Our Nation Has Lost Its Damn Mind

Today started normal, I grabbed my coffee and sat on the porch, opened up the news, like I do every day.  Then I read article after article about full beaches, pools literally filled past capacity, and quote after quote of people who “Aren’t afraid of this virus”, “are never going to comply with a stay at home order again”, “will be personally willing to die for their freedom”, and who in many flippant ways, simply did not care at all about who got sick, who died, or who will die.  The rest of my day went downhill from there.

I even read a Fox News article where the corona virus was described as the “perfect storm for liberals and their evil plan”.  What the fuck kind of evil plan?  Healthcare?  That’s for EVERYONE, which includes fucking conservatives.  Evil plan.  I don’t know any liberals with an “evil plan”, the ones I know want to make our country a good place to live for EVERYONE, which includes, again, conservatives as well.  We’re all described as “delicate” and “fragile”.  Oh, and they love to “make us angry”.  Considering how much conservative people love their anger, I find it strange that they equate “making people angry” with being “delicate” and “fragile”.  You know what’s “delicate” and “fragile”?  The day someone finally pisses me off enough that I stick my fucking foot up their ass.  I bet I’ll be real “delicate” and “fragile” on that day.

This shit is exhausting, y’all.  As if living in a pandemic isn’t shitty enough, now it has to be political, each side “virtue signaling” to its base.  If it isn’t one side literally refusing to give a single shit whatsoever, it’s the far other side, which are the “shamers”.  We know who they are.  They’re the people who are the reason we don’t take selfies with people we occasionally see out in public.  The shamers will be sure to make a comment about “selfies not being socially distanced” wether or not you both wore masks and held your breath.  There’s the conservative mom today in one article that said if public school starts back with social distancing that she’s sending her kids to private Christian school, and the uber-liberal mom who says that even if they re-instate school, her kids simply will not be going, she’ll homeschool.  Our country has become emotionally and psychologically exhausting.

In any case, all of this hit me and just ran all over me.  I started talking about it all to my husband when he got back from walking the dog.  The talking got faster and faster, then it got shaky, then it just descended into sobbing.  Here I am again, dead fucking sober, sobbing over today’s cache of shitty news articles.  There is this thing that happens where if I cry once in a day, especially if it is right after I wake up, chances are the day should probably be erased and a do-over instated, because I’m going to cry 2 or 3 times more before the day is done, and that’s what happened.  The thing is, I am so FUCKING ANGRY.  I’m so fucking angry ALL THE TIME.  I seriously am so angry that I would like to get in a fist fight, and I totally understand why someone would want to join a “fight club”.  I feel like that pretty often (seriously, daily).

When my day starts this way, it bleeds into every other terrible thing I think about (and there are plenty of those).  I google, “why do people think liberals are evil”?  I think about all of the people I know who are all doing the best they can to advocate for others.  I think about all of the conservative friends that I’ve lost over the past 10 years.  I also think of all the liberal friends who considered me “not radically liberal enough” who I have also lost, and honestly, those hurt me worse.  The conservative ones I can just chalk up to “it didn’t work out”, like a bad break up.  The liberal ones?  All that conjures up is the constant, familiar feeling of “I am not enough”.  I am not good enough.  I am not pure enough.  I will never be good enough.  Dear liberal friends, when you abandon another liberal friend because they aren’t liberal enough, I don’t exactly know what you think happens to that person.  Do you think that they suddenly become best friends with the Tea Party and go mudding with a bunch of guys wearing confederate flags as capes?  No, they simply feel abandoned by their own team and their own family.  That’s it.  They simply feel “not good enough to be on your side”.  They don’t go yahooing into the sunset with a bunch of new cowboy friends.  They feel betrayed.

The sadness spiral continued like this all day.  I had one outing today (my nibling, Devin’s birthday), and things got better, but then I ended up in the depression hole again.  I washed my make-up off because it was running down my face.  I decided that going jogging would help.  It would at least be a place to work out my constant anger.  I found my energy surprisingly lower than usual and at one point, out of absolutely nowhere, tears were just silently streaming down my face as I walked down MLK, in my last, cool-down mile.  I’m angry.  I’m frustrated.  I live in a country full of people who don’t give a fuck about anything but themselves.  We’re ruled by a complete and total lying piece of psychopathic shit that makes us look like a joke to everyone.  I saw a meme the other day that said “The rest of the world watches the U.S. like the U.S. watched Tiger King”, and I did that thing where I chuckled because I knew something was true.

