Jill "xtingu" Knapp

Traveling musician. Singer. Road warrior in bursts. Dork. Easy to spot. Gauche eyeshadow fan. Unreasonably happy.

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Ahoy!

As usual, only time for a listo. I stink.

[] Delaware has opened up vaccines for people age 50, which means Matt is eligible, and I will be eligible in 3 weeks.  The second we heard DE was booking appointments for 50 year olds, Matt jumped online and scored an appointment waaaaaay down in Laurel, Delaware, which is a 2-hour drive from here... and worth every second.  Shot #1 is in Matt's (now sore) arm.

[] I turn 50 in 3-4 weeks, so hopefully my first shot won't be too far away.

[] On 3/31/21, Hot Breakfast! will be celebrating one year of Coffee Break Concerts.... we started this ridiculousness on 3/30/20.  These one-year anniversaries are very strange. Like, "Congratulations? I guess?"  Like, obviously I wish we didn't have this event to celebrate. But since this happened, I'm very grateful to have this event to celebrate.

[] We're headed back to NJ today (Sunday) so my dad can get his 2nd shot.  We wanted to be up there just in case he has a few days of side-effects and needs to chill, we can take care of Mom.

[] Driving in LSD (lower slower Delaware) on Thursday, I saw teeeeeeeny red tips on the tree branches, which tells me that SPRING IS HERE!!  Yippeeee!! I can't wait to feel the sunlight on my face.  It's supposed to be 63 degrees all week.

[] We were supposed to have our kitchen re-done last year, but Covid put a big stop to that... but now we've restarted the process.  Our friend is doing the work (don't worry, it's his full-time job, and it's not a favor or anything), and we'll be meeting with the cabinet lady after we get back to DE next week.  She'll take measurements and do the layout, and then it'll be up to our pal to do all the work.

[] Lume deodorant the greatest stuff in the world. It is WITCHCRAFT. You can put it on any body part, and it is impossible to stink... even during these COVID times can that sometimes feature a... more... relaxed(?) shower schedule... (*whistles quietly, looks around*)

[] Jon Batiste was interviewed by Terry Gross, and it was GLORIOUS. If you have 42 minutes and need your soul jumpstarted, I highly recommend it.  It's even better if you can listen to it without doing other things, but I know that's a huge ask.  But here's the link.  

OK, I need to get on the road. 

Love you all... hope you're all safe and seeing some of the spring's new light.

xoxo!


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If you say Lume is good, I'll try it. I was thinking about it.
Me too!
me three! i've been seeing their ads for a year now and thinking, "really???"
Jenn A 3/22
Yeaaaah for vaccines! Hoping you can get yours...they’re hard to get ahold of in PA.

Happy COVIDaversary for Coffee Breaks!

Perhaps the least talked about side effect of the plague...armpits across the world got just a little bit stinkier. 😁

Yasssss to Spring buds...saw some on the rhododendron today and mighta squealed a lil bit...like a lot a bit.

Safe travels💕
Shannie 3/21
 

((waves hi!))

I'm here, been lurking, though not as much as I would have liked.  I am all caught up on everyone's entries, but I admit I didn't read every comment. I'll peruse them as I can.

All is good... well, as good as can be expected as we're coming up on a year of a pandemic. 

Instead of something well-written, here's a trusty listo:

