Social distancing

I hope everybody stays safe during the Coronavirus epidemic, washes their hands frequently, and avoids unnecessary contact with others.

Ohio State University, where my dad still teaches, has canceled in-person classes, and he’s struggling to adapt to online instruction; he’s never done it before. The school Michael teaches at has also canceled classes for at least a month.

His school is in a residential facility for children with severe emotional/behavioral problems. They can’t live at home because it’s not safe for them or others. No internet access either, as these kids are prime targets for traffickers; so no online education for them. The poor kids will be stuck on their residential units for the duration; I suppose it’ll be a job to keep them from rioting.

I find myself wondering if people will be more likely to disappear, or less, during the social distancing. Cabin fever can result in severe friction even for healthy families, and people who live with abusive relatives are going to be at exceptional risk during this time period. The quarantine may also give some unhappy individuals the opportunity to walk out of their lives, since they’re unlikely to be missed for awhile.

RIP, Arthur

So I was going through missing persons Facebook groups this afternoon and to my shock spotted an old poster for a guy I used to know. He went missing in 2018.

We had “met” online in the late 1990s, when we connected randomly on AOL Instant Messenger, a chat program. I met a lot of people on there, including some I’m still friends with today. Both of us were in our teens, him a few years older than me. We were never super close but did talk regularly on AOL Instant Messenger for years. He was a good guy.

Over the years we drifted out of touch, talking less and less often. I think we last spoke sometime around 2006 or so. He seemed pretty content with his life the last time we spoke.

I had had no idea he had gone missing. He’s not missing anymore though. I looked him up and discovered he had only been missing for three months before they found his body. Suicide.

I felt pretty sad about it, though over a decade had passed since we had talked last and I don’t know what he was dealing with when he took his life. I really wish it hadn’t come to this.

Happy announcement

Michael and I have gotten engaged.

We love each other very much and would have married long ago, except if we had, I’d have lost my medical insurance, and his job didn’t provide insurance for spouses and families of employees. #Merica

Well, last week his job announced they were getting better insurance: it covers more, costs less, and covers spouses (including domestic partners) and children (including adult children) of employees.

So now we will marry. Michael got down on bended knee in front of hundreds of people at the Egyptian Room at the Old National Centre in Indianapolis, just after the awesome guys from the Small Town Murder podcast finished their event for the night, because that’s what we’re like. We have set a tentative date for October.

I know nothing much will change (we have been together for 18 years, and lived together for around 10) but this has made us both so happy. I’ve been walking around smiling all the time and humming love songs.

Happy New Year, everybody!

I hope you guys have a happy last night of 2019 and a good upcoming year. I never thought I’d still be running the Charley Project, fifteen years down the line, but here I am.

I’ve been doing pretty well, pretty stable. My bipolar disorder etc. has been kept well under control with my current medication regimen, and I haven’t needed a medicine adjustment in over a year. And I’ve got the mysterious nausea and vomiting under control again.

I’ve made some new real-life friends this year as well as new online friends. My dog Kinsey, whom I adopted in 2018, is still with us, happy and healthy, at the ripe age of fifteen.

Michael has gotten much better since his health scare in June. He has been fat all his life, but at the urging of his doctors he went on a diet and stuck to it, and he’s lost over 100 pounds! He’s still fat, but he’s still losing weight. I’m proud of him and we are very happy together.

A few times I’ve mentioned a long term “project” I’m working on for the Charley Project, that I’m afraid I can’t be more specific about at this time, only to say it should be done in the coming year.

A lot of John and Jane Does have been identified this year, including three of the four Bear Brook victims, Malyse Honeychurch, Marie Vaughn and Sarah McWaters; Debra Jackson aka “Orange Socks”; Myoung Hwa Cho and her son Bobby Whitt aka “the Boy Under the Billboard”; and Peggy Johnson aka Racine Jane Doe.

Happy New Year.

Day after surgery, feeling good

So I had the tube tying laparoscopic surgery yesterday and it went just fine. I left the hospital a few hours later and spent some time resting at Michael’s parents’ house, then drove home.

Yesterday there was some pain, like a bad period, but today there is almost no pain. I’m not even taking the pain meds they sent me home with.

Thanks for all your good wishes!

In case you’re wondering how my surgery went, it hasn’t happened yet

Yeah, I got the dates mixed up. I thought my surgery was on Monday. It is on Wednesday. I found this out after me and my boyfriend’s mom got up at 5:30 a.m. to arrive in the hospital lobby at 6:00 a.m. and were sent away. I felt like a complete moron.

My trip to Wisconsin was excellent but it did wipe me out. When in hotels I sleep badly, if at all. I was excited. The hotel I was staying in had a wedding party and they were raucous. I am used to sleeping in complete darkness, and all sorts of lights were shining in through the window.

I felt sick on Monday (I get severe hay fever for a day or two every year in September and April) and slept most of today. I’m finally starting to feel normal again… except my operation is tomorrow and that might wipe me out again, who knows?

Annnnd Facebook hates me again (and other news)

I guess Facebook tweaked their algorithms once more, because despite 16,708 likes and 16,911 follows (as of this writing) on Charley’s Facebook page, the post reach is minimal.

I know Facebook wants me to pay them money to “boost” my page, but I refuse. They already have all my data, after all, and have probably sold it to Russia many times over.

Anyone who follows the Charley Project on Facebook, you should probably select “see first” or you might not see anything at all. Mind you, “see first” only guarantees the first five posts each day showing up on your feed, and I often post more than five articles a day, so…

In other news, in light of Michael’s recent CHF diagnosis, he had a procedure done where they looked at his heart with a tiny camera to see if he needed a stent. He did not! His arteries are clear! It’s excellent news.

The computer is, of course, still in the shop. Because it was last in the shop less than 30 days ago, this considered a “warranty repair” so the $50-just-to-look-at-it fee is waived. I just have to cover whatever it is they do to fix it.

I miss updating but I’m doing well.

Orville is back!

So Orville has returned home from the computer shop. They said they basically had no idea what was wrong but had tried this and that and the other thing and finally the computer was working again.

I took him home, and plugged him in, and pressed the button, and … nothing. Didn’t work.

So Michael called the shop and told them this, and Computer Guru Jamie, who owns and runs the place, came over to our house to investigate. (It helps that Computer Guru Jamie is a good friend of Michael’s.) He tried this and that and the other thing and got Orville running again. He thinks the problem is the motherboard won’t hold a charge or something and if it recurs, a replacement will be necessary.

But for now, Orville is back.

Orville still in the shop

My computer is still in the repair shop; I have no idea when it will be fixed. Of course nothing got done over the holiday. Sigh. I went to a cookout with Michael and a zillion people I didn’t know. I’d rather have stayed home and worked on Charley.

I will, however, have a Surprise for y’all later tonight. Stay tuned!

No MP of the week today

My computer mysteriously kicked it about half an hour ago. I was playing a game then suddenly everything went to heck and I thought it was the game, which I couldn’t get to shut down.

So I tried shutting Orville himself down in the usual way but nothing doing; I had to use the power strip. Then I couldn’t get Orville to start back up again. So here we are. I’ll have to take him to the shop tomorrow.

They want $50 just to look at it. And I think it’s probably a hardware problem which means some part or other will have to be replaced which will cost more of course.

Such is the joys of computer ownership. Though I have to say Orville has stood me in good stead. Not like the laptops I used to have which would break, it seemed, every week or so.

I’m writing this on my phone. I can’t update my website from my phone so y’all will have to wait till I get Orville fixed up and returned from the computer hospital.

Ah well, it’s not like I don’t have a zillion books lying around waiting to be read, yeah?