The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 71

When the COVID-19 craziness kicked off back in March, 10 months ago, one huge corner of our bedroom was completely empty. As the lock down progressed we bought a big cabinet for stuff and we inherited a great big dresser. Now that we’re thinking of rearranging the room we had to find new homes for those two giguntic pieces of furniture. Suddenly the room is looking empty again.

It’s weird that going back to what we had just a couple of months ago seems to be weird. It’s weird that it’s weird, right? Weird.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 70

This isn’t so much a stir crazy moment as it is a monthly check in. Consider it more like The State of the Lock Down.

Yesterday marked 10 months since the last time I was at my desk in Waltham. Ten. 10. 10 months. Unbelievable. So much for two or three weeks. I keep writing that same thing every month, but it’s true. Harry is half way through his senior year in high school. Bellana is a couple of weeks away from staring her fourth semester in college. Jen and I are still plugging away at working from home. Life inside the house is still going well. Life outside of the house is crashing and burning in spectacularly horrifying fashion. Jen just told me that Massachusetts is sending National Guard troops to Washington, DC. 2021 is a nightmare and it’s only two weeks old.

We binge watched The Queens Gambit and it was every bit as riveting as you’ve heard. The first Disney+ Marvel series, WandaVision, premiers tomorrow. I just read they are releasing two episodes, which means I probably won’t be caught up before work in the morning. Wonder Woman ’84 was probably not as bad as most people are saying, but it wasn’t very good. I’ve seen Pedro Pascal in three roles now. He was outstanding in Game of Thrones. He is perfect in The Mandalorian. He was horrendously awful in Wonder Woman. What the hell happened? As for Diana, wishing for her lost love? The goddess who hangs everything on some man? I don’t buy it. It’s clear what she would have wished for. She would have wished to be able to go home. Whatever. Bellana and I started watching The Stand. My favorite book by my favorite author (arguably, it’s either him or Clive Barker) has been turned into a television series and… we’re a few weeks behind now, but it’s not that good. Cobra Kai season three is out there but we haven’t started it yet. Bellana’s not interested so we’re holding off until she goes back to school at which time Jen and Harry and I will likely binge the whole season in a day.

Our Christmas decorations are down and put away. Everything except the lights outside. We had originally agreed to leave those up until inauguration day. Now we’re joining up with a little movement one of our local hospitals is pushing to leave them on for the month of January in honor of those risking their lives to fight Covid-19. Absolutely. We are on board.

One of our cars has it’s check engine light on. I am assuming it’s something to do with air leaking into the gas line, but messing with the gas cap hasn’t helped. It’s low on gas right now so hopefully it will resolve when I fill it again. Unfortunately the car also has an expired inspection sticker and I just don’t want to risk exposure for it. The other car doesn’t expire for a couple of months. That one had tire pressure warnings so I did go to a gas station to top them off. I didn’t run into anyone. It was safe.

Obligatory thank yous to folks on the ground from amazon and grubhub and instacart. You’re all helping to keep my family safe and I will never stop appreciating it.

Jen and I are still lighting candles in every room in the house for no reason at all. Amazon just delivered a big box of fresh supplies. We’ll be telecommuting by candle light for a while longer.

I’m really tired of all of this crap. The upside is that we’re about a week away from having an actual government Covid-19 response plan. It’s probably too late, but maybe it will straighten out the bullshit we’re seeing with vaccine distribution so far. Fingers crossed.

Mostly, fingers crossed that this ends soon.

I Hate Squirrels

Bastards. Little furry rodent adorably cute bastards. Squirrels. The bane of my existence.

Jen and Harry like to have bagels for breakfast now and then. Today is Instacart day so Jen included a bag of bagels in the grocery order. The delivery came and in good social distance practice they left it outside on the steps. There were only a few minutes between the delivery and me going out to get it, but that was enough time for a couple of squirrels to rip open the bag of bagels and have at it.

Damn you, squirrels! First my bird seed, now my bagels? Is there no end to your evil? Will the torment never end?

Covid-19 Case Counts

I’m still updating my Covid-19 spreadsheets every day. Infection and death counts every day for both the United States and Massachusetts.

Today is day #316.

I really want to stop. I really do. I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s devastating to watch the US go from 21 million cases to 22 million cases in four days. It’s heartbreaking to see the 375,000 deaths creep closer and closer to 380,000.

Still… I can’t stop. I feel like I owe it to the people who are sick. It’s stupid, but I do sort of feel that way. I owe it to the people who’ve died. It’s literally the least I can do.

Wear a damn mask and wash your damn hands.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 69

Episode 69… hehehe… sorry

A thought on the continuing saga of lock down. We are all swearing more. A lot more. All of us. Casually, emphatically, humorously, savagely. We’re all swearing more.

We watched an episode of a new show about swearing. I think it was called Swear, oddly enough. Is that a sign that people outside of our house are swearing more too? All of America is swearing more, so much so that we need a TV show to celebrate it.

I’m okay with that. There are a lot of things worth swearing about.

