I heard the murmurings about Tim Burton’s Addams Family dark academia adaption, Wednesday, and I had to binge-watch ASAP.
You see, I remember watching The Addams Family on the floor of two different trailers, my grandfather’s when I went to visit my Aunt Sharon or Wicky’s, an elderly man who lived near my grandfather in the trailer park. My mom used to help James Wicks as he grew older. My mom and dad had lived in the trailer between my grandfather and Wicky when my they first got married.
I adored Wednesday and grew up to idolize John Astin as Gomez and later as Buddy on Night Court. I lost my mind when “Gomez” turned up on my current favorite show in the later part of the 1980s. To see a 2015 interview of John, click here. John Astin is still one of my greatest heroes on-screen. He even discusses working with cartoonist Charles Addams. If you haven’t seen the original Addams Family cartoons, I encourage you to check them out. Here’s a book that traces the history of the iconic Addams Family.
When The Teenager was four, our entire family dressed as The Addams Family for Halloween. She was Wednesday, her father was Gomez and I, of course, was French-speaking Morticia. The Teenager had a headless doll, I carried a deflowered rose, and we even had a silicone replica of my hand we cast as Thing and took turns carrying.
We purchased the original black-and-white television program on DVD. I loved the first movie of Addams Family reboots, especially Christina Ricci as Wednesday asking the Girl Scout played by the actress Mercedes McNab who was also Harmony on Buffy and Angel. Ricci returns as a house mother and horticulture teacher in the new Wednesday series on Netflix, though I did not recognize her.
I have very mixed feelings about this show, and the Teenager tells me I am not the intended viewer so that might be some of the problem. To lessen the pressure to rate this program with a definitive reaction, I’m going to present my reactions in pro/cons list.
WHAT I LIKED:
WEDNESDAY. The casting of Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams could not have been more perfect. Her acting surpassed my every expectation.
The costumes. Especially Wednesday. According to Variety, Colleen Atwood (who has impressive credentials) did the work– and wow did the costumes from the school uniforms to the styling of the individual characters pop against the setting.
Pugsley. Played by Isaac Ordonez, Pugsley did an excellent job of fading into the background yet adding to the comic relief and the family dynamic all at the same time. Ordonez played Pugsley (originally Pubert in the original cartoons, a name that couldn’t be used on 1950s television) with just the right blend of seriousness and subtle “camp.”
The Writing. In general, the dialogue pleased me. The character interactions were top knotch.
The Addams Family Hearse. At first, I thought it was a Rolls-Royce, but then I had to smile when I realized what it was.
The Cello. It was just cool.
The Poe-themed boarding school. A boarding school for monsters just should have an Edgar Allen Poe theme.
Enid. She’s adorable.
The overt theme of unconditional inclusion.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
MORTICIA AND GOMEZ. Catherine Zeta-Jones seemed flat as Morticia. She was okay. Luis Guzman does a superb job with the role he is given as Gomez. His acting– perfect. But this Gomez is not charming. This Gomez has rotten teeth and a weeble-wobble shape and reminds me more of the Penguin from Batman.
NO FRENCH. Morticia does not speak French.
Four houses of monsters. Like a direct rip-off of Harry Potter, the occult boarding school of Nevermore has four houses (werewolves, vampires, gorgons and sirens) and then those who don’t fit in one of those groups. I’m not impressed with this social construct. I personally wouldn’t have groups of monsters and would focus instead on the individuals. And the fact that we have werewolves, vampires, gorgons and sirens just seems random. And I can only think that the only reason there wasn’t a group of witches is because of… you guessed it… the success of Harry Potter (which I still believe is a rip-off of one of my favorite childhood books, The Worst Witch).
Wednesday appears to be a psychopath. The Addams are certainly counter-cultural, but a scene toward the end of the first season dips into torture. And not the kind people consented to.
The plot. The story itself was meh. The familiar tropes played out in the anticipated way.
I listen to a lot of podcasts at work and one of them is “Why are people watching this?” This weekly podcast takes the top rated show on Netflix for any given week and reviews it among a group of friends.
They recently looked at Season Four of Stranger Things. Now, I first “tried” Stranger Things and couldn’t get into it. But I decided to try again, based on some comments made in that episode.
