Life is so weird right now. If you don’t pay attention, it can almost seem like things are totally normal. Like I just happened to have bunch of days in a row without needing or wanting to go anywhere. What a coincidence! It’s hard to know how to process all these pandemic thoughts and feelings because it’s ongoing. It’s much easier to make sense of something when it’s over; we can see it’s narrative arc and tell ourselves a story about what happened. Instead, we’re in the thick of it and having to grapple with news like U.S. ‘Perilously Close’ to Meat Shortage After Major Plant Closes Over Coronavirus. Neat. I read something like this and think “should I buy meat? Should I stock up on beans instead for when there is no meat?” It’s really hard to think through how to prepare for the rest of this crisis. At the same time, I’m still getting paid and I’m quite comfortable at home. The cognitive dissonance will get you.
Unrelated to pandemic life, this week I saw a targeted ad on instagram for deodorant. Ads generally aren’t noteworthy, but I had to laugh because the ad featured someone on roller skates. Apparently there are enough rollerskaters on instagram that it’s worth the targeted ad. It also reminded me of something funny (awkward?) from when I was growing up. In this ad, the roller skater is applying deodorant behind her knee. Admittedly that is a sweaty spot but I’m not worried about deodorizing there. When I was an impressionable young 10-year-old, I remember seeing a commercial on TV in which the women applied deodorant to that behind-the-knee spot. I interpreted this to mean that one should be putting deodorant in the pits and the … knee pits? I went to school the next day fully deodorized, but partway through the day a bunch of girls were like “uh, you have deodorant on your legs,” so I ended up trying to wash it off in the bathroom like a fool. This has been a glimpse into me trying to make sense of the world. You’re welcome.
Here are some things I read, watched, or bought this week.
I read N. K. Jemisin’s new novel The City We Became. This book is an ode to New York and it’s a great one. Unfortunately for me, I’ve never been to NYC and don’t have much reference for it, so it took me a little while to get into it. However, it is a really good book and once I was more familiar with the city, as personified in the story, I really enjoyed it. The novel takes the concept of the city as a living thing and pushes it to its extreme: once a city matures, it quickens and a human avatar begins to embody it. Unfortunately for poor New York, not everyone in the multi-verse is supportive. This is a fun book and apparently it’s the first in a trilogy, so there will be more!
Some reading from the ‘net this week:
- Behold Dune: An Exclusive Look at Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, and More via Vanity Fair. I read Frank Herbert’s Dune at an impressionable young age and it has stayed with me. I love that book, despite some of it’s problematic bits. The new Dune movie is set to come out at the end of the year and it looks fucking amazing. I’m so excited.
- Michigan manbaby protest: Wait, we thought conservatives were “rugged individuals” via Salon. The title really says it all here. These people protesting having to stay home in a pandemic are just … what? Really? That’s what you want to be mad about? Sorry we’re trying to save your dumb lives. It’s just another piece of evidence demonstrating that modern conservatism has no logic or moral center. When people want health care or not to be shot by cops, there’s a “right way to protest,” but keep white people from going to Whole Foods every day, and you have a riot.
- The Pandemic Is Not Your Vacation via Buzzfeed. Rich people are heading out to the country to whether the pandemic, but the problem is that rural areas do not have the infrastructure in place to treat even more sick people. Stay the fuck home.
Kirk and I have been taking turns watching each other play Nintendo, for the most part. I’m having a lot of fun with Super Mario Odyssey. Kirk has been playing a lot of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I don’t mind hanging out on the couch and watching him play that because it’s a fairly calm game. I treat it like TV and make it something to knit by.
About a month ago I ordered a few prints from Pink Tofu Art because I decided we needed some art in the guest/sewing room. They finally arrived! I had to special order frames from an etsy shop that has A4 paper sizes, which was mildly annoying but I cannot complain about the results. I love her art so much and I’m happy to have it decorating my house.
This week I also put in another round of book buying from Capital Books on K. They got a bunch of puzzles in stock so I though, well, why not, we’re going to be home for a while. I ordered some puzzles and a couple more books (as if I don’t have plenty to read) because why not.
Making Things and Doing Stuff
It’s been another week of work kicking my ass. We have multiple proposals due at the end of the month, so everything is piled up, which is a drag. I’m hoping the worst will be over soon, but maybe this is the new normal. It’s unfortunate that we’re heading into another recession (for many reasons), but I worry that the corporate overlords are going to keep demanding a lot of work output without giving us anything more because we should all feel grateful to have a job. They’ve already suspended our 401(k) matches for the duration of the crisis. I hope that comes back. The CEOs and executives have also taken some kind of pay cut that involves forfeiting their “base salary,” but most of their pay comes from bonuses and stocks so it seems like an empty gesture to me. In any case, I do feel stupidly grateful to have a job right now. Unfortunately, that’s how they get you.
It’s been almost two months since I sprained my ankle. It still has some swelling and it feels uncomfortable with lateral pressure or deep squats so I finally got back to my doctor to ask for a physical therapy referral. I had a phone consultation with a physical therapist who, afterwards, assigned me a workout routine that I’m supposed to do every day for the next two weeks. I feel like daily workouts is excessive, but Kirk reminded me that I’ve been complaining that I’m not getting better, so daily workouts it is.
I have continued to embrace carb life as sheltering in place continues. Last Saturday, I made a lasagna based on the recipe in How to Cook Everything. Although for the bolognase sauce, I substituted ground turkey because that’s what I had. I also added some spinach to the cheese mixture because we have been growing it in the garden and I have more than I know what to do with. Naturally I made some bread to accompany the lasagna. The next day I made bread again for my weekly sourdough loaf. I tried King Arthur Flour’s sourdough boule, mostly because it used ingredients I had available.
Today I did a round of pickling for Kirk’s benefit. He loves pickles, but I hate them. I am, however, fascinated by the process of making pickles, so I have been learning to make them. I also made some chocolate zucchini bread, because chocolate is all I want to eat lately.
Finally, here are some cat photos for your nerves.