A brief story of grunkiness

Grunkiness is basically what I’m calling how I’ve been feeling kinda depressed lately. For various reasons that all may just be capitalism, but let me tell you about myself this morning.

I stopped drinking disposable bottles of water a while ago. Bad for the environment, you see. I just use an old reusable water bottle and fill it from the tap. Except it’s a little bit leaky when you shake it. Well, I drink Crystal Light, so when I shake it up it kinda leaks, so I usually screw the lid on tight. Anyway I screwed it on too tight and the bottle’s dumb straw got dislodged and I couldn’t open it and I gave up on it and chucked it in the sink and just went to lie down because I’m sick of the dang thing.

In my annoyance I forgot that I actually do have bigger packets you mix into a pitcher of water, but I usually end up not actually making some because it’s such a hassle and annoying and I never feel like I have any time anyway. Except. While I was lying down I told myself that, really, it’s not that big a deal to do it. And my brain responded, “yes it iiiiiis.”

so anyway is that a sign of depression

That said I made myself get up to make some, told myself that when I’m out I’m going to start immediately making some, and

I feel kind of happy now??

I’ll take it!

Shadow the Trumphog

A few days ago I made this post on Mastodon: https://writing.exchange/@DuthOlec/100050331585689503

“Currently pondering what path Donald Trump would take through Shadow the Hedgehog.”

So let’s do it! Let’s see if we can’t figure out what path he’d take! The obvious one would be “he’s a bad bad man so he’d do everything dark and be bad and end on the path where he destroys everything” but I think we can be more nuanced than that.

Level 1: Aliens are invading a city, and you can choose to defeat all the aliens, defeat all the human soldiers, or ignore them all. What would Donald Trump do? I think he would view the aliens as immigrants and therefore attack all of them. Yes, I’m starting by saying he would go the hero route. However, in level 2 he would see they have a big, beautiful ship, and he wouldn’t want to destroy it, so he’d ignore it. That’s the dark path, so he gets thrown into some military jungle base. In level 3 the aliens want him to destroy all the military robots, but he wants a robust military. At the same time, some bee wants him to find these data disks, but that sounds complicated and boring, so he just ignores it all. Neutral route. That sends him into the sky in level 4 where the aliens are fighting some scientist guy. He still doesn’t want to destroy what really are quite fantastic ships, but he also doesn’t want to blow up the aliens’ power source because that sounds hard. Neutral route. He ends up back in a jungle for level 5 where Eggman is retreating and the military is attacking him, and, really, as much as Trump wants a strong military, Dr. Eggman is clearly a small business owner that the government is treating unfairly, so he blows up the robots attacking Eggman. That leads to level 6 where the aliens send him to their base because the military’s attacking them.

Okay so at this point I could go the obvious route and say “turmp hhelps the aliens, and becomes their tool, because it turns out, the aliens were rusisa!” But I think what really happens is Trump considers these robots too much work to destroy and just ignores him. This leads to the ending where Shadow declares himself master of his own life. Maybe not a big revelation to consider that Trump just does what he wants, though.

