TBR

April To-Be-Read Stack

I’m behind my reading goal!

Dang this class.

But that’s okay. We’re planning on going camping the end of this month so I’ll hopefully have some time to catch up.

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You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review on Goodreads – I’ve come to trust the reviews of Goodreads readers. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.

I have currently read 12 books out of 55.

Moving on, here is my April TBR stack:

  1. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover
  2. Blind Conviction (The Nate Shepherd Legal Thriller Series Book 3) by Michael Stagg
  3. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
  4. Unmissing: A Thriller by Minka Kent
  5. Edge of Darkness: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival Thriller by Kyla Stone

Happy Reading!

At the Moment, Work Stuff

Taking an Online Class

I’m taking a class.

I haven’t been in school since I graduated from college in 2003 with my Bachelor’s in Technical Writing – which I’ve done nothing with, by the way, because I discovered, early on, that the field of Technical Writing is incredibly dull and dry and I couldn’t envision myself doing it for eight hours a day for the rest of my life.

No offense to anyone who is in the Technical Writing field.

The reason I settled on a Technical Writing degree is because I really wanted to study writing and I knew that getting a Creative Writing degree, though cool, wouldn’t be lucrative unless I happened to get lucky and become another Brandon Sanderson, so I thought a Technical Writing degree would be the more “responsible” thing to do.

Creative writing is my minor, by the way.

Anyway, all of this to say, I haven’t taken a class since the early 2000’s.

So why now?

Because of COVID.

For those that don’t know, I work in the medical field. I’m a medical assistant and work in neurosurgery. I’ve been doing this for the past ten years (!!) and I have quite enjoyed it. I’ve learned a lot, I really enjoy what I do and the people I work with and I’m proud to say, I’ve mastered it – I’m quite good at what I do. And I fully intended to spend the rest of my working days doing this job.

But then COVID happened. As you can imagine, my life was turned upside down. I mean, I don’t have to tell you that, you lived it too. I’m sure your life was equally thrown off kilter – it affected everyone.

But it especially impacted those in the medical field.

I feel like my team is just NOW starting to get back to normal after all of the turmoil and I’m grateful for it. I don’t want to go back to those awkward days of tiptoeing around each other and walking on eggshells every time the subject was brought up. I mean, we still do that now, but it’s not as bad as it was in the beginning. And the primary reason it really even became an issue is because I was (am) the only one on my team who chose not to get vaccinated. I won’t rehash all of that nightmare, you’re free to read through my thoughts and experiences here, but suffice it to say, it completely changed my working outlook.

I no longer trust healthcare. Not the people I work with, and definitely not the doctors I work with, they are amazing and I have the utmost respect for them, but healthcare in general. Specifically, government decisions on what is “best” for the people. As soon as my bodily autonomy was taken away from me – I changed.

I would love to challenge and fight “the healthcare czars” but I’m one tiny ant on a massive anthill so what does that leave? Just me, myself and I. I need to protect my future and my body.

Kevin and I have talked long and hard about this and we both feel VERY STRONGLY about this – I will no longer be participating in any sort of annual vaccine. Because I work in a hospital, I’ve had to, in exchange to keep my job, participate in an annual flu vaccination. At first, I was like, “meh. I’m not exactly loving this but whatever, I’ll deal with it.” But then, after COVID and all of the secrecy, the “misinformation”, (which really amounted to people who had legitimate questions but were not “allowed” to ask them), the dishonesty and the crazy agendas that seem to be more and more nefarious the more you dig, I no longer trust the flu vaccinations.

I’ve been reading that the mRNA is an efficient and cost effective way to make vaccines and that future vaccinations will most likely be made with this technology.

The future of mRNA vaccine field is potential, and the clinical data and resources provided by the associated companies and other academic institutions are likely to significantly build on and strengthen basic research into mRNA-based vaccines. Source

As someone who doesn’t even like to take Tylenol unless absolutely necessary and who looks for any natural remedy for whatever ailment I’m suffering from, this is not good news to me.

So now what? The clock is ticking to the next annual flu vaccination in October and I can assure you, I won’t be participating this year, or any future years. Feel free to disagree – you do you, I’ll do me.

But if I don’t take the flu vaccination, and the hospital doesn’t accept my religious exemption, (they accepted my exemption for the COVID injection but not the flu injection), then I’ll be out of a job. I hope that is not the case, I would prefer to continue working my current job but remember, I’m but one tiny ant.

I need a backup plan.

Realistically, I have about nine working years left before I retire. If I have to quit this job, what am I going to do? Yes. The easiest and simplest thing would be for me to find a mindless job with zero stress and wait out my retirement date. But GAH – that sounds so boring. I would prefer to be challenged. Something that would keep me on my toes and would challenge my brain.

I did A LOT of research and thinking these past few months. I haunted Indeed.com job postings and when I saw it, I knew I had to try it. It’s something I’ve talked about trying for years and years and honestly, something I likely would have pursued if I hadn’t fallen into this medical assistant job.

Paralegal.