They reference how well the show captures 1980s nostalgia and comments on the good casting and talent of the young actors.
I am now starting the current season— and I’m curious where it will go because Season Three ended at a perfect point. So I think it will be hard to maintain the arc.
The series plays out like a comic book, often poignant, then funny, then over-the-top. It’s part teen drama, part horror, part sci-fi and in all honesty, the sci-fi/conspiracy horror/monster storylines don’t impress me. And the plot line of a government agency raising children with superpowers still feels like a rip-off of DarkAngel. Personally, the early episodes of Dark Angel captivate me and I love Jessica Alba in her lead role in that series. Just don’t watch the final season, it’s some of the worst television I’ve ever seen.
But anyway, the characters on Stranger Things keep me coming back. They are so interesting. And the essence of the eighties oozes out the pores. Their season three depiction of The Mall scene captured every detail— even the old branding of all the main icons of that era: Burger King, Orange Julius, the Gap.
It’s like the Buffy The Vampire Slayer of sci-fi/dark fantasy.
So I’m curious to see if Season Four will hold up.
Yesterday I cleaned a lot of my downstairs and had a relatively good work out at Apex. I haven’t felt incredibly strong lately, but my IUD must be working because I’m not in pain.
I had a good week at work, so cleaning, working on Parisian Phoenix projects and watching Cobra Kai suited me just fine yesterday.
I even found two of the dog’s Kong balls under the couch which made for a very happy dog.
Today, I was supposed to have my annual physical but my doctor’s office called yesterday and rescheduled for next week— which also means another week without answers from my CT scan and physiatrist referral. Neither the neurologist nor the physiatrist’s office has called me back.
And I need a doctor that can help me understand the motion and mechanics of my body, and not just its individual parts.
Today I scrubbed the exterior of the stove and did dishes. Then I went to help my blind friend Nan with some errands and grocery shopping.
We made plans to pick up some pizza at Little Caesars so Nan could try the Batman Calzony. No matter how I tried I couldn’t explain what it was to the blind lady. So we bought one.
But we had time to kill before the teenager got out of school even after we put groceries away. We grabbed the dog and got drinks and hash browns (for the dog) at Dunkin.
And then we surprised the teenager with the dog at school.
Then Joan stopper by to drop off some hand-me-down magazines and erotica, cupcakes and photos that Joan needed us to sort.
Now, I’m cuddling with Louise, watching Gotham Garage and enjoying kitten photos.
When Grey’s Anatomy first came out, I gave it a chance— but the amount of gratuitous sex made it realize very quickly it was a medical soap opera. I’ve watched a couple seasons, but the characters always seemed immature and the medical side of the show seemed superfluous to the plot.
I loved ER, but only made it through season 11 or 12. This was before the Netflix days. But still my favorite medical drama was House MD because of the quirky central character and the difficulties the rest of the ensemble cast had dealing with him.
One of these days I should make a list of the medical dramas I have watched over the years and revisit some of them to share what I like about them.
But my current show of choice is Chicago Med, but I am losing patience with it as I fear the writers are “jumping the shark” more with every season.
The first season did a great job of establishing a wide range of characters from a wide variety of backgrounds.
And in season two, the writers introduced a new heart surgeon— a Black and (Orthodox) Jewish gentleman by the name of Dr. Latham.
As soon as the regular cast began to interact with him, I suspected he had Aspergers. He portrayed a certain type of rationality and difficulty with emotions and reading others. His approach to surgery was very routine based.
I liked the character— a lot. And he discovered his Aspergers with the help of the psychiatric staff at the hospital (which as a doctor I think he would have realized it before) but to see him digest this news was very rewarding.
But then he wanted treatments. And that upset me. Aspergers made him a great surgeon and a unique character. But because he lacked empathy with distraught patients and the nurses said he “creeped out” families, he wanted to, pardon my use of the expression, see how the other half lives.
And the treatments started to work. And I hated it. I hated the notion that a doctor was perpetuating the idea that people who are non-mainstream need to be fixed.
