Is COVID-19 Affecting You Too?

No funny story this time.

Let’s talk real for a minute. No politics. No mask debate. No Trump talk. No ‘he said, she said’; none of that.

This is a post that has been a long time coming; and quite frankly I had to get this off my chest because I’m certain I’m not alone in this. Actually, statistics say that I’m not. I’m going to try and keep this short, but we all know how that goes…

June 12, 2020: exactly 3 months of working from home and feeling ‘off’ most of the time, I went to the doctor and got diagnosed with ‘severe’ anxiety. Pretty cool, right? I’m not sure that “severe” needed to be the adjective used, but I’m not the Doctor. I’ve always joked about having anxiety, I know that I’ve dealt with it for most of my life-but I was able to, for the most part, overcome it. I got bullied a bunch as a kid–I think that’s what started it, but that’s a post for another time!

This time seemed different; I could’t ‘laugh my way out of this one’. When I sat in the Doctor’s office, he said this: “I certainly don’t mean to make light of this situation, but you are another float in the long parade of people that have been in here in the past couple weeks for anxiety”. He also had another analogy that was really good as well; he said “picture a big lake with a couple stumps sticking out of the water: those are the people with anxiety right before this started. This pandemic has significantly lowered the water level so that more stumps start to show up”. Pretty deep, right?

When I got home and stared at my newly dispensed bottle of anti-anxiety pills and tried to figure out what to do. I felt like Neo in the Matrix; except my decision was a white pill or no pill at all. I needed to figure out how to get this under control somehow. I just wasn’t sure which way to go.

I finally chose no pill. The bottle still sits on top of my microwave and I haven’t touched it yet. Although-there have been plenty of times that I’ve thought about it! With the help of my wife, we worked to figure out what caused my anxiety: we basically came up with “the world”. So good news, that’s only everywhere. I think the negativity of everything finally got to me. If you turn on the news: negativity, drive down main street and see businesses shut down: negativity; open up your 401(k): negativity; and finally:

Social Media. The all-powerful demigod ruler of all things negative.

I understand “Free Speech”, it literally is what allows me to have a blog. Even better: you’re allowed to absolutely hate it, and if you do, cool – I hope you have a great day and move on with your life. Obviously, its rare for exchanges like that to happen on social media. It seems like everyone has to bash everyone else’s opinion now days. Go on Facebook or Twitter, even LinkedIn (quickly becoming Facebook with better profile pictures), right now and just do a search for “mask”, “COVID”, “Trump”, “Walz” (MN) and start reading the “conversations” people are having with one another. The comments under news station posts are the best. It really makes you wonder how we function as a society doesn’t it? We have this “I have to be right” and/or “I need to make sure I get the last word in” (I’m guilty of this one sometimes) mentality that turns everyone into a keyboard warrior to get their point across. We can’t just say “hey, I disagree with your opinion, but that’s fine”. It’s OK to keep scrolling if someone’s opinion is different than your own, I promise. I usually try to keep scrolling because I don’t like confrontation. :D

I wanted to get my mind under control, so I hit ‘reset’ in a way. I muted certain words on Twitter and un-followed SEVERAL people on Facebook. I still wanted to be friends with them but I didn’t want their views to somehow affect what I thought of them–because it really shouldn’t matter. I also limited the time that I spent on Social Media in general. I actually downloaded an app that blocks any type of social media/websites/phrases for a certain amount of time each day. That has definitely helped (I’m also more productive)! I exercise more, I even bought a Panda Planner and have tried to write in it every day to get some sort of structure into my life. There is also a spot where I can write what I’m grateful for each day as well as a personal affirmation section. This is something I’ve never done in my entire life-quite honestly, I thought it was silly. But, it really does make you think. If you are able to write down just two things each day that you’re grateful for; you’re probably doing better than you think you are. I also have a WAM (Weekly Accountability Meeting) every Monday morning with one of my buddies to set goals for the upcoming week and review the past week/weekend. These things have helped me get some sense of normalcy back into my life.

