Are You a Geek or a Nerd?

Of the many labels I’ve been given, the one I don’t agree with is “nerd”. Not because of the oppressive nature of it, or how insulting it is. Not at all. In my mind, it’s flat out inaccurate.

I pride myself on actually being a “geek”. And a “geek” of all sorts. The following explanation I am directly quoting from Slackpropagation, a post from burrsettles.


“To many people, “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, but in fact they are a little different. Consider the phrase “sports geek” — an occasional substitute for “jock” and perhaps the arch-rival of a “nerd” in high-school folklore. If “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, then “sports geek” might be an oxymoron. (Furthermore, “sports nerd” either doesn’t compute or means something else.)

In my mind, “geek” and “nerd” are related, but capture different dimensions of an intense dedication to a subject:

  • geek – An enthusiast of a particular topic or field. Geeks are “collection” oriented, gathering facts and mementos related to their subject of interest. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer.
  • nerd – A studious intellectual, although again of a particular topic or field. Nerds are “achievement” oriented, and focus their efforts on acquiring knowledge and skill over trivia and memorabilia.
Geek vs Nerd

Both are dedicated to their subjects, and sometimes socially awkward. The distinction is that geeks are fans of their subjects, and nerds are practitioners of them. A computer geek might read Wired and tap the Silicon Valley rumor-mill for leads on the next hot-new-thing, while a computer nerd might read CLRS and keep an eye out for clever new ways of applying Dijkstra’s algorithm. Note that, while not synonyms, they are not necessarily distinct either: many geeks are also nerds (and vice versa).

An Experiment

Do I have any evidence for this contrast? (By the way, this viewpoint dates back to a grad-school conversation with fellow geek/nerd Bryan Barnes, now a physicist at NIST.) The Wiktionary entries for “geek” and “nerd” lend some credence to my position, but I’d like something a bit more empirical…

“You shall know a word by the company it keeps” ~ J.R. Firth (1957)

To characterize the similarities and differences between “geek” and “nerd,” maybe we can find the other words that tend to keep them company, and see if these linguistic companions support my point of view?

Data and Method

(Note: If you’re neither a geek nor a nerd, don’t be scared by the math. It’s not too bad… or you can probably just skip to the “Results” subsection below…)

I analyzed two sources of Twitter data, since it’s readily available and pretty geeky/nerdy to boot. This includes a background corpus of 2.6 million tweets via the streaming API from between December 6, 2012, and January 3, 2013. I also sampled tweets via the search API matching the query terms “geek” and “nerd” during the same time period (38.8k and 30.6k total, respectively). Yes, yes, yes… I collected all the data six months ago but just now got around to crunching the numbers. It’s been a busy year!

A great little statistic for measuring how much company two words tend to keep is pointwise mutual information (PMI). It’s commonly used in the information retrieval literature to measure the cooccurrence of words and phrases in text, and it also turns out to be a good predictor of how humans evaluate semantic word similarity (Recchia & Jones, 2009) and topic model quality (Newman & al., 2010).

For two words w and v, the PMI is given by:

{\rm pmi}(w;v) = \log\frac{p(w,v)}{p(w)p(v)} = \log p(w|v) - \log p(w) ,

where in this case p(\cdot) is the probability of the word(s) in question appearing in a random tweet, as estimated from the data. For instance, if we let v = “geek,” we compute the log-probability of a word w in the “geek” search corpus, and subtract the log-probability of w in the background corpus.

Results

The PMI statistic measures a kind of correlation: a positive PMI score for two words means they “keep great company,” a negative score means they tend to keep their distance, and a score close to zero means they bump into each other more or less at random.

With that in mind, here is a scatterplot of various words according to their PMI scores for both “geek” and “nerd” on different axes (ignoring words with negative PMI, and treating #hashtags as distinct):

Many people have asked for a high-res PDF of this plot, so here you go.

Moving up the vertical axis, words become more geeky (“#music” → “#gadget” → “#cosplay”), and moving left to right they become more nerdy (“education” → “grammar” → “neuroscience”). Words along the diagonal are similarly geeky and nerdy, including social (“#awkward”, “weirdo”), mainstream tech (“#computers”, “#microsoft”), and sci-fi/fantasy terms (“doctorwho,” “#thehobbit”). Words in the lower-left (“chores,” “vegetables,” “boobies”) aren’t really associated with either, while those in the upper-right (“#avengers”, “#gamer”, “#glasses”) are strongly tied to both. Orange words are more geeky than nerdy, and blue words are the opposite. Some observations:

  • Collections are geeky. All derivatives of the word “collect” (“collection,” “collectables”, etc.) are orange. As are “boxset” and “#original,” which imply a taste for completeness and authenticity.
  • Academic fields are nerdy“math”, “#history,” “physics,” “biology,” “neuroscience,” “biochemistry,” etc. Other academic words (“thesis”, “#studymode”) and institutions (“harvard”, “oxford”) are also blue.
  • The science & technology words differ. General terms (“#computers,” “#bigdata”) are on the diagonal — similarly geeky and nerdy. As you splay up toward more geeky, though, you see products, startups, brands, and more cultish technologies (“#apple”, “#linux”). As you splay down toward more nerdy you see more methodologies (“calculus”).
  • #Hashtags are geeky. OK, sure, hashtags are all over the place. But they do tend toward the upper-left. And since hashtags are “#trendy,” I take it to mean that geeks are into trends. (I take this one back. The average PMI score for all hashtags is 0.74 with “geek” but 0.73 with “nerd.” The difference isn’t statistically significant using a paired t-test or Wilcoxon test, or practically significant using a common-sense test.)
  • Hobbies: compare the more geeky pastimes (“#toys,” “#manga”) with the more nerdy ones (“chess,” “sudoku”).
  • Brains: the word “intelligence” may be geeky, but “education,” “intellectual,” and “#smartypants” are nerdy.
  • Reading: “#books” are nerdy, but “ebooks” and “ibooks” are geeky.
  • Pop culture vs. high culture: “#shiny” and “#trendy” are super-geeky, but (curiously) “cellist” is the nerdiest

The list goes on. If you want to poke around yourself, download the raw PMI scores (4.2mb) and let me know in the comments what you find. Since many people have asked: I computed PMI for all words appearing in the search tweets with “geek” and “nerd” (millions) and then manually scanned roughly 7,500 words with positive PMI scores for both. The scatterplot contains about 300 words that I hand-picked because they made sense.

(Update: I learned that Olivia Culpo — a self-described “cellist nerd” — was crowned Miss Universe on December 20, 2012. The event was heavily tweeted smack in the middle of my data collection, so that probably explains the correlation between “cellist” and “nerd” here. It also underscores the limitations of time-sensitive data.)

