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It’s still 2021 in the way 1980 had bell-bottoms
Sick Days and Snow Days and Snowvid Days
My old job, like most people’s jobs, if you’re out sick, you do the work when you get back. Teaching school, if I’m out sick, 80 kids are asking what to do next. A few jobs ago, I called in sick once to get out of a meeting. As a teacher, I need to be barfing to stay home, although recent pandemics have made me question my approach.
On the other hand, we just got a foot of snow and my wife’s remote job barely shrugged. Whereas for teachers, a snow day means a SNOW DAY!!! Complete abdication of responsibility, the ultimate free pass, zero sense of guilt at utterly wasting the day. You know you’ll pay the piper, with a shovel and a day in June (180!). But it’s a bona fide day off.
And that meant a two day week because of the “snowvid” days my district gave for Covid testing. We’ll see those days again in June (180!), but it’s kind of like a snow day where people are dying. Glad the week ended with a legitimate snow day I can understand how to appreciate. I picked the wrong week to give up Cheetos.
The week in dog poo
Winnie’s been on quite the tear! Upset stomach meant the unending joy of diarrhea strewn about the house. We put down pee pads, and she studiously aimed for the spaces between. The wife purchased sensitive stomach food, and pumpkin is now in the mix. Things have since solidified, and the freshly laundered living room rug has made a reappearance. I sense it won’t be long before it’s back in the washing machine. Ah, Winnie.
The Urban Blah
I used to collaborate with my brilliant Canadian artist friend Lovisa to make a webcomic that failed to become syndicated across the globe. It had its moments, some of which I will share.
My daily coffee is a Double Frankenstein
I used to run a standup comedy night at my friend’s Hollywood coffeehouse, and when my sitcom career imploded, I became a barista there. When we need a fresh pot, we’d dump the older stuff into a vat, then sell it over ice for mucho dinero. A later barista was aghast at our Frankenstein approach to iced coffee, but I thought it was like a caffeinated version of using every part of the animal.
Today, I brew daily hot coffee for the wife, then whatever she doesn’t drink goes into a pitcher in the fridge, with some of it becoming coffee ice cubes. I don’t know how iced coffee became my year-round default, but when the RealFeel recently ticked -8, I didn’t blink. I find coffee way more thirst-quenching cold.
When I want hot coffee, I like it Dunkin Donuts-style: lotta cream, lotta sugar. Not great for amount of coffee I consume. I drink it black (you barely notice the cream) and as the coffee ice cubes melt, the drink never gets watered down. Which means I can drink it throughout my morning with no drop in quality. Whatever I don’t finish comes home and… stays in the mug.
So not only do I drink an amalgam of the wife’s rejected coffee, I add my previous day’s melted ice cubes. Double Frankenstein.
My Back Pages: 2004, “How to Beat Bush (at Monopoly)”
Random excerpt of something from my archives that went nowhere but is worth looking at. From my middle school friend Neil Shea’s onetime Inversion magazine, an imagined afternoon of games with the sitting president.
Homecoming weekend of my sophomore year at Yale, John Kerry and I made flashcards for art history, then I left to do whip-hits with George W. Bush and throw water balloons out his dorm room window. But the happy times didn’t last. Kerry went to serve his country in Vietnam and Bush scratched my Iron Butterfly record and refused to pay for it. We argued for weeks until, high on mescaline, Bush tried to fill my ears with quick-dry cement.
I described a day of board games with W, culminating in playing Risk to prove he didn’t understand geo-politics. He responded by making us play War. Subtle! And then HW comes in and scolds his son for screwing around. A few good jokes.
I knew it was dangerous to enrage a Halliburton man, but I liked living dangerously. It made me feel dangerous.
Did you know?
Both of my grandmothers are name-checked on The White Album: “Martha My Dear” and “Sexy Sadie,” if you take liberties with spelling. Other than my sister, I suspect not too many people can boast that. Other potential names include Julia, Prudence, and Obladah.