Chapter 93: COVID Chronicles

June 29, 2020

By Karen

Day 110

With Trump, No Surprises Left & I Get Creative with Leftovers

As if it weren’t enough for Trump to be killing us in droves with COVID at home, we learn he’s been happy to let Russia take out our soldiers by proxy in Afghanistan.

It seems Putin pays the Taliban bounties for American hides. And Trump now denies that he and Pence have known it for months.

I’ll concede it’s possible that Trump, with his dwindling mental capacity, has no memory of it. And Pence’s standard line for everything is, “Nobody never tells me nuttin’ about nuttin’.”

And maybe whenever Chickenshit Cheetos Cadet Bone Spurs salutes a soldier, it’s not his secret “Fuck You!” signal to our generals because he’s been helping his BFF Vladdy wipe out U.S. troops without wasting any Russian bullets.

When did we make it OK for presidents who commit cut-and-dried treason say, “You can’t blame me for treason because I’m too mentally incapacitated, but you still have to let me run the country”?

What I find most tedious about this latest crime is everyone’s totally predictable outrage and continuing questions.

If there’s one thing 100% consistent about Trump, whether he’s manifesting any heinous human trait you can imagine, or behaving with such depravity that it defies description, it’s that it’s always EXACTLY as bad as it looks.

Trump has NEVER said or done anything that left anyone saying, “Well, that certainly wasn’t as bad as we feared.”

Moreover, it usually gets worse as you peel away the putrid layers of corruption that envelop everything he touches.

These bounties will be no different. Trump has been green-lighting Putin’s Kill-Americans-for-Fun-and-Profit project.

Don’t be surprised if it’s eventually revealed that Putin pays Trump a percentage on every American kill. Trump’s never been one to pass up an opportunity to demand a cut for his beneficence. This will probably be no exception.

Back on the culinary front, last night I had leftover beef lo mein in the fridge from my favorite takeout place, China Taste. I jazzed it up with onions and broccoli doused in soy sauce and sesame oil, and sprinkled it with bits of boneless pork spare ribs. It turned out delicious…

For today’s lunch, I still haven’t bought lunchmeat, and had only a dab of Mediterranean pasta salad left. It swims in olive oil, so I added some diced tomato sprinkled with oregano. Then a few Kalamata olives. And for protein I had some hard salami sitting around, so why not? For that touch of green, capers. Finished off with feta cheese. Voila! Tasty little lunch…

Speaking of lo mein, does anybody know a good recipe for whatever’s on the noodles? I’ve tried several, but have never been able to duplicate that restaurant taste.

Chapter 82: COVID Chronicles

June 18, 2020

By Karen

Day 99

It’s Tough Being a Statue & My Tasty Tuna Salad

Richmond’s down to 10 Confederate statues (from 13). Earlier this week, protesters spray-painted and yanked off its pedestal a rather nondescript one called “Richmond Howitzers.” I’m sure I’ve driven past it multiple times over the years, but can’t say I ever noticed it existed until it bit the dust…

Alexa Welch Edlund/AP

I think my Yankee-bred radar has conditioned itself to ignore Civil War blips because they never quit. It even comes up in some of my work, in academic contexts.

But Richmond being Richmond, some tit for tat to Black Lives Matter was inevitable. Yesterday someone spray-painted White Lives Matter graffiti on the pedestal of tennis hero Arthur Ashe’s statue. I’m not a tennis fan, but the Ashe statue is truly fascinating. I get creeped out every time I see it…

Sports Illustrated

He’s posed as if he’s about to serve a stack of books. And what’s with those sawed-off children? They’re straight out of Stephen King.

The Ashe statue was placed on Monument Avenue in 1996 after a protracted battle to get it there. But they made sure he was well apart from the Confederates. Here’s a rough map of where they all sit…

Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project

After erecting the statue, believe it or not, Richmond honored Ashe AGAIN.

Richmond had this wide old street named just “The Boulevard.” It’s home to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the new “Rumors of War” statue, and crosses Monument Avenue at one point. One year ago, on June 22, The Boulevard was renamed Arthur Ashe Blvd.

