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It speaks to me, too, but in the opposite. 

I just found out my ex-girlfriend, who has been the only close friend I've kept in my life for the last 9 years, is moving to Boston.  There are little annoyances - like no one who will have a spare set of keys if I lock myself out - but mostly it's just the crushing notion of having nowhere to turn if I need to talk.  Partly that's my fault, but partly it's deeper.  Even if I had other friends (and that base was certainly larger and well-used when I still lived in Baltimore and had old grad school friends), I would still rather go to her first anyway.  I still can, I suppose, but...this feels like one of those things that's happening in life and after it happens, everything will just be a little bit "less-than", compared to how it was.  OSJ dying earlier this year was like that, too.  

Do you ever find yourself rehearsing conversations before they happen?  Wanting to talk to a particular person about something that just happened?  Hearing a joke and wishing you weren't the only one in on it in that moment?  That's basically who she is. 

So, I guess my point is, be grateful if you want to be grateful.  But if you want to be ungrateful, be ungrateful, too.  None of us have any right or reason to say that the things that might weigh you down are things that shouldn't bother you.  You're the only one carrying your burden; only you know the weight.  And sometimes that weight is a terrifying thing.

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On 10/6/2021 at 3:21 AM, The Natural said:

Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day. More than 17 million people live with Cerebral Palsy through an injury to the developing brain. CP is a lifelong condition affecting me daily particularly my muscles and movements. Pain through it. There's good and bad periods though the bad more frequently this year. Fitting as 2021 sucks. You manage with the family, friends and the NHS I'm thankful for having xxx.

Uncle has it, he's never been able to walk. He's been in a wheelchair full time for at least 20 years now and can't even move himself in it anymore. He can't even lift his arms above his own head. The pandemic has not helped with any of this which annoys me greatly. He's put on weight and even caught COVID because of the shitty staff. At least he's still alive. He's in his 60s.

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I can't imagine anyone feeling grateful for their lives right now.  I certainly don't.  I seem to be constantly on edge, either dealing with the day to to day or worrying about the future.  Will my 80-year-old parents ever get their lives and friends back (probably not, at their age)?  Will my kids have futures?  Be able to meet people and fall in love?  Have careers?  Was it a mistake having kids? 

When I'm not worrying, I'm angry and hostile.  Angry at God, the unvaccinated, masks, politicians, medical community, progressives, Trumpers,  I'm angry at pretty much everyone and everything these days.  KInda hoping we get through the pandemic next year and there's something left of me besides a bitter shell, but...  In general, I try to be more pragmatic than optimistic, so...

Been seeing a therapist for the past year plus.  Been an interesting experience, but I don't think I've gotten anything out of it.  Current therapist seems nice enough and is probably decent at his job, but I mostly think his observations are trite.

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Just to be clear, I wasn't making a 'be grateful' sermon to other people. I was talking about myself personally.

I have often thought about how this would have affected me at a different point in my life, and there are many points in which it would have royally sucked no two ways about it. That it didn't happen then, for that I am grateful. I am also aware that for many people (leaving aside the huge amount of people who died and/or lost loved ones prematurely, including my partner), this will have happened 'at completely the wrong time'.

Currently I am in a good position in that I have my girlfriend, who is really awesome, and one of my better long-term friends lives in relative proximity (there is still a border in the way, which didn't used to matter but matters a little more now). But definitely as I get older, my social network gets a bit more precarious. Being an 'expat' (boujee immigrant), I sort of get access to a community if I really need it. Living on my own in London three years ago as a 40yo single (considerably younger on Tinder) was often a pretty lonely experience (the money was good admittedly) - being from London I am expected to have a social network but of course mostly they are married and living in the burbs. But it would be much worse if I had to return to that life now. OTOH If the pandemic had happened then....yeah I have no idea what that would have been like for me, but not good at all is probably the answer.

I was in Bangkok for 8 weeks in Spring 2019. If the pandemic had happened then....I'd probably have been there a lot longer, for better or worse. I definitely ponder these things.

