Day 206

It’s been 206 days since my first Monday working from home. I’ve now finished Spring, gone through all of Summer and started Fall working from home. I’ve heard different things about when we get to go back to the office, and what that will look like. Everyone agrees it won’t be before next year, which starts in 85 days. I’ve heard it might not be before next July, which starts 180 days after that.

The Boy started remote 2nd grade 30 days ago, so we are in week 4. It’s becoming routine. If you had asked me before I just now looked it up I would have guessed week 5 or 6. Over the summer we had him FaceTime with friends a couple of times, but he always seemed sad when the call was over. Regular Zoom classes are making remote interaction seem more normal, but I know he misses his friends and it breaks my heart when I think about what he’s missing. Kids are resilient and adaptable, but I wish they didn’t have to be.

The Wife had been remote teaching until it was decided that all teachers had to remote teach from school in order to accommodate any kids that might need to come back. She had 1 that was supposed to show up, but they haven’t yet. So she commutes to an empty building to wear a mask and teach kids through her laptop.

The Girl has been back at work for months, getting used to cutting hair in gloves and chatting with clients through a mask. Business seems pretty steady. People with money for salons mostly still seem to have money for salons. I went to a car dealership with her last week to provide car buying support, which involved sitting in a variety of glass walled offices. There were two women working in another office in my line of sight for most of it not wearing masks. As long as I kept my focus on them I could imagine that everything was wonderfully, boringly normal.

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2020 Books

I was going to post a new post for every book I read this year, but then I got behind and realized that I didn’t have a lot to say about all of them, so here we are. The main point for me was always to just have a record and see how many books I could read in a year, so here’s a summary for the year so far.

05/05/20 edit: I’m modifying this from a one time update to a list I will add to as the year progresses, just so I have them all in one place. Maybe I’ve always been this way or maybe it is age, but I notice that I’ll forget reading a book or watching a movie, etc, but if I see the title, on, say, a list like the one below, I can usually recall it and how it made me feel. I just can’t internally catalog it. So here we are.

Date CompletedTitleAuthor
01/04/2020Wilder GirlsRory Power
01/05/2020Killers of the Flower MoonDavid Grann
01/09/2020AftermathChuck Wendig
01/14/2020Deep Down DarkHector Tobar
01/27/2020Aftermath Life DebtChuck Wendig
01/31/2020Still LifeLouise Penny
02/06/2020Children of Blood and BoneTomi Adeyemi
02/15/2020Song of KaliDan Simmons
02/18/2020The American PlagueMolly Caldwell Crosby
02/21/2020How Do We LookMary Beard
03/04/2020A Murder is AnnouncedAgatha Christie
03/12/2020Miss Marple: The Complete Short StoriesAgatha Christie
03/18/2020The Collected SchizophreniasEsmé Weijun Wang
03/24/2020The Future of Another TimelineAnnalee Newitz
03/31/2020The Center Cannot HoldElyn R. Saks
04/09/2020A Fatal GraceLouise Penny
04/17/2020The Library BookSusan Orlean
05/04/2020The Cruelest MonthLouise Penny
05/08/2020SeveranceLing Ma
05/30/2020Gideon the NinthTamsin Muir
06/04/2020Lovecraft CountryMatt Ruff
08/17/2020MatterIain M. Banks
09/15/2020Slaughterhouse-FiveKurt Vonnegut
09/23/2020ExhalationTed Chiang
10/24/2020The Memory PoliceYoko Ogawa
12/07/2020This Is How You Lose The Time WarAmal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone 
12/14/2020Snow John Banville
12/23/2020The HoleHiroko Oyamada
28 books total.

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Week Five

Walks, yard work, planting potatoes and garlic, grocery pickups, restaurant takeout, working from home getting easier, drinking more, exercising less. I’ve been inside two buildings that weren’t my house in the past 5 weeks. Spending less money, but so far turning around and giving that away. I don’t miss much from my old life, but I feel guilty that I am so comfortable. I miss the girl.

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Week One

Well that was all very weird. Everything feels slowed down (except the working from home hours) and going out feels like Austin in 1998, pre-boom, still a little sleepy.

We went on more walks. I made tortillas. Nate read and made art. There were strange signs and portents. And we all closed out the week with a Saturday night dance party featuring a remote DJ Mel.

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Shutting Down

Today Austin mandated all restaurants go to take out only and outlawed gatherings of more than 10 people. We’re worried about how everyone is going to make it through this incredibly lean time. I bought some gift cards to our favorite restaurant online, and we’re looking at ordering from different places, but I don’t feel like it’ll be enough to keep everyone afloat.

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Strange Times

Last Monday (03/09) I went into work, met people in rooms, and shook hands with one of them. (Though I did felt weird about that and went and washed my hands a few minutes later.) The Boy went to school and The Wife went to work.

By Friday seeing groups of people close together on TV shows (shaking hands, clapping shoulders, breathing each others’ air) was jarring, as if I was seeing people from a distant time engaging in strange and foreign rituals.

Today, Monday 03/16, we are all working from home. Non-essential retail stores (Apple, etc.) are closing. School will probably be cancelled for the rest of the year. I haven’t compulsively checked the news as much since 09/11. We are trying to maintain routines, and create new ones.

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How Do We Look

This was a really enjoyable read about what we get out of art. I could have read twice as much.

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An American Plague

Ahh, something else to be afraid of. And I learned who Walter Reed was.

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Locke & Key

Compelling premise, characters and setting undone by possibly the worst, most unbelievable final episode I’ve ever seen.

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Widows

Well acted character study. Some really striking scenes. Not really about the heist.

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