friends


17
Jun 20

Stand over there, well away, wash your hands, and …

I took the rare trip out today for a few important grocery supplies. I noticed pretty quickly how everyone’s mask estimation game is so popular. I noticed how pretty quickly, and throughout my brief trip, how I keep wondering if people are judging one another.

I wonder who should aggravate me more: the person not wearing a mask, or the person wearing a mask to protect their throat and chin. A lot contender to consider there is the person wearing a mask over their mouth, but not their nose.

The circulatory system, it seems, is a mystery to some fully grown adult human beings who are capable of otherwise sustaining themselves.

Anyway, I needed groceries. I still need a haircut. You need to wear a mask.

Look! It is easy being green.

A friend made this one for me, because she’s awesome. I’d brag on her by name, but she might not want the advertisement. Now I owe her a dinner one of these days when we can safely do those normal sorts of things again.

It’s not the time to let up. It’s the time to reconsider your habits. What we’ve done these past few months, we must continue to do again. And the best way to get back to normal, is to be diligent today. Part of looking out for yourself is looking out for each other. A big part of looking out for each other right now is to take a few simple precautions. Wear your mask.


28
May 20

Dramatic cat scene ahead

So there I was Tuesday night, washing dishes later than I should have been. Everyone had retired for the evening, but one of the cats came back to see what all this noise in the kitchen was about. As I was scrubbing I didn’t really pay attention to his approach, but he’s got two or three options available to him. However he chose to get there, I looked up, and there was the cat directly above the sink.

Sometimes a light will flash on the ceiling, and that will amuse and astound him, being a cat. Last night, however, I decided to hold the sponge up close to him and squeeze out the water into the sink, so he could see it from above. He’s one of those cats that likes water, so this was a captivating experience. We did this a few times, which lead to a series of photographs.

Why that didn’t wind up in yesterday’s post you’ll just have to solve for yourself.

Tonight we had a dinner and a movie date with colleagues. It was via Zoom. (Zoom has really helped our social lives!) One of them works in our school and the other is in Global and International Studies. We were going to watch a comedy, and instead we just wound up talking for hours and hours.

I was talking when it became obvious that the call was over.

Isn’t that always the way?

People who are still staying indoors — people who have both the ability and desire to do so, that is — are eager for contact. Some of them are talking to me after all. But no one has figured out how to wind down a video call yet. But when those nonverbals kick in … that’s when you can tell.

I wonder if anyone has decided the optimal number for such an interaction. We’ve basically been developing a wholesale interpersonal culture from scratch. Sure, the technology for this has been around, and yes, some people have used it professionally and even some personally, but the wholesale adoption is a different thing. Even if we’re diffusion of innovation laggards — and I’d say we are early or late majority at most — we’ve got to figure this out. Is this a meeting where one person talks to others? Will there be slides and someone droning on and on? Should I mute? Are we using the text chat or not? Do you have to stay backlit the entire time? Are we just being friendly? And isn’t that better than a work video meeting? Are we more, or less, courteous in crosstalk? And why do I keep pointing at things on my screen like I think you can see them?

I haven’t seen any Facebook Portal ads in a while, come to think of it, which is perfectly fine. You’d think they’d be everywhere, having come to market at just the right time. Maybe they are fighting it out over how Facebooky they have to be right now, who knows.

If they promised me only the Muppets could call me, and that the Muppets would answer when I called them, I’d buy one.


28
Dec 19

The rare weekend post

On our tramping about town today, a day in which we tramped, we visited a local running store. This is a place where my mother-in-law picks us up nice things like, this year, a new blinkie for bikes and a couple of nice pairs of running socks. They were, today, having a sale.

I did not buy an aero helmet. But it looks pretty cool, right?

Or is this more my speed?

That one is probably more my speed. My speed being: slow, but fashionable.

Except on today’s run. I was fast! Well, for me. I guess? At this stage? It was fast? Ish? Question mark? I ran four-and-a-half miles, last run of the trip, and was about to get down into a respectable speed for a 5K when … a car pulled out without regard to looking left or, in my case, right, and almost hit me. I gave him A Look, which is different from The Look, because there were cars behind him, and if he’d received The Look those other cars would have been trapped behind the car with the lifeless body in the driver’s seat.

