From the pile of garlic mustard on my counter to the two winter-worn deer bones on my floor (so old the dog showed no interest in them); you might think that I’m some sort of moderately granola hedge-core shaman (there are other signs, too; yet, I’m still a poser at everything: it is my natural state).
I went for a walk with a friend though; she knew where to find it all, and showed me her witch hazel tree. I helped turn the earth for planting and hopefully fucked up her mint’s plans for world domination. Shovel and axe are still my preferred methods. Productive exertion. The mind needs it too.
I understand that I am deeply boring.
I worked at Cuyahoga County when the FBI raided it. Dozens of people went to jail for their corruption and greed. Projects and staff were managed poorly, budgets and strategies were opaque, many of the people working there got their jobs because they were politically connected. The Board of Commissioners was replaced with an executive-style government, and the first County Executive was a micromanaging megalomaniac who treated the remaining staff like they were all criminals, despite being too irresponsible to renew his driver’s license for several years. A project that started my last year there took 8 years to finish and was millions over-budget.
However: the City of Cleveland is the worst place I have ever worked.
The rottenly corrupt Cuyahoga County of 2008 did a better job at the duties of government than the City of Cleveland does in 2023.
Organizations keep the employees they deserve.
The last year was a mixed bag — all of the creativity (linocuts & zines below) and fulfillment happened over the first 6 months, more or less, and the rest of the year was generally trash for myself and my son. Started a new job, and while the pay is nice, the job is terrible and the leadership incompetent. I’ve been threatened with lawsuits 4 times, and I can’t hire or spend budget without oversight from people who don’t understand my job and aren’t even part of the airport. The situation is so desperate that I feel fine saying this with no worry about repercussions. If they fire me for this opinion, they’ll be even more up a creek than they are now.
I believe things are starting to sort out with Abraham, but trying to build consensus on what’s best for him is mostly impossible. As a parent, the only thing I fear is not successfully preparing him to live a fulfilling life without me.
I took up weight lifting in March — but I’m having an almost impossible time losing weight, even though I’ve established a fairly strict diet. I am much stronger though.
Hopefully that strength will help me and my boy get through whatever 2023 throws at us.
I have been lifting weights regularly for a little over 6 months, and the results are starting to become visible. I never thought I would enjoy this type of workout, but I found a good trainer who listened and helped a middle-aged man develop his skills at an appropriate pace. It feels good to assert discipline on my body that doesn’t require as much mental grit as running or cycling. I no longer have what it takes to push through the “this is such bullshit” feeling; all that juice is used up at my job at the city.
I haven’t managed to lose any weight though, Still hovering around 220, when I’d like to be at 200. When I flex I feel like I look kind of big, but the flab gut needs to go. I need to cut the fat in a lot of different areas.
The transition into high school has been tough for my son. I feel competent to handle just about any situation involving him except when a situation occurs and I can’t talk to or see him. In these cases, frustration is having the power to resolve conflict and help my son, but not being allowed to use it.
So I took a long walk, and toward the end of it, at dusk, passed by a group of children playing. One of them immediately drifted off and fell into step beside me — a young man probably around 13 or 14. He said “I’m ready to go home.” and I said, “Me, too, kid.” He then tentatively said “Dad?” to me a couple times, and we made eye contact. I gently said, “I’m not your dad” and he looked a bit off guard and said “Oh.” One of the other kids said “that’s a neighbor, not your dad, don’t talk to him!” and the young man drifted back to the rest of the group.
The energy I was pouring into worrying about my autistic teenager drew another one to me. He also needed comfort, and, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t provide it to him either. He voiced what I assume my child also needed that day. To be home with dad.