There’s some talk of renaming myriad streets around here that have Confederate names. But if they start on that path, it will directly affect a large portion of the population, cost a fortune for address changes, and nobody will be able to find anything anymore.

Footnote: I didn’t mention this because it wasn’t initially reported, but when the statue of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis was pulled down, his face got bashed in. I don’t know if it happened in the fall or deliberately. Assuming no one will pay to restore him, he’s probably toast. It’s all for the best.

Back on the home front, I’m out of lunchmeat. I only buy it at Aldi because it costs considerably more in Food Lion, so today I made tuna salad for lunch. It never turns out the same way twice, depending on what I have on hand.

I do prefer giving it crunch with radishes over celery because 1) radishes are spicier, and 2) I can never use up a bunch of celery before it goes bendy.

I eyeball the quantities and use just enough mayo make it hang together. Old Bay seasoning is excellent on just about any fish (and popcorn!). Here’s all I threw into this batch and it turned out delicious…

Of course, as soon as they heard the can opener, Tony and Roc came running for tuna juice. I gave them some of the plain people tuna as well, but Roc turned up his nose and left it for Tony.

By the way, Roc sends his regards. Windows are open today and he’s enjoying the outdoors from a kitty perch…

Max, still determined to keep his new spot on the couch, has been there since breakfast. He’s got amazing bladder capacity…

Tony just brought to my attention his resemblance to the little cat drawing that’s hung for years above the Kitty Condo near Clark Gable…

BTW, we’re all prepping Tony to watch his first Triple Crown race Saturday, the Belmont. We’ll see if horses are his thing. Adele would be so pleased.


Chapter 79: COVID Chronicles

June 15, 2020

By Karen

Day 96

Meatloaf Results & Trump’s Dirt About to Become an Avalanche

It’s a gloomy, drizzly Monday. After owning the couch again last night, Max is spending today upstairs. The temperature is in the low 60os, so I opened windows to air the place out, which immediately had my office crawling with cats…

Last night I made the meatloaf from yesterday’s video recipe. I used the same amounts of everything despite being four ounces short on ground turkey. I was afraid that was a mistake when the raw loaf looked more like mushroom laced with meat than meatloaf. But I forged ahead. Here it is before I baked it (left) and after 50 minutes in a 400o oven, which was long enough to cook it thoroughly…

You can see how it expanded and cracked, but there wasn’t any grease. Two thin slices I cut off broke in half, but it didn’t totally crumble. And it was the moistest meatloaf I’ve ever eaten. Although it didn’t taste like mushrooms, it was a little bland. Prepping is a lot more work with cooking onions, garlic and mushrooms, but I’d definitely make it this way again. Can anyone suggest an herb or spice that might jazz up the flavor while keeping it meatloafy?

It was too loose to move, so I lifted it foil and all from the baking tray into my storage container…

The upside: no cleanup!

Maybe you’ve heard that Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton’s tell-all book about Trump comes out on June 23 despite Trump’s threats to sue. The Room Where it Happened is full of misdeeds Bolton should have told Congress during the impeachment when he could have helped get Trump removed.

Since COVID-19 blasted Bolton right out of the news, I hope his belated bombshells result in poor sales and be greeted with, “You call this news? Trump’s killed 117,000 people (and counting) since he pulled this stupid shit. Get a life.”

Bolton flogging dead horses for fame and profit feels like the MAGA crowd still going on and on about Hillary’s emails. It’s pointless and meaningless.

But ANOTHER book called Too Much and Never Enough comes out August 11. The author is Trump’s 55-year-old niece who has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Mary Trump.

Mary is the daughter of Trump’s older brother Fred Jr., who died prematurely in 1981, when Mary was about 16. Fred Jr. was an alcoholic whom Trump claims turned him off booze forever (so instead Donny snorts drugs, whose dust is sometimes sprinkled on his lapel).

Mary is purportedly the family insider who helped The New York Times on their Pulitzer Prize-winning exposé of Trump’s finances.

Her main beef with Trump probably began in 2000. Details about that are in this Business Insider article. But it boils down to Trump and his siblings’ indulging their greed by cruelly trying to block health care for their late brother’s children, Mary and Fred III, when Fred III had an infant son with cerebral palsy. They were all fighting over Fred Sr.’s will, which omitted Fred Jr.’s portion of the inheritance.