I got home and made a simple dinner, starving from some aggressive activity that I hope my knees don’t regret tomorrow.  I watched Rick and Morty, because why not.  I had planned on bleaching my hair tonight because I had a creative color project that I wanted to do for my own entertainment value (and because if I mess it up, no one sees me right now), but found that I simply don’t have the energy for it.  I feel squeezed out today, like an empty toothpaste tube.  My eyes sting, and my limbs feel heavy.  I feel like I couldn’t smile if my life depending on it.  I feel hopeless for the future.  I cannot believe that 40% (or more) of our population literally rallies for their own destruction.  It’s about more than if a salon or a gym can open up, fine, open, but to me the truly sad part is the cavalier attitude that somehow, this group believes that because they have self-selected as “Trump Supporters”, that they are so resilient that no virus could or would ever touch them.  They don’t have to be “afraid”, or even take any precautions.  Believing in their Lord and Savior, Donald Trump is gonna pray that virus right away from them.

I feel like our Nation has lost its collective mind, and it’s making me lose mine.

Then Some Folks Got Mask Cray…

I typically don’t check social media until well after midnight.  Why?  This is the time of my day where 1.)No one is in the office 2.)I need to be quiet because my husband is sleeping 3.)There is nothing else to do.

Today I got a surprise.  I didn’t make it very far in my newsfeed before I saw my first “Making me wear a mask to go in a store is discrimination” post.  Okay, lemme clear this up for everyone real quick.  Store owners can actually kick you out for whatever reason they want to- just most of them don’t because they aren’t dicks or don’t want the publicity.  Your bartender can ask you to leave if you’re drunk already, or simply because you are known for causing trouble.  Well, a store can also ask you to not enter or leave if they want you to be wearing a mask.  It’s that simple.  You aren’t getting them “shut down” for that in this climate, it’s just not happening.

I was genuinely shocked by how many folks seem to think that this is a “civil rights issue”, no asshats, it’s a health and safety issue.  If you won’t wear a mask in a store, EVEN if they’re providing them, then go to another store.  There are a handful of reasons where a doctor may recommend that someone not wear a mask, and that is okay.  People with those reasons do still appreciate that other people are wearing masks, and are, from the people who I know who can’t wear masks, very willing to get supplies from a different place if they need to.  I seriously do have people in my feed who aren’t supposed to wear masks, but none of them have decided that their civil rights have been violated.  This mask wearing isn’t forever, it’s a temporary state.

Today I ventured out with my trusty mask to go to the Farmer’s Market (so much better during the week), the seafood market (also so much better during the week), and to pick up our “Produce Project” box.  I wore my mask, used gloves which were provided at the Seafood Market, and now that I found some hand sanitizer, made sure to use it in-between.  I do understand that wonderful breath that you take when you get that mask off, I really do.  You might be getting pretty used to the mask thing, but that sweet, cool first breath is pretty awesome, I’ll admit.

It was cold and rainy today, and my calves were still hurting, so I made due with walking the dog twice in the neighborhood in my galoshes and umbrella get-up.  I am pleased to report that my resistance bands really did give some of my arm muscles a workout and I had some arm soreness today too! Tomorrow is supposed to be another soggy day, so I’m going to work on some resistance stuff on different muscle groups, but I cannot wait to get back out into nature!  I heard that pools may be opening up- the only thing that I would want a pool for is to finally be able to take a regular water aerobics class.  I crave one of those.  Otherwise, I don’t know how they’re gonna keep those kids from being all up on each other.  Sounds like germ city.

 

How Ready Are You For Phase 2?

https://abc11.com/health/restaurants-receive-guidelines-to-protect-customers-employees/6197133/

Guidelines are already out for what is looking to be Phase 2 of reopening, but is anyone really ready for that?  First of all, it’s going to be bringing people back to work, some of which may not be ready to put themselves at that much risk (I mean, it’s not like March was ALL THAT LONG AGO).  Second off, yes, I miss restaurants, but do I think that I could relax and eat in one after all this? Oh hell no!

