Photos: Exploring “New Horizons”

For those of you who are curious how I’m coping with so-called “Quarantine,” don’t worry: I’m exploring “New Horizons.”

Categories: Coronavirus, entertainment, games, Health, photography | Leave a comment

Quarantine diaries: week 2

Day 7: I bought milk this afternoon. The store wasn’t particularly crowded, and, unlike the Walgreens next door, it was relatively well-stocked (and grocery stockers are getting very good hours lately). I had to laugh that they were short on beer except Corona Extra… and Heineken. What the heck did Heineken do, lol?

I saw a news story when I got back that both ICON Park and FunSpot America (in Orlando and Kissimmee as well as their park in Atlanta) are “closing indefinitely” as of Monday. Disney, Universal and SeaWorld closed last weekend. This means that everything fun in this city is officially closed. The I-Ride Trolley, is still running though (as Publix, CVS and Walgreens are still open)

Day 8: I spent the morning looking at apartment listings online. There are several new units available in both Baltimore and Bethlehem (PA) that are available within my timeframe… but they are not holding “open houses” nor can I schedule a “showing” due to the virus.

I spent the afternoon paying bills (because no-one else is going to) even though they legally cannot shut off my electricity/water service due to the quarantine. I also filled out the Census form online. It took slightly longer than they promised as I accidentally tossed the envelope with the “log-in” information. However, since I am the only person living at this address, it only took me about 10 minutes to complete.

Day 9: Woken up by landscaping crew (who usually work on Wednesdays) a full hour before my alarm went off. Also, “valet trash” is still being offered. Nice to see at least some things remain the same in these uncertain times.

I didn’t particularly want to do it after the disastrous delivery on Thursday, but I bought milk off Instacart (and due to their “minimum purchase” guidelines, I ended up buying a lot of junk too). While they didn’t have the kind of milk I wanted, everything else was in stock and the items arrived an hour ahead of schedule with zero notification from the app of this happening until the driver knocked on my door, but, then again, it did arrive, so I can’t complain…

Day 10: Next week is April 1st. Which means I need to find something fun to do that won’t piss off my followers (like, ahem, last year’s post). It also means I have to prepare one or more “Autis-meme” posts. I have more than enough memes for ten of those posts… but the truth is, I’d only curate them not because I “want” to but because it feels like I HAVE to. However, it is a nice change from constant virus coverage…

Speaking of change, I just received an email notifying me that the complex I’m renting at is going to be run by a different management company. That by itself isn’t necessarily bad news, but experience shows it’s rarely good news either. It’s also pretty strong motivation to keep up the apt search.

Day 11: Quite a lot of activity (and noise) on the sandlot at 8 o’clock this morning, pity it was a full hour before my alarm goes off. However, it will stop suddenly around 10am, and then nothing will happen for the rest of the week.

And I called it, so I went back to bed…which means I laid there uncomfortably staring at the ceiling with my eyes closed for about two hours wondering why: If I was so tired, why I wasn’t asleep? The same thing will happen tonight, but it will be for six hours.

Day 12: I ordered milk (and a few other things to meet minimum purchase price) off Instacart… which was good timing on my part as not only did I get my items in less than 2hrs, but, more importantly, I found out that their workers are planning a “general strike” on Monday for higher pay and actual health benefits – kind of important in times like this.

Also, Disney and LEGOLAND Florida have pushed back their opening dates until midway through the month. Meanwhile, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld are now closed “until further notice” and have furloughed 90% of their workers (possibly so they qualify for Unemployment benefits).

Day 13: Woke up today feeling like I had a moderate cold, but that seems to have at least partially cleared up since then. I don’t have a fever, so it could be allergies. The point is, I probably don’t have the virus. Even then, it’s not like I’m going anywhere this weekend anyway…

Categories: adventures, disney world, florida, Orlando, apartment hunting, Universal Studios, Autism, SeaWorld Orlando, Advocacy\volunteer, Williamsburg, Health, Orlando Eye, Coronavirus | Leave a comment

Photo: Somber statistics

Categories: Coronavirus, florida, Health, Kissimmee, news, North Florida, Orlando, Sanford, South Florida, Tampa, Winter Haven | Leave a comment

Quarantine diaries: Week 1

Day 1 – Unaware of the impending “Quarantine” order, I ignored the media hysteria and went grocery shopping. Other than paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies, the shelves were well stocked and, contrary to same reports, the store was relatively empty customer wise. Also, because the theme parks are closed, I was able to get across the street to my apartment without dealing with the usual nonstop traffic.

All I bought at the store was milk, bread and a 2-liter of soda (I don’t feel like getting up to check which kind): No coffee, no snacks, or anything else fun. Normally, I’d go back to the store about Thursday for another half-gallon of milk and possibly some more snack rations… but with the new “quarantine” in place, I’ve decided to skip that step and just go on Friday instead (it should give me enough time to go through reserves in my freezer).

Day 2: I had no real problem staying inside today. If it weren’t for the construction crew (like six people, so work continued until around noon) and the groundskeeping crew (which I think is four or five people), I would have slept the entire day.