If any book might bury Trump under more damning personal dirt than even he can lie his way out of before November, this knife in the guts from a member of his own family has a shot.

BONUS: Brilliant Sarah Cooper, using Trump’s own words, shows us “How to Lincoln”…

Chapter 78: COVID Chronicles

June 14, 2020

By Karen

Day 95

Trump’s Self-Inflicted Birthday-Eve Fiasco & Roc Meets His Match

Today is Trump’s 74th birthday. He celebrated at his golf club in New Jersey to elude protesters swarming around the White House.

Yesterday, he gave his first and last commencement speech at West Point, where he bumbled references in the prepared test to “Ulyssius S. Grant” and “General Douglas MaGarther” (the latter several times, even though he’s said to be a big MacArthur fan). When he ad libbed that today is his birthday, he got almost no reaction.

He was also seen again using two hands to drink from a water glass and he crept down the ramp (video) from the podium post-speech in baby steps, with a soldier spotting him, lest he face-plant.

Of course, he was all “it was the ramp’s fault,” tweeting…

We know the truth. We have the video. His only honest observation was no handrail.

Over 1,000 socially distanced cadets were forced into two weeks of quarantine before they could sit in the hot sun and listen to Trump bloviate. The setting greatly muted whatever applause or laughter he got, which must have pissed Trump off no end.

But I know you’re really dying to hear how it went with Max last night. When I settled down for some TV, Max was still on the couch in Roc’s spot. Roc checked it out from all angles, seeming genuinely perplexed by this new development…

Max ignored him, and Roc finally gave up. He wrapped himself in the blankie and sat with me…

When I went to bed, Max went upstairs to the Man Cave. But this morning he promptly came down for breakfast, and then went straight back to the couch. When Max picks a new spot to hang out, he can stay there for months. So far, Roc accepts this arrangement, but he’s not pleased. (Max is the black blob with white whiskers)…

What impresses me most is how Max quietly asserted himself without lifting a paw. It’s more than I can say for the Richmond police. Last night, protesters were again rallying peacefully around the Lee monument when a police SUV inexplicably drove up onto the sidewalk to cut through them “like a knife through butter,” as Trump would describe it. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt…

Tonight I’m making a new turkey meatloaf recipe that uses mushrooms to keep it moist. I’ve never tried this. Here’s a 3-minute video that shows the recipe far better than I can…

The recipe calls for 92% lean turkey and mine is only 85% lean. The meatloaf in the video doesn’t look very firm. That’s my problem with meatloaf; it always falls apart. I’ll let you know how it goes.

PS: After checking my remaining shopping list and finding no “must have now” items on it, I skipped my Aldi trip today. I’m so predictable.

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 56: COVID Chronicles

May 23, 2020

By Karen

Day 73

ABCs & Mail-In Ballot Retraction

I woke up at 9:30 and it threw the whole day off. Doing chores, I went outside to sweep tree crap off the deck and my new sliding glass door went wonky and refused to close all the way — by about 2 inches. Now there’s a gap at the top you can see daylight through. I had to physically lift the door above the track to close it and then slide a wad of cardboard under one end (best done by two people, BTW) to balance it enough to lock it until one of my handymen texts me back about a fix. I have every reason to believe they will ghost me on this.

The stress of finding this new home repair project (with its security implications in the meantime) propelled my masked self out the front door on a vodka run. But first, some context: Virginia controls all hard liquor sales through state-owned ABC stores (but you can buy beer and wine anywhere). This is solely due to a mix of latter-day prudishness and greed.

When I travel, it always amazes me when I see someone nonchalantly picking up tampons and Jack Daniels at Walgreens.

Anyway, I live equidistant between two ABCs, and my father told me yesterday that COVID had closed one of those. So I drove to the other one.

Well, guess what? Also closed. The sign directed me to the “nearest” store, in a dicey part of town I avoid. At this point, anyone with a functioning sliding glass door who didn’t need a stiff martini would have just gone to Food Lion for beer and been done with it.