I’m not going to say anything more, because spoilers, but let’s just say by season 3 Dr. Latham’s Aspergers was forgotten and he contributes a valuable perspective to the show. And PS— in a mass casualty event, he rocks it with triage.
The show in Season 3 had a compelling storyline with Dr. Reese’s estranged father, which started as a really good dip into psychiatric issues, but then went over the top in not one but at least two ways. I hated the outcome.
And now in Season 4, I am seeing two storyline develop that feel more crime drama than medical and that’s not what I signed up to watch.
So now it’s a question of do I finish the show or abandon it?
My daughter and I used to binge-watch the reboot of Queer Eye on Netflix— she loved the home makeovers, Bobby’s energy and style; we both loved Antoni and the food. Tan was adorable. And Jonathon is just a lovable force. And then there was Karamo, orchestrating something not quite identifiable as “culture expert.”
When his memoir, Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing & Hope came out (pun?) in 2019, Karamo Brown visited Lafayette College. The teenager’s father had him autograph a book for her and we excitedly attended a public lecture he gave on campus that night.
Almost two full years later, I finally finished the book.
I have recently resumed reading in general so the fault does not lie with Karamo.
The book is light, simple in phrase, and mimics Karamo’s speech.
It’s a coming of age story. It’s the experience of a Black gay man, son of immigrant parents, struggling to find himself, share his voice and help people.
He has handled so many situations others know well— issues of addiction, relationships, family, sex, parenting. He spent so long yearning to reach out into the world that he nearly self-destructed in the process.
He’s very respectful of other people, only talking about himself— not violating the privacy of his kids, his extended family or fiancé. He doesn’t share glorifying tales of his wild boy days, focusing instead of why he was behaving that way and what he learned.
He structures the chapters not chronologically but thematically which makes it easy to understand the building blocks of who he is and how he came to be.
And even before George Floyd and #BlackLivesMatter, he begged us as a society to listen to each other and be kind.
Today was a typical day in the crazy menagerie of our home. But it was delightful. I’ve come to accept that Saturdays are overscheduled and hectic. Sundays are a rest day.
F. Bean Barker woke at 5:30 am— a normal part of the routine in her old home. No one gets up that early here.
I went to bed around 2:30 am so when Ms. Black Bean woke up and barked/whined/howled for 30 minutes, I texted teenager #1. She went down, covered the dog’s crate with a blanket and laid down on the couch beside the dog to go back to sleep.
After that 45-minute disturbance, I woke at 9:30 am. The teenagers finished picking up the house to prepare for the notary arriving at 1 pm.
We cared for our pets and crated Vesta and Minerva of the FURR Roman Pride for the adoption event at Petsmart.
We then stopped at Dunkin on the way home because I wanted to do something to thank my husband for taking the time to come sign this paperwork and for supporting me in the refinancing of the house. It’s been about 20 months since he’s lived here with me. Neither one of us has filed for divorce. So his name is still on the deed of the house and the current mortgage.
This new mortgage will pay off my car, save me $300 a month, though also extend my term five years. Now instead of the house being paid off by the time I am 55, I will be 60. Mortgage payment alone on the the refinancing will pay off is 50% of my take-home monthly income and that makes me nervous.
My hope is that once the pandemic ends and life shifts, new opportunities and stability will allow me to apply extra money to the principal.
And teenager #1 will take her drivers exam Tuesday. If she passes, her dad and I will have a massive insurance bill so my solace is that if something should happen to my car, at least it is paid for.
Teenager’s dad loved his new cold foam chocolate stout cold brew. The closing almost went without a hitch, but Fog decided to saunter across the table amid the notary’s pile of papers. Cats are not allowed on the table. Especially when we have guests.
The teenager got ready for work and we watched an episode of Canine Intervention on Netflix. I wish they had more episodes.
I dropped her off at Tic Toc Diner. I then went to get the kittens.
Those adorable tuxedo sisters then went to Petco (Greenwich Township, NJ) for their adoption habitat.
Vesta, having spent about three weeks in the habitat at the other Petco, sat there and shook in fear.
I came home planning to walk F. Bean Barker with our neighbors, Jan and her Ladyship Sobaka. But Bean only made it a half-block.
She’s just exhausted.