Conclusion

In broad strokes, it seems to me that geeky words are more about stuff (e.g., “#stuff”), while nerdy words are more about ideas (e.g., “hypothesis”). Geeks are fans, and fans collect stuff; nerds are practitioners, and practitioners play with ideas. Of course, geeks can collect ideas and nerds play with stuff, too. Plus, they aren’t two distinct personalities as much as different aspects of personality. Generally, the data seem to affirm my thinking.

I wonder how similar the results would be if you applied this method to the Google Books Ngrams corpus, or something more general instead of a niche media like Twitter. I also wonder what other questions might be answered with this kind of analysis (for example, my wife and I have a perennial disagreement over which word is wetter: “moist” vs. “damp.”).

Finally, when I mentioned to a friend that I was going to write up this post, she said “Well, I guess we know which one you are.” But do we really? I may be a science nerd, but I’m probably a music geek…”

I read that, and thought, I couldn’t have written that better. So I quoted them instead! I’m a geek of all sorts, but not a nerd by any means.

‘los

COVID-19 Chronicles: Day 408

A year and some change we’ve been coping with the global pandemic of COVID-19. Now the question we’re trying to ask is: Who’s gonna readily step up for the vaccines available for it?

We already know the anti-vaxxers that won’t. They should, but they won’t. Let’s focus the conversation on the majority that will.

My next question: which one do you select?

You mean there choices, you ask? Yes. I’ve been following it closely, knowing I’ll be in the last group for eligibility. I’m healthy, single, 40 year old male that is not at-risk. That means my monkey-ass is at the end of the line, AS IT SHOULD BE.

I’m just writing and thinking pragmatically. Let’s look closer at the choices.


Case in point: the media coverage and public reception of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. Results from its trials were released last week. According to the company, it should be able to deliver 100 million doses in the first half of this year. But this good news hasn’t been greeted with the enthusiasm that accompanied announcements about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Perhaps that’s because in its clinical trial, the J&J vaccine had an efficacy number — the percentage of cases prevented entirely — of 66 percent. Compared against the 95 percent efficacy rate for the Pfizer vaccine and the 94.1 rate for Moderna’s, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine simply doesn’t look as good.

But in another sense, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trial results were incredibly encouraging. The same trial showed that J&J’s vaccine makes Covid-19 cases much milder, meaning you might still get sick but you are much less likely to be hospitalized or die. Indeed, on that front, the J&J vaccine performs just as well as Pfizer’s and Moderna’s, a fact that seems to have been undersold in news coverage about it.

To put J&J’s effectiveness in another context, think about the flu. Flu vaccines mostly don’t prevent you from getting sick with the flu but instead make the flu much less awful if you catch it and less fatal for at-risk populations. A Covid-19 vaccine that was similar to that — one that made you much less likely to be hospitalized or die, and made the disease milder — would still be enough to help bring the pandemic to an end and give us back our lives.

That’s exactly what we have with the current crop of vaccines, including the three that haven’t been received as well as Pfizer’s and Moderna’s. No one who got two doses in clinical trials for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines has been hospitalized or died, and the same holds true for the new vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Novavax (which haven’t yet been approved in the US). Each of the vaccines has demonstrated very high protection against severe Covid-19 in trials.

So why aren’t we talking about that?

– Kelsey Piper, Vox on February 11, 2021
COVID-19 Chronicles: Day 408

And just to reiterate, no vaccine is a silver bullet to kill it’s associated virus. The yearly flu vaccine you elect to have is an additional, yet important layer of protection from influenza. If you do happen to be infected, it decreases the EFFECT.

It doesn’t make you bulletproof, per se.

Around The World

As of February 11, 2021 the total world cases of COVID-19 stands at 107M, with 2.3M deaths according to WHO. Of that total, the USA has 47M cases, 1.1M deaths. Drilling down further in Washington State: 329K cases, 4.7K deaths.

Ugh. So many sick folks, that many dead. Breaks my heart.

Hopefully throughout 2021 those number of cases and deaths will be less while simultaneously increasing the distribution and dispensing of the vaccine.

I purposely didn’t answer my own question: Are you vaccinating against COVID-19 or not?

Yes, I will to answer flatly.

And with whichever vaccine is offered to me, and my preference is the Johnson & Johnson one-shot and done. That’s only IF all things being equal. Otherwise, I’ll roll up my sleeve, and you do your thing.

More from me later,

‘los

Words *DO* Hurt

The Morgan Wallen video posted is a painful reminder that words, certain words, do hurt. I’m confident that a career ending video like that, with the subsequent collateral damage field it created will haunt him for the rest of his days on Spaceship Earth.

I can only pray that he uses it as motivation to change his ways after some deep self-reflection.

Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can be only forgiven – not forgotten

~ anonymous saying

The summer of 2013 was one of my best to date, and yet … one of the worst incidents I’ve ever had in my life. Lemme explain one of my NOT-the-proudest-moments in my life.

It won’t be easy read, as well it won’t be easy for me to write it up. But I don’t ever want to forget, and Morgan’s words revived the memory.

What’s Your Frequency, Kenneth?!

After a particularly soul-crushing break up in the summer 2012, I started partying and drinking from then all the way to 2013. My consumption was to the point of black out drinking.

Blacking out does not mean that a person becomes unconscious, like falling asleep. Instead, people often continue to interact with others, engage in routine or potentially dangerous behaviors, and even continue to drink.

People who are blackout drunk are more likely to physically injure themselves. They have also been known to walk home, brush their teeth, eat meals, or go through other normal behaviors. They do not remember these behaviors because their brain does not move those experiences into memory. Once the person begins to sober up, the brain will begin to process memories normally again.

It’s like the brain quits recording on the video tape but the video tape continues to operate.

My birthday parties (yes, more than one) that year were EPIC. The first party of the weekend, I enjoyed birthday shots, and then more drinking, finally to the point of black out. Several of my friends, and a young woman I had been dating, all piled into a Denny’s Restaurant for the after-hours party.

I honestly do not remember the night, or even saying this, but the morning after was painfully evident I DID say those hurtful things.

I do remember stumbling out of my sister’s car, then while on all-fours of the parking garage I violently vomited. Jesus, this is what my life choices have culminated to? You are a borderline alcoholic.

That wouldn’t be last of my issues.

I SAID WHAT?!

The morning after I didn’t have a hangover which concerned me. Then I looked at my mobile phone – no texts or missed calls. My attempts of calling and texting party attendees were unanswered.