But I knew of a fourth store, so I took the scenic route there to give my Saturn a highway workout because it hasn’t been driven in two weeks. It was open and everybody was wearing masks.

Yesterday, Governor Northam said he’ll probably make wearing masks in public mandatory on Tuesday. I don’t know what’s magical about Tuesday, but will love watching all the Trumpers who paraded around the state capitol in their cute little camo outfits with assault weapons stick that mask decree right up their Second Amendments.

RETRACTION: If you live in Virginia’s 7th District, forget what I said about getting a mail-in ballot. Upon returning from the ABC, I had a letter from the county registrar’s office saying my application was denied because the only Democratic primary is in the 4th District. Is my face red!

I blame the pathetic Richmond Times-Dispatch, the only newspaper available in this region, which I read front to back EVERY DAY. I pay attention to this stuff and had no idea what’s going on with the primaries. The RTD is so intent on keeping Trump’s crimes buried, local political news must also be getting lost — or going unreported. In their newsroom, who has time for CURRENT events when you’ve got pages to fill with Civil War developments and sports that aren’t being played?

For dinner tonight I had some leftover baked chicken thigh, so threw it together with rice, onions, green beans and BBQ sauce. Here’s what I mean about having no patience for caramelizing onions…

That’s as brown as they got before I ate them. They were good. Now I need a drink.

BONUS: The amazing Sarah Cooper telling us “How to Obamagate”…

Chapter 55: COVID Chronicles

May 22, 2020

By Karen

Day 72

Fat Chives & A Big Batch of Beans

I think the chives (scallions, whatever) are ready to harvest. It’s amazing how they regenerated in just 12 days. The pointy ones are new shoots, the flat-tops are regrowth of the originals from Food Lion…

And here’s the poor runt, Day 10 to Day 12…

It grew, but come on, runt! Over the weekend I’ll cut them back and plant the bulbs (including runt) in potting soil to see what happens. The cats will take more interest in this new phase of the experiment because they love digging in dirt.

Last night I made pork and beans for my father because my mother isn’t much into fiber. I use 16 oz. of dried Great Northern beans, and usually soak them overnight. But time was short, so I just rinsed and boiled them hard. Naturally, my culinary kitty supervised…

Once boiling, I added kosher salt to the water, lowered the heat to a simmer and covered. They took about 90 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, I assembled and had my ingredients inspected by the FDA (Feline Dietary Authority), who made sure there was extra bacon so I’d have to offer a bribe in exchange for his approval…

I eyeball everything, so I can’t give specific quantities except there’s a large diced onion and six strips of crumbled bacon.

Originally, my intent was to make beans that look like what’s in a can, but not mushy. Depending on whether you want them tomatoey, tangy or sweet, you can go heavier on whatever you like. You can’t break this recipe.

First, I add the onion. Usually I’ll sautée it, but I was on a deadline so I threw it in raw.

Then go heavy squirts of ketchup and BBQ sauce, followed by lesser amounts of mustard, molasses, honey, and the bacon crumbled. I used to use brown sugar instead of honey, but found honey is tastier. This is what they look like after I throw in everything…

Then I stir…

Covering again, I left them on very low heat to cook the onions and meld the flavors. For richer color, I did end up adding more ketchup and BBQ sauce.

After an hour of simmering, they were done, but a bit too tart for my taste, so I gave them another heavy squirt of molasses. That did the trick. I think molasses is the key to the richness I’m going for.

Once cool, I put half-cup servings into Ziploc® bags for freezing. This batch made 5 1/2 cups. Bags save a lot of space; the beans slip out cleanly after thawing. Tony gave his final inspection before I put them in the fridge overnight…

My father just picked them up. He likes them with a couple of hot dogs. It’s a New England thing.

Chapter 53: COVID Chronicles

May 20, 2020

By Karen

Day 70

Surprise! The Chives Aren’t & Tony is Camera-Shy. Who Knew?