  • We played our 100th Coffee Break Concert on Wednesday, Feb 24th. A milestone!
  • Also, Matt and I marked 10 years together a week or two ago.
  • We got an estimate to get our ugly kitchen redone, and I'm excited about that.
  • I'm still not teaching, but I'm selling some courseware which is nice.  Would like to be selling more, but baby steps.
  • I have a bunch of dental work that needs to be done. I just got a form letter that says my dentist no longer participates in my dental insurance. She couldn't have made that choice 6 weeks ago when I chose my dental plan for 2021?
  • I have had pre-menpausal osteoporosis (osteopenia) since 2010 or so. My doctor told me to get another bone density scan to see how it's progressing, since it had been a while since I got one.  Insurance denied it. Why on earth would insurance deny a bone density scan? Isn't the only reason for a bone density scan is to check to see how far your osteoporosis is progressing?
  • Going to see the parents tomorrow.  Mom's mental state is getting worse due to a total lack of stimulation. The home health care workers we hired to come in 3x/week  are fine, but they aren't interesting to my mom, so they basically just do light housekeeping and that's it. They aren't able to engage with my mom... she just doesn't care.  This pandemic couldn't have happened at a worse time dementia-wise. Right before Covid hit, she was interested in hanging out at the senior center a few days per week just to make some friends, play some bingo, and use a few brain cells. So much for that.  By the time the senior center reopens, I worry she'll be too far gone. 
  • My dad got his first covid shot (didn't even feel it); his second one is in 3 weeks. Mom has not gotten hers yet.  My brother's whole family has gotten fully vaccinated, and I am absolutely delighted they're immunized; but there is a 10% "huh?" in my brain wondering why his 17 year old daughter already received her two shots yet my 78 year old mother with many comorbidities hasn't gotten her first yet.  I try not to think about this too much. We'll all get them in due time; vaccinating 350 million people ain't easy. 
  • I have a crush on Dr. Fauci. 
  • SNL has been killin' it in 2021.  I like that they're not afraid to just be surreal.  They do always have to have to the one character who has to explain the joke a bit, but it's a small price to pay.
  • Our Saturday night ritual is watching SNL on nbc/hulu, and then watching "Big Questions with The Dead Milkmen" on YouTube.  ("Big Questions" started pre-pandemic when the guys were in the studio recording their latest album. They decided they needed more content for their YouTube channel, so at each week's recording session, one of the guys would come up with a question, and each guy would answer it... and they'd follow it up with Recommendations, where they recommended something they think people would dig (a movie, book, food, cat toy, going for a walk, etc.).  It's absolutely delightful.  Once lockdown started, it became (like all things) a Zoom call.  It's really great. Some of their recommendations have been really wonderful during lockdown.

That's the random news. 

I hope everyone is doing well... I miss you all, and I really hope to get back on the OPW wagon.... which is what I said last time... but... yeah.

xoxo


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Waves hi back while coffee kicks in...
Rog and I both got approved for vaccines in the same letter that said they are shutting down appointments temporarily due to lack of vaccines. I'm glad we both got approved, but it does suck when an out-of-work friend who happens to have a medical license got both hers a month ago. I'm glad for her, but.... BLEGH. Let's get this going already so we can move past this glaringly uneven distribution. The whole thing stinks.

(I also am crushing on Fauci.)

Oh, and congrats on 10 years, you guys. <3
That's a heck of a listo. DENSE, even.

Happy 100th CBC! Happy Mattiversary! Happy kitchen estimate! You should have a not-ugly space in which to eat popcorn dipped in Fluff.

Boo for dental insurance badness. I might be switching dentists soon; the one I'm seeing for a consult soon doesn't accept most insurance, including mine, so... I'll go see 'em, but I don't see having to pay up front and then wait for my insurance to reimburse me as a long-term good idea. Maybe if they completely blow my mind with their competence.

I'm sorry about your mom's state of mind. Dementia is tough and sometimes the declines can happen quickly. This past year has stolen so much from so many.

Fauci and Psaki. My heart beats wild.
That hole's supposed to be there, right? Okay, it could be more appropriately folded.
 

I sometimes make music with The Rock Orchestra.  It's a tribute band. They're good.

On Wednesdays at 7:30pm, they've been hosting watch-parties of professionally-shot, multi-camera videos of some of our live performances... Peter Gabriel... The Who... and tonight was when we performed Bruce Springsteen's first three albums

I was never a huge Springsteen fan, for no particular reason.  But playing that Born to Run album (as I overlook the occasional problematic misogynistic juvenile lyrics) with people I freakin' LOVE, with bravado and swagger, with a horn section, a friggin' old-skool Hammond Organ trucked in... just... wow. We killed it.  I had forgotten how much fun it was. (Here's a link to Rosalita. Here's a link to the song Born to Run with my badass glockenspiel.)

But this post isn't about that.  

The audience was packed-- it was a sold out show of 700+ people we didn't know. And they were happily buzzed and singing along. Some of the camera angles were shot from the back of the house, over the heads of the revelers standing shoulder to shoulder to strangers, having a blast, connected in that moment of live music.  And at one point there were 15 of us on stage once the horn section came on stage... and at times some of us were sharing mics and doing that jubilantly goofy standing-back-to-back "rock move" that sometimes organically happens when musicians are musicking. 

