Was nice. Weird, but nice. I saw several folks I haven’t seen in six months. Wish it had been under better circumstances.

It was also a stark example of the fact that there is zero consensus in this country over what is “safe” these days. Outside is safer than inside. Outside with masks is safer that just outside. Outside with masks & distance is safer than that. But, folks will just stop at “outside vs inside” and be done with it and feel perfectly comfortable.

My friends have a four household bubble for childcare/support needs. It’s working for them, which is fantastic, but I’m hyperventilating just thinking about it. (There was no “if I die, I die” attitude anywhere, just…different ideas of safe.)

Also, outdoor dining is great, but about that 6 feet? That 6 feet needs to be between *people* – which means the tables should be probably ~9 feet apart. (I spent all my time standing, and not in one place for terribly long…)

Also yesterday, the local Klan MAGATS showed up at our one early voting location to harass people. Fuck them. Like, what the fuck confidence do you have in your candidate that you have to harass folks trying to vote?

On the flip side, turnout for early voting has been ridiculous and they’ve had to open additional rooms at the government center to accommodate it – I will admit when I heard them saying on the radio “we weren’t prepared for this turnout” it made me want to bash my head into a wall. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

I mean, this definitely sounded like someone who hasn’t had one package lost and another destroyed by the post office in the space of two weeks and still had some level of faith in the mail. But, they are tending to it as quickly as they can.

I’ll be very interested to see what the lines are like Friday afternoon and whether or not I have to deal with 45’s chucklefucks out there.

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I have to go to a memorial service/wake/whathaveyou this afternoon. My friends brother passed away this spring and this is the first chance they’ve been able to do anything.

It’s outside, which is the only way I’d attend, so that’s good, but I’m still a bit anxious about a gathering, but at least it’s a sunny and breezy day.

I am wishing I’d ordered this electrified walking stick to keep people the fuck away from me. But I think it will be OK. I’m not going to let this fuck up all the work I’ve put in to not catch this shit. A friend of mine & my brother’s will also be there and he’s a bit twitchy about it too, so we’ll be likely sticking together/apart on the outskirts of all this.

And of course, because this is a somewhat somber thing, it’s given me all sorts of other things to obsess about over the past two weeks.

What to wear, is it clean, which shoes, etc, etc. It’s weird cause I haven’t had to think about anything like that for a good six months. Normally I’d wear nice shoes/heeled boots, but I suspect I’ll be standing more than sitting, so I decided on my Chucks since they’re all black, but guess what – I cannot find them this morning.

But oh wait, I have flats that are comfortable enough. Which of course, are missing a sole insert (I seem to recall a coffee spillage incident which required the removal of the one.) Quick trip to CVS for that this morning.

Oh, and a purse. My leather backpack is great, but kind of heavy, so yesterday’s lunch was racing in and out of the Hallmark shop for a crossbody bag that is lightweight, freakishly neutral (black & white pattern), and has space for wallet, hand wipes, etc. (I am not someone who stockpiles purses.)

I have no solid color masks (unless the VB shipment that is out for delivery arrives before I leave) but I do have one that matches my shirt and is a reasonably appropriate pattern. (I’d love to wear my flamingoes or penguins, but yeah, not appropriate for this.)

My purse is stocked. Wallet, new package of hand wipes (40 count! 75% alcohol!,) 10 individually wrapped disposable masks for anyone in need (hey, you can get those now at the drug store – shows how long it’s been since I’d been in a drug store), extra bottle of hand sanitizer to back up the keychain bottle (refilled this morning.) Extra filters for reusable masks for anyone that may want one. Pack of kleenex for anyone who needs to do the tissue trick to unfog glasses.

Seriously, all it’s missing is juice boxes and granola bars.

I’ve got makeup on. Jacket has been de-wrinkled. Shoes have inserts. Earrings on. (Hey! My piercings didn’t close up!) Mask that coordinates with shirt has coordinating clip on the back, cause safety, but make it fashion.

And the VB masks did just get here, but I’m sticking with my purple paisley, cause fuck it, there needs to be something pretty today.

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We were lucky to have Ruth Bader Ginsberg as long as we did. What an amazing legal mind and I am grateful she used it to try and make the world better.

I wish we lived in a country with a government that would allow us to just take some time to be sad, and mourn her passing – instead we’ve been instantly thrown into a fight over her replacement, because we all know this administration wants to install someone who is all about hurting people. Because the cruelty is the point.

John Dean is 100% right – if McConnell insists on pushing this through – we pack the damn courts. I’ve already put in calls and messages to my Senators this morning.

But, all is not lost. The next RBG is out there. Actually, I am sure there are several of them – from seasoned legal pros to first year law students – her legacy will live on in their work.

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I swear…

Getting older is just a series of bodily insults. I have developed a fucking allergy to my deodorant. I’ve used this brand for AGES, but now, it makes me itch like crazy. (And the sad part is how long it took me to figure it out – I kept thinking it was the seams on my t-shirts or maybe a bit of razor burn.)

