I Don’t Say. . .

Boy, there was a lot of swearing the last time I was here. I thought about editing it out, but then I thought ah, screw it.

Well, that’s not exactly what I thought. . .

Besides, everything I said then was true (except my erroneous belief that my show at that time would run out the year).

So.

How’s your quarantine?

I’m nonessential. My entire household is unemployed. As a matter of fact, everything I’ve ever done to earn money is currently banned (which sounds a lot more badass if you take it out of context, so please do). Stagehands are well acquainted with the lack of job security in our chosen field, but even so, I always said that all the way at the end of the world they would still need a sound guy. Remember Mars Attacks? Silly me. That was an alien invasion, not a pandemic. Pandemics require only broadcast sound guys.

I’m taking unemployment for the first time in my life. Well, I think I am, anyway. Navigating the New York State Unemployment website is one of the circles of hell (it’s in the middle somewhere, like maybe Four and a Half- between Greed and Anger) and I’m never really sure if what I did took and I haven’t seen the money yet, although it’s possible it’s loaded onto that debit card* that they sent me even though I asked them not to and to just put it in my bank account, please. They do send me a lot of things in the mail, but none of them are money.

I’m not going crazy, not really. I was going crazy before. Before, with the commute and the not enough sleep and the countless doctor’s appointments to figure out why my foot is still screwed up after surgery; with the one day off a week and trying to do all of the life things and failing; being totally drained and not having anything left to give to the people I love. Before, with the not having the energy to workout, or the emotional fortitude to carry on a conversation. That was crazy making. That was rage making.

So I welcome the respite. As an introvert, I’m pretty content (although, there are a large number of people in my home and THEY NEVER GO ANYWHERE!) Before all of this, I would drift away in daydreams and fantasize about being bored. Now I’m neither productive, nor bored. I go back and forth between feeling like I’m living in a bubble, and then being pretty sure that we’re all gonna die and we can’t actually protect ourselves.

I’m cool with it right now.

CC and #5 have been building our patio.

They bust their asses all day, spreading gravel, hauling rocks, sweating.

That’s #5 there on the right. I am not making this up.

My project has been the attic. I’m shredding documents that never needed to be kept in the first place that are 20 years old. I’m currently working on a laundry basket full of random shit that was clearly removed from The Pile en masse in 2006; I’m opening still-sealed mail that’s 14 years old.

In our defense, 2006 was a pretty intense year.

The shredder self-destructed a week ago.

And not to be all sappy and shit, but it’s been a real treat to pretend to be like normal people and have family dinners and take walks and see daylight. The Puggles are so happy to have so many laps home, all the time.

So tell me, how’s your quarantine? What sucks about it? What’s good about it? What’s something that surprises you about it?

Don’t freak out; it’s where we walk the Puggles

Making no promises here about the frequency of posts that may or may not be coming up. I haven’t even decided if I’m going to fix things like the fact that my WordAds appears to be advertising to me to sign back up. But I just wanted to put something out there, and see what comes back.

*Update: The state DID, in fact load it onto that debit card that I didn’t ask for. Unclear yet if it’s real money that I can spend.

Time Well Spent

I’ve been hanging with #5 today. He’s taller every time I see him, which right now is only every Sunday. He’s fourteen. A freshman. Still chatty. He’ll hug me again now, but only sideways and only as long as I don’t make eye contact with him.

Now, I don’t know if this is a boys vs girls thing, or a unique characteristic to #5, but holy cow he’s a space cadet right now. At least, I hope it’s just right now. I hope that it’s a phase and not the permanent state of things. It’s truly remarkable, the private world he lives in.

Yesterday he had a morning scouting event. He knew he’d be getting home after the rest of us had left for work, and before Kelsey* came. Yet, he neglected to bring his house key.

He called me when he was locked out to see when I’d be back.

We have a shared online family calendar. Each family member’s activities are indicated by their own colored dot (the dogs have a dot too, as does Kelsey. There are a lot of dots). I actually keep it updated and do nifty things like send reminders to everyone for events such as trash day– reminders which are promptly ignored. #5 can view, with two swipes on his phone, where everyone is right now. Besides this completely functional calendar, there is the fact that I’ve been in production ALL YEAR. If it’s not Sunday, and it’s not between the hours of 12:30am and 6am, I’m either at work or in transit.

Also? When I’m not in production, at 2pm on any given Saturday, I’m doing a show. That’s been my schedule for roughly the past 20 years. I can see how he might not have that down yet.

