Selfishly, I Admit, My Qualify of Life Has Improved Since COVID-19 Culture Began

I suppose it’s social media heresy in 2020 to admit this, but despite how weird the year has been for the entire world, my personal sense of well-being has undeniably improved since March, when the Powers That Be changed all the rules changed on how we are supposed to live our lives:

For me, it’s been more quality time with my family, an hour at the gym every morning instead of driving to work, and better efficiency at my job because I am not limited by the distractions of working in a real office… just to name the first obvious improvements that come to mind.

Yes, I recognize COVID-19 is a serious issue that has unfortunately taken the lives of thousands of people in the world this year; like heart disease, cancer, fatal accidents, diabetes, and suicide.

But I have refused to live in fear. Yes, I always wear a mask whenever I am required to. No, I never wear a mask when I am not required to.

I am one of those people who has a hunch that Covid will quietly fade away shortly after the upcoming Presidential election; this especially became apparent to me when public protests became popular during what seemed the most otherwise unlikeliest time. (No, I am not a Republican.)

This is a concept I wrote into one of the songs I wrote this year: “We all need therapy/Everything’s so tense/No hugs allowed anymore but it’s okay to protest…”

Just a few weeks into this pandemic, I was informed that I was being placed on furlough at my job, due to the government’s warnings about social distancing. While this news was disappointing, there was no interruption of cash flow, thanks to the unemployment checks that came seamlessly rolling in during those 6 weeks.

Back in January, we had already planned a vacation to Florida for July. We still took our trip and in no way did COVID-19 interrupt any of our planned activities.

Right after we got back from our vacation, I was able to start back to work again- but this time, exclusively working from home.

I work in Recruiting, which is like the sales division of HR. My job efficiency is very easy to track, as I have a certain minimum number of hires to make each month.

Since exclusively working from home, I have been able to easily exceed my monthly quota. Yes, I have put in more hours working from home than I would have at the office, but also haven’t had to deal with arbitrary stress of driving a total of nearly 2 hours to work each day.

Now, during the same time every morning when I would be driving to work (which inevitably created stress), I instead head to the gym for an hour (which relieves stress).

I am aware of the paradox in which the government, major news outlets, and much of social media tells me to fear COVID-19 and turn my life into a sanitarium; meanwhile, I see the same group of dozens of people at the gym every morning, six days a week.

No one at my gym wears a mask; nor ever has. None of us have ever shown symptoms of Covid. The only reason any of us don’t show up for a week at a time is to go on vacation.

My gym, in theory, is a perfect Petri dish; as is my daughter’s pre-school, which has remained open this entire time.

A couple of weeks ago, it was retroactively confirmed (with a valid medical test costing $80 per person) that multiple people whom my family interacted with back in May, had Covid at the time. We hugged these people, we shared meals with this people, and we were exposed in close living quarters with them for many days. None of us were wearing masks at any point.

I would suppose it would be miraculous if all 4 members of my family didn’t contract COVID-19, knowing that.

Most likely, we “had Covid” back in late May or early June. Indeed, I am very grateful that my family has the genes and immune system that allow us to be asymptomatic.

But even if, against the odds of science, I have not yet had Covid pass through my system, I still have no motivation to fear Covid.

I would rather enjoy the rest of my life, whether I have one more month left or 39 more years left, spending quality time with the people I love most.

And this has definitely been the year of quality time with family!

While I was on furlough from my job, I was able to spend the entire day with both of my kids; seven days a week.

Even when so much of the world was closed down, we took the Jeep out on dirt roads in no name towns.

I don’t fear Covid.

I have a more legitimate fear of randomly dying in my asleep every night when I lie down in bed each night.

Keep in my mind, I am a 39 year-old man who had a pre-existing existential crisis before all this happened. Really, if anything, Covid Culture has given me an even stronger sense of purpose and appreciation of life.

But, maybe I am nothing more than the exception to the rule.

 

Otter Pops and Libertarian Porcupine Mascot Logo: My New T-Shirts from FavorMerch.com

Last week, the owner of FavorMerch.com reached out to me and asked if I would be willing to help boost his SEO by putting a link to his website in one of my pre-existing posts.

When it was all said and done, I posted the link to his site, and I got to choose two shirts from the thousands of options on his site.

After much deliberation, I found that the two shirts which best defined my identity were Otter Pops and the Libertarian porcupine mascot logo.

So in case you’ve ever heard of FavorMerch, now you know someone who now owns two shirts from that site.

You can also check out the video below, where I tried on the shirts the day I received them in the mail.

If you happen to be either a fan of the Otter Pops or a fellow Libertarian, be sure to let me know in the comments section.

Where my people at?

Dear Jack: I May Have “Wasted My Vote” on a 3rd Party Candidate, but At Least I Actually Voted and Have Peace about It

5 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack: I May Have “Wasted My Vote” on a 3rd Party Candidate, but At Least I Actually Voted and Have Peace about It

Dear Jack,

Over these past couple of months, you have curiously been listening to Mommy and I occasionally discuss Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. You have definitely been interested in learning about how the upcoming election will determine our next President.

You’ve gone to sleep to the sound of all 3 of the Presidential Debates, as your bedroom is right around the corner from our TV.

I think it’s particularly interesting that you have witnessed Mommy and I sincerely try to figure out who to vote for. You are not being raised in a specifically Democrat nor a Republican household.

Instead, I feel that Mommy and I have legitimately been trying to make the right decision; not based on an allegiance to a certain political party, but instead, based on which candidate we truly believe will be the best leader for our country.

As the debates have been on, I’ve listened to some things Donald Trump has said, and I’ve turned to Mommy and said, “Okay, I totally agree with what he just said.”

But then just a few minutes later, I would say the same thing about what Hillary Clinton just said.