Edited by RunningFromAmerica
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It can be hard. Almost all my closest friends have moved away from Champaign-Urbana. It being a college town, I suppose I should have expected that, especially given its proximity to Chicago. Thankfully my best friend is still here along with another old bandmate and we get together a couple times a month. It really is a saving grace at times. That's the main reason I'm glad Facebook is around because I can keep in touch with people through that. 

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I'm fortunate enough to have three of my closest friends still living here. The others moved to Iowa because their wife is from there, another moved to LA to further their acting career, another is in Denver for their job, and another is still in state, but they moved too far away to hang out with any kind of regularity. Thankfully, we have our private Discord channel and before my daughter was just born, we were always on there when we were playing Valorant or D&D via Tabletop Simulator. They're still on there, but I'm not until this kid starts sleeping through the night. And we have a Facebook Messenger chat going.

I still have other friends in town that I haven't been friends with for as long, but we would hang out pretty regularly before COVID hit. And the rest of my friends are scattered across the country, but I have a Hangouts chat with them and, again, before COVID hit, we'd get together once a year to go to a Cubs game.

So yeah, I feel pretty fortunate. I do miss hanging out in person especially since Pandemic Legacy and Gloomhaven are both collecting dust, but hopefully we can all start getting together soon.

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Heh, I have a close one who ran off to Denver too. Me and the two I mentioned, along with a married friend and an engaged friend who are still in town, have a group text that we're always using. I haven't seen the former since a nice brunch with him and his wife and kid and ANOTHER friend who moved to I believe one of the Carolinas or Virginias and his wife, and the latter in what feels like years. Certainly since he got sober; he was strung out for years and finally met someone good, got his tubes tied and gave her a ring. It feels like I'm the only one who never managed to clean up his act. My best friend even quit drinking for health reasons (and probably because his SO forced him to). Another one who moved away and got back in touch after four years or so is still struggling but is working 60 hours a week, ffs. 

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I've been in New Mexico for four years now. The wife and I both have friends, but nobody that we'd really classify as a best friend or even a really good friend. More like people we happen to know from our jobs or other places, that we consider to be friends. We've always just chalked it up to our being older now, and that sort of thing not really applying to us anymore (she just turned 40 and I turn 39 in December).

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On 10/6/2021 at 3:16 PM, Eoae said:

We're going to have to agree to disagree.  When has "My Body, My Choice" ever been absolute?  Most of us have gotten vaccinated at some point in our lives because it's required for school, certain jobs, etc.  Likewise, we can drink or do whatever drugs we want, but then the government steps in and tells us what we can and can't do while alcohol and drugs are in our body.  You can't drive while drunk because that makes you a potential hazard to other people.    Likewise, firms have always had the ability to mandate flu vaccines, drug tests, dress codes, standards of behavior, and a whole host of other things.

You're right that companies shouldn't require proof of vaccination.  They shouldn't have to.  People should be lining up to get this done without having to be forced, threatened, bribed, or anything else.  But, most of us are shit people in one way or another, so expecting us to even know what the right thing is much less do it is like asking for a pony for Christmas.

Giancarlo Esposito summed up my feelings pretty well.  He gave an interview this week and advised actors who don't want to get vaccinated to not show up for work and find a desert island to live on.  Works for me.  Most of us want to get through this and stop wearing masks and the like, so, if you don't want to help, stay home and don't be a hindrance. 

I don't even really understand anti-vaxxers.  Mask mandates, social distancing, and shutdowns aren't my idea of freedom.  It seems logical to assume you'd have much more freedom if you just got jabbed.

Sorry, but I think virtually everyone owes it to others to get vaccinated.  No excuses.  I view it as more of a public health issue than a referendum on personal freedom.

I agree, but I also believe the appearance of hypocrisy is still hypocrisy.  I either support forced government intervention in personal health matters or I don't.

Now, that's not to say that I also support irresponsible behavior.  Vaccine opponents can and should use other means like masks and testing to ensure that they are not a threat to society at large.  The issue with resisters is that they want to abstain from any and all protective measures which is totally fucking crazy and selfish.

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I really didn't think they could make job hunting shittier, but the absolutely non-stop calls, e-mails and texts from incredibly scammy 'recruiters,' most of which are pushing jobs that are either clearly not in my skillset or are $15/hr customer service jobs halfway across the country from me, have managed to do it.  Hats off.

