…the at-home blood pressure test went okay.

Yesterday I had my first physical in something like six years. I was dreading the blood pressure cuff.

It never goes well. I’m terrified of them. Everyone says it’s stupid to be afraid of a pressure cuff, as if I’m not aware of exactly how dumb my terror is. Like, y’all know what “phobia” means, right? It wouldn’t have a special name if it was a rational fear. People have arachnophobia, they don’t have “dying of nuclear war because Putin’s a fuckhead” phobia.

Anyway, they did three tests and I couldn’t calm down at the thought of a mindless medical device slowly squeezing the life out of my blood vessels while disaffected medical staff look on. So my results, while progressively better, looked awful. I think the first was something like 160/100. Not sure what those numbers mean, but apparently not good.

My wife set up an at-home pressure testing area so we can monitor in a more relaxing environment. It fucking sucks. Now instead of doing this only once a year, I have to do it every morning. Ugh.

At least today I was able to look at my phone. It came down a lot and was in a reasonable range. So let’s call that a glimmer of hope.


…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.


…there’s still an outside chance democracy will work.

Not feeling very positive today, guys. It’s been a year since the coup attempt in the US and it feels like the only thing that’s changed since is more Republicans have shifted their definition of “terrorism.”

Our government seemed like a good idea in theory. I guess I still have some little ember of hope that we’ll pull through this and not all be murdered by misinformed alt right zealots.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? Extremism doesn’t want to be rational. You can’t reason with them because they don’t want reason. They just want supremacy and it doesn’t matter to them how they get it.

I’ll cling on to my hope since I’ve got nothing else. Maybe there’ll be better news soon.


…my daughter is interested in her fears.

Any time she convinces herself that something is terrifying – like diseases or monsters in Minecraft or Venom – she does this weird dance where she insists she doesn’t want anything to do with it for like a month, then she demands to know everything about it. Which is why she now wants a Venom stuffie for Christmas.

I’m fascinated and relieved by it. She still has fears she hasn’t quite worked out, but she has this organic way of processing the rest of them.

My other daughter wants to have a sleepover in a graveyard and become a bug doctor. I’m not sure if having no fears is better. But I’m in for a hell of an observational study.