Here’s a chives update: Day 10 and they’re going strong. Roc took a chomp on the tallest one last night. Cats Working reader Shelley just informed me that they’re not chives, but scallions. Whatever. Fat chives. Yesterday I cheated and added a drop of plant food to their water. After I harvest the greens, I may put the bulbs in a pot of soil and see what happens. It seems they would be much happier getting nourishment from dirt…

And here’s the runt I’ve been trying to save. I think you can see it’s got a microscopic shoot starting. (That’s why I gave them plant food)…

This morning after I started working, Roc was meowing like a madkitty downstairs. Next thing I knew, he brought me a present…

That weird bird again. I know he fished it out of a large plastic shopping bag where I threw it this morning, trying to get him to do something cute. Of course, he waited until I’d left the room.

Speaking of cute, like his human namesake, Tony always knows when he’s being filmed. Here’s a tiny example. I was trying to catch the adorable pull-ups he does every day on this perch, but as soon as he realized he was on camera, he stopped and scaled the perch the hard way. Notice how he stares right at me before and after…

Remember my rant about Karen yesterday? Last night when I was fixing a snack, I grabbed this bottle from my stash…

What are the odds I’d have a “Karen” wine? Well, I’m no wine connoisseur, but I’m very sorry to report that this sauvignon blanc was, without a doubt, THE nastiest wine I’ve ever tasted. It smells like cat urine and tastes just as bad (I imagine, I’ve never drunk cat pee). I’ve tried three of the Naked Wines so far, and two of them were not good. The first one named its blend “White Wine,” so I wasn’t expecting much, and I certainly didn’t get it.

BONUS: I was watching The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah last night, and coronavirus gave this commencement speech that had me in stitches. Its point of view is spot-on…

Chapter 43: COVID Chronicles

May 10, 2020

By Karen

Day 60

Escape to Downton & Why are Tuna Melts So Gross?

Six bottles of white I ordered from arrived yesterday, so Roc wasted no time moving into the box…

The packing materials became interesting cat teasers, which I’ll save for another post.

Last night I couldn’t stop binging Season 5-6 of Downton Abbey and woke up this morning at 10 a.m. With their breakfast an unpredecented three hours late, it was a wonder Roc and Tony didn’t start nibbling on me. But back to Downton…

Cousin Rose saves Baron Sinderby’s bacon (before she swans off to fame and fortune starring as Cinderella at Disney) by pretending to be BFFs with Sinderby’s mistress so his wife doesn’t realize he’s a cheater with a love child. So, Rose robs Sinderby forever of his right to sneer at Rose the shiksa and her divorcing parents.

Mr. Bates gallantly confesses to murdering Gillingham’s valet Mr. Green to get Anna sprung from prison, but then abandons Anna by lamming off to Ireland to avoid the noose. Fortunately, the real killer confesses, Moseley and Baxter pub crawl through York and find an iron-clad alibi for Bates, and he’s able to return to Downton on Christmas Eve so he and Anna can resume trying to make babies.

In what I consider the series’ MOST touching scenes, Mr. Carson pops the question to Mrs. Hughes, and when she accepts his proposal, she says, “Of course I’ll marry you, you old booby. I thought you’d never ask.” Then they conduct negotiations through Mrs. Patmore to agree they’ll go all the way — fat and wrinkly as they are — once they tie the knot.

Sadly, Cousin Isabel’s romance ends when she dumps Lord Merton because she doesn’t want to spend her dotage being insulted by his shithead son, Larry.

Then after Henry Talbot becomes the first man on the planet not to go instantly ga-ga over Lady Mary, underscoring it by jumping into his roadster and speeding off without so much as a backward glance, Mary becomes smitten.

Now I’ve got to ask the ONE question Downtown never addressed. What’s up with Marigold? By Season 6, Edith’s love child is maybe three years old, yet she’s still oblivious to her surroundings, never speaks, and Edith carries her everywhere.

In Season 6’s opener, George and Marigold are down in the kitchen with Mrs. Patmore. George seems fully present while Marigold stares off into space…

Mrs. Hughes shows up, so George wanders off and Marigold presumably stays at the table. But from that point on, Marigold’s cut off camera and the women finish the scene as if no one’s there.

Marigold was played by twins, Eva and Karina Samms, but it seems egregious miscasting. Are they children of a crew member? I can’t find any explanation. Had the series lasted longer, Marigold’s detached demeanor by school age would have become impossible to overlook, especially if Edith was still lugging her around.

