Dispatches From Armageddon

It’s the Summer of 2022 and this is the first writing I’ve done here in a while.  In the past two years it seems many Armageddon-worthy events happened.  The dastardly pandemic continued to spread like a California wildfire.  The entire US west coast and parts of Europe were engulfed in a California wildfire. A plague of mind-eating zombies (anti-vaxxers), in their hungry search for the brains they don’t have, spread far and wide like a California wildfire. The housing market went absolutely Jesus-Dolphin-Riding-Christ bonkers, with its home price insanity spreading around the country like a California wildfire. Russia invaded Ukraine, earning Russia a heap of sanctions and international condemnation that spread quicker than a California wildfire.  The United States elected a new President, who thankfully isn’t crazy this time, but was born sometime around the fall of Constantinople. 

And Taco Bell temporarily discontinued the Mexican Pizza, causing cries of anguish from stoners to spread around the country faster than a cabbage fart in an elevator.

As you can see, a lot of things occurred that were Earth-shattering and memorable. Oh, and California was on fire. Just FYI. Anyway, no matter what’s happening in the world, it doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with it.  Hence, the reason for my photo below:

Nailed It! Safety First

Rather than recap world events, I thought I would write a general overview of the events in my life.  I wish I could say I accomplished something grand, something for the history books.  Like maybe helping George RR Martin finish his next book, completing an Indiana Jones-style relic hunt that involved Nazi punching, or creating cold fusion MacGyver style with duct tape, a tampon, and cheap whiskey.

However, my life was much more mundane but no less eventful.  I entered a new relationship, became debt free, got laid off, helped my parents sell their house and move, got a new job, and went to Disneyland.  And I avoided being attacked by ninjas, miraculously.  It can happen. You’ll never see them coming. 

Summer 2020

As I mentioned above, I began a new relationship.  The lady in question is someone that I had unknowingly crossed paths with for several years prior to us actually meeting.  After we started seeing each other we compared our mutual sets of surveillance reports (Facebook photos), and discovered we’d both been to the same renaissance fairs on the same day, twice, likely walking right by each other. We both attended some of the same Sacramento Republic FC matches, likely waving flags and cheering along with The Tower Bridge Battalion, probably only a few drunk soccer fans between us.  And we both attended the same club show for steampunk band Abney Park, each of us standing near the stage, mere feet apart but unaware of each other.  Despite all those close encounters, we didn’t actually meet until a few years later at a Flogging Molly concert.

Fall 2020

When the world seems like everything is going to hell, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with it.  Hence, my Halloween costume:

That Autumn, my parents decided to sell their home of thirty years.  They felt it was time to get out of their increasingly noisy neighborhood, which had become infested with donut spinners, drag racers who thought they were Fast & Furious, gunshots, ballistic mimes, hovering police helicopters, and maybe ninjas.  They wanted to move to a smaller, quieter town to live out their golden years.  And so they put their house up for sale in the craziest fucking housing market since the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889.

When I say crazy housing market, I mean crazier than a drunk Florida Man having a Mad Hatter tea party with Charles Manson in the middle of a monster truck rally. Once my parents’ house was officially listed on a Thursday afternoon, calls immediately came in from realtors wanting to show it to their clients.  I think the house went live on the MLS listings around 1pm, and then everyone in the house had to fuck off by 4pm for showings. 

All weekend offers streamed in, each one well above asking price with at least one prospective buyer offering to sacrifice a goat to a deity of our choosing (The Flying Spaghetti Monster). By Sunday the house had been sold.  This mantic buying frenzy, we soon learned, had become quite normal in the real estate world at that time. My parents were over the moon at how fast, and for how much, the house sold for. 

Speaking of my parents’ new house…

Winter 2021

In January 2021 I walked into my parents’ kitchen.  It was there I noticed a large slice of cherry pie on the counter.  At that time, both myself and my parents had begun trying to eat healthier, exercise more, etc.  I immediately became worried because the mere existence of this sugary, fruit-filled baked good on the premises, and within such close reach, threatened to upend any progress made towards any fitness, health, and weight loss goals.  And with my parents being of a more advanced age, and this single piece of sweet goodness being potentially dangerous to my mom and dad’s health and well-being, I decided to be a good son and make the necessary sacrifice that any person would make for their parents.

I ate the cherry pie.

I’m sure that some of you reading this are, at this very minute, saying to yourselves that you need to rush over to a loved one’s house in order save them from that ice cream in their freezer. Do it.  Eat that ice cream.  Make that sacrifice for your loved one’s health.

And destroy (consume in one sitting) that bag of Double Stuff Oreos hiding in the pantry just to be safe. I would happily dive on that yummy grenade.