I’ve always talked about wanting to be a paralegal. I LOVE research and to me, it just sounds interesting and right up my alley. But I can’t waltz into an attorney’s office and apply for a paralegal job, I don’t have the knowledge, let alone the experience, to do that. And do I really want to spend a few years taking paralegal classes when I only have about nine working years left? Sure, eventually, the investment of going to school might pay off but for how long? Six, seven years? It might take me that long to pay off my student debt. (Because unlike progressives out there – I don’t take out debt and then expect someone else to pay it off – thank you very much).

But I didn’t give up. I kept on digging and I settled on plan B.

This is the logo I created for my documents

Legal secretary.

So, I applied for a legal secretary job on Indeed.com. I wasn’t expecting much, it was sort of an experiment, but when I had to take an assessment test as part of the application process and not only had ZERO clue what I was doing but no idea what the multiple answer options even were, I knew I was in way over my head.

That pushed me to dig a little more. I started researching educational programs to learn more about the duties of a legal secretary. I mean, 85% of my current job is administrative duties, I’m no stranger to office etiquette, phone skills and of course, I can write, how hard could this be, right?

But here’s where it gets dicey. There are A LOT of places out there to take legal secretary classes but my question was, how reputable were they? And I certainly didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars just so I would have a plan B for whatever happens in October.

I researched for weeks and finally stumbled across the Center for Legal Studies (CLS). This is not a sponsored post, I’m simply letting you know this is who I settled on. What really sold me about this program was that CLS partners up with sponsor schools in every state. They have two partnered schools in Missouri, both of which are reputable universities. So my certificate would be from a university and seem more plausible than some out-of-the way, obscure company that no one has heard of and who might not even be in existence next year.

Now. How was I going to sell this crazy idea to Kevin? Again, this is my backup plan B – I will likely not actively pursue this option unless the hospital doesn’t grant my religious exemption request in October, so it’s not a sure thing. Just a maybe thing. And though the class wasn’t as much as I anticipated, it’s not chump change, either.

Kevin and I talked and he was surprisingly on board with this idea. He’s been wanting me to quit the hospital for quite some time and ultimately, he persuaded me to enroll.

I’m currently taking the class now. In fact, I have homework and a quiz to complete before 7:00 PM tomorrow night and yet, here I am …

The class is entirely online and it’s seven weeks long. I’m currently in my fourth week. It’s not hard, and it doesn’t really even take that long, but I’m learning a lot. The legal world is a whole new world. You wouldn’t think there would be much involved when it comes to being a legal secretary but there is actually a lot to know.

Quizzes are open book, thank goodness. Their reasoning is because in the real world, you would have loads of resources at your fingertips to look things up and I appreciate their real-world approach.

I’m taking this class seriously, but I don’t have a do or die approach to it. It’s actually nice not to get too stressed about it because honestly, I just want to get a passing grade, I’m not looking to be the best in my class; I just want to know enough that I don’t make a fool of myself if (when) I have to start interviewing.

There are a surprising number of legal assistant/secretary job openings on Indeed.com so I’m not terribly worried about finding something if (when) I have to start looking. I’ve already been looking at dress clothes and trying to put an interview outfit together – just in case.

That is a major drawback to my plan B – clothing. I’m not going to lie, it’s been really nice to wear, in essence, pajamas to work for the past ten years. I’ll have to seriously step up my wardrobe game if I land a job in the legal field.

Here is my syllabus, in case you were curious:

Lesson One: Introduction to the American Legal System & Ethics
Lesson Two: Reception Duties, Correspondence, File Management & Filing Systems
Lesson Three: Calendar & Docketing, Fees, Billing & Accounting Practices
Lesson Four: Word Processing & Legal Document Preparation
Lesson Five: E-discovery, Computers in a Law Office
Lesson Six: Legal Secretary Practicum

Anyway. That’s my current distraction. I know I’ve been pretty quiet on my blog lately but I’ve had a lot on my mind. I’ll update you again after I complete the course and give you my final thoughts on the experience.

I feel LOADS better about potentially losing my job in the Fall now that I have a backup plan. I would rather keep my job – I get paid well and I’m comfortable – but if I have to find something else, at least I’ll be prepared.

Thanks for reading.

Reflections

February 2022 Reflections

Feb 1: Pretty sure Kevin had COVID. He will swear up and down he didn’t have it, but I’m pretty sure he did. It started with LeRoy. He was pretty sick for a few days and then BAM, Kevin came down with something. He would alternate between being super cold, like teeth chattering, couldn’t bear to get out of bed cold, to sweating, like, we had to change his sheets because he sweat THROUGH them sweating – this went on for several days. He slept an entire weekend. Which is HIGHLY unusual for him. I have to FORCE him to slow down most of the time. And he said he felt like he was swallowing razor blades. Which I knew to be a symptom of Omicron as a girl at work at the exact same symptoms. It took him nearly a week to really get back on his feet though it really took him like two weeks before he finally started feeling like himself again. I, however, did not get sick. And that makes sense to me because I’m 99% sure I had COVID in April 2021. It could have been the Delta variant but honestly, who knows. All I know is that I have natural immunity and the fact that I didn’t get sick when Kevin got sick only confirms it in my mind. He seems to be fine now. Thank God.

