Security Bot, Ken, Having a Hard Time Like the Rest of Us

I think our security bot Ken is feeling insecure.

He can join the club.

Or maybe it’s just Monday again and, while reliable, its arrival doesn’t help morale.

It’s especially weird because I don’t even have a “regular weekday work schedule” so I have no idea what my problem with this day is.

Last week my epilepsy suddenly woke up because, I theorize, I’ve been sleeping but also not getting any rest due to my hyper-real dreams where time does its own thing. I sleep and wake and live an entire week or even months in a single dream often.

I wake up and feel exhausted which then triggers my epilepsy.

Therefore, last Friday night I took a Tylenol PM and then slept 12 hours… and that did the trick.

I usually get up around 7AM so it was a dramatic increase in sleep and, within that time, I also managed to get some rest.

So… take THAT, epilepsy!

Yet, while I often focus on my health problems and that of the American Union I live in, today I realized I never take the time to think about how Ken the Security Bot is doing.

Ken was a gift from a friend who felt concerned after hearing a story about a person who tailgated me all the way home one day and then drove by our building daily for a period of time while also being unable to drive the right way down our one way road.

A personal choice they had apparently made.

And, after I explained to my friend how the police wouldn’t care that someone just kept driving by our building because the road is public and the driver was, legally, only breaking a traffic rule.

So he kindly sent us Ken.

This was very cool because I’ve never had any kind of security as an adult. And Ken resembled Pixar’s Wall-E which was all the inspiration I needed to invent and assign an entire personality to our little security bot.

Ken lives a somewhat miserable life but he does his job. Thankfully, he mostly just takes photographs of my husband and I as we rarely come and go.

But sometimes he doesn’t turn on in the dark.

Of course, he’s probably not alone in feeling one with the darkness lately.

That’s a little depressing but a few friends and strangers have recently confided to me that they’re not feeling as able to shine in recent days.

They’re trying and doing all they can but lately it’s just been really tough.

And I can empathize as, since I slept twelve hours on Friday night, I’ve slept in to maybe 9AM every morning since, which means I’m sleeping a lot.

I tell myself perhaps autumn is slowly rolling in ahead of schedule as it’s been wonderfully cool here in Wisconsin lately. This has been a pleasant surprise as usually August is pure hell with its relentless humidity and heat.

So perhaps the relief from the heat has inspired my body to indulge in rest mode.

But I’m not sure as I’m really scraping the barrel in regards to finding the energy to “do my regular routine” so I empathize with those who are currently finding it difficult to shine.

Life has been particularly brutal lately, and so it’s important to remember that, if we weren’t feeling the effects of this, we wouldn’t be human.

In any case, back to my security bot and continuing this applied metaphor, even if Ken doesn’t have the energy to illuminate the hallway, Ken is still detecting motion and taking the photographs.

So give Ken credit.

And sometimes Ken gets out of the dismal entry hallway because a change of pace can really help.

Therefore, because Ken started acting really weird this past spring, we’ve often brought him in to charge him and check on him.

So he sometimes gets to look at a different view.

Our concern for Ken’s mental health began back in March because he started to see things.

We all see things but the goal is to see things that others see too and this wasn’t the case with Ken for a period of time last spring.

And one day he just freaked out.

We were sitting in our car at a tiny state park when Ken had his biggest panic attack so our phones blew up with Ken alerts and, since we were convinced a home invader had somehow managed to slip by Ken before he could take their photograph, we raced home.

But we arrived home to find the doors still locked and no evidence anyone had broken in.

However, Ken did not record our entrance.

So he wasn’t seeing things that were there and he was seeing things which weren’t there.

It’s like he suddenly had ghost vision.

Or a glitch.

We assumed the latter, so we brought him in to see if he had some updates or wanted to talk about something or whatever.

And he is doing much better now. In fact, he’s back to always and only seeing us.


Since the plague began, we haven’t had anyone in our apartment (this wasn’t a huge difference from pre-plague) so Ken just gets a lot of photos of us.