Odemon #805

President Lusamine scrolled through the document on her computer for the new proposal, jotting down notes as she did. She was almost finished reading it, and then she could consult her notes later. She had an engagement to spend time with her children, and she wasn’t going to let anything get in the way.
The phone on her desk beeped. Lusamine’s secretary informed her that she had an incoming call from the President of the Unova Region.
Lusamine groaned and leaned back. That was the last person she wanted to have call her. She told the secretary to patch the President through, she put a smile on her face, and she picked up the phone.
“Hello, Mr. President?”
“Lucy, baby! Long time no talking to you! I haven’t seen you since I visited your little Pokemon greenhouse project over on the islands while on the campaign trail!”
“The Aether Foundation, yes,” Lusamine said. “I’m sorry I wasn’t able to see you more at that time.” That wasn’t completely a lie because she was sorry about what was happening at the time.
“Ah, that’s okay, I know foundations can take a lot of time! I got one too, you know! It’s a huge one, almost as big as all those people who voted for me! I was huge on the campaign trail, you know, I’ll bet my visit even boosted your foundation’s numbers!”
“Well, I–wouldn’t be surprised. To what do I owe the pleasure of your call today, Mr. President?” She tried not to gag.
“Always to business, huh? That’s what I like about you, Lucy! That, and your hair! And those shoes you always wear–I always say, you get confidence from shoes like that, as a woman, as a guy of course I couldn’t wear–!”
“Mr. President?”
“Right, right! So, I dunno if you heard, back on the campaign trail, I may have mentioned once or twice this little thing about a huge wall!”
“You mean the wall between Unova and Orre?”
“The wall IN Unova and Orre! It’ll be in both countries, it’ll be huge and fantastic, it’ll be a huge tourism boost for both of us, and lemme tell you, that desert Orre could use the boost! We’d be doing them a favor by building this wall!”
“The wall that you said Orre would pay for.”
“It’d be an investment!”
“The wall that you also said your taxpayers would pay for.”
“Kalos refused to chip in! Look, my point is, I’m trying to find a way to make this thing cheaper! I figure, if there’s a Pokemon that can do that, Lucy’s got it! She’s got all the Pokemon, from Abra to Trumbeak! That’s a fantastic name, by the way, I gotta give a hand to whoever named that one!”
“Mr. President, if you think I’m going to let you exploit a beautiful, innocent Pokemon in order to create a horrific structure like that, I’m afraid I must tell you you’re wrong.”
“Sheesh, don’t be such an ice queen, Lucy, it’s not a good look for you! I was gonna do something for you in return, after all, ’cause it turns out there’s some tabloids that have been muttering about spilling the beans on a little story about you!”
Lusamine froze. “What story?”
“Oh, I dunno, something that happened in the past, but it’s pretty embarrassing!”
She silently cursed. How did he find out about the Nihilego fiasco? “If you let that out, I could be ruined.”
“Hey, I said it’s not me, it’s the tabloids! Although I might as well have told them, I mean, I hardly think it’s anything to be shamed of, they were all fun times we had!”
“Wait, what?”
“You remember! When you were first starting and I helped fund your project and we spent all that time together!”
Lusamine’s eyes widened. Oh Pokegods, she’d forgotten about that. “If you tell them that you could be ruined, too,” she whispered.
“Stop blaming me! I’m trying to stop them, here! But it’s not like it’s a big deal, my fans love it when I do this stuff!”
Lusamine held her forehead. He was probably right. “Fine. If you promise not to call me again, I do have a Pokemon that might work.”
AND THAT’S HOW THE STAKATAKA WALL BETWEEN UNOVA AND ORRE WAS BUILT
MAN THOUGH
STAKATAKA HARDLY FEATURED IN THIS ODEMON
“POLITICS” HUH

-Odemon #805 Stakataka

Snapped at Work: Don’t Work a Job You Hate

Let me get real with you for a moment.

I snapped at my dayjob on Sunday.

So I worked selling health insurance at a call center. People called in, I would talk to them, figure out what the best plan would be (spoilers the best plan for everyone is single payer/Medicare for all but that’s besides the point, not really), and then enroll them into it. I did not like a single part of this.

I don’t like talking on the phone. I don’t even really like verbally talking. I can go a week without talking to anyone and be fine; at this job I could have to talk to 250 people in one week. I’m no good at small talk. I’m not great at multitasking. I’m not a salesman. And I don’t like health insurance. I HATE health insurance. It’s a garbage system that results in overpriced garbage. People pay money to get mediocre insurance and that money then goes towards trying to convince other people to get mediocre insurance that will fund more advertising for… I mean, Aetna (the company that the program I was on was contracted with) gave people $10 Visa reward cards for calling and going to meetings. This is the most capitalistic garbage nonsense and I got sick from so many people calling in literally because $10 is this giant boon to them because our garbage society makes people live off garbage to survive so that a select few can own the figgin solar system. I’m getting off-topic.

So what was I doing there? I mean at the end I wasn’t even sure anymore, but how did I get into this job? I was fresh outta college and needed a job because I rashly decided college would be a good idea without considering the fact it’s only a good idea if you can either do it free or do it specifically to become massively rich at the expense of everything else, possibly including the college you went to. I went to a temp agency and got a job at this health insurance place. No real job interview, I just started. Even though I was bad at basically everything the job needed.