So, sorry Dove, we’re switching over to Old Spice Deep Sea. (Sadly, with no eels, per its labeling, but it does smell very pleasant and not like baby powder.)

In Covid news, the CDC director got a spine and got honest:

I mean, we *knew* this – we knew it would take at least a year to even get a vaccine, longer to distribute, and harder since we’re not cooperating internationally. Still – a bit of a kick in the teeth to hear it out loud that we’ve got another year of this.

And to think back at the beginning of May some rando outside the butcher shop told me it would all be over by Memorial Day. (I did not believe him, and I am sure he is not a happy camper these days.)

So I coped the way I have been coping – got some more face masks, LOL. In my defense, I have 3 non-VB ones that I just don’t like and are “last resort” masks, and I might as well ditch them and replace them with ones I know fit & don’t bother me.

So, I guess instead of counting up from Plague Friday (188 days!) we start counting down to Q3 of next year. Or maybe be super optimistic and go for Labor Day?

Well, either way, work hasn’t stopped, so I’d best go tend to that.

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She likes it!

The LilyMonster seems to definitely like being able to hang out with us on the porch.

I see…things!

Of course, no sooner did I finish this than we’re not going to have a day above 80 degrees for the next 10 days and the evenings are already starting to be downright chilly. Lunches on the porch this week?

Sure, it is September, but I can’t help but think the smoke from the fires is also impacting the temps to boot. It’s arrived here and it’s downright creepy outside – I know it’s nothing compared to what folks are going through on the west coast, but everything is just weird and muted outside. This was yesterday morning:

That’s not normal

Virginia’s early voting starts at the end of this week and FML, they’re only doing it at the main government center for the first month, and not on Saturdays, and the hours are 8AM – 4:30PM. Fucking hell, Fairfax, that is NOT FUCKING ACCESSIBLE FOR SO MANY PEOPLE. Also, so much for voting this Saturday.

The satellite location – the local government center just down the road – that doesn’t open until October 14 – their hours will be 1-7PM M-F and 9-5 on Saturdays. Better, but not by a ton, and I don’t think I want to wait that long this election, because I can’t be the only one who was planning on Saturday voting.

Guess I’ll take a look at my work calendar and see what day I can go in late next week. I know my boss won’t mind, but it’s going to be harder for a lot of folks who don’t want to wait another month for extended hours and Saturday voting.

WAIT – we have early out Fridays next week – I will do it then.

Plan. Your. Vote.

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I did it!

The LilyMonster can hang out on the porch with her people! And has actually used it!

This is acceptable!

This was the screen insert when it was done – the black bit is gaffer tape on both sides that I just cut an X in to pop in the tunnel.

And it fit in the door frame!

The platform under the door, hoo boy that was kind of a pain in the ass – had to make it tiered – it’s hard to see in the picture, but right under the door there is a step down so the top bit fits up against the door and the bottom bit fits up against the step.

I see packages getting left in the little open area.

And that ramp? Those hinges were near the damn death of me trying to get them in. The first pilot holes I put in weren’t big enough, had to run to the store for thicker nails and even then, my arms are fucking sore today trying to get those 8 screws in.

Two hinges that took FOREVER to get in

There were shockingly few hiccups through the process. The bit of extra trim on the front was because I discovered that the tacks holding in the screening were slightly too long and poking through to the other side. But it also had the added benefit of further stabilizing the corners since I placed it to overlap the seams on the main frame.

Then realizing I had to take that step under the door into account when I made the platform. The ramp is a full two feet wide – I just used the uncut 2’x’4′ sheet I bought – I’d thought about ripping it to 18 inches, but I just didn’t have a good setup to be able to cut the full 4′ sheet, but it works fine.

The tunnel/tent… Well, the tent is far too large for the porch, cause my dumb ass didn’t look at the measurements – sure, it looked roomy in the photo with the cat model, but 99% of the time they use really small cats in these pictures, LOL. And Lily keeps trying to climb the inside of the tent and getting her nails caught, which is no bueno.

And the tunnel – well, it’s a bit too short after the hard turn and drop to the ground.

But, easily remedied – a second tunnel is being delivered tomorrow and the tent zips out and the new tunnel zips in. And the tunnel is ~19 inches high so there is plenty of room for Lily to sit/stand/turn around, so going tunnel only will not be a problem. I’ve also ordered a bath sheet to fold lengthwise and line the tunnel, so the princess’ dainty paws will not even touch the cement and she’ll have a soft spot to lay down while she is out with us. (Thank you, Target for reasonably priced large towels with quick shipping.)

I’d decided early on I wasn’t going to paint the platform – but since it’s going to be outside, and just moved over to the carport in the winter… I think next weekend I’ll be throwing a clear coat of Rustoleum on it, which should be very easy and the longest part should be letting it dry. (And clear = who cares if it’s too heavy/too light in some spots, YAY)

Also, I’m going to get some floral foam and cut little blocks to jam over where the screws are on the underside of the platform. (All the nails on both the frame & platform were hammered sideways, so no poking there.)