Kevin finally, finally, got a regular mattress. He’s been sleeping on an air mattress for about … ten-ish years and no, I’m not exaggerating. He insisted it was comfortable. I’m sure it was otherwise he wouldn’t have put up with it for so many years. But we bought a mattress in a box and he’s been really happy with it and wonders why we hadn’t gotten him one earlier. *cough-never-listens-to-me-cough*

I’m happy to report that Blake is using the air fryer regularly and it warms my heart that he’s eating more than Ramen noodles.

Feb 2: Bad weather rolled in. Scrambled to turn the clinic’s patients to Telemedicine visits – that’s always stressful, especially when done at the last minute.

Feb 3: Got six inches of snow. And being the dummy that I am, I went to work. I’m kicking myself for not calling in. And I’m not the sort of person who ever, EVER, does that, but come on, the streets were TERRIBLE and if enough people called in they would have had no choice but to close the clinic. The thing is, our clinic NEVER closes. And I know what you’re thinking, “but Karen, you’re in health care, how can you close??” Because our clinic is an outpatient ELECTIVE clinic, we’re not emergency. Our clinic is not set up to handle emergency situations so even if there were an emergency you know what we would tell patients? Go to the emergency room! So annoyed with that whole situation.

Feb 5: Had a hair appointment today. I go about every 12 weeks for a trim and to get my roots touched up. I asked her to go a shade lighter this time – my theory is – if I gradually go lighter, then maybe my grays won’t be AS noticeable. I have naturally dark hair which means it’s VERY obvious whenever my grays grow in. I also had about four inches cut off the length. I would love to go shorter, like bob short, but I’m not there, yet. And I would love to wear my hair down but with the cold weather, it’s been so dry and there has been SO MUCH STATIC ELECTRICITY! I brush my hair and it’s like POOF, instant poodle. So annoying.

Feb 6: I’m pretty sure I’m a YouTube addict. It’s disgusting and I’m disgusted with myself. I WILL cut myself off. I want to start writing political articles and posting them on Locals – I also have an idea for a story series that I want to post on Kindle Vella – what am I waiting for??

Feb 7: Trained a new girl at work today. She’s sharp and catching on fast.

Feb 9: It was a good day in clinic. Everyone seemed to be in a decent mood and the clinic ran well. Days like this makes me wonder if I’m making the right decision in looking for another job. I look at my work family and I think, “I’m going to miss their faces.” But with that said, I’m seriously kicking around the idea of signing up for a Legal Secretary class. I researched and agonized over it for weeks and the bottom line is – I don’t want to work in healthcare anymore. The COVID response killed any feeling I had toward it and I’m worried this season’s flu vaccinations, which I can’t get out of, I tried last year and my religious exemption was denied, will be built with mRNA and there is no way in hell I’m putting that crap in my body. I haven’t signed up for it yet, though. Because it will cost $1000 to take the class and if I’m going to do this, then I have to commit to it and … I’m having trouble committing.

Feb 10: I finally bit the bullet and went to see an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor today for my vertigo. Suffice it to say, it was a COLOSSAL waste of time and I will not be going back. (More on that later). I can definitely see why patients get disillusioned and upset when they go to see a doctor now. And remember, this is coming from someone who NEVER goes to the doctor so the fact that the one time I go to the doctor and feel like it was a waste of time only solidifies my determination not to go to the doctor.

Feb 12: Boys came over for dinner and I cooked Baked Pasta – it’s one of our favorites. Kevin is not the biggest fan of the recipe because it reminds him of his motorcycle accident – so it triggers him a bit. But the boys love it and we always have a bunch of left overs for them to take home. We then played a game of Forbidden Island afterward – which is a collaborative game where we all have to work together to collect the four treasures before the island sinks. Super fun and highly recommend if your family is into games.

By the way, here is the Baked Pasta recipe if you’re interested:

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1 16oz package of dry pasta (we buy the tube-shaped pasta)
1 pound of ground beef
1 28oz jars of spaghetti sauce
6oz sliced provolone cheese
1 1/2 cups of sour cream
6oz of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

Cook pasta about 9 minutes in a large pot of salted water. Combine cooked meat and spaghetti sauce and simmer 15 minutes.

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

In a lightly greased baking dish, place about half the pasta, top with a layer of provolone and mozzarella. Spread half of the spaghetti sauce mixture and layer all the sour cream. Next, cover with remaining half of pasta, remaining half of provolone and mozzarella and remaining half sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

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You’re welcome.

Officially became addicted to Wordle. I play it every morning before work and Brandon and I compare notes on who many tries it took for us to guess the word. So fun.

Feb 14: My work family exchanged little gifts. T, my nurse, “made” us play this gift exchange, (though everyone actually seemed to enjoy it). We all jotted down a few of our favorite snacks and then our “Valentines” gifted us our snacks. I had K, our medical secretary, and H, our mid-level had me. As usual, she went overboard and I got a bunch of yummy snacks. It was a fun way to start the day.

Kevin and I didn’t do anything for Valentine’s day. Want to know why? Because every day should be Valentine’s day. You should show your love every day.

I did it. I bit the bullet and signed up for the Legal Secretary class. It sort of made me sick to actually sign up, but we’ll have it paid off in six months. It’s a seven week class and it starts March 7th – all online. (More on that later).

Feb 17: Heard back from the law firm I applied to – of course they rejected me. I would reject me too, I don’t know the first thing about what document to file for such-and-such situation. (I’ll elaborate more on this soon).