Something’s amiss. What have I done, my panicked mind, asks?

My best friend, my bro, Jason finally answered my repeated phone calls. I gulped, “J, what happened after about 10 pm because I can’t remember! No one else isn’t answering, help!”

He answers my question by telling a horror story where I’m the antagonist. Apparently, I was asked how I got the Captain Morgan costume that was custom, handmade by the young lady I was dating.

He recalls that I replied with, “she’s my on-call #$%^* that does anything I want including making costumes for me!”

And then I tried to celebrate triumphantly with a high-five. The hurtful statement had her burst into immediate tears, my friends were horrified, and my sister was ashamed of me for the first time in recorded history.

My heart sunk. I SAID WHAT?! Oh Lord, what have I done?

Since I lived with my sister, I apologized to her first. Her reply was the same as everyone else. “That’s all fine and well, but you apologize to Alicia.”

On Bended Knee

To this day I’m grateful for my bro, Jason, campaigning for me, saying and doing whatever it took to coax her into the car to drive to me but … he was successful.

Lemme just say she had more poise and grace than I would’ve in her position!

I managed to carry her bags in silence, up to our shared hotel room. I invited her to sit on the edge of the bed. Then on bended knee I look at her eyes that was filled with hurt. Hurt that I caused.

It was devastating.

I apologize profusely, genuinely and not from a power position as she looked down on me. She quietly listened to my apologetic words which were specific as I learned if you are sorry about something be sure to state why exactly.

She replied with the following that’ll stick with me, “Before I accept or deny your apology, as you said, I have a question for you.”

I gulped, “Yes, I said even though I apologized that doesn’t mean you are required to accept it. I’m at your mercy. Therefore I will answer any question. Shoot.”

Were those drunk words, but sober thoughts?” she asked with tears welling up in her pretty eyes.

FUCK, just kill me now. That was a dagger into my heart.

With tears in my eyes now, “Not at all. That’s a type of malice reserved for the most hated enemy – you’re not even close.”

She summoned a meek smile, “Good. I accept your apology, Mr. Bayne. If you ever say or do anything like that again, I’ll end you myself.”

I had placed my hands and arms on her thighs, “Fair enough, I accept that. It won’t come to that, but I understand the repercussions if I do.” I rose up to my feet, extended my hand to her.

She accepted it, and rose up to her feet. We literally, kissed, hugged, and mended fences. I seared into my mind forever: words *DO* hurt. I was forgiven by a very gracious human being; given a 2nd chance.

Best believe, there will not be a third. I vowed to myself never to do that again. From that day forward I would measure my words carefully. The spoken word can not be taken back. Oh, and of course, curb my enthusiasm of drinking and partying.

That is all, carry on.

‘los

Paradigm Shift of Priorities

On January 1, 2020, I turned over my iPhone named J.O.A.N. [Just Open And Network] to watch the phone line end to a nasty conversation I had spoken two words in: Hey stranger.

In that moment, I decided that I will make a fundamental change in my life. A paradigm shift of priorities … not because it was New Year’s Day either.


Inexplicably I held on to the dream of selling everything I owned, moving to a different state like Texas, build up the ’empire’ I have here, and met the woman of my dreams. Or chase after my crush that I have long known that she friend-zoned me.

Again in that moment of utter loneliness and despair even though I was literally in the middle of a Geocaching Event, I had an epiphany. A moment of truth, a blinding realization, a raw Man In The Mirror recognition: I need to do something immediately different with my life.

Man In The Mirror

I’m gonna make a change,
For once I’m my life
It’s gonna feel real good
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right

Paradigm Shift of Priorities

Those old institutions of thinking were holding me back from fully committing to anything. I gritted my teeth to mentally get it through my skull, “I’ll never have another partner, as I will die alone.

Therefore I should focus my attention on my house to make it a comfortable tomb for the remaining years on Spaceship Earth.

As I turn up the collar on
My favorite winter coat

This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets
With not enough to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

In February 2020, interest rates for 30 year fixed home loans were at a historic low – 3.5%. I would spend the rest of the year processing the refinancing loan that converted to a rehabiliation loan to finance 3 major projects: new roof, new exterior paint, and new flooring. It’s a long story of which I’ll spare you the gory details!

The first of my priorities: build myself a comfortable tomb.

Tabula Rasa Day

In 2008, I declared December 1st as Tabula Rasa Day – [‘tabula rasa’ is Latin for “blank slate”] Why?

It was the first day, of the first month, of the first year, of the rest of my life – that’s why.

  • Q: What is Tabula Rasa Day?
  • A: I created a holiday to celebrate inner freedom to start over. I declared December 1st , as Tabula Rasa [‘tabula rasa’ is Latin for “blank slate”] Why? It’s the first day, of the first month, of the first year, of the rest of my life
  • Q: Why ‘Tabula Rasa Day’, ‘los? Why not blank slate day or something easier to digest?
  • A: Most languages are based in Latin, therefore English. I created the holiday for myself – a day to challenge myself to be introspective, or perhaps run head long into a challenge. Most importantly, it’s NOT A RESOLUTION DAY LIKE NEW YEARS!

My Tabula Rasa Day Declaration in 2020 was to finish my Geocaching Jasmer Challenge.

A summer’s  disregard, a broken bottle top
And one man’s soul
They follow each other on the wind ya’ know
‘Cause they got nowhere to go

The second priority: my happiness.

That’s why I want you to know
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

If I focused on my improving my house until I was actually proud of it, WHILE I concentrate on my happiness then I’ll have everything, right? Right!

I could no longer find happiness with a partner, even if I wanted one.

I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It’s time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they’re not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart
And a washed-out dream
They follow the pattern of the wind ya’ see
‘Cause they got no place to be

I resigned myself to work as well. I may not like what I do for a wage, in fact, I loathe it. However, it directly provides the financial means to improve my tomb, and bankrolls the game I love to play, Geocaching.

All the other activities I was engaged with didn’t further any of those priorities. Since COVID-19 global pandemic started in 2020, and continues to rage across the planet, I remained focused on them.


That’s why I’m starting with me
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

With those apex priorities, I purchased a newer vehicle to be my daily commuter, yet have the ability to drive to trails to hike, bike, camp, etc. The famed Sapphire Sled had long exceeded it’s economic life, and symbolic need for me: girl magnet. Women over 30 are not impressed with your vehicle, they are impressed with your reliable transportation.

On January 1, 2021 I peered at my newer phone I had purchased iPhone 12 PRO that I named Blu [Pacific Blue] For the most part, it was quiet. Free of drama, free of notifications from work, and peaceful.