It will be at 50% capacity and with only a handful of tables.  The staff will all be in masks and we will be wearing them until the food gets there.  There are a ton of additional rules (which are great), but personally?  Every mask I see, plastic fork where this used to be a “nice restaurant”, and neighbor 6 feet away is going to remind me that we are in a pandemic, and there is no way I could be comfortably eating out in public in that.  Not to mention how people are just waiting to be able to abuse restaurant workers again, but now it’s going to be all of the worst of the worst.  The “don’t tread on me” crowd, the people who are going to ask to speak to a manager and show their asses.  This is going to bring out “Raleigh’s Finest”, I’m sure.

Official List Of Reopening Guidelines, click here!!!

I miss City Market Sushi.  I miss Bida Manda too.  Maybe being able to have their dining rooms open means that they will also be able to do some take out again (I understand why that wasn’t a viable option for them), and I will definitely partake in that take out, but I don’t know when I will ever feel okay sitting inside a restaurant.  I’m sure sitting outside on a patio will come (for me), way before sitting inside of one will.

On a different note, I want to tell you all that I love rain.  I have always loved rain.  I love the sound of it, the smell of it.  I know that we need it and I love it for the plants.  Today was the first day in a very long time that I felt perturbed by rain because I didn’t get to go out and walk/jog/run.  I needed to have a day off from it, you’re supposed to take those, but I find it difficult to do.  Do you find it difficult to take “rest days”?  I know that you have to let your muscles heal, but I can’t help but feel just lazy.  I did do some arm exercises today with my bandy thingies.  My arms aren’t what hurt, it’s my calves, which are so incredibly sore, so yes, I know it is necessary, but it still makes me feel like a lazy-butt.  I made sure to eat plenty of protein so these calves will hurry up and heal.

I tried to do some burpees today, and discovered 4 reps in that my right part of my abdominal muscles hurt, and not in that satisfying way, in that “no, you should give us the day off too” way.  It’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow too, and I may have to clear out some room in my living room (there is no space for exercise in there), and try to find some yoga on some channel somewhere (or YouTube, I’m not picky).  My kingdom for an indoor water aerobics class :/.  I wonder if future me will be a gym rat when I grow up?  I could see it happening now, where I couldn’t before.  Well, enjoy the rain, folks, and order take-out.  I’m not feeling this “let’s all sit around in masks and pretend nothing is wrong” vibe that N.C. is giving off.

Yesterday, I Cried

Yesterday I cried twice AND I was dead sober.  Why is that important?  Well, something happened between 2010-11, several somethings, and I simply stopped being able to cry.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it.  Growing up I cried at the drop of a hat.  I cried so often through my 20’s that I never wore mascara.  I could cry over a commercial, something I read, a random panic attack, anything.  Then it all stopped.  After my eyes simply stopped making tears, I had to, from there on out, get super drunk to be able to cry.  It was like the answer to my prayers, no more crying at work, no more crying in front of anyone that shouldn’t have that privilege- I was now normal, like everyone else!  Now I can count the times that I have cried (while sober) on my fingers.  As I’ve learned, this is the way most people are, and I’m happy to have joined the ranks of the emotionally controlled.

Except that yesterday I cried, twice.  Why?  Well, I was having a tough day all day.  I’ve been coming to the realization that there will be no movies, date night dinners, hanging out with humans, vacations, plane rides, etc for the next 2 years – to – indefinitely.  Infinite time with nothing in the way of fun or rewards of any kind.  Even if we did travel somewhere, all we did when we went other places was go to museums, gatherings, see friends, go to restaurants, and go to bars, all of which no longer exist to us.  A friend of mine said today, trying to be helpful, “Well, can’t you just order in some food and make it a home date?”  Ummmmmmm, do you not think that has happened?  What the fuck difference does that make, except that I don’t have dishes to clean up?  It’s the same fucking thing we did yesterday, except I have EVEN LESS to occupy myself with.  I’m sure that will be oh, so entertaining over and over and over again for the next 2 years in my fucking living room.

