Once again it's been far too long since I've journaled. I need to figure out what it is that I have to do to change that. I know for a fact that it is therpeutic and helps. But for some reason I can't seem to get my ass in gear and do it more often these days.

I guess there really hasn't been a ton of truly interesting things going on, so maybe that's a part of, I dunno...

In more or less important and relevant news worth documenting and discussing, however...

I started a pixel club. And the interest in it and growth with it - both in terms of speed and volume - is far more than I expected in the time since it launched, which has been really gratifying for me on a number of levels.

I've also been grappling with my addiction to pixel clubs, in general. I really shouldn't be too mad at it, it's certainly healthier than the drinking and smoking I was doing for several months there. But it seems like a very real addiction in a lot of ways, haha. But, the drinking and smoking has gone down as a result of it, at least in part, so that's rad and I'm not gonna think too much more about it.

It's been stupid hot here for almost the entire last month and I am well fucking over it. 90°f+ has been the norm for almost all of June. Anything over 70°f and I begin to get... unpleasant. Turns out this June is the 3rd hottest June in recorded history where I live. Fuck my life. One day was 99°f with a heat index over 100°f. Like, what in the actual fuck. When I tell people where I live, they always instantly think of cold and snow. Nope. We might as well be on the equator with the highest mountain peaks and the lowest valleys. it's been fucking awful the last 5+ years, minimum, with no signs of improving. If you don't believe in climate change, I don't believe in you.

I started my new job driving bus for metro transit where I live. It's actually a new old job, though, as I drove for them for a handful of months a few years back. At the time, as a new hire, you were required to work a split shift. That consisted of getting up at about 3am, driving to the garage, driving bus for 3 to 4 hours, then having a break of 3 to 4 hours which was either driving home to catch a nap and then driving back or staying at the garage and taking a nap. After that, either driving back to the garage after a nap or just waking up from a nap on some uncomfortable piece of furniture and going and driving for 4 to 5 hours. Then driving home. Hopefully having enough energy to get some of the things done that need to be done in daily life. As a single parent of two kids with a dog that had a number of health concerns at the time, it simply wasn't sustainable.

Nowadays, though, the split shift isn't a requirement. Both of my kids moved out, as well. And I don't have a dog with a ton of health concerns anymore (R.I.P. Swizzle). Or really any other responsibilites or distractions. Plus! The pay rate is over $5 more than it was last time I drove for them, too. Despite inflation, without all the stuff I had going on last time around not being an issue any longer, the increased pay rate will actually be felt. And I am so looking forward to it. It is well deserved, IMO, and well overdue.

We were out for on the road training today and we stopped off for lunch at a greek spot that came highly recommended from my trainer. I love gyros almost as much as I love pizza, so I was stoked to check it out. Lemme tell you, it did not disappoint. One of the best gyros and plate of fries I have ever had. I am still thinking about it.

Lastly, and this might be a bit of a hot take and ruffle some feathers with anyone reading my inane ramblings...

Fuck fireworks. Fuck them, entirely. It is the 4th Of July in the USA - which I'm still not terribly sure I get behind or even give a shit about - is in full swing here and the fireworks are absolutely ridiculous. I don't mean a nice well orchestrated fireworks display, I mean seemingly every gotdamn neighbor in my hood blowing them off. And not just tonight. Every night since a day or three before Juneteenth and literally every single night since. With the last couple of nights being truly awful to the point that the sky is a haze of smoke and the smell is only that of fireworks. And I'm not exaggerating, trust me. Every. Single. Night. For almost a month already. And now it's actually the 4th Of July and the sun hasn't even set and I already can't see the end of my block due to the smoke and the stench is penetrating my house even with all the windows closed and the air conditioning being on. And there's still at least 4+ hours of prime time for fireworks to be lit. Don't get me wrong, I think a good firework is a fun experience. A good firework display is even more enjoyable. But when you live in the hood where gunshots are both a daily and nightly occurance, it gets old real fast. We call it the game of "Is it gunshots or is it fireworks?". And nothing could more clearly demonstrate that than my experience bussing home form work today where some asshole was lighting off fireworks that do nothing but make loud noises - no pretty colors or fun sounds, just loud clapping sounds. Everyone at the intersection ducked or dropped to the ground because they thought they were gunshots and we are so used to it in our life. What kind of asshat lights off fireworks at 4pm in a neighborhood like that? And let's not forget all the veterans with PTSD and - to a greater degree, IMO - all the wild animals and pets who have done absolutely nothing to be entirely afraid the entire time each and every time one goes off? Fuck outta here.

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