So … is this what happens when I enjoy a paradigm shift in priorities? I should’ve done this sooner.

‘los

COVID-19 Chronicles: Day 381

My head hurts. My heart wants to cry. There’s so much in my head that it takes all my self discipline that I can summon not to spew it all out at once like word vomit.

“When This Virus Is Over … “

This phrase concerns me because the person(s) that say it don’t realize that COVID-19 is here permanently. I am generally an upbeat, happy-go-lucky, optimistic guy, but at my core I am a realist.

This disease isn’t going away.

That’s right, Spaceship Earth. It’s here to stay. The longer we study COVID-19, the better understanding we will have about it.

To date, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared only 2 diseases officially eradicated: smallpox caused by variola virus (VARV) and rinderpest caused by the rinderpest virus (RPV) Mar 6, 2020

That was concerted effort of vaccines, and a healthy population for decades. This SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 will not be squashed any time soon. Especially considering the lackluster acceptance of the several vaccines that are dispensed in two stages, combined with a rebellious American culture regarding mask wearing.

Most complaints that I hear at my place of employment where masking is mandatory prior to entering is 1) I can’t breathe – therefore they pull the mask down from the bridge of their noses rendering this effort useless 2) ache, skin blemishes from continuous mask wearing which is now #maskne


My message isn’t one of defeat, or negativity. It’s actually a message of hope, and positivity! We’ve studied this virus-to-disease long enough to develop a vaccine. That’s fantastic.

And we’ve narrowed down the main form of transmission: infected droplets of bodily fluids (sweat, mucus, etc)

So if we all keep digging in our own way, we’ll be able to find a harmonious way to live with COVID-19. Humans seem to be the best at adaptation to changing conditions, and environments with use of our knowledge and experience.

Even the apex predators of the planet have a difficult time recovering from changes in their ecosystems.

I realize the global pandemic will continue to impact 2021, I get it. However, my hope is with more experience, knowledge, and study we can continue to cope, and more appropriately adapt to a new style of life on Spaceship Earth.

I wish us all luck.

‘los

COVID-19 Chronicles: A Year In Review (Part 3 of 3)

Despite my successes over the summer over 2020 at work and at home, my depression looms over it all like a dark cloud. My inner demons are working overtime, and just as hard as I am trying to stay ahead of it.

Slipping into that abyss again would only have one outcome.

Suicide is a weekly thought that I mull over starting at the end of August, quickly becomes a daily thought.

The wildfires of the summer continue to burn Washington, Oregon, and California. Unlike other years, 2020 fires are record breaking in every way in terms of damage done, life loss, acreage burned, etc.

I am not surprised by anything this year produces. I usually unflappable, but this dumpster fire of a year continues to burn bright with added jet fuel to the flames.

Part 3 of 3 (September to December)

Washington schools are still closed by the start of the usual school year in September. Virtual learning is the term thrown around casually. Desktop computers, laptop, tablets, monitors etc are purchased at an alarming rate.

Zoom meetings gone awry are the cannon fodder of every social media platform.

The United States Presidential Election coverage and focus intensifies for the 2020 vote. My friends, and family have literally quit their relationships over their opinions of the candidates.

The #BlackLivesMatter protests escalate as Americans are keyed up by the election. Racism is in the forefront of a majority conversations.

COVID-19 continues to ravage the populace. In Washington State alone, 248K cases and 3,400 deaths have been reported. In the United States, 19.9M cases of COVID-19. The death toll is 206K. It’s unfathomable, as it’s only getting worse before it gets better.

By the end of December 2020, 344K total deaths have been reported as COVID-19. I can’t wrap my head around it. When will it stop?

My heart hurts for the world

Mid-September, Ruth Bader Ginsburg succumbed to cancer. She was an incredible woman. Most of us survivors cry to the sky, can this year get any worse. Our peeps chastise us for tempting Fate like that.

Do You Remember … The 21st night of September?

All sporting events have been canceled for the remainder of the year. My sister and I watch our Sounders, and Seahawks from our TV at home.

I started private dance lessons in the summer with my ex-girlfriend, and current dance team member, Deana. We’re both old enough, and mature enough to make this work beautifully. No, it’s not awkward. Truth be told, Deana’s intention from the beginning was finding a dance partner; not life partner.

I just had to be “extra”.

Speaking of being extra, my rehabilitation loan process is a venerable shitshow of never-ending paperwork. Every time I receive an email, I’m triggered. Anxiety, ANGER, and frustration are the trifecta of emotions that coarse through my veins after reading.

Finally finished all the fence repair, as another 16 feet section fell down after a windstorm in Lake Stevens. By the end of December, a new roof, exterior paint job, hardwood flooring (LVP) and carpet have been installed.

All contractors have been paid as of this writing on New Year’s Eve (31st)

My busiest 2 months at my workplace are November, and December. This year was no exception! As the recognized leader of the small team of four, the 60-day span I didn’t sleep, or if I did it wasn’t for long (no more than 5-hours per night) as it was anxiety-ridden over equipment breakage, fears that one of my employees gets COVID-19 which shutting it down, and so much more.

It was HELL.

My body has began the recovery process which started on Christmas Day, because the warehouse was closed. And the greeting card deadline had passed. If you didn’t get your Christmas card printed, and mailed … it’s now a New Year’s card instead.

As I write this post, I actively have to force myself to relax because I had been runnin’ and gunnin’ at top speed for 3/4 of the year, my mind has been conditioned to be this way.

It’s difficult to describe.

Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021

I’ll be focused on my Geocaching game in the upcoming year, improving my dance skills, and lastly, improving my house aptly named: Bastion of Bayne.

bas·tion/ˈbasCH(ə)n,ˈbastēən/

An institution, place, or person strongly defending or upholding particular principles, attitudes, or activities.

… and I strongly believe in keep digging, y’all!

‘los

COVID-19 Chronicles: A Year In Review (Part 2 of 3)

I grumbled to my sister, who is my tenant, room mate, best friend, and all-around gal pal, “The world is circling the drain, Charrina. All that’s left is for someone to flush.”

At the beginning of May, the words / phrases of dumpster fire of a year, shitshow, and clusterfuck were added to my daily vernacular.

By the end May 2020, it seemed like someone did flush the toilet

Part 2 of 3 (May to August)

I was hella invested in the 22 push-ups for 22 days challenge in honor of all the fallen American veterans. I had noticed my biceps were larger – you’re welcome, ladies.

The home improvement outside the house, aptly named Bastion of Bayne, and inside were also in full-activate mode.

