Cosmic rewards

I’m almost sorry to be going back to work tomorrow.* Not all-the-way sorry: it’s good work with good people, and mama likes being able to pay her bills.

Still, I’d had fantasies about what I’d be able to do with two full weeks off-the-clock: I was hoping to do a whole bunch of decluttering and start rearranging my home office so that I can treat myself to a real, functional desk for here. Now that I’ve been working here every day for 9 months, with no end in sight, and doing more writing AND with grad school on the horizon, it’d be really nice to have a workspace bigger than 19″ by 40″.

But the truth is that I was so burned out after 2020 that it took me a number of days just to unwind from that. And then there was the time and effort I put into hosting my first solo grown-up Christmas. So I didn’t really turn my attention to the house until this past Wednesday or so—and even then, I balanced my efforts on that score against my (entirely legitimate) desire for rest & relaxation.

All of which is to say: I’m still a bit of a ways from having the office cleaned up enough to make room for a replacement of my elementary-school desk.

An image of classroom desks lined up in an empty classroom.

Still, I’m glad of what I managed to get done in these few days. I filled several more boxes for Goodwill, and have emptied out more than a dozen file boxes that were holding various stuff that had been stowed down in the basement at various points in time when we were trying contain and conceal my hoarder’s mess in advance of hosting friends over for some sort of event or other.

(Ah, the pre-COVID days when we were able to host parties!)

Continue reading “Cosmic rewards”

Heart to heart conversations

Every now and then SNL has a pre-filmed sketch that perfectly hits the zeitgeist. This past weekend is no exception:

I felt this one, hard. No, it doesn’t match the surface details of Christmas planning with Mr. Mezz and our extended family at all: we’re all in agreement about the proper, safe, course of action, so our Christmas conversations have already taken place without any of the comic guilt-tripping demonstrated here by Heidi Garner, Punkie Johnson, and Kate McKinnon.

So, we’re lucky in not needing this recent advice column about how to have the “Christmas conversation” in real life.

And yet. The distance between the Christmas I hoped for and the Christmas Mr. Mezz and I are creating together—it’s still painful, some moments.

Continue reading “Heart to heart conversations”

The way we live now, part 2

My car emailed me this morning with a low battery warning.

And that’s actually more of true a statement than not.

You see, part of my multi-pronged Verizon package* is a device called the Hum. I think of it as the poor man’s On-Star: a gadget/speaker-box that would allow me to call out for road-side assistance in the case of breakdown or accident.

A picture of the 3 OnStar buttons (phone, OnStar and Emergency) built into a rear-view mirror.

You see, when you’re classy, you get to have your tech built into the rear-view like in the photo above. Instead, my gadget just clips onto the visor like souped-up garage door opener. But even though I have the non-luxury version of this asset, it’s given me peace of mind to have this extra bit of equipment in the car as I’ve been commuting in snowy New England conditions these past several years.

But I hadn’t ever paid attention to this whole other diagnostic suite of features the Hum has.

That is: not until the Hum app emailed me at 16 minutes past midnight with a “Yellow” battery alert.**

Continue reading “The way we live now, part 2”

Surge on surge on surge

I was gonna write an entirely different post tonight. I finished another “just for fun” read over the weekend, and was gonna do that one last fluffy book review before coming back to more serious topics.

But then I saw this tweet from NBC news:

So I guess it’s back to seriousness sooner rather than later.

Although, in all honestly, I’m not sure what more I have to say aside from.

What the fuck, America?

A picture of the red Angry Bird wearing a medical mask.
Continue reading “Surge on surge on surge”

The way things are now

This post feels a bit like a cross between recent meditations on living in these COVID times and on calling things by their real names.

Or maybe, I should just call it: I may be a sad sack about my solo Solstice, but I am NOT going to be a selfish, solipsistic, self-destructive shithead.

(That kind of alliteration has to be kind of impressive, right?)

A 1970s era pattern made of titled S'es in orange, hot pink and purple.

Basically, this is me riffing further to expound on a comment from yesterday’s post. Someone’s initial response to my sadness from last night was to go see my family anyhow—cos life is short and nothing is guaranteed, anyways.

And I know that advice is coming from a place of individual compassion for me and my pain. But it is not counsel I can take in good conscience. ‘Cos I only have the tiniest bit of epidemiological understanding, but I know enough to know the importance of public health and to know how important it is to listen to public health and medical experts when you’re in the middle of a global pandemic.

Continue reading “The way things are now”

Bell, book and candle

There’s a meme that’s been going around FB lately:

A toy company makes an action figure of you. What two accessories does it come with?

I haven’t shared it yet on my own feed—I kinda feel as if I should be able to answer this question for myself before asking it of anyone else.* I have, however, been enjoying the threads on different friends’ pages, and even helped do some hypothetical problem-solving for someone who had listed “Bell, book and candle” as their accessories and hit against the arbitrary two items rule:

The bell is suspended from a ribbon of fabric also being used as a bookmark. #ProblemSolved

We pagan types gotta help each other out.

Silhouette of a witch against a multicolored sky with bats and a crescent moon. The image is surrounded by this slogan: "I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100% that witch."
As always: WWLD?
Continue reading “Bell, book and candle”

The way we live now

I’m moving back into the bedroom tonight.

Mr. Mezzo has been feeling a bit not-quite-okay since last week. As of Monday morning, the symptoms included a tiny bit of shortness of breath.

Cue the obligatory telehealth appointment and COVID test.

Now, I was cautiously optimistic that he’d turn out to be okay. We’ve been super-careful, what with only going out for essential errands and staying masked all the while. But, we’ve all seen stories about those rare cases here and there, where someone has done all the rights things and stayed masked and still gotten that 1-in-a-million chance infection.

So in the same way we knew that getting tested was the right choice, out of an abundance of caution, we decided to play it extra safe inside the house. Mr. Mezz stayed quarantined in the main bedroom suite, and I set up on our living room couch.

A "sleeping nest" of blankets on a grey couch, with a TV table in the foreground holding a CPAP machine and a basket of bedside essentials (cough drops, meds, eyeshade, etc.)
Not so much a blanket fort as a blanket NEST
Continue reading “The way we live now”

Stringing the lights

I started putting up our Christmas/Solstice village the day after Halloween.*

Close-up of a decorative light-up ceramic building.

And I’m not alone in this. The Boston Globe has reported on this phenomenon all across our region—and, I’d suspect, more widely across the country, too.

So many people started decorating for Christmas on the Sunday after Halloween — before the foam tombstones had been respectfully packed away —that Nov. 1 has rightfully turned into the kick-off to Christmas this year.

And I don’t blame us.

Continue reading “Stringing the lights”