My nephew is a 13 year old Latino boy living in Chicago.

I walked away from the internet at the appropriate time today. I already knew that the video would show police had lied about the encounter. I also knew that I'd not be able to avoid a great deal of analysis and commentary from people I work with in the coming weeks. (It's our job)

But I just can't. How are we supposed to live in a world where adults meet children with lethal force? And even more when they have the color of law?


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5d
 

Scrolled past some random bit of internet "news" I am neither interested in nor have any background for about actress Margot Robie and had the idle "ugh, I hate Margot Robie" thought and came to a screeching internal halt.

I've never actually seen a movie with Margot Robie in it; never read an interview with Margot Robie; or watched a clip in a pop culture something or other. Never had a conversation with anyone about a movie she's in, or what they think of her performances. I know exactly one thing about her:

how heterosexual cisgender white men talk about Margot Robie. 

So in actuality, I have no opinion of Margot Robie, but I absolutely hate everything heterosexual cisgender white men think, say or do with their idea of Margot Robie.

How fucking tedious.

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4/2
 

My mom has reached the age which is the average life span for an American woman. She's white, been financially secure since her 30s, still married to my father, has not smoked since 1986. So her life expectancy is probably 7-8 years higher than her current age.

Seven or eight years is nothing. And she's just lost an entire one of them to this bullshit pandemic. She's vaccinated now, as is my Dad, but we've been talking about the lost time. What it means for her, as she's keenly aware of how little she has left. What it means for her only grandchild who spent the first year as a teen like this. What it means for me, a person who's 50, who lost an ordinary year. Not one of the easily-numbered ones I have left. Not one of the exciting new ones.

But mostly she talks at angles about what it's like to have lost one of so few remaining years. What it's like to know all her accumulated things are of limited utility to me and my sister, no matter how much we love her or how fondly we remember them. 

When my first grandmother died, I was sitting through finals my last year of law school. There was little value in postponing them, so I did not go home. My mother and my sister cleaned out her house rather quickly, my sister looking carefully for the one thing we both wanted: a pendant she'd worn in the 70's. A large crystal fishbowl, studded with tiny goldfish. She'd hold it up to the light, pull the chain along behind it, showing us how the fish would swim.

They did not find the pendant. 


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3/23
 

Two weeks since I've thought about writing. I've been exhausted. I still am. But I was thinking about funerals and I wanted to write it down.

Funerals--of the everyone arriving in a car, walking through the grass to the gravsite, someone listening to the end of something on the radio. My friend Will's a few years ago was like that. My cousin's husband's, around the same time. My gradnmother's. the year I got married. The kind with a meal in a restaurant's private room afterward. With a funeral parlor. "Sherry and small talk".

The last two memorials I attended were at the same bar, in the same private room. It was just over a year ago I was at the last funeral I was at. It ended with a conga line of several of us, dressed in a variety of death drag--me in Gaiman Sandman. I put spouse in a Lyft with a dubious driver, went on to our more familiar local with my closests, and then made my way home later.

I can't imagine more of the first kind in my future. Except my father. That's what he'd want. Not so my mother. She'd want no viewing (sorry, Mom, you'll get at least a family-only. I will want to say goodbye), no speeches, and absolutely no cemetary. But all the friends, when that starts, now we've come through this (assuming we have--one more friend is COVID-positive this week, but at least three more are vaccinated) will surely be the backroom of a bar, conga line, shots variety.

I still hope mine is a garden party, with one of my besties, rolling up in a Rolls or Bentley, trunk packed with champagne and lobster.

This is a stress valley. i hope the next climb is not too steep.

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3/12
 

The movie Clue and Columbo reruns have ferried me through a lot of grief.

I was  talking to someone about myself. And I said "yes, but I can deal with the corpse without damage to myself" and it's true. I'm not being dramatic or spinning wild yarns about heists and crimespree movies. I'm talking about people dying at home.

I can compartmentalize and I can cope. I may not be great with details but I am good with logistics and I can handle crises.

Even this tired. 

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2/25
 

It's snowing again. There haven't been any trash pickups and there's a scary icefall on the corner of the building, but otherwise, we're fine. Our house is built for it; the city has infrastructure (if a hateful bully of a mayor who can't manage them); we've got good clothes, a kitchen full of food and no special needs.

