The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 75

That’s something you don’t see every day during a pandemic.

It’s trash day in my little neighborhood today. I took the two big barrels out to the street like a good citizen. My yard is a mess thanks to squirrels and high winds so I have a lot of trash scattered along the edge of the woods. That’s a weekend project though. Today we’re just talking about the garbage truck.

They drove up, took our trash, drove up to the next house and took theirs, then they drove diagonally across the street, picked up one house, and drove diagonally back across the street. In doing so they blocked the entire road. That’s when the school bus drove up.

So here we are in Global Pandemic World, living on our little locked down street, with two great big trucks blocking each other in the middle of the road.

Traffic? On our little residential street? Is that a thing?

Remember traffic? I have to drive to my office in Waltham a week from this coming Friday. I’m going in the afternoon, not during the rush, and I’m only going to be there for an hour or so. Still… the idea of it… it scares me. I don’t mind the drive, but going inside… yikes. That’s not the point of this episode though.

The point of this episode is, if you drive a truck during a pandemic, you should still probably not block both sides of the road. I mean, if you can avoid doing so you probably should.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

THE STIR CRAZY FILES – EPISODE 74

Today is the magical day.

Back story: I’ve been working from home for over 11 months now and there hasn’t been a single instant, not even a nanosecond, when I’ve missed commuting. Not one. I do not miss cramming my fat ass into a metal box for 80 minutes or so, working 8.5 hours, and then getting back into the metal box for another 80 minutes. I don’t miss it even one tiny little bit.

However… When I was commuting there was one day of each year that was sort of magical. It was sort of a light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel of which I speak is winter. It does not involve a groundhog or anything like that, it only involves the sun.

My shift ends at 5:30 PM. That’s 1730 for you military time folks. During the winter, when I left the building to go home it was dark. During the summer it’s light. You know how the sun works and seasons and all of that, right? You know what I’m talking about.

The one special, magic day each year was the first day when the sun set at the same time my shift ended. 5:30 PM. The sun would, of course, be down by the time I actually go out the door, but that’s not the point. The point is from that day forward, the days were not only getting longer but I could actually perceive them getting longer. Does that make sense? Sunset at 4:30 or 5:00 didn’t affect me at all because I was inside the whole time and I didn’t actually get to experience the extra minute or so of light each day. Once the sun started setting after 5:30, I did get to experience the extra light.

So every year I would check the times of the sunset and quietly celebrate the symbolic moment when the sunset started happening after my work day.

Today is that day. It’s Friday February 25, 2021 and the sunset in Methuen, MA today will happen at 5:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Happy 5:30 day, everyone. Enjoy.

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.

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.

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 66

Execute Stir Crazy Files Order #66. What? Oh, sorry…

I’m feeling trapped. It’s rough today. I think it’s more than just the lock down. I think it’s the weather and the thin little sheet of ice that is covering everything. The Christmas lights are on, it’s warm and cozy inside, I have every thing I want and need and all I can think of is going outside. It’s barely above freezing out there but I want out. I want to go to a restaurant and a concert and a music store that sells Gibson guitars and Fender amplifiers.

In the immortal words of Tiny Rick Sanchez, “Let me out. Let me out.”

The kids will be coming over tonight. That is good. It should cheer me up. It does, definitely, but I still want out. I want to go outside. I want to go for a drive and have a destination. Come on, let’s end this pandemic thing and go out and see the world.

Let me out!

(having said all of that, I am most definitely not going out. I am, and will remain, a loyal observer of the lock down. I will keep my family safe and healthy if it’s the last thing I do)

The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 65

I don’t have a stir crazy story. I wish I did. Today was just a crummy day at work. Lots of stuff going wrong. It just wouldn’t end. I’m so ready for the weekend. That’s my stir crazy, I’m going crazy waiting for the weekend.

Christmas is coming the covid’s getting fat. Please put a vaccine in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a vaccine then an antiviral will due, if you haven’t got an antiviral then shit man, yer screwed.

I need to go to sleep, I think. G’night, America. Dream sweet dreams of a fascist free country.