Feb 18: Got my Legal Secretary handbook today. *Squee!*

Feb 19: Kevin’s phone finally died. I’ve been after him to buy a new phone for years and now, he doesn’t have a choice. He ended up buying a Motorola, which to be honest, I didn’t even realize they still made Motorola phones.

We’re on the lookout for a gas 250 truck. Maybe a Dodge Ram? We need something a little bit bigger than our Ford 150 to haul the cargo trailer. We sure miss the diesel truck we had but diesels are too complicated. No thanks.

Feb 20: I’m currently addicted to Chinese dramas, this one specifically. Girl, don’t ask me why. I’m fascinated about the whole first, second wife, concubine hierarchy. It is not helping me kick my YouTube addiction.

Feb 21: Kevin text me that Carnival Cruise ships were no longer requiring face masks. GREAT. Still not going on a cruise until this COVID scamdemic goes completely away. If ever.

Feb 22: More bad weather today – got quite a bit of sleet. Weirdly enough, it was easier to get around in the sleet than it was during the 6 inches of snow we had.

Kevin’s phone arrived today! He’s a happy camper.

Feb 23: Completely gobsmacked. The girl I was training, who I thought was a rock star and was excited for her to start because she would have been SO good, told us she was going back to her old position. I caught up to her later and asked her, point blank, if I had done something to scare her off, (because let’s face it, I’m a bit overbearing – *cough*), and she assured me it wasn’t me, it was our manager. We’ve been having all sorts of issues with our nurse manager making boneheaded decisions and she’s pretty much pissed everyone off in the clinic. The new girl didn’t want to work under a manager like that and quite frankly, I can’t blame her. But still, I was heart broken. She would have been perfect for the job.

Russia invaded Ukraine. Awesome. That idiot in the White House is going to drag us into a war. The 2022 mid-terms can’t get here fast enough. Let’s hope we can regain the House and Senate back and try and slow this mofo down.

Feb 26: Made a run to Hobby Lobby and took advantage of a 50% sale. I bought some stickers and some washi tape for my journal. Yes. I’m still bullet journaling – this is my third year. I swear, this thing is the only thing keeping me sane right about now. And if anyone ever gets a hold of it, I’m screwed.

TBR

February and March To-Be-Read Stack

Yes, I’m a little behind in my posting. But to catch you up, here are the books I read in February and the TBR list for March.

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You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.

I have currently read 5 books out of 55.

Moving on, here is my February TBR stack:

  1. Bad Cruz by L. J. Shen
  2. Don’t Look Now by Mary Burton
  3. The Wrong Woman : An addictive and gripping psychological thriller by Daniel Hurst
  4. The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis
  5. Edge of Madness: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival Thriller by Kyla Stone

I don’t know how much time I’m going to have to read in March and April – I’m taking a class. 

WHAT?!? What sort of class, you ask?

Well, you’ll have to stay tuned – I’ll explain more soon.

I’ve been very …. restless lately. I’m ready for a change. I’ve been confused and angry – I’m still angry, but not as confused. I have a plan and I feel better, but the question is, can I make this work?!?

Only time will tell.

In the meantime – I have a bookclub on Goodreads if you’re interested. I have all of March’s books listed on the bookshelf and if you would like to join and read what’s on the bookshelf, PLEASE DO. I may not be able to comment on all of the books, but I created this bookclub for people who want to voice their thoughts about the story, how it was written and how it made them feel after reading it. I hope you’ll join me over there. The URL is https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/138130-dear-reader

If that link doesn’t work, then sign into your Goodreads account and type in Dear Reader under the Groups section of the site, that should bring it up.

Anyway – Spring is around the corner!

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You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review on Goodreads – I’ve come to trust the reviews of Goodreads readers. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.

I have currently read 10 books out of 55.

Moving on, here is my March TBR stack:

  1. Put Me in Detention by Meghan Quinn
  2. The Keeper of Happy Endings by Barbara Davis
  3. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover
  4. Quicksilver by Dean Koontz
  5. Blind Conviction (The Nate Shepherd Legal Thriller Series Book 3) by Michael Stagg

Happy Reading!

Work Stuff

Living with COVID

So how is work going?

Glad you asked. I mean, it’s still the same shit show, but I’m glad you asked.

I’m writing about this primarily because I don’t want to forget this time period because I firmly believe we’re living history, (more so than usual), and future generations will look back on this time period, shake their heads and say, “what a bunch of fearful morons.” If you’re all for COVID vaccines, boosters, (1 through … ?), vaccine passports, magnetic chips implanted in your skin,  (mark my words, that’s coming – or is it already here?), do not read any further. It will just piss you off.

However, if you’re curious to hear what the “other” side thinks and can absorb the information without the top of your head blowing off, by all means, read on, my friend. I don’t want angry comments, emails, looks or cold shoulders, either virtually, or in real life, because I gave you fair warning. I would hope you’re capable of digesting information, where ever that information comes from, and making up your own mind. 

I’m simply sharing my thoughts, feelings and experiences as I see them through my unique lens. 