And then Jan and I went to pick up Nan and have dinner at Tic Toc. The teenager was worried about not having a Braille menu for Nan. As if we need a menu.
The teenager told me the founder stuffed with crab looked really good as the cook took a lot of care in its preparation and plating. I ordered it. With coleslaw. And the silly waitress got me french fries instead.
The dish reminded me of a crab cake wrapped in other fish. So good and a ridiculous amount of food for the price.
After dinner, Nan and I hung out at my house until it was time to retrieve our waitress from the diner.
And then when she got home, she unboxed this month’s box from Witch’s Gifts. These items are so carefully curated. To see the unboxing: March Box Witch’s Gifts
These boxes (and my tarot and witchy podcasts) remind me that I need to pay more attention to my spiritual and magical development.
In my previous blog entry, I mentioned that the cats broke into my room and Peek-A-Boo, my yellow parakeet, was free-flying. Traditionally, I let the parakeets free-fly once or twice a week while supervised.
The routine has changed since kitten fostering, COVID-19, and budgie chicks— and poor Boo found herself in the small bird cage isolated from her friends.
So for her emotional health, I let her free fly more often, but as the stubborn bird she was… she hated going back into the tiny bird cage and wouldn’t go willingly until nightfall.
I would close my bedroom door and let her go.
Thursday night the cats got in before Boo had gotten into her cage. Now my older cats won’t bother her. The hunter in the family now has three legs and more desire to sleep under my bed than play drive to chase a bird. And the dumb one— he already had a run in with Boo and lost. She was in her cage and Oz must have gotten too close. She ripped out a piece of his nose and lip. It’s taken about a year to regrow.
Oz has no interest in the birds. The little jerks dive bomb him, usually with Boo as ringleader, should he wander into the room while she were out.
Now, the younger two (Misty and Fog) and the newcomers belonging to teenager #2 (Venom and TJ) are stereotypical cats.
Chances are that Oz opened the door so he and Opie could sleep uninterrupted in my room and the rest of the Pride took advantage of the situation and scared Boo. She probably couldn’t get to her cage and somehow got out the crack in the door. Or, as there was feathers in my room, one of the cats swept her out of the air and carried her out of my room.
Statistically all of these things seem unlikely to happen all at once but they did. Once Boo made it downstairs, the cats had the advantage and Boo lost quite a few feathers. Somewhere in this time she released some blood curdling screams that teenager #1 “never wants to hear again in [her] life” and teen came running to find Boo cornered between a stool and the wall in the kitchen.
Venom and Fog, the two smartest and food-focused cats we have, stood guard.
Poor Boo was exhausted and had a puncture wound in one wing. Teen #1 scooped her up, and she still had enough spunk to bite. I believe at that point she had neither energy nor feathers to fly.
Teen #1 returned the bird to her cage, covered it partially to give her security and monitored her. She stood quietly and puffy, but we supposed that was appropriate behavior for the circumstances. Then, teenager #1 called her dad and went to Dairy Queen to buy French fries for the birds. Which is a great treat for cockatoos, not sure if it works for budgies.
Friday morning, she didn’t sing when the sun came up. Nor did she rattle the bars of her cage. And now that I think about it, she didn’t harass me with impatience when I fed everyone else breakfast first.
Friday evening, teenager #2 commented that Boo wasn’t active nor visible. So that’s when teenager #1 discovered her dead on the bottom of the cage.
The last 24 hours of mandatory overtime this week
Wow — that ending up being a long story when I was trying to tell the executive summary. What I wanted to do was give a little insight into the last 24 hours of my mandatory over time at Stitch Fix. After a week of sleeping about 6 hours sleep a night, it was hell, but hey… we were all exhausted and in the same boat.
10 pm— about 44 hours in to a 54 hour work week— I get a text from my daughter that it wasn’t a complete emergency but she needed to talk to me. Boo boo was dead.
The last two hours of the shift were exhausting.
12 am— I leave work with my gift of Stitch Fix gloves, which the nurse distributes with the joke of “next week they’ll hand out fingers.”
1 am— Teenager #1 and I have a toast and some cookies and pickles to celebrate Boo’s life.
