Chapter 77: COVID Chronicles

June 13, 2020

By Karen

Day 94

I Step Out & Max Shows His Cojones

I stayed up last night until 2 a.m. watching Mister Ed (got all six seasons on DVD), then didn’t get up until 10 a.m. It felt like I’d lost half the day.

I was down to my last stick of butter and running low on eggs. Plus, I’ve got this new meatloaf recipe I want to try and needed some ingredients. My favorite grocery is Aldi because Food Lion’s pricey, but then I procrastinated, putzing around in my nightgown until 2 p.m. and pushing off shopping until tomorrow.

But the car hadn’t been driven for 11 days, so I really needed to dislodge any squirrels who again might be snacking on the fuel line.

It’s sunny and 80s, so I went to my parents’. We sat out on their beautiful deck, bitching about Trump. That was the longest I’ve been outdoors since my father’s birthday on April 25.

On the drive home, the groceries kept gnawing at me. I had my list, and Food Lion was right there, so I stopped in for a few things I knew Aldi wouldn’t have, as well as meatloaf fixings in case I blow off Aldi again.

It’s now Virginia law to wear a mask in enclosed public places, but it’s not enforced. Food Lion had a few bare-faced assholes. They might as well tattoo I ♥ TRUMP across their faces. They couldn’t see my disgust under my mask, and we mutually avoided eye contact. It’s like they know we all know they’re scum.

But I digress. I scored the LAST jar of active yeast. And I got eggs and a pound of butter. Even better, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was 3 for $10, so I got Phish Food, New York Super Fudge Chunk and Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream. They’ll perfectly complement Mister Ed.

This morning, Max stunned me. Remember how I told you Max gains confidence from spending time with me? Well, he boldly claimed Roc’s favorite TV-watching spot on the couch…

He even napped and didn’t stir when Tony ambled by…

You can tell a cat is happy when he looks like a pretzel…

And when he stretches out to claim maximum territory…

Max remained in that spot the entire time I was gone, and he’s still there as I write this. Roc doesn’t seem to have noticed yet. It will be interesting to see what happens after dinner when I turn on the TV.

BONUS: Comedian and song writer Lauren Mayer wrote and performs a new song defending Karens and suggesting a more apt alternative. She doesn’t have Randy Rainbow’s slick production values, but her lyrics are every bit as clever. Check it out…

DOUBLE BONUS: Here’s an article on Raw Story that provides some historical context on how Karen became a four-letter word.

Chapter 76: COVID Chronicles

June 12, 2020

By Karen

Day 93

Toilet Paper Review & A Confederate Symbol That REALLY Needs to Go

When I accepted 14 rolls of Scott toilet paper my parents rejected after my mother complained it was too thin, I thought she was just being picky…

Turns out she wasn’t. I started using a roll, and this is the same paper you find in public restrooms on those big industrial rolls, where you have to pull off 6 feet to keep from soaking your hand and dripping dry.

This paper is so thin, they could almost make contact lenses from it.

The upside is that every other toilet paper in the house will now feel luxurious. I got a 32-pack of Quilted Northern at Sam’s Club back in April that I haven’t tapped yet. It’s going to feel like I’m wiping with pillows.

No other Confederate statues got ravaged last night, but yesterday the Richmond Police Memorial statue commemorating officers killed in the line of duty was removed for its own safety from Byrd Park after protesters hit him with red spray paint…

Photo Richmond Free Press

I assume he’s now comparing notes somewhere with Jefferson Davis and Columbus.

I read today that Virginia has the second highest concentration of Confederate statues in the South. Only Georgia has more. The Richmond area alone has 13.

Well, 11, since Davis and Wickham came down. Columbus doesn’t count because he had no dog in the Civil War fight.

