Chapter 107: COVID Chronicles

July 13, 2020

By Karen

Day 124

Max, My Guinea Pig & Trump v. John Adams

He keeps topping himself, but in Trump’s most ridiculous assertion to date, he predicts that all media (social, print and TV) will wither and die under Joe Biden because Biden would get “low ratings.”

After three+ years of whining and screaming about wanting “the enemy of the people,” The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, out of business, Trump in his dementia has the nerve to claim credit for their markets. Like we all want All-Trump-24/7. The narcissism and madness have reached another galaxy.

Trump played golf this past weekend and had a big white van parked near the course to block photographers’ view. But someone managed to capture this priceless little clip of Lard-Ass’s steadily advancing meltdown. Watch his left leg as he walks away (hope this works, I just figured out how to embed tweets)…

There’s NO WAY to rationalize that leg splay as anything but involuntary lack of muscle control (or a twisted diaper). Now, if only COVID would catch up with him. Even #MoscowMitch McConnell is getting cold feet about breathing COVID fumes in Jacksonville during the GOP convention, with Florida smashing through all records for new daily COVID cases, surpassing 15,000 on July 12.

NOW, TO THE CAT BEAT: Yesterday I washed the purple blankie that has been Max and Roc’s battleground at the end of the couch. To figure out what Max is really fixated on — the couch or the blankie — I switched it with the pink blankie from the rocker. Max has never had a problem with it. In fact, it was his favorite spot last Christmas…

My hypothesis: Max would either prove that what covers the couch is irrelevant and it’s a turf war, or he’d go to the rocker because his real love is the purple blankie.

So, I invited Max to sit beside me on the couch. When he noticed that his end looked different, he not only refused to touch the pink blanket, but seemed a bit agitated. After I swapped things back, Max went right over to his spot and plopped down.

Bottom line: It’s the couch AND the purple blankie.

ANOTHER SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH: I’ve discovered how not to have Trump be my last thought at night (leading to nightmares), or my first shriek of despair in the morning.

While I was watching the musical 1776 last week, I had an urge to learn everything about John Adams. We were born roughly 42 miles apart in Massachusetts, so he’s my people. I ordered a used but pristine copy of David McCullough’s mammoth Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, John Adams, for $7, including shipping.

Last night I started reading it before bed, and I’m already hooked. Adams was only about 5’7” or 8” and many found him mouthy and obnoxious. He was considered a conservative, but had many liberal positions like anti-slavery. As a person, he was virtually Trump’s opposite. For example, only one wife, Abigail, and their voluminous correspondence is hard evidence that they had a strong, loving 54-year marriage.

Anyway, I went to sleep trying to picture the Adams farm in Braintree, and woke up still thinking about Adams.

Just as in 2001, after I heard George W. Bush refer to the 9/11 terrorists “the folks who did this” and immediately drove to Charlottesville to visit Monticello and be near  Thomas Jefferson, I think Adams will take the edge off Trump through the election.

Well, after I hit “Pause” tomorrow to read Mary Trump’s damning book about Uncle Donald, Too Much and Never Enough.

 


Chapter 106: COVID Chronicles

July 12, 2020

By Karen

Day 123

Trump Finally Masks Up & Natalie Wood Still Haunts Us

Today marks exactly four months I’ve been cooped up. Last night I got another haul of Chinese takeout to put off going to the grocery store a few more days. I feel safer spending a few minutes at China Taste’s plexiglass window than wandering through a whole Aldi or Food Lion, possibly among mask-free Trumpers.

Virginia just hit 70,000 cases, with daily figures increasing from roughly 600 to 900. The foolhardy reopening, against Governor Northam’s medical training and common sense, seems to be catching up with us.

Meanwhile, Trump returned to Walter Reed to visit wounded troops — the ones who cheated Trump’s buddy Putin of the opportunity to pay a bounty on their corpses — and Trump wore a mask…

During his chopper talk before leaving the White House, Trump said he thinks it’s customary to wear masks in hospitals (DUH, ya THINK?) and that he’s “never” been against wearing masks.

