Thursday, December 31, 2020

Since We've Finally Made It To The End of 2020

This little old blog really is basically moribund at this point, I'm afraid. But I felt like it would be wrong, somehow, not to at least stop in here to say that I did, in fact, survive 2020. Since that hardly seems like something that can be confidently assumed, really. It was a year that featured some not-great stuff for me, personally, which, of course, is hugely overshadowed by all the ways it was terrible for many others and on a much larger scale. But, although 2020 has made me feel a lot of cynicism and disillusionment, and even though I know the change of digits on the calendar, in itself, means nothing, I am nevertheless feeling hopeful for better things in 2021. And I hope very much that that will be true for any of you out there who happen to be reading this, as well as for the world at large.

And, hey, at least I read a good number of books in 2020, so the year wasn't a total loss, right?

Anyway. Here's wishing you all a very happy New Year, and a better, brighter future to come.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Well, I Made It Another Year!

I figured it was probably about time I checked in here again and let you all know I'm doing okay. So: I'm doing okay!

I have also just turned 49, or, if you want to get super-technical about it, am turning 49 in about fifteen minutes or so. I am currently celebrating by eating tiramisu and watching a documentary about Mr. Spock, which I think we can all agree is just about the most "me" way to spend a birthday possible. Cornonavirus don't cramp my style any! Heh.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Hi, again.

Hello. I keep meaning to check in here and state that I am still not dead, but I keep forgetting, or not bothering, or whatever. But, well... Hi! Still not dead!

Honestly, it's almost eerie how little any of this situation has affected me personally. I continue to go into work regularly. I have to wear a mask into the office, and there are fewer people there, but most of the folks I regularly work with when I'm on day shifts are still in at least some of the time, and it's pretty much still business as usual for me. We might have more people around starting the beginning of the month. I'm not entirely sure what the plan is at the moment, because they held the zoom meeting discussing it on my day off, and I was asleep. It did get recorded, though, so I'll watch it at work this weekend. Whatever changes they're making, it's still probably not going to make much difference to me, other than that presumably at some point they're going to stop paying me overtime for working on the skeleton crew.

Otherwise, the main impact on me is that I'm only going out to the grocery store when my milk starts threatening to go off, and that I'm nearly three months overdue for a haircut, which is not pretty.

Honestly, we've been very lucky here. Parts of New Mexico have been hit pretty hard by the virus, but I think there have been a grand total of two cases in my zip code. And even in the rest of NM, there is no doubt that it could have been a lot worse. Our governor did a really good job with locking things down very early on, and an amazing job of making sure people in the state could get tested.

I am, however, worried about what might happen in towns like mine, where we've had almost no infection so far, as restrictions are eased (which they are beginning to be in NM). This thing is still spreading, and I feel like it's just gonna be lurking out there, waiting to attack the infection-free pockets of the population as soon as our guard is down. Maybe that's why you get the secondary waves that historically always seem to happen with pandemics.

Anyway, that's about all there is to say from my perspective. Other than that I'm still finding it bitterly ironic that genuinely all I want to do is to stay home, but I'm not allowed to do so, while everyone else seems desperate to leave the house. And also that, wow, does reading/hearing other people's reactions to their own enforced isolation bring home to me how psychologically different I seem to be from most of you social weirdos out there. But I do feel for you folks who are craving face-to-face human interaction, anyway, whether I understand you or not. And I hope everyone who might be reading this is doing physically well, and psychologically as well as you possibly can, given the odd circumstances of our lives right now.

Friday, March 27, 2020


So, yeah. Hi. I'm not dead of coronovirus. I figured I should probably mention that.

You may have noticed -- or very well may not have, which is fine, because I hardly expect to the front-of-mind for the entire universe -- that at the start of the year I finally did follow through on what I've been saying I might do for ages, and stopped updating this blog regularly. I figured I'd probably still check in every few months or so with a little update on what's going on with me, or some random thoughts or something.

I figured that whenever I finally got around to doing that, the worst thing I'd have to talk about was the fact that we lost my grandmother recently. Which was incredibly sad -- she was beloved by a lot of people -- but hardly unexpected, given her age.

