Sunday, January 17, 2021

OK. So what do we do when we're now in double "lockdown"?

Pandemic and... post-insurgency military presence? *sigh* 

We watch TV. A lot of TV. Eventually there will be no TV left to watch.

"Heaven's Gate: The Cult of Cults" - We both assumed this would be a crazy, over-the-top documentary, even knowing the ending before it started, but it was so much not that. It made us both sad.

"Murder on Middle Beach" - A documentary made by a former SCAD student about the murder of his mother. It's a story we hadn't heard and while we'd hoped for a better resolution, the story is compelling.

"Lovecraft Country" - filled with mystery, monsters, and science fiction, and set in segregated 1950s USA, this one really entertained.  We recommend it (yes, there's sex and violence and some language) for being so different and well-told.

"Mr. Robot" - a great series that hadn't been spoiled for us so we didn't see the ending coming. It's a mind-bender and a lot of fun to watch in a sort of "alternate now."

"The Masked Singer" - what's not to love?

"The Masked Dancer" - I was curious, Ian indulged me.

Yes, more 90-Day Fiance.  Does it get old? Yes, yes it does, but it's also mindless and we do other things while it makes noise in the background.

But guess what, hockey is back and with the funky scheduling there is So Much Hockey to watch! Yay!

Pandemic related stuff:

Food: We've started a Blue Apron subscription for 3 meals a week. The program supplies all the ingredients and the recipes, and it's so nice to avoid the "what's for dinner?" especially on work nights. We've really enjoyed it and are slowly learning some cooking techniques as well. Some of the recipes have been amazing.  I'd say 2 or 3 have kind of missed the mark.  We make our meal choices several weeks before they are delivered and it's been a great adventure in new foods and flavors. It's also great to keep us out of the grocery store, so now we're investigating whether grocery delivery make sense for us.

Fogging: Our glasses fog when we're masked, like everyone else. We tried NerdWax and found that it just doesn't cut it. First off, it has to be applied every day. Just be aware. Then, it doesn’t prevent your glasses from fogging, it just fogs.... differently. Normal fogging is opaque, still happens over time. But if you’re only walking into the store, this can work for you because the first minute or two, it really seems to work - the glasses fog some and then immediately unfog with each breath, which is nice. But after a few minutes, the moisture gathers not so much as fog but as a watery film that is just as hard to see through as fogging. Everything goes wobbly, like if you open your eyes while swimming underwater. Wipe it off a couple times, and eventually, you’ve wiped off the NerdWax.

Vaccine: Due to weird situations with the deployment of the vaccine, somehow the State Department received a number of vials and those who wanted were able to get it beginning Dec 29. I had my first on Dec 29 and Ian on Dec 30. Ian had minimal reaction, I had a pretty sore arm for 24 hours. I had my second shot on Jan 15 and was pretty uncomfortable for 24 hours with a sore arm, headache, fever/chills, upset stomach. Ian's second isn't scheduled for a bit yet.

Game: We've done a boxed escape room game (Exit) and a boxed mystery game (HuntAKiller). A few tips - If you play the Exit game, photocopy all the pages prior to playing the game.  The reason? It's one-time use, and it felt SO wasteful after a 1-hour game to just throw it all away. After completion, I looked through to see if there was a way to kind of rebuild it, but no. So - make copies of all the pages in color. and sort of rebuild the book (the one we did was only about 8 pages) before you play.  Having said all that, the game was fine.  The puzzles were similar to basic escape room puzzles and there wasn't really a story.  For HuntAKiller we chose a "premium" all-in-one box (rather than a current monthly subscription or an older subscription that's boxed) and truth be told, it was just OK. The biggest issue we had was there was no real starting place, we didn't know who we were in this game world.  While there is a bag of stuff to filter through and some on-line clips to watch (for us, they were about the town we had just moved in to), that was it. And at the end when we'd figured out the puzzles and made a guess, there wasn't a way to figure out if we were right without being told the final answer. Unlike an escape room where if the key doesn't fit you try something else, in this if you guessed the key the only way to know if you were right was if the answer was handed to you.  We didn't care for that.  Thankfully we were right, but still, ya know?

That's what's up with us.  How about you?

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Monday, January 4, 2021

2021 arrived.

Hello 2021

2012: GO


2014: CHANGE



2020: PACE


If I'd known what 2020 was going to be like, Breathe would have been last year.  But now that we've been holding our breath for nearly a full year, it's a good reminder that that is, well... unsustainable. We're all turning a little blue.

So - Breathe. Yeah. Good word.

Now that's out of the way.

Here are some ideas for how to start this year off, some thoughts on how to make the next few months, or even year, a little better right off:

Learn your blood type

Make your To Read list for the year.

Clean out your Inbox and your saved items folders.

Buy/Make a new face mask. (You deserve it.)

Clean out your medicine boxes.
Store your expired meds, unsafe for flushing, for the next drug takeback day.

Dump out your ice cubes.

Buy a succulent.

Hand wash your sweaters.

Replace lightbulbs that are burned out, or ones that aren't. Maybe use these.

Clean out the tray under your toaster.

Run your coffee pod machine with a cleaning cycle.

Snip the vacuum brush roller clean, and wash the vacuum filters.

Launder your kitchen and bathroom mats.

Vacuum under your couch.

Turn/flip your mattress.

I realize that it's been a while. You understand. What with the election and the pandemic, my sleep was disturbed and trying to read didn't transport me away like TV and movies and Animal Crossing did. Now with brighter skies ahead, there's definitely a glimmer of calm seeping in to my brain and reading is back on the menu. I'll finish A Promised Land.

The holidays were special this year. My youngest was in the UK by choice, even if it was a forced choice by restrictions, lockdowns, and quarantines, and called in by Messenger. My Marine was given 48 hours leave. My Marvel kid drove to Jax, NC to pick up the Marine and then made their way here. She stayed with us the longest and her best friend joined the day after Christmas for a few days. Our oldest came down for the holiday afternoon with her SO. My parents called in over Messenger. It was as right as it could be with games, gifts, laughter, annoyances, food, and more togetherness than we've had in a long while.

So here we are.

2021. May it never say "hold my beer."