But this is not to say that Richmond has made no headway in honoring African Americans. We’ve got statues of tennis champion Arthur Ashe, dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Maggie Walker, a prominent black teacher businesswoman from the early 1900s, and the newest statue in front of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, “Rumors of War,” which depicts a black man wearing Nikes, posed like the statue of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart on Monument Avenue…

Photos Left: VMFA. Right:

What really should go is the Confederate flag. It causes far more mayhem than any statue because it’s portable and wearable. Amazingly, NASCAR just banned it, although that will be hard to enforce once NASCAR fans are allowed back in.

These are people who watch cars drive in circles for hours. Instead of expending any thought to design a flag depicting whatever it is they DO stand for — if not racism and white supremacy — they wave a symbol of the dead Confederacy as if the South has a prayer of rising again, populated by morons who still carry a grudge against black people 155 years later.

Moving on to cat news, this morning while I was reading the paper I could hear Tony being cute with the Chewy box. As soon as he realized I noticed, here’s what he did (watch the middle of the paper)…

A few minutes later, I tried again. This time he circled me like a shark…

After I gave up and went back to the newspaper, he settled in his perch and allowed me this shot of his adorable toes…

Chapter 71: COVID Chronicles

June 7, 2020

By Karen

Day 88

Max Indulges My Bravo Binge & Roc’s Got a Surprise-in-Waiting

Tony’s gala birthday dinner last night featured Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals White Meat Chicken Paté. Tony and Roc devoured every bit of it. (Max only eats dry food.)

The only reason I had this ritzy grub was because they flatly refused to touch the last can I tried to serve them. Talking it up to them this time as “Special Party Food!” made all the difference. They loved it.

After dinner, Max came downstairs and sat beside me to share my filthy Bravo binge of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles with Roc…

Bravo ran a Season 10 marathon that the DVR picked up. I’d given up L.A. because the DVR couldn’t handle the time slot. My first love is Million Dollar Listing New York. But now my favorite NYC agent, the fabulous and flamboyant Fredrik Eklund, is moving to the West Coast, which put L.A. back on my radar because he guarantees fireworks in the new season starting June 16.

Except for the two delightful Brits, James and David, I think all the L.A. agents are pampered, entitled pricks, including the female one. The properties they sell have cookie-cutter opulence, differentiated mainly by square footage, whether they’re secluded or near traffic, or have smog, water or mountain views. Any homes with an Old Hollywood pedigree and story tend to get bought for their land so they can be demolished and replaced with sterile McMansions.

New York has infinite variety in architecture and neighborhoods, and I just love watching anything set in New York. It’s a Sex and the City hangover.

I had no idea Roc must have been missing his stupid Jackson Galaxy stick toy, let alone that he remembered it. Taped and diminished as it has become, He spent a good hour like this last night…

What he doesn’t know is, for his birthday September 1, I’ve got this brand-new spare of his current stick’s original model. He loved this one even more…

The toy on the end won’t fall apart. The wire will soon detach from the stick after normal pulling and need to be duct-taped on. It’s a stupid design and Galaxy eventually discontinued it. I got this one because Roc broke the first one so quickly.

When I drove to pick up my China Taste takeout after the tree-cutting next door, my rear window was so dusty I couldn’t see through it. And my poor little Saturn was absolutely filthy from the oak trees dropping their endless shit on it. So today I gave it a bath. I still need to detail it because tree crap fills every nook and cranny inside the doors, trunk and hood, but I did dig out all the readily visible scrunge with a toothbrush.

It feels good to have a clean car again, but it was a lot of sweaty scrubbing out in the heat and now I feel like this…

Chapter 70: COVID Chronicles

June 6, 2020

By Karen

Day 87

Happy 1st Birthday to Tony!

June 6 may be D-Day in the rest of the world, but at Cats Working it’s T-Day — Tony’s birthday. It’s hard to believe the little five-month-old kitten I got back in October has grown into this fine fellow…

In fact, I don’t know if it’s just because I knew Tony’s birthday was approaching, but I swear he’s having a growth spurt. If his body does catch up to his ears, tail and paws, he’s going to be an enormous cat.