And then it hit me. 

We can't do that anymore.  That was another life. Another world. We may never get back to that until we have a vaccine... and today I read an article in Wired about how this Covid fucker is mutating into something potentially more sinister. Great.

I watched the livestream and cried.  I cried with happiness, remembering the joy we experienced on stage. 

And then I cried for how much I miss connecting with other people.  I cried seeing the audience, and hearing them sing along. I cry at the drop of a hat lately.

Maybe it's PMS. Maybe it's 8 weeks of not leaving my house except for three turbo-fast trips to the grocery store.  Maybe it's missing my parents (who are doing fine, by the way).  I dunno.  Last night was really bad-- I was inconsolably crying and feeling really fucking hopeless for a few hours.  I've never felt suicidal in my life, but last night was the first time I could sorta see how someone could maybe feel that way-- it seemed at least.... plausible?  Like, fuck it, why bother?  (Pleeeeeeease don't read anything into that. I mean it. Do not worry. I am not suicidal, like, at all. I'm totally OK, and was just feeling blue from these shit-ass circumstances.)  And honestly, taking a 1/2 xanax and talking to my dad via Duo helped a huge deal.  But I'm just saying I could finally see for the first time the darkness that brains have the potential to experience. Jesus.


ANYWAY, now that I've totally ruined the mood... let's forget all that and talk about happier stuff.

1) I have bird feeders outside my kitchen window and I love how we have a cast of regulars who visit every day.  We have a pair of sparrows, four mourning doves, a pair of cardinals (though the male visits more often), a fat squirrel, and we had our first crow the other day, but I haven't seen him back. (As an aside: My dream is to have a crow or raven decide to be my friend. I subscribe to waaaay too many raven/crow channels on YouTube.)

2) We are still doing our thrice-weekly 15-minute Hot Breakfast CoffeeBreak Concerts at 3pm EDT on our Facebook page.  Our production values have gone up a smidge... we have "hold music" as we wait for people to arrive, and Matt labors over the signs we put up as a placeholder before each show.  I love his silly design aesthetic.

Today was concert #17, which I kinda can't believe. We haven't repeated a song yet, which is kind of a fun challenge.  Today we did only covers... we did one somber tune to acknowledge the sadness in the air that seems to be weighing everyone down ("Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd, of course)... and then we played "Squeezebox" by The Who because it's our friend Kevin's favorite song and he was having a rough go of it and we wanted to cheer him up.  Then we went full-on dork with Pac Man Fever, and we finished chipper with a Daydream Believer singalong.  Original songs are great and all, but sometimes you just wanna hear songs you recognize, y'know?

When we originally decided to do these concerts, we said we'd do them until May 15th, which was the arbitrary end-of-the-lockdown date the Governor of Delaware picked way back in March.  It doesn't look like things will reopen by then, or maybe a few things will soft-open, I dunno... so I'm not sure if we should bother still doing them after May 15th.  Lots of people write to us and thank us sincerely for doing them, saying it really helps to have things on their calendar a few days a week. The comraderie that has built up among the regular attendees in the chat windows is so, so glorious to see.  It's really fun seeing new friendships being formed among the viewers.  

In the beginning these livestreams were easy because we had our standard material that we've played a billion times and didn't really have to think about.  But now we are deeeeeeep in the super-deep-cuts of our original songs... stuff we've only played live once or twice, and/or learning new cover songs the night before the livestream.  We try to have some kind of theme, and we try to put little easter eggs around our performance space, though we're not sure if the camera can always pick 'em up.  These are definitely good for us to do.  I'm grateful to have deadlines since I have no other work.

(Though I did teach my first vocal coaching session via Zoom yesterday, which was cool... but it was a favor for a friend's kid who has an audition coming up.)


3) In other news: Every Saturday the PhilaDels have been having Zoom hangouts; sometimes we play Cards Against Humanity or Pictionary, and other times we just shoot the shit.  I've "seen" my PhilaDels more in the last 8 weeks than I have in the last 2-3 years combined. So I guess there is a silver lining in this.