2 am— We head to bed. I have a recurrence of my Covid cough that keeps me up until about…
3 am— Finally sleep
8:15 am— The alarm goes off. Fuuuck. I’m so tired. The birds don’t like that I am leaving. I manage to feed the cats, get my ass dressed (and I look cute since I had planned my outfit in advance), and drink have a cup of coffee before putting on my shoes at 9.
9:15 am— In the car, listening to NPR.
9:30 am— I arrive. One of my supervisors comes in (she is also a 10 am start), puts her head down, and falls asleep on the table in the main break room.
9:55 am— the assignments post. I am QC Line 2, BA. What the hell is BA?
9:55 am— day shift is chugging away. We stand in line at the time clocks. One of our colleagues is way too perky. Another, in a dark way, makes the comment, “were you doing lines of coke?” We chuckle, but not because it’s funny but because we are tired. I suggest maybe that will be the next free snack in the breakroom. Inappropriate humor I know but my filter is damaged at this point. But we are all so tired. We are human. And I point out, if we don’t laugh, we will cry. Another colleague adds that if I cry she will cry.
9:57 am— I ask a supervisor for clarification on what BA is. She scowls and looks me up on her computer, “Line 2, EIGHT A.” And she points to Valley 1. I refrain from telling her that Stitch Fix needs a easier to read typeface.
10 am— I am on the back of the line. Last week, I spent most of my shifts also on Line 2 but in Valley 2 at table 2B. It seems a good spot for me. In the front of the line. Only one table in front of me. And that person behaves as a peer supervisor. I like watching her QC her boxes, audit boxes, fix problems brought to her by the person who puts the styling cards in the boxes (whom I can also see), and doing tasks on the computer I don’t recognize or understand.
At 2-2B, the line is on my left. I have mastered how to organize my table. At 2-8A, the line is on my right and now I am completely out of sorts. I am in the back of the line which means I have to be very forceful pushing my boxes up the line.
As someone who can’t even bowl straight and has never played shuffle board I suck at this too. Another aspect of QC that doesn’t fall in my natural skill set.
12 pm— no one seems to be going on break. Day shift delivers the pick carts with 4 boxes on top instead of the regular 8. The people in this Valley all speak Spanish and yell back and forth at each other. I have been stationed in what appears to be the Spanish party line. My times suck.
12:15 pm— a colleague from my shift informs me, after I take the wrong first break, that meal will be at 3 pm and last break is 5 pm. I’m already hungry so that kinda stinks but the end of the day will move quickly. The fingerless gloves make my hands feel better. I brought my Stitch Fix water bottle but the straw is bent and it won’t get liquid from the bottom.
1:30 pm— my Valley mates leave. Peers from my shift take their place. People I know! People that speak my language! People who do tasks the way I do them! (Man those subtle differences between the shifts are disorienting.)
3 pm— day shift appears to be gone now. We stare out the windows at the light outside in shock. A supervisor, the one who had a rubber chicken on an earlier night and started at 8 am, threatens to blacken them out to make us more comfortable. We have a good laugh.
3:27 pm— I head to the restroom. I stop first at the water bottle refill station. It is filtered and fully automatic so it senses when my water bottle is there. I get so excited I want to tell my friend Gayle. I wind the lid onto the bottle, some how trip on a wrinkle in the rug and end up falling onto the floor with a bang to my left knee and punching the electrical box with my left hand. I use the restroom, wash my hands and realize I will need to see the nurse so I don’t bleed on the clothes.
3:31 pm— I clock in and visit the nurse, who is not my favorite nurse. I explain what happened and despite my assurance that this will not become a workmen’s comp claim has to create an incident report. The clumsy, exhausted employee with cerebral palsy tripped. That is all.
3:37 pm— back to my table. Without thinking, I finished my morning seltzer, drank a V8 Energy Drink (the kiwi strawberry which tasted like a 50 calorie Snapple with vitamins. Love it), and consumed a “cup o noodles” on my meal. This will be important later as I will soon very badly need to urinate.
5 pm— I need to pee. Break. I need to pee. Bathroom is being cleaned. Someone senior to me heads to the office where there are two single seat bathrooms. The plant manager suggests we try the bathroom 750 steps across the warehouse.