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%E2%80%98Traumatic-memories-Stabbing-of-

Jesus, a Conservative MP, Sir David Amess has been stabbed to death at a constituency meeting today, 69 years old. My condolences to Amess' family and friends at this distressing time. Reminds me where I was in June 2016 leaving my hospital appointment when the news was breaking that Jo Cox MP had been attacked at a constituency meeting, she died from her injuries.

Edited by The Natural
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I'll be so glad when election season is over.  I live in the far-flung DC exurbs so I get the DC/NoVa local news, and the Virginia gubernatorial candidates have been running ads shitting on each other since early Summer.  No shit, they started so early I assumed there was some special election that was happening in August or something.  Nope, just 4ish months of attack ads for a November election.  I'm getting a good laugh out of the Republican candidate's recorded endorsement from the evil orange man who shall go nameless here, though.  It's so generic that it's obvious evil orange man's handlers have pre-written endorsement copy that they just put different names on.  They might as well have gone full-on Kamp Krusty "Mr. Black," as generic and phony as it sounded.

 

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Possibly living out a Jean Paul Sartre No Exit situation; I’m at a wedding my wife forgot we RSVP’d to until this afternoon, and we’ve been at cocktail hour with a room full of strangers for TWO HOURS with no chairs and the only music is an album of the instrumental jams that the Saturday Night Live Band plays during commercial breaks.

Edited by (BP)
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35 minutes ago, (BP) said:

Possibly living out a Jean Paul Sartre No Exit situation; I’m at a wedding my wife forgot we RSVP’d to until this afternoon, and we’ve been at cocktail hour with a room full of strangers for TWO HOURS with no chairs and the only music is an album of the instrumental jams that the Saturday Night Live Band plays during commercial breaks.

Is it cash or open bar?  That's how you tell if it's hell or just purgatory.

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Just now, Zimbra said:

Is it cash or open bar?  That's how you tell if it's hell or just purgatory.

It’s open bar, but we have to pick up the kids in like an hour and I have work in the morning. So, I thought cool, I’ll drink Coke, but they ran out of it and they just have Coke Zero. They haven’t served dinner yet and the DJ is playing jam band music. If I’m Dead, I ain’t Grateful. 

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On 10/14/2021 at 7:26 PM, Zimbra said:

I really didn't think they could make job hunting shittier, but the absolutely non-stop calls, e-mails and texts from incredibly scammy 'recruiters,' most of which are pushing jobs that are either clearly not in my skillset or are $15/hr customer service jobs halfway across the country from me, have managed to do it.  Hats off.

I'm starting to job hunt as of this week, which I haven't done in 13 years, and it's absolutely insane how much the game has changed.

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1 hour ago, Zakk_Sabbath said:

I'm starting to job hunt as of this week, which I haven't done in 13 years, and it's absolutely insane how much the game has changed.

It's changed even in the year and a half since I last looked.  Shit is crazy now.

The good news is the tight labor market means everybody is hiring, so long as you can sort through the chaff.

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15 hours ago, (BP) said:

Possibly living out a Jean Paul Sartre No Exit situation; I’m at a wedding my wife forgot we RSVP’d to until this afternoon, and we’ve been at cocktail hour with a room full of strangers for TWO HOURS with no chairs and the only music is an album of the instrumental jams that the Saturday Night Live Band plays during commercial breaks.

I'm curious as to why there's no chairs and no band.  Covid?  Cost?  Everyone else forgot their was a wedding too?  Bride and groom secretly dislike their families and are really passive aggressive?

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7 minutes ago, Eoae said:

I'm curious as to why there's no chairs and no band.  Covid?  Cost?  Everyone else forgot their was a wedding too?  Bride and groom secretly dislike their families and are really passive aggressive?

I’m not sure, but only about half of the people invited RSVP’d yes, so I can only imagine how much it would’ve sucked with twice as many people there.  I don’t know how long the venue has been hosting weddings, but they were in over their heads. 

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Now that I teach some classes online, a number of students think that I’m available 24/7. The course outline explains that I’ll only answer emails between 9-5 M-F, but, like, I’d think common sense would dictate that I’m not available on Sunday, for example.

