Agent of Change

A Blog by Cory!! Strode, who really should write something interesting here.

What I am thinking about today: 1/9/2022

What I am thinking about today:

The group home job is super easy today, thankfully since I am the only staff here, as we only have two clients in the house, and both are wheelchair bound and nap a lot. We’ve been watching old TV shows and they are nodding off. Relaxed, getting all of their stuff done, and the like. Low stress, high contact and caring, the kind of day I like.

Dreamed that they replaced the entire supervisory staff at a job I worked and one of them let slip that I was going to be let go the next day. I spent the rest off the dream exploring the building and trying to figure out a way to let them know I knew so that I didn’t have to come all at way into the job just to go home. The rest of the dream was the building became more and more of a maze and me knowing I could get another job in a heartbeat.

My Saturdays off have a wonderful routine to them now, where I get up around 9 am, make a breakfast rather than jamming some cereal down my pie hole. I then decide on the One Big Thing I will do (yesterday was cleaning to the kitchen and fridge). I do that in between watching the stuff recorded during the week. I also had to cover the AEW Special on TNT for, which was a solid hour of pro wrestling. There is something great about a wrestling show just being an hour where it feels fast, it ends while you still want more, and AEW’s product is enjoyable.

I don’t do goals, I do themes. A goal is something you can either meet or fail at, and I don’t think you should set yourself up for failure. Instead, I think I do best when I work small changes into my life. For people to change, it’s pretty hard. I have known people who actively WANT to change (or tell me that to get me to let them back into my life) but they always fall back into old patterns and behaviors. So, my theme this year si to be more present in what I do.

I have always felt that “multi-tasking” is bullshit created by employers who want more work out of you. Studies show that you don’t really multi-task, you switch from thing to thin, and it takes time to fully engage with the new thing you are doing. So, I actively fight against the idea of Multi-tasking.

As the year goes on, I want to me more fully engages in what I do. When I wash dishes, I won’t think about the next task, I’ll just think about what I am doing. When I read a book, I will not wonder about my schedule the next day. When I am at work, I will focus on one task at a time, rather than plan how I will get everything done before the end of the day. If some things needs to be delayed, they need to be delayed. When I am not working, I won’t allow it into my thoughts.

It’s simple. It’s hard. And it’s what I want to be doing.

Be kind, be courageous, and be cool.


What I am thinking about today 1/5/2022

The first of the year is usually insanely busy at my office job, and Monday was no exception. I was feeling miserable due to a physical issue I have from time to time and struggled to get through the day. Thankfully, by the time I got to the group home last night for a shift, it had mostly passed. They moved me to a home where most of the staff have “moved on” to other jobs, so I worked by myself. Thankfully, the ladies who live there are creatures of routine, so as long as we kept to their schedule, the night was quiet. The jobs FEEL very difference in that one job is time dependent and everything revolves around schedules, while the other is all about routine, but it’s more that the office job’s routine isn’t as apparent and more more stretched out.

At the office job, a woman who had called the wrong department started insulting me as I advised where she could get her answers, and actually called me a Peon. As in, “It’s clear you peons don’t know anything.” Meet the new year, same as the old year.

John Madden passed over the last few days, and when I started watching football in the 90’s, I went out of my way to watch the games he called because he spent time teaching viewers the game. If you were a new viewer, he’d cover the basics, but not in such a way that long time fans would roll their eyes. That’s a skill I don’t think anyone in football commentary has these days.

I have started a spreadsheet to track all of the things I have accomplished in the year because every year, I feel like “I haven’t done much of anything.” Since I am someone who starts a lot of stuff and then when I finish it, I just move on without pausing to let it sink in, this may help. Just a little boost since working from home and the group home job have made it so I am not out interacting with people all that much so I can’t answer “What have you been up to lately” since it feels like I work, I podcast, I sleep.

I also told my dearly beloved long time friend Shannyn G (who is smart, funny and easy on the eyes) “My bed is for sleeping, reading and yelling F@#%! when my alarm goes off. I made myself laugh with that one.