The day started off peaceful enough, with Tony on the kitchen table guarding the chives from any marauding mice…

But Tony must have sensed something unusual was brewing because he went up on the second beam and began pacing around. I caught him just as he decided to come back downstairs. He doesn’t use Max’s bookcase shortcut yet…

A little while later, Tony dashed back upstairs onto the first beam and I was amazingly able to catch him performing this leap for the first time. The 1st Beam > Kitty Perch maneuver used to be Max’s signature move, but he hasn’t done it in a long time. He seems now to prefer the larger landing area of the bookcase…

I felt bad that I didn’t shop to get Tony a birthday present. Then I remembered my stash in the treat bookcase and found a brand-new stick toy. Tony (and Roc) were startled, but I think pleased, by this squeaky blue mouse with radioactive eyes…

But it must have gotten Roc thinking. I saw Roc kicking Tony’s present around the living room a bit later, then he disappeared. The next thing I heard was a crash in the kitchen.

But first, some context. When Roc and I were visiting Granny and Grumpy’s every Saturday back in the day, I carried his favorite toys, food and anything else I needed to bring over there in this green Kipling bag. The bag and my purse have been sitting untouched on this kitchen chair since we started the lock-down in early March…

The crash was my purse hitting the floor…

Roc had dug into the green bag to retrieve HIS favorite Jackson Galaxy stick toy. There was a time when he didn’t go anywhere without this thing. He hasn’t seen it in three months, but he knew where to find it.

[DISCLOSURE: The scene of Roc’s “crime” is a recreation. When I found the Galaxy stick on the floor, the toy at the end had scattered everywhere. I restrung it, but Roc made that process so difficult by almost sitting on my hands, I couldn’t get any photos.]

Once I got the pieces back on the string, instead of retying knots at the end (which had come undone in spite of being glued), I wrapped a thick wad of electrical tape at the end, which turned out not to be a hot idea. Roc took only seconds to snag the tape and send the pieces flying again…

So I restrung it AGAIN, put more knots in it and begged Roc to be gentle with it. Does he look like he’ll obey me?…

BONUS: Here’s Roc and Tony hanging out last night on the sardine can scratcher. It’s upside down to give them fresh scratching surface…

And here’s Roc this morning basking in a sunny spot from the skylight…

MAX UPDATE: After showing zero interest in binging on Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles with me last night, Max returned to the Man Cave. He’s sitting beside me now, but flatly refuses to do a photo op.

Chapter 69: COVID Chronicles

June 5, 2020

By Karen

Day 86

Hit the TP Jackpot & Max Asserts Himself

I just scored 14 extra rolls of Scott toilet paper (1,100 sheets per roll)! A neighbor bought it in Costco for my parents when the TP rush started, but they prefer something softer and gave me what they had left. Added to my own stock, my butt is covered until well into 2021.

CHIVE UPDATE: Must confess I’m losing interest in the chives. Soil doesn’t seem to be their thing. Both of the runts gave up, and this morning “someone” bent the tallest shoot you see here (Tony, I’m looking at you)…

Tony’s been obsessed with the plastic tray that sits under the pot, and I finally figured it out. It’s a mouse. Droppings were on my plant supplies out in the storage room from a tiny gray mouse who invaded several years ago.

I washed everything good before I used it, but Tony must still smell mouse.

Richmond City Council has voted to remove four more statues on Monument Avenue. Naturally, there’s opposition from Confederate diehards, but they still have other monuments scattered around town, battlefields preserved for their reenactments, and the White House of the Confederacy AND an American Civil War Museum to visit, so any whining about having their “heritage” wiped out is BS.

Max continues asserting his status as man of the house. Last night he stayed downstairs and slept in Tony’s perch by the window, rather than in any of his more comfy beds.