I launched in earnest my final battle to end the War on Weeds in my backyard since I was armed better equipment, protective gear, a plan and time. I also knew I wouldn’t see the extent of my success until next growing season.

Since I was outside, I started repairing the falling down fence sections.

Also had the opportunity to “steal” or rather, not pay Walmart for my new lawn mower. This was my post from May 7, 2020:

“So … I did a thing today. And it actually started on Cinco de Mayo. I brought home unpaid merchandise from a store. Technically speaking, that’s stealing.

Lemme explain now that I have your attention. I bought from OfferUp a used Briggs & Stratton 21″ Murray 4.5 hp lawn mower, but after installing a new blade and air filter it doesn’t run anymore. Then I was gifted a Cub Cadet SR621 lawn mower to replace it.

After a couple of uses, even *THAT* went toe up on me. GGGRRRR. With my stimulus check, I shopped for a brand, new lawn mower. I found a candidate for buy online – free pick up at the store. A SNAPPER at Walmart. Perfect! No one location(s) had it, it was great price, and it was the last one at the Everett location. Serendipity at play.

With WCP, we drove to Wally World. Online Pick Up was a cluster. So like a boss, I fulfilled my own damn order by literally dragging the heavy damn box from corner to corner of the store (no flat bed to be found)I requested again for an attendant to mark this order as complete. Nope. So after finding an empty flat bed I left with my precious lawn mower albeit impatiently waiting for it.

Lo and behold, by the time I arrived home with my prize, the online order was canceled because it couldn’t be fulfilled therefore the credit card on the order wasn’t charged. No shit … I’m the one who took it to fulfill my own damn order – is there an echo in here? [fast forward 2 days of unsuccessfully to connect with anyone at customer service]

I approached the Customer Service Counter. I explained the situation, which the employee thanked me for being honest, and escalated to a manager immediately. After some more fussing because we didn’t have the UPC handy, I was able to pay for my unopened box, brand new lawn mower. John thanked me profusely for being honest. With receipt of purchased stapled to the invoice, we departed. They don’t know Baynes. With our luck, I would need to return it, of which I didn’t have proof of purchase and be stuck with a broken lawn mower … AGAIN. Now that it’s paid for, it’ll probably run forever which is my intention in the first place!”


Around the World though, Asian “murder hornets” were discovered in Washington State (my state) At this point, the Cabin In The Woods memes joked: Who had xyz e.g. Murder Hornets for May? It would continue through the year.

In Washington State, the SARS-CoV-2 virus had killed 1,070 alone by May 31. Speaking of Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee issued a 4-phase approach to ‘re-open’ Washington.

For the most part, and most counties, that were approved to be in Phase 2 never really progressed to Phase 3. In fact, I’m thinking they languished in Phase 2 forneverness.

Since all but ‘essential workers’ for ‘essential businesses’ were quarantined, they watched the heart-breaking video coverage of George Floyd’s demise at the hands of Minnesota white police officers, which ignited the #BlackLivesMatter protests in response!


After 5 months of studying the COVID-19 disease which causes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we’ve isolated the method transmission from human-to-human.

The virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet, or 2 arm lengths).

It spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes.

~ Center of Disease Control

Wear a mask is the ‘new’ normal as the global population grumbles. I fire back, “The only thing normal on this planet is a setting on a washing machine!”

At my Clark Kent Job, corporate opened up the photo centers, and reinstated my position as the supervisor. Riots are reported in several American cities due to the Floyd death, and to some extent infringement on civil liberties with the mandatory mask wearing.


In June 2020, on a global scale 10.1M cases of COVID-19, with 500K deaths. There is no COVID-19 Playbook – so all of us are just winging it. I still don’t understand the toilet paper hoarding since all indications that violent bouts of diarrhea are not a side effect of the disease.

My progress on my Geocaching Jasmer Challenge has reached the final 3 geocaches to be found. NONE are in Washington State. Even though, Washington State was ground zero for COVID-19, several others cities turned into hot beds of disease and their case count quickly surpassed ours.

California, and Nevada.

Wanna guess where I needed to find those final 3 that just about EVERYONE needs to find? You guessed it … California, Nevada and Utah. FUN! I’m a tactician by nature so meticulous planning is my forté.

Our base of operations for the first few days was Reno, Nevada which was driving distance to the two Californian marquee geocaches needed to be found: Yuba City, and Vitreous.

Then we moved on to Salt Lake City, Utah for the final geocache: Potter’s Pond. All of the gory details of the trip can be read in a separately maintained blog of my small burgeoning business of Caching With Carlos.

Once I returned from the blitzkrieg of a trip, I had started a process that would eventually be a soul-crushing exercise of bureaucratic paperwork, depressing unrelenting tasks, and an all-consuming mindset.

Lemme explain …

House mortgage interest rates were announced at an historic, all-time low of 3.5% for 30-year fixed loans. Well at the time I had a 30-year fixed loan on my house for 4.5%. If I was able to obtain 3.5% over 30-years that would be a substantial amount of savings in interest (60-70K)

The initial steps of a refinance is an appraisal, which makes sense, how much is the house worth at this time? The appraiser’s report had 3 major concerns, a dozen or so items to address, and notes.

  1. No carbon monoxide detectors
  2. Dry rot around the base of the columns of the house entrance
  3. The 30-year roof had reached “the end of it’s economic life” (A term I would use frequently once I learned it)

Well, that’s a bummer because I didn’t have $10,000 to replace to the roof as suggested. I installed carbon monoxide detectors, and replaced the wood around the columns, but found myself in a loop of fuck with the roof.

It was recommended that I change my refinance loan to a rehabilitation loan so the funds would be available TO replace the roof. Since I’ll be financing this project over 30-years, I might as well add other big ticket items to my punch-list.

If I was advised of the scope, and totality of this I would have much rather masturbated with a cheese grater in the middle of Redmond Town Center than endure the next 7-months.

By the end of June, the weather of the Pacific Northwest was sunny, warm, and bright, signaling the start of Washingtonians cramming 9-months worth of outdoor activities into the PERCEIVED 3-month great weather window.

To me that was after-work landscaping, fence repair on my days off, and Geocaching for self-care.


In July 2020, the COVID-19 statistics for Washington alone were these …

Key facts:

  • Businesses will be required to turn away customers if they’re not wearing masks starting July 7.
  • 5 new deaths and 651 new cases reported Sunday in Washington.
  • TOTAL: 1,359 deaths among 35,898 overall cases in Washington state.
  • 612,706 people in Washington have taken a test for coronavirus and 5.9% of those tests have been positive, according to the state Department of Health.