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way …

For those just tuning in, I opted out of the COVID vaccine. I am one of those *GASP* unvaccinated people. Or, as I like to affectionately call myself, a “pure blood.” (I saw someone label the “unvaccinated” this on Twitter and I like it – I am hence known as a “pure blood”).

Does this mean I’m anti-vaccine? Does this mean I’m a racist? A bigot? A white Supremist? Or any other labels the crazed, zombie-like pro-COVID vax people like to label people who disagree with them?

Of course not. It simply means what it means – I’m against THIS particular vaccine. I have questions and nothing makes sense. And the more Big Tech squashes the ability to TALK about it, the more suspicious and the more determined I am to NOT COMPLY.

And if I didn’t work where I work, I wouldn’t even think about COVID unless I was out in public and saw the occasional fearful sap still wearing a mask, but alas, I work in healthcare …

NEED I SAY MORE?!

Okay, I’ll say more. Since I work as a medical assistant in neurosurgery, I am quite literally surrounded by COVID every minute of every work day. And I get it, it’s healthcare and there are people in the hospital with COVID, though the numbers and statistics are a little blurry as it’s never disclosed the percentage of people that were admitted with COVID and the number of patients that were admitted for something else but tested positive for COVID, but numbers, statistics, and common sense do not matter nowadays. It’s all about stoking the fear and keeping this narrative going at all costs.

How and why am I still there?

Good question. I honestly don’t know. To catch you up, to give you the cliff notes version, the hospital mandated the vaccine. I turned in a religious exemption, was denied, turned my resignation in, then found out a co-worker had her religious exemption approved, re-worded my exemption request and was approved.

But a condition of them accepting my religious exemption, I have to take a test every week until … infinity, I guess.

Luckily, it’s a sputum test, not a Qtip up the nose test. And I’ve been doing this since November 1st. If I tested positive, I would be out for two weeks before I was permitted to return to to work.

Then the CDC shortened the requirements to seven days, and now it’s down to five days out. If I’m out, I have to use my vacation pay. *shrug* Okay, fine.

So far, so good. I haven’t tested positive. Things are good-ish. Or as good-ish as could be considering I’m one of two people in the entire clinic that feels pretty strongly against the COVID vaccine, but whatever, conversations pop up, I walk away.

Not that big of a deal.

And then, along comes Omicron. The little wannabe virus that people tried very hard to make into Delta 2.0. Thankfully, it wasn’t (isn’t) as deadly as it’s cousin mutation. But you know, we can’t be thankful for small reprieves because those don’t fit the narrative and negates Biden’s desperate attempt to bully people into getting the vaccine. Sure, Omicron is contagious, even more so than Delta, but it’s only as severe as a bad cold if someone catches it.

For most people, there are always exceptions, of course,

I’m thoroughly convinced, though don’t have anything to back this up, that I had COVID in April 2021. I lost my sense of taste/smell for two weeks and felt like warm death. It could have been a sinus infection and I thought it might have been at the time and asked Dr. M’s mid-level to call me in some antibiotics, which she was kind enough to do, and I felt better almost immediately. I will, at some point, get my antibodies tested because I want to know FOR SURE if that’s the case.

But I think it might have happened and I think I have natural immunity. Nearly everyone around me at work has tested positive for the Omicron variant, or COVID, in the past two weeks. Everyone completely freaked out and we had a lot of people out sick, though some people were asymptomatic.

I was fully expecting to test positive last week as I did feel poopy and I was around a lot of people who tested positive, but my test came back negative.

I was a little bummed, not gonna lie. I was looking forward to being off work for a bit. And who knows what this week’s test will show, but for now, I seem to be in the clear.

I feel like I’m spinning a Roulette wheel every week … round and round she goes, where she stops, no one knows! It’s exhausting and quite frankly, I’m over it and could give two shits any more. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. My life will go on regardless of mass hysteria that I’m surrounded with every day.

And speaking of hysteria, we have to start wearing a special mask next week. It’s thicker and I’m REALLY looking forward to not breathing for a while. Even more so than now. We’ve been wearing masks everyday since April (?), May (?) of 2020, when this nightmare started, but we could wear cloth masks or medical-grade masks that were at least comfortable enough to breathe in, but now, we have to wear something the thickness of a Kotex maxi pad.

Sexy.

I’ve checked out. I’m not invested in this “pandemic” any more. I think the worse is over and the variants will never go away. We must learn to live with it. I’m just patiently waiting for the government and the medical community to finally realize it.

I wouldn’t say I don’t care about my job anymore but I definitely care LESS. I’m now a passive observer – I’m on the outside, looking into a big picture window dispassionately watching the chaos inside. I already feel like we, as in the human race, have lost a few years to this parasite, I refuse to lose any more time because of it. Life is too short to begin with, I refuse to participate any longer.

What does that mean, exactly? I’m not sure, to be honest. I’m keeping my options open. I’m biding my time, I suppose, just waiting to see how this madness shakes out.

I will say, I’m very encouraged to hear about the Supreme Court upholding the Constitution and striking down the mandate for employers. It was really the only conclusion they could have come up with and thank God for the Constitution – places like Canada and Australia don’t have a Constitution and look what sort of shape they’re in.