5:10 pm— I return to my station. This day needs to end.
6:25 pm— I finish my last fix. My times still suck. I want to cry. I need to decompress. My times still suck. I feel inadequate and guilty. But hey I’m done.
6:34 pm— I am in my car. Going home to my teens. Teen #2 has a yummy surprise. I promised them pizza at George’s Pizza. We also promised to start The History of Swear Words on Netflix. More on that in the next post.
Since recovering from Covid, I have tried to focus on healthy food choices and cooking at home instead of eating out. I believe good food is key to regaining my strength and moving forward in losing some weight, but more and more I find myself viewing food as a friend.
In other dietary confessions, twice this week I have taken advantage of the snacks in the breakroom to have 500 calories of honeybun at 10 p.m. And I’ve noticed, that seemed to be the only thing that gave me the energy to improve my performance. I have always had a strong physical reaction to sugar so this is no surprise.
I think the moral is that I need to balance my meals prior to work and “save” some carbohydrates for treats at my final break.
Tonight I find myself without teenagers and having eaten decently throughout the day, I have some “calories to spare.” I decided to use them for some healthy snacks while I watch Bridgerton. I find the series quaint and endearing, with amazing costumes and scenery. But I don’t see anything worth the extreme hoopla I see on social media. But there is a beauty in it. And I hope I am wrong, but I am almost done with episode 5 and so far while it is charming, it is predictable.
The snack I prepared were some pumpkin seed and raisin crackers, Harvest Snaps green pea snacks, Smart Pop popcorn, and Smartfood caramel apple popcorn.
Loki Dokie Puppy Turkey of the Norse Pride went home to his FURRever family today and I am feeling the absence of crazy kitten antics. Two of my personal cats, Oz and Fog, have curled up in bed with me. I have missed Fog’s attentions.
Other recent meals that I enjoyed:
A little about each meal:
1. Salad of romaine, shredded cabbage, kalamata olives, wasabi peas, sliced almonds, feta and fresh strawberries.
2. Chicken with a “hash” of spinach, spaghetti squash, butternut squash and Brussel sprouts.
3. Salmon. I used the cooking method from the Whole30 and seasoned with dill.
4. Cornish Game Hen. I seasoned it, used a little smoked flavor, and cooked it in my chicken bone broth, diced carrots, and kale. I didn’t care for it. Too much work to get the meet off the bones. Fog loved what he stole.
5. I had a craving for good old fashioned processed beer battered fish— might have been Gorton’s.
6. Croque Monsieur. Teenager #1 made the béchamel sauce, and I didn’t think to warn her how temperamental a roux can be.
7. At Lidl, I came across some discount thaw-and-eat frozen sushi. It was 50 cents a pack. It was edible but the rice was completely al dente.
8. I have been aching for avocado and eggs. So I bought avocado and forgot to make it when I made egg-and-pepper omelette.
9. Some chicken I bought on clearance cooked in butter, lemon and dill. Then I sautéed some cabbage and added some leftover corn from earlier in the week and the rest of the pepper I didn’t use for yesterday’s omelette.
Today is day 10 of my post-diagnosis Covid 19 isolation. I am now watching The Tudors on Netflix, struck by the similarities between the Coronavirus pandemic and the 16th Century sweating sickness.
I feel like there is so much not known about Covid-19 and I suspect many people know more than they can admit. But the medical treatments, anecdotal layman wisdom and people’s behavior remind me of these scenes depicting King Henry VIII’s medical crisis.
My symptoms are still dizziness and a dry cough, a congested head and weakness. And chapped lips.
I catch a chill easily, and sometimes the smallest actions wind me.
I think the general populace puts too much security in flimsy masks, and gives not enough thought to social distancing. I think the various government tactics to curb the pandemic cater to major corporations and starve small business.
And it saddens me that people will flock to WalMart or order from Amazon, but not mail order from a small local business or buy gift cards for small merchants.
It also saddens me that so much of society can really on DoorDash or GrubHub, but not call your favorite local restaurant and order take out.
I believe I caught the Coronavirus at work, despite all the precautions to “keep us safe.” Because despite the gloves, the masks, the nurse, the sanitizer spray, and working socially distant, the reality is there are 70 or more of us in one room at the same time, unmasked, eating and talking for each of our three daily breaks.