Overall, I could not be more pleased with how it came out and the fact that she USES IT!

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Another Friday!

And a half day to boot. Next week is gonna suuuuuck given that it will be FIVE WHOLE DAYS OF WORK – and I haven’t done that in three weeks, LOL.

Today’s half day timing is perfect, as I can do a quick run to the market right after work, and then work on Lily’s door. (My plans of working on it at lunch this week…HAHAHAHAHA)

My brother has said if necessary, he will shove her into the tunnel and shut the door behind her so I can get at least one shot of her out on the porch. I think she may be cautious at first, but will decide she likes it – she does enjoy sitting at the windows, so I think she’ll like it. I hope she does.

In other outdoor news, we were out on the porch last night, each of us equipped with an Off Clip On Fan, and damn if they didn’t seem to really work! And there were definitely some mosquitoes out there, as my brother said he got hit *while opening the fan packaging*, so I think we have a solution. (Once again, wish I’d thought of it in the spring…) I also grabbed one of their mosquito lamps, and I’m feeling good about that.

I’d get one of the yard foggers, but I don’t know what else it would kill, and we have a lot of birds and small mammals and beneficial bugs that I am happy to have around, so fans and lamps it is.

OK, time to power through an arduous four hour day.

You have an excellent Friday.

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Oh, it’s gonna be *that* kinda day

One where you wake up 45 minutes before your alarm and it’s still dark out and you just decide, Fuck it, I’m awake, let’s do this.

In Covid news, we have confirmation that 45 is an unmitigated ass who doesn’t give a shit about anyone. Also – what an idiot to think he could somehow make himself look good with Bob Woodward.

It’s not really shocking though – we all know he just shrugged his shoulders and said “It’s not like I’m going to get it” and went on his merry way, because we saw that play out in real time.

And for that, we’re have nearly 200,000 dead and god knows how many who will have lifelong health consequences, and none of us has had anything remotely resembling a “normal” day for over six months now.

The photos coming out the west coast are just insane. Green. New. Deal. Like, we needed that yesterday. Maybe with that we could stop yelling at people for having cars when we have a country with shit public transportation and maybe do something about the industrial polluters who are responsible for the vast majority of this.

One of many disheartening bits of all this (and there are so many) – 200K dead and half the country is *literally* on fire – and there is going to still be a big chunk of the population that loves its racism and sexism even more than you know, *living*, and will be voting for 45 this fall.

On that cheery note, time to go grind the gears for capitalism.

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Gooooooood morning!

Extra good cause I’ve got the day off, LOL. Hardware store has already called and my order is ready, so as soon as breakfast is done, it’s back out and about and off to the races on the final leg of Lily’s door. I wasn’t expecting the call until this afternoon, so it’s good to be able to get it sooner, but also, fuck, wasn’t mentally ready just yet!

First day of school here in the county and we’re all online at least for the fall semester. I know it’s frustrating for everyone, but hey, no getting caught behind school buses on the way to and from Starbucks this morning! (Though I did see one school bus when I was out and about and I was very, “Wait, what?”)

I’ve also just realized I forgot the one thing I specifically went out for this morning after Starbucks – a newspaper to put down under the wood for additional painting. Got distracted by pineapple and chocolate swirl pound cake at the market.

At least there is a Walgreens next to the hardware store, and they should have newspapers.

Welp, time to go get at it. Have an excellent day.

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Tiny disappointment.

So, yesterday I cooked up some pork tenderloin with the jerk seasoning I found a few weeks back. It was good – but not what I remember my Mom making. Dammit!

My Mom wasn’t making her own white-people-no-spice version of jerk seasoning, it was a commercially available product, but damn if I have any idea what brand it was or where she got it. I think it definitely had more black pepper in it than anything I’ve stumbled onto to date, but beyond that, it’s hard to articulate what’s different.

I’ve now tried three different types of jerk seasoning, and all have been good, but just not “it” – close, but just not quite there. (Well, one was way more Moroccan tasting than Jerk, but still good it its own way.)

We also got some pineapple to go with it, so guess who is having pineapple with smoked sea salt for breakfa–err, lunch? How the hell is it almost 2PM? I was up before 9 this morning? WHERE DID THAT TIME GO?

I’m gonna blame the pandemic on that one.

In other ways the pandemic is mucking with my head big time: My gas station has been stocking these wipes – just plain alcohol wipes, unscented, not sticky, etc, and they’re great.

Oooh, 75%!

Now, every time I pop in there, I am finding I have a very difficult time *not* buying another pack of them. I don’t go through them that fast, but they’re really handy and damn if I have this irrational desire to have MANY, MANY PACKS OF THEM in my possession.

The amount of therapy I should probably *already* be getting thanks to the last 6 months.

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