Philly, dinner!

Jeremy and his parents made it to Philly. Bob and Katherine moved to an intentional community called Camphill Kimberton. They built a house on the property. It’s a mixed community where people with disabilities live and work alongside folks without disabilities. Families grow up there, young people spend a year or two living there before moving on to other endeavors. We visited in the winter to see the house-in-progress and it was endearing and touching. I would be wonderful if Edda could be part of the community when she grew up, but her disability is too severe. I think you’d need to be able to feed and dress yourself to live in the community.

Pip got to see all of his old favorite chairs come out of storage. Jeremy came home this morning which was nice for me. Both Jeremy and I were busy this week, so it was hard to talk to each other and I tend to get a little too much in my head without his help to balance me out.

I had lunch with Rachel, my nurse friend whose husband passed away almost 2 months ago now. I knew she was going to cook me a delicious, generous Korean lunch, so I strategically ate in anticipation. I had only a banana for breakfast, ran a hard workout in the morning and then ate nothing afterwards. By the time I got to her apartment at noon, I was starving (and somewhat cranky). And I ate everything. She asked: do you eat fish? Yes. do you eat spicy? Yes. The answer was yes, yes, yes. I ate a lot. She was so surprised. She said – oh you eat! you never eat at work! And I say, yes, I eat! I don’t have time to eat at work. And she looked at me and said – you have to make time to eat at work.

I’m watching the Olympics in a strange mix of free-trial YouTubeTV, and peacock. We haven’t had cable TV in decades – so loads of TV technology have passed me by. So many things make me feel old these days. Of course, watching young people do impossible things makes me feel old, but I’m constantly frustrated by my inability to watch the Olympics when I want to watch and how I want to watch. This, for some reason, makes me feel older than watching a 13 year old olympian on a skateboard. I no longer truly understand how to watch TV. Sometimes it streams live on and not on YouTube TV and sometimes it does it the other way around. Peacock is a paid thing we had for Jeremy to watch the Tour de France, but we kept it going for the olympics, but it just has the women’s gymnastics final (all the girls are home already!) and some weird Olympic show by Snoop Dogg. I can’t find races that were run days and days ago and should now rightfully be free to everyone. This is what I want: I want a grid of the schedule with all the events. So I can see which ones are live now, which ones will happen in the future and I can click on the old ones a few days ago.


While Jeremy’s in New York/Philly helping his parents move, I’m holding down the fort here in DC. This past weekend, I went to a party. I asked Vince to mind Edda for about 3 hours Saturday afternoon, and I went to an engagement party of a child of one of our friends. I guess I shouldn’t say child, I should say son. My friends are just ever so slightly older than me and their children are about 5 years older than my children – but still – a milestone for me (well, of course, a huge milestone for my friends) because omg, I’m so old, my friends’ kids are starting to get getting married. What do you say to a 23ish-year-old person who is getting engaged when you are their-age-years deep in your own marriage? I mean, I love being married and Jeremy and I are well suited and it seems like we’ll be able to manage it until the bitter end, but even though I love being married doesn’t mean there aren’t moments of holy crap, what/who did I tie myself to until I die? When you get engaged at 23 (which was pretty much the age I got engaged) – there is like no idea what it will be like. Did I say – good luck? I think I said congrats! And I gave them some $ which I think, is the best way to start a marriage. With some $ in your pocket. (and omg, I got married in 1998. That dates sound so so so long ago. In the 1900s!)

It was an all-outdoor party. No masking. I stayed the entire three hours even though I wasn’t planning on it and I didn’t know many people and I was by myself. I had a good time. The weather was good, there was shade. I ate three cupcakes. And a glass of champagne. I’m starved for a party apparently, I had many conversations.

Homemade cupcakes!

Keep on.

I spoke with a respiratory therapist the other day who intubated 4 patients a day for months (maybe a year) in the ICU. He said that 90% of the people he vented went on to die. I asked him if he was OK now. He said he was perfectly fine. I said that I took care of only the mild cases for six weeks and I was still “processing” the whole thing. He answered that he was really good at compartmentalizing and that when he vented people, they were already unable to talk to him and so it was not as if they formed a relationship. I said I thought the care was better if you didn’t fully compartmentalize (even with patients who are unable to respond), but then you always lost a bit of yourself in the interaction.

I’m trying, trying to shift my thinking to the pandemic “not ending”. That I can live with the pandemic in the background (or foreground). How I will miss seeing the faces of strangers. How I will miss meeting people. It’s already so hard to meet people! I don’t really miss going to the movies, but I miss the possibility of going to the movies. Are there going to be parties? Like are we having a 40 person Thanksgiving? There is always an early-ish moment at a party where I know only a few people (where I met my goal of small talking to at least 3 people) where I want to leave and then I kind of sneak out, just tapping the host on the shoulder and giving a small wave and hug and easing myself into the cold, dark night. I did not know I would miss that interaction, but I kind of do. I don’t actually enjoy the party (usually, though I’m trying to learn, but man, it’s hard to do without practice), I enjoy having been at the party and leaving.

And we keep going.

It is with some interest as I watch Simone Biles handle her withdrawal from the Olympics. I grew up in the Kerri Strug era of gymnastics, where her vault performance on a clearly injured leg was applauded and where, behind the scenes and unknown at the time to the viewing audience, the coaching was terrifying and humiliating and where these young girls were sexually assaulted by people they trusted. I did admire Kerri Strug at the time, as I admire Simone Biles now. Actually what I most admire about Simone is that she is back in the pit, with her teammates cheering and coaching them on and not (seemingly) wallowing in self-pity/flagellation/beratement which, I think, is what I would be doing.