This morning Roc couldn’t resist trying to kick Max out, but I finally got Roc to settle in the second banana perch…

Tony doesn’t get involved, perhaps because he was last cat in. He has nothing to feel possessive about except his Froggy on a stick. Max and Roc’s turf war seems to be baffling him, especially since today it cost him his window perch.

When I came downstairs at lunchtime, Roc had pulled off a silent coup, but Max only ceded a few inches by switching places to the lower perch…

Tony’s still trying to figure out what’s going on.

Max has also been hanging out on the living room floor, another new behavior. When Adele was alive, Max stayed off the floor as much as he could so she wouldn’t chase him.

I think Max’s is benefiting from lately sitting with me and Roc on the couch to watch TV in the evenings. Whenever I spend time physically with Max, it seems to boost his confidence, which is nice to see. Max usually keeps to himself, so I’m thrilled whenever he chooses to be with me.

During the winter I occasionally carried Max into the bedroom to cuddle on cold nights. Tony and Roc needed no invitation. After that, Max would walk around with his tail held proud and mingle as one of the boys.

He’s a strange little guy.

Chapter 67: COVID Chronicles

June 3, 2020

By Karen

Day 84

Trump’s End One Day Closer & Women’s Ugly Pants

The tree guys next door didn’t leave until nearly 7 p.m. One large tree between our houses is gone. Now I have a clear view into their kitchen and my car’s rear end gets sun all day. I think at least one other tree came down on the other side, and maybe one in back. Their backyard’s still such a shithole, it’s hard to tell.

I was surprised by the cats’ sang-froid during the tree massacre. Max stayed downstairs, and the chainsaws didn’t cut into Roc and Tony’s nap time. It’s disturbing that they’ve become that used to the sound of deforestation.

Meanwhile, I couldn’t do transcription because of the noise, and I wanted to scream and punch somebody every time the house shook as a trunk hit the ground.

Today’s in the mid-90s. Our cold, rainy spring is over — and I completely missed it. I’m glad I opened the windows while I could. It may be a long time before the kitties get a good breeze on their whiskers again.

Richmonders are still protesting, but more peacefully. I was glad tens of thousands of protesters across the country, particularly in D.C., defied curfews last night. Trump’s “total domination” threats — on top of killing 107,000 people with COVID — may have FINALLY gone too far.

Governor Ralph Northam refused to send Virginia National Guard troops to D.C. to help Trump swing his dick around.

Commentator Rachel Maddow thinks Trump summoned National Guard to D.C. from all over the country because D.C. is a district with no governor. By law, he can only send active troops into a state if its governor requests them. His threat Monday to override “weak” governors is pure bullshit.

It’s one thing for Trump to strut around pretending he’s supreme leader of some banana republic, but entirely something else for him to line American streets with armed troops under orders to shoot and gas civilians “as needed.”

Our 2nd Amendment reads:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

It would be fitting to see Trump’s love of the 2nd Amendment backfire on him spectacularly. His supporters are supposed to bear arms to “secure a FREE State,” not to help a dictator impose martial law and revoke all their other freedoms.

If the MAGA morons ever manage to connect the dots, they could turn out in force — shooting AT Trump, not FOR Trump.

Yesterday, good old conservative Iowa may have fired a shot across Trump’s bow. Their nine-term misogynist, racist, Trump-enabling congressional representative, Steve King, LOST his primary election. They may still give another Republican his seat in November, but at least King is done. One GOP toady down.

To end on a fashion note, here’s a dumb photo from Monday of Trump with some henchmen and his latest bimbo spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany…

Are her cropped pants the epitome of fugly or what? Cropped pants are as heinous as capris. Neither style flatters ANY woman. OK, one. Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, wearing cropped skinny pants and flats. But Audrey would look gorgeous in a grocery bag…

Next to men in suits and sensible shoes, Kayleigh in cutesy cutoffs with her ankles hanging out and heels not made for streetwear reveal her as another inept blonde ditz aspiring to be Ivanka’s Mini-Me.

