So, I have an ear infection. I’ve been cleansing and dosing myself with peroxide and Polysporin and the pain has gone, but it’s still pretty closed off, and my hearing, usually only about sixty percent on that side, seems to be closer to ten or twenty percent.

Good times. Oh, and they failed to show up on time for our water heater install and we had to push it to today. On the plus side, had a wonderful meal with my family last night at Michael’s On The Thames in London, so there’s that.

Gratitude can always turn things around, even when everything around you seems geared to frustration.

Target: 900 words
Written: 654 words, novella: The Mungk

ear ache

I don’t know if it’s something that was happening anyway or a reaction to the new vaccine (I’m inclined to the former), but my left ear is pounding, closed up.

I’ve always been partially deaf on that side (and didn’t make it better with music so loud it drowned out the feelings of my own body), but this is different. I thought it might be wax build-up, but it doesn’t seem to be. Hopefully, I haven’t damaged my ear drums. I woke up with it yesterday, so I’m not sure if it was exacerbated by the cold shower or travelling rendition of OK Computer and OK Go, but I am essentially deaf on the left side, for now.

On the plus side, our new water heater is going in today. Hopefully. It better be.

Cold showers are brutal, especially when it’s no longer summer.

Target: 900 words
Written: 2368 words, novella: The Mungk


COVID vaccine #4 today. Woohoo. Here’s hoping it’s like the first time or the third time, where nothing happened, and not like the second time where I dragged my ass for the next twenty-four hours.

I got shit to do, man. Especially tomorrow morning. Very important glimmer stuff.

Target: 900 words
Written: 1257 words, novella: The Mungk

the hope is soon

I pray, over and over again. Peace is merely a break in the suffering. We can’t avoid it all, but at least may it not be constant. May it not be felt so deeply. May we live with lighter hearts than before, and when things get heavy, we find a way to lighten the load.

I cannot carry much more. My legs are starting to give.

Target: 900 words
Written: 1730 words, novella: The Mungk


I’ve been trying to lose weight. It’s no fun being fat, and regardless of the whole “don’t bodyshame me” trend, which has its pluses in terms of kindness and self-esteem, the biggest minus is that it’s just plain unhealthy to be fat. Sorry, but it’s true. I wouldn’t shame anyone for their weight, but reality is still reality and pretending it’s not isn’t useful. That certainly applies to me.

I’m fat, and I’m working on it. Doesn’t help with the big meals we’ve had lately, but I am seven pounds lighter than my absolute heaviest, which is good. I’m up quite a bit from my lowest earlier in the year, which is bad. But if I can improve ten or twelve pounds a year for the next few years, maybe by the time I’m fifty, I’ll be in good shape.

Slow and steady wins the race?

Target: 900 words
Written: 1168 words, novella: The Mungk

everly brothers

I’m going to an Everly Brothers tribute band tonight. I’m not actually sure how that happened, because I don’t really have any particular love for the Everly Brothers (although I’m sure I know a few songs). This feels different than the Roy Orbison one or the Starship concert.

Still, you do what you do for your family, and if that means sitting through a few bars of “Wake Up, Little Suzy”, I’m game. I try not to be prejudiced when it comes to music and take it as it is, even if it’s not my usual cup of tea.

Target: 900 words
Written: 784 words, novella: The Mungk


I guess we’re on to the next thing. The glimmer shines on.

I do have to wonder how far into this I am? Is this a mirage? Are there stages I’ve not even conceived of yet? Or am I at the finish line, pending those final, few, frantic checks?

I guess time will tell.

Target: 900 words
Written: 2644 words, novella: The Mungk


I guess I’m a little worried about this opportunity in front of me. I know I’m not a perfect person and the idea that I’m being judged on that criteria is weird to me, because no one is, and it’s very easy to go off the rails and screw up, even for a short period of time.

