Post Vaccine

Just adding to the body of knowledge out there about what people experience with their COVID-19 vaccinations.

For background, I’m officially retired from active employment, white, male, and a few months short of sixty-five years old. I’m a little overweight at 185 pounds. I walk regularly and lightly exercise but lead a mostly sedentary life of writing, reading, and surfing the net. Yard work and house work gives me additional ‘exercise’. I drink beer, wine, and coffee, but haven’t had any alcohol since last Thanksgiving. Just worked out that way. I only drink one cup of coffee a day now, a nod to my prostate.

I don’t eat much meat but a lot of fruits and vegetables, in large part because my wife is a vegetarian. I’ve dealt with high blood pressure/hypertension throughout my life, but played softball, racquetball, and ran a few miles a day several times a week until I blew out a knee in my late thirties. With a daily dose of Amlodipine, my blood pressure hovers around 130/60, with a heart rate of 62. My usual resting rate is 55 to 58. I also suffer from an enlarged prostate gland. I’m on Flomax for that.

I received the J&J one-shot coronavirus vaccine on Saturday morning, just before eleven. I had no immediate reaction. Per guidance, I rubbed the injection area and moved my arm throughout the day. I ran in place in the house, accumulating my twelve miles, but generally took it easy, writing, reading, eating, and attending to my floof masters.

The next day, Sunday, I woke up feeling fantastic. It was like I’d been given a B-12 injection. Was it possible that they’d given me some kind of placebo? I wrote a chapter in the morning (about three thousand words), and did some editing. After lunch, I drove down to the library to pick up a book up for my wife. The sunshine invited me to take a walk, so I put on three miles. Returning home just before three, I prepared to do yard work. I thought I’d do a strenuous walk after that.

My wife reminded me that my thinking was wrong. “I hope you didn’t exert yourself too much when you were walking,” she said.

“I didn’t. It’s mostly flat down there. Just a couple mild hills.”

“You’re supposed to be taking it easy.”

Oh, yeah.

“They say that even though you feel good, your body is working hard beneath the surface.”

True.

I resigned myself to reading and surfing the net (and taking an incidental nap along the way). Running in place, I did achieve my goal of twelve miles but mourned that I hadn’t been able to take advantage of that fresh air and sunshine to break a serious sweat going up the steep hills around us.

Today, I feel good. Not as good as yesterday, more like just above my average. I have some stiffness and soreness on my left arm above the injection site. There’s no redness or swelling. My wife, who has an autoimmune disease, has experience similar symptoms, and reports that she feels fine.

That’s one of the maddening traits of this virus, though. Some feel like they get hit by a truck. Others feel nothing. Some suffer mild symptoms. As they say, your experience may vary.

Take care.

Friday’s Theme Music

It’s another day in Ashland, a Friday, March 26, 2021. Slanted sunshine spilled over the horizon at 0704. The sun will make its sky exit at 1930. Starting at cold — 32 degrees F at 0546 when the cats chatted about leaving the building, it’s now 40 and we expect to crunch up against 60. Not bad.

An old Cream song climbed into the mental music crease yesterday. Trudging up a hill, I turned to admire the valley view. ‘Our’ side, on the south, was deep into afternoon mountain shadows while sun stroked every hill on the opposite side, illuminating patches of snow in higher mountain valleys and the peak known as Grizzly. While I was in a residential neighborhood, the typical sounds were opposite. No crows cawed and other birds didn’t sing. Vehicle sounds were unheard. Just me, the pavement, the view. Into that arrived the 1966 song, “I Feel Free”.

I can walk down the street, there’s no one there
Though the pavements are one huge crowd
I can drive down the road; my eyes don’t see
Though my mind wants to cry out loud

I, I, I, I feel free
I feel free
I feel free

h/t to Genius.com

A pause to consider that phrase: ‘an old Cream song’. Is there any other kind when the group existed for two years in the late 1960s? Yes, they did get together two more times, but that was decades later.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax.

Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Hello. Well, we’ve done it, most of us in the U.S.A., at least, we’ve ‘sprung ahead’. Our clocks are set forward in accordance with whatever.

Today is March 13, 2021, a Sunday. Per Sunday requirements to relax if you can and eat if ya got it, cinnamon rolls with coffee were consumed. It’s 54 degrees F outside under a sky mocking the idea of ‘sunshine’ with large gray swaths. Rain veils are drawing closer but might yet swing away, tempted by some other valley spot. Sol popped up at 7:23 AM and the orb will drop beyond the horizon at 7:13 PM here in Ashland, Oregon.

A favorite walking song has infiltrated me today. The Who released “Baba O’Riley” in 1971. I was fifteen then. Having no wheels and an independent spirit, I walked or ran wherever I needed to go. I had biked but the bike was stolen. Finances didn’t stand up for a replacement. Walking was agreeable, and remains a favorite pastime. My wife doesn’t enjoy walking with me; she wants to stroll. I’m walking, damn it. Yes, there are times for strolling, such as when we’re shopping, but when you have a place to go, I’m all in.