On America’s independence of July 4, 2020, I pariticpated in the one parade that was hosted in Western Washington … Carnation, Washington. You see, I successfully auditioned to be on the West Coast Country Heat Dance Team! Therefore this is my rookie year, with my inaugural parade.

I joked that I’m the reason why we can’t have nice things. By the way, my captain remarked my performance was great!

I continued to grind on the house improvements that I didn’t want to finance: fence repair, garage door fixed, a clutter around the outside of the house.

Meanwhile in Seattle, and around the world, the Autonomous Zone was dismantled by Seattle Police Department by direction of the Mayor. Several hundred COVID-19 vaccines are in development, with only a couple dozen reaching the human use trial stage.

All gatherings of any sort are banned, and/or canceled. Work From Home is taking it’s toll on those individuals that need, crave, social interaction with other human beings. It’s in our DNA so I’m not surprised. Mask wearing is a standard locally, and worldwide.

I was labeled as an essential worker at an essential business so my work life remains unchanged.

I foolishly attempt to re-establish connections with ex-girl friends, and past relationships. I quickly realize WHY they are ex-girlfriends, and past hook-ups. I remain single to this day.

I return my concentration on improving my home to provide a fantastic environment for Mrs. Right if ever found.

Example of what I accomplished over the summer

Depression for myself, and many others grips every other thought of mine as COVID-19 really has crushed the general populace of Spaceship Earth.

According to WHO July reporting, the number of cases jumped to 12.8M, but the death rate flattens to 561K. While deadly to some, it seems the recovery rate of SARS-CoV-2 is high.


August 2020 was a routine in and of itself. I was either working, at my job or at home. If it was home it was fence repair, erraticating a half-acre of blackberry vines, or other tasks needed to prepare for the ‘upcoming’ new roof, new exterior house paint, hardwood flooring, etc.

That was so much stress that I needed some self-care provided by hiking, biking, Geocaching and private dance lessons.

Giant Explosion in Beirut

Lebanon Explosion
Beirut, Lebanon

On August 4, a giant explosion in Beirut, Lebanon killed 135 people and injured another 5000. Many people are still missing after the explosion, and over 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes. On August 5, it was revealed that the blast may have been caused by stored ammonium nitrate. Many have blamed a fire at the firecracker warehouse. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Felipe Dana

An overriding thought loomed in my conscious: am I stuck in this loop of fuck forever?

To be continued in part 3 …

COVID-19 Chronicles: A Year In Review (Part 1 of 3)

“Time is free but its priceless. You can’t own it but you can use it. You can’t keep it but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” – Harvey MacKay

Part 1 of 3

2020 started like any other. I was recovering from another holiday season in the Woodinville Costco Photo Center, since I get no sleep or rest from November 1 – December 24.

I hosted a book signing of The Murder of Crowe: A Steampunk Whodunnit at my favorite comic book store, Woodinville Comic Stop. I anticipated single digit visitors, with only 1 sale of a book. In actuality, I had double-digit visitors, and several books sold that day. It was great!

Mid-January was cold enough for snow.

Also a bone-chilling fact emerges. The first coronavirus case in the United States was confirmed in Washington state. “While originally thought to be spreading from animal-to-person, there are growing indications that limited person-to-person spread is happening,” a news release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. “It’s unclear how easily this virus is spreading between people.”

WHO has official names for the virus responsible for COVID-19 (previously known as “2019 novel coronavirus”) and the disease it causes.  The official names are:

Disease 
coronavirus disease 
(COVID-19)

Virus 

severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 
(SARS-CoV-2)

Why do the virus and the disease have different names? 

Viruses, and the diseases they cause, often have different names.  For example, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.  People often know the name of a disease, but not the name of the virus that causes it.

Also in January news … a helicopter crash in California kills all 9-passengers including Kobe Bryant. The Iranian Military downed an Ukrainian passenger jet killing all 176 passengers onboard. Trump’s Impeachment in December 2019 is acquitted in January 2020 in the Senate. The Taal Volcano, the second-most active volcano in the Philippines, erupts near the capital of Manila, began erupting on Jan. 12, crushing scores of homes and killing livestock and crops. The explosive eruption forced over 135,000 people into shelters over fears of a massive blast.

More than 100 people were killed on Jan. 14 by the heaviest snowfall to hit the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir in a century, as the devastation wrought by the severe winter weather deepened worries about the impact of global warming.

Bushfires, unprecedented for Australia in terms of duration and intensity, have killed 33 people and an estimated 1 billion native animals, while 2,500 homes and a wilderness area the size of Greece have been destroyed. The crisis engulfing the country was called “an ecological disaster” that threatens several species, including koalas and rock wallabies. Images of burned kangaroos, koalas and possums, along with footage of people risking their lives to save native animals, have gone viral around the world. Continued hot weather, relieved only rarely by periods of light rain in the affected areas, deepened the crisis.


February is my birthday month, therefore a slight expectation to continue my EPIC birthday celebration. I was inspired by a previous experience with the game application, Goose Chase. All participants had a blast! As always, some guests I didn’t think would attend … did. Some guests that I thought were a solid yes, bailed.

I would continue to push to find more geocaches to complete my goal of completing the #JasmerChallenge. I made a Tabula Rasa Day Declaration that I would complete it in 2020.

By the end of the leap year month, I will have unknowingly attended my last in-person Zumba class at the Sky Valley / Monroe YMCA.

On February 8, the first American citizen died of the coronavirus in Wuhan. The death was announced hours after two flights evacuated US citizens from Wuhan. This is the first American to die from the virus that has killed hundreds in China. (CNN)

On February 14, three people were shot outside an Atlanta restaurant owned by Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss. Burruss was there when a gunman shot one person in the restaurant and then two people outside before running away. All injuries are not life-threatening, and no motive or suspect has been revealed by police. (CNN)

On February 18, the Boy Scouts of America filed for Title 11 bankruptcy. The organization faces many liabilities as hundreds of sexual assault cases make their way to court. (CNN)

The inexplicable hoarding of toilet paper begins …

Shoppers visit a Costco Wholesale in Tigard, Ore., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, after reports of Oregon’s first case of coronavirus was announced in the nearby Oregon city of Lake Oswego on Friday. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

March 2020 … the meme of “whoever started the game of Jumanji, please finish it quickly” is a harbinger of the entire year. The terms of essential worker, essential businesses, panic buying, and hoarding emerge in social media, corporate rhetoric, and news outlets.

I continue to push hard in the Geocaching arena because of the goal, and the Force-like, I have a bad feeling, about the COVID-19 disease that causes SARS-CoV-2. While Geocaching, the Sapphire Sled (my Arctic Blue 2004 Acura RSX Type-S) has a driver-side CV axle collapse. It’s clear to me that after 16 years of service, 265K miles, that it’s reached the end of it’s economic life. I’m unclear on how to proceed.