4) In other, other news: Since the general rule is that you can't gather in groups of 10 or more... what's preventing anyone from having a small group of masked people over to our backyard on a nice weekend day, standing a reasonable distance apart, just to shoot the shit and eat a burger (carefully, being mindful of the mask and drool)?  Do we have to be THIS isolated?  


5) Matt and I have only left the house thrice for quick shopping trips, like I mentioned... and when we do, we have ridiculously complex and hella overkill decontamination processes as we bring ourselves and our purchases into the house.  I am confident we are virus-free.  With that, we are thiiiiiiiinking about visiting my parents this weekend. They also have not left the house except for a few quick shopping trips. Mom is clearly getting worse, surely due to understimulation... but Dad actually seems to be doing a lot better now that the weather is warming up and he's healthy again, and now on a low-dose antidepressant which has made him a new guy.  They are more than comfy with us coming up... the room we sleep in up there hasn't been opened/entered since we were last in it in February.  I'm still a teeny bit nervous about going up-- god forbid I somehow am an asymptomatic transmitter... but I don't know how I could have contracted it since I'm so friggin' neurotic about washing, desanitizing, distancing, masking, even wearing goggles in the store, etc.  I have a few more days to decide if we're gonna go.  It'd be nice to see Mom for Mother's Day.  I don't know how many more Mothers Days she'll have where she understands what day it is.  The last time Matt and I left the house was April 28th, so we're 8 days isolated. I suppose I could wait an extra week and go up next weekend when we are more than 14 days clear, just to be super-safe.  Hmmmm.  Thoughts?


Anyway. That's enough outta me for now.

I love you all very much. 

Sorry I've been so quiet over here. I am reading what you're all writing. Thank you for writing.

xoxo-- good night!


PS: Hey, anyone hear from Robert Bryan anytime recently, by the way?


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I'm here, thankful to hear your voice in my head as I read your amazeballs writing.
Robert Bryan 5/7 '20
Yaaaaaay! Thanks for surfacing, my friend. Just wanted to know y'all are OK.
Sounds like those concerts might be doing good things for you guys as well as your audience. I would think about keeping those up. maybe change the schedule to be a little less intense if you like. Just a thought, of course you should do what's right for you. But rhythm is everything.

Everyone is working out their own quarantine buddy situation. I see how there are big trade-offs in your mind about visiting your parents. It does sound like you've been impressively isolated. We are taking advantage of the fact that we're allowed to go for walks, and so is the entire neighborhood, with increasingly poor mask participation, so I would hesitate to say that we are grandparent ready.

Take care.
For what it is worth, I know you will be out there again as soon as the stage is available. You will be one of the people reminding us about what it means to be together, and be encouraging us to return to whatever level of social normalcy is possible.

Also, for what it's worth - this isolation has given me the opportunity to examine my own mental health from a different perspective. For me, life does not change dramatically from one day to the next, and yet my mood(s) can swing wildly. It's helped me recognize what a chemical pea soup I have going on in my brain, and further, to recognize real versus imagined crises. Yes, I can cause my own downward spiral if I focus on anything negative for too long, but I can also simply experience something without even trying - and it can come and go in the space of a few hours.

And I don't have the stressors you do. I mean, you don't actually know what mine are right now, but I know they are very different from yours.

And your concerts do help. For me, they give me something to look forward to that is regular and predictable. I know you can't see me, but I imagine you can, so I make myself presentable before I sit down in front of the computer to tune in. It jump starts me to handle errands or interact with others. So for me, you're helping a lot.

I miss you. Take care of yourself and Matt, and let me know if you need anything I can provide.
SFM 5/7 '20
Wow, Thank you. This was extreeeeeemely helpful for me to read. Recognizing the difference between a "mood" and overall mental health. Thank you. It's OK to be in a poopy mood, and remembering that this is not the "forever setting." Thank you. It's so obvious, but reading it really helped. Thank you. Really.

