Day 209: Shreddapalooza

A lot of paper crosses my desk. Some of it is and always will be important. Some of it is temporarily important. Some of it is irrelevant. Deciding which category a paper falls into can be difficult, and the simplest solution, I have always found, is to file all of the paper away. That way, if you need the paper, it’s there. And if you don’t need it, at least it’s out of your way.

That approach works for a long time. Years. Decades. Until one day you realize that your once neat files have grown into a wild paper jungle so massive and disorderly that you can barely open up the file drawers let alone find what you’re looking for inside.

The fix for that is to have a Shreddapalooza, and that’s what I did today. I shredded tons of paper, most of which I probably never needed. In my enthusiasm, I may even have shredded some paper that I do need. I filled up two trash bags and a recycling bin, and I’m not done yet. Tomorrow Shreddapalooza will continue!

Posted in Pandemic Days | Leave a comment

Day 208: Dunked

This morning I accidentally dunked my hair into my coffee. It’s a sure sign that my hair has gotten too long. I hope it’s not also a sign of what the rest of the day will be like.

Posted in Pandemic Days | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Day 207: Too Much

I started my new book, The Constant Rabbit by Jasper Fforde, yesterday. Today I put it aside in favor of a different book. Why? Because it was too political. Just a few pages in, Fforde was already tackling issues of conservatism, xenophobia, and racism. We already have too much of that in our real lives. I turn to fiction to escape it, not wallow in it. I’ve enjoyed most of Fforde’s previous books, and it’s likely that I’ll enjoy this one, too. Just not today. It’s too much on the nose for me today.

Posted in Pandemic Days, Reading | Leave a comment

Day 206: The Trick Is the Treats

Because the kids won’t be able to go trick-or-treating this year, I went online and ordered a bunch of Halloween treats for them. I wanted them to have some variety, like they would if they were collecting their loot from different houses, so I bought chocolate, cookies, gummies, chips, and a few other odds and ends. I spent more that I probably should have, but it was less that what I’d have spent on costumes. Plus, I paid with one of the gift cards that I got for my 25th work anniversary, so in a way the treats were free.

My plan is to set up a treasure hunt as a replacement for trick-or-treating. I hope I’ll be able to find the time and the energy for that. If not, at least the kids will enjoy the treats.

Posted in Pandemic Days | Leave a comment

Day 205: Decorations

Trick-or-treating has not been cancelled by the state or the town, but we already told our kids that it’s not happening this year. The kids deserve to celebrate Halloween, though, so we’re going to have to do more around the house to make the holiday happen. Toward that end, today the kids and I made some black paper bats to use as decorations. We gave a name to each bat, among them Bat Attitude (mine), Kitty (Livia’s), and Child 3 (Marshall’s). I asked Marshall which of the names he had given was his favorite, and he told me it was Child 3, because the mom and dad bat had only had two bat babies, so where had the third one come from? Interesting!

Posted in Marshall Says, Pandemic Days | Leave a comment

Day 204: Weekend Reading

Next Up in the Reading Queue
Posted in Pandemic Days, Reading, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Day 203: Poetic Justice

Today’s big news is that Donald Trump has COVID-19. “Out of an abundance of caution,” he has been transported to Walter Reed. I take no joy in this news. I may dislike Trump, but I don’t wish him any kind of physical harm, least of all death.

What I want is justice. I want Trump to get his ass handed to him in November. I want him to go to jail, where he belongs. I want America’s systems and collective morality to finally prove themselves by removing Trump from office and punishing him for his crimes.

But, if he should die…

from a disease he initially called a “hoax,” and which he later referred to as the “China virus,” knowing that he was endangering Asian Americans with that rhetoric…

after playing down the severity of the pandemic and deliberately slowing down testing efforts, allowing the virus to spread virtually unchecked…

after saying “it is what it is” when his mismanagement of the pandemic resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths…

after recommending unproven and dangerous cures…

after recklessly refusing to wear a mask and to social-distance, and after encouraging others to behave the same way…

after holding rallies and other large gatherings, knowing that they could become super-spreader events, endangering not only his own life but all the lives around him…

then oh-fucking-well. Poetic justice is a sort of justice, too.