I have some group home stories that I’ll be writing up later this week, but the last two shifts I have worked have been surprise solo shifts, as the 2nd staff didn’t show. I am incredibly glad I have years of experience at this point and keep things calm, on an even keel, and remember that at its core my job is: Get everyone fed, get everyone their meds, and get everyone to bed. Everything else is icing.

Much love to friends old and new. Be kind, be courageous, and be cool, daddy-o.


We Are All Antonio Brown

A bit of context:

NFL player Antonio Brown quit in the middle of a game yesterday.

What the sports media and other media aren’t much talking about is that he was close to getting a massive bonus for the year because of his number of catches, yards, etc… So, they benched him for the rest of the game to ensure he wouldn’t get that bonus. So he, quite rightly in my opinion, he said screw this and walked.
You can bet this will be spun into how he is a spoiled, entitled brat and the rest, not that he saw he was being screwed over deliberately and decided if they were going to treat him like crap, he didn’t need that any more.

For years we have heard that burger flippers aren’t worth a livable wage. That if you don’t like your job, find another. That abusive customers is just something you need to take and don’t ever not smile at people even if they can’t see you.

Over the last few years, customers have gotten more aggressive and abusive, mostly because the public discourse has become about as gentile as a YouTube comment section. More and more people are deciding that the abuse they take on a routine basis isn’t worth the low pay front facing jobs get. When I last worked at a movie theater, we often had people who would seek out the youngest looking person working to scream at, knowing their actions would get them what they want, no matter how unreasonable.

So if someone sees an employer treating them poorly, or in this case going out of their way not to pay an agreed upon bonus, I don’t blame people for quitting. As someone in HR, I am seeing more and more industry articles about how “Employees are getting too much life in their work life balance” as companies feel like they are losing control. Employees are no longer putting up with being “on call” at all times, working terrible jobs for unlivable pay, and even with record profits, these companies think sharing those profits with the workers is untenable.

In the 90’s, there were more jobs that workers, and eventually, companies learned they had to treat people better. It immediately led to jokes about workers demanding stupid things like foosball tables and flexible hours, and any sort of perk is actively mocked in the media.

I think they aren’t ready for the coming changes. Baby boomers are leaving the workforce to retire in record numbers. There simply aren’t enough workers to replace them as it speeds up. Worker concessions that are called insane in the US are common in the rest of the post-industrial world. However, the US has always had a history of beating down workers, making them accept the worst conditions possible and told to be grateful they even have a job.

They can’t handle it if we all start thinking like Antonio Brown. Look for him to be vilified across all parts of our society.

The owners can’t allow people to think it’s OK to say “No more.”


Today’s observations

My political observations today:

-Last night Trump said that a congresswoman’s dead husband was in hell. She is being criticized for saying that what Trump said was despicable and hurt her deeply because we should be used to the President being a vile, abusive piece of dog crap by now I guess.

-If the Republicans are upset that the articles of impeachment are being delayed, they should just think of them as military aid to a country being attacked by Russia, and it’ll be perfectly fine and Jesus-like.

-Any time Louis Gomert speaks, I pray for Skynet to activate and wipe out humanity.

-I watched 15 minutes of the “debate” in Congress and saw a man say that Jesus was treated better than Donald Trump by Pontius Pilate, that CNN is a criminal organization, and I have no idea what the rest of them said because I was too busy throwing up.

-The same people who said they would begin Impeachment proceedings the day Hillary Clinton took office in 2017 were near tears saying that the Democrats have planned this since day one of the Trump Administration, proving that not only is projection real, but it makes you cry.

-I haven’t turned Fox News on, were they all wearing black armbands?

-Last night’s episode of All Elite Wrestling was really good. It has nothing to do with politics, but since I cover it for, I was glad to see they are improving the show.

-The most pathetic story out of the whole day was when Lindsey Graham said he was on the phone with Trump, consoling him over the impeachment. Let. That. Sink. In.