Try to imagine Hillary or Angela Merkel in such a feckless getup. You can’t. They wouldn’t be caught dead.

Chapter 65: COVID Chronicles

June 1, 2020

By Karen

Day 82

Bravo’s Below Deck: My Great Escape

After about 45 cruises over the past 32 years — without a next one in sight — I’m addicted to a three-series franchise on Bravo TV called Below Deck, which is set on luxurious motor and sailing yachts.

It’s a microcosm of shipboard life, boiled down to three basic departments:

  1. Galley – a chef
  2. Interior – a chief steward managing 2nd and 3rd stews
  3. Deck – a bosun managing two or three deckhands (one usually female)

The captain navigates and oversees all operations as the final authority. The motor yachts are usually about 150-160 ft., and the sailing yacht was 180 ft. (Today’s “small” cruise ships are about 900+ ft.)

Below Deck originally was set in the Bahamas and Caribbean, sailing with Captain Lee, advertised by Bravo as “The Stud of the Sea.”

After cruising many years in the Caribbean myself, that’s how I initially got hooked. When the islands were devastated a few years ago by hurricanes, that series moved to Thailand for Season 7, giving the crew a change of scene for their wild nights in port, partying between charters.

Below Deck Mediterranean, the second series, has female Captain Sandy. Season 5 begins TONIGHT, sailing from Mallorca, Spain, with a first-time-ever all-female leadership team: captain, chief stew and bosun.

Season 1 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht wrapped just last week, sailing from Corfu, Greece.

The sailboat had some notable differences. Accommodations were tighter and the vibe was much more casual (i.e., the crew never wore epaulettes signifying rank). It sailed primarily on motor power, but every episode featured at least one scene with the masts up, which sometimes made the boat list so sharply, everything went flying.

Captain Glenn was a laid-back guy, and things got out of hand almost immediately when the chief stew fell for the chef and began haranguing him to sleep with her (in the master guest cabin between charters — ew!) even after he wanted out. When the rest of the crew finally got fed up with the constant public affair, Glenn stepped in. That chief stew was the whole boss-from-hell package. She had the nerve to accuse her stews of complaining behind her back and failing to meet her “perfection” standards as thanks for them taking up the slack while she was mentally and physically MIA.

The three series have had some overlap because in real life the chefs and crew hop among ships as they find gigs, or get hired mid-season if someone quits or gets fired, which usually happens for lying, goofing off, being incompetent or a PITA.

I guess to protect the boat owners’ privacy, the boats sail under stage names and the crews wear corresponding logo uniforms, but the boats’ real identities are all over the internet.

Every episode is about how the crew copes with pleasing often-difficult, obnoxious, demanding guests to earn good tips. How they survive in tight quarters and get along (or not). And how they handle the unexpected: storms, breakdowns, injuries, accidents, fights. One deckhand almost drowned (and gave Captain Lee a stroke) when he fell from the stern of the moving boat with his leg tangled in a rope. Fortunately, the quick-thinking cameraman dropped his camera and freed the guy’s leg just in time.

There’s never a dull moment.

Below Deck is the show I need right now. It’s an escape to beautiful places where people are dining and drinking and enjoying themselves like I used to. For an hour, I forget that my life for the foreseeable future means being prisoner to a deadly pandemic and watching my city terrorized by riots while a homicidal dementia patient cowers in the White House basement and destroys the country.

Chapter 64: COVID Chronicles

May 31, 2020

By Karen

Day 81

While Richmond Roils, a Lazy Sunday in the ‘Burbs

Richmond had riots again last night. They tried to burn the stone headquarters of the Daughters of the Confederacy. That building is next to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, which has many large sculptures on the grounds, including this one of red glass by Dale Chihuly that could have been turned into dandy weapons…

Fortunately, I think the protesters spared the outdoor art, but blocks away they sprayed graffiti all over the Confederate statues — Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis — on Monument Avenue…

Monument Avenue is a broad and stately residential street lined with pricey old homes, and these statues sit in the intersections. I can only imagine how terrified the people living there must have been with hordes rampaging through their neighborhood.

