Sunday, September 27, 2020

Hold On


Part of my work entails making calls to insurance companies.  More often than not, hold times are part of the equation.  Astronomical hold times.  Because of that factor I usually make calls when there are other tasks that may be accomplished while on hold; updating notes in charts, faxing claims,  entering new claim charges, or posting payments.  

Now and again, I'm caught up on other tasks and hold times are spent pondering. 

For instance: 

This pandemic: how much longer? What shall be the short and long-term impact to our cities, states, the country? 

The election: can we trust the process? Will BLUE make a valiant effort and still come up short? What then? If BLUE wins may we expect RED to react horribly? 

Civil War - the Sequel? 

Sometimes the pondering is a little less intense. 

For instance: 

Are there enough leftovers for a decent lunch (or dinner)? 

Is my body beginning to reject dairy? 

What shall I do about Inktober
Some drama popped off in a FB Inktober group due to allegations of copyright infringement and plagiarism.  I am sure I've solved the dilemma that caused my unease.  Still, the events, commentary have left a sour note. 

Will live theater return? If so, when? What will that look like? If not, what then? 

How much longer will I be on hold and what the heck is the music? 

Welcome to September. Heck, in a minute it'll be October.  O C T O B E R!! The tenth month! 





Sunday, August 09, 2020

More than Halfway

Can you believe it is already August!? Or, depending on how you're coping with some measure of isolation, quarantine, pandemic situations, it is "just" August!?  

In either case we're more than half-way through 2020.

Outside of Covid news, there is the election.  I feel like that should be typed in all caps, bold, underlined, and highlighted; THE ELECTION! 

I'm getting the sense that folks are trying to hold on, trying to stay a course, counting on THE ELECTION  to be the catalyst that changes the course of where we are and where we may be headed, which is nowhere good. 

Simply put, we're in deep doo-doo and it's getting deeper.  

I can't talk about it much because every time I do. . . rage.  

In other news...well, there isn't any other news, really.  I'm a year older, my son is exploring musical expression, my daughter is frustrated with work and her car. In the meantime we are masking, distancing, keeping our respective worlds small, and adapting.

Illinois has 195,00 confirmed Covid-19 cases.  Over two thousand new cases were reported yesterday.  There have been 7,846 deaths as of the tally reported yesterday. 

I heard a song a couple of weeks ago, a new release by newly named, "The Chicks" titled, "Set Me Free" and is a haunting love-gone-wrong, nasty dissolution anthem. But I heard it as a battle cry to be released from the horror of  45.

Decency would be for you to sign and release me. If you ever loved me, then will you do this one last thing? Set me free, set me free. 


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

working through it

You may be aware that I am afraid of birds.  Well, "afraid" may be a tad over the top.  Let's just say that I acutely aware of their presence and hyper aware of gatherings that exceed two.  The film, Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" may or may not have any bearing on my . . . condition.

I saw the film for the first time when I was a child; probably around 7 or 8 years old.  I didn't know it then but the film was several years old by the time I saw it.  I'm sure it was featured on some mystery or horror TV programming my older brother was always dialed into. 

Oddly, I don't recall being scared out of my wits when I saw it.  I mean sure, it was creepy and more than a tad unnerving but not scary in a, 'too scared to come out from under the covers' or 'too scared to go outside' kind of way. I remember watching the film often throughout my childhood and young adulthood.  I even introduced my children to the film sometime during their childhoods. 

By that time it was kind of campy. 

But somewhere along the way I discovered that I do not like being in the company of birds....plural.  A single* cardinal, wren,  robin (or even a pigeon--though rarely are they tapping around solo)  doesn't bother me.  But if I see more than one sitting on a branch or a wire, I give pause and give them as wide a berth as possible.

As an aside, I cannot for the life of me I can't imagine why folks would want to own a bird!

I say all this to say that my daughter gifted me the DVD (along with a player and a larger screen TV to replace my dinky little set) for Mother's Day and while back.  The DVD was presented as kind of an inside joke as she has often been at my side when I have pointed out a flock, colony, fleet, parcel, or group of birds and the little shriek that went with the pointing. 

My uneasiness tickles her so she took the opportunity to needle me a bit. 

Gotta love her.

And no, I haven't (still / yet) watched the DVD.  I'm not afraid, I am just . . . busy.  Yes, busy. 

*all bets are off crows (or any of the large breed birds) 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Writing ?

Two hundred and fifteen days. That is how long my daily sketching streak lasted.  I realized the streak was broken the morning of May 5th when May 4th passed without a sketch being done.  At the time I was devastated, cosmically and royally sad and mad.  It felt cataclysmic. 

Okay, maybe not that bad. But, still . . .

Then later in the week when I received news that my aunt, the one that celebrated her 100th birthday in February, died. She'd tested positive for Covid-19.  She was diabetic and had other underlying health issues.   

My broken streak felt small (IS small)  by comparison.

Due to the shelter-in-place, social distancing, and restrictions on gatherings, the services will be (basically) limited to her children and their spouses. Even then, they outnumber the maximum of 10.
To accommodate other family, friends, and more who are looking to say their good-byes the family has decided to live stream the services, which will be conducted Tuesday morning. 