-The Democrats have a Presidential debate tonight that I could not possibly care less about. Let me reiterate: I would vote for a damp cloth is they ran it against Trump.



This is your annual reminder that the holidays is not a Hallmark movie for everyone.

I worked in juvenile justice group homes for almost 20 years, and the holidays were awful. I came to dread that time of year. Clients would act out more often and more violently for a LOT of reasons.

In a dysfunctional home, the holidays are a time of stress. Alcohol and drug abuse goes up, kids are inundated with images of families and things they don’t have, and abuse rates skyrocket. Add to that that the clients would build up their expectations for the holidays so high there was no way they could be fulfilled, and sometimes, parents don’t’ even show up for them.

We did everything we could do to keep things low key, and when I was a supervisor, I helped the staff understand why the holidays were hard, and how not to build it up as “the most wonderful time of the year”.

I worked hard to make sure that my staff could have the day off, usually working the day on my own, and to make the day special for the clients who had to be at a group home on Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’d set up a great meal, bring in movies, and video games and let them relax and hang out like teenagers.

I keep seeing “Shame these businesses for being open on Holidays”, but hospitals, group homes and the like don’t close. When I needed a place to go get a meal on a holiday, I was grateful for the restaurants that were open.

I have worked at and attended movie theaters on holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas are insanely busy days at movie theaters) and so on and so on.

And the stores wouldn’t open if there wasn’t a demand for them to offer a supply.

Not everyone has family to spend the holidays with. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays. Not everyone has a job that can afford to take days off. And some people need that extra income from working on a Holiday in order to make ends meet.

The holidays are a good time to step into someone else’s shoes and show empathy and kindness, which is the gift we can all give each other. I am spending a lot of time thinking about what we owe each other lately, and I think that making each other’s lives be less stressful is a good start.

Much love to friends old and new, and Happy whatever you celebrate.



If you had Beto O’Rourke in your Presidential Campaign Deadpool, it’s time to head to the pay window.

I never quite grasped the idea the Beto was a national figure. He rose to prominence by getting beaten in a Texas Senate race by one of the most disliked politicians in the US, Ted Cruz, and his only other claim to fame was three uneventful years in the House. He got good publicity when he started, but it faded pretty quickly when he turned out to be Generic Democratic Candidate number 22, and by the time he decided to make gun safety his issue, he was already a has been. He needs to rack up a few wins before he can be what he is hyped to be. He can give a good passionate speech about guns, but that’s about it, and that ain’t enough.


What I am thinking about today: 11/28/2019

What I am thinking about today:

Saturday night, I was working at the group home alone, with all of the clients either in bed, in their room, or snoozing in a chair. It got incredibly lonely, and I’d like to thank you folks on the Facebooks for posting things to make me feel like I was connected. I really love reading about your lives, your creations, your jokes, your memes, seeing your selfies, looking at your meals, and everything else. I was able see what people were doing all over the world, and I will never ever not be impressed by this.

The new American Godzilla movie from this summer is in a DVD two pack with the American Godzilla movie from a few years ago. I am thinking that it didn’t quite meet financial expectations.

I am shocked that the people of DC and Baltimore were mean to the President after he said repeatedly that their city was a rat and roach infested trash heap. It’s like they thought he was insulting them or something.

Much love to friends old and new.


What I am thinking about today: 10/25/2019

What I am thinking about today:

If you want proof of our priorities as a country, we have pulled troops away from protecting our allies in Syria because they only paid in blood and lives. We are moving troops into Saudi Arabia because they pay cash, and to protect oil fields in Syria because that pays in oil. Message to the world: We don’t’ give a damn about anything but oil and treasure. Alliances and promises are as worthless as a contract with a Trump company. I realize that other than voting next year, nothing is to be done about the above, but it is disturbing to me. In the past, we were just as horrible, but we tried to cloak it in good intentions, or attempt to mitigate it with other assistance or aid. Now, under Trump, we’ve become the caricature the world had about the US at its worst, and he brags about it openly. Reagan, who was as dirty as the day is long, and never met a 3rd world country his people didn’t think needed to be taken over by right wing thugs, said we were a “shining city on a hill.” Now, we’re third rate thug with a thumb ring.