There was more looting and burning, and the police sprayed tear gas.

Large protests are underway in the city today as I write this, but what I’ve seen so far has been peaceful. Tonight there’s an 8 p.m. curfew, so we’ll see how that goes.

Today the weather is perfect: mid-70s, sunny, breezy, not humid. All the windows are open and the cats have been scampering around trying to see everything.

But Roc stomped on my last nerve first thing this morning, as he usually does when I’m doing a chore I hate, changing the sheets. Actually, I hate folding sheets even more. He thinks it’s a game…

Last night I ordered some books from Amazon and they’re here already! Max immediately picked out his favorite…

My house is so full of books, I had to stop buying and start downloading instead. However, some books require touching, and these three are like that.

I became aware of cartoonist and cat poet Francesco Marciuliano with his first volume, I Could Pee on This. I also have I Knead My Mommy, which is poems by kittens. He’s written several others.

Today I got his two latest, from 2018 and 2019, respectively: Claw the System: Poems from the Cat Uprising and All Cats Are Introverts (Max’s pick).

Formatted like my book, How to Work Like a CAT (which I kick myself for not milking more, like Marciuliano has done with his idea), these books are quick reads, but full of cat wisdom. I’ll share one example from Claw the System:

Through My Eyes

I want you to think
How it would be
To be as small as I am
To be as frightened as I am
To never understand what one is saying
Yet always being told what I can’t be doing
To have to gaze up
At those who look down
Hence why I tripped you in the hall
So that maybe while you’re on the
floor looking for your tooth
You can final see the world
from my point of view

Max has spent the past few days holed up in the Man Cave. He came downstairs unexpectedly this afternoon and sat in the rocker that no one has gone near in months. I changed his bed blanket in the Man Cave this morning to one that looks like what’s on the rocker, so maybe that attracted him.

The rocker immediately became the hottest ticket in the house. Naturally, Roc the bully couldn’t let Max keep the best seat, and you know what happened…

So Max rejoined me on the couch. I think his look says, “Are you going to start reading me these books or do I have to show you some claw?…

While Roc was sitting at the open window earlier, he saw his friend from the deck. Squirrely is well-camouflaged, so I point out where he was…

I tried many times today to catch Tony looking cute, but he’d see me and keep running toward me. A second ago, he humored me long enough to catch this…

The third book I ordered was Silence in the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge, a Norwegian author (but I got the English translation). The little stories are meant to be savored slowly, so I’ll let you know about that one later.

I like silence. Even though I work at home, during the day I never have on the TV or music because background babbling drives me nuts. But sometimes at night when I can’t sleep, I play the ocean on my iPad as white noise, and then drift off imagining I’m on a ship in the middle of nowhere.

These days, the middle of nowhere seems the safest place to be.

Chapter 62: COVID Chronicles

May 29, 2020

By Karen

Day 79

Another Tree Gone & Chihuahuas ROCK! (Shh… don’t tell the cats!)

Woke up to chainsaws and a wood chipper roaring suspiciously close by. Roc and Tony were dying for me to get up and open the blinds so they could see what was going on. The house across the street was losing a large tree in front.

I saw them grind up a big dead section, so maybe it needed to come down, but I hate it when any tree goes. Without that shade, they’re going to love their air conditioning bills this summer.

The house next door to them had EVERY tree removed by its latest owner. She’s the only one on the block with an actual lawn. But I wonder why anybody who prefers the prairie would buy a house in a neighborhood with a mature forest. Her house isn’t any safer; lots of neighbors’ trees could still fall on it.

