…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.


…I’m capable of being uncomfortable and fucking dealing with it.

You hear that, Florida? What the fuck is this Stop WOKE Act bullshit? You guys are a fucking embarrassment.

I’m a depressive who barely leaves the house even on good days and I’ve still got more balls than your entire state. “Oh no, history made me uncomfortable, you’re not allowed to do that.” You useless fucks.

Guaranteed the louder somebody shouts about PC culture, the bigger a wimp they are.

Every day I ponder on our various national and global shames and look in the mirror with burning focus on all my sins, real or imagined, direct or indirect, and my conclusion is: I can still do better and it’s worth it to try, even at the most hopeless of times. If you look at the mirror and just feel hopeless, I understand and can’t blame you.

But if you stop looking at the mirror the second you squirm and then say, “This thing’s broken,” you’re not even trying. How am I supposed to have any respect for that? How am I supposed to take any of you seriously about any goddamn thing ever again?

Today’s worth it because I’m still trying. And fuck you for getting in the way.


…we were able to restock our masks.

Our county may be stupidly full of denialism and needlessly fighting mask mandates… but at least we were able to get more KN95s for the kids.

I’m backsliding into depression so bad that even my ray of hope is couched in the pandemic. Why is it that the less energy we have, the angrier the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers get? Do you people have nothing else to wake up to besides your rage? And if that’s all that’s left, do you even know who exactly you’re planning to die for?

Ugh. Just keeping my fingers crossed my kids stay safe. They deserve far better than this shit.


…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.


…I don’t have to go far to visit my family.

Bonus: most of my family is pretty chill and easy to get along with, so family dinners aren’t usually tense or full of shitty conversation. So the fact they all live pretty near is even better because I can and actually do want to see them more often.

But even when I do have to keep a stiff upper lip and suffer through inane bullshit with extended family, I can at least relax knowing that I’m always less than an hour’s drive away from home.

The thought of having to haul my ass to an airport with two kids, dealing with packed lines of holiday travelers all feeling exactly as shitty and sleep-deprived as me, and flying out to Bumfuck, Ohio to spend even just one night in a house full of angry husks who just want to shout, and there’s not even a bar – let alone a good bar – to escape to, and then I have to drag my family all the way back home again and cram in any actual celebration in the last few hours of peace I have before work starts… ugh, that’s fucking awful. That’s the kind of toxic shit that would make me turn into an awful father and project all that crap to my own kids.

What I’m saying is, the coastal elites have a fucking point, guys. Get with the program. Happy Thanksgiving.


…there will be a Diet Coke at lunchtime.

I gotta be honest, today I woke up in a real depressive fit. It’s pretty hard to think of things worth getting out of bed for today.

All the news is about swing voters saying they want Trump back, which is like saying, “I know when my dick was in the mousetrap, it got infected and nearly fell off, but this glue trap is just so sticky!” I guess when our only options in the last century have been various shades of abuse, people just want the version they can really feel.

And if it’s not that shit in the news, it’s conspiracy theories and bullshit and excuses for actual literal armed terrorists who tried a coup. Not that our country has ever had a problem defending terrorism before. (See, when white people do it, it’s a “race riot” and somehow the people that were genocidally murdered were partly to blame.)

Also, centrists keep fucking shitting the bed and making concessions to corporations while cutting social programs and safety nets that the rest of us could use, and instead of looking at the polling as a warning sign that everybody is just really, really fucking tired of their bullshit, they always get it wrong and say, “This is why centrism is more important than ever! DIG DEEPER!”

So today’s one of those days where I have to get myself excited about a single, mundane detail I actually have power over. And that’s why today is worth it so I can have a goddamn Diet Coke at lunch.

I know it’s a joke soda. I know it’s also the preferred beverage of that rapist that everybody seems to love so much. And I know it’s not particularly good for me.

But I developed a taste for it and I only have them once in awhile, and today’s one of those days, so fuck it. Diet Coke is the high point today. Some days are like that.


…we can open all the windows instead of using the air conditioner.

Getting a nice breeze in the house is one of the greatest things about having a house. You get shade and fresh air without any bugs. It’s literally the best of both worlds.

Just too goddamn bad this only lasts for a few weeks out of the year nowadays.

Remember when fall and spring actually lasted for months? And you’d have temperate days for literally an entire season? Now it’s just these little fakes. Now we have ‘snot Spring and Faux Fall before we have to settle in for either “blizzard” or “too fucking hot,” and the whole goddamn time a bunch of useless fucks in suits tell us it’s always been this way and there’s no reason to try to fix it.

I guess if all you know how to do is ruin life for everyone else, then you actually can’t recognize how shit climate change has made things. That’s the trick with evil. Progress is so hard and often undefinable that you don’t even know if you’ve made any or if you should keep going. But shitting everywhere and fucking things up? You can do it all day long. There’s no bottom.

Not that I’m giving up. Fuck the GOP. We’ll take this on without you. And for the next couple glorious weeks, I’ll enjoy what little pleasant weather is left.


…my county’s library system is well-funded.

Public services are fucking awesome, guys. Really wish people would quit trying to ruin them.

The Anne Arundel County Public Library system may not even rank among the best in the state, for all I know. I haven’t been keeping up with Libraries Monthly. Whatever its rank, it’s a great system. Tons of choices, tons of ways to check out, great online support.

Got nothing but good things to say. They’ve kept me in a steady supply of kids’ books since we started making weekly trips. Sometimes the kids still demand that I read something for the 60th time and I go into a dissociative state, but most of our rotation is fresh, and I couldn’t have done it without AACPL.

In the most genuine way, I mean this: the public library has kept me sane during the pandemic.