12/30 Random

Tomorrow is New Years Eve. I have to work. We never get NYE off. We get Christmas Eve off, but never NYE. Why don’t I ever put in for that day? I don’t know… I guess I’m just responsible. Idiot.

Speaking of work, late next week I am going to be issued a new computer. A laptop this time. 16+ years as a desktop user and I’m making the switch. Actually, we’re all making the switch. At least that’s the rumor. The company is going laptop across the board. I’m actually the last of my group to get one. No more trying to find an open desk when I travel between buildings.

Traveling between buildings is actually the issue here. I actually have to do it in order to pick up the lappy. I have to go to the building in Canton. I don’t want to. Not even a little bit. I haven’t been in a work building since March 13th and I was really hoping to stay out until I got that second dose of one of the vaccines. I have to do all sorts of health checks before I can walk into the building, and I have to wear a mask the whole time. It’s safe, I just don’t like it. I’ll only be in there for 15 minutes or so. Still… I’m freaking a little. Just a little.

Speaking of work things that don’t have anything to do with work, I’m sitting at my desk finishing up lunch, typing this little postie and listening to music. My iPad is streaming to our new pair of HomePod Minis. It’s a really sweet little setup. I set my entire iTunes library to shuffle. It’s been running since a bit before 9:00. If I leave it on for a few days it still won’t have repeated a file. It just played a song from a Boston music compilation CD (Pipeline!) by a great band called Christmas. I thought to myself, I wonder if they are on Apple Music. I brought it up and searched and… yeah, shoulda known better. Naming your band Christmas back in the ’80’s might have been a cool move. Naming your band Christmas in the ’20’s when no one goes to record stores anymore and everyone finds your music by searching in one app or another… not a good move.

The kids are coming over tonight. That makes me happy. The kids are spending New Years Eve at their dad’s. That makes me sad. It’s the price we pay for having them at our house Christmas morning, but it still makes me sad.

Okay, it’s 2:00 so I need to get back to work. Lunch time is over. Back to it, red head.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 68

Quinoa. It’s not all the same. Who woulda thunk?

When I was still going to grocery stores I bought quinoa from what we’ll call Brand A. When I cook the one dish I know how to cook I put one cup of quinoa into two cups of boiling water and it takes about 15-16 minutes for the quinoa to absorb all the water.

For most of our lock down, instacart has been bringing us quinoa from what we’ll call Brand B. When I cook the one dish it takes about 9-10 minutes for the one cup of quinoa to soak up the two cups of water.

After months cooking with Brand B, instacart brought us Brand A again. Hooray! Not that it is better tasting (thought I think it might be) but just because it was fun. Unfortunately I was in such a groove of needing 10 minutes that having it take 15 completely threw me off my game.

In true stir crazy covid spirit though, I can’t help but wonder what the difference is? Why does one brand act so different from another? I mean, I can get two brands of onions and they cook up pretty much the same way. I can get two brands of chicken and they cook up pretty much the same way? What’s so special about quinoa, and is one brand normal and the other not? Is 15 minutes the industry standard while 10 is some kinda freakin’ freak?

Enquiring minds need to know.

Fantasizing

Dinner dates with my love.

School music concerts.

Long drive day trips where we can stop at a gas station to take a piss if we need to.

Tejas chicken at the Border Cafe (though maybe they should think about changing the name. Freedom fries, maybe?).

LIZARDFISH!!!!

Christmas, though probably not until July.

High school graduation.

Vacations that are not staycations.

Disney World

Live music. If Jeff Beck plays anywhere in North America, we are going.

Weekend visits with the college student.

Seeing family and friends in person.

Hugs, high fives and the like.

There is a Difference

I am way too loose with the word quarantine. I use it interchangeably with lock down and I really shouldn’t. They are two different things. Lock down is when you shut down your social activities in order to help keep everyone safe. Quarantine is when you suspect that you may have the virus and shut yourself in to absolutely keep everyone safe.

The end goal is the same, it’s just that lock down is much more abstract than quarantine. Lock down is a concept, or a mind set. Quarantine is your responsibility.

I need to stop using quarantine when I mean lock down and vice versa.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 67

I’ve mentioned this one or two (thousand) times before but when the lock down started we vowed (well, that’s too dramatic a word but it works) that we would make the bed every day. After a few months my company made a suggestion that if you’re from home in your bedroom you should keep your bed made. Two good reasons to keep the room looking neat.

I made the bed this morning. While doing so, I very nearly did the single most impossible thing a human being can do. I nearly, very nearly, made the bed while the cat was sitting on it. I pulled up the sheet on my side of the bed while Patches was sitting on Jen’s side. I walked around to Jen’s side and Patches walked back to my side and I did the sheet again. Same thing with the blanket. I did one side while she was on the other. As I was grabbing the decorative pillows to finish the bed making job, Jen walked in the room and Patches the magical kitty jumped off the bed to go say hello to her.

I was that close to completing the single most impossible task ever.