Anyway, my not-chives are five days in the pot and coming along. They have a new leader, and the new runt has a microscopic shoot…

I’ve tried to determine the difference between chives vs. scallions vs. green onions vs. spring onions and, as far as I’m concerned, they’re interchangeable. Chives apparently aren’t as oniony. The others have thicker green stalks.

According to the link above and, green onions and scallions are different names for the same thing. Spring onions are mature scallions/green onions.

I guess if what I’m growing ever gets pink flowers, I’ve got chives. Since I only use the greens as I’d use chives, that’s what I’m calling them. The differences between the others are all about the bulbs’ size and taste. Some people who cook with scallions throw away the greens altogether. Since my bulbs are staying underground, what kind they are is moot to me.

If I’ve never mentioned it before, I have a thing for talking animals. I love them all. For a COVID escape last night, I watched Disney’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva la Fiesta! (now on HBO Family)…

It stars Chloe, the original pampered Beverly Hills Chihuahua. She’s married to Papi Cortez, a scrappy Chihuahua who grew up on the mean streets of Mexico. They have five puppies, four boys and a girl, and belong to a young couple looking for a new place to live. In exchange for free room and board, the humans are hired for menial jobs at a posh hotel that caters to guests with dogs because the hotel manager wants to use glamorpuss Chloe for marketing.

The story is all about the dogs, with the humans as subplots. It’s filled with music, romance, mystery, drama, adventure and lots of laughs. The highlight is a colorful and joyous canine quinceañera that Papi hosts for his little girl, Rosa.

The amazingly talented cast is real dogs and they talk. What’s not to love?

I’m a cat person, but I enjoyed this sweet movie so much, it’s one I could watch again and again.


Chapter 61: COVID Chronicles

May 28, 2020

By Karen


Am I Showing Signs of Addiction?

Max has been hanging out with me today and now it’s his turn to say hi…

I’ve been proofreading like mad since early this morning an unexpected large project from a client who needed it “yesterday” and whose work always tempts me to put my fist through a wall. It’s as specific as I can get about that. I’m thankful I finally got it out of here, but I feel like I should soak my eyeballs in bleach. Or maybe vodka.

Consequently, nothing else has been happening today. But I’ve been meaning to share how the pandemic has forged this new bond between me and my smartphone.

In the “before” days, I’d sit here three feet from my landline and people knew to call that number because my smartphone was in my purse, off. It could go for weeks untouched and I didn’t miss it. I’d pull it out occasionally to see if it needed a charge. It existed solely for me to make a call in a pinch, not to make me available 24/7 to anyone wanting to interrupt whatever I was doing. You know, like the twits who take calls in Target or at the Food Lion checkout because they’re SO important.

And I’d use the phone occasionally if I was stuck in a waiting room with lousy magazines because I could continue reading a book from my iPad. I have an original iPhone SE, which is small, and I don’t think Apple considered it much of a success.

But now Apple sells a new phone they also call an SE. Why recycle that model name? Did they run out of alphabet? Or creativity?

But I digress. Since I’ve been cooped up, this phone is on and with me in the house every waking moment. Mainly to catch pics of the cats being cute, but I also use it to text my yard guy and handyman because that’s how they roll. Lugging it up and down stairs takes conscious effort because few of my clothes have good pockets.

Come to think of it, the only time I’m not staring at a screen now is when I’m in the kitchen cooking, in the bathroom doing whatever, or sleeping.

I read newspapers first thing on the laptop. I work all day at a desktop. At night I watch TV, that’s another screen, while looking stuff up and ordering cat food on the iPad Mini. Now my phone is attached to me like a fifth limb.


BONUS: Turns out MSNBC Last Word host Lawrence O’Donnell is a fan boy of Sarah Cooper’s Donald Trump lip-syncs. Last night he showed several of her clips when he interviewed her. This is the first time I’ve ever heard her real voice…

DOUBLE BONUS: I hope you can make out this fantasy New York Times front page. You only need to read the headlines; the articles are fake. It gives us something to aspire to come January 2021…

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