We’re living in an unprecedented time. I’d love to be living in “precedented” times, but we’re not. This shit is wild, let’s just face it. People miss the personal interaction with their friends and co-workers; they miss going to a full bar on the weekend, they miss “normal”. Now, whether you want to wear a mask, or you don’t. Whether you agree with President Trump or you don’t; whether you think this is all being controlled by the government or you don’t; whether you think kids should be in school or you don’t. You can at least try to respect other people and be respectful of someone’s differing opinion. You don’t know how they might be affected by this or something else going on in the world. The ‘new normal’ has taken it’s toll on me upstairs lately-and probably some of you reading this as well. Initially I struggled to keep it under control, but I’m managing and I do think it’s slowly getting better.

I grew up thinking that anxiety was something that could just be “fixed”, or just part of life, or “not manly”, or whatever. It is very real and it actually affects about 40 million Americans every year and and only 36.9% of those people seek out treatment. It’s getting better, but there’s a stigma around mental health-especially for men for some reason. Maybe it’s perceived as ‘weak’?

Call me ‘weak’ if you want; but then I guess you didn’t get the point of this post.

If you want to chat about what I’m doing to work on my brain; let me know. I’ll do what I can.

Funny one next time-I promise.


Disclaimer: If you use medication to treat anxiety and/or depression, good for you. I’m proud of you for tackling it in your own way. Also, I know that other people have been affected in potentially worse ways by losing their jobs or loved ones due to COVID-19. I’ve been very fortunate through everything thus far.

Easy as…Cake.

I’d like to start off this post with a simple disclaimer: I’m actually pretty good in the kitchen, maybe even better than you might think that I am. I just need to lead with that…

This story has been told to many people over the past 16 years or so and it has always been met with big laughs. I’m hoping that I can recreate the humor of the story in this post. I think you’ll enjoy it!

Let’s rewind to the early 2000’s; the exact year doesn’t matter. I was old enough to know better. I had decided to make my girlfriend (somehow, now my wife) a cake for her birthday. As much as I wanted to show up with a Dairy Queen cake (which she undoubtedly would have preferred), a sheet cake, or one of those big ones that I could pop out of; I decided to bake her a cake.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have any cake mix laying around so I went to town to grab her favorite: vanilla cake with Rainbow Chip frosting. We only lived about a half mile outside of town, so no big deal! I was happy to do it! After I got the necessities: Betty Crocker cake mix, rainbow chip frosting, and a Mountain Dew to fuel my baking endeavor, I was ready to go!.

When I got home, I looked at the box and read the directions:
1.) Preheat the oven to 350ish
2.) Mix ingredients for about 2 minutes.
3.) Bake.
4.) Cool & frost.
5.) Enjoy.
That’s slightly paraphrasing, but you get it. I turned on the oven and started mixing ingredients: Pre-packaged flour mixture, check. Vegetable oil, check. Milk, check…..3 whole eggs.

This is where things hit a bit of a snag. The box said “3 whole eggs”, with a picture of 3 whole eggs. . .

Now, this didn’t seem quite right to me. I don’t remember ever seeing 3 whole eggs go into anything that my mom had baked before. Most of her stuff turned out pretty good and anything that didn’t, she blamed on the oven anyways! So I thought “Okie dokie!” and threw them in. 3 complete and shelled eggs. I continued to mix up my concoction; thinking “I might be in contention for ‘Best Boyfriend of the Year’, this is gonna be great!”. Once I got everything mixed up to my liking, I put it in the greased 9×13 pan and baked for 32-35 minutes.

About a half hour later, I took out the cake from the oven–it smelled AMAZING!
But… something looked odd. The nice golden brown cake had white ‘speckles’ everywhere, some speckles were bigger than others, but it was pretty noticeable. Now, I knew I probably did something wrong, but couldn’t put my finger on it. So I did what any teenager does when something goes wrong:

“Hello, Mom?…Yeah…umm… I don’t think the egg whites mixed in very good with Kate’s cake”

Yep, that’s right. I referred to the broken pieces of shell as “egg whites”. (We couldn’t afford the fancy brown ones—which in hindsight, would have probably cleared this whole mess up right away). What you will read below is a rough translation of a phone call that took place one October afternoon in the early 2000’s between one teenager and a very confused mother.
Mom: “Well they….what? Are you sure? They should have just dissolved into the mixture”
Me: “Yeah, well they didn’t, I can see them”
Mom: “You can see them? What do you mean you can see them?”
Me: “I don’t know, like….I can see them…with my eyes. They stand out pretty good against the golden brown cake”
Mom (at this point probably realizing that saving for my college education was a giant waste of time): “Maybe you didn’t mix it very well…you did 2 minutes, right?”
Me: “Yeah…I didn’t time it, but I think so”
Mom: “Well, maybe you have to try again”
Me: *Dumps entire cake into trash can*

Back to town I go, hi-ho, hi-ho-hi-ho-hi-ho…

Round 2.