His lies just keep spewing like a firehose.

Meanwhile, his little buddy Roger Stone minces off with a nice commutation from 40 months in the slammer for seven felonies, just in time for Stone to commit more helping Trump cheat to a second term.

On the home front, this morning I washed a big load of cat blankies, including the purple one at the center of Roc and Max’s struggle over the couch. I’m wondering if it’s the location or the blankie that’s drawing Max, and plan an experiment tonight if he comes downstairs.

Right after I used a pet glove to clean fur off the couch cover, Roc had to claim the sunny spot. Tony prefers to bask upright. He looks so big!…

But as soon as Tony noticed me taking his picture, he came at me like a celebrity flushing paparazzi out of the bushes…

I have almost enough to build a kitten from what came off the blankies in the dryer, but at least it’s not fur stuck all over the house…

Speaking of celebrities, last night I watched the new HBO documentary, Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind. Her daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, who was 11 when Natalie died, provides much of the commentary. In one creepy scene, she sits opposite Robert Wagner, now 90, as he retells what happened that night on the boat.

Natasha believes he’s blameless, but he didn’t look at all like he was telling the whole truth.

According to him, it was just another night at anchor near Catalina. Natalie was down in their cabin getting ready for bed, and when he went down later, she’d left the boat for no reason whatsoever.

Actor Christopher Walken was also on board. He’d done Brainstorm with Natalie, and its director declared they couldn’t have been having an affair because they had zero chemistry during filming. I have no opinion on that.

I’m also not saying that I think either man pushed Natalie overboard. But I do believe things turned nasty, most likely a fight between Natalie and Wagner over something. Both men know exactly why Natalie left the boat. They were probably relieved to have her go sit in the dinghy to cool down and never dreamed she’d do anything life-threatening.

If Wagner dies first, I hope Walken finally comes clean. For now, they’re sticking to their pact of mutual silence to protect somebody.


Chapter 104: COVID Chronicles

July 10, 2020

By Max, Roc and Tony

Day 121

Max, Never the Predator, Ever the Prey

Roc: We’re giving Karen the day off (well, she’s our photographer) to show you a typical morning around here. Last night, Max slept on “his” end of the couch after letting me have it for a “little” while during TV time. I needed to make sure he isn’t ruining it…

Because Max was back there this morning, I kept shooting him dagger looks that made him growl until Karen got annoyed and insisted I sit next to her on the floor while she finished reading the newspaper on her laptop. I wasn’t thrilled to do it, but my treat supply is safer when I don’t cross her…

As soon as Karen got up and went to the kitchen to wash up, she heard a stampede of cat feet chasing Max upstairs. But as Max often does when he really wants to stay downstairs, he immediately returned via his shortcut to the mantle.

Tony: I swear I was just sitting on the second beam, but since I can run like the wind, I naturally became a suspect. But Max knows what happens to snitches, so when Karen questioned him on the mantle, he refused to meow a peep about who chased him there.

Meanwhile, Roc had lammed off to the third beam. I knew he was setting me up to take the fall, using the ironclad alibi that he couldn’t possibly have chased Max from the third beam.

Karen expected me to jump to the bookcase to be interrogated. But since Max was already on the mantle, I decided to play it cool and innocent by taking the stairs (you can see Roc gloating from the third beam)…

Max: Karen’s no fool. She knew all along Roc was my tormenter, so after Tony’s story checked out, she went upstairs to make Roc face justice. That’s when he decided to distract her by showing off one of the most dangerous moves a kitty can do in this house: the deadly third-beam-to-banister leap…

Roc then pirouetted and stayed up there to throw me the fish-eye on the mantle…

And Tony, who’d returned to the second beam, to ensure his continued silence…

Tony: Roc knows I’m no canary. I’d never rat him out. Besides, he makes banister-strolling look so easy, his sheer guts amaze me…

