Monday, April 6, 2020

TCC, Day 22: Let's talk theater

I heard on the news this morning that the peak of the virus should be this week in places like New York. Then I got a local news alert tonight saying that we can expect our peak here in the next two to six weeks. That's not great.

Stats go like this today: Locally we're up to 94 cases and (I think) seven deaths.

People all over the world are reaching out and trying to find ways to spread positive news and joy amid this scary time. My new favorite is John Krasinski's Some Good News. Episode two has been released, and I have to say it made my day! It includes the original cast of Hamilton, and it is nothing short of fantastic.

I love Hamilton probably a little more than a person should. I listen to the whole soundtrack about once a week, especially when I need to be motivated. It goes in the rotation with my other "Get Crap Done" playlist which is mostly The Killers, Panic! at the Disco, Florence and the Machine, and such.

I think I love it so much because my whole family saw it together while on vacation in Chicago. The boys LOVED it. They thought they were just following along with one of their mom's crazy activities, but then they were hooked by the first number. The picture in my mind of their faces during the show is a memory I will always treasure.

Theater is one of those things I've loved for a long time. I went to school in my hometown until eighth grade, but it was so small that I had to go to high school about 30 miles away in another town. If my memory is correct, I signed up to take theater as a freshman, but freshman weren't allowed to take it. Because I was a "new" student, I slipped through the cracks and got put in the class anyway. By the time anyone realized, it was too late to move me out. Fortuitous, I think. Or maybe just a made up story deep in my memory because high school was a long time ago. Who can really tell?


Theater was the place I felt most myself in high school. (Yes, I felt most myself pretending to be other people - there's probably some psychological analysis involved here, but I digress.) I still have stacks of scripts from our shows: Steel Magnolias - my first real show. The History of Tom Jones where I learned about farce. Dark of the Moon where I truly felt I was part of something scary. Frontier Santa where I sang and pushed my ability to do so. A Woman Without a Name which explored sadness and darkness. I loved every minute of work on every show - even the really hard ones.

I had two directors (Mrs. Smith freshman year and Mrs. Dodds the rest of my high school career) who I thought never cut me any slack but who probably cut me a lot of slack. They were huge influences on who I am today!

I didn't grow up going to the theater as a spectator, so there are many, many shows that I feel like I need to see. I saw some classics as incredibly high-quality high school performances at the schools here in town - Fiddler on the Roof and Oklahoma to name a couple. Trey and I saw Phantom of the Opera last year on our anniversary, and we also had season tickets to MSC OPAS this year. I was very excited to see Beautiful last month, but it was corona-cancelled.

So, readers who love theater and musicals and such, what are your favorites?  What are the must-see things to add to my post-quarantine list? I also feel like I've read there are some Broadway shows being released to stream at home. While the experience won't be the same, it still sounds cool. Is that really a thing?  Please provide directions if you know.

The current top of my list is Come from Away. My parents saw it and I'm jealous.

What's the best show you've ever seen?

The end.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

TCC, Day 21: Sunday

I thought of something really profound this morning, and I wanted to write about it. Only now I can't remember what it was. Just trust me. It was going to be amazing and inspirational and such. Oh, well. You get this instead. ;)

We started our day by watching church online. I really miss church. Like, a lot. It's funny because it wouldn't take a lot to talk me into sleeping in on some Sundays, but it's so strange not to be there. I always cry during church because it's a deep experience for me and because I cry at the drop of a hat. As a result, Trey jokes that people probably think we fight every Sunday morning or something. Nope. I cry just because.

It occurred to me this morning that the first Sunday back will be a sob-fest. Y'all better get ready. No pictures, please.

My birthday is in April, and last night I bought myself a birthday present - a subscription to Master Class. I've already started with the Mexican cooking class, and I'm hoping later this week I'll have fresh tortillas and some amazing green sauce and maybe some tacos al pastor. When I give it all up and move to Mexico someday maybe I can get a job in a kitchen.