This time, the oven is very well pre-heated. To this day, I’m pretty sure that I never turned it off. I grabbed the pre-packaged flour, the milk, the vegetable oil and started mixing these three things together first.

And then I grabbed the 3 little eggs….BUT, this time; they got their own special treatment. They got their own little bowl, with an immersion blender. This time, I took all 3 eggs (‘egg whites’ included) and ground the literal hell out of them with that immersion blender. After about 5 minutes of this, I had 3 mixed eggs with a very ‘pea-soup’ like consistency.

I dumped my egg mixture into the rest of the ingredients and shouted: “Alexa! set a timer for two minutes”.

Just kidding, this was ‘back in the day’, we didn’t have luxuries like Alexa. I used my phone, like a caveman.

I mixed it for 2 minutes and threw it into the oven. 32-35 minutes later, the most beautiful single layer cake you’ve ever seen came out of the oven! Cooled that thing off, and slapped on some frosting.

I practiced my speech for the “Boyfriend of the Year” award ceremony on the entire drive to her house.

I showed up to her house, puffed out my chest, and presented her with her favorite type of cake. She was really excited! I could barely decide on how I was going to spend all of these “brownie points”! Since her mom was home as well, we all chatted for awhile and then it was the time that I’ve all been waiting for: cake time. We cut the cake and were ready to eat when at the very last second…

Like, literally the last possible second–cake was on the fork, centimetres from our mouths-just like a dramatic movie scene.

My mom calls, basically in tears. She was now at home and had pieced this mess together. I most likely didn’t clean up anything from making the two cakes (#teenager), so she had a pretty hot trail to follow.
Mom: “Did you put the….Did you put the….*uncontrollable laughter*…Did you put WHOLE eggs into the cake?”
Mom (now browsing convertibles with my college savings): “Yes, the egg WHITES would dissolve…the SHELLS would not!! *more uncontrollable laughter* I can’t believe you put the whole egg in!….wait….*now laughing at near-fatal levels*…did you make TWO cakes THE SAME WAY???!”
Me: “…..But….the picture on the back……(now immediately realizing the magnitude of my stupidity)..umm”


I yelled out to Kate and her mom: “Don’t eat the cake!! IT’S POISON!”. I then had to explain why we couldn’t eat this particular cake. I also told her that if she wanted to be with someone who knew the difference between an ‘egg shell’ and an ‘egg white’ that I would understand and could show myself out.

Now, Kate and her mom; being the nice, ‘never hurt anyone’s feelings’ types of people they are said “we can still eat it!”. Ah yes, the pity was in full force that afternoon, but I took it anyways. We all ate one piece, and then I ate about 4 more just to prove a point. In all honesty, it probably wasn’t as bad as many of you are thinking. The flavor was very good; but the texture…. Man, that texture was a bit ‘gritty’.

To this day, anyone who knows this story will bring it up in some capacity whenever a baked good or eggs are being prepared in my presence.

I hope this story got you to laugh, or at least smile and blow air out of your nose a little harder at times. 2020 sucks, but we’ll make it through! Mental health has taken a hit recently for a lot of people and they say that laughter is the best medicine, so I hope this helped. If you liked the story, please share it with your friends and family that you think could use a good laugh at my expense.

Take care everyone,


If you liked this one, please check out some other stories!

2018 New Year’s Resolution Recap

Happy New Year Everyone! I’m starting off 2019 by immediately looking backwards into 2018! In 2018 I set some New Year’s Resolutions and for the first time in my life, made a semi-conscious effort to adhere to them. This may make you feel really good about your own resolutions!

Let’s recap with letter grades…

Continue reading “2018 New Year’s Resolution Recap”

The Mattress Story


It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything, so I wanted to make sure that I got one or two more written before the end of 2018.

I was trying to think of a story to write that I thought everyone would enjoy and my wife suggested “The Mattress Story”. So here it goes…

Continue reading “The Mattress Story”

A Decade, plus.

This post might not be very funny-so if you’re looking for a laugh. I recommend another post such as this one, this one, or my favorite, this one.

Continue reading “A Decade, plus.”