In the background downstairs, you can see our new Chewy.com box fort that came last night filled with goodies. Now I have a riddle for you. Can you guess who was sitting in the perch this morning? You get three guesses. You can put them in the comments…

BONUS: Comedian Sarah Cooper strikes again with Trump’s boast to Sean Hannity about how he aced a cognitive test and amazed the doctors at Walter Reed “very recently.” One would assume he did this in November during his still-unexplained visit, and raises the question: What medical emergency was he having that necessitated a fresh evaluation of his marbles?…


Chapter 102: COVID Chronicles

July 8, 2020

By Karen

Day 119

Robert E. Lee Stands Alone & Catching Up With the Kitties

Yesterday the statue of General J.E.B. Stuart came down…

Photo James H. Wallace, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Now the only Confederate left standing on Monument Avenue is Robert E. Lee, and he’s probably feeling like it’s Appomattox all over again.

There’s still no word on where the statues are hidden or what’s going to be done with them.

Next up on the Virginia To-Do list should be banning the Confederate Flag, which promises to raise an even bigger stink than the statues. I’m surprised Trump isn’t flying one over the White House right now, just for spite.

Speaking of Trump, the publication date of his niece Mary’s book, Too Much and Never Enough, has been moved up to July 14. I’ll be downloading the e-book as soon as I get the green light. Fingers crossed that hearing every cable news talking head laughing at him and swapping anecdotes about what a fucked-up little demon-child Trump was will accelerate his meltdown.

Richmond has had several straight weeks of humid weather over 90o. Even with central air and fans, we feel it and I’m more often drenched in sweat than not. Roc finds it cooler to nap on my recycle paper than in his comfy bed…

Yesterday, new collars for Roc and Tony arrived. Yes, I still hope Tony will one day accept wearing a collar so he doesn’t look like a stray.

As it turns out, that day has not yet arrived. As soon as Tony was in his new collar, he deflated. He kept scratching at his neck and shuffling around with his head down. His usual joie de vivre was gone. He’s already a virtuoso when it comes to playing me. So, Max got the new collar instead and he seems very satisfied with it…

Tony checked out Roc’s handsome new look…

Tony is obsessed by shadows. This morning he thought he saw something on the wall and we had this brief exchange (listen carefully) about it, but he finally agreed it was nothing…

BONUS: Did you happen to catch Trump saying he’d wear a mask if he had to? He wore a black one once and thought it made him look “like the Lone Ranger.” Comedian Sarah Cooper shows us how effective that would be…

PS: In case you’re unfamiliar with The Lone Ranger, here’s what his mask looked like…

And yet Trumpers are still out there believing Trump’s just fine.


Chapter 99: COVID Chronicles

July 5, 2020

By Karen

Day 116

Kitties Hate Fireworks & Catching Up on Movies

Last night, Roc and Tony were jumpy during the barrage of July 4 fireworks, celebratory 2nd Amendment gunfire and explosives that went off mainly between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. We felt some big booms quite close to the house, but I couldn’t see who was behind them. Through the trees, I did catch a bit of the fireworks, but I have no idea who put on that show.

This was really Tony’s first Independence Day. Last year, he was a tiny four-week-old kitten fighting to survive.

I was just refreshing on Tony’s roots in his paperwork, and discovered a freaky coincidence. It appears Tony and Roc are both alumni of the Happy Tails rescue in Abingdon, which is in the western corner of Virginia. The Richmond Animal League takes in animals from shelters that euthanize or do fewer adoptions so the little guys have a better shot at finding a forever home. So, Tony and Roc took exactly the same path to find me.

When movies are released and I don’t get to the cinema, I put them on a watch list and check periodically to see if they’ve made it to TV. I just caught two.

The first was A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, with Ton Hanks wonderfully channeling the gentle spirit of Mr. Rogers…

His co-star is Matthew Rhys (The Americans), who starts out as a cynical investigative journalist who initially resents being assigned a 400-word magazine fluff piece on Rogers. He morphs it into a 10,000-word cover story, and the friendship with Mr. Rogers that develops changes his outlook.

