate. They hold us in such low esteem that they’d rather see the country burn than let us vote.

Taking my mask off and going out in public isn’t an admission of failure or weakness or anything. But it’s been conflated with all this other bullshit and now it feels like I’m taking a step back and pretending we aren’t living amongst monsters.

I’m not comfortable with it yet, but at least I recognize it and can dissociate that from the mask. That’s sorta like progress.

If you stumbled on this and happen to be a Trump voting anti-vaxxer, just please try for a minute to picture how you look to us. I’m not going to try to change your mind, you’re already too far gone. Just know that every mouth frothing face you make, every conspiracy theory you spread, every picture of guns and cops you post to social media – it doesn’t make you look patriotic. I know you think you love your country. But you look like a lunatic. You are the person rambling on a street corner that we all avoid. We aren’t afraid of you because of your ideas or your integrity. We fear you the way we fear serial killers.

At least I can lose the mask. For now.


…we are going to the surgeon for the last time, hopefully.

At least for a year. Today’s my wife’s physical post-op, which will be followed by an online post-op in like 5 weeks. And then… Nothing. We hope. And even if there is another reason to go back, she’s committed to taking at least a year break from surgery. It’ll be the first solid year without doctor’s appointments since 2017.

Cancer sucks, man. And pretty much all of what she’s gone through has been preventive. Sure fucking glad she didn’t have to have chemo on top of it.


…we don’t make a big deal about Valentine’s Day in our house.

Partly it’s because our first date anniversary is on February 8, and that’s more important. But mostly it’s because my wife just honestly doesn’t care that much about it.

Which is great for me. Look, I could make a big romantic gesture, but it’s more fun to do those on random summer Thursdays instead.

And why should we feel like shits if we fail to live up to some arbitrary standards of celebration designed by heteronormative mega corporations? Fuck those guys. They haven’t saved a single relationship yet. It’s just a day in February where shit costs more and everybody’s secretly angry.

Anyway, if you’re out there trying to impress somebody today, I just hope they’re the kind of person who also doesn’t care about the date. Those are the ones worth impressing.


…I’ve been using Duolingo for a full week.

I’m sure I’m still in that honeymoon period where the novelty is keeping me invested. So who knows if I’ll be in it next year.

But for now – I love it. I took Spanish for three years in middle / high school and remembered just enough to annoy me that I’m not more fluent. And every time I’ve tried to pick up the language again with tapes or audiobooks or whatever, the lessons start too simply. I can only practice “Hola” once before I’m bored out of my skull.

So Duolingo’s approach is a huge blessing. I love that I’ve been able to dive straight into more intermediate lessons that balance both review and new info.

And now that I’ve given up drinking again, it’s a good way to kill time and keep me distracted. Let’s hope it sticks.


…I am starting to find some confidence with my anger.

My seven year-old daughter is being bullied at school. Going to reserve comments on the other kid since who the hell knows if this will escalate into a legal matter or what. But it fucking sucks.

I was bullied pretty bad back in middle school. Pretty sure the reason was they thought I was gay, but then again, it might just be ’cause I was fat. Or maybe it’s because it happened in Pasadena, MD, a total shithole of a town where hope goes to die.

I remember being spat on by a series of kids I didn’t recognize before getting on the bus to go home, and internalizing all of it, thinking I must have done something wrong and feeling totally helpless. I was crushed to the point of inaction.

As an adult, I still find myself constantly shrinking into a scared 12 year-old, thinking the best thing to do when facing real struggle is to avoid “drama” and hope the problem goes away.

I owe my daughter far more than that. I don’t want to let her down.

Fortunately, my wife is vindictive, merciless, and never forgets a slight – and she sure as shit doesn’t forgive.

I’m not sure what happens next, but it isn’t gonna be silence. I have a partner to keep me in check. And we have some work to do.