Welcome to our newest normal.  How many more funerals, graduations, weddings, and other family events, not to mention concerts, symposiums, live productions of any kind will be attended via the internet? Remains to be seen. 

Be safe. Stay safe.

FYI I resumed the daily sketching on the 5th. Kept it going through the 10th, skipped the 11th, 13th, and 14th. I am now on a two going for three day streak.  

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Is This Irony?

A Bowl of Fruit
View From My Window

Illinois issued the shelter in place order on March 20, 2020 and on the 24th there were lay-offs and reduced hours by my employer.  I was saved both of those fates thank goodness.  But.. But... yes, I remain concerned with each passing day that the situation may become more critical necessitating further action by said employer. 

Still, at present,  I am gainfully employed, still working from home, and for the newest normal to the mix, engaging in bi-weekly video staff meetings. 

Remember my casual comment about a year ago of maybe being ready to date again? Well, in my head the timeline for me getting out (with or without a date) was for right about now.  Spring and Summer 'round these parts are 'being out' times. There are art fairs, street festivals, all manner of goings on to increase the options over, 'dinner and a movie'. Even if one wanted nothing more than to walk (or bike) along the lakefront and gaze about that famous skyline.

I feel like I missed last year due to the move and various obstacles.   

Well, this Spring is done.  The lakefront is closed. The parks are closed. The first big annual art fair normally held the first weekend in June has been cancelled and there are sure to be others to follow.  Even as governors convene to discuss a re-opening we are likely looking at June or (sigh) July before public venues re-open. Even then, there will likely be limitations. The re-opening will be a gradual event. (As it should be.)   

I've come to realize in recent weeks that my most social outing had been to the grocery store.  And now, even that is gone as the grocery stores are limiting occupancy to 1 per family.  It just makes more sense for my daughter to be 'the one' as she does most of the food prep.  And just my luck, there are no jewelry kiosks open (not essential) to take a few links out of a watch I bought in anticipation of being 'out and about' and not wanting to rely on my phone for the time.   

Oh, well. 

The upside to being locked down and socially distant is my hair has more time to  get fuller/longer.  It is nearly long/full enough to execute the style I have in mind. And, I have time to get back on my 'get fit' (i.e. lose weight) wagon. I fell off some time ago and well, yikes.

Time. It's on my side.  Sort of.  I guess. All for the greater good. 

Be safe. Stay safe. 


Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Newest Normal

prompt: something that starts with "T"

prompt: Lick and A Promise

Shelter at home, safer in place, self-quarantine, suspended, postponed, cancelled. This is Spring 2020.  Maybe Summer too? And dare we fear, Fall?  It is all too overwhelming to contemplate so I'm working on maintaining a day-to-day outlook.

It's difficult.

Point of fact my day-to-day hasn't changed much since the beginning of the government's efforts to "flatten the curve".  I was already working (so grateful) from home and I am not, under even the most perfect of conditions, a social butterfly.  My work hasn't had to shut down and in fact, may get busier as the days go on with folks seeking medical attention. (The company has clients whose practices are likely to be less in demand while others are likely see a dramatic uptick).

Still, I'm concerned.  Both my son and daughter work in industries that are not considered essential. Well, my daughter's industry is but as she was employed by an sports and entertainment venue her workplace was shuttered with days on the schedule.  She may be able to get hired on with another group within the industry but job hunting during this time is...well, challenging.  Her income or lack thereof impacts my (our ) budget.  She may get paid for the games missed, a promise with no concrete documentation.

There are options, not great but, something. Those are being explored, utilized in as much as they are feasible. 
My son is still waiting to hear if the university (he's a teaching artist working with a theater attached to one of Chicago's major universities) will pay staff during the shut down and if so, for how long.

I am concerned. March feels taken care of economically for us but the days, weeks, m o n t h s following, not so much. And beyond all that, both have, prior to their respective workplaces shutting down, had a lot of contact with a lot of humans.

The unknown (and an extreme lack of confidence in the federal government) invokes fear, anxiety. 

So yes, I'm working on maintaining a day-to-day outlook; trying to focus on that which I may solve.  And reaching out (even more) to family and friends. 

And leaning on art even more. 

Stay safe. Stay home if you can. Follow CDC protocols.  We're all in this together. 




Sunday, March 08, 2020

A Porch Goose

Porch Goose*

For several days running I have had a tune roaming about my head. The first few days, just the tune and then, the lyrics.  I remembered the title but I couldn't remember where I'd heard it or why I know it.

Than I asked my daughter. She came up the source in a a nano-second. 

Once she named the source it all became clear (why I know it). What still remains a mystery is why this tune suddenly arrived in my head and more to the point, why the tune won't leave my head. 

The tune: "A Whole New World" ~ I bet you all know the source. 

*About the art, the prompt was laughter.  The image that immediately came to mind was a neighbor's porch goose dressed for Mardi Gras.  This same goose is now dressed for St. Patrick's Day.  There is a second house on the block with a porch goose (what are the odds?) who is also dressed but more for the elements than making a statement.