Which leads me to my next reason for crying, I cannot even scrape up enough things to do to occupy my hands and time.  I know, I know, you have like 4 kids and a full time job.  Guess what? I don’t have any kids, and there is no job that I’ve ever done that would be happening right now.  None.  Zilch.  Nada.  I know you say “well, enjoy it!”  Enjoy what, exactly? Cooking, cleaning, and yard work?  All that “cool stuff” that “stay at home wives” get to do includes lunch with friends, coffee with friends, shopping, yoga classes, the gym, maybe some kind of club or committee thing.  We get none of that.  That is all gone. I get to enjoy cooking, cleaning, and yard work.  I’ve become almost obsessive about running because I feel so trapped.

Oh, and then there’s “fashion”.  There are no reasons at all to even half-way dress up.  Like there is literally no reason to wear anything that isn’t pajama pants or stretch pants.  There’s no reason to wear a stitch of make-up.  Don’t even tell me to start making jewelry again, I’ve got the stuff out, but who the fuck is even WEARING jewelry?  Where is there to wear it?  I don’t want to make more jewelry to just gum up the containers of already existing jewelry that I own and haven’t gotten rid of, shit, I can’t imagine you could even give the stuff away right now.  We used to occasionally gussy ourselves up to go somewhere, just to remind ourselves that we can look descent.  I can’t think of 1 reason to even open my closet.  I have an entire closet, full of beautiful summer dresses, that I may as well throw in the garbage.  I can’t even sell them right now, who would buy them?  No one needs stuff like that.

All of these things, these little things, just came to a head yesterday.  For the next two years, I will be a frumpy, work-out clothes only wearing, early-forties hermit, and 2 years is my most optimistic guess.  I could literally be in my late 40’s before we can safely navigate society again, and maybe we will never be able to navigate society again, and I may spend the rest of my life isolated in this fucking house.  When will I ever see a swimming pool again?  When will I ever see the ocean?  When will I ever see any state (or even city for that matter), that isn’t my own.  There’s no reason to do any of that.  You can’t “get a taste for the food or culture”, unless you want to order take out and eat it in your hotel room.  Yeah, that’s worth traveling for.

What I’m essentially saying is that the fun, all of the fun, has been sucked out of my life.  There is no “fun” left.  No reward at the end of the tunnel.  None of the little things that might brighten your day.  “Yeah, work was tough, but we’re meeting so-n-so for dinner tonight, and that will be cool.”  “Wow, I can’t wait until our trip next month.”  “This new dress is so cool, I can’t wait to wear it to the wedding next week.”  All gone.  All of it, gone.  It was just the little things, seeing someone you didn’t expect to see at the coffee shop, and having a chat.  New eyeliner to wear.  Fun sunglasses.  Dinosaur print bathing suit.  The possibility of water aerobics.  The new art museum exhibit.  A show that you really wanted to see.  The idea that if you made jewelry, you might sell a few pieces at First Friday.  Ordering a bottle of wine with my husband; “We’ll have the terrine, then I’ll have the duck breast, medium-rare.”  Creme Brûlée.

Please don’t get in the comments and tell me how: 1.)I should learn to make creme brûlée and duck breast- I might, but it’s not the same.  2.) How we should have at home date night, that is literally every fucking night.  Every night is dinner and a movie, I make dinner, and then Netflix makes the movie. 3.) That I should dress up just for me- that’s impractical.  Dress up and do what?  Cook? Clean? Go jogging? Muck out the chicken coop?  Exactly what do I do after I get gussied up “for me”, you and I both know, that shit is not for me.  You and I both know that ALL WOMEN dress for OTHER PEOPLE.  If we’re dressing “for us”, we’re wearing grey sweatpants and a shirt with a hole in it.  4.) To just enjoy what I have.  Yes, thank you for the fact that we live indoors.  I actually say thanks for that every single night.  It doesn’t help me with the fact that I want to stand in the street and scream at the top of my lungs over and over again because I’m fucking TRAPPED here in this fucking GROUNDHOG DAY for GOD KNOWS HOW LONG!!!

