229 Minutes

That’s how long I was sitting in line to get tested for Covid-19 this past Saturday. 229 minutes. For those of you who don’t feel like doing the calculation, or if you’re like me and are not good at third grade math or just don’t have the ability to run numbers in your head as quickly as Sir Isaac Newton, that computes to three hours and forty-nine minutes.

Nearly four hours to receive a covid test. It takes less time to run the Boston marathon. Or to take a round trip flight to Wisconsin from New York. But don’t take a trip because we are in a pandemic. You probably shouldn’t do any marathons either. This pandemic is a killjoy.

I could have saved myself four hours

Long story short, I wanted to be tested because Friday night I felt like I was coming down with a cold and woke up Saturday morning congested and headachy and exhausted. The kind of exhaustion that renders you incapable of doing anything outside of rolling over.

I also had a dream that a friend’s cat was talking to me.

I know many people who came down with the dreaded ‘rona and it started out the exact same way…cold-like symptoms and weird dreams.

Unfortunately, there was not one single appointment at a local walk-in clinic or pharmacy inside of 72 hours and my PCP doesn’t have weekend hours. My only option was one of those places you see on the news where the cars snake around for what seems like miles.

Every time I see this madness on the evening news I am astounded. It always reminds me of one of those apocalyptic movies where people are trying to get out of dodge en masse. I swore that would never be me. But there I was. Stuck in a line of cars, but without an apocalypse or zombie to be had.

What does one do for four hours while deliberately waiting for someone to shove a ten-inch Q-tip up your nostrils?

In my case, I spent an hour talking on the phone with my parents, did a little Facebook scrolling, texted some friends complaining about the injustice of it all, and enjoyed a little people watching.

In 229 minutes I saw a car overheat and get towed away, I saw a man walk up the long line of cars with a red gas can. Not sure if he was selling gas or if he just simply ran out. But darn. That’s not a bad side gig.

I myself only had a quarter of a tank of gas leftover from when I filled my car in September, so it could happen. There are stranger things. I mean, I was willingly waiting in line for 229 minutes to have my brain tickled. Saturdays sure aren’t what they used to be.

Where was I? Oh yeah, people watching.

I watched the teenager in the car in front of me get out of the vehicle, walk down the hill, and come back with food an hour later.

I saw a man get food delivered to his car. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that. I was so hungry by the end of this, I was close to exiting my vehicle and start grazing on the fir tree to my right.

I did panic a bit when I realized that if I had to go to the bathroom, I wouldn’t be able to. Turns out there was a bathroom at the three hour mark, but it also turns out there was a note on the door. Not sure what it said because I couldn’t see from my vantage point, but my guess is it wasn’t, “Welcome all who could potentially be infected with the Covid-19 virus, please come on in and sit a spell so you can continue to spread your germs all over the universe.”

After three hours, one of the nice volunteers came up to my car to scan my online registration, thanked me profusely for doing so, and stuck a Post-It note on my windshield with my test number. She told me I was almost there with “only” about another hour to go.

When I got close enough to see the front of the line, I started timing how long it took for one vehicle to get through the actual testing area — anywhere from a minute and a half to two minutes. When I pulled up, I was done in well under a minute.

In other words, register online for these things if you can, people. It will save a lot of time for everyone.

The lady who administers the test and looks as if she is going to do a mold remediation on you instead of a simple nose swab, greeted me with what I could gather was a smile on her face even though she was working her butt off in the wind and cold all alone to test 400 people. I appreciate her.

But I wouldn’t blame her one bit if she lost her mind and ended up shoving that Q-tip all the way to the temporal lobe and killed us all. Wow. That took a turn. I’ve been watching too much Netflix. Maybe Disney Channel would be a better choice.

The Verdict: The specimen that was collected from the deep recesses of my face on the end of that ten inch Q-tip has determined I am Covid-19 negative. Should have done the cover test (see meme above).

Our Family Christmas Letter – Volume 9 but really 8

I am aware this Christmas letter should be Volume 9 but I don’t know what happened last year. Either there wasn’t much to report or I was just lazy. I vote for the latter.

Move away from the tequila, 2021. Meme courtesy of Malicious Women Co.

Happy “Thank God This Year Is Almost Over” to you all! 2020 was a complete cluster-fart. How could any of us have imagined that we would be in a global pandemic by mid-March? The one good thing about that is I didn’t have to follow through with my New Year’s resolutions. Not that I would have anyway, but I feel like I had a valid excuse this time. I can’t remember what exactly that excuse was, but I’ll get back to you.

The Kid graduated from college in May. She was supposed to graduate with the traditional pomp and circumstance of a proper graduation. But, like everyone else who had a graduation this year, the pomp was cancelled due to the circumstance. It was quite disappointing. There were enough tears shed to cause a second flood. And that was just from me.

Instead it was moved to our driveway and included strangers walking by and a thing called Facebook Live. A pitcher of white sangria and some balloons made it feel less driveway-ee. My graduation speech was way better than what Oprah would have said probably. Just ask my parents. They were so proud. Oh wait, this isn’t about me.