I am thinking that Pumpkin Spice Flavored Wine would be to “Live, Love, Laugh” women like “75% off graphic novels” would be to me.

We just got Marvel’s January solicitations yesterday, and they are dropping information about their February books today. Slow down, buddy. I know you’re excited, but how about hyping the books you’ve got coming out next week instead?

I know people are wary of smart speakers, and some with good reason, but I adore mine. I have put together playlists, routines to give me information in need in the morning, set it for reminders and more, which helps in dealing with juggling two jobs, one of which is fairly mercurial. I feel bad for people who are “covertly listening” to me, as they will quickly realize how incredibly boring I am.

My only group home shift this weekend is Saturday night, so I have broken my promise not to work Saturday nights. I will also be doing extra hours at the office job, or evenings at the group home all next week. So, check-ins are appreciated, as is pie, obscure crime and detective novels from the 5-‘s and 60’s, phone calls from the Netherlands and offers of asylum.

Much love to friends old and new, and I hope you are able to do something wonderful over the weekend.


What I am thinking about today: 10/24

What I am thinking about today:

Lately, I have been buying an extra package of socks when I go to Target or Wal-Mart to donate to the new homeless shelter in my area. Everything I read is that the one item of clothing always in demand is socks, and people rarely, if ever think of it when they donate clothing. I also saw that internet pal and friend of many of my friends Ely Mattson does kind things for others on her friend’s birthdays, so I will be packing up that baton and doing some kind things for people as someone who drifted out of my life has their birthday.

I am four weeks into doing coverage of AEW for I do the play by play recap and an audio hotline that you need to buy a membership to listen to. It’s always a rush to get it written in a timely manner, since the show doesn’t have a lot of rest holds or commercials. It’s tiring but exhilarating at the same time and like no other writing I have ever done. Hopefully, I am halfway decent at it, since there isn’t a lot of time to polish or wordsmith.

Much love to friends old and new.


What I am thinking about today: 10/23

What I am thinking about today:

For the longest time, I have meditated on the question, “What do we owe each other?” This seems like a complex question, and delves to the heart of community, society, and kindness. Now, I am going to start asking, “What do I have to do for me?” Not in a selfish way, but what I do I need to do in order to hit Maslow’s highest plateau of self-actualization. It would be easy to point at time in the past when I was insanely productive, in a relationship that felt effortless, or was incredibly fulfilled by work, but those things are all transitory. It’s a mix of finding the best self-care, being productive on what I feel is important, and communal responsibility. This will keep my mind occupied more than it probably should.

I’m thinking that waking up and getting out of bed was the incorrect choice today. Not because it’s a bad day, just that I am exhausted. OK, and they have put me on yet another client at the office job, but only for a few days because they under-estimated the demand for phone reps.

A friend of someone I used to know is posting pages of books she reads with relevant passages highlighted. I think I will start doing that, as it’s a cool way to spread the ideas and prose I am reading.

I have been reading articles about how American discourse has been made angrier, and they lay the blame at the feet of Trump. I will say that Trump’s bully-boy, tough guy, lowest common denominator pandering to the worst of his base isn’t helping, but I still say that in politics, it all goes back to the end of the Fairness Doctrine in the 80’s. That ushered in an era of political talk radio that was more akin to Sports radio. This then bled into a politicized form of TV news so that other than a ridiculously few examples, cable news is just people who disagree with each other shouting and name calling. Of COURSE this would eventually become how we do politics because for over 30 years, this is how we are shown to discuss important issues about how to solve shared problems.

Much love to friends old and new, and I hope that today, you are able to put aside some time for a single moment of bliss during your hectic day.


Post Navigation