33 thoughts on “February 4, 2021: The Toll”

  1. Hats off to Simmons for his willingness to tell his story. I think there are far more stories out there, of similar nature, than we are all aware of. Personally, I have had many dark days over my lifetime. I have lost several friends to suicide, including a high school buddy who took his life while I was in college. Soon after that, a friend was killed in a car accident and another friend was abducted and murdered by a freshly released inmate of St. Cloud Correctional facility. I had many thoughts back then of leaving this world, yet was fortunate that I had many friends who lifted me up during that period. A few years later I lost my best friend in my mother to cancer while I was in limbo from college. The thoughts returned and it was a couple mutual friends of mine and Twayn's that helped me survive that. As recent as a few years ago, I went through a third period of severe depression in which I was a blink of an eye away from doing something so selfish. I was fortunate enough to stumble into two different conversations with local faith leaders that saved me at that time. I now have a strong support system in place to help me if I fall down that rabbit hole again. The thing is, there is a stigma surrounding mental illness or severe depression and many of us grew up in a time when you needed to stand up and be strong as a man. You don't ask for help as it is a sign of weakness. Pretty silly right? Well, I am finally past those hurdles and have no issues engaging with those who can help when I need it. Unfortunately, not everyone has that support system in place. This topic is real, and needs to be brought further into our mainstream conversations. I have found myself seeking out, and engaging with friends and colleagues who I feel may be vulnerable due to life changing events like lost loved ones, or divorce. My radar is always on now.

    1. I have found myself seeking out, and engaging with friends and colleagues who I feel may be vulnerable due to life changing events like lost loved ones, or divorce. My radar is always on now.

      This is so valuable and it is great that you are doing it. My wife has struggled with mental health and medication is a very important tool to keep her on track--she is very open with friends and family about it and I'm hopeful that it has alleviated some of the stigmas you mentioned.

    2. I can tell the stigma is still with you a bit you as you referred to suicide as being selfish. While there are times when people end their lives that they are thinking of hurting others in the process, it is mostly just the last resort to cope with unbearable suffering. We all do things when we're suffering that aren't healthy, like use drugs, or eat too much food, or ignore our family while staring at our phones. We're all just doing the best we can in any given moment. Glad you have a support system that can help you and be patient with you when things are rough.

      I started on an antidepressant for the first time in my life a month ago. No suicidal thoughts, but just constant sadness, anxiety, lack of pleasure. Never thought I would need one; I always seemed to be able to take things as they came. 2020 kicked my ass.

      1. We all do things when we're suffering that aren't healthy, like use drugs, or eat too much food, or ignore our family while staring at our phones.

        My method of distraction, or escape, is reading. Not necessarily unhealthy on the face of it, but I will ignore everything around me when I am not working and just read at every spare moment to avoid thinking about my troubles. I have not really read anything on kindle for about 11 months, which is a good sign I guess. I downloaded the new Brandon Sanderson book Rhythm of War months ago and have not been able to get past the first few pages. Weird because I could not wait to get it downloaded and get going on that story again. But, I struggle with the connection of reading to my depression issues. I am taking a vacation in a few weeks and I hope I can delve into it.

    3. Thanks for sharing. My mom has dealt with depression and takes antidepressants, which is why I was concerned about her state of mind during lockdowns in Minnesota. Her family has a history of it. I believer her oldest brother had electroshock treatments many, many years ago.

    4. Likewise, thanks for sharing, zooomy.

      One comment in particular:

      I was a blink of an eye away from doing something so selfish.

      As you say, there is tremendous stigma surrounding mental illness. Depression is a disease, not a character flaw. We don't (any more) accuse people afflicted by cancer with having character flaws (well, ok, outside of some blame-gaming with smoking and lung cancer, for example). Disease. While there may be some things we can do to mitigate risk (raising protective factors and reducing risk factors), baseline risk is part of who each of us is. We are born with it.

      As a society, we have to continue to normalize serious mental illness as illness so that we can talk about it and treat it. For most people, it's a chronic illness like Type I diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis -- always with them, often manageable, but subject to (somewhat unpredictable) flair-ups and associated with certain triggers.

      1. Just think if we had a national health care network that provided low cost care to everyone so that maybe the overall health, both physical and mental, of our society improved. 🎶wouldn’t it be nice🎶

  2. Some good news from the land of Nibbish and zooomx.2. Our local CMO posted on the book of face that our county has zero active Covid cases.

    1. Even though they're allowing 1/4 capacity to watch, not sure I'm comfortable with that (or could even get in), but I'll try to get to a morning practice and wander the fences a bit at least once; we'll be there until 3/6

  3. Sad face. I like Wade, but never got an opportunity for an extended play because Jake Cave.

    1. The tweet references Anderson's walks, but he did not have a huge problem with that in 2019 or in the minors, so I'm hoping it was a small sample size fluke. I suspect the Twins are hoping that, too. I don't see him as a star, but I think he can be a useful pitcher.

      I like Wade, too, but he hasn't hit much in AAA, and the Twins have other outfielders ahead of him, so it's probably good for him to go somewhere else.

      1. He greatly increased his slider usage, which might have meant there was an adjustment period with his control. At the end of Aug., he had a 5.23 ERA and then wasn't used for three weeks, so maybe he was sent down. In Sept., he didn't give up a run in 5 IP and had 7Ks and just 1 BB, so hopefully he made an adjustment that paid off. Or just SSS.

        1. seems like an exchange of deck chairs, as both hope that a change in scenery and leagues might lead to lightning striking. But probably won't, for either.

  4. So, any advice on making fried chicken at home? I've never tackled this problem because health (and esp. because doc says get your shit in order.....(but 2020!!!!!!!!)), and because I have access. But! Fried chicken is part of Mardi Gras and be damned I'm going to enjoy! But! From home.......

    1. Don't use canola. Smokes faster and more likely to burn. I use vegetable.

      Also, I will boil my chicken ahead of time. Then bread and fry. Otherwise, the outside tends to burn before the inside is cooked.

      1. Solid. Ever gone boneless (I'm asking for a friend...... kinda ... there is a push for some nonboned fried chicken and the call is coming from inside the house).

      1. I favor the buttermilk approach as well. Can go overnight.

        But, you are in Nawlins, meat. Why not lard? 🙂

        anyhoo, as always, trust in Kenji.

        This recipe calls for deep frying to cook part way, then finishing in a medium-hot oven. Or, if you are insane, a 3-step cook: deep fry (actually, more of a deep-ish shallow fry), bake, then rest before a second fry.

        I have shallow-fried chicken and catfish in the past (i.e., an inch or two of oil, rather than deep immersion). Works just fine, if not the really great result you would get with a restaurant-grade deep fryer.

        1. this reminds me that I buttermilk brined a whole turkey breast for COVIDsgiving this year. I then smoked it. It turned out fantastic. With just the two of us, it was still an obscene amount of bird, but it was delicious.

  5. I admittedly hadn't watched them play all year until the last minute today, but is the U's offensive strategy of having four players stand completely still while Carr dribbles into really stupid situations a good one?

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