We are struggling some with mid-level mental health issues here in the house. Thank goodness it’s not on a world stage, it’s just on our stage. I have, over the summer, developed an anxiety to various household duties that I’ve always done without much issue (paperwork, insurance, bills) and also some things at the nursing job which fill me with a sense of dread and inadequacy. Therefore, the days become, for me, managing my procrastination and productivity. I know I use working and productivity as a coping mechanism, it does feel good for me to work. But working too much is also a problem because I need to rest. But resting too much is also problematic in its own other way. Vince has my tendencies towards these bouts. We both were talking to each other last night and saying, well, you feel bad while you are doing the task, but somehow you know not doing the task and being in bed makes you feel worse. So there we are, just generally feeling low-level bad a lot of the time.

This is certainly not aided by some uncertainty with the pandemic. I’m not sure what is going to happen in the fall. Are the kids going back to school full time at full capacity in person? I don’t mind masking for everyone. But really, are we going to go shoulder to shoulder again? I’m now approaching my 7 month mark of getting the vaccine, am I still protected? Should I go to CVS and get another shot myself? Really, am I focusing too much on the US vaccination plan because so much of the world is not vaccinated? These are the problems I ruminate on the next six month time-frame, but on the 20 year time frame, I fret about Vince and Edda and all our children. Everyone (even the richest of us all) need nurses, teachers, plumbers, road repair people, car repair people, day care providers, firefighters, grocery workers, people who will cut my hair. None of these people can work full time and live in my neighborhood because the neighborhood has become so expensive, so out of reach. I grew up in this neighborhood. My teachers lived around me in houses just like mine. What have I done? What have we done? Does everyone need to have a side hustle?

There is a mouse house in one of Jeremy’s parents’ car after sitting idle for two years.

They made it to Bard. Emy made a delicious dinner.

And just FYI, according to Spotify I’m a top 1% Taylor Swift fan. Honestly, I don’t think I listen to *that* much Tay Tay. Maybe I should make some effort to see her live. But I don’t really like pouncing for tickets. We’ll see.

On the move.

Bob and Katherine were here for only 1.5 days. We had a brunch with my parents on Tuesday and the Sunday night Martin family dinner on Tuesday night.

Wed – 3 mile run with Bob! omg. My father-in-law is 81.

Van is packed – bike, cello, dog crate.

Off to Bard to get all the stuff to move to Philly.

99 Ranch.

On Saturday, we went to 99 Ranch (the Asian supermarket) in Gaithersburg. We hardly ever go anywhere as a foursome – but this weekend we went grocery shopping as a family. Jeremy laughed and said -some families go hiking or to the beach or to the movies, but we go grocery shopping. I will say that we are often in the house all together, or we are paired in the house together (J+E or D+E) or by ourselves in the outside world. We are rarely together in the outside world and we are rarely paired in the outside world. Interesting.

I was happy to see 99% of the people masking up. We still take our masking pretty seriously here in MoCo even though we have among the highest rates of vaccination in the country. Especially at the Asian market – though there were people eating at tables near the food court indoors. I’m not sure I would do that.

I tried, for the first time yesterday, to add an encouragement to get the vaccine to my discharge spiel when I send my patients home. I said – did you get your vaccine yet? And they said no. And then I said, well, go on and be sure to get it! It’s free! And they they looked at me funny. I left it at that. I’ll get better with it.

Lanyard progress.

Vince has been teaching his campers how to make these lanyard keychains. I remember doing these as a youth, so ordered a bunch of string for myself and I’ve been entertaining myself by learning the tornado stitch. So cute watching youtube videos of 8-10 year old girls teaching me how to do these stitches. Usually when I’m watching instructional videos these days, it’s middle aged men teaching me how to fix my dishwasher.

Maginot Line.

Good morning. I have this impending sense of doom about the fall and that the Delta variant (or some other variant) will overcome us and we will have to go into lockdown again and people will needlessly get sick and die. I had my first long-haul Covid patient last week – young, previously healthy and lungs so, so damaged. And all that work/suffering/loneliness will have been for nothing. The first metaphor that came into my head was “Maginot Line” – we won’t’ be able to hold our vaccine defense, it’s our Maginot Line. Then I was – what the hell is the Maginot Line? And am I using the metaphor correctly? Vaguely remembering from HS AP European History (so white, I know – at least now you can take AP World History: Modern now) – ok, so I had to look it up. Basically it’s the French fortification in WWII on the east side of France that was really expensive (it had air conditioning?) and then the Germans outflanked it by going through some forest they thought was not accessible. I found this: The term “Maginot Line” has been used as a metaphor for something that is confidently relied upon despite being ineffectual or: metaphor for expensive efforts that offer a false sense of security. So yeah, we are all idiots standing behind our Maginot Line in air conditioning not only right now being unknowingly outflanked, but also simultaneously contributing to global warming in air conditioned barracks having mimosas.

Have I showed you our corn in our front yard? I think the deer are going to get to them before us. I’m not even sure they are eating corn. The squirrels took the corn from the squirrel corn and buried them all over the yard and now we have corn growing in random places.

I’m enjoying this song on tiktok. Kinda vulgar, what can I say? It has a good beat.