A global pandemic, however, was very much unexpected. Not that it should have been, maybe. God knows I've read enough books talking about how inevitable something like this happening probably was. Still. The whole thing feels surreal. Fictional. That's a feeling I've been having off and on for the last couple of decades, to be honest, but it almost seems to be a permanent state now, and I have no idea what to do with that. I used to feel excited about the idea of living in the future. Now I am clearly doing so, and I have no idea how to get to grips with it.

For the moment at least, as far as I know, I and my nearest and dearest are doing OK. Well, not sick, anyway. And I'm still working. First my organization sent as many people home to work remotely as possible and cut the staff in the building down to a skeleton crew. And I kept going to work, because I'm one of the bones in the skeleton. Then our governor issued a stay-at-home order and directed non-essential businesses to close. But my bosses declared us essential. Based on... I don't know what. I don't think I'm essential. But I'm still going in to work. I don't feel good about it. I feel like I may be subverting a public health order aimed at saving lives for no truly justifiable reason, something that seems to me distressingly emblematic of all the ways in which our society is fucked up right now. But I don't make these decisions, I guess, so I continue to do what I'm told, and I try to keep my moral qualms and my existential crises to myself. Mostly.

They're paying me time and a half, though. I'm gonna donate some of the extra to food banks, because there are surely a lot of people earning zero right now and wondering how the hell they're going to eat.

I do find the whole situation richly ironic, I have to admit. I know so many people who are going stir-crazy, desperate to be allowed to leave their houses, to be social again. Me, I long for my home every second I'm away from it. It's the only place I feel safe and comfortable right now, if I'm entirely honest. And my personality is such that I genuinely could just stay here and never see another human being for a year or so and be perfectly fine, psychologically. Or at least as fine as I am normally. Ha, ha.

Anyway. That's the state of things for me right now. This is me, checking in, reaching out. Whatever.

Try to stay safe out there. Try to stay sane. Good luck to all of us.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

So, Here We Are In 2020

It's a very science-fictional sounding year, but haven't they all been, for the last couple of decades? At least for us relics of the 20th century, anyway.

So. I'm still here, obviously. At least right now. I'm dropping the "currently" format, though, I think. It's served me well over the years as a prod to keep me posting at least something, and to open up a topic or two for discussion. But it's all feeling very old and creaky now. I may just check in here once in a while with whatever I have to say about how life's been going. Or I may not.

As for how life's been going right now, well, 2019, a year of considerable ups and downs, ended on a sad note for me. I lost my cat, Vir, right before New Year's. He was 14, and, honestly, I'm not sure I ever expected him to live this long. He's had health problems all his life. His diabetes, at least, was nicely under control, but then he started showing signs of kidney problems, and went downhill very rapidly. A couple of months ago, it was "Hmm, the blood test results are slightly worrying." A few weeks ago, his appetite started to diminish and he seemed slightly under the weather, and the blood test results were worse, so they gave me some medicine for him and told me to come back an have him rechecked in a month. A week later, he'd stopped eating almost entirely and looked very tired. They took him in and treated him with fluids -- a three-day process to relieve the symptoms of kidney disease, including the nausea that must have been keeping him from eating -- and reported after day two that he seemed to be doing a lot better and had cleaned his food dish, and I should be able to take him home the next day. Except the next day, they came in, and he was gone.

To be honest, while it came as a shock how quickly it all happened, it was also a very real relief. I was bracing myself to deal with a long, slow decline that would have been kind of awful for both of us, and for having to make a horrible decision for him at some point, and I'm glad we were spared that. And, I won't lie, on a practical level my life just got a lot easier. Keeping him on the feeding and medication schedule he needed was extremely hard on me, what with my shifting work hours. Not to mention all those vet visits.

But it's very strange, not having him around. This is the first time in over twenty years that I haven't had a cat in the house, and it's astonishing how much emptier the place feels. And it's going to take a while before I'm able to come home from work and not, for a moment, expect there to be an animal greeting me on the other side of the door.

So, yeah. It's sad. Not least because I knew him literally from the day he was born. I saw his entire life span play out in front of me, and thinking about that sort of thing can really make one feel the concept of mortality in one's bones.