As a kid, I preferred Captain Kangaroo and Romper Room to Mr. Rogers. But after seeing this movie, I regret it. After you watch, you’ll feel better about the world — until the next time Trump opens his mouth.

Aside: I’m watching Matthew Rhys in an HBO prequel/remake of Perry Mason. Here, Perry is a seedy private investigator working a baby kidnapping and murder case. I find Rys convincing, but after two episodes, I don’t see how or why anyone felt compelled to call him Perry Mason, nor how he’ll make the leap from grubby PI to slick  attorney. He gets his clean ties off stiffs in the city morgue.

The other movie that blew me away was The Good Liar, with Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. They “randomly” meet through online dating and it’s immediately revealed that McKellen is a swindler who’ll con anyone for a buck. His partner in crime is, of all people, Mr. Carson from Downton Abbey (Jim Carter).

When McKellen determines that Mirren is a well-off widow, he plays on her sympathy until she invites him to stay in her house as her companion.

As his and Carson’s scheme to clean her out gains momentum, you’re rooting for Mirren, hoping she’s really the better liar and figures out a way to save herself. But the ending has a twist I didn’t see coming. It was mind-blowing, yet satisfying. No spoilers here.


Chapter 98: COVID Chronicles

July 4, 2020

By Karen

Day 115

Independence Day’s a Dud & Amazon Solves 28-Year-Old Norwegian Puzzle

I didn’t go to my parents’ cookout. I don’t know if they still had one, or if I ruined it. My sister was invited, so my guess is they did get together for lunch. Probably a quick one — on holidays Sis and her boyfriend usually have other obligations — so they weren’t together for too long. That will be their justification that it was all fine and I’m a bitch.

Meanwhile, on American Independence Day, I’m all Norwegian, or norsk, as they say. I’ve stuck with Duolingo. Initially, I was whipping through lessons so fast that I temporarily achieved Duolingo’s highest status, Diamond League.

But I had covered too much and I stopped retaining most of it, so I went back to Lesson 1. That’s when I discovered each lesson has four levels with lots of repetition and drilling, which was exactly what I needed. I also found grammar explanations and vocabulary lists. So, now I’m building a better foundation. However, Duolingo still makes you question your comprehension with nonsense like…

Nei, gitaren min gråter ikke.
(No, my guitar is not weeping.)

And…

Den fulle fyren kastet en hamburger på meg!
(That drunk guy threw a hamburger at me!)

And…

Katten er tre bananer lang.
(The cat is three bananas long.)

Who measures cats in bananas?

Speaking of cats, to help me remember min norsk, we’ve named that bird Roc carries around Fuglen (loosely pronounced Foolin’). It means “the bird.”

Speaking of Fuglen, he may be plotting something. This morning I found this shady gathering (mouse, Fuglen, Rowdy Rat, and Tony’s balding blue sparkle ball, which had migrated from the bedroom) on the kitchen rug…

But back to norsk. When I took up Norwegian in 1992 while dating a Norwegian, I asked him to bring me a book from home by any American author so I might buy the English edition and have the translation while I practiced reading.

He brought me Garrison Keillor’s En Rolig Uke I Lake Wobegon (A Quiet Week in Lake Wobegon), originally published in 1987, with Norwegian translation in 1988.

Here’s where it gets weird. Remember, 1992 was pre-Amazon, or really pre-online shopping anywhere. I never found that book in any store, even by comparing the first page of text, whose gist I got, with every Keillor book I came across. Since the Norwegian edition was too advanced for me, it has sat on my shelf all these years.

The other day, I pulled it out and was gobsmacked to find that I had somehow missed clearly written at the top of the copyright page: Originalens tittel: Leaving Home.

Amazon had THAT book…

Keillor wrote a much shorter foreword for the norsk edition, and some of the stories have titles as stretched as the book’s itself, but it does look like a valid translation.