Anyway this has been boiling for two years starting when there was mandatory overtime because we were way too busy because the system is stupid for only letting people enroll in a small 2-month window and they don’t have enough people working because presumably no one in their right mind wants to work there?? Between the actual work and my hate for health insurance things, as I said, just kind of boiled until I finally exploded on Sunday. It wasn’t this one thing–it never is, is it?–this was just the, as they say, last straw that broke the camel’s backlog. The pot had been so close to boiling over for so long, this one thing finally overflowed it like fireworks.

Unexpectedly, this final straw was a rude caller. And honestly I can’t blame them for it, they said they’d spent an hour and a half on the phone, the worst communication system humans have ever created. Usually I could deal with rude callers, but between the stress of the Aetna program, hating health insurance more, and just generally feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing anymore, I finally snapped. I later realized it wasn’t even because she was rude, it was because I couldn’t help her well. My being there was a detriment not just to myself but to everyone I talked to. It turns out capitalism can lead to terrible results when someone gets stuck at a job they don’t like and can’t do well! If I liked the job, that would be different, but since I didn’t that could only lead to worse outcomes. If I can’t get a job I at least like, I should get one where I make, if not a net positive outcome, at least not a net negative one.

When I snapped I at least still had the awareness to mute myself but then I just went at it, screaming and throwing some stuff, I’m pretty sure I threw my headset and I know I threw my water bottle. I seriously don’t even know what I said. I might’ve said “I’m done,” “I quit,” I probably said, “I hate health insurance,” I think I might’ve swore once?? I definitely screamed. I think I threw my water bottle down, it bounced up, and then landed in a trash can–almost, but when I thought it did, I was still flippant enough to stop for a moment and remark on having made a basket. (All I know how to do is make jokes, Someone Please Hire Me To Write Jokes, Oh Gourd I Need To Get Out Of Indiana, The Land Without Jokes.)

One of my supervisors came over to calm me down, asked me if I needed to take a walk. I did. It was sprinkling outside. So was I. I swear I haven’t cried in a long, long time, but I did. I sobbed a little, even. (In retrospect I wish I’d sobbed and cried harder, even when alone I tried not to but honestly it would have been a lot more cathartic I think if I’d just bawled like crazy. I’m thinking of heading out to the lake one of these days and just screaming across it, seeing if I still have some emotions pent-up in there, because whenever I think about it I’m like “okay i would actually rather like to cry like that again please”.)

I walked to the end of the parking lot. I seem to remember thinking I laughed a little because of how long I’d held it all in, but if I’m being honest with myself there was no laughter there. When I finally went back inside my supervisor had organized my stuff for me. Let me tell you, the only thing I regret from this is that I had hoped to leave the job with some dignity intact, because the only thing I liked about the job was almost all my coworkers were nice and wonderful people. If any of you somehow read this, you’re all probably great and I’m still sorry I didn’t leave before I exploded. I really shouldn’t have come back after this year’s furlough, but I just didn’t realize how close to my breaking point I’d been at. And, you know, capitalism. I “need” a “job.” Well, I need money is what I need, but a universal basic guaranteed income is still a long ways away, it seems.

I’ve been looking for a job just about all year. In the last several months I’ve started just applying to everywhere I might be able to reasonably be hired at and do. That means no more customer rep or sales though. The fewer customers I have to talk to, the better. I do have enough money saved for a time though, and plus I have the figgin most wonderful parents ever, so things will probably be fine. Maybe this can be a turning point, my second novel should release soon (even sooner now that I’m not spending half my figgin time awake doing something I hate), maybe I can become a super success right quick. (Hahaha if only life was a book. Well sometimes it is.)