And dooood, I'm so happy to hear the concerts help. I love the idea of you making yourself presentable before them. :) It means the world to be that you tune in to our bojangley-ness. :-D

Douldah.
This resonated strongly for me. I'm afraid to contact you too much because I'm afraid you'll think I'm stalking you. if you guys had to stop doing the HBCBCs, I would be blue, but I'd survive. I also imagine that prepping for these must be exhausting.
More later. I have some stuff on my desk that I have to deal with.
A couple of thoughts:

Does your mom still have respiratory issues?
Would she understand or be okay with you wearing a mask and/or remaining 6' away?
Could you say, "Mom, I have a cold, and I don't want you to catch it?" If so, would she be okay with that?

In reference to gathering in groups of 9 or less: Our downhill neighbors do this every time the weather is nice. It used to make me furious. Now I just figure if they get sick, I don't have to feel sad. They play corn hole (huh huh, huh huh, hey, Beavis) and wiffle ball, which is distanced, but they also hold their kids on their laps and sit around the same table. it seems like it's the same cast of characters routinely. I know that some people agree to co-quarantine or whatever they're calling it.

I don't know the answers, but I wholly empathize.
Thanks for the concerts! Mos def highlights of my weeks. I hope you and Matt can find it in yourselves to keep them up.
Thank you! This is really helpful feedback, and I love when you pop in and say "Yo!"

I think we'll commit to 3x/week through May 30th and then re-assess what life is starting to look like for people.

What are they saying in your neck of the woods? Any target dates of a soft reopening or anything? Here in DE, they allowed certain business to "soft-reopen" as long as they keep a teeeny number of customers in the building at one time, and everyone masks up. Stuff like hair salons and nail places... but nobody's sitting down in a restaurant yet.

Love y'allz.
As of Saturday (today's report won't be for another few hours), we've had 261 total cases, 244 recovered, 3 deaths, 14 active cases, of which 4 are in hospital, of which 2 are in ICU. Hospital capacity is at about 60%. Some two-thirds of the total cases in the province are related to one weekend's services in March at a funeral home three streets away from our house. This outbreak made a lot of the general public sit up and take it, or at least its stupid contagiousness, very seriously early on. Between that and the early move to ban healthcare workers from working in more than one long-term care home, we haven't seen nearly as much trouble here as some other provinces with their elderly populations.

The provincial government has implemented a 5-level scheme of alerts: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/alert-system/ . Today (Monday) we've been moved from level 5 to level 4. Under level 5, it was very much a complete stay-at-home order unless you were an essential employee, you needed hospitalization, or you were out for essential groceries. Parks were closed, but you could go out for exercise. Self-isolation for 2 weeks if you travel into the province, and recently they put in some rules that make it very difficult to travel here without a good reason (and "I have a vacation home in NL" wasn't actually a good enough reason). Under level 4, the parks are open, but not for picnics or playgrounds or team sports. Some businesses, daycares, and non-emergency medical visits can resume. Restrictions will continue to ease as the levels go down, but I don't think any public health official can say with certainty what level 2 or 1 will really look like. And of course we may have to go back to 5 if there's another outbreak.

Also, they've gotten us into a "bubble" concept, where your immediate household is your "bubble" that you don't break. Two weeks ago, we were allowed to merge into "double bubbles" -- two households can get together, so long as they are mutually exclusive. We doubled up with a friend who lives on her own and doesn't have any local family. (On our island with a culture of extended Irish Catholic families that gather together frequently, other households are encountering some trouble when they try to figure out which adult sibling's kids get to see Nan and Pop. One feel-good story, though, was that the mayor of St. John's got to hold his new grandbaby for the first time last weekend.) At least one other province, New Brunswick, is working with this "bubble" idea.

Canada's been addressing loss of income a little more ... proactively than the States, but we aren't eligible because of our income situation. Also, we got our U.S. tax refund but we haven't seen our sweet, sweet stimulus checks. I hear that's a common or universal problem among eligible Americans living outside the States. [EDITED to add: the system finally responded to my query this morning, and we should be seeing our moneys this week. Yay!]
Michele Grant 5/11 '20edited
 

Last got a haircut on January 3rd. Yowza. 

Because I bleach the everloving crap out of my hair, sometimes the unavoidable small amount of sacrificial breakage serves as a cut... "a chemical cut," as we jokingly call it. This means that if I bleach my hair at home during long stretches, I can sometimes put off a haircut a bit. (I'm not saying this is optimal, but it has bought me time in the lean times and the busy times.)