It just all got to me.  I get tired of pretending to be an optimist, because I am not one.  I pretend to be one, because that is what people like, and that is what you all want to hear.  I’m not one, and I’ve never been one- that’s a performance piece that I put on for you all.  At best, I’m a realist.  At worst, I was born a pessimist.  I don’t feel particularly hopeful right now, nor have I in the past 4 years.  I think that what is left of our democracy is about to be destroyed.  I think our government has no plan and no real intention of making a vaccine, much less making it affordable for people.  I don’t actually have any hope that we’re not getting 4 more years of Trump.  I just don’t see anything good, and I could have really used those “little things”, but instead, what we get is a life that is even harder and more fucking tedious than it already was, AND our country crumbling at the seams to watch while we’re a captive audience.  It’s the fucking Twilight Zone.  We’re in the Twilight Zone.

To Mask Or Not To Mask

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about tonight.  I proudly did over 6 miles on my run again today.  Dinner was modest, spaghetti, specifically because I wanted some really bad (I find that I’ve been actually craving carbs and protein a lot lately, I think it’s a good sign).  I planted some zinnias and marigolds in an area of the yard that doesn’t currently have anything blooming.  The dog is pleased to report that I took him on the first hour of my walk today- which was truly walking, as the dog isn’t as into this jogging thing as I am.  I wanted to share these pretty flowers that I stumbled upon (which I did in a simple post, as most people do not like to read random blathering).

I did want to share this great article about exercising outdoors during the COVID.

It contains tons of actually scientific advice about the virus and how it spreads (down to the ppm, how many ppm exist per different scenario, etc.), and may put some folks’ minds at ease.  I don’t want people to feel so afraid that they literally won’t even take a neighborhood walk, and I know folks have got to be feeling stir-crazy, so take the time to enjoy this read.

I wanted to write about this because I have seen some controversy on wether or not people should be wearing masks during every activity outdoors, which includes running and biking.  Honestly?  I personally don’t have the lung strength yet to be able to run with a mask outdoors, I would probably black out or pass out, but I’ve found that, at least where we are in Raleigh, it is very easy to avoid other people.  In more densely populated places, I would think that you would want to keep to less populated areas (like neighborhoods), or you might need to wear a mask if social distancing outdoors isn’t possible (like going to a park that is somewhat crowded).  Honestly?  I totally avoided Moore Square yesterday because there were just a lot of people, I knew I wasn’t wearing a mask, and there are so many places to run here in DTR, you just don’t even have to do that to yourself.

“The Risks- Know Them- Avoid Them” is another great article, posted by Abby Nardo yesterday (if you follow her), that may help decrease some of your anxiety.  It definitely helped mine.  The main thing to remember about the virus is that it loves the indoors, especially the indoors with lots of people, and it can travel via air vents in places that aren’t well ventilated.  It also requires a certain amount of time traveling like that to infect people, so definitely keep those store trips short, make your list, be purposeful, and wear your mask.

Some places that I have been, which have been enjoyable and have less risk of exposure are Logan’s in Seaboard Station, and the Farmer’s Market.  The outside plant section at Logan’s is easy to distance in (just have patience with everyone), and you only have to go inside long enough to pay (or grab whatever it is you need and pay).  The Farmer’s Market when it ISN’T 99 cent chicken day, (avoid that if you are virus afraid, it looks like a hot mess to deal with), is outdoors, and if you go during the week, it’s definitely sparsely populated.

I think that even though a lot of folks are refusing to wear masks, they are here to stay for many.  I’m going to continue to wear mine in public.  I have not had anyone “make fun of me” for it, but I also tend not to go places where those kinds of folks go (I have literally not seen the inside of a Wal-mart or a Target in months).  I also think that I might lose my entire shit on someone who did that and end up in jail, sooooooo, here’s hoping no one does???

Last plug, there is a mask selling event at Flex Nightclub on the patio tomorrow (today), Saturday from 12-3 pm.  These masks are SUPER COOL, I saw Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, bears and cub material, all kinds of cool stuff AND there are ones made in larger sizes for bigger heads and beards, so I’m definitely picking up a couple for my big headed, big bearded better half tomorrow.  See you there, maybe?

