Day 49, with End-of-April vibes

Wow, it’s the end of April already.

CW: commentary on the state of the world.

. . . um, some *enthusiastic* commentary.

So yeah. Almost two entire months of staying inside 90% of the time, masks for the other 10%, and working entirely from home.

On the one side, I have to say I am really delighted with my work team, and how generous folks are with each other, and how folks have stepped up to take on work they wouldn’t normally do. How free they are with compliments and help and support. I’d seen hints of it before, but you really get a sense of who folks are when in the middle of crisis. I am really proud of being on this team.

On the other hand, the world. Oh gods, the WORLD WHAT IS GOING ON WHY IS EVERYTHING ON FIRE AND WHY IS THAT ORANGE GIBBON* OVER THERE USING A SUPER-SOAKER OF LIGHTER FLUID ON EVERYONE WHYYY

This is a fucker of a virus and everything I see about it is terrifying. The people – even doctors! – who want to treat it like it is equivalent to a seasonal flu are boggling… I mean, sure, the flu is dreadful and it kills a lot of people but usually that’s over the course of 5 months, not 2. The death rate since we’ve been tracking is pretty berserk, globally.

aaaaand that has me pretty messed up. Like, sure I can go on and do all the things but I’ve got brain splinters poking me in the back of the eyes kinda messed up.

I personally know 7 people who think they’ve gotten it, so far. One’s been confirmed, and it was dicey for a bit, but she’s moved out of the ICU today, thanks to all gods.

She’s significantly younger than me. So yeah, I’m worried for people.

Tomorrow, it’s May. We’ll be officially 1/3rd through 2020.

Crap.

* no I don’t mean Gritty get his name outa yer mouf.

Day 43, with Anniversary and Work-based Failure

I’m not gonna talk about Russia’s new 5k, or Lysol having to issue a disclaimer about something the President of the United States said during a press conference*.

This post is a wee summary of a personal good and personal bad on the same day.

First, I have been struggling to get an update to one of my work products out the door. For like six months. It has been broken differently every single step of the way. And I thought we had it, but when the build was sent out yesterday? Everything crashed on my test device. It was a brand new device, too, so nothing to conflict with the app.

I was … surprisingly crushed. Sick-feeling. Tearing up. Like… it’s just an app. Built on a major platform. Why is it taking so incredibly long to build it and make it work? It USED to work.

Sheesh I’m tearing up just thinking about it. Six months wasted. And today was supposed to be the day we finally shared some progress with the rest of the community. Instead I had to write them all that there was a blocker and it was pushed to next week. (If it gets fixed, that is. Sigh.)

On the flip side?

Today is the 10th anniversary of the day Jon and I actively decided to be a couple**. Which isn’t a big thing, but it’s nice to have the marker. Makes for some extra happy kisses in the morning.

I’m hanging on to that, for dear life, this morning.

*I mean, Jesus fucking Christ what the hell timeline is this? Ionesco meets Palahniuk or something?

**There are not many things I’m Leslie Knope-ish about, but romantic anniversaries are one of them. But I promise – I don’t do the berserk giftie thing.

Day 40, with Overwhelm

CW: Death toll, other associated numbers, general horror at the state of the world

Today is a rough one. A reeeeeally rough one.

I understand that anything that would make US governmental bodies shut down businesses would have to be bad. But today it hit me how bad it still is, vs my miniscule effort, vs all these days inside.

In the past two days, over 10K people have died globally. More people have died in the US between 4/20 and 4/21 than are, on average, killed by heart disease (the #1 killer in the US). The death rate right now in Spain is over 10%. The death rate in the US is 5% so far, and while New York’s curve is finally starting to flatten, as a country that curve is still climbing.

We’re doing incredibly badly at containing this monster, and I’m terrified for friends and family across the globe. If you’re reading me regularly you probably are already doing all you can, but if you stumble on me by accident? Please stay safe, don’t play chicken with this horrible thing.

Time Goes Way Too Fast

Sometimes I feel like I just started this blog.

Then I look back and am like OMG HOW HAS 5 YEARS PASSED ALREADY

Same thing happens with my friends’ kids. Like OMG COLLEGE WHAT and YOU WERE JUST A BABY WHY ARE YOU TAKING THE BUS ON YOUR OWN and other reactions of that nature.

It really starts getting to me, though, when I realize how long it has been since I came up with a story idea that still has not been written. It’s not just shock but that weird creepy shame feeling, like I’ve let myself down, like what the fuck have I been DOING all this time? I can’t justify that there is a really interesting story that has been waiting since 2003 for me to complete it.

But what do I do about it? Mostly nothing.

I will say that I’m really glad I have the commute I do, now. Amtrak quiet car is the BOMB. I’ve actually done real writing. My commute now gives me 2-plus hours per day to write, and hopefully this means I can get some stories into the world. Because it’s been waaaaaaay too long that I’ve been getting in my own way. Hopefully that era is ending.

All fingers and paws crossed!

Happy September

Though, uh, not THIS week, ffs. Our block is enduring some massive construction to fix some pipes, and the streets are torn up and our road is closed. But that’s not the really rough part. The rough part is that things keep going wrong.

Monday – We had a marvelous TRUCK parked right outside our bedroom window starting at 12 am, idling incredibly loudly alllll night long. It spent until about 5 am with its roof flashers/beacons on, which by the way, is still visible as a kind of slow strobe effect with one’s eyes closed.

Even if it is reflected off the wall through the small break in one’s blackout curtains.

It was a beautiful night, temperature-wise, so we had left the window open… but I had to close it because not only did the sound come in but the exhaust did too.