DH is doing fine and dandy. We are both lucky enough to be able to work from home which brings on a whole new meaning to “spending quality time together.” The good news is no one is dead. We do have our own separate office which helps. I just need to stop screaming to the other room for him to bring me my lunch. I should probably invest in a cow bell.

DH is one year closer to retirement. I guess I’m one year closer to retirement as well, but there is quite an age gap between us so he’ll get there much sooner than I will. I remember how fun it always was that I was the younger one. No one warned me about this new development.

It was just DH and me for Thanksgiving as it will be for Christmas. We are playing the Responsible Citizens of the World by keeping our circle closed. I made a turkey with all the fixings for Thanksgiving. I’ve never done that before and I have enough leftovers to feed the entire Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I would invite you over, but we are in a global pandemic. Also, the turkey is starting to smell funny. My New Year’s resolution for 2021 should include “stop making science projects in the fridge.”

Aside from my science projects, I have started a new hobby called Watercoloring. Like knitting, I thought I was going to rock it. You know, because according to me I am naturally gifted in all mediums of art stuff. But like knitting, my work looks like a five year old did it. I apologize to all five year olds out there for being offensive. You shouldn’t be reading my blog anyway. Hell, you shouldn’t even be reading yet. If you can, then may I suggest “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss? That was a good one.

I started out 2020 going to the gym everyday after work, but then Covid hit and the gym shut down. Oh, I think I just thought of my valid excuse from paragraph #1 and I’m sticking to it.

I spent the first three to four months in quarantine eating all the things and drinking all the drinks that my car now knows how to get to the liquor store and the local bakery all on its own. I am currently trying to work feverishly to catch up on my 2020 resolution of losing weight before the new year hits. I thought I was doing pretty good, but it turns out my underwear are just stretched out.

Oh, I did want to mention a positive from this past year: For ages I’ve been trying to figure out how to check my breath and just like that — BAM — put on a mask and I get my answer. There is a silver lining to everything.

That just about sums it up. For the record, 2021 will not be my year. I said 2020 would be and look where that got me. This is called “nipping it in the bud.” I just remembered being proactive was one of my 2020 resolutions. Actually, no it wasn’t. But it’s never too late to change. Just ask my stretched out underwear.

We’re Lost In a MASK-uerade

If you told me this would one day be our reality, I would have believed you about as much as I believe there are martians. It still blows my mind every time I leave my house. It’s like an apocalyptical mask event (I don’t even know if that makes sense, but I feel like this year is a free-for-all for nonsense).

I think we all remember our very first mask. Mine was sent to me in a panic by a friend back on the 112th day of March. It is practical, pinches at the nose, fits perfectly, and alleviated some of my anxiety those first few weeks.

My second mask was made by a friend and features…what else? Photos of ladies drinking wine. I enjoy that when I’m eating at a restaurant al fresco with the hubs or meeting a friend for…umm, wine. Of course. Well, I don’t drink or eat with it actually on. My secret talent is coloring inside the lines, not figuring out how to eat sushi through cloth.

During these past ten months that really feels like ten years, I have collected nine masks. Of those nine masks, only the two above-mentioned fit. The others just flop around on my face like a mackeral that was washed ashore. If I were to rob a bank in any of them, my identity would quickly be revealed.

I actually did go into the bank recently and had to bite my tongue to keep from joking with the teller about how I felt like a bank robber. She probably would have done one of two things: pushed the panic button under her desk or told me to come up with something original.

Anyway, before I digress into places I can’t return let me continue.

I am amazed by how many people have really nice fitting masks. I usually come home from running errands with a touch of mask envy. “Mask Envy.” How is this even an emotion?

So, it has been determined by me that I have some ill fitting masks. That poses the next question, “how effective are they?” Do I need to have them tailored? I mean, that can’t sound any crazier than the whole of 2020, now can it?

Aside from the obvious, there are some advantages to this mask wearing thing. The obvious being it’s said to lessen the spread of disease. Or does it? I don’t think anyone really knows. But I’m not taking any chances.

Another thing I like about wearing a mask is I don’t have to smile at anyone if I don’t want to. I’m not saying I don’t like to smile at people, I’m just saying after being a smiler for over fifty-three years, it’s nice to get a break.

I’ve tried smiling with my eyes, but I usually just end up looking like a certain fictional novelist who loses his mind and terrorizes his family.

photo credit goes to slate.com

My resting bitch face is quite happy and that’s all that really matters. What else do I like about wearing a mask? Well, this is terrible and I probably shouldn’t say it out loud but seeing someone you might know out in public and pretending to not see them.

I know, I know. I realize I just bought myself a seat in Hell.

So, I have discovered during the writing of this pointless essay that I don’t really like smiling, may or may not have robbed a bank, could be deranged, and that I like hot places. Talk about discovering yourself.

Also, could there be martians? We’re matching our face masks to our pocketbooks, so anything is possible. This is the year 2020 after all.