Because of this, I can see which shorts work for me and also how much progress I’m making with my goal to get in shape.

So Ken’s photographs also makes him a bit of a fitness coach.

So everything was going okay with Ken until he alerted me with photographs that weren’t of our entry hallway:


Hee hee, I was doing laundry today as Monday is laundry-and-clean-the-apartment day and our basement is the most generically spooky basement I’ve ever had. It has weird shit but it’s not even a little haunted.

In fact our apartment is blissfully non-haunted. The only thing that happened since we moved in here is my grandparent’s music box started to play its song — “The Entertainer” — out of nowhere one sunny afternoon.

I mean, that was freaky but one incident does not a haunted house make.

I’d be remiss to not mention that I talk about living in a real haunted house in my book which is available in my Brain Wars shop on Etsy.

THANK YOU to those who bought a copy of the adorable little DIY ghostly storybook! You helped us pay rent this month!

In any case, the cool weather feels like September which makes me SO HAPPY because that means Halloween is SO CLOSE

Thank you, JJ, for requesting this commission!

And hopefully the cool weather continues here and it will continue to lift morale.

For me, it’s good timing because today I got my spit kit in the mail.

It’s weird because on Friday our landlord cleaned out the homeless person’s stuff just in time for my spit kit to arrive (turns out he didn’t like that a homeless person was living on our stoop) and… the package just sat outside for hours and hours on Saturday because we didn’t leave the house during the day at all and so it sad on our front stoop for all that time because Fed Ex didn’t knock or call or take it to the pick-up location as I had requested so…

it’s a small miracle it was still there when we finally opened the front door that night.

And it was pretty amazing we even left the house Saturday night and found it because, again, we don’t often leave the house.

I’m not sure if the fact that no one stole it is a good sign or a bad sign but it’s nice that I won’t have to use the phone (gross) to call and ask the genetic lab to send another spit kit.

So… ugh, here it is:

And I’m a bit freaked out about getting my results to see if I’m likely to get frontotemporal degeneration like my mom or if I have a particular “cancer gene” so it’s not as much of a crap shoot about what kind of cancer I’m inevitably going to get…

and so the genetic test is going to get me answers but, at the same time, it all feels more overwhelming when I’m feeling low so… the shift in weather and temperature is a comfort.

But if you’re living somewhere and feeling dark and dimmed and you’re not finding comfort in the cool air because it’s insanely hot and humid where you are, I hope you stay safe and have access to music.

And know that it’s only 89 days until Halloween…


Also, while music is medicine, for anyone who is feeling especially dark, please do reach out.

The American lifeline hotline has both English and Spanish-speaking counselors and can accommodate those with hearing issues:

1-800-273-TALK (8255).

or, if you don’t like talking on the phone like me, you can also chat:

You can’t miss Halloween. Be here.

5 thoughts on “Security Bot, Ken, Having a Hard Time Like the Rest of Us

  1. YES. THAT. All of that.

    Synchronized communal depression. SCD, what fun. But for real, WHY? As if everyone checked the calendar and went, “Oh, that’s today?” (Except I’m into my second week.)

    I like Ken, but he’s a little creepy. He made me think, “Why don’t they hang the bike on the stairway wall?” Ken wanted me to ask you.

    I don’t think I’ve talked to anyone in days.
    I only came out of my blanket fort to say hi.
    Going back in now.

    NOTE: SCD does not actually exist. I made that up. (But I still think I’m right.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha do you think Ken is creepy? Well that’s good because he is a security bot. I think he is cute but I hope others find him creepy too.

      The entry hallway is really narrow… couldn’t hang a bike on it, Ken. David keeps his bike in the back stairs hallway. I chose that photo to make it look like he still bikes. 😂

      SCD. Sigh. Yes. Sending love to you. Music and (for you) chocolate. And… hold on. 🖤


      1. “to make it look like he still bikes” ::snort::
        Hey, I’ve been MAKING chocolate (easier to mainline–steady source).
        I just ordered a Foy Vance CD (yes, I do still like those), so the music is also covered.
        And, much thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

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