So why am I writing all this? Originally I just had the idea of a brief explanation just to sort of outline why I might suddenly have more of an online presence again and also why I might not post about single player/Medicare for all every single night (working in health insurance kind of keeps it really far in the forefront of my mind). However, there’s now another reason, and it’s why I’m also going to post this on Medium, and it’s basically this:

If you’re in a job you hate or can’t stand, and you can, leave. Like I said, my only regret is not being able to leave with some dignity. Leave before you explode out of there. If you can’t just leave (insert another rant about capitalism forcing people to work themselves into mental illness and exhaustion), keep looking for another job–don’t stop just because now you have a way to not die, thanks capitalism. Of course, I’m different, I can hardly function in normal society, I can only function on the internet society. But hey, I’m on the internet right now. And what I’ve come to realize is we’re all a lot more similar than we are different.

Anyway, it’s been three days. I should probably call the old dayjob place to confirm with them I’m not coming back.

Death of Time: Schedule Changes

My time is dying.

I return to the day job next week.

There’s a lot of stuff I’ve been regularly doing on my to-do list that I won’t have time to do anymore. Most of it will go to a vastly reduced time schedule. Aside from less social media than usual (which isn’t much to begin with), the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos Twitter will be placed on hold until further notice.

I will continue to upload new chapters and profiles on the same monthly basis, along with early access to them on my Patreon, which will also continue to have weekly updates for patrons, everyone please go and boost my monthly revenue from that to $800 and I won’t have to go back to this job I hate.

But yeah, I’m basically going to spend all my free time working on chapters. Which sucks because whoops Sonic Mania comes out the day after I go back. ahhhh.

The thing that will really see a drop in frequency is the Pokecomic. I’ve had a pretty steady weekly update on that. The last guaranteed Saturday update will be tomorrow. After that it might switch to a bi-weekly–er, that is, a new comic every two weeks. No guarantees on that, though.

I’m still looking for a better job though and I did apply to one I’d really like because it involves data entry which I’m good at and it’s part-time at only 20 hours a week so I’d definitely still have time to work on my many ridiculous projects. We’ll see how things go! Maybe we’ll all be dead before the year’s over and it won’t matter.

Universal Health Coverage

I read this article from The Nation: Medicare-for-All Isn’t the Solution for Universal Health Care. Now, despite the initial thoughts that might come from that title, it’s a pretty good article. It’s partly why I never refer to it as Medicare-for-All. I’ve sold Medicare plans, I know that it’s usually not enough. I usually say Single-Payer, but the article also points out that’s a broad term and not entirely accurate to the many forms of universal health coverage found in all the other 1st-world countries. I mostly use the term as a springboard, then, I think–a phrase isn’t a policy, but it’s an idea to start from.

However, I’m not a policy maker, nor an economist, or a health care professional of any kind. I’m just a weird writer. I’ve also sold health insurance so I can definitely tell you how health insurance sucks. But I’m not one for solutions. That’s why we elect policy makers, really!

I don’t expect a candidate for anything to have a fully fleshed-out 100% complete ready-to-go let’s-just-vote plan, but I certainly expect support for creation of such a plan. Single-Payer is a good way to start.

If anything, I just don’t want to have to go through private corporations in order to pay for something I need.

(And I quite like the ideas laid out near the end of that article in the second-to-last section.)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH

WE AS A SPECIES HAVE FIGGIN FAILED

THIS. LINE. OF. ARGUMENT. IS. INANE.

I SPENT SEVERAL MINUTES TRYING TO UNTANGLE THIS AND AS BEST AS I CAN TELL THEY’RE SAYING DEMOCRATS ARE AT FAULT FOR TRYING TO STOP DEATHS??

THE DEMOCRATS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR DEATHS CAUSED BY THE ENDING OF LEGISLATION THEY CREATED.

WHICH THEY DIDN’T CREATE NECESSARILY.

THEY ONLY STARTED IT.

THEN WORKED WITH THE REPUBLICANS TO CREATE A MEDIOCRE BILL.

MEDIOCRE ENOUGH FOR THE REPUBLICANS TO THINK THEY COULD THEN KILL IT.

WHICH THEY CAN’T.

THIS IS LIKE IF YOU BUILD A BRIDGE, PEOPLE WALK ACROSS THE BRIDGE, AND THEN I DEMOLISH THE BRIDGE SAYING THE RESULTING DEATHS ARE YOUR FIGGIN FAULT FOR BUILDING THIS BRIDGE IN THE FIRST FIGGIN PLACE.