But with the lockdown in place, and my hair rapidly approaching "meth-using love-child of Guy Fieri and 1985 Richard Marx" status, I decided to whip out Ye Olde Clippers and take matters into my own hands.  (I have done this before, but never after 3 months of growth.)

Holy moley, I am a new woman. I kept the top Fieri/Marxy, but the sides are clipped to a nice 1/2" and YAY.


Easter Zoom Calls / Parent Update

In other news: Today is Easter and we did a Zoom visit with Matt's family and then my family.  Guiding Matt's family through using Zoom was similar to this, but once everyone finally got on it was fun.  We yapped for about 45 mins before we said goodbye and then chatted with my family.  We had my parents in one window Zooming in fron their home in north Jersey, and my brother's family of five in their window, from their dining room about 25 minutes away from my folks, also in north Jersey. My mom didn't understand why we weren't all able to be physically together, and kept asking where we all were. She kept saying, "Well I know you're all so busy," as if she thought we couldn't get together because we just didn't feel like freeing up our schedules. At one point she also didn't recognize the grandkids... but that's kind of understandable-ish because she only sees them maybe twice a year, and the two girls (ages 16 and 23) look different every time we see them (hair color/length changes, typical weight fluctuations, new glasses, etc.).  Mom also kept asking where Matt and I were, because she had assumed we were having a big Easter dinner with Matt's family. I assured her we were in my kitchen alone. But again, her not recognizing my kitchen is also sort of understandable: Mom has been to my house maybe twice since I bought my house in '07... so how could she realistically recognize my kitchen?  I can't let myself stress about it.

What's ultimately important is that she and my dad are safe up in NJ at their home in the sticks, and they have neighbors and folks offering to go to the store for them (which my dad rejects because wants to get out of the house). As much as I bitch that they live on the moon, it has given them some insulation which is comforting. 

Their isolation, and now the lack of the home health-care companion I had coming a few days a week to keep Mom engaged and stuff, means Mom's just pretty much sleeping much of the day because she's bored and understimulated. I asked my dad if hecould suggest maybe they watch a movie together, and he said, "Well, our tastes don't line up."  I jokingly/not-jokingly said, "I suppose being flexible for 100 minutes and watching something maybe Mom might like... that's probably asking too much, I guess...?"  He just shrugged. 

It's so weird. Maybe it's because gender dynamics have changed between our generations, and maybe my mom believes that it's her job and duty just to go along with whatever my dad wants... and instead of asking to watch a movie or the news together, it's better for her just to go sit in her room alone with her TV blaring, and for my dad to sit in the TV room with his TV blaring.  *shrug*


But when all you have is each other, and understimulation is only going to make her decline WAY faster, wouldn't you wanna watch a stupid movie or even friggin' Tiger King and just BS about it? Dementia or not, she can watch a movie. 

I also get that Dad is her sole care provider right now, and watching his wife decline decline decline and then ask the same questions 27 times in a row has got to be exhausting... so maybe he welcomes the time off and the peace. But since she's honestly out of her room maybe 2 hours a day total (that's to eat and grab a smoke), it seems like it shouldn't be too much of an ask. 

I know I'm making a lot of assumptions on his part, which isn't fair. So I should probably knock that off and change the subject. 

In slightly other news, for the last few years he's been getting REALLY wound up over little stupid things. Part of it is our Jersey snark of always having to have some snitty comeback to small stuff, but it started becoming his default behavior, and we've been really worried.  His anxiety has been through the roof, and made waaaaaaay worse since his various hospitalizations this year since my Mom's been so bad since October or so. We all kinda think his first two hospitalizations have been physical manifestations of his anxiety.  So the hospital doctors increased his xanax frequency from "as needed" to 3x daily (a low dose each time, but still). Sometimes it'd make him groggy, but it definitely did take his anxious edge off. But I didn't like the grog-- you could see it in his eyes.