The vaccine has arrived. And I wish it were — what do they call it— a reactive vaccine vs a mRNA vaccine. Perhaps I am old-fashioned in my thinking.
So I suppose I am grateful to have caught Coronavirus and see how my body reacts. I have had the chance to develop my own antibodies. And no one else in my family for sick so I am also grateful for that.
I am deeply saddened that others have not had the same privilege that I have. I am saddened that people I love have lost people they love.
It is a confusing time.
So my best advice would be to do your own research, think about how viruses work and make the decisions that keep you and your family safe. And care for your neighbors and support local business in ways you can.
I received my diagnosis this morning, after realizing on Wednesday that the symptoms I had attributed to my everyday health problems.
9 p.m.: after spending most of the day in bed, I finish Netflix’s The Crown and start Hillbilly Elegy because I see Glenn Close is in it.
10 p.m. I turn out my light and go to bed early, struggling to get comfortable because of the muscle and joint pain.
Saturday, December 12, 2020
2 a.m. I wake up, can’t get back to sleep. I play on my phone. I close my eyes and imagine myself drawing healing energy out of the cosmos and suddenly a vision of ocean waves floods me.
Around 3 a.m. I fall asleep again
8 a.m. I wake. I need to pee. But the way my body feels, the walk to the bathroom seems impossible. And I know once I walk out my door, the cats will want food.
8:30 a.m. I return to my room after using the bathroom. The kittens escape. I leave the door open so they can return and cats come in and out.
9 a.m. Some friends text to see how I’m doing. I respond and now I’m exhausted and need a rest.
9:30 a.m. the teenager is up. I asked if she can bring me coffee after I rest. She says sure.
10 a.m. I rest and she brings coffee. And my medicine.
10:30 a.m. I finish the coffee and engage in a Facebook discussion about Covid, sparked by a friend who chastises those who don’t wear masks and don’t want to abide by the mandate of no indoor gatherings. Sobaka’s mom offers to get me groceries at Shoprite. I ask for coffee.
11:00 a.m. I shower and feel human again briefly. I am grateful for these new soap products that contain eucalyptus. My other neighbor texts she is at Dunkin and wants to know my order.
11:15 a.m. I discover one of my closest friends has symptoms of Covid but hadn’t received his test results. I feel awful convinced he got it from me, but he assures me we might have gotten it from the same place. Now he has to cancel his surgery that was scheduled for Monday.
11:30 a.m. I’ve annoyed the teenager. I’m watching the cats frolic and check on the neighbor who came over for coffee earlier in the week. Her son left her home because he’s afraid I exposed them.
11:45 a.m. The teenager is chastising me for having an absurd method of organizing my tea. I’m going out to the porch to wait for my Dunkin’.
12 Dunkin arrives. I go back to bed with Kittens and a sugarplum macchiato
12:30 p.m. more texting with friends, despite large macchiato am feeling fatigued. Watching the cockatoo pick through the leftover parakeet food I gave her.
12:50 p.m. done uploading YouTube videos. Debating watching TV versus napping like the kittens. Kitten video: Loki And Vale play
1 p.m. I decide to curl up and nap like my foster kittens. They snuggle up to me but as a side sleeper I find it impossible to get comfortable. As I face my left, my right hip, knee and even ankle burn. I roll onto my back and it feels like every vertebrae in my spine is protruding. I lie still and wait for everything to calm down. My knee is the only thing that refuses to settle.
1:10 pm I’m restless (probably from the caffeine). I remember my neighbor is out grocery shopping with my credit card and that I should have my ringer on in case she encounters a problem. several friends are texting— one had symptoms like mine and is still waiting on her Covid results. The cats are laying on me as if to force me to sleep.
Another friend texts and mentions egg nog and I am excited that my former colleague is making some homemade egg nog and bringing me a quart or two. My knee still burns as does my right sinus under my eye. I need to pee.
1:15 p.m. headed to the bathroom. The birds are oddly still.
1:25 p.m. I watch more of Hillbilly Elegy. There are some intense scenes of drug abuse, domestic violence and child abuse.