Random Is What Random Does

As I sit here on this 130th 145th 158th 182nd 221st day of hiding out from Covid-19, I have had a lot of time to think. Actually it’s not “thinking” per se. It’s more just weird and useless crap that worms its way into my brain and settles there until I get it out of my system.

Besides work and Netflix specials, there isn’t much else to do. I mean, I guess I could clean out a closet or two, but you know…Netflix.

Here I go:

  1. The way 2020 is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if it killed Santa.
  2. You know you’re lazy when you don’t want to take the time to flip over when laying out in the sun. This past summer my body looked like a reversed mullet — party in the front, business in the back. I even have the lingering handprint just below my left knee to prove it.
  3. Is it true the powers that be are adding “irregardless” to the dictionary? I don’t know anyone who is happy about this. Except my hubby. He likes that word and is quite pleased with himself to be part of “the movement.”
  4. Even though I am a self-proclaimed extravert, I do not like people in my personal space. Thank you, Coronavirus for making this possible.
  5. The pen I was using when I started working from home on March 12 is finally running out of ink. Two thumbs up to the Hilton Garden Inn’s writing utensils.
  6. Paying over $500 for a pair of sneakers that have zip ties attached to them is about as dumb as spending $200,000 to go to Mars.
  7. I seem to be spending more time on Google looking for cool masks to match my yoga pants than I do actually doing yoga.
  8. I’ve noticed when I don’t shave my legs, my legs stay crossed. It’s like natural velcro.
  9. Why can’t I look as good as my Snapchat filter?
  10. I decided I’m going to throw all the mirrors in my house away. Except the one in my bedroom. That one makes me look like my Snapchat filter. Disregard random thought #10.
  11. Remember when we had the threat of murder hornets?
  12. What murder hornets? I don’t remember any murder hornets.
  13. First it was toilet paper. Now it’s paper towels. What will be the next unattainable thing? If it’s Netflix, I may have to reconsider that trip to Mars.
  14. When you resort to wearing your retainer all day to stop yourself from snacking, you probably should seek help.
  15. My dog can’t wait for me to go back into the office so he can continue to lick all his private parts in peace.
  16. I never thought I’d be as excited as I am these days to go down the cleaning aisle at the grocery store. Finding Lysol wipes is as exhilarating for me as reaching that ever elusive itch in the middle of my back.
  17. I don’t care what side of the fence you are on, you have to admit these fly memes are kinda funny. Come on, they are.
I don’t know where this originated from but thanks to “People I Want to Punch in the Throat” I now know it exists.

There really is so much more where that came from, but I have run out of time. I have to go do something productive. Like look for paper towels. Or at least figure out how to make them.

Friday the 13th Part XII: The Coronavirus

The shelves are empty. People are fighting over a roll of toilet paper. Schools are closing. Events are being cancelled. Businesses are locking their doors.

It almost feels like we are hunkering down for the blizzard of the century. And it’s not limited to my little part of the country. It’s everywhere and widespread. The entire world is in on this.

The…Entire…World.

Only it’s not a snowstorm. It’s a really bad “B” movie with zombies and aliens, and we can’t get away. As the wise Pat Benetar once said, “got nowhere to run, got nowhere to hide.”

You can’t trust anyone. People are feeling crazy, losing their minds. The National Guard has been called into some areas. They have shut down roads. People are quarantined — not allowed out, not allowed in. There’s mass hysteria. There are no supplies to speak of because we were fools and didn’t listen to the “Doomsdayers.” And to top things off, it all came to a head on Friday the 13th in the United States. The only thing we’re missing is Jason.

Random Jason pic and random mask pic from Google. Creds for putting them together goes to The Kid.

Except it’s not a movie. It’s real life and we’re all living it. Although there are no zombies, there are aliens. And it comes in the form of a virus.

I have washed my hands so much the skin is peeling off. I haven’t touched my face in so long that I forget what my face feels like. If I accidentally touch a door handle with so much as my pinky finger, I get completely disgusted. I run to the nearest sink or hand sanitizing station before I do anything else. Repeat ten thousand times in what seems like a ten minute period because people touched the sink. See the problem?

I’m usually not an alarmist when it comes to this stuff. I really am typically not that fearful. Hell, if I didn’t have a husband with asthma, I might take advantage of the $65 round trip flight to sunny Florida.

But I do have a husband with asthma and there are people out there who don’t have strong immune systems. We also have to worry about our elderly. Therefore, we need to act responsibly. I need to act responsibly. Even though acting responsibly is just about one of my least favorite things to do.

Although at times this all seems a bit extreme, I will order my *groceries online, make sure I have enough wine to last through an apocalypse, and remain calm.

Are you calm? I’m calm. Oh, where did I leave that damn cork screw?

*I tried to order my groceries online except there was a week-long waiting period for a delivery. Instead, I weathered “the storm” and was able to get what I needed. I had to leave the house before the sun was up and be amongst the zombis…err, other people…but I survived. Well, maybe. I won’t really know for another 14 days.