The Emerald City Hoe Down that was scheduled for mid-March performance of West Coast Country Heat is canceled amongst COVID-19 fears. My book signing and book talk event at the Monroe Public Library is canceled.

My friend / co-worker / team mate, Regina Lee, succumbs to the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as some of her family members: the first person I knew to directly die from the disease that causes the virus. Some Americans claim this is a hoax.

The acronym, WFH, Work From Home emerges as daily dialogue as soon as “Amazon employees in Seattle and Bellevue whose jobs can be done remotely were advised to work from home. Microsoft, Nordstrom and Starbucks corporate offices and Boeing also gave the same advice to workers”

Emerald City ComicCon is postponed until further notice. For the first time since its start in 1972, the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Seattle and Irish Week events were canceled.

On March 11th, The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Inslee banned gatherings of more than 250 people in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, including weddings.

Seattle Public Schools announced a closure through the end of March. The Shoreline and Lake Washington school districts also closed through the end of March. Everett and Bellevue public schools announced a closure for the month starting March 13. Schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle announced closures from March 16 until the end of the month. The Monroe School District announced all schools would close for six weeks, starting Friday. The Sounders postponed their March 21 match, and the Mariners were working with Major League Baseball on how to handle games. The Woodland Park Zoo closed for the month.

Then Inslee revised his declaration to include all Washington schools closed until April 24th.

The NCAA announced March Madness games would be played without fans.

On March 23 at 5:30 p.m. statewide address, Gov Jay Inslee directed Washington residents to stay home by executive order. Inslee’s executive order had exceptions for essential critical infrastructure workers, including first responders. Grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, liquor stores that sell food, food banks and farmers’ markets were among businesses that could stay open.

Around the world … On March 8, a shooting outside a Baltimore dance studio left one 13-year-old dead and five more teens injured. The group was leaving an event at the studio when a suspect approached them and an altercation ensued. The five injured have already been released from the hospital, and Baltimore Police Department is offering a reward for any information on the suspect. (CNN)

By the end of March, the global focus is on the COVID-19 disease.

  • 740,157 confirmed cases
  • 35,097 deaths

By April 1st, the world is in survival mode. NO JOKE, no put intended. Hell, I was in survival mode! Spaceship Earth is the stage for a global SHITSHOW. I was challenged the 22-push ups per day for 22 days to honor veterans who succumbed to suicide. I continued to geocache to progress on my Jasmer Challenge.

My dear friend, and co-worker, Sherry, passed away from SARS-CoV-2. This is my 2nd friend to have been killed in 2 months.

APRIL 2

Inslee extends his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order through May 4; it’ll be lengthened again on May 1 before officially expiring on June 1.

APRIL 3

Though the U.S. Surgeon General railed against wearing masks weeks earlier, the CDC now recommends donning face coverings for protection.

APRIL 5

A University of Washington–based model used by the federal government projects Washington’s peak hospitalization load is behind us.

APRIL 6

Already yearning for childcare, parents learn school closures will persist until summer break.

APRIL 8

More signs emerge that Washington’s begun to flatten the curve: The state orders the teardown of an army field hospital at CenturyLink days after returning ventilators from the national stockpile.

APRIL 9

Durkan closes major Seattle parks ahead of a beautiful Easter weekend.

APRIL 11

As its testing program continues to falter, the U.S. carries the greatest Covid death toll, surpassing Italy.

APRIL 15

Tax Day gets pushed back to July, while some receive $1,200 government relief payments as part of the federal CARES Act.

APRIL 16

King County Metro bus driver Samina Hameed dies after contracting the virus, highlighting the risks essential workers face throughout the crisis.

APRIL 19

Thousands gather in Olympia to protest Inslee’s stay-home order. To no one’s surprise, few remain six feet apart.

APRIL 21

The UW Medicine Virology Lab debuts antibody testing, a vital step toward determining who may already be immune to the virus.

APRIL 29

Work-from-home life no longer seems temporary. After Zillow allows employees to remote in through the end of 2020, Amazon announces that its office workers won’t return before October 2.

To be continued in parts 2 and 3 …

Reasons Why Being Single Isn’t Bad

I DID NOT WRITE THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE. That distinction is the Angry Therapist, John Kim LMFT. However, it read and seemed like something I would write. I love it, and agreed with it.

“I’ve been single. Many times. I’ve struggled with loneliness. Rejection. Not believing I was desirable. I’ve tried “dating myself” many times and it was bullsh*t. The truth is we’re humans and we’re not meant to do life alone. We want to love someone. And that’s okay. We’re biologically built that way. What’s not okay is losing ourselves because we don’t have someone to love. Or losing ourselves in the person we’ve chosen to love.

I have struggled with singlehood, and also lost myself in relationships. I have jumped into things way too fast after a breakup was still fresh. Within days, I’ve been “back on the market” swiping to find someone else to lose myself in. Because I didn’t want to be alone. Because I didn’t want to eat by myself. Because I like sex too much. But on a deeper level, because I needed to prove to myself that I was desirable, loveable, and worthy. And it’s really hard to feel that on a Friday night when you’re at home eating your feelings.

I’ve contacted exes due to desperation and later regretted it. I have wondered how many “ones” have gotten away. I have felt that deep loneliness, the kind that keeps you from washing your hair or wearing anything but sweats. I have done all the things: Gotten together with women I wasn’t that into. Been rejected by women I was really into. Tried to be someone I wasn’t for someone else. Forced things that didn’t feel right because I wanted them to work. Used dating apps to only be led on, catfished, and disappointed. All of this made me more and more crappy about myself.

We have been programmed at a very young age that happiness is not found alone. You need a boyfriend, a prom date, a husband. Finding love is what happiness looks like. If you’re single, you’re incomplete, defective, and less than. Sitting at a restaurant by yourself means something’s wrong with you or your life. People feel bad for you. When you tell someone you’re getting a divorce, the first words that come out of their mouth are, “I’m sorry.”

We go into them disconnected from ourselves. Because when we are single, we are just desperately looking. We are hiding, waiting, and searching to find our worth in someone else. So when we finally meet someone, we bring a lukewarm, disconnected, scared version of ourselves to the table, one lined with desperation and pressure for it to work this time because the last time was close but they had issue and problems and didn’t work on themselves. Because when they were single, they were doing what you’re doing now, just searching and wondering when you’re going to find “the one.”

And this is why most relationships fail.