Posted in Pandemic Days | Leave a comment

Day 202: Rain and Other Things

  • We got some rain this week. It came with a high wind that tore away a considerable amount of autumn foliage. But, if that is the price of rain, so be it.
  • At some time over the last few months, I got confused about the number of driveway laps in a mile. I have been walking twice as far as I thought I was. I usually hate making mistakes, but not this kind.
  • We’ve decided to take my car to our old mechanic, just to see if he agrees with what needs to be done and/or can do the work cheaper. Fingers crossed. I have been able to tolerate staying home only because it has been my choice. It would quickly become intolerable if I felt that I were being forced to stay home. I need my car.
  • I am reading The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. What a strange and dark book! It oozes anger. The main characters do terrible things. Still, I am eager to find out how it ends. This is my second book by Hardinge (The Lost Conspiracy was first), and I am so impressed that I will make a point of reading everything she’s published. She has a rare talent for writing, from the sentence level to the top, and for creating fresh, inventive storylines.
  • I collected a gallon bag’s worth of acorns, because I thought it might be fun to try making acorn flour. With acorns in such abundance, why not? My husband reminded me of how often acorns have worms in them. I cracked open a bunch, and they looked fine. So I brought the bag in and left it open so that the acorns, slightly moist, could dry out. I checked the bag last night to make sure they were drying. Instead, I found a bead of moisture with a worm in it near the top of the bag. Gross. I couldn’t stand the idea of larvae wriggling around in my office, or anywhere else in the house, so I put the acorns back outside. So much for that idea!
  • Listening to Donald Trump speak makes me angry, anxious, and even physically unwell. So I knew better than to watch the presidential debate, but I must have been the only one. So many people are complaining about how awful he was, and I’m like, “Well, what were you expecting? Did you think he’d changed? Matured? Developed into the role?” Hah. Not him, not ever. There is no depth to which he will not sink, people. Just accept it and ignore him as much as possible.
Posted in Pandemic Days | Leave a comment

Day 201: Not a Total Ass

Last year I won a couple of prepaid debit cards in a Christmas party raffle. Lucky me! I knew that the cards had to be registered before use, but I didn’t get around to it until a few weeks ago, when I realized that I was running out of time. The cards said that they were good “through 10/20,” but that’s tricky wording. To some people it means “until the point at which October begins” and to others it means “until the point at which October ends.” The issuing bank really ought to have been clearer about that. Anyway, I didn’t want to take any chances, so I was planning to apply the cards toward my insurance renewal in early September.

But my insurance renewal was delayed until this week, and when I tried to use the cards, the payment was declined. I thought it was the insurance agent’s fault (she’d been unable to run my credit card the day before, and there was nothing wrong with the card–I know, because I called the bank and made sure). I didn’t want to keep reading the numbers to her, so I gave up, figuring I could find something to buy later with the cards.

Time flew, and suddenly I had only a few hours left. I tried applying one of the cards toward an Amazon gift card, a quick and easy solution. “Payment declined.” Uh-oh. I scanned the literature that had come with the cards. The cards were supposed to be good for anything but cash at any place where Visa was accepted. I tried the other card at Target. “Payment declined.” Uh-oh. So I called the customer service number on the back of the card. “Your call cannot be completed as dialed.” I tried the number several times to be sure. IT DID NOT WORK! What kind of a bank lets their customer service line go dead?

I was starting to panic. I was certain now, having read the literature, that the cards would expire at midnight. I was on the brink of losing a nice chunk of change!

So I examined the literature again, hoping to find a clue. Hidden under the “benefits of registration,” a section which I hadn’t read carefully because registration was mandatory, there was a line about how online retailers require a billing address. The bank hadn’t told me to add an address during registration or even made it clear that I could. But, I went back to the registration site, and I found a way to do it. The payments went through (for an Amazon gift card), with little time to spare.

Thank goodness! It’s bad enough that I had to work so hard for free money, but I would have felt like a total ass if I’d pissed it away. Now all I have to do is decide what to spend the money on. I can take my time, though. Gift cards are subject to state law and cannot expire! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Pandemic Days | 1 Comment

Day 200: Procrastination Strikes Again

Today I had to deal with car insurance paperwork, sexual harassment training at work, and prepping a package for shipment. I had been putting all of these things off, because I didn’t want to do them. But then I ran out of time and had to do them all on one day, which was stressful. Then I had to fold three loads of laundry before I could even sit down on my daybed to watch sappy Hallmark movies. Procrastination has its charms, but they don’t last, and it’s a hard day when they run out.

Posted in Pandemic Days | Leave a comment