Mar 26 2020

Day 10: Mythical Creatures

Published by under The Daily Grind

Today’s drawing prompt: Combine animals to make your own mythical creature.

After four days, I finally beat that awful jigsaw into submission. Even when I was down to only twenty pieces, it was still a battle.

A few days ago I got some old photos in the mail from my high school friend Kathy. Here’s me in about 1971, after I’d applied stage makeup randomly across my visage. Those were the days, my friend.

In coronavirus news (I expect you already know this, and probably don’t want to think about it more than you already are, but I’m putting it here for posterity), the United States just passed Italy and China for highest number of confirmed cases. It is horrifying to see what’s going on in New York, and now New Jersey. California rates are climbing fast too, but we’re only a tenth of New York’s number, which accounts for about half the country’s infections. And I can’t even imagine what it’s like in India, where people will likely starve during their full-on lockdown.

Molly sent me a link to something quite lovely: a virtual performance of Ode to Joy. And here is aforementioned Molly, who has a friend who has been taking long-distance photos of his quarantined buddies.

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Mar 25 2020

Day 9: Inertia

I wrote too much yesterday so I’ve run dry.

Today is hard. I can’t think of anything new to do. Spent additional time with tech support people on chat this morning, and they finally got my blog’s back-end behaving again. Almost.

But of course things are going to get a lot harder before they get easier. And I am, every hour of every day, well aware how lucky I am in so many ways, not the least of which is having a safe place to live.

I accidentally stumbled upon something you can do if you like wildlife: “Nature: Spend an Hour in Snowy Yellowstone.” It’s got bison. It’s got otters. It’s cool because there’s just natural sound, without narration. I’ve gotten as far as the fox hunting in the snow. Or is it a coyote?

Can you tell? How about now:

No? And finally:

That has got to be a fox.

I’m working on the most difficult and un-fun jigsaw ever. Most of the pieces are patterned with indecipherable markings, so you have no idea what they are or where in the puzzle they go.

The only adventure that my nitrile gloves and I went on today was another trip to the grocery store, since I failed to get everything I needed yesterday. This time they had some bread, but still no paper goods.

Because I miss my mother—and who knows when I’ll be able to see her next—I begged her to indulge me in attempting a Zoom video chat. After five or ten minutes of abortive downloads and strange error messages on her end, which I couldn’t decode from afar, voilà:

(Sadly, we had no audio, so we had to supplement with our phones.) Ma has kindly given her permission for me to use this photo even though she hates it. She wants me to explain that she had just washed her hair and hadn’t set it yet. “[It’s] good of the ring, though,” she adds.

Oh, boy! A new malapropism from a post on the Nextdoor website today:

Did anyone else just hear that loud jet engine that flew overhead? Any idea what it was and why it was flying so low? I couldn’t see it but it was very loud and somewhat discerning.

It’s very important that low-flying planes have good judgment.

For the third consecutive night, my neighbors gathered briefly in the street at 7:00 p.m. I wandered out for fifteen minutes, and then came back and published this.

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Mar 24 2020

Day 8, Part Two: On Spam

Published by under The Daily Grind

With all this time on my (well-washed) hands, I decided I should poke around the dark and dangerous realm of my blog’s innards: see what’s there, make improvements, clean things up. Hah. I got totally lost, and in an attempt to make things right I ended up buying a $39 software plug-in that I may not need, and now its installation has caused a technical traffic jam that has required me to spend several hours with various tech support people. The moral of the story: let sleeping dogs lie.

While poking around in there, I stumbled upon a handful of unpublished (until now) spam comments. I rather like them.

  • “Hello! I like your locale and positive communication. Thank. I will be overpowering my thoughts here.”
  • “Hi to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting more from this website, and your views are fastidious for new people.”
  • “Hello! I like your site and clear-cut communication. Thank. I will be irresistible my thoughts here.”

Oh, and look what just came in:

  • “Вредные примеси возможно символически поделить на некоторое количество групп: органические загрязнения, препятствующие обычной гидратации цемента; примеси, содействующие…” [and so on]. I wonder what they’re selling.

Because I’m bored (and curious), I decided to see if Google Translate could help me out. Here’s what it says that means: Harmful impurities can be symbolically divided into a number of groups: organic pollution that impedes the usual hydration of cement; impurities promoting…

Look what you learned just this minute: примеси means impurities in Russian. Use that knowledge wisely.

I have to say, I’m deeply touched that I have so many devoted readers, ones who leave relevant and profound comments. You might ask, if few but spammers come here, why do I bother to write at all? You, as always, have great questions. I do it for myself, both as a form of entertainment (especially during these endless days) and, more, as a way to help me remember. It truly sucks to have lost the amount of memory that I have, and I need all the tools I can muster to keep track of the past. There’s a third reason, I admit: I do secretly dream of people reading and, dare I hope, even enjoying my ramblings. In any case, on countless occasions I’ve been glad to have Bloggy to remind me of stuff.

I probably already told you I was expecting a package from my mother. Guess what’s in the box.

Just think about it for a while. I’ll tell you later.


Remember those white things? I do so hope I can make them last. I wonder when they’ll be back in stores. Oh, and the object resting on the right corner of the box is a pair of socks with squirrels on them, because Ma knows how much I detest those destructive rodents. And the item protruding from between the rolls is a package of Kleenex.

Even though I abhor squirrels, they can be fun to photograph in my yard. This was earlier this month:

Well, it’s getting to be close to bedtime (8:00 p.m.). I just returned from the second night of neighborhood safe-distance-gathering in light rain.


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