So my next project is to read a whole Norwegian book. Didn’t former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg once say that’s why he learned Norwegian?

They say when you really absorb a language you stop translating it in your head. I hope that’s where I am by the time I get to Slutten (The End).


Chapter 97: COVID Chronicles

July 3, 2020

By Karen

Day 114

Apropos of Nothing & July 4th Family Drama

I don’t spend all my time watching TV. I also read. It took a few weeks to finish Woody Allen’s memoir, Apropos of Nothing, but I really loved it. It’s funny, self-deprecating, and the stories he shares about growing up, falling in love with movies, and how he became a director are delicious.

Woody heaps praise on virtually all the actors he’s ever worked with, even the ones who now claim to regret it and say they’ll NEVER work with him again, because that’s the cool #MeToo thing to do. He even extols Mia Farrow’s acting ability.

For the record, I’ve always believed Woody on the molestation accusations because his side of the story makes total sense. Also, he was exonerated in two thorough police investigations, and he was later cleared to adopt children after he married Soon-Yi.

Mia Farrow, on the other hand, I vividly remember as a flaky wack job since she became famous on the nighttime soap opera Peyton Place in the ‘60s, which I used to watch.

When Woody met Mia, she’d already begun hoarding orphans (eventually 10 total) like a turbo-charged Joan Crawford. Mia already had three boys by her second husband André Previn, yet insisted she and Woody have a child together unmarried. When she finally got pregnant, she told Woody the baby might be Frank Sinatra’s (Mia’s first husband, 30 years her senior, marriage lasted a year).

Look closely at Ronan Farrow and see if you don’t detect any young Sinatra. Ronan is apparently uninterested in learning the truth, which seems an odd attitude for a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist.

Anyway, Woody dating Soon-Yi sent Mia over the edge, and a lot of people got hurt in Mia’s quest for revenge.

Woody and Soon-Yi have now been married 24 years and have two adopted daughters in college.

Three of Mia’s adopted children died young, at least one by suicide.

On the home front, I learned this morning that my parents are going ahead with a July 4th cookout that I’ve been hoping wouldn’t happen. Humidity’s going to make it feel like 100o, with a storm in the forecast. That means everybody will be talking and eating in the house without masks.

When my mother called to tell me, I told her I’m not coming. To persuade me, she said she’d just met with clients and nobody was wearing masks.

Then she accused me of calling her ignorant, which I certainly did. Now she’s mad at me.

That’s how most of our phone calls devolve, so this is nothing unusual.

I’m 65 years old, I have high blood pressure and excess weight. I also don’t have a husband or boyfriend to help out around here if I’m too sick to function. The LAST thing I’m going to do, after holing up in the house for nearly four months, is throw it all away by exposing myself now for a fucking hot dog.

To end the week on a more cheery note, Max was very happy to have the sunny spot on the couch this morning…

He looks a bit grouchy when he first wakes up…

And Tony is practicing to be a portrait model, posing for these two great pics atop the blue kitty perch…


Chapter 95: COVID Chronicles

July 1, 2020

By Karen

Day 112

Roc May Feel Guilty & EU Shunning Gets to Me

I call this Roc’s “Hall of Good Intentions.” For the past week, he’s been bringing presents to my bedroom that never quite make it all the way (of course, Tony was on hand to photo-bomb)…

Maybe Roc’s trying to make it up to me for his sleeping in the living room with Max as their contest to determine King of the Couch continues. Meanwhile, Tony has been coming to bed with me and seems to enjoy having me all to himself (I’ve been taking lots of pics of him because he’s currently helping a good cause and hopes to become a star, details coming soon)…

Last night for the first time, Tony cuddled in the crook of my arm, which meant I spent that time lying on my back, a position I can’t fall asleep in. But it seemed like an affection breakthrough, so I stayed put as long as Tony did.

