Thursday, October 01, 2020

Reflections on Day 200


By my count, we have been extra careful for over 200 days to avoid catching COVID. And I mean extra careful. Until last Saturday the 26th, I had been inside with others (besides in my apartment with my husband) only when getting in and out of our building and when I got a haircut (masks for everyone, not a lot of people, did my own shampoo to speed things up) and when I got a flu shot (lots of precautions at the pharmacy). The husband had visited the doctor's office (standalone building, many precautions) a couple of times including to get that flu shot. We rode an elevator with others very rarely and always masked. Last Saturday we were invited to someone else's condo (less than a mile away in our downtown area) for a meal and drinks with two other couples to watch a virtual gala. We were a "trusted pod." Like the old times almost because we were convinced that none of us was silently carrying the virus. [I admit that I didn't quiz the others too much!]

So we have spent over half of 2020 in this mode. We have canceled trips, avoided shopping inside stores, avoided restaurants except for curbside takeout. I have followed the news on the disease. At some point, I started closely monitoring the statistics reported in my county and tried to calculate my chances of getting the disease in doing some activity. 

You know those list memes where you answer questions someone else provides? I dislike them because I find myself wanting to edit them. So I made my own for Day 200.

  • Day 1 of serious isolation behavior: March 15
  •  First trip you had to cancel. A driving trip to Ft. Worth and Dallas. Missed getting to see my aunt (the last of that generation I have).
  •  Other trips canceled. A trip to New York with a pop over to Amsterdam in the middle. A trip to Portland and an Oregon beach and other points Northwest. (It might have been smoky.)  A trip to Paris to see the Christo Wrapped Arc de Triomphe. (Which was, itself, postponed until 2021. Also, Christo died, but the event was planned and will allegedly still happen.)
  •   Last trip out of town before isolation. San Antonio. Spent two nights in a hotel and saw Bill Charlap perform at Jazz Texas both nights. Met up with friends for lunch and saw their home. Met up with friends for one performance.
  • Have you been out of town overnight since isolation? Nope
  • Furthest from home since isolation. Maybe 10 miles.
  • Last Plane Ride in the before times. Return from NYC in January.
  • Ridden plane since? No, see above.
  • Last Meal sitting in a restaurant before Isolation. Fixe, March 14. With another couple.
  • Have you eaten a meal in a restaurant since isolation? No.
  • Inside a restaurant? No, see above.
  • First event you didn’t attend due to virus. March 12---Austin Film Society Film Awards Gala.
  • First event you cancelled due to virus. House party on March 15 bought in a charity auction (with agreement from charity and owners of the house but we were very much in favor of cancelation).
  •  Date and event of last over 200-person event. March 7, Delbert McClinton at the Paramount.
  • Last live music event. March 13, Butch Miles Jazz Express at Parker Jazz Club
  • Things you are eating more of since isolation. Pasta, rice, anchovies, lamb, canned tuna, eggs, everything salads, caviar (the cheap grocery store stuff). We are eating a lot of cheese, but we always ate a lot of cheese.
  • Things you are eating less of since isolation. Amazingly chips and nachos; organ meats (because I got them in restaurants).
  • Non-perishable things you have purchased in isolation. A portable blue tooth speaker (which has already quit working), a laptop, a portable hard drive, a blue tooth mouse, an HDMI splitter and cable, masks. FFP bought an oximeter and a gadget to sterilize his phone and such.
  • What restaurants have you gotten take-out meals from? Fixe, Jeffrey’s, Wink, June’s, Cipollina, Fonda San Miguel, 68 Degrees.
  • Have you found yourself bored in isolation? No. Anxious, but not bored.
  • Have you gained or lost weight? Lost five pounds maybe. And maybe gained it back.
  • Do you feel you are in better shape or worse shape? Better. 
  • What exercises are you doing? Walking and stretching. Some arm exercises with a resistance band.
  • Do you drink alcohol? Yes! 
  • If so, more or less in isolation? About the same? Maybe more. 
  • What kinds of drinks have you had? Branched out a lot using up the bottles sitting around the apartment gathering dust. Manhattans, Vodka Gimlets, Vodka Tonics, Rob Roys, Rusty Nails, wine, wine, wine, Old Pals, one I made up called High Rise Iced Tea, port, brandy, cognac. I haven't had a lot of beer because it seems wasteful of frig space and curbside pickup.
  • What entertainments have you explored? Streaming lots of series shows especially British; old movies; documentaries. Listening to jazz and live stream jazz. 
  • Gotten into anything new? Watching NYPD Blue episodes. That’s really old, but watching old TV is new to us. 
  • What are your sources of entertainment? We seem to have all the streaming services except the one for the latest show mentioned somewhere. Seriously we have Hulu, Roku, Prime, Acorn, Criterion Channel, HBO, Showtime, PBS, other junk on the satellite and Disney+ (which we have only watched one thing on and that was the original Dumbo movie).
  • How many books have you read? Four of five. 
  • More or less book reading than usual? About the same.
  • Have you done crosswords? A zillion.
  • Played board games? Scrabble and Monopoly. We only have those.
  • Done jigsaw puzzles? Yes, two and working a third which is so hard we won’t finish by Christmas (which is the only time we usually do one).
  • Have you cleaned out some cabinet, drawer, closet, etc. thoroughly? I cleaned out some OTC and prescription medical and first aid caches. I sorted through the pantry and refrigerator for obvious reasons.
  • Did you find anything interesting? Found a metal aspirin tin and a metal Bandaid box that are ancient. Also found the (mercury) thermometer I rescued from my Dad’s things and used it to verify we didn’t have a temperature a couple of times.
  • Are you spending about the same amount of money? More? Less? Definitely less unless you count contributions to hopefully worthy causes?
  •  Done Zoom, Facetime, etc. meetups? Sigh, yes.
  • Done outside walks? Many. We often drive and walk somewhere. I miss being able to walk from our apartment and stop for snacks or drinks (and a bathroom).
  • Kept a paper journal? Since April 1 I think.
  • Followed COVID information. Yes, a lot. 
  • Sources? New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Local Dashboard. USA Facts Dashboard.
  • Had a social occasion with a small group of people you consider safe? Yes, a virtual gala dinner with two other couples in another apartment. This felt thrilling!

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

From Long Ago But Oh So Appropriate

I clipped this from my old, self-maintained blog. I used to have a little corner where I wrote a little free verse (as in no one would pay for it) reflecting on the day. In 2002 this appeared. It perfectly reflects how a feel over 17 years later. It never ends, does it? Although saving actual clippings is not something I do as much. Still, there is a clipping from The New York Times about museums in the south of France on my desk at this very moment.

I have been remiss about Holidailies. But that broken 'resolution' is not what is making me depressed today. It is just the general feeling, on the first day of a new year, that I wish I could roll back time and do lots of things differently. But the past doesn't work that way.

Today I made soup with some leftover stock from one of FFP's soup making forays. I hope it's good because it's part of dinner. We walked to the bookstore. (How lucky we are to be an easy walk from BookPeople, a large independent book store that has a sale every New Year's Day.) FFP started a book and put on some jazz. I bet he's asleep in his chair. (Nope, just checked, still reading.)

We had a nice NYE. We went to our favorite restaurant, sat at the bar and had dinner and a drink. Then we took a rideshare to a party. Left just after midnight and quickly got a rideshare home. Slept well.