 

I’m gonna say what no one wants to say: what if your restaurant or bar doesn’t come back?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and I’m just going to say what a lot of people are trying really hard not to say: a lot of restaurants, and probably almost all of the bars are not going to survive this.  Furthermore, those spaces will be replaced by larger “chain” restaurants and retail places, because that is who is going to be able to afford to rent a space.  One step further, the “eat in” restaurants that do survive are going to become luxury services.  No one is going to be able to survive being a dine-in only restaurant unless they increase their prices by a percentage in ratio with the amount of seats they lost.  Expect that dinner that cost $100 just 3 months ago to be $200-$400 in the future for the same types of offerings.

I know no one wants to hear that, but I’ve thought about it every kind of way, and that’s the reality that I always come back to.  Many of our dine-in restaurants are tiny.  The larger ones pay even higher rents.  If it isn’t feasible to do a descent take-out business, then raising prices are the only thing that is going to save them, essentially turning every higher end restaurant in town into the equivalency of “Second Empire”.  Going out to a “sit down restaurant” is going to return to the big treat it was when you were a little kid and your parents were young and broke; a thing of birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrations.

An even harder truth?  I have no idea how bars that don’t serve food are going to make it.  There is nothing that says “social distancing” about a night club.  That’s not why anyone goes to a night club.  They go for the thrill of meeting someone, dancing all squished together with friends, and drunk people don’t understand anything about social distancing.  Put this all together with the constant bathroom trips, drunk, spotty hand washing, and the occasional vomiter, I have no idea how a traditional bar or pub is going to stand a chance.  Even the more chill “pub scene”, I mean, how do you even regulate that?  You can let only 20 people in the door, but you can’t control where they sit or stand.  Shit, some of my favorite bars don’t even have 6 feet of “passing by another person to get to the other end” space.  How is that even going to work?

Essentially going to a pub, even with only 20 people there, is going to be like going to a grocery store, where no one is wearing any PPE, everyone is drunk, but there is no food.  The truth of the matter is, this isn’t going to work.  Only the largest (in space) bars and nightclubs could handle this, and at a severely reduced capacity, that rent is gonna be just about impossible to cover.  Going to a night club is going to have a high cover, and even more expensive drinks.  It will also become a luxury.  The days of popping in somewhere for a beer might be effectively over.  Patios may save some, though, so I hold out hope for that for my service industry family.

Where does that leave the rest of us “Service for Life” folks.  Well, back of house will be able to find some work somewhere, even with take out, someone has to cook the food.  Some will find work at the few restaurants braving the new dining room layout, but with less customers, less employees will be needed.  Some will hand out those curb-side orders, but you don’t need a whole lot of folks to do that.  A handful of bartenders will see the inside of the club, but with less people, it will be just that, a handful. Folks with cars may opt to start doing food delivery.

I predict the rest of us are about to enter a whole new chapter in our resumes.  Some folks are going to straight up go back to school (this is the route that I have been thinking about, I only need 27 more credit hours).  People are going to switch into places that are hiring (warehouses, truck drivers, other retail opportunities, grocery stores and delivery).  Artistic people may be able to follow their passion and truly cut that album/write that book/make that movie/sell some art.  A bunch of you are about to learn some IT shit or take up programming, because that seems to be the only job left where anyone can make any actual money.  I love bartending, and I’m going to miss the hell out of bartending concerts and shows, but I just don’t know when we’ll be doing that again, and honestly, I don’t know that anyone really WANTS to do that right now with absolutely no vaccine or a cure unless it is just a matter of “do this or you are about to be homeless and go hungry”, aka, what our president is counting on, your economic desperation.

So, I’ve been considering other avenues, because I’m a survivalist, and I feel like I have to.  I’m going to encourage you all, gently, to start thinking about what you would like to do if your restaurant or bar does not open back up, or even if it does, and you’re not one of the 5 staff members out of 30 who gets to have their job back.  Now is the time to think about what something else will look like.  It is hard for me too.  Before now I was actually considering going to nail school (seriously), but I don’t foresee that making a huge comeback either, so I’m planning accordingly.  I was a horticulture/agriculture major.  We will always need plants and food.  This is the route that I am planning to go.  What will yours be?