One request, after all of this: Please, please, please do not attempt to engage me in a conversation about whether or not I should get another cat and whether I'm in the right mental place to make decisions about it. I have had this conversation enough in the last week that it's starting to make me angry, especially what seems like the constant parade of genuinely well-meaning people who seem determined to believe that I don't know my own mind on the subject. Thanks.

Ahem. Right, well, other than that unhappy news? I don't have much. So I'll just leave you with my traditional link to the list of books I read in 2019. Which is fewer than I would have liked, honestly, but I'm looking forward to more in 2020.

May you all have a bright, warm New Year, one that you will look back on when it's over and smile. I think we all deserve that at this point.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

December Currentlies

I'll be honest here: I came fairly close to just not even bothering with this post. More and more, this blog feels like a relic of the past, and more and more even posting this here often feels kind of pointless. So I don't know whether you'll see anything from me in January or not. But, well, it seemed wrong not to at least round out the year. So, for the moment, here I still am. And here this still is.

Current clothes: Blue jeans. A gray long-sleeve t-shirt with a picture of a spacewalking astronaut on it. Blue socks with a design featuring the planets of the solar system. Brown work boots.

Current mood: Not too bad, all things considered. (Said "things" mainly being my as-usual weird-ass work schedule and accompanying bizarre sleeping patterns.) Just a little frazzled, maybe, because I'm posting this fairly quickly, as I have somewhere to be soon.

Current music: Nothing much.

Current annoyance: My "somewhere to be soon" is, in fact, a dentist appointment. So my current annoyance is teeth. Are they or are they not the stupidest body part? I'm gonna go with yes. Yes, they are.

Current thing: Having lots of things I want to do with my time and not nearly enough time to do them in, and still somehow spending far too much of my life doing dumb time-wastey things.

Current desktop picture: Still The Good Place.

Current book: Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins. I'm about two thirds of the way through, and I swear, the more of this novel I read, the less I know how I feel about it.

Current song in head: "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon. Which I'm pretty sure is not, in fact, a song about me.

Current refreshment: I just ate a bacon cheeseburger for lunch. It was good.

Currently watching: Recently finished watching Chernobyl. Which I thought was going to be tough to watch, but, honestly, after reading Voices from Chernobyl, which it seems to have been largely based on, the TV series was nothing. Seriously, that book was probably one of the most painful things I've ever read in my life. The series was very good, though, and its themes are depressingly relevant today.

Current happy thing: Hey, I did get enough sleep today! That's always a real happy thing for me.

Current thought: Carly, please, I have never owned an apricot scarf in my life.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

November Currentlies

I'm not even going to ask where the time goes anymore. It is November now, and I will accept this fact.

Current clothes: A white t-shirt from LibraryThing, a website I use basically every day. Blue sweatpants. Socks that say "Just give me a cup of tea and a good book and leave me alone," because it's nice to have socks that reflect your values and interests.

Current mood: Generally OK, but a little annoyed at how little I've gotten done so far today.

Current music: Nothing much. Bizarrely enough, I think the most recent thing I may have listened to was, er, a metal band fronted by a parrot. I don't know where I find these things, either.

Current annoyance: There are many of them, but the most immediate one is that a few minutes ago I made the mistake of petting the cat and then rubbing my eye, and now my eye is all itchy and it's driving me nuts.

Current thing: Based on my upcoming answers to "current book" and "currently watching," I think you might say that it's catching up on weird stuff from the 1990s that I'd somehow missed until now.

Current desktop picture: It's still The Good Place.

Current book: Wizard and Glass by Stephen King. Four books in, and I'm still not sure whether it was worth finally starting this series, but I guess I'm committed to it now, or something.

Current song in head: "I Go to Extremes" by Billy Joel, which has been stuck in my head off and on for days now, for some reason.

Current refreshment: A cup of chai.

Currently watching: Neon Genesis Evangelion. Which... The more I watch of this show the less I understand it, but the more I find myself responding to it. I'm not sure that makes any sense whatsoever, but I guess it does track with everything I've heard about it.

Current happy thing: No work tomorrow!

Current thought: Just give me a cup of tea and a good book and leave me alone! Except not just yet, because I really do have to put laundry away and do the dishes, and a whole bunch of other stuff right now. Sigh.