I had every intention of cooking the leftovers in my freezer, but I broke down and bought Chinese delivery. I feel like both a rebel and a traitor at the same time. Food was really good though…

Day 3: Shortly after noon, I get a notice on my door about my rent renewal (which is a full month early, but at least it gave me a firm move-out date). So, I head downstairs to the leasing office… just to see it “closed due to Coronavirus. For all inquiries, please call…”

Bastards made me put clothes on for nothing… but now I’m too lazy to get undressed again (if that makes sense). However, I did force myself to call the leasing office as directed, and the three-and-a-half-minute call told me two things:

  • My actual renewal date is April 26th and
  • Because of the virus, all scheduled rent increases will be “suspended” for people renewing by the end of June. Something to think about…

Day 4: Forget to set my alarm last night. So, after staring at the ceiling for several hours not sleeping, I was finally woken up by a robocall on my phone at 10:43am (though I was probably half-awake long before then). Normally, the construction crew wakes me up around 8am, but they don’t appear to be working today.

Well, I decided to order tomorrow’s groceries off Instacart today. I got them, but I also got horrible communication with the app and a heap of unnecessary attitude from the delivery driver because of it. I’m not sure if it’s worth the hassle of making a full post about it or not… but after having all those heavy bags angrily shoved in my hands, I’m glad I only ordered half of what I wanted.

Day 5: There was some brief activity on the sandlot next door this morning, but it appears to have stopped, presumably for the weekend. Otherwise, there’s not much going on here. I may order a pizza later, but I should be good on groceries for a few more days…

Categories: adventures, Coronavirus, entertainment, florida, Health, Orlando, Williamsburg, writing | Leave a comment


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Photos: Shopping in times of Coronavirus

A flu-like virus with no IB elements, but people stock up on toilet paper and not tissues?
Cleaning supplies are gone too.
Bottled water is in decent shape.
Sodas, coffee, chips and snacks are appear to be uneffected by the panic shoppers.
Another aisle that looks relatively normal.
Categories: Coronavirus, florida, Health, Orlando, photography, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

Some health updates

So, since it’s pouring rain outside right now, I guess it’s the perfect time to update you on things that I haven’t had the inclination (or “spoons” if will) to cover over the past few weeks:

I’ll start by saying I had a doctor’s appointment for my insurance required annual physical. While it wasn’t a complete waste of time, I didn’t learn anything new from it… other than I forgot to post about my last visit back in October. I also forgot to mention (and the doctor forgot to ask about despite it being in her chart) the painful bubble in the knuckles on my left hand. She largely dismissed everything I told off out of hand as “normal aging” or “whatever, I send you to the lab for blood work. They can tell me if something is wrong with you.”

I only remembered the knuckle thing when I accidentally hit my index finger (the more painful of the two) against the metal penholder at their checkout window when I pulled out my checkbook out for the co-pay. It wasn’t even hard, I just grazed it against the side of it for half a second, and the woman sitting there had that classic “what the fuck” look, like she couldn’t say anything even she was allowed too (which as regular readers know, I get… a lot).

While I was out, I decided to walk up the road to Wal-Mart Supercenter (I keep thinking it’s a half-mile, but it’s actually 1.3 miles) to buy some important thing or another. But while I was there, I decided to check on when the earliest appointment I could get with the doctor at the Vision Center as the doctor is only there two times a week. I got lucky, not only was she was there today, but there were only three people in the waiting area and the rest of the docket was apparently blank. The receptionist said if I felt like waiting, I could be seen by noon.

I waited and, sure enough, I was seen shortly before noon. My script hadn’t changed, and I chose a new set of frames. Plus, I was actually out of the store by noon. I didn’t have the “spoons” to go shopping, so I came back to the apartment and fell asleep until the rain started.

Categories: adventures, florida, Health, healthcare, Orlando | Leave a comment

Lease then ideal conditions

I didn’t want to.

I really didn’t want to renew my lease for a mold infested apartment for another year… so I didn’t. I could pay $200 more per month for six months (in addition to the “standard” $115 rent jump), or I can “upgrade” to a one bedroom/one bath unit and pay only $150 more in base rent. I still plan on moving… but not for six months. It’s not ideal, but it works…sorta.

I’m still looking for places. The problem is, I haven’t nailed down where yet. I want something suburban… but I don’t have a car. Unfortunately, any meaningful form of public transit it found in the city. Along with crime, traffic and, worst of all noise.

I would move back to Baltimore, but that not only has a “been there, done that” aura to it – it also feels like “giving up.” Pretty soon, I’d be writing unpaid “theatre reviews” no-one reads (I know, I checked my site stats), and that’s the absolute LAST thing I want. I know Autism is all about “sameness” and “routines,” but my last “official” diagnosis was ADHD so I can’t stand doing the same thing over and over again adfuckingnauseam. Let’s not forget all sorts of “fun” (aka “horrible and traumatic”) memories it would kick up (you can look them up yourself, many of them are still on here).