I miss biking in it but I'm never going to get my fender.

The world is a horror.

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2/18
 

Everything is too much. So i broke my "no frivolous spending in February" plan for supplies for a fanciful showgirl headpiece for an online gathering scheduled later this month. I feel pretty conflicted about the spending part, but not at all conflicted about the hours I spent drafting the pattern pieces. I have not been focused like that on anything in what feels like years--and probably is actually close to a year.

I read some costuming blogs; looked at a few vintage hat patterns; looked at some vintage hats. Measured my head and just started drawing on butcher paper and pinning things to the wig head (which is smaller than my head). I changed direction two or three times, but I think I have a plan now. And maybe some overly-ambitious further plans.

But it felt good.


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I want to see pictures of the finished piece!
Finishing the hat.
How you have to finish the hat.
How you watch the rest of the world through a window
While you finish the hat ...

https://open.spotify.com/track/0Jd0zZvwDzPQB4SQSnuSZo?si=q07QCnPkTPyMCc08OgSr6A
 

I am end-of-the-rope. My hair is a horror. i can't reliably get groceries I need for things I'd like to make. I still can't get fenders for my bike. Everything I touch at work explodes. The cat's health is failing. I miss my friends. I never get a chance to be alone. I miss bars. I miss restaurants. I miss my parents. 

I'm tired of clicking on headlines or texts or emails promising to tell me how, where and when to vaccinated only to learn I can't, no-one knows, good luck and be patient. 

I'm sick of this ineffectual, limp Congress. I'm sick of my incompetent, wealth-chasing mayor. 

I'm tired; I can't sleep. I'm bored; I can't read occupy myself. I'm drinking too much. Eating too much. Spending too much (how? I can't leave the house!). My temper is short. My humor is spent. My patience is absent.

i'm just like everyone else. 

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1/28
 

I watched Queersighted: Queer Fear on the Criterion Channel tonight and then The Seventh Victim. Which I had not seen since college. I wished Farihah Zaman had had more time to explore her thesis about the exchange of objects standing in for kisses in Code movies and how the man in the love triangle stands in for lesbian kisses in the films. I'll have to look up her essays or more of her criticisms at least.

Wow. It's unfamiliar. having my head filled with something . . .maybe not frivolous, but not dire, not political, not pandemic. My father has gotten his vaccine--I was unclear from mom's note whether she had hers too, or just an appointment. My in-laws, too, have appointments. It's telling, isn't it, that I already know more people who've been vaccinated than who have been ill, who have died.

So there, it's never far from my thoughts, but it's getting less oppressive.

I can't imagine my household will be vaccinated before the fall. But that means, maybe, hoidays with my parents and my sister, and maybe, if there's still such thing as snow, skiing next season.

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1/27
 

I have a very ambitious reading list. I, like others I know, have not been able to make my brain read since 2016. I envy the people who are not having this problem.

I managed to read a good chunk of Jen Howard, Clutter: An Untidy History (Belt Publishing) and the first bit of Joe Allen, People Wasn't Made to Burn (Haymarket Books). And then got fidgety. I dipped in and out of Martin Aston, Facing the Other Way (The Friday Project) and Sasha Petraske, Regarding Cocktails (Phaidon Press). I'd like to read Mexican Gothic (hey! Fiction) and I have a long reading list from an agency we partner with as well as some stuff from a funerary customs class I'm interested to take (but fear I'll be overwhelmed).

So there's my theme, isn't it? I feel so overwhelmingly incompetent all of the time. I'm not sure when it started or how to break out of it. I sometimes think "oh, if i just commit to [giant project], that'll do it," but I am a little smarter than that. I don't know--maybe I could do with a therapist.

Once I had a therapist and it was extremely helpful. Once I had a therapist and it felt unnecessary. Once I had a therapist and it felt like a complete and aggressive waste of time. I feel almost like committing to another one is the same issue of not being able to accomplish anything.

The buzzword in philanthropy these days is "Time, talent or treasure" which of these do people give, to whom, how much, why? I've lost the ability to apply either of the first two and my means for the third are limited. Not just where philanthropy and service are concerned, but also where life is concerned. 

Or perhaps I'm just tired. Perhaps if the rhythm of life gets back to more swithcing among home, not-home, home, society, solitude I'll get capacity back.


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1/21