In our current climate, it seems that these things become impossible to forgive, or even see past. A mistake made twenty or thirty years ago is not necessarily representative of who we are now. These days, the tendency is to go straight to demonization, when there’s often much more nuance to a situation than we like to admit. It’s easy to dismiss things out of hand, and go straight to calling people rotten, but there’s often so much more to it.

In some cases, there’s not. (See: Trump, Crime Family)

To me the difference is growth. Have they changed? Have they learned from their mistake? Are they willing to own what they’ve done and take responsibility for their actions?

More importantly, do we feel, given the opportunity, would they do it again? If not, then we need to forgive.

I’m horribly embarrassed and guilt-ridden by the way I behaved in my teens and twenties. Every time I think about it, I’m humbled, because I know, no matter how high and mighty I’d like to be, I’ve behaved poorly at times as well. I try to own that and be better going forward. Reconciling that behaviour is the tricky part for me, because I’m so prone to guilt, and I want to make constant amends. However, it doesn’t serve me to wallow in the guilt of bad behaviour from decades ago, especially when time, being what it is, means it will never change, and I can never go back and let myself in on the greater knowledge I would need to be the better person at that moment in time.

This all sounds like I’ve committed murder or something, but I’m mostly talking about being an idiot, myopic and navel-gazing. Assuming I had rights to things I hadn’t earned, or skills beyond what was actually there. Mostly, it’s reconciling who I pretended to be and told people I was with how and who I actually was. When I think about how they must have seen me, blustering about, trying to be so cool, but being such a dork and such a loser, such a freaking mess, well, it’s mortifying.

And I ask that question a lot now. How do people see me? Are my actions and my beliefs lining up? Do I behave in a manner that allows people to see me for the man I try to be – kind, humble, open-minded, with an eye toward making sure I do things the right way? A person of continuing growth?

It’s intense pressure and I really don’t feel like I live up to that as often as I want. Part of that is the depression, which has plagued me for years, and is at least partly responsible for the delusional and destructive behaviour of my youth. I didn’t realize then what it was, or that I had control over it, to a point. There were things I could do to keep my focus, and I didn’t. I let the depression take over.

Prescription drugs never helped. They only ever made me feel more dead than alive, zoned out and disengaged. Indeed, any of the people I know that suffer from the same type of depression I did that are medicating with various SSRIs and other drugs seem more like they’re contently ignoring their problems, like a child playing with their toys, oblivious to the house burning down around them. They aren’t working on finding solutions to the problems at the root of their depression; they’ve just balanced out enough to do the basics their lives require.

And maybe that’s enough for them, in this moment in time.

But I would like a life of happiness. Of peace and love and connection. Time enjoyed with my family. My wife, my step-kids, my nieces and my granddaughter. My siblings. My parents. Friends. Whatever.

Simply living mostly stress-free, on a day to day basis. I mean, you can’t ever be fully free from the bad times. Things will happen. Some days will be downright rotten.

But this, right now, this every day thrown to the wolves, every day more stressful than the last, as it piles on and piles up?

This is no way to live. No one need suffer like this.

So I hope whoever is judging me is doing so with a kind and open mind, one that sees past words on a paper, to the person behind those words, and the knowledge that this isn’t someone locked into a static pattern of poor behaviour, or sleepwalking through life.

It’s a person, like all people, incomplete and in the process of being built, hoping one day to be something, if not grand, at least something that makes the neighbourhood a little better place to live.

Target: 900 words
Written: 1092 words, novella: The Mungk

timing is everything

Auditors are here for the business today, which would normally have little to do with me, only our office manager came down with a sudden case of COVID this morning, so I guess I’m now also running the entire business for the week, in the midst of an audit, which still maintaining the network, handling service calls, programming equipment, being point man on a new CRM, training others and dealing with the usual for customers. Oh, and the afterhours belongs to me this week.

Some might say I’m holding onto suffering and need to let it go. Others would ask how many more punches a boxer can take before he goes down.

Target: 900 words
Written: 614 words, novella: The Mungk