We’re fine. Dino Spouse and I have been teleworking since mid-March. So has Soldatik, now a (God help us) second-generation bureaucrat in South Carolina. Bot returned from the forests he was conserving in California in time to socially isolate en famille. Mouse endured distance learning for the remainder of their junior year in high school and is dreading a summer at home without sleep-away camps. The dog is apparently dying (we took him to the vet for a cough and they found a big tumor in his rectum) but so far does not seem unhappy except when he contemplates climbing hardwood stairs.
I am avoiding both my homework (Developmental Psychology this semester) and my job application package (for myself rather than a paying client). I am avoiding them so hard that I succumbed to an urge to blog about it, FFS, and then lost several minutes trying to remember my user name and then updating one of the blurb-y bits. This bodes ill for my general productivity, but the day is young still.
There are a few people I consistently think of and fail to contact. There are a few ideas rattling around in my head that I consistently fail to write down. Part of me is hopeful that I will get my graphomanic mojo working again after the school year ends. The rest of me knows that isn’t likely.
But the school year will be ending soon – June 13, to be precise, and then I go back to my day job. Mouse will soon finish 10th grade. TeenBot was accepted into Americorps and is off repairing buildings at a summer camp somewhere north of Minneapolis. Soldatik is Armying in Georgia. Dino Spouse and Babushka remain much as they have been. The Protosaurs live in West Virginia now, except for my younger brother, and my Papaw died (may he rest in peace).
I spent the better part of this weekend working on applying for a federal job in Michigan that would be awesome. I also spent some time working on an essay that I want(ed) to enter in a contest. I put the desire in tentative past tense because I believe I have missed the deadline for submitting (and presumably first completing) it. My work was leavened with a lot of pleasure reading (The Pale King, Year of Yes, and Reality Hunger), a fair amount of child transport, and an unconscionable amount of clicking back and forth between Facebook and Twitter as though something important were going to happen there.
It is now 2:30 AM on Monday. I have to be awake in four hours. I have given up on weaving phrases from the job announcement into narrative descriptions of my professional experience and abilities. I have not yet had the heart to find my copy of The New Philosopher to see if the deadline has been influenced by the Leap Year. I ought to go to sleep and yet I am awake. It is quiet and no one wants anything from me!
This is not the first time I’ve done this to myself in the past week. On Tuesday night I actually pulled an all-nighter, initially for the joy of being conscious and alone in a quiet living room (Dino Spouse having driven to South Carolina for an in-person farewell to Soldatik before the latter’s departure for Korea) and then out of professional frustration at the backlog of work I’ve been piling up. Wednesday did not work out terrifically well, though I did enjoy my afternoon nap after I fled the office early for fear of conking out at my desk.
Speaking of which, now I am ready to sleep.
We have reached the car, but we have yet to try driving given the 23″ of snow remaining in the road. On Sunday morning, I did some digging in the direction of the car, cleared a path to the garbage and recycling bins, and dug out around the heat pump. As much as I complain about my landlord’s interior maintenance, I have to admit that they do a good job of making the outside look good. The pathway that Mouse and TeenBot fought to create on Saturday was pristine sidewalk when I went outside the next day.
Dino Spouse walked the mile or so from his mother’s place to home yesterday afternoon, leaving his own car for better times. He and Mouse finished the path to my car and painstakingly cleared snow from the sides and front of it. (Mouse has doubtless absorbed my admonitions about the evils of the automotive snowhawk, but at 5’6″ she’s still not of a height or strength to get the snow off the top of the car without something lighter than a snow shovel. I’ll discreetly tend to this myself before moving the car.)
Now I feel safe saying it: the cable and internet connection stayed functional during the blizzard. Thank God. My only disappointment was the way we kept losing sound in the On Demand programs, which led to lots of bingeus interruptus when I tried to catch up on “Into The Badlands” and “War and Peace.” My disappointment on the latter score was even greater when I discovered that no one was showing episode three of “War and Peace” during prime time last night. Worse, the moral effort of sharing the television during the search for same so exhausted Dino Spouse that I lost all desire to watch “Mercy Street,” even though I think it was streaming on PBS’s website in addition to the TV broadcast.
Happy fiscal new year to all of my fellow federal public servants! The worst thing about the fiscal year cliffhanger this year was that Dino Spouse switched from his usual true crime TV fare to watching Congressional debate on C-SPAN. I never thought I would miss “Snapped,” but such is the power of Ted Cruz’s oration.
Fall seems to have arrived in Washington with the fiscal new year. Unpleasant discovery #1 of the fall: my cherished leather jacket, the $300 buttery black delight I found at a local Salvation Army two years ago for $20, has gone all stinky. I believe it may have been saturated with rain and snow a few too many times, and now it emanates a smell reminiscent of wet dog or wet wool. I can handle looking shabby (and probably the jacket is looking a little rough, since I patched a rip in one of the pockets last year), but I cannot abide stank.