His regular doctor (who is awesome) did a regular med-check at the end of March via a telemedicine visit and said he was concerned about my almost 80-year-old dad taking so much xanax, and would prefer he not build a tolerance, and would prefer dad use it as a rescue medication for legit panic attacks, and not as the way he copes with his wife.  Instead, he put him on Zoloft (sertraline). At first I was concerned... but after a week, HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD he's a new fucking guy. He's handling lockdown great, he's chipper, he feels good, he's got more energy, he's got more patience, he doesn't get overwhelmed, he doesn't get out of breath, and he doesn't feel 'medicated' like he was feeling with the daytime xanax... so it's a definite home run. It's like I have my old dad back from 25 years ago. Yaaaaaay! 


Fancy Easter Dinner

The food we have eaten today: Buttered toast made from some bread I made last week that is still delicious (ate that at 1:30pm), a few strips of bacon (ate that at 2:30), and then some home-made french fries at 8:30pm as a snack. Only the finest Easter meal. 

We have not ordered any takeout whatsoever during this lockdown. I know I should support my local businesses, but I just can't trust that these small businesses have kitchens designed for social distancing, and enough PPE to last long shifts. I'd rather just buy gift cards from them online and this way nobody has to be in danger on my account. (I am not judging anyone who orders takeout. Please don't @ me.)

With that, it's been fun getting back to our "home economics" roots and planning meals, going to the store once every 10 days or so, buying only what we planned, and making everything here, and then making good things from the leftovers.  We will probably have to go to the store this week since we are low on some staples, but if it needs to wait, we will not starve. We haven't dug into the soups in the pantry or anything.  (Now that I've written that, maybe I will stay home.)

Masks

Because of Burning Man prep over the years, I had a few boxes of N-95 masks. I donated the sealed boxes and the healthcare workers were VERY grateful. I had an opened box with only a few masks in it, so I kept that and sent my parents two masks, and kept two for me and Matt, and gave two to my mailman (along with some PVC gloves and a small thing of hand sanitizer I had) after I heard our post office didn't have PPE. 

But even with that, my dear BFF Patty is making gorgeous masks that follow one of the CDC designs, and even comes with replaceable filters and a moldable nose-piece and adjustable ear-loops. They're wonderful. So if anyone needs masks, she charges $10/mask (that comes with a bunch of filters and great instructions and are beautifully made in fun-printed fabrics) plus shipping. They are worth every dime. I've been buying them for friends and family when I hear they are mask-less. She has adult and child sizes.  So if you need masks, lemme know and I'd be happy to ship you some as a gift. 


In the last bit of thing:

Is there a way to back-date entries, kinda like how LJ used to do?  I get that this might be anti-OPW ethos, but I feel bad for dumping 73 years' worth of bloggy thoughts into one long entry, when maybe I could spread them out with a carefully-used backdate option.  (Or maybe I could just plan my writing better.)

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4/14 '20 11 Comments
Thank you for the link to your friend who makes masks. <3 We are maskless over here and I was looking at the awesome pattern Anne linked in her post, but honestly I am struggling with even just the basics of living right now, so mask-making has not happened for me yet.
Karen Kuhl 4/14 '20
I would just like to second the fact that Pat-man is a pretty fantastic human and has more style in her little finger than I do in my whole body. I realize that’s not really saying much, but she’s awesome and stylish, and her masks are too! :)
I cut my hair back when I was still in town. It had gone waaaaayyy too long without a cut before the pandemic started, so I’d figured “What the hell?! I’m not going to be seeing anyone anyway, I have a simple hair style, and why not?” Guess it turned out okay since no one on the Zoom calls stopped, pointed, and laughed. I suspect yours looks infinitely better though.

Glad to hear that things are... well... at least ‘stable-ish’ with your folks. And the Dad v. Meds scenario is awesome! Glad to hear he’s feeling more himself and has a bit more zest.

If it helps, I had a similar sort of Easter dinner. A whole hell of a lot more of it, but similar in it’s... traditional fare.

I don’t believe that there is a way to back date entries. Might be an interesting future addition?
Teaching my mom how to use Zoom was so insane that I recorded it. I hit the record button about two minutes into the call, thinking, “Ted and I can make comedy gold out of this.” I can’t bring myself to watch the recording, and I’m just going to delete it, because it feels cruel now.

Is it better if your mom thinks that you all having separate Easter dinners is by choice, rather than because there’s an invisible threat? I don’t know the answer, or if there is one.