And somehow that nonverbal exchange cost me about 15 seconds, which kept me from getting the first 5K in recent-record time.

Or that’s the story I’m telling the sports historians anyway.

Here’s a look at Gray’s Creek, a gut where the fishing is apparently good, but not much else is said about it on the web. On one side is a short municipal golf course. On the other side of Gray’s is Hall Island, which is not really an island, but actually a spit:

There are 31 gorgeous houses and at least 12 pools on the non-island, which seems a pleasant place of residential bliss where nothing out of the ordinary has ever happened.

And here’s one last look of the Long Island Sound, from Compo Cove. It was a great week to run here:

Old neighbors came to visit. There were many laughs and complaints about the new Star Wars movie. We’ll go watch it soon, but first, this strawberry shortcake:

Tonight’s dessert, and the gag gifts that went with it, mark our last Christmas celebration of the year. You want them to continue. You want them to end gracefully and well. Dessert is a good way to do that.


6
Dec 19

Friends, let us weekend

My friend Bryce took this picture of me, outside the studio this morning. It was an ambush job which, as a shutterbug myself, I appreciate. This was somehow the only pose I could imagine at the moment:

I assume that was because my mind had already been melted for the day after an early meeting.

Also, in looking at it, this is the photograph that told me I needed a haircut. And some go-to poses for photographs.

Anyway, the morning show was in the studio this morning. It was their last show of the term. We have one more night of productions, next week, shooting our last two shows of the semester.

I’ve been looking for a new fall guy for stories. Somehow, this never occurred to me until today:

It’s a big fib. My roommate was a great guy. He dated nice people. But it’s just far enough removed to not seem mean-spirited, but close enough to feel plausible.

I mean there was that one young woman he dated from back home. She really worked him over at one point. Set him free for other people though, but not until after many, many nights of ballads and conversations trying to figure out what just happened.

What just happened was … hang on … let me check his social media. OK, good, that’s not the woman he married.

See? Seems realistic.

Got in a nice little 5K this evening. And then I got the laundry in the washer. I did this because I like having laundry done before the weekend, but completely forgot about that fact on Thursday. So I’m doing laundry on the weekend. It’s a nice domestic feeling, knowing the clothes hamper is empty, the dresser and closets are full and there’s no noise coming from the laundry room.

It’s better than the alternative, washing clothes tonight, wondering if I’ll forget to finish all of this and have to put clothes away on Sunday night. What a modern sadness: I must go to the office tomorrow, I must sort the socks tonight.

Thursday, then, is an ideal time for laundry. Someone please remind me of this every other week.

But now it is time for the best part of postseason football:


5
Dec 19

Revved up

I saw this car at lunch today.

I was walking downtown to meet a former student. He graduated in the spring and moved to California and has an interesting-sounding job that should set him up nicely for networking and he’s enjoying California and snow and surfing and taking photographs. He gave me a hug. He showed me his new camera.

This is a 1945-ish Plymouth. It’s difficult to say, because this basic body design dominated the decade for the car maker. The engine was pushed forward, the trunk was bigger, there was more glass. And it boasted, boasted, 84 to 91 horsepower.

Just parallel parked outside a little pizza joint, as one does. It is difficult to imagine seeing people preserving 1977 Toyota Celicas, taking them downtown for a slice.

It was nice to see an old friend, even if it only seems he’s been gone for a few minutes. He said he got a good deal on a red eye and decided to come make a few rounds. I wonder if that’s a thing people in California do, to tell others about it.

Two former students of mine are working out there now. Graduate, point the car west. I’m sitting here. Don’t think I haven’t noticed. How could you not? Their Instagram accounts are full of the beauty of things. At least we saw the sun today.

That’s two days in a row!

Tomorrow? Cloudy. Chance of rain.

I guess all the clouds are good to help reduce the chance of paint oxidation on old cars.