The other day Governor Cuomo (it may have been today) put how many days it has been since NY has been on pause. And it is not a lot. Like 51 or 53. But it feels like forever. The days all bleed together. Although, for my work life, not much has changed except that my son is home now too. And I seem to be working more now. Now that there is no place to go. Nothing to do. My mom does not come over any more to pick up my sister. My sister is not working. Besides, I can’t let my mom in even if she did. I am potentially contaminated. I am the one who ventures out to do the shopping. I never get to the 14 days. I just start it again. Every week.
Our place is small so my son and I share a work area. I am at my desk and he is at the kitchen table for online schooling. Most of his classes function by posting some work that he is required to do. Some teachers just post it so that the kids just do all the work right away and then are done or don’t have to “go to” class. I would like some actual structure. My favorite class of his is his public speaking class. The teacher is also the one who puts on the school musical. She has forced them to participate in online meetings. She calls on them and makes them actually speak to her. She has such an easy way with them. I think she is great. I also love his criminal law class. The teacher always has them watching videos on famous cases. That prompts us to have debates over them. Things like the Oscar Pistorius case. He was convinced that it was an accidental shooting. I did not agree.
And as much as I am paying attention to his work, he pays attention to my work calls but more often, to my choice of background noise listening. I listen to the NY Times podcast, The Daily, well daily. If you have ever listened, the host Michael Barbaro has a very distinct tone and way of speaking. My son, who is a master imitator, kept asking why he spoke the way he does. And then, he was doing a spot on Barbaro imitation. It involved putting in a lunch order. It was hilarious. The other thing I have noticed is that I think exposing him to my constant stream of reputable news sources (NY Times, NPR) has provided him with information that he would likely have not heard elsewhere. I always question his internet sources. And we live in a red part of the state. There are two Trump/Pence flags flying on my running route. He has been exposed to thinking and speech that he never had been exposed to in Hawaii. So I think being exposed to me and my liberal news sources has been good for him.
The other odd development of the pandemic is that I have started cooking meat. Like all kinds of meat. I realized a few weeks ago that I was only cooking him what I like to call “trash” meat. The kind of meat that bears little to no resemblance to meat. Think spam. And sausage. Kielbasa. Don’t get me wrong, we moved from Hawaii, where spam is king. But I just felt like if I was going to cook him meat, I should cook him meat that was not full of preservatives and the like. It has been challenging for me to do this. I have yet to figure out a good plan. I usually just pick up some random things and then wing it. Last week I made beef stew (winner). This week was chicken with orzo, fennel and leeks, turkey chili and pork loin chops. None of these was particularly loved by the teen. But I will keep trying.
He rarely leaves the house these days and I am consumed with trying to get him to do more things. The weather has not been cooperating. It is still chilly and windy. It actually hailed yesterday. He has not been getting dressed and spends his days in the shorts he sleeps in and his bathrobe (so grungy, we had taken to calling it the meatloaf robe). He is mostly in front of a screen. I don’t think that it is healthy for him physically or mentally. I keep trying to get him out of this rut of one screen to another. I am hopeful that nicer weather will help to facilitate that.
And I have taken to jigsaw puzzling. It is little mental bandwidth and very satisfying. I do this. I read a small amount. I write letters to Governor Cuomo and am obsessive about watching his daily briefing. Everyone has their coping mechanisms and that is mine. And running. I’m a little obsessive about running. If only I felt like I was a real runner when I was running all the time. That is the goal. We’ll see how that plays out.
I try not to drink too much. My weekly goal is to not drink more days than I do drink. I have mostly been successful with that. I did manage to go a bit overboard on a Friday a couple of weeks ago and drunk FaceTimed a co-worker, who was at home (in Hawaii) of course. She was with her infant son so that was fun. She said that she really didn’t know that I was drunk. I suppose that is good.
Really, all I am trying to do is keep it together. I don’t know what is going to happen but I don’t think that things will be back to normal any time soon. But, I keep listening to the Love Gov and I know that taking our time is the best way to save lives. So I hate it but you won’t see me protesting. As much as I want things to be regular. To hug my mom. And sit at her kitchen table. And eat a grilled cheese. It will happen. I just don’t know when.