What’s worse is that when I explain to a student that I don’t work on the weekend, they get pretty upset, like their tuition means I should be happy to help at any moment.

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23 hours ago, (BP) said:

It’s open bar, but we have to pick up the kids in like an hour and I have work in the morning. So, I thought cool, I’ll drink Coke, but they ran out of it and they just have Coke Zero. 

I haven’t had a full sugar Coke in forever…doesn’t Coke Zero taste pretty close?  Note: Coke Zero and cheap bourbon is my jam.

21 hours ago, Zakk_Sabbath said:

I'm starting to job hunt as of this week, which I haven't done in 13 years, and it's absolutely insane how much the game has changed.

Same here!  I’ve been at my current job and out of the hunt for that exact same amount of time.  Helping my wife look for jobs is maddening.  One tip I’ve read is that if you find stuff in the job description that matches your experience, reword your resume to exactly match the wording in the posting.  Like literally copy and paste that shit because the wording in the posting is all the computer that’s reading your resume cares about.

Any other tips would be appreciated!  

 

 

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I've been job hunting too, but only casually, since I still like my job but 1) I've been on a different shift for almost two years now when I was originally told I was just a fill-in for a few months and 2) new hires are being brought in at a higher base pay than I am (and getting a raise when they're brought on full-time from temp status). I've already voiced how displeased I am about this, and pestering my bosses to pay me fairly - they say they've contacted HR about it and they're drafting an offer letter, but I somehow doubt it.

Also on an unrelated note, and I won't go into detail - if you live in Arizona, you might want to get more involved in the Congressional race in the coming years. I'll let interested parties Google why I mention this, and that's all I'll say.

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On 10/16/2021 at 9:50 PM, Zimbra said:

It's changed even in the year and a half since I last looked.  Shit is crazy now.

The good news is the tight labor market means everybody is hiring, so long as you can sort through the chaff.

And the chaff is DEEP. I've been in a job program my therapist hooked me up with and they've been very helpful, but I've had to duck out of like four or five terrible jobs just to find the one good one I've got. It's disheartening as hell, makes you feel even more useless, but I don't have to pay rent like all my friends who work constantly so I can afford to be picky. The main problem is none of these jobs are ever honest with you at what they're about and you end up getting the rug pulled out from under you within days. Sure, it's a job in a bakery at $15 an hour, jump up to $25 in a year... but they don't tell you you're a glorified dishwasher with an intense workload and have to end up making an entire kitchen spic and span with management stepping on your neck over cleanliness every night. Like literally scraping grates in the floor with a knife to make sure you've done your due diligence. Or it's a janitorial job, but you have to clean AN ENTIRE KRAFT PLANT. I'm getting too old for this shit. The struggle is real. 

EDIT: Probably the worst one was Lowe's. They had a murky offer about a job in their plant section. Working as a gardener of sorts, maybe I'll learn something, right? Well after three days of irritating orientation involving endless videos and tests, they dump me in a greenhouse attached to the outdoors lawn and garden center where it's either blistering hot or absolute dead freezing cold (kinda like my current job actually), put me with a 65 year old woman that is running circles around me even at her age (as in literal running -- I have never met a person that walked faster), and had me putting out rosebushes. Summer was coming; I would have died of heatstroke in a week. Handed in my resignation in about two weeks. 

EDIT II: Christ, writing all that felt like an exorcism. I'm glad this topic is here and thank you all for reading.

Edited by Curt McGirt
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The Kraft plant, the lady that hired me? Sweet as apple pie, but didn't tell me that I would be cleaning bathrooms of inscrutable territory across the length of two football fields. "There's signs, you won't get lost." Suuuuure. Wearing about ten pounds of PPE too -- helmet, gloves, goggles, vest, mask, two layers of shirt, and the steel-toed boots they made me buy cut into me and left my right foot with a loose flap of skin on the bottom for a month. I had such anxiety over getting lost that I split after an hour, only to find that after I took the boot off. When I left the guy that was "training" me laughed in my face as I tore off the equipment and ran for the door. 

Okay, venting over now.

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4 hours ago, Technico Support said:

I haven’t had a full sugar Coke in forever…doesn’t Coke Zero taste pretty close?  

LOL, no, not even close. 

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