Spring and Summer 2021

Throughout the spring, like many people around the world, I worked from home.  I had my work computer set up in the living room, and I honestly clocked in from there and worked every day.  I didn’t telework from somewhere exotic as I’m sure many others did.  No working from fancy vacation spots like Hawaii, Paris, or IHOP.  Alas, I may have missed an opportunity.

But I did take another trip to Seattle.  I’ve always loved Seattle and my girlfriend had never been there.  Sometime soon I plan to write a separate account of the Emerald City that includes a Gum Wall, a Bridge Troll, and Princess Bride movie props.  And pizza. 

Another important event that occurred was I got my vaccinations against Covid-19.  I know many people were hoping that the best defense against it was a twelve pack of beer and some tacos.  Doesn’t mean we didn’t try.  A few times.  Being a military veteran, I’ve had a gazillion vaccines pumped into me, which made my body’s immune system extra sturdy.  Therefore, I only suffered very mild fatigue after getting both shots. 

Although I did get amazing 5G reception afterwards.  I don’t know what those conspiracy nutters were whining about.

Everything seemed to be going well as we approached the end of summer.  There were no ill omens portending utter doom, no fortune cookies foretelling any impending calamities like a freight train baring down on a stranded school bus full of orphans and puppies. 

You can see where this is going, right?

The company I had been working at for several years, suddenly and without warning, announcing they were closing their California office, and all of us would be laid off that October. And no, we weren’t offered the ability to transfer to a different company office in another State.

Well, fuck.

Fall 2021

In about mid-October I turned in my company computer and equipment on my last day.  Immediately afterward it almost felt like one of those commercials from the 1980s where a reporter asks Joe Montana what the next move is after winning the Super Bowl.  “You’ve just been laid off from a company you were happy to work for during for past seven years.  What are you going to do next?”

“I’m going to Disneyland!”

Which is exactly what I did.  The very next day my girlfriend and I drove down to Anaheim and went to Disneyland.  I wasn’t exactly destitute after leaving my job.  I had money saved.  And of course I used a little of it go to Disneyland. Fuck yeah!  I’ve written about Disneyland before.  See my previous post “Don’t Surf on Space Mountain” for that entertaining tale.  But on this trip, I wanted to go on the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride while wearing pirate hats.  Because I’m a dork.

Winter 2022

This past winter wasn’t exactly super exciting.  I had been laid off.  And in between applying for jobs, debating on whether to go back to grad school or using the money I’d saved on a spending spree at 7-11 to buy Icees and lottery scratchers, I did manage to have one thing happen to me that can be described as…interesting.

I got Covid-19!  Hooray!  In all honesty I’m glad that I’m double vaccinated and boosted.  Because for me getting coronavirus only felt like having a mild cold.  I had the sniffles.  All thanks to being vaccinated and boosted, my symptoms were very minor.  For comparison, in the past I became much more ill after watching Twilight.

Get vaccinated!  Otherwise getting the coronavirus will feel worse than watching Twilight.

Spring 2022

The coming spring brought the good tidings of new employment.  To celebrate our new jobs, my girlfriend and I decided to take a little trip to Hawaii before we started.  I had never been before and was especially interested in visiting Pearl Harbor and the USS Missouri.  After all, I am a US Navy veteran and a military history buff.  For those that don’t know, the USS Missouri is a battleship where The Second World War ended.  It was on those decks that Japan signed the surrender, thus ending six years of bloody conflict that killed an estimated 60 million people.

The USS Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial.

I plan to write a longer, more in-depth post about my experience in Hawaii. But for now, I do want to share one thing from my trip.  I thought that it was rather amazing that, here I was exploring an island in the Pacific rich in culture and history.  And while walking along the beach, nestled in between lush, green trees and foliage and structures of beachfront infrastructure (tiki bars), it was there that I saw it. 

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I was gazing upon an ancient relic that myself, and many others on the mainland, have not seen in many years.  I was so surprised and amazed at the sight of this archaeological treasure standing right in front of me that I immediately whipped out my phone to snap a photo.  I’ll let the picture below speak for itself.  Hawaii truly is magical.

This takes us to roughly the present day. Despite the events of the past two years, I’m still on this Earth while making it through mostly unscathed.  I hypothesize that ninjas will be the main survivor group of this current Armageddon.  You will rarely, if ever, see them so they’re experts at social distancing, they’re always wearing masks, and they’re experts with weapons and smoke bombs. The next step is ninjas will emerge as Earth’s overlords, having survived the devastation.

Even though we seem to have gone through the worst of things in this so-called apocalypse, I know it’s not quite over yet.  We’re still metaphorically slogging through this jungle of world-changing events.  Which I suppose can be said about life in general.

Welcome to Level 26 of Jumanji!

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