The defiant beat and raucous sounds found in “Baba O’Riley” lends itself to my walking attitude. So, yesterday, up there on the street, looking across the valley at the fields, the song arrived in the mental music stream as a welcome companion. Thinking about it today, I discovered this interesting rendition of it. Hope you enjoy it as much as me. I enjoyed seeing my music heroes young and alive, into their music, one more time.

Test negative, stay positive, wear a mask when required, and get the vax. See you on the streets. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Hello! Welcome to another edition of ‘Wednesday’s Theme Music’. Today is March 10, 2021. Skyorb rise was at 6:32 AM. Skyorb set will be at 6:12 PM. After dipping to 32 degrees F during the night, the outside temperature has bounced up to 39 under a flat gray sky. Wet surfaces glisten and shine outside as pine and oak trees peer out of fog banks a few hundred yards up the mountain. Rain looks imminent.

Music today comes by way of writing efforts yesterday. After writing, I was out on a walk, thinking through where the story was and the paths it was following, formulating the tactics for picking up the paths and taking them forward. After a time of this, satisfied with my decisions and directions, ready to turn home because sunrise was a few minutes away and I was a mile from home, Van Halen’s “Finish What Ya Started” (1988) arrived in my mental music stream. I enjoy the riff that begins this song, and how the song builds off it.

Stay positive — you know the rest. After a year of the coronavirus pandemic, you should, lessen y’all been hiding under a rock or sumpten. I’ll say it all anyway: stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Of course, once you get the vax, some of the guidance changes for you, so stay up to date, ‘kay? Be smart. Stay safe.

Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

Greetings fellow humans and all the rest of you. Today is Monday, March 1, 2021. Flip those calendar pages, if you still use them. I still do. Sunrise in Ashland today was at 6:46 AM and sunset is coming at 6:01 PM. It’s warming up outside with a current temperature of 48 degrees F on the way to an expected high in the upper fifties.

Music today is provided by Aerosmith. “The Other Side” was included in the album Pump in 1990. I was singing it yesterday first as part of my walking exercise, you know, just let me go to the other side of this steep hill, then I’ll go down. Next, it gained metaphorical properties as pandemic limitations struck. “Just let me get to the other side of this pandemic and back to a more normal life and also the beach.” Then the phrase, ‘the other side’, rose again as I thought about the novel in progress and the other one being revised. This was more aligned with the sentiment, just let me get through to the other side of this effort, when the initial draft of the one is finished and the editing and revising of the other is completed (at least for this go-around).

So it’s a threefer meaning kind of song on this late winter day. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers.

The Goal

I’m swearing about modern technology again. It’s all so easy, so taken for granted, they have groomed me to complain.

Today’s target is my Fitbit. It needs recharged, again. Every few days, this takes place. I wear the thing almost 24/7, removing it only to save it from the showers. The rest of time finds it hugging my right wrist, monitoring my activity. Sure, it sends me an email when it needs recharged. That email arrives at 1:30 to 2:00 AM. I supposed, if I’m more rigorously disciplined and attentive, I can train myself to check it each night when I’ve reached my goal and see how much remains on the charge. Yeah, I could, but I’m lazy.

“It wouldn’t need to be recharged so much if you didn’t keep using it,” my wife observes.

A growl is given back. This is not time for humor. Charging the fitbit means removing it from my wrist and waiting while it charges. While it charges, I’m not collecting steps. My goal each day is twelve miles. It’s a new goal every morning, achieved every night. No, I haven’t walked it, didn’t run it, swim it, bike it; it’s an accumulation of twelve miles of activities, twelve miles achieved each day, something tangible.

Writing is different. I use word counts as mileposts but they don’t matter. I may have added words but the novel isn’t finished. I’m not certain how close to being done it is. I have guesses which makes sense, but I know, even when it’s ‘done’, it isn’t done. It needs revised and edited. Even then, it’s not done. It’s not published, not finalized in some concrete form. Until it reaches that final moment, it remains a work in progress. It’s like going from Earth to Mars; it’s gonna take a while.

So, I pursue my twelve miles every day, a goal established each morning, something achieved each night, something to make me feel good, damn it.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Hello. Welcome to this edition of Wednesday, brought to you by 2021. “2021. The year that has to get better.” Today is the twenty-fourth of February, meaning that February is fast running out of time. Today’s sunrise came at 6:54 AM in Ashland. We expect sunrise about eleven hours and four minutes later, at 5:55 PM. A sun bomb has gone off but the air is chilly at 40 degrees F. We expect another late charge into the low to mid fifties by late afternoon. The mountains blocks so much sun as it steals over the sky, robbing us of warmth and plunging us into early twilight. Across the valley is the land of sun, where it’s bright all day long, you know?

Rush is the music provider today. “Limelight” from 1981 skipped into the mental music stream as I walked yesterday. Its rhyming lyrics, with their sharp enunciation, are memorable.

