Breaking Out

My cast comes off the day after tomorrow. It started to itch like crazy a couple of days ago. This coincides roughly with the beginning of the power outage we experienced as a consequence of the Bomb Cyclone, aka Windpocalypse. I guess the absence of distractions will do that. Happily, the power was restored this morning, shortly after midnight.

The great plus of Windpocalpyse for me was the incentive to try again with a book I’d previously abandoned as too stilted. I finally got into The Turn of the Screw. I wouldn’t have sought it out, but it was what got delivered from the basement when I asked Dino Spouse for “a thick old Russian novel” after running out of Kindle battery and downloads.



Last night Dino Spouse and I watched the U.S. premiere of “McMafia” with TeenBot. I enjoyed it for the pure trashy escapism. TeenBot clearly identified with the hero and his estrangement from things Russian. Dino Spouse was unimpressed but allowed as how the Russian actors were good Russian actors.

TV People: blah blah my son doesn’t speak Russian blah blah blah

TeenBot: Whoa, the struggle is getting too real already! I can relate to this! The grown-ups speak Russian and I only sort of understand them.

Dino Spouse: (to me) We should start to speak only Russian from now on!

TeenBot: You guys don’t come with subtitles.

TV Dude: You remember how I embarass you at school? You want to shake hands, I kiss you on both cheeks! You want to speak English, I speak Russian!

Dino Spouse: (face brightens, turns expectantly to TeenBot)

TeenBot: No.

Me: I can come to school wearing a kerchief and speaking with a fake accent if you want …

TeenBot: …

We’ll be watching again next week.

(The surgery I had was to replace a torn tendon in my left foot and ankle and rebuild my exceedingly flat foot so the new tendon won’t also tear. Now in week four of six in a cast and largely confined to the living room, I am teleworking full-time except for biweekly physical therapy sessions and the occasional journey for follow-up appointments with surgeon’s office. When I am not keeping my foot elevated, I shuttle between couch, kitchen, and half-bath on my knee scooter 12-15 times each day. In my off-hours, I do my physical therapy exercises, binge-watch many things, and knit. I have become profligate in my online book purchases.)

Whatever Works

Things that apparently help in writing a federal job application package (resume and KSA – Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities – statement) for a return client include:

  • Seltzer water
  • Coffee (time for a refill at ten minutes ’til midnight)
  • Lightly snoring dog
  • “Bhangra Smash Hits” on Apple Music
  • Lap blanket for working in disproportionately air-conditioned basement
  • Internet for looking up context on stuff in client’s work history

Things that do not help:

  • Internet for everything else

The Goodest Boy

We got a dog. He’s eight years old and his name is Chief. He appears to be a mix of English Springer Spaniel and Golden Retriever. Resplendent Respaniel. We were supposed to start shopping the local shelters for Dog last weekend with the goal of adopting one in October, but by the Sunday of the long weekend, Mouse and I were already in love with Chief.

This guy here.

What I enjoyed about the process of visiting the shelters (Animal Welfare League of Arlington and Animal Welfare League of Alexandria) was watching my teenagers, who increasingly behave like adults when they aren’t acting cooler than mere adults, briefly turn back into excited children. They were playing. They were expectant. Out of nowhere, it took me back 10 years. (Now it’s taking me back 10 years in other ways, like monitoring the toileting habits of a 60-lb mammal while figuring out what he’ll eat, what’s that spot he keeps scratching, and how Dino Spouse will react if left alone with him. The excited children part was nicer, I admit.)

Chief came home with me on Thursday night. TeenBot and Mouse loooooooove Chief and have so far been responsible dog siblings. They are back to being regular teens, but TeenBot did text me to inquire whether Chief was in fact still being “the goodest boy.” The big challenge for today will be making sure that (a) Chief will tolerate separation from us on Monday morning and (b) Dino Spouse will tolerate the idea of Chief being left alone in the house without being crated. Chief hates the crate. On the other hand, he shows zero interest in chewing on non-food items or toileting indoors.

Back At It

The school year has started. TeenBot is apparently happy to be back in his element. Mouse is a bundle of nerves. They* are sufficiently in touch with and in control of their feelings that they could tell me about what made the day nerve-wracking, and that’s a major improvement over this time a year ago. It’s still painful to watch the horrors of adolescence unfold without being able to help, though.

* “They” are Mouse, who rejects the gender binary and has adopted “they/them” pronouns accordingly. I already mentioned this usage a couple of posts ago, but it still sounds weird to me when I see it written down.

(I got Mouse into therapy last year because they were missing so much school from anxiety that our family was on the verge of being referred to Child Protective Services. I know I was supposed to do it as a responsible parent to help them be healthier and happier, but I think I really bit the bullet and did it because (a) we were attracting attention from The Authorities and (b) it’s important to Mouse’s future livelihood that they be able to keep functioning through whatever storms their psyche stirs up. That imperative to keep at it is so much more persuasive to me than the idea of achieving a sense of personal well-being! My poor child.)

Fermenting Things, Part 2

Well, that didn’t work. My pickled cabbage tastes great, but the stench it emits is such that I’m afraid to try the pickle juice. The kombucha was a lost cause. I let my second attempt (the effort to fix the first attempt) sit too long and wound up with a giant SCOBY and a liquid that smelled like nail polish remover. Nope, nope, nope. I threw the whole thing out and started over last weekend with a bottle of store-bought kombucha and some sweet tea. The new SCOBY is forming now, as the wisdom of the internet foretold.

This time I think I’ll keep the cabbage and the kombucha away from each other. The internet tells me that’s a good idea.