I've been sleeping like the dead. This hasn't been the case since the Violent Traumatic Event which almost killed me when I was 20. I don't like it.

It's funny because I had just told a few friends about my theory that people only have one or two dreams, over and over and over again. I say this because I only have one dream--or as far as I can tell I only have the one dream. So I figure we all repeat our dreams, and sometimes we remember them, but focus on the strange details that count as variation.

This week I've been having dreams that bear no resemblance to the dream I always have. It's disconcerting. They are rage-filled, anxious, and full of dead people. None of that is unusual, sadly. But they have unfamiliar settings; unfamliiar features; people I don't see in my dreams. I don't know what to make of it.

Waking up is like coming out of sedation. And that is unusual and also disoncerting. 

I'm not fine, but I'm fine. 


Definition of triage

1athe sorting of and allocation of treatment to patients and especially battle and disaster victims according to a system of priorities designed to maximize the number of survivors

bthe sorting of patients (as in an emergency room) according to the urgency of their need for care

2the assigning of priority order to projects on the basis of where funds and other resources can be best used, are most needed, or are most likely to achieve success


2021 will be harder than 2020, I think. I've had so many friends making earnest plans for the spring, even more with the vaccine approvals. And it's been easy to understand the desire, but I've not been able to wrap my head around the belief that we can have schools, and bars, and museums, and parties, and shops, and social lives again, given the people in charge and the systems in place.

I have a handful of relationships which will be okay, but I don't expect anything else. I don't expect to ever ski again. Or travel again. Or find a new job. Or make a new friend. Or throw a party. Or eat in a fancy new restaurant.

I expect to miss all the celebrations and funerals. I expect to wake up in 2022 older than my mother was at my age.


Spent time online last nightwith my Dummies. Spouses (surviving--hi! Grim joke!) hopped on and off, but mostly it was me and these two wonderful friends. 

Today, Spouse and I did very little. Some laundry. Some video games. Food. TV. I signed up for the #MakeDontBreak mailing list, but did not notice it until I was too far into the Glogg to make today. 

Like many, I'm trying not to place too much weight on the new year--nothing, after all, has changed. I'm not putting any pressue on myself, honestly. I've made it this far; that's good enough.

I'll try to do more yoga. Try to walk more. Get back on my bike (even without replacement fenders). Get back into making sure my budget numbers are reconciled each month. Be more kind. Be more patient. Get my vaccine as soon as I can.


I've been sad today. Finding everything stressful. 

Our 25-year-old car finally needs a repair that costs more than it's worth. We can afford to replace it, but it also does not feel worth the cost. We had not planned to replace it, knowing it was going to be beyond repair sooner or later. We really only use it to drive to my parents' (and then when it's only us, my sister and her family) and for heavy errands. But pandemic--and going to the grocery once a month or less--has made all errands heavy.

It seemed more cost effective to take cabs or Lyft back from the store or do carshare or rentals for the holiday trips to my parents. But cabs are a no-go right now and the pandemic has already caused a major decline in train service to my parents' house from the city.

And this is all making me cry constantly, which is ridiculous. And so over the top. Seriously. We're fine without a car. We're fine if we decide to buy one. We're fine. We're so much more fine than hundreds of thousands of families.

I am just exhuasted. And sad.

12/19 '20

I did not see it coming, but the pandemic has forced me to learn how to use Instagram. I was already using it--posting pictures, tagging people, following people, liking things. But the stories? The messaging? The hows of all the ways you're supposed to use it were non-intuitive to me. Even off-putting. You know, in the making me feel Old and like technology is a demon, hey you kids get off my lawn way.

I'm not enchanted. And I'm still not making my own stories. but at least I know how to communicate with people there. And it's good because I miss people.

12/18 '20

I haven't donated blood since February. I stopped because my doctor told me because of some iron deficiency issues. I'd always just sort of dealt with it through supplements, but she wanted me to stop, or at least only go half as often. Then COVID, i haven't donated in almost a year, which is the longest I've gone in a long time.