DSCF7394

 

 

This morning, I had a couple songs from Daydream Nation stuck in my head. Since I had to work at my computer in the dining room, I set up a Sonic Youth station on Pandora. I knew it wouldn’t go well for long, but I got excited when “Teenage Riot” was the first song played. We sat at the table, me doing the budget and #5 doing homework while it cycled through Pixies and Nirvana and then started going south. Finally, he spoke up.

#5: So, what genre is this exactly? Because it sounds like pain and suffering. This music is the end of the movie where people are dying and everyone is losing things.

 

sleepyjack

#5 operates under the delusion that it is possible to half-ass the chore of taking the dogs out. He believes he can take one dog out and not the other, or else not give them the time required while outside to complete all the items on their to-do list.

But the Puggles would make awful drummers. Their timing is terrible.

If you take only one dog out, the other one runs to the window exactly 45 seconds after you’ve shut the door. When you take the second one out after bringing in the first, the first one watches from the window and then when you return, attempts to convince you that they weren’t finished and need to go back out. If that dog happens to be Casey, it’s true. She needs approximately six times as long as Jack to figure things out when she’s outside. This one-in-one-out routine can go on all day.

But every single time one dog is asking to go out, #5 takes only that dog.

This morning, #5 took Jack outside. Like clockwork, Casey ran to the window and stared out. I figured I’d stop it all mid-cycle and harnessed her up. I went outside with her, told #5 she was feeling left out and handed him Casey’s leash.

Passed him the leash with the dog attached to it.

Which he reached out and took from me.

I’d scarcely sat back down when he came back in with them.

Me: Thanks, bud. Did Casey go?

#5: What?

Me: Did Casey go? You didn’t have her out there very long.

#5: I didn’t take Casey out.

There followed a back and forth, with me recounting to him the story I just told here. Afterwards, he just stared at me, totally not believing me.

#5: How is it even possible that you handed me Casey’s leash and I didn’t even see her?

Me: That is an excellent question. Welcome to my world.

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September 2006

 

*Kelsey is our main Adult In Charge. That’ll be another post sometime.

 

Sh*t My Dogs Eat, Part Deux

Twins have a thing. A true DNA-level psychic connection, where they can directly sense thoughts or feelings from their siblings, no verbal communication necessary.

The Puggle and the Fuggle don’t really look anything alike, but they often have the same movements. They’ll sleep in the same shapes and change position at the same time to another same shape. They do the same pug head tilt, the same beagle tracking sniffs.

And they’re geniuses at conspiring together to steal food. They like Milkshakes, icing, and gravy, but they’re really not picky. The phrase, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” only pertains to your idea of what the dog should learn. A dog can come up with plenty of new shit if left to its own devices.

CC and I are both in production right now on new shows, which means nobody’s cooking. Yesterday he ordered the kids a surprise pizza from work and had it delivered. They were pretty thrilled (bonus garlic knots and all).

Everybody got a piece of pizza. What happened next depends on who you talk to.

Jack swears he had nothing to do with it. He only had to pee.

Pugglesaywhat
Fire safety is very important and I had nothing to do with the pizza.

 

#4 claims that Casey got a piece of pizza and took it into the crate.

 

Caseycute
What?

#5 revealed that Casey pulled the entire pizza box down off the counter, causing the remaining half of it to land cheese-side-to-the-floor and then stole the piece that was witnessed by #4.

When questioned how Casey managed to access the pizza box, #5 blamed Jack for having to go outside. He took Jack out and his sisters, in typical sisterly fashion, let him do all the work and stopped paying attention to anything beyond their phone screens, including any errant Puggling sounds.

Because God knows shit like this never happens at our house and it’s totally okay to check out like that.

#5 also neatly tossed #4 under the bus for getting mad at him for throwing away the three remaining slices that landed tits-up on the kitchen floor.

Casey’s not talking. She’s got a belly full of pizza and is remarkably unconcerned.

Nothing about this story surprises me.

Last summer, CC grilled a gorgeous side of salmon on a cedar plank for the kids’ dinner. The babysitter left to take #5 to scouts and came back to discover a $90 broken plate and a distinct absence of an ENTIRE SIDE OF SALMON. This was the day we discovered Casey had yet again increased her vertical reach.

Shortly after the salmon incident, I had a chicken dish in the slow cooker. It smelled pretty good when I left for work. #4 made some iced tea and left the 10-pound bag of sugar sitting on the counter. I’m still not entirely clear on why a 10-pound bag of sugar is an iced tea requirement, but the Puggles smelled chicken and grabbed the thing that was within reach.

Then #5 sent me this video, which made me happy that we finally got him a smart phone.