Our country is in a super shitty place right now, and I’ve been spending a lot of my days trying to figure out what I can do to help.
As far as the virus goes, I’m wearing a mask. I’m not leaving the house often. I’m knitting ear protectors for a pediatrician’s office. I’m getting groceries for my parents so they don’t have to go into places where most people are no longer wearing masks. (By the way, the people who are no longer wearing masks are selfish and awful. I was going to use the word Assholes after Awful, but I’m not a name caller.)
George Floyd was the victim of a completely senseless murder, and maybe you know a police officer who is a good guy. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t. And I don’t want to hear that you think Trump is a good guy. I don’t want to hear that you’re not racist. I especially don’t want to hear that you don’t see color and that all lives matter.
I’m not sure what to say or how to say it. I’m angry. I’m going to keep reading and doing research. I’m going to listen. I’m not going to expect someone else to teach me how to be. I’m going to not make it about me. I don’t know best. You don’t know best. Put on your stupid mask and try to understand what is happening. Let’s be willing to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.
If the virus wasn’t a thing, I would be getting a tattoo right now to celebrate my 50th birthday. It was a four hour appointment scheduled from 11-3 and was going to enhance and build on the Georgia O’Keeffe hands on my ankle and hhhhhhhhhhhh. (Please know that I know I have merely been inconvenienced. I am alive and healthy and we have food and I smell like chamomile oil.)
Last week I told you that I wanted to shave my head. On Saturday I went ahead and did it because: 1. Sometimes we don’t get to do the things we really want to do just because of Reasons. There was no reason to not shave my head. 2. John Waters once advised a graduating class to “Go out in the world and fuck it up beautifully.” Shaving my head really has nothing to do with that. I just needed a #2 for my #1.
One thing I’ve learned is that when your head is shaved, most facial expressions make you look a little deranged. SO, maybe the whole “Britney Spears is BALD and CRAZY!” thing was only half true.
I’m not sure I’ll keep it like this forever, but anything goes when you’re almost 50 and going through a med change during a pandemic that is starting to smell like death hornets.
Best of all, when I don’t want to look like a baldy, I can just throw on an amazing hat!
Harper turned 15 yesterday and most of you know that we named her after Harper Lee and then found out a few weeks later that she was actually born on Harper Lee’s birthday.
Meredith turned 17 today and most of you know that she shares a birthday with Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who was one of my very favorite people.
Most of you know that the girls would have shared a birthday if I had not eaten a White Castle fish sandwich on the way to the hospital to have Meredith. (I had to wait several hours after eating for them to perform the surgery, so she was born at 2:00 in the morning on the 29th.)
Anyway, kids and birthdays and Springsteen songs about Growin’ Up and seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, blossoming even as we gaze.
That’s not why I’m here.
I’m HERE because everyone seems to be shaving their heads and I’m about two days away from jumping onto that very crowded wagon. (I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow, and we’re going to talk about my meds. I don’t want a bald head to influence our dosage decisions.)
I’ve done my research, and I’ve purchased clippers for dog grooming, and I’m assuming dog clippers would also work as human clippers, and if I’m careful and I set the scene just right (Sinead O’Connor music in the background, photos of the Pope hanging on the bathroom wall, etc.) I’m pretty sure I can end up looking like this.
I have consulted with the woman who cuts my hair, and she said, “Whatever you end up doing, it’s just hair. It’ll grow back fast. It is best to do these things sober, but YOLO!” (I love her.)
Did I mention my meds will probably be switched up tomorrow?
I took a drive.
I made some chili.
I grabbed my journal and pen and wrote out what was bonking around in my head.
I sat and thought what I thought and felt how I felt.
I did this.
Left Symmetry Me is making Actual Me feel very uncomfortable because:
Meanwhile, Right Symmetry Me is making Actual Me wonder if I need more holes in my nose. Right Symmetry Me just wants everyone to take deep breaths (she recommends alternate nostril breathing, obviously) and maybe listen to Un Sospiro because it’s tragic and beautiful just like everything.
How many days in a row can I just sit here on the couch? 43 days? 183 days? 2,392 days? Jeff just went to Home Depot (WITH A MASK TO GET SOMETHING ESSENTIAL) and I asked him to please get a hummingbird feeder because I want to start using the word Flit again.
I bought my first jar of moonshine last week, so if anyone is keeping up with my baby book, feel free to write “April 10, 2020” in the Baby’s First Moonshine category.
This has nothing to do with the moonshine and everything to do with the fact that I’m a shitty homeopath:
Did I ever tell you about the online essential oil party I attended where the person selling the oils sang some weird song about how lavender oil can cure cancer? (I got mad because don’t even tell me I could have cured my brother-in-law’s brain cancer by sticking some lavender up his nose.)
Missouri schools are out for the year, so the next time Meredith steps into the building it will be as a senior. (I think some of you remember when she was born.) She’s talking about photojournalism in college, along with women’s studies and political science. She recently submitted a self-portrait to a photo contest. You can see it if you click this link. You can also vote for it there if you feel inclined. (You don’t have to sign up for anything or make any promises in order to vote. You can also vote every single day until the contest ends on Tuesday. (“Every single day” sounded like quite a commitment until I mentioned Tuesday, right?))