I feel guilty about it. Donating blood has always been such an easy thing for me. My office is right next door to a hospital which is always having a blood drive. If I remember to drink enough water, I fill the bag very quickly. My veins are uncooperative, but the folks at the Red Cross where I donate are very good at getting the needle in easily. I had even managed to work out my supplements and diet that I was only getting rejected for iron every couple of tries, instead of every other try. I was generally managing four donations or more a year.

I did it because it was so easy for me and because it's meaningful to the community. High impact, low effort. It always made me laugh as a vaguely gruesome application of my basic maxim: that our duty in society is to share our excess (time, talent, resources) with others.

I expect I'll start again, post-pandemic. But in the post-commute world, I wonder how frictionless it will be.

12/16 '20

In Chicago, 19 deaths and 1,757 confirmed cases were reported since Thursday. The city is seeing an average of 14 deaths per day, down from an average of 18 people dying per day the week prior. An average of 1,339 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 31 percent decrease from the prior week. But testing has also fallen 31 percent in the past week.

I'm starting to hear from more friends with COVID or with COVID in their immediate families. We haven't left the house since before Thanksgiving (except a couple masked walks in the park), but my parents each leave a couple times a week; and my sister is in a pod with another only-child familiy. I am starting to have moments of pure terror on a regular basis.

But I've mostly finished my Christmas shopping. That's odd. I have to mail some cookies around.

12/4 '20

I forgot what I was going to say.

My parents have never not ever in their lives had a Thanksgiving that was just them until this year. I don't just mean "in their married lives" (they've been married 55 years) but I mean when they were children, too, even my father's dirt-poor, no-one-had-time-nor-skills-nor-money-for-a-feast family, they always had Thanksgiving guests.

We have always had Thanksgiving guests. 

But not this year.

This is only my second at home alone with my spouse Thanksgiving. And one of only maybe half-a-dozen I haven't been at my parents. We ate very good food. Had a couple great cocktails. Relaxed. Zoomed with my family. Slacked with my best friends. Had a few texts and phone calls with some other folks. 

This year sucks. This world sort of sucks. We're lucky. We love each other. We like each other. We have stable, well-paying jobs we are able to do from the safety of our home--which is safe, warm, nicely appointed and easily affordable on our income. We're healthy. 

I have the best, most trustworthy, kind and giving friends. My beloved sister and her family are within walking distance. We're safe, safe with each other. and even though we have more than that, it's hard to care because of how grateful I am to be safe and safe with each other.

The U.S. is not safe. It is deeply unsafe for so many people. And sometimes even unsafe for people like me. And I am grateful for the things I have and grateful for the people showing me ways to fight to guarantee them to more people.

11/26 '20

A friend had to take her roommate to the hospital this morning. They thought he was having a heart attack--it's COVID 19. I last saw her 16-17 days ago. We met outside to exchange some things. We're waiting to hear. To see what we can do for her, if it's even possilble to help. Maybe deliver soup.

The estimate is that 1 in 16 people in Chicago has an active infection. The realtor who just sold my rental property tested positive last week (I last saw her in person in August). She feels like she's recovering.

Our across-the-hallway neighbors have a steady stream of visitors. I have never seen these neighbors wearing or even carrying face masks but I have only ever run into them when I'm sitting in the back yard. 

I am frightened. I am angry. I am sad.

11/16 '20

We're in a complete media black out. It's less burying our heads in the sand and more accepting our impotence and protecting our nerves. I'm not working this week and had pulled together a stack of projects in the sewing room, but today I'm watching Monstrom on PBS Passport, sorting socks, playing video games. 

I made breakfast tacos. I have an appointment with a remote notary at 1. Zoom cocktail hour later. We have our late fall several day run of sunny warm weather, so maybe my sister will come sit in the yard for coffee.

All we can do is wait and hope.

11/4 '20