Both New York and DC have better access to jobs and have more expansive transit options… but they’re a LOT more expensive to live in. Sure, I can make it work, but I just don’t see it happening. I also looked at Myrtle Beach because it was listed as 2018’s “Best cheap beach town” by some magazine or another (and after checking various apartment rental sites, I can confirm they are)… but their one bus line stops service at 10pm.

One place I’m looking at is Philadelphia. It has its own mix of cheap split up townhouses with shared laundry rooms, and newer “luxury” units… but I’ve never lived there, so it would all be new to me. Pluz (uhn-lieg Fladda), I a’reddy speeg da lag-wedge.

The main problem right now is inventory. There’s just not much available this time of year compared to April or May when the school year ends and graduation season begins. Hopefully, by then, I’ll have better news for you…


(Art credit: Emm Roy, Emm’s Positivity Blog)


Categories: apartment hunting, Baltimore, florida, Health, Orlando, Pennsylvania, Philadephia, Williamsburg | Leave a comment

A laundry list of problems: Part 2

I’m led out of the Exam Room and pointed towards the tiny lab room.
The same lab I had a panic attack and nearly fainted in last year after the lab tech said she was prepping for my tests by tying a band around my arm and pulling out a half dozen empty vials and a needle twice the size of said arm! Thankfully, they had another patient in there when I arrived, so I had a few seconds to compose myself befo…

“Hey, you,” a voice shouted as I suddenly felt someone staring at me while I was scrolling on my phone. “I asked you: ‘what are you here for’… ahem, I mean, ‘sir’” (nice save, lol).

She calls me into her tiny lab room, takes the pink folder the doctor gave me out of my right hand and tells me to have a seat. She can see I’m anxious about this, but, obviously, she’s a professional. She knows what to do in situations like this.

“Are you… ok,” she asked with that familiar mix of disgust and contempt as if she “had to ask” but was clearly afraid I’d answer her. However, before I could, she rolls her eyes and snapped, “I asked if you are okay…um, sir” (not quite as convincing, but she’s trying).

She then turns around, flips through the folder, rolls to the desk, pulls out a disclosure form and shoves it in my face while rotely explaining how I agree to pay a $10 “convenience fee” for the privilege of getting the work done in house (so, I’m paying for the doctors’ convenience? Yeah, that totally sounds fair).

“If you don’t like it,” she said exasperatedly, barely looking up from pulling needles and vials out of the cabinet next to her. “You can go to any lab you want and pay whatever they want to charge you. We aren’t charging you to see a lab elsewhere – THAT’S why it’s a ‘convenience fee.’”

That argument makes no sense. I wish I could remember my exact reply, but I do remember asking if she heard that odd “echo” in the room as she seemed to say everything twice.
She takes a breath, shoves a grimy squeeze toy into my hand and snaps: “If you would a

nswer my question the FIRST time, I wouldn’t HAVE to repeat myself. So, STOP IT… sir.”

Yes, a 1.5 second auditory processing delay can just be turned off – like a light switch. It’s a neat little Aspie trick… but it doesn’t work, and people yelling at me for having it only makes it worse.

“Now, hold still. You can close your eyes. You can look away. Whatever you want, just keep still.”

I close my eyes and turn my head as far left as it’ll go since last year’s accident, grip the grimy squeeze toy and try to avoid thinking about…. SWEET MOTHER OF MERCY THAT HURTS!! Yes, I felt every millimeter of it and every pulse the needle made.

As a red film drips away from my eyes (like someone thrown blood in them), I could feel a light slap on my arm: “I SAID, ‘RELAX YOUR ARM.’ RELAX IT…sir.”

That was it, my vision slowly returned to normal and my ordeal was over. It was off to the checkout window (a whopping 15 feet away) to pay the co-pay and that was all… that I can remember as I’m posting this four months after the fact, but, as the title suggests, I’m pretty sure I forgot about laundry (which was never actually solved).

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A laundry list of problems

I just left the doctor’s office. I only got to tell them half of my symptoms. They said my blood work will tell me if there is anything wrong with me. Said blood work won’t be finished until next week. I’m hoping it isn’t too serious.

She seemed skeptical about the orange stains on my clothes and chastised me for not bringing them in for her (or her lab) to look at. I told her: “I didn’t get a chance to ask if you do those kind of tests here when talking to your receptionist on the phone.” She wasn’t impressed with that answer.

Yes, part of me agrees with her that it could be normal “food or coffee stains,” or even “sweat or other body functions” (in layman’s terms shit). Though I couldn’t help but be reminded of that condescending “you just don’t know how to do laundry” line maintenance gave me. Heck, even if their tests do show nothing out of the ordinary, it still wouldn’t explain ALL of it as some of them weren’t even worn!

I also have a large painful bubble in my one of my knuckles (index finger) and a non-painful one (on my ring finger). The doctor dismissed them as “nothing” and recommended I just “sit and watch it for a while.” I told her she should check it out anyway (because of my grandmother’s arthritis), but she replied I would need to see a specialist for that… but she wasn’t immediately sure what kind [of specialist] as it would depend on what the condition is. Umkay…

Hopefully, the blood work she sent me to get will provide some answers, and, sadly, that’s where this story goes downhill…

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