EVEN THOUGH I HELPED YOU BUILD THIS STUPID BRIDGE!

ANYWAY. IT. GETS. WORSE.

AAAAAAAAAAAHHH

DEATH IS NOT LIKE A CLOCK THAT IS SYNCED UP FOR EVERYBODY SO THEIR TIMER RUNS OUT AT THE SAME TIME AND EVERYONE HAS THE SAME DEATH TIME.

SOME PEOPLE DIE WHEN THEY’RE THIRTY.

HEALTH CARE.

CAN STOP THAAAAT.

AND HEALTH CARE.

IS EXPENSIVE.

BECAUSE WE HAVE A TERRIBLE PAYMENT SYSTEM.

THAT WE TRIED TO FIX.

BY GIVING PEOPLE MONEY.

AND MAKING INSURANCE COMPANIES ACTUALLY PAY FOR HEALTH CARE.

“PEOPLE DIE NO MATTER WHAT WE DO, SO LET’S JUST NOT HAVE HEALTH CARE AT ALL”

THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.

YOU ARE SAYING LET’S LET PEOPLE DIE BECAUSE PEOPLE DIE.

YOUR DOG IS GOING TO DIE SOMEDAY SO YOU MIGHT AS WELL LET ME TAKE IT NOW AND MAKE STEAKS OUT OF IT.

AGAIN, PEOPLE ARE NOT DESTINED TO DIE AT SOME PREDETERMINED POINT.

HEALTH CARE CAN KEEP THEM FROM DYING.

I JUST REALLY.

I DON’T THINK I’VE EVER GOTTEN SO INFURIATED OVER SOME TWEETS BEFORE.

AND I REALLY.

REALLY.

HOPE THESE ARE BOTS.

THAT AT LEAST EXPLAINS THE INANITY, BECAUSE, MAYBE BOTS DO HAVE SOME TIMER THAT SAYS WHEN THEY EXPIRE, AND THEY LITERALLY CAN’T DIE BEFORE THAT.

BECAUSE OTHERWISE.

I’M DONE WITH PEOPLE.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH

huff

huff

huff

i need a doctor

Net Neutrality

You may notice a few images on my main page aren’t visible today. Yes, it’s the day of action for net neutrality. Read up on it here! Send a letter! Submit a comment! Come on!

I may not have that big a following yet, but without net neutrality it’d just be that much harder for me to get one. I’m both a consumer and creator, so I stand to lose twice. Anyway here’s a comment I sent to the FCC a couple months back:

I am affirming my support for net neutrality so that we can maintain an open and fair internet where ISPs can’t charge customers and website owners for the ability to reach a website before your battery just gives out on you. It would not be fair for ISPs to be able to restrict access to websites that don’t pay them money, that is called extortion. They would not police themselves, because they have restricted access to things competing with their own products before. As both a consumer of internet things and a creator of internet things, I both want to have access to the websites I want to visit and I want consumers to have access to my website so they can read what I write. The loss of net neutrality could figgin hurt my business model, it would be like allowing McDonald’s to figgin buy the street a bunch of local eateries are on and then make half that road inaccessible. Please keep net neutrality!

Political Fantasy

This article might be the most bizarre piece of fantasy this year yet: What If Trump Had Won As a Democrat?

At least now I don’t feel bad if something in my novels is somewhat unrealistic.

Neighbors

It’s kind of hard to tell without the volume up high, but there is a constant semi-rythmical thumping like from drums. I assume it’s drums? Someone in the upstairs apartment is apparently playing drums? At completely random times of the day/night, at that?

WHY IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE

anyway i’ve just had the need of complaining about this. sometimes–more than I care for–i would really like to be deaf, and it is legit for this reason i still haven’t cleared out my right ear since it kind of acts as a natural noise reducer sometimes……….

Sorry, too much information.

NEIGHBORS, WHADDYA GONNA DO

Anyway people seem to be setting off fireworks outside so yaaay more noise. The thing is, I would trade all the music in the world for silence. But at what cost? Oh, right, all the music in the world. Okay!