So, at least I won’t have to worry about addressing the vaccine topic with another employer and any employer that decides to go ahead and mandate it anyway, (I’m looking at you Starbucks – tyrannical weirdos), wouldn’t be someplace I would want to work, or shop, anyway.

I feel like I’m walking a tightrope and any wrong move will cause me to fall off into an unknown abyss. It’s not exactly a pleasant experience, or a great place to be right now.

Distancing myself from this madness has been difficult, but it’s also been … therapeutic. I look around and I feel sorry for people who continue to listen to the propaganda and continue to put their trust in people, or organizations, that could care less about them. This whole pandemic, after information started coming in and it was apparent that the government and Big Pharma were pushing an agenda, has been nothing but an attempt to control people and make massive amounts of money – both by Mr. Science himself, aka Dr. Fauci, and Congress.

If that’s not enough to convince you that something fishy is going on, just look around you. People that are getting this Omicron variant are both vaccinated, and unvaccinated. This even includes people that have been boosted.

Wait a minute, I thought the vaccines were designed to prevent you from getting sick?

No? Oh right, they are supposed to prevent you from being REALLY sick and having to go into the hospital.

But the booster protects you, right?

Well. Sort of. They may protect you for about ten weeks.

These vaccines and boosters that the government and the healthcare industry tout as IMPORTANT and VITAL to protecting you from COVID are a short-term band aid, apparently. Because they appear to lose their effectiveness after so many weeks and then a new variant comes out and OOPS, the vaccines are now not effective at all but never fear! We have a booster that will do the job – maybe – for a short time, at least.

It’s madness. Sheer madness that we keep falling for this rhetoric. And what’s even more maddening is that we can’t even TALK about prophylactics, such as alternative medications or treatments that can help prevent serious illness, or focus on living and choosing more healthy choices – getting fresh air, taking vitamin D and Zinc supplements, to name a few alternatives.

Nope. You can’t even MENTION these things without people rolling their eyes and labeling the people wanting to talk about these options as “conspiracy theorists.”

Hate to break it to you folks, but the “conspiracy theorists?” Have been right so far. Maybe it’s time to take off the blinders and take a good, honest look at the bigger picture here – we’re being lied to.

COVID is real, folks, I’m not disputing that. What I am disputing is the narrative surrounding it. It has gotten so convoluted and complicated that people don’t know what to believe anymore. And since most people have not been taught to critically think for themselves and do not possess common sense – there are a lot of confused people out there.

My advice? Get your news from multiple sources. Both for and against the narrative. Look around. Pay attention. What do your eyes tell you? What is happening in your area? Take everything you see and hear with a grain of salt and understand that everyone, EVERYONE, has an agenda or biases.

Yes. Even me.

Here is a good summary of what we’ve been experiencing thus far with Omicron. I’m not the biggest fan of ZDoggMD – he’s alt middle-ish – but he does a fairly good job of trying to stay as neutral as he can in explaining the crap information we’re being fed.

Key points:

  1. Hospitalizations vs cases vs deaths – Omicron is more contagious but it’s not as deadly than Delta. This is good news! This would be the variant you would want to get to build immunity. There are many cases, but very few deaths – again – GOOD NEWS! I wish the media would focus on that instead of cases implying that equates death – it does not. However, as I mentioned people are not critically thinking about this information, they are simply reacting to the media’s message.
  2. It’s refreshing to hear him even TALKING about natural immunity. This is a topic that needs to be talked about more – it’s NOT the jab and nothing else.
  3. Love how he describes masking and the temperature “guns” theater. Because that’s what it is, folks, theater. It’s primary function is to make people feel like they are doing SOMETHING when in actuality, there is very little we can do other than try and stay as healthy as we can, washing our hands, not touching our faces until we wash our hands, avoid touching high traffic areas – elevators buttons, door handles, stay away from people who are coughing, eat better, get more sleep, take vitamins and supplements. But we can’t talk about that stuff, right?
  4. Hospitals filling up this time of year. Yes, he’s absolutely right. Hospitals traditionally fill up during the cold/flu season. I would also be interested in knowing the number of influenza cases, on average, that are hospitalized each year. COVID comes around and suddenly influenza disappears? Hardly, and yet, we can’t talk about that. Why?? Also – hospitals are not filling up because they don’t have beds, they are filling up because they don’t have the STAFF to take care of those beds. And why don’t they have the staff? Because the asswipes fired a lot of people by taking their bodily autonomy away. Genius move, idiots.
  5. “We’re not testing everyone for what genotype they have.” Which affirms what I’ve always said all along – how do they KNOW that you have Delta or Omicron if they’re not testing for that specific strain? Which, I suppose doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, you tested positive for a COVID strain, but knowing for certain which strain someone has would definitely change the numbers and like he said, knowing which strain someone has would tell doctors what kind of treatment would work best as opposed to just throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks.
  6. Mass psychosis formation – absolutely, 100% this is happening. People are being told what to do and they are going along with it because it’s easier to do so. It’s MUCH harder to resist that “norm” and say, “this is not right for me, thanks.” I know this firsthand. However, ZDogg is right again – this mass psychosis goes both ways and even if you disagree with the majority, it doesn’t mean YOU’RE right either. That’s why it’s so important to get both sides of the story – get your information from multiple sources, not just the side you support, to avoid falling into this trap yourself. Get all the information, analyze this information, then make the best decision for your and your family. And then everyone else? BUTT OUT. It’s none of your business what someone else does, or doesn’t do. If you’re that worried, again, make adjustments. Buy N95 masks, get your tenth booster, stay home and cower in fear. You do you, I’ll do me. Easy.
  7. Adverse reactions to the vaccine are not happening … in the San Francisco Bay area. That’s the key here, ZDogg. This does not mean this stuff is not happening elsewhere and it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen at all. It simply means you’re not hearing about it, personally. And you have to wonder, the cases you are hearing about, are they because of COVID or was something else happening? And how many cases are we NOT hearing about? The bigger concern, is that we’re not talking about it!! That we’re not ALLOWED to talk about it because any time you start to question, or have some sort of conversation about it, Big Tech kicks you off and censors you. Hell, even Biden appealed to Big Tech the other day about doing a better job of squashing “misinformation.” Which loosely translates to – information that harms the overall narrative. It’s happening and it’s real.
  8. Also – the fact that all of this is happening makes me suspicious – what is really going on here? I think these vaccine passports are about much more than COVID. It’s a way to track you and ultimately control what you can, and cannot do. Go ahead, roll your eyes – I hope I’m wrong, but what if I’m not?
  9. BE IN THE BEST POSSIBLE SHAPE YOU CAN BE FOR YOUR DATE WITH OMICRON. Amen. I 100% agree. Get it. Move on.