In yesterday’s comments, talking about the EU ban on Americans, I mentioned to our Danish reader the song about Copenhagen that Danny Kaye sang in the movie Hans Christian Andersen

I got teary-eyed watching it. Americans becoming unwelcome pariahs in much of the world, thanks to Trump fostering spread of COVID-19 here with unbridled glee and doing NOTHING to help the states contain it, makes me feel hopeless and almost worse than this fucking lockdown.

If you’ve never traveled outside the country, you don’t miss it. But after once having strolled around some of the most beautiful cities of Europe, finding yourself cut off from them because your country’s leader is a demented, murderous monster is crushing.

It brought to mind this song from the show, Do I Hear a Waltz?, which I believe to be an underrated musical. Richard Rodgers composed the music and produced it in 1965. It was originally intended to be a Rodgers and Hammerstein show, but Oscar Hammerstein died of cancer. One of his final wishes was to have a young composer he’d mentored, Stephen Sondheim, write the lyrics.

Neither Rodgers nor Sondheim thought the book, The Time of the Cuckoo by Arthur Laurents, made good material for a musical, and it ultimately ran for only 220 performances on Broadway.

You know the story if you ever saw the 1955 movie Summertime with Katharine Hepburn and Rossanno Brazzi. Hepburn plays a spinster secretary who, while on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation in Venice, meets and falls in love with a semi-married shopkeeper. Elizabeth Allen and Sergio Franchi had those roles on Broadway.

This song you’ve probably never heard, This Week Americans, is sung by the proprietress of the Venetian pensione where the spinster stays. Sondheim managed to work in just about every cultural stereotype you can think of, but it reflects how, once we dump Trump, I hope the world can think of Americans again…


Chapter 94: COVID Chronicles

June 30, 2020

By Karen

Day 111

Are the Cats Plotting a Coup? & Trump’s Toadies Outing Him as a Moron

I just went downstairs to get some lunch, and when the cats heard me coming, they froze (sorry, I didn’t have the camera). I found them sitting in an informal circle around the big beige perch. Was it my imagination, or did they all look guilty? Their looks seemed to say, “Did you happen to hear any of the shit we were just saying about you?”

My birthday’s not for months, so what could they be up to? Earlier today, Tony did say “Hello”…

The brouhaha over Trump’s complicity in Putin’s Kill-Americans-for-Fun-and-Profit scheme continues. The only silver lining we’ve seen so far is that the White House is finally cornered into admitting what most of us have known all along.

Trump doesn’t have a freaking clue — nor an ounce of curiosity or concern — about what goes on, nor how to deal with it.

That latest blonde bimbo calling herself his press secretary insists Trump STILL hasn’t been “briefed” about Russia offering bounties on our soldiers.

We know Trump doesn’t or can’t read. We know he sees and hears only what he wants to, and only if it includes his face or his name, and it preferably appears on Fox “News.”

So, what does it take to enlighten the so-called leader of the free world about ANYTHING? Must the FBI and CIA duct-tape him face-down on a table and ram the intelligence so far up his flabby orange ass that it pushes the Adderall crumbs out of his nose? Would THAT get his attention?

Sadly, in the end it won’t matter. You’d think Trump’s steadfast intent on remaining totally ignorant about EVERYTHING — even when he’s killing people — should cause Pence, the cabinet and Congress to do what it takes to remove him immediately. Instead, they’re getting ready to celebrate July 4 with a two-week vacay while the rest of us try not to die. They’re determined to let Trump rampage until whoever’s still alive in November votes the bastard out.

Carl Bernstein just wrote an article for CNN that’s long but well worth a read about Trump’s phone calls with world leaders. The information is gleaned from series of interviews with people in the White House who heard the calls or read transcripts and notes, which are much more plentiful than we’ve been led to believe. Trump demeans female leaders like a chauvinist pig, calling Angela Merkel “stupid” and Theresa May “a fool.” He dismisses Obama and George W. Bush as “imbeciles” and “weaklings.”

Trump will drop everything 24/7, even golf, to take calls from Erdogan of Turkey, who calls him often (why?). Putin treats Trump like a stooge. There’s much, much more.