1:45 p.m. the teenager brings me some Twizzlers left over from Halloween, I ask her to let the cockatoo out for a few minutes, and my dad calls to check on me.
1:50 p.m. watching more of Hillbilly Elegy. I can’t believe Glenn Close’s performance. She’s magnificent. The older she gets the more beautiful she is. The kittens sleep at my feet. The cockatoo sits nicely on my chest.
2:30 p.m. I finished the movie, which is based on a memoir of the same name. No wonder some of the scenes were so disturbing— real life is often more painful than anything the mind can make up. My cockatoo keeps dozing off.
2:40 p.m. time to use the bathroom again and see if I can get this sleepyhead bird to go to her cage.
2:50 p.m. Sobaka’s mom is at McDonald’s so I try to place a mobile order but the GPS on my phone knows I’m still at home so the McDonald’s app is fighting with me. Gives me a funky code. It really is amazing what one can do from a sick bed with a credit card.
2:55 p.m. sneezing again. Forgot my tissues downstairs
3 p.m. watching some YouTube videos while the teenager finishes vacuuming and cleaning her room.
3:15 p.m. we received our McDonald’s order and our groceries. I distributed food to the teens by dropping it outside their bedroom doors. You can tell Sobaka’s mom isn’t a coffee drinker because she bought the cutest little can of coffee. She bought us orange juice with extra vitamin C and zinc! Now that is thinking! She also got me a big old chunk of raspberry coffee cake.
3:20 p.m. In trying to get the groceries into the kitchen and the food to the kids, I forget that our cat Fog shot past me onto the sunporch.
3:50 p.m. After watching Canadian dietician Abbey Sharp’s review of Kelly Ripa’s diet, I lie down for a nap. Instantly the kittens start playing and my feet become civilian casualties.
4 p.m. The teenager comes into my room to chastise me about the cat. Apparently the Christmas tree (which was unbalanced and the two teens had tried to stabilize it with a rope tied to a plant hanger) is now on the floor. I’m sorry, but the reality is that I don’t care.
4:05 p.m. I don’t think it’s even possible TL sleep but my eyes hurt so I will try. Maybe listen to a podcast. I check my playlist. I see episode #2050 of Car Talk has posted. Yes! I will listen to this!
4:30 p.m. Another friend texts to check on me
4:40 p.m. Despite how tired I feel I can’t sleep. The teenager brings up my clean laundry and I hear chuckles and conversation from downstairs. Both teenagers are cleaning. I am starting to get cranky and bored. I guess I’ll watch more television. Maybe I should try and play a video game on my phone. My favorite comedian at the moment is Jim Breuer. He happens to be next on my YouTube list. (Jim Breuer “Playing with Kids.”)
4:45 p.m. the cockatoo is screaming at me
4:55 p.m. the friend who got me thinking about egg nog texts again
5:05 p.m. more random YouTube. I might be getting hungry.
5:30 p.m. M texts to check on me, inquiring about my oxygen stats. Asks about my fatigue and joints.
5:35 p.m. teenager two comes to ask if I have dirty dishes (I don’t) and makes me a fresh cup of tea
5:50 p.m. Gayle texts. The video I posted to YouTube earlier has reassured everyone that I am recovering.
6:15 p.m. suddenly remembered I never updated the bios for my foster kittens to post online
7:15 p.m. brief text with M— as he is a medical technologist I asked him if the virus starts by attacking the weaknesses I already had in my body. He replied that I have “an excellent understanding of virology.” I also realize that except for tired, I felt normal going down to make my dinner.
7: 20 p.m. my neighbor in the other half of my house texts. The Covid test she got yesterday since I made her coffee earlier this week came back negative. Lots of friends texting all at the same time.
7:25 p.m. teenager #1 comes to visit. She plays with Nala-bird.
7:35 p.m. a crash downstairs. Teenager goes to investigate— Vale goes with her.
7:40 p.m. Teenager brings Vale back. I think I hear my neighbor’s car. Nope. But apparently this is what I do now.
7:45 p.m. I think I might have hives. I’ve been noticing them all day but now I’m seeing them instead of feeling itchy. Suddenly I have a coughing fit.