So, with all of that said, here are some sites I get my news if you’re looking for some alternative news. If you’re still watching CNN, MSNBC, etc., the “traditional” news sources, okay, but consider ALSO getting your news from other sources, too. What are you missing? What is not being said? What is being said too much?

WND.com
News Coup (Alternative to Drudge Report)
The Daily Wire
Louder with Crowder
You Are Here
Gab

I’m also on Twitter a lot. I know, Twitter is the devil, but again, I’m not interested in hanging out with like-minded people, I want to know what people who don’t think like me are thinking. It’s important.

And that’s my life right now. I never know what is going to happen week by week and I’ve come to be okay with that. What choice do I have? I’m hoping the craziness is about over, but maybe not. And if not, then I’ll re-assess my life, again. Because I don’t want o spend my last working years, (I only have about nine working years left), having to stress, or fight, for my right to do what I want with my own body.

I hope you’re all doing well and I hope your working life will get better now that the Supreme Court blocked Biden’s stupid mandates, unless you’re in healthcare, like I am and if that’s the case, do what is right for you and your family. That’s all you can do and people can either take it, or not.

Be healthy, friends.

Day-By-Day

Thankful The World Has Stopped Spinning

Hi.

So. We left off where I was experiencing vertigo, couldn’t walk straight, threw up not only everything in my stomach but I’m pretty sure there were bits of liver in my gunk, fell asleep and snored in front of the doctor I work for and me thinking I was never going to be normal again.

I’m happy to say, I’m normal again.

Or, whatever that means to you and however that defines me.

After that crazy episode, which lasted 20 hours straight and then I had another 15 hours of dizziness one day later, I’m happy to say I haven’t experienced any more vertigo, but I have had some dizzy spells. 

Actually, more like wooziness. Like I’m standing there and things just sort of start getting ..swimmey. Wavy. Distorted. It was very disorientating but it wasn’t severe enough for me to get nauseous and thankfully, it would only last about ten seconds before going away. I had quite a few woozy spells on Thanksgiving day, one after the other, to the point where I felt like we were going to have to leave dinner because it was making me feel sick, but again, luckily, after about thirty minutes, they didn’t go away but they weren’t happening as often and I started to feel better. 

But after Thanksgiving, I stopped having the woozy spells. I didn’t really notice I wasn’t experiencing the dizzy spells anymore for several days and then it was like, “Hey! I feel normal again!” And I haven’t had any more episodes since. I don’t know what I did, or what I didn’t do, but I’ll take it. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. 

I will say though, I have been careful with my head movements. I’m not living like a robot, but I definitely don’t bend over and blow dry my hair anymore as I’m afraid when I come back up, I’ll have a vertigo episode. Maybe I’m being overly cautious, but if that is what it takes NOT to experience that Funhouse Hell again, I’ll take it. 

I put off seeing a doctor for a while. Again, I don’t have a primary care physician (PCP) and I really needed to become established with someone because you may be healthy, and that’s great, but if something happens, a PCP is a heck of a lot cheaper than Urgent Care or the ER. 

So I bit the bullet and went to see someone. It was a nurse practitioner actually, not a doctor, but that’s okay. I really only wanted two things from seeing someone:

  1. A referral to Ear, Nose, Throat. (Because it’s a specialty and usually requires a referral to see someone) and
  2. Do a full lab work up to make sure my levels were good and my thyroid was working correctly.

To begin the appointment, I told her my vertigo experience. I didn’t give her as much detail as I gave you guys, but rather, the cliff notes version. I explained that it was my one and only, (God willing), experience and I have no idea what happened and I pray it never happens again. Shen then proceeded to look in my ears. 

She couldn’t even see into my left ear canal. She said it was super small and she couldn’t see anything. 

