Well, we made it through another year of SUCK. Not as much suck as the previous year but it was no walk in the park. We cancelled Christmas plans because we weren’t going to risk exposure to that new variant. In fact, we are back to conducting ourselves as if we are back under lockdown. We only go out when necessary and when we do, we are exceedingly careful. COVID isn’t done fucking around, especially in this godforsaken unvaccinated area.
The last lockdown we didn’t get much done. We were both consumed by the stress and anxiety of 2020: the virus and the Tangerine Tyrant were almost too much to bear. But the Floridian Fondler is out of power and I’m trying not to think about the ongoing threat his minions pose to democracy. I am more concerned about the virus and keeping my anxious spouse from being consumed by her own hypochondria. So this lockdown is different.
I’ve been hard at work on a few fronts. As someone mostly retired, my schedule is my own. As Gandalf said, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” I decided this fall to do my best. So I am reading quite a bit more than I did in the last couple years and I cannot tell you what a satisfaction that it. The person in the bed nearest to me is not my wife. Nope, it’s a cat named Leonard and he hated my reading light. So at night I’d just waste time on social media from my phone. But now Leonard has learned to just turn his head away from the light (just like my wife). I can do 50 pages a night with ease. And I’m reading more in the day as well instead of wasting it on social media.
I have begun a large cleanup project on the basement and there’s a big thrill in tossing out that which does not give me any more joy. This week we’ve been boxing up all of our Christmas decorations and they’re all going in places that make sense, rather than what is convenient. I started doing the same in the garage before it got too cold and it looks a world better. Everything in its place and a place for every thing. When in doubt, I just have to look at the giant mess across the street in our goddamn hillbilly neighbor’s yard/house/garage. It’s like watching an episode of Hoarders and then furiously cleaning house.
The tendinitis in my hands was late this year in abating but it has and I am getting much more guitar practice in. My acoustic chops had really atrophied but yesterday I was strumming on my Hummingbird and she was finally sounding like she used to. And the electric is getting even better. I have also found a tone I like that has some bite but is not an overwhelming wall of sludge. Working outside won’t hit until May so I have four months to make solid advances.
My beloved and I have very different tastes in what constitutes quality television. I won’t dwell on what she watches but not much of it works for me. However we do have three series beginning this month that we are both excited about: The Righteous Gemstones on HBO, Resident Alien on SyFy, and All Creatures Great and Small on PBS. That’s three ridiculously different shows but the two of us are rather eclectic people. I’ve been diligently binging/streaming my own sort of programming on my own. I burned through Only Murders in the Building and found it very well written and acted. I went through the first season of Wheel of Time but it didn’t stick the landing and I won’t be back for season two. Marvel’s Hawkeye proved to be an extremely well done six episodes. And the Witcher on Netflix is filling me with impossible nerdish joy.
The last and most important goal/resolution/task is getting our health on track. This fall Carjo got a scare from her MD regarding her blood pressure and damn, she’s now laser focused on weight loss and exercise. I have made huge strides in exercise in the past year but portion control has been a lifelong fight. It has recently tilted in my favor. So the hope is that we will emerge from this quarantine cocoon both fitter and thinner, full of energy and stamina, ready to take on the world. And as of right now, it’s looking like that might be within our grasp.
The photo at the top is of me modelling a shirt my wife got me from the Joe Bonamassa store for Christmas. I’m down about a dozen pounds since the past spring, mostly from exercise and yard work. That shirt wouldn’t have fit the Christmas before. It’s going to hang even looser by nest year. And hopefully I’ll be justified in brandishing its message as well.