And the opposite is true as well: I just as much told Mommy how I disagreed with certain statements both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made.

For me, I just couldn’t bring myself to make a decision on which major candidate was better, or worse, for the job.

So I decided not to vote for either.

When I came home Tuesday night after participating in “early voting”, Mommy asked with a curioius smile, “So who’d you end up voting for?”

She was surprised to hear me say, “Gary Johnson.”

Not Hillary Clinton. Not Donald Trump. But instead, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian.

He embraced the things that I liked about Clinton and Trump, without the things I didn’t like about them.

I know. The likelihood of him winning the election is not great.

I know. I ultimately took a vote away from either Clinton or Trump. But to me, that’s fine- because I didn’t favor one over the other anyway.

My conscience was not okay with me “voting for the lesser of two evils.”

Because that would still have meant I knowingly voted for someone I believed was evil.

In reality, I don’t think either Clinton or Trump are evil. I don’t see things so polarized. I see gray; not just red or blue.

That’s not to say that I believe everyone else should vote for the person I voted for. Instead, I just encourage people to actually vote- for whoever they believe is the right person.

Even Mommy. I have no idea who she will vote for, yet that has no emotional effect over me; nor does anyone else’s vote.

I have voted in every single election since I was old enough. Perhaps that has something to do with the example I saw with my own parents; your Nonna and Papa.

Clearly, I will be raising you the same way. You will see me lead by example, not by simply talking about my political beliefs, but instead, by me faithfully voting for who I personally believe is the best candidate.

It goes back to my letter to you last week about your homework assignment on your opinion whether we should still celebrate Columbus Day.

I found out from your teacher this week that you were the only student in your class who marked “no,” that we should not celebrate the holiday.

That makes me proud. Not necessarily because of the belief itself, but more so because you’re not at all afraid to be the only one to believe, in a society where mainstream society is set in their beliefs.

It’s more than okay to be different.

Love,

Daddy

I’m the Most Masculine (and Rarest) Vegan You Know, but Probably By Default

I’m the Most Masculine (and Rarest) Vegan You Know, but Probably By Default

From your hundreds of Facebook friends, plus your dozens of coworkers and your handful of close friends and your immediate family, chances are… I’m the only vegan you know.

I’m the Most Masculine (and Rarest) Vegan You Know, but Probably By Default

More specifically, even if you do actually happen to know another vegan, they probably are female; since 79% of vegans are women.

I’m the Most Masculine (and Rarest) Vegan You Know, but Probably By Default

Therefore, by default, I am the most masculine vegan you know. I’ll talk more about that in a minute…

I’m the Most Masculine (and Rarest) Vegan You Know, but Probably By Default

With about 2.5% of the American population being vegan, and only 21% of that group being male, it’s very clear that when it comes to my vegan lifestyle, I am in the minority.

To make myself even more of a rarity, unlike most vegans, I am not non-religious nor politically liberal. (I’m a Christian who is a Libertarian- which means I don’t endorse the Democratic nor the Republican Party, nor do I believe in forcing my religious beliefs on others.)

I’m the Most Masculine (and Rarest) Vegan You Know, but Probably By Default

I am a very rare demographic. You likely don’t know any other vegan males in your social circle who are also both religious and non-political.

I’m the Most Masculine (and Rarest) Vegan You Know, but Probably By Default

And somewhere in the midst of all these labels, I’m by default, still masculine. I promote healthy masculinity; in fact, it’s one of the themes of my blog: celebrating masculinity as a dad. Of course, I recognize that the definition of masculinity varies based on who you ask.

I’m the Most Masculine (and Rarest) Vegan You Know, By Default

No, I don’t hunt or fish; nor do I care about sports. Plus, I’m useless when it comes to home repairs…

But I do love exploring the forest with my son, taking him to monster truck events, testing out new cars, and mountain biking- to name a few of my rugged hobbies.

I’ve noticed how our society has collectively accepted the idea that eating meat (especially beef and bacon) is masculine. So imagine what a strange bird I am, being masculine, yet denying any reliance on pork (including bacon) or shellfish for the past 7 and a half years, nor meat for the past 4 and a half years, nor eggs and dairy for the past 3 years.

But my own definition of masculinity has more to do with my role in society; more importantly, within my family of four. I see true masculinity as a set of paradoxes that I’ve collected.

I will close by sharing my concept of masculinity, which aligns with the traits I aim for daily, as a husband and father; all of which are rooted in emotional intelligence. This is my creed of masculinity. In my imperfect human state, I strive for and meditate on these attributes:

Strong, yet loving. Disciplined, yet merciful. Leading, yet serving. Assertive, yet empathetic. Adventurous, yet grounded. Dangerous, yet protective. Hard-working, yet laid-back. Structured, yet creative. Committed, yet free. Confident, yet humble.

Veganism

New Infographic: Where Breaking Bad, Hunger Games, & Lord Of The Rings Were Filmed

I thought this new infographic is cool and worth sharing. I often wonder about stuff like this; regarding where some of my favorite movies and TV shows are actually filmed.

Many years ago, my wife and I visited New Zealand, the country where Lord of the Rings was filmed.

If you asked me now what my favorite TV show of all time is, I would say #3 would be The Office, #2 would be Lost, and #1 would be Breaking Bad.

The infographic shows the places in Albuquerque the show was filmed.

See my post, My Thoughts On The Breaking Bad Finale: Felina (Now On Netflix). Also see, Aside From Breaking Bad Action Figures, What Else Is “Offensive” At Toys “R” Us?

And obviously I’m huge fan of the Libertarian film series, The Hunger Games, which to my surprise, is filmed in North Carolina.

See my post, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1- Family Friendly Review.

Now, enjoy the infographic!

IHG-Fancations-2014.fw_-620x4871