She then looked in my right ear. And though I have wax build up, (because you couldn’t PAY me to stick a Q-tip in my ear at this point in time because I’m afraid I’ll trigger something or knock something loose – also, you’re not supposed to clean your ear like that), it wasn’t as much as she would have thought given my experience. 

She then told me that she would refer me to Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor, (YESSSS, goal #1 accomplished) and that she wanted to do a blood draw and run some labs to check my thyroid and various other levels. (YESSSS, goal #2 accomplished). 

She then said she wanted to make another appointment for me to come back for a full physical, including, but not limited to, a breast exam and paps smear. 

*sound of screeching tires*

Um, no.

I get why she wanted to do that. I’m menopausal and I’ve never seen a family doctor so she needed a base line, but erhm, no. But I made an appointment, and then I promptly rescheduled it out a few months because … UGH, NO.

The physical is now in February – the end of February. I may go … (but probably not).

I finally touched base with ENT. I’m scheduled to see them the first part of February. Yes. I could have gotten in sooner but … UGH. I loathe being messed with, whether that’s getting my hair done, my teeth worked on, or my body looked at. I. HATE. IT. But I know I need to get this checked out if for no other reason than to see what is going on with my inner ears and how I can hopefully prevent this vertigo thing from happening again. 

And that  brings you up-to-date on the vertigo thing. Thankfully, I haven’t have any issues with dizziness since Thanksgiving and everything is looking good. I’m still very aware of the way I position my body and not bending over or hanging my head down. And I think that helps. I hope it helps. At any rate, I’m not taking any chances on triggering another “attack.” 

I hope your 2022 is going well so far and that you’re staying healthy. We have a lot of people out sick at work and of course the hospital is freaking out about it because that’s what we do with this COVID nightmare, we over react. 

More on that soon. 

Book Corner

Best/Least Liked Books of 2021

Did you make your reading goal for 2021? I did. I read 55 books and plan on reading another 55 books this year. (You can follow me on Goodreads here). I can handle one book per week, right? (I usually read a lot more on vacations so that’s why my goal is 55 books, not 52).

Below is a list of my five-star books for this year. Out of 55 books, I ranked 20 of them five stars. I don’t rank books five stars very often but when I do, it’s because:

  1. The story was excellent
  2. The story pulled some sort of emotion out of me
  3. It left a lasting impression

Most of the books I read were four-star books, which is good, and I still recommend them if you want to check out my list, but for whatever reasons, they weren’t “worthy”, at least in my opinion, of five stars.

Obviously, you’re free to think whatever you like.

I also included my three-star, or lower books, as well. Actually, I don’t think I ranked anything lower than three stars this year. These books were okay – I didn’t hate them but I certainly didn’t love them, either.

Here is a list of my five-star books first:

I discovered Andrew Mayne this year. And as you can see from the list, I rated quite a few of his books five stars. I enjoy his humor and his non-stop action without sacrificing character development. Could he develop his characters more deeply? Yes. But then that would take away from the made-dash around the plotline that I’ve come to appreciate from him and I I quite enjoy his writing style. I also really love how he puts his characters in seemingly impossible situations and then finds creative ways to get them out of said impossible situation. A great example of that is Orbital and Station Breaker. It almost makes you dizzy how crazy fast the plot goes in those books but they are highly entertaining and a few parts actually made me laugh out loud – recommend.

I’ve also read quite a few Loreth Anne White and I don’t recall not liking any of her books so far. Her mysteries are quite compelling and she keeps me guessing until the end, and sometimes beyond.

LOVE Colleen Hoover. Her books pull a lot of emotion out of me and I’m often squinting to read through the tears in my eyes. She has a talent for really making readers care about her characters, also recommend.

Mary Stone is also another author that consistently churns out really solid mysteries and I enjoy her work a lot, too.

Mariana Zapata – *sigh* – her work makes me swoon. She is probably one of my all-time favorite authors. Her slow burn romance, and her ability to insert real-life situations, are deeply satisfying and she spends a lot of time showing readers who her characters are so that by the end of her stories, you can’t help but be deeply invested in what happens to them. I still think of “The Wall of Winnipeg and Me” to this day. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Here is a list of my three-star books:

None of these books were bad, they just weren’t my cup of tea. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them, but reading them wouldn’t be a waste of your time, either.

I don’t know if you ever watch BookTubers on YouTube, but I really dig Chandler Ainsley’s channel. She is sharp and articulate in her book reviews and I like the quickness that she covers each story. I would really like to try something similar. So here is what I’m going to try this year:

I’ve started a reading journal. And in this reading journal, I’m jotting down thoughts about books I’m reading – impressions, character notes, story points, etc. and I am going film myself talking about these various books throughout the month, piece them together and post a video at the end of the month of my impressions of these stories. I’m going to keep it super chill, meaning, you’ll see me dressed up, dressed down, in my car, on my couch, in my office, wherever the mood strikes because it’s about the amazing stories that I read, not whether I look good or am wearing lipstick.

Anyway. I thought it would be fun to record my thoughts thinking it would make it easier for me to remember the books at the end of the month and choose my favorite book each month because my goal is to pick my favorite book for 2022.

Have a comment? Join me at my Goodreads Dear Reader Group. I would love to hear your thoughts!