There's a class on make-up (be real, I could use that) and several on writing by people like Billy Collins and Margaret Atwood and Judy Blume. Social distancing is looking better.

I've been intermittently working on scrub caps to donate. I have in my head that I need to ship them when I get to ten. Currently, I have nine almost complete. I think my pattern got a little worn as I kept cutting around it, because the last few seem too big. I think I'll take them up a bit with pleats, then add buttons, then hopefully ship by midweek.

Today was Ellie's birthday. She's my great-niece, only that seems weird so I usually just say she's my niece. I think it might be rough to turn four during a quarantine when your baby brother is going to be born any minute and you can't be around your family and friends in person (except her parents, of course!). That birthday party she was excited about was not to be.

So, in the new internet tradition, we held a birthday parade past her house. We made happy birthday signs and the more creative us of showed up in costume (Elsa was a hit!  Especially when she yelled, "I'm Elsa!" and sang "Let it Go.") Ellie looked so excited!  I hope she remembers it - I'm sure we'll tell the story for years to come.

It's Holy Week. I'd like to think of something to do each day to focus on that. I'll let you know if I come up with something good.

The end.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

TCC, Day 20: Saturday

It's Saturday. It's almost exactly like the other days of the week except I only did a little work for work. I made a bulleted list of the things I need to do in the next few weeks for grad school, and that made me happy. 

Keaton's room has always been a disgusting, messy, gross place despite my best efforts for it be anything else. He has always liked to be surrounded by his stuff. Even when he was a toddler, he would get everything out. When Tucker was little he never played with toys or watched cartoons or did other kid things. We were so happy that Keaton played with his toys!  And then he kept getting older and messier. 

At any given moment you could find pop tart trash, seventeen empty Propel bottles and every musical instrument he could get his hands on in his bed. It was bad. 

On spring break (I think...what are days and weeks anyway?) he decided to clean out his room. And HE DID!  All by himself. He threw things away, organized, and cleaned. He even cleaned his carpet. It was kind of miraculous. 

Keaton needs projects, so at this point he's also repainted all of the walls and rearranged his furniture. I'm thinking about asking him to take on my bedroom next. 

In other news, I am embarrassed to say we've been watching Tiger King. It's so, so terrible. And these are real people. Y'all. I cannot. And I also cannot stop watching. I'm so thankful there are only seven episodes so we can finish them and then put this dark period of our lives behind us (not the quarantine - the decision to ever start watching this show).

I frequently dish out life advice to my kids - never get a face tattoo, stuff like that. I've added "don't own a tiger" to that list. 

Today I started out gloomy and stressed. Then I got up and got dressed and made myself do something productive, and I felt better. If you feel stuck or sad, I highly recommend changing out of your pajamas. 

The end. 

Friday, April 3, 2020

TCC, Day 19: Today I became old

I always wondered when I would be old. Would I just wake up one day and be like, "This is it!  I'm now old! Woohoo!  Bring on the five p.m. dinners and the chin hair!"

Today I answered that question.

I received three signs from above that mark my new age-related realization.

Sign #1:
This past weekend I upgraded our internet. The boys always complain about how bad it is, and I usually just tell them to stop being whiners. Kids are starving in Africa and they complain about internet. Pshaw!  I don't want to hear it!

Last weekend we were all sitting in the living room together and I defiantly logged into our Suddenlink account while preaching about how we pay for fast internet and their expectations are ridiculous and they are spoiled and need to hush.

It was then that I discovered that we pay for the second-to-the-bottom slowest internet available. Oops. I don't want to say I was wrong, but...

I upgraded for a little bit extra.

Then my tech friend came by the house yesterday to set me up to truly be able to work from home, and as a program downloaded we chatted. He said our internet seemed slow. I told him that the boys complain about it all the time but I think it's fine. He tested it, and said it was really bad. He inquired about our modem and such and made some recommendations. I ordered a new modem/router combo online at Best Buy, then picked it up this morning. Now more than ever we need solid internet while we work and school from home all day.