I haven’t cross stitched in years and I’m not sure if cross stitch is one word or two. Crossstitch? Crossssssstitch? Anyway, it just makes sense that I would choose this time to take on a big scary tree.
Man, I hope you’re doing okay.
Also, do me a favor and check out Fiona Apple’s new album. It came out yesterday, and I’m in love.
I set the goal of going the entire week without mentioning The Virus, but all I really had to go with was, “Hey guys I’ve decided to grow my hair out and I guess so have you. Words can’t bring us down.”
This morning I saw my (probably in her late 70s or maybe 80s) neighbor backing out of her driveway. Last week I told her to yell if she needs anything, but I guess she didn’t want to bother us. She lives by herself and I don’t want her to die, so tonight I’ll probably go over and break both of her legs. I’ll sleep better at night knowing she can’t leave her house. Who knew it would come down to this?
Henry can’t remember the last time he was crated during the day, and he believes we are staying home just to hang out with him. (He’s not entirely wrong.)
Complaints (withdrawn): I just typed out three complaints, and then I deleted each one because I’m tired of absurd complaints, so why should I add to the stack? I hereby donate all of my complaints to people who deserve them—healthcare workers, people who are sick and/or dying, people who have lost friends or family members, folks who might be hungry or struggling to pay bills, leaders who are simply trying to score more ventilators for their state but are being outbid because the system is screwed up…
Let’s just act like none of this is happening, okay? NO! It’s not okay. AND, to the people who are all like, Ho-dee-ho, I’m gonna live my life the way I want because none of this is as bad as it seems and I have hand sanitizer in my car so I’ll see you in church on Easter! well, I can barely type right now because I’m shaking my head SO HARD in your direction, and if I wasn’t afraid that you might contaminate me, I would try to fistfight you.
I finished my cardigan and I love it, so there is joy in the cardigan.
All the boring stuff is in this paragraph: My website was hacked earlier this week and I couldn’t log in, so I’ve been without access and my host was like, Sorry, CHUMP, and I (ONCE AGAIN) got mopey and said, “Let it die because I no longer want to deal with this because woe is me.” But then Jeff said, “Let’s just see what else we can do because I’m always optimistic.” So, this morning I paid $200 damn dollars to get my website fixed and keep it protected for the next year and why in the hell does anyone want to take me down? Why does this keep happening? Am I not harmless? Any bug who finds their way into our house is kindly escorted out! It’s all such crap, but it’s also so tiny and unimportant.
Please support your local businesses.
This is my new favorite shirt. It was purchased during the isolation days.
I taught myself to crochet a circle during the isolation days.
I’ve been tuning in for church services during the isolation days.
I’ve knit 1/12 of a linen cardigan during the isolation days. (Knitters: It is two pieces—one for each side. Each piece goes up the sleeve and then divides for front and back. Oh, this world.)
You know, absolutely no one has reached out to ask me how I feel about the coronavirus pandemic. I’m glad, too, because I’m not a doctor, nor do I know what we can or can’t expect from this thing. I don’t feel like I can puke out advice or judgment, but luckily, enough people on Facebook (who are also not doctors) can!
Today I learned that the virus is biblical, so get ready to meet your maker. Also, even though it’s everywhere, the virus is a US election thing and the Democrats are ruining March Madness! And another thing: It’s just media hype. More people will die this week from getting their eyes pecked out by rabid cross-eyed hummingbirds than by catching the coronavirus.
I can’t speak for everyone in my house, but I’ve decided to take my cues from one of my very favorite films.
Truth: I am taking the virus very seriously, mainly because:
1. I love 17 people who just might die if they catch it.
2. My only New Year’s resolution was to stop spreading so many communicable diseases around. (My nickname in college was Sexy Cesspool, and of course I’m lying, but it IS a very fun thing to say out loud, isn’t it?)
I’ve spent the past several years saying this annoying sentence: “I need to get my steps in.” No more! (Similarly, I will no longer say, “I took xx,xxx steps today!” Honestly, isn’t it a little conceited to think anyone cares about how many times my feet lift and then touch the ground again?)
I retired my Fitbit three months ago, and I have no regrets. (Clarification: I have many regrets, but none of them involve taking off the Fitbit.)
My Fitbit has been replaced with a color wheel watch. The guilt-inducing plastic band that rewarded me (with a digital fireworks display) for hitting a step goal after I frantically ran in place before going to bed has been replaced with the creativity-sparking plastic band that inspires me to imagine and build my own rewards. Best of all, the watch doesn’t give me any “Dance, Monkey, Dance!” vibes when I just want to get some sleep.
My only complaint? The ticking. When the house is quiet, I can hear the seconds ticking away on my wrist and suddenly I’m Edgar Allen Poe and I’m pushing chairs across the floor to cover the sound and I talk louder, and why does it not stop?! And it takes approximately ten steps to move this particular chair from one side of the room to the other, and I’ve moved it approximately 1,000 times, so I’ve taken at least 10,000 steps today so I guess I no longer need to get my steps in, and why do you say that I am mad?