I found this other recap of the Season 6 opener at The New York Times that’s pretty funny and covers more ground.

Now, back to my kitchen. Virginia’s Senator Mark Warner did a video on how to make his favorite tuna melt sandwich. To say it’s beyond disgusting is an understatement.

In addition to undrained tuna and microwaving white bread, he offended the entire South by not using Duke’s mayonnaise, which I find grossly overrated. My first choice in mayo is Kraft. But I digress.

In response, the Washington Post published a recipe adapted from for a Mediterranean tuna melt. I have most of the ingredients, so I tried it today…

(If you want four servings, use two cans of tuna and double everything else.)

  • 1 5-oz. can of chunk light tuna, drained (Tony LOVED lapping up that drainage!)
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz.) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped marinated artichoke hearts (these added nothing)
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion (I had white, so threw in some chives for color)
  • 1 tablespoon (4-5) chopped, pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 teaspoon capers, rinsed and chopped (tiny, hard to chop)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used bottled)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil — to brown the sandwich in a skillet

Throw everything into a bowl and mix. This is what that looks like…

If you use a skillet to brown, the recipe says to smash the sandwich with a smaller skillet weighed down by a couple of heavy cans. I used a George Foreman grill that browns both sides at once, and my bread is rosemary with olive oil, so I skipped that step. Here’s the result (with Mediterranean pasta salad and Flaming Hot Cheetos)…

The taste? Meh. I salted it, and I’d have used more onion. I don’t like hot tuna, so I’m biased. But the only moisture is a dash of lemon juice, and the other ingredients just lack zing.

Next time, I’ll go back to my own concoction: mayonnaise, chopped onions and radishes (for color and crunch), a little pickle relish, and a generous sprinkle of Old Bay Seasoning.

Chapter 36: COVID Chronicles

May 3, 2020

By Karen

Day 53

French Toast Avec Syrup? Jamais! & Tony Goes Live

Treated myself to French toast for breakfast. I just soak sourdough bread in an egg and fry it in canola oil. Easy-peasy…

I like my cast iron skillet because it browns the best…

I finish French toast with nothing but a little salt, so I never order it in restaurants. They always turn it into a dessert, drenched with maple syrup and powdered sugar. I don’t mind eggs being sweet in baked goods, but I would never put syrup on a fried egg, which is what French toast is. The French might even consider that disgusting.

This past week I lost the last shred of work I had left with a client who once constituted the biggest egg in my freelance basket (another story). It was a hospital, and it just discontinued its monthly newsletter for the doctors. I suspect it’s less a matter of the doctors not needing news from the administration, but more about people working from home trying to free up more time for Netflix by shedding whatever tasks they can get away with.

But whatever. It got me thinking about other publications I edit for clients that contain many group photos of people standing in tight rows staring at the camera. One is a school. I guess I can hang those up, too, at least for the foreseeable future. No matter what Marmalade Mussolini wishes, it’s going to be a lean or financially disastrous year for much of the country.

That said, I’m still working at least a few hours seven days a week mainly with proofreading and transcription, and occasionally copywriting or editing. As a long-established freelancer, I’m thankful to be better positioned to survive than a lot of people.

Speaking of which, there’s been no sign of my $1,200 stimulus payment yet. But the feds wasted no time cashing the considerably larger check I sent them in April for my first-quarter taxes.

Last night for TV I caught up with Tommy, the new CBS series starring Edie Falco. She plays a no-nonsense lesbian former NYC cop with a mixed-race adult daughter who’s now chief of the LAPD. I love it! Fingers crossed when CBS renews it (which they MUST), they don’t get cute and move it to All Access. I’m still pissed about missing Christine Baranski on The Good Fight, but I refuse to pay CBS for streaming.

This morning Tony was being incredibly cute on the perch — until he realized I was filming him, as cats do. Since I don’t think you’ve seen him “live” yet, here’s a moment with the kid himself…

Unfortunately, the camera didn’t pick up the “Meow” he shot at me as he declared the scene a wrap.

BONUS: For a fake race, the virtual Kentucky Derby was exciting. See who won…

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