Patty’s designs are gorgeous. Half the reason I’m obsessed with mask making is because I feel like it’s a problem I can solve. It’s an intersection of art, fashion, ingenuity, necessity, altruism, repurposing, and thrift, if you’re using up a fabric stash or old clothes that didn’t work out.

Your dad’s Zoloft process sounds so similar to what I went through when I first started taking it. I resisted it really hard, because I was afraid I’d turn into a compliant little zombie. The thought that comes to mind to describe how I felt is, “the giant pile of bricks is still there, but I can deal with it and it doesn’t own me.”
I have been in since March 17th due to an early possible exposure (false alarm) and was due for a clip then. I had a sleep study on the 24th and knowing they were going to put electrodes on my head, I broke out the clippers and gave myself a 0 guide clip. Not enough hair to look cool, too much hair to look mean. But Lord, did the sleep lab technician like me.

I needed to acquire the inner layer filter fabric for my friend's little mask production line. This required a trip to Norristown to pick up from Joann Fabrics, the closest store with the fabric in stock. Fortunately they were open for pickup.

No takeout orders here either. Although I've had to be in and out for various errands. Food and medicine. Being single means there's only one person around to do the dirty work. I masked up and went to Lowe's today to get some new blinds. Being that the old ones in my office were old enough to vote and broken due to my former cats... they were ripe for replacement.
Ray Conrad 4/14 '20
My pal who makes masks said that shop towels (those thicker paper towels) doubled up make damn good filters in a pinch. I only have a few of these filter-towels, but I also don't leave often enough to be worried about running out.

Is the filter-fabric you got at Jo-Ann designed to be a filter, or does it just coincidentally work as a filter?

How'd the sleep study go? (If you wrote about it, I'll find out in a second... I'm pretty far behind on reading OPW.)

Man, I miss hanging out with you. I really, really look forward to the day we can have lunch together again.
Seconded on shop towels.
The filter fabric (Pellon 911FF) is recommended. It's a non-woven fabric. Not sure I want to be wearing a mask come summertime. It's not the easiest stuff to breath through.

Sleep study went well, I advocated for surgery as a remedy, since it showed mild sleep apnea. But since all elective surgeries have been cancelled, (I guess this is elective, since it only MIGHT kill me) I have been prescribed a CPAP. But hey, since all of the companies that make CPAPs also make ventilators, guess what else isn't available right now?

Even in introvert wonderland, this introvert is getting a little rammy to be out and about.
Ray Conrad 4/16 '20
Sorry to hear about the CPAP. Here’s hoping that things wrap up sooner than expected and you get one faster than you thought possible. (And that the surgery options get back on the table shortly after that!)
Good to hear your dad is better. I just learned that my elder aunt is now in a similar place to your mom. I'm more concerned for my mother's feelings than my own; I haven't spent a ton of time with my aunt, but my mother is clearly grappling with the existential implications of her sister not being all there anymore.

As to OnePo, there's no backdating hack, alas. But there *is* the queue feature, for spewing forwards in time. You can post as many posts as you want into the queue, and they will come out one per day, on days when you don't post something else.
Thomas Boutell 4/17 '20
I meant to reply to this sooner, but all my time is taken up by Hot Breakfast Coffee Break Concerts. :-P I just sent you a text with my t-shirt size and shipping address, for context. :-D

Thank you for the update on your parents. I have been concerned about all of you and you are never far from my thoughts. I wrote on FB during my mother's decline mostly to share what happens during dementia. And the stories are completely hilarious, if you allow them to be. I am glad to read your father is coping better.

I buy masks for cleaning purposes, so bizarrely, I had a supply of masks before all of this started. I also bought toilet paper on sale in DECEMBER and am just running out of it now. I happened to pick up a 12-pack at the supermarket today. Totally weird how that worked out. I may ask for a mask from P. Lin ("Plin") eventually, just to be more stylish. I have also turned into that old guy who yells at teenagers about not wearing their masks properly, so there's that.

I was just thinking of you and Matt and wanted to reach out. Thank you for the concerts - they have really been helping me get through all of this, and I am certain I am not the only one. Much love to you both.
SFM 5/2 '20