In a word, every country Trump had spoken to by phone has recordings proving he’s a mentally deficient and inept moron — as if our own news media’s warehouses full of video footage isn’t proof enough.

Meanwhile, I applaud the European Union for putting the U.S. on its list of banned countries, along with Russia and Brazil, because of our COVID-19 containment failures. It means I can’t make a transatlantic crossing anytime soon to or from cities I love, like Dublin, Paris or Lisbon. But if it delivers another crushing blow to Trump to make innocent American travelers pariahs thanks to his incompetence, so be it.

Hmm… Max and Roc are now hanging out in my office, supposedly napping. Should I be worried?…

BONUS: Democratic strategist and truly funny guy, James Carville, has written my favorite kind of satire, Trump’s Farewell Address.

DOUBLE BONUS: Randy Rainbow channeled Bye Bye Birdie to write this delightful anthem for the COVID-19 age…


Chapter 92: COVID Chronicles

June 28, 2020

By Karen

Day 109

Let’s Compare Notes: How Are We Doing?

As time drags on, trapped between COVID and Trump’s incessant assault on our sanity, we must wonder how or when it will end. Will life ever be “normal” again?

For 109 days I’ve only ventured out every few weeks for food and liquor, and twice to visit my parents at a distance.

I could run other errands, but always ask myself, “Is what I need to do at X worth getting sick and dying for?” The answer is always no, so I don’t do it.

My work has dropped off to part-time. Some will probably come back, some not. The lull has made time to write 92 blog posts in as many days, a feat I’ve never come close to before.

When my posts get no reaction whatsoever, I see by the statistics that somebody did look. I count those as human contact that day. But comments are the best affirmations I receive.

I stay up later, sleep later, and spend virtually every waking moment staring at a computer, phone, tablet or TV screen unless I’m cooking or in the bathroom. Too many of my meals have no green on the plate.

Even with the lighter workload, I look forward too much to flopping on the couch evenings to tune out the world with nonpolitical TV shows and martinis or a bottle of wine.

I feel guilty about all the productive things I could do but don’t. I have watercolors, but haven’t painted. I did some coloring in Chapter 5. My house is full of good books I could read every day for the rest of my life and never get through.

Instead of blogging for free, I could write a book. I’m a writer.

But not to beat myself up too much, I grew chives from nubs. I still study Norwegian (update another time). I continue this daily, mostly one-sided correspondence with somebody out there.

Essentially, two main things keep me going. One is these little guys…

They’re my reason to get up every morning (if I didn’t, Roc and Tony would probably eat me). It’s like I room with three demanding frat brothers in fur coats.

The other reason is my solid determination to survive Trump so I can see his downfall.

Trump is falling apart. I scour Twitter every day for video clips the news media refuses to use. That they continue to conceal most hard evidence of his deterioration is a crime in itself.

Trump has balance issues. His arms and shoulders jerk uncontrollably, which simultaneously causes him to mispronounce words. Watch him closely when he’s clutching the podium as he speaks. He has trouble swallowing. He can no longer form sentences. He’s incapable of conversation. When asked any question, he responds with babble he’s said thousands of times. (Ex: “We’ll see what happens.”) He expresses no original thoughts on any subject.

He is still able to fixate on criticisms he hears about himself, which he parrots as projections onto others. Right now he’s obsessed with making us believe Biden has dementia.

We must all get through this alive. As long as Trump manages to elude COVID, it’s up to us to criticize him, mock him, hold him accountable for his crimes and face down his cult of ignorant, no-class lowlifes. They are NOT a “silent majority,” but a sick, twisted minority of racist, backward-thinking traitors who will not prevail. We must drive those who don’t die of COVID through their own stupidity back into the shadows.

I agree with Joe Biden that the United States, as a whole, is a country of honorable and decent people. We let our guard down, and now we must stay strong to put an end to the rotten Republican Party that made a Trump possible.


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