Later that day, somewhere between toweling off the dog and making dinner, I lost my wedding ring. Looked for it; didn’t find it.

Tuesday – First, we were woken up 2 hours before our normal wake-up time by a truck running its alert flashers, announcing REALLY loudly that our street was closed and any cars parked there would be towed.

Over and over and over again.

Then, not only was it the anniversary of one of the worst days – for some reason that morning there were LOTS of people talking about it on social media in ways that brought up all the memories. Particularly relating to the dogs.

And THEN, due to the digging on our street, we lost internet a bit past noon… an hour before I was supposed to leave for a meeting. (Luckily it went out after I finished my webinar.) Jon spent over an hour and a half on hold with Verizon to get assistance. We were told we’d need to wait until Weds morning for a tech. And apparently my data plan is low on the AT&T priority list, because even Google didn’t work well on my cell phone browser, and apps were being badly hiccupy. I could have gone to Whole Foods to use their wifi, but when I had walked by there after my meeting all the tables had been full. Standing on concrete is NOT my jam.

The next wonderful thing? My prescription insurance didn’t work for the 2 scripts I had called in. So I had to do without my allergy meds until I could call my insurance company.

… aaand when I went to my latenight reading, I discovered had forgotten to download the next book in the trilogy I was reading to my Kindle. *headdesk* I didn’t WANT to start a new book. N.K. Jemisin’s writing is too good for that.

I never thought I’d miss the days of broadcast TV.

Wednesday – The Verizon tech came around 10:30 am and confirmed that there was nothing she could do, since our outage was due to the construction on our street. She told Jon they’d get another department out to fix it, and to call her back if it wasn’t on before 6 pm.

OMG, 6 pm. We were both so incensed. (Not at the tech, though. She was great.)

But the phone data? Still messed up. I couldn’t connect to another conference call I was supposed to attend, and the app wouldn’t work. Plus my insurance was STILL messed up, since the CS rep told me to give them 48 hours to get the right information in, so I was itchy as hell and my breathing wasn’t the best.

I spent the day alternating between looking for my damn ring and burying myself in a video game. *rolls eyes at self*

The internet went back on at 9 pm.

It’s now Thursday. I have to go get allergy shots soon. I have taken two Claritin and am keeping all fingers and paws crossed that the wrongness of the week has dissipated, and that I will NOT have any worse effects than I normally do.

But dammit, I still want my ring.

Regarding the 2nd Amendment

It’s been a fucker of a week. Lots to say over here. But I’m going to start with the respawn of the gun control/gun sense debate in the wake of the horrific shooting in Parkdale, Florida.

I’ve been really annoyed by people who regurgitate old, already-debunked talking points like “What about Chicago” (not the gun murder capital of the US, people) and “It’s not about guns it’s about mental illness” (no, it’s really not) and then say the 2nd Amendment must be protected.

Thing is?

The 2nd Amendment is already not being followed because we don’t have any well-regulated militias. That’s what the damn amendment STARTS with. It’s supposed to be part of the whole dynamic.

Because of that, when talking to 2A proponents I’m gonna REALLY put the 2nd amendment in their faces. So – you want a gun? I propose you join a militia. I propose militias be legal entities registered with the Department of Defense, which would be put into play during disasters in their local areas, helping clean and protect people who have lost walls and locks and whatnot. Anyone can start a militia… and this means even a new Black Panther party. (The number of concealed carry license applications are up for Black women in Chicago, so I can totally see women starting their own militia.) Gun purchase would require proof of current well-regulated militia membership in good standing. Any gun carry requires valid and current militia membership card, and any citizen who sees a civilian carry is entitled to demand they show their card. Militias would be responsible financially for ANY collateral damage one of their members inflicts or suffers…. including paying for toddlers’ funerals. If someone goes off the rails, the militia is fined for not regulating their membership and no one can buy, use, or carry a gun for the next however long. Militias are not allowed to lobby, and no one is allowed to bring a gun to a political protest where emotions will run high.

Let’s tell the 2A proponents we’re making this as obvious as asking someone for their keys when they’re too drunk to drive – asking someone for the keys to their gun safe when they’re angry or frightened, and assure them they’ll have protection from the rest of the militia.

And since that’s all in alignment with the 2nd amendment? the NRA should be on board, right?

 

CW: Sandy Hook

This is a little bit personal, even though I knew no one directly affected. I knew someone peripherally affected, though, and I had an insight into a person accused.

.

You’re warned.

Five years ago today, I was working at Pitney Bowes in Stamford, Connecticut. I remember this day very clearly, because a coworker of mine got a call in the morning.

“No, I haven’t seen the news.”

In 3 minutes, he broke down at his desk. The crying was a shock in our usually humming open-plan office. This was a gregarious, vivacious person who had never been anything other than positive about anything. It was a bit of a shock. And then he left.

I also remember when the shooter’s supposed ID was first publicized, the wrong person was blamed, and I thought “this guy who trained his cat to sit and beg can’t be a shooter….

 

can he?”

(These are the moments where I sympathize with people who defend horrible people – the instant of “do I adore a monster?”)

But Ryan Lanza was innocent – completely – and it took too long to find that out.  I want to call that out because as much as I have faith in our media’s intentions, that wasn’t right. None of what happened here was right.

The next day, my wonderful gregarious coworker was calling people to talk about memorials and funerals.

For a week, I got to overhear snippets of arrangements.

…. It didn’t take more than a year before I started to hear about the conspiracy theorists.

I post about this because Sandy Hook hit me hard. And close. Even though I only knew one person peripherally associated.

I will never forgive Alex Jones. Or any other person who doesn’t believe the parents. Ever. Ever.