Sidebar: At Best Buy I ordered online, pulled into a parking spot, a person came out and looked at my ID, then brought me my stuff. It was easy and socially distant.

Back to the story:
I spent TWO AND A HALF HOURS on the phone with Suddenlink to get it activated. That's a whole other post, but let's just say it was not simple.

While I was on hold, Tucker came in and started researching the fancy new internet he would have access to, and in the course of his studies informed me that the new modem I was working so hard to activate has exactly the same capacity as the one I was replacing. Exactly. Basically I was doing NOTHING. Like a technologically old person.

I may have said out loud, "I hate everything right now!"

(Later we realized that our router capacity was terrible, so the combo thing I bought actually has improved our internet a great deal. Jokes on you, little teenage tech genius.)

Sign #2:
I only talk on speakerphone now. All of my work related calls (and helpdesk related calls such as being on the phone with Suddenlink for four hours) are on my cell phone, and it's not comfortable to be on my phone that much. The phone up to my ear just makes me hot and I can't hear well and I need to type on my computer while I'm talking anyway.

Think of the old people you know - they love the ol' speakerphone, don't they? Well, I'm them. Speakerphone only for me. You spring chickies can keep holding that thing up to your ear all you want. I'm not doing it.

Sign #3:
I drive a maroon Honda Pilot. There happen to be many of these vehicles in College Station. In fact, once I walked out of HEB to my car and a lady walked up to me to apologize for putting her groceries in my car - she thought it was hers.

(I probably left my car unlocked that day, so don't tell Trey this story.)

Anyway, today I needed to run to the store. Of course I waited until just before a storm rolled in this evening before I got around to it. (Did I mention I was on the phone with Suddenlink for five hours?). When I came out it was pouring and cold. I ran full speed, straight to my car and reached for the handle.

It didn't open.

I moved my purse closer (I have one of those things where if my key is on me the door will unlock), jiggled the handle. Nothing. I was getting soaked. What on earth could be happening?

I tried again. Started digging for my key in my purse, shivering in the cold rain. And then, out of the corner of my eye, two spaces over, I saw a maroon Honda Pilot.

I was working very hard to get into someone else's car.

And so, dear friends, as a result of these three signs I officially declare myself old. I have the olds. I came down with it today, never to turn back. It's 7:30 now so I have to sign off so I can put on my nightgown and take out my teeth and head to bed. It was exhausting to spend six hours today on the phone with Suddenlink. See you in the morning. I'll probably wake up at 4:30 to yell at the clouds.

The end.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

TCC, Day 18: Nothing Much

We just finished watching the season finale of The Good Doctor and now I'm literally sobbing.

I think every open area in our neighborhood was mowed and weed-eated today, so I've been sneezing uncontrollably all day. Then it started raining. When Trey got home I told him I just wanted to crawl under a blanket and watch tv.

I did not intend on sobbing while sneezing. That doesn't sound fun at all.

Mostly I watch two kinds of shows: doctor shows and murder shows. As a result, I think I'm perfectly qualified to be a hostage negotiator or behavioral analyst who tracks down serial killers. I could probably also saw off a person's leg if it was the only way to save his life. The people who do those things professionally were trained by watching tv, right?

Today I actually finalized some things at work and that felt good. I also tinkered with our internet thanks to our district tech person. I'm currently on a chat to troubleshoot my web cam on my personal laptop (I think they unplugged it when I sent it in to have a different issue fixed). Productivity is high on day 18 despite the sneezing.

Anyway, that's it. We're still socially distant. Keaton's hair gets longer by the second. Tucker has decided to learn how to juggle using baseballs. Nothing much to see here. Just the usual.