Living on a lighted stage
Approaches the unreal
For those who think and feel
In touch with some reality
Beyond the gilded cage

Cast in this unlikely role
Ill-equipped to act
With insufficient tact
One must put up barriers
To keep oneself intact

Living in the limelight
The universal dream
For those who wish to seem
Those who wish to be
Must put aside the alienation
Get on with the fascination
The real relation
The underlying theme

h/t to Metrolyrics.com

And so the song goes, a good walking song, solid beat except where it slows for the solo, but that’s how prog-rock often goes, innit? Stay positive, folks, and test negative. Persevere, carry on, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. If that all fails, have a drink. Think I’ll go get a coffee, black, thank you, and unsweetened, like my soul.

You know?

Sunday’s Theme Music

Good morning. Today is Sunday, Febraruary 14, 2021. Sunrise was at 7:09 AM. Gray paint has been spilled across the sky. Rain pummels our area. It’s 35 degrees F outside. Snow showers are expected, still we’re better off than in many places, where the snow is mounting like debt. Sunrise will be at 5:42 PM.

Today’s music is provided by Curtis Mayfield. “Move On Up” came out in 1971 but didn’t crack the charts in the US. That history surprised me. The song always moved and encouraged me. Seems to be true for others, as Joe Biden uses it, and it’s been employed in movies. I don’t hear it often on the radio, though.

Just move on up
Toward your destination
Though you may find, from time to time, complication

Bite your lip
And take a trip
Though there may be wet road ahead
And you cannot slip
Just move on up
For peace you’ll find
Into the steeple of beautiful people
Where there’s only one kind

So hush now, child
And don’t you cry

Your folks might understand you
By and by
Move on up
And keep on wishin’
Remember your dream is your only scheme
So keep on pushin’

So hush now, child
And don’t you cry

Your folks might understand you
By and by
Move on up
And keep on wishin’
Remember your dream is your only scheme
So keep on pushin’

h/t to Genius.com

A hopeful song is welcomed today, making it my choice for Sunday’s theme music.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

Good morning. Today is Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. Sunrise came at 7:16 AM. Sunset is expected at 5:34 PM. Outside, it’s 31 degrees F and foggy, but we’re expecting sunshine and a high of 50 degrees.

Today’s music came from a walk the other day. The song hung around me, intermittently spurting into the musical mental stream throughout the last few days. Released in 1967, “The Rain, the Park & Other Things” by the Cowsills reached number two on the charts in America. If you’re unfamiliar with the song, it begins with seeing a girl in a park.

I saw her sitting in the rain
Raindrops falling on her
She didn’t seem to care
She sat there and smiled at me

h/t to Genius.com

This is what happened to me that day: I saw a girl sitting in the park off Peachy Street in Ashland. Unlike the song’s subject, this girl had a leash with a dog, and she didn’t disappear. Nor did the sun come out. Maybe, if the sun had emerged, she would’ve disappeared. The rain was falling and I didn’t hang to learn. I have no idea if she could make me happy. Didn’t really think about it. I was preoccupied with a song going in my head and avoiding her to stay six feet away. There’s a virus out there, you know. Must be careful.

BTW, they called it psychedelic last century when a girl disappeared like that; now it would be called magical realism.

Stay positive. Test negative. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Enjoy the music. You have your orders. Now go.

Friday’s Theme Music

Today is Friday. It’s freezing (29 degrees F) and foggy (well, a little) but not frosty. So another 3-F day, utilizing different Fs.

Sunrise was at 7:20 AM while sunset is expected at 5:31 PM. Per annual worry, we’re monitoring the snowpack. Our snow pack provides us water throughout the year. As he snowpack melts, the runoff refills our reservoirs and cisterns. As in other recent years, we’re falling short again. Right now we’re peering into the future of another dry summer, re-kindling concerns about wildfires. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen.

Went through a lengthy song list this morning. Seeing that fog and cloud cover, I streamed “Let the Sunshine” and “Sunshine of Your Love”, “Daytripper” (because I was thinking of daylight) and “Walking On Sunshine”; “Friday’s Child” (the Wendy Matthews song — too mellow) and “Black Friday”; and “Friday” by Phish (oh, that’s too depressing).

As none of that brought me joy, I shifted directions and recalled yesterday’s walk. Up there in the hills, I could see for miles, which brought home the 1967 song by The Who, “I Can See for Miles”. Its energy was more satisfying for the moment. Plus the fog was lifting and thinning, giving me hope for a sunnier day. It’s possible; yesterday began as a much foggier day and ended up clear and sunny. It was that deceptive cold, the kind where you look through the house glass protection out at the world and think, “It looks like a pretty nice day out there.” Then you get out there and body parts began abandoning you, running back to get into the house’s warmth.

Watching this video of “I Can See for Miles”, I was struck by my cousin’s sliding resemblance to Pete Townsend. Never noticed it before. Cousin is in hospice, thrust in there by cancer. He’s fought it for several years, but it looks like cancer is taking him, just as it took his mother a decade ago and his sister last year. Cancer is a cold asshole.

Well, stay positive, right? Sure. Test negative, wear a mask, and get the vaccine. Here’s the music. Enjoy.

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