Add to this how we meet people these days. Swiping on filtered photos. D*ck pics. Ghosting. False advertising—all setting us up for poor experiences that make us feel ugly, unworthy, and hopeless.
Relationships are hard enough. When you go into them in this state—the same exact same person you were in your last relationship but more desperate and with more pressure for it to work this time—you are going into the relationship loaded and setting yourself up for failure.

You are missing a huge step in the human evolution process. Taking what you’ve learned in your last relationship and growing from them so that you are a new person, wired differently with new definitions and perspectives. And the best chance of this happening is likely when you’re single, because it requires an inner journey that is usually prevented when you’re in a relationship. Yes, you can grow when you’re in a relationship. But all the baggage someone brings to the relationship will only create new problems and issues you need to work through and most people don’t work through them. Because they never acquired the tools because they’ve only been focused on finding someone. Instead of finding themselves.article continues after advertisement

1. The richest soil for growth is when you’re single.

When you’re in a relationship, you’re less motivated to examine the “black box” of what happened in your previous relationships. You’re in something new now. You’ve run from the crash. You’ve moved on. That door has closed. So the chances of you fully processing and taking ownership of your part in the expiration—learning and growing and becoming a better version of yourself—is exponentially lower. Especially if you’ve jumped into a new relationship shortly after the old one, which most of us do.

That is why the growth soil is so rich during the times between relationships. You have a limited amount of time to work on yourself and your life before you meet someone else. It doesn’t mean you can’t grow when you’re in a relationship (this book is about that too; more on that later). But let’s face it. When you’re in a relationship, you’re building something with someone else. You’re a part of something else. So it’s imperative to take advantage of the time you’re unattached. Instead of searching for someone to be with, you must explore you. Your patterns. Your definitions. How you love and why. Your dreams. The dent you want to make in this world. You must explore your relationship with yourself. You must be with yourself first.

2. The picket fence has splinters.

We are finally being honest with how hard marriages are. We never talked about things like love languages, attachment styles, codependency, and frankly how hard it is to live with and build a relationship with someone, even if you guys get along swimmingly and are best friends. People grow and change. Our wants and needs change as we change. We are not constants. “Happily ever after” was a staged house that was sold to us. A house that is now in foreclosure. Monogamy was only one choice. But not the only choice. We have finally taken down the Normal Rockwell painting.

What does this mean? There is no rush. Exploration is the new rush. We don’t have to run toward anything. Except ourselves. There is no one blueprint that fits all. We create our own. That’s it. That’s the new picket fence. Exploring life with your own definitions. Letting go of old ones handed down by parents and society. Taking the power back by building a life that’s honest to you. And there’s no better time to build one than when you’re single.article continues after advertisement

3. There is no “the one.”

The idea that there is only one person you’re supposed to be with forever is yes, very romantic, but also limiting and a sure-fire recipe to stay in your head and in a chasing state. It leaves no room for acceptance and gratitude.

The truth is “the one” is the one you choose to love. Right now. Today. And if there is no one you are choosing to love, then that person is you. You are “the one.” And if you don’t believe you are, then you won’t be to anyone else. Choosing yourself is a practice, one we are not used to. Because we have been so programmed to choose someone else. And this programming which results in patterns in unhealthy behavior = angry and resentment = feeling invisible and unheard is what has made your past relationships expire and will continue to make your future ones if you don’t break the pattern.

You start by choosing yourself first.

You start by believing that YOU are “the one.”

Being single on purpose is not about being single forever, nor is it anti-relationship. Being single on purpose is about being okay with being single when you are, connecting to yourself before someone else, so that your life isn’t on pause. And when you do find someone who deserves you, you can bring more to the table.

Also, no one got away.

Except you.

Reasons Why Being Single Isn’t Bad

COVID-19 Chronicles: Day 348

Look, I get it. I do. You spend a majority of your time at work. Therefore you spend that same amount of time with your co-workers. And humans are social beings, so naturally you’ll socialize with those co-workers, especially during this global pandemic known only as: COVID-19.

There are more reasons why you should not date at work than to date. Just because you socialize with them doesn’t equate to hooking up with them either. There are catch-phrases that oversimplify this dynamic, such as …

“Don’t dip your pen in the company ink”, and “Don’t fish from the company pond” are just a couple.

Why You Should Not Date At Work

I’m not saying I haven’t dated a co-worker. On the contrary, I have, and that’s why I’m telling you shouldn’t. And it wasn’t just once, either. Oh, don’t forget that it’s not only my advice, there’s usually a pesky “non-fraternization” clause in most companies policies.

Why You Shouldn’t Date At Work

I’m also not saying that flirting and/or socializing is harmful, either! A crush on a co-worker is harmless as long as it’s not acted on. I’m sure there’s some cute guy at your workplace that you look forward to seeing that has a cologne that makes your toes curl, or has a dashing smile with movie-star style hair. Or a female co-worker that has one particular outfit that accentuates her svelte assets.

Unfortunately, the reality of a relationship with your crush rarely meets expectations which is another reason why you should not date at work!

Once the sexual tension between you two no longer exists, neither does that fun dynamic that attracted you to each other initially. Instead of not knowing what would happen between you two, after a date or two (or a hook up or two) it’s a known quantity – no mystery, nothing left to chance.

You acted on it.

Oh, and when you two break up? It’s a train-wreck of a fall out situation. We know that while you’ll attempt “to be just friends”, we also know you’ve crossed that critical line of between friends and lovers – there’s no going back.

Art imitates life so when shows like MoonlightingCheers or Friends have the two principle characters finally “wind up with each” – there’s no more magic.

Which is why you should not date at work.

I understand how and why it happens, folks. I’m not oblivious, or the patron saint of celibacy.

Sometimes you’re “over” being single-ready-to-mingle so this couldn’t be any worse, right? WRONG!

Or worse, you’re in a committed relationship, yet you’re having an affair with a co-worker. That’s another topic for another post, but I call in the Proximity Infatuation ala Urban Dictionary.

When I find myself ruminating or fantasizing about a co-worker, I remove myself from their constant contact. I’m only hurting myself. They don’t want me, like I want them, and even if they did … I probably wouldn’t do anything.

Coping with COVID-19 it’s just happening to me more than ever, considering public socialization is not happening.

Aiight, Spaceship Earth. Have you date(d) a co-worker? Still dating said co-worker? Best case scenario … you married them! Or the other way, did ya quit the job because of relationship gone awry? We would love to know your thoughts on this topic!

Until next time, be good like you should, and if you can’t be good, then be good at what you do!

Mic drop *bOoM*
‘los; out

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