The end.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

TCC, Day 17: Work from Home

I just checked the stats. As of today Brazos County has 63 cases and three deaths. We're sheltered in place through the end of the month. We're almost out of paper towels (there are none at HEB), and when I went to buy milk this evening they only had half gallons. Three weeks ago that may have seemed strange, but today it was perfectly normal.

Disclaimer: I am super grateful for work and my colleagues and the ability to contribute during this crazy time. The following is still true:

I always pictured people working from home like this:
* Wake up at a decent time feeling rested
* Drink coffee and review the tasks of the day
* Accomplish something significant
* Take a break to work out
* Accomplish something else significant
* Eat lunch outside on the patio
* Work all afternoon, but also take quick breaks to put a roast in the crock pot, throw a loaf of homemade bread in the oven, and fold some laundry
* Eat dinner and stop working

Here's what it really looks like so far:
* Wake up early
* Prep for any meetings today
* Make a list of what to accomplish today
* Have meetings
* Read guidance
* Read policy
* Draft a plan
* Read new guidance
* Have my kids done any school work today? I should ask them.
* Draft two plans for something else because who knows what might happen
* Meeting
* Return phone calls
* Crap. I forgot to eat all day. I might pass out while on a Zoom call and then someone will have to call 911 only they don't know my address and my kids are in my house and they won't even notice until the paramedics knock down the door.
* Meeting
* Listen to press conference while working on long term project
* When do I stop working? I should finish one more thing.
* Did I get anything finished today?
* Must. Stop. Looking. At. Screen.
* Day over

I'm WAY behind on grad school (which was already online so is largely unchanged in its expectations). Tomorrow's plan includes getting up earlier to get caught up on that before my work day starts. We shall see if that actually works.

By the time we get good at this working at home thing it will be time to go back to working at work. And that will be just fine.

The end.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

TCC, Day 16: Cancelled

The Day 16 blog post is cancelled.

Just kidding.


Today was tiring. The governor announced closures will continue through the month of April, with a potential return to school on May 4th. Ugh. That's a really long time. And I can't help but wonder what it will take for people to feel comfortable returning to our old normal. When will someone confidently be able to say, "Okay, folks!  We did it!  Corona's not a thing anymore. Get back to it." I can't wrap my mind around what that looks like.

I am seriously not in any way afraid of getting the virus. I'm healthy and would probably recover and when it's my time to go I'll be ready. Trey always reminds me when someone dies about how it's okay for us to be sad but we should remember it's a great day for the person who gets to be with the Lord. And we can find comfort in that, even though no one really wants that today.

Such morbid talk. Ugh.

My big, huge, enormous, anxiety-driven fear is that I'm a secret carrier. That everywhere I go I'm infecting people with my invisible germiness. I would be heartbroken to think someone else became deathly ill because of me. As a result, I am social distancing like a pro.

It's has become painfully aware to me how important sleep is. Last night I was awake about every two hours, and today I'm grumpy and irritable. When I sleep all night, I can take on the coronas and the quarantines and all the things. I'm tired now, so I think tonight I'll sleep.

Sooo...boohoo. I wallowed a bit on the ol' blog. Now I shall get myself together.

It's my sister-in-law's birthday today. We would normally all get together to celebrate, but that wasn't possible (corona, in case you missed it). We had a Zoom party, and it was great to see them all!

I've decided to start randomly Facetiming people, so be prepared. If you get the call, don't judge my hair.

Keaton keeps sending me the link to order him a tumble track so he can practice in the yard. If I can get my points back for the flights I booked to the U.S. Regional meet that didn't happen, I might be spending them on this dumb tumble mat. Don't judge.

Trey and I have watched two episodes of Tiger King. After the second one I wasn't sure I could keep going because crazar. But now I need to know what happens. So we may be watching Tiger King if you need us. Don't judge.

Here we go, folks. Let's all get a good night's sleep and kick day seventeen's tail tomorrow.

The end.