We have yet to hear from our Soldier in Training at length, but he is in the second week of boot camp. We’ve seen pictures of him thanks to the big-hearted spouses of the soldiers running basic training and the regimental Facebook pages. The first two or three action shots of Podrostok showed him looking stressed and/or confused, but last night’s feed included an excellent picture of him running and looking, well, army strong.
Today my first-born will be sworn in as an Army recruit at a Military Entry Processing Station and ship off to basic training. We dropped him off a few hours ago at the hotel where they gather, and in the morning we’ll go en famille to see the swearing-in and hug him again before seeing him off on the bus.
Dino Spouse is bereft. Podrostok is his boy through and through. It will be a rough day.
I really ought to go to bed now.
I did, actually. Got a haircut this weekend. Took Mouse and TeenBot with me and they got haircuts too. Mouse and I emerged looking Straight Outta Stepford. That part was fine. TeenBot, on the other hand, experienced a haircut fail and insisted on buying haircut clippers on the way home. When we got home, Dino Spouse took charge of the clippers and shaved TeenBot’s head. This inspired him to try shaving his own head. (At this point I should explain that father and son both sport buzz cuts most of the time anyway, TeenBot as a style choice and Dino Spouse as a tasteful response to Soviet Male Pattern Baldness.) Alas, Dino Spouse realized quickly that he could not see the back of his own head and called for help. The last time I cut Dino Spouse’s hair was almost 18 years ago. It did not end well, largely because I used scissors and created a large bald patch where nature had not intended one. This time went much better, fortunately for all.
The true hair horror came this morning, when I caught sight of myself in the mirror at the doctor’s office and saw … whiskers. Yes, the end of hormone replacement therapy turns out to mean more than just random hot flashes. I took my mustachioed self straight to the nearest waxing emporium and had it torn away. Yikes! That hurts waaaaay more than eyebrow waxing. Time to start researching electrolysis!
Dino Spouse is staying over at Babushka’s place tonight. This would normally be an occasion for either a preteen sleepover or heroic (by which I mean intense, messy, and/or stinky) domestic labors, both of which are best accomplished in the absence of my husband. But Mouse and I have both been poorly this week, so we are apathetically loafing about the Dino Nest. Podrostok is brooding in his room, being as he is grounded. Tweenbot is ostensibly cheery in the company of his BFF, but I sniffed out some adolescent malfeasance on his part earlier this evening, and he knows it. It’s kind of a disagreeable evening. On the Ms. Pac-Man scale of personal dysfunction, where 0 = optimal behavior and 10 = playing Ms. Pac-Man until 2 AM, I predict that tonight will be about a 7, offset by the high likelihood that I will go to bed before any of my kids.
(Sound of brain grinding to a halt while trying to link title and first para to observations on recent public discourse regarding the concept of privilege. Is it possible that more white people are recognizing that white privilege exists? Or more men recognizing that gender discrimination still exists? Or have I just moved so far to the Left that I now consider “Salon” a mainstream media outlet? Hmm, Ms. Pac-Man.)
Recent social media quiz thingies suggest that I am a mere 47% psychopath, not at all a sociopath, and most like Hades (if I were to be a Disney villain, which is the only way I’d really want admission to the Disney pantheon except as a character on Phinneas and Ferb or Gravity Falls). I am kind of disappointed about the sociopath thing, but since they’re good at feigning normalcy it stands to reason.
This morning I woke up at 430 and could not get back to sleep. I was sorely tempted to play Ms. Pac-Man but I made myself work out, make coffee for myself and Dino Spouse, and pursue gainful activities online instead. Poor Dino Spouse! His beloved Verismo instant espresso doodad exploded on Monday and now he is reduced to drinking mere cafe au lait instead of his favored latte. He really loved that machine. Every time I am tempted to jone on his bougie tastes, I remind myself that the most cherished material gift my husband has ever given me is my beloved electric pencil sharpener. We all have our fetish objects.
Speaking of fetish objects, my idea of gainful activity this morning (other than the grocery order, that is) is blogging. Every morning I find articles online (about work or depression or the Left or which Disney Villain I am) and set them aside in hopes that I will find time to write about them and thereby expand my lands. Every evening I close the open browser windows* with a sigh. Venting about being depressed helped me perk up a little. I love having a personal diary for those moments when I need to just break sh*t, but writing for an audience satisfies me creatively. I mean, I spent hours yesterday studying the Code of Federal Regulations for waivers to solve a bureaucratic problem. It spoke to me, people. Its structure was illuminated like that of some awesome geometric proof. I really need a creative outlet. The last thing you need In Ur Takses is me hallucinating and raving about the Federal Travel Regulations from atop a (by DC standards) high-rise. Bureaucrates stylites, y’all.
No one comments on my blog except for the pingbacks I get in linking to my own posts, spambots, and this one nice young person in India, whom I wish success in developing the dream web app that will break down my grocery lists and tell me which things to buy at which local stores to maximize my cost savings each week. But I see that I have followers. Hi, followers! I have added a new page just for you!