Q2

Second quarter of the year.  Still unemployed.  The entire country is on lockdown.  Where did I go wrong?

Smart people are now recommending that you wear face coverings in public – not so much to keep you from getting sick, but to keep you from spreading it to others if you are sick.  OK, that’s not hard.  Here are two banditos grocery shopping:

I’ve ordered some more bandanas from Amazon – so far, there’s not a run on them the way there has been, say, toilet paper.

Speaking of which, C’s niece in St. Paul sent us some toilet paper.  We weren’t desperate for it, it was just a nice thing to do.  She must have told her parents, because then C’s brother and sister-in-law also sent us some.  So we’re good for a while.  Now I’m urging him to see what else we can get out of them, heh-heh-heh.

OK, I can joke, but it’s awful  Death toll here in the city is in the thousands, and they keep saying that the hardest-hit is Elmhurst Hospital.  If we walk out our front door, turn left and just walk down 80th St. for 10 minutes, we’d walk straight into Elmhurst Hospital.  So that’s … frightening.  And refrigerator trucks outside the hospital for the bodies.  Aaaaaugh.

It’s frustrating, because of course I want to help somehow, but I have no medical training and they’re advising older people to stay home and not volunteer and I can’t even throw money at it, because I’m unemployed.

Actually… it’s kind of amazing, but I’m doing OK financially.   It’s awful that the newly-unemployed are clogging the system trying to sign up for unemployment, but of course I was already in the system and I’m getting my benefit every week.  I’m also guessing that they could extend unemployment benefits past the half year or whatever, and while I hope I don’t need that, if I do, that would be super-helpful.

Credit card purchases are going to a currently-zero-percent card, and although I send them a nice chunk every month, I’m still carrying a balance.  But even if I have to pay it all at once once the rate goes up, I can do that.  I have a nice nest egg from the first layoff and the tax overpayment from last year.   There is a (small, I hope, cross your fingers) possibility that the car accident might result in a huge bill.  It already has, actually – Avis has valued the loss and wants recompense – they declared the car totalled, which puzzles me, because it really was just the fender and the car was just fine, drivable otherwise.  I don’t know how that sort of thing works.  But Amex, the credit card, is handling the claim.  Best possible outcome – Amex covers the whole thing.  Worst is I roll snake eyes and have to pay that entire amount – and, although it’s a fuckton of money, I could in fact do it, waving goodbye to my nest egg.  Could be somewhere in the middle?  We’ll see, I guess.


Other than that, I’m being good about sticking to my routine.  Trying to exercise every day.  Having my oatmeal or frittata every morning, and making another batch when I need to.  I have a recurring task list that I go through every weekday for the job search.  Studying for this cybersecurity certification – I’m a third of the way through the online training now and should be ready to take the test in a couple of weeks.  Once that’s done, I may turn to the bigger, more helpful and meaningful certification – turns out that doing the coursework isn’t as much of a pain as I thought, and it’s not as expensive either.  I’m doing webinars here and there when they are interesting and popping up.

C and I are both getting in the habit of not only calling our friends and family more, but setting up videos.  We’re going to do a webchat with both our nieces this weekend, and I’ve got some others set up, or planning to.

Media consumption: oo, we watched Uncut Gems.  It’s fantastic, but it will give you an anxiety attack – it keeps you tense without letup for over two hours.  We finished the “Family” documentary miniseries (ehh not great) and am now watching Feud: Bette and Joan.  It’s a hoot, but it almost feels like a cheat – it’s so over the top and so clearly aimed at gays, it feels like a script written for drag queens to perform.  Fantastic cast and so well done.  C and I both agree that Susan Sarandon could have played Joan Crawford as well as she does Bette Davis, but Jessica Lange couldn’t have switched roles.  The guy playing Victor Buono is perfect.   We only have one episode left, not sure what we’ll tackle next.  C wants to see the Ava DuVernay series about the Central Park Five – that’ll be, um, cheery.

The National Theatre is offering free streams on Youtube of some of its shows, and One Man, Two Guvnors is up this week.  We’re going to watch it tonight, I think, we missed it on Broadway.  Reportedly pee-your-pants funny.

Bookwise, finishing up the Last Herald Mage trilogy (yet again).  Read the main three “Magpie” books by KJ Charles, they are priceless.  What a find – I’m going to resist just reading her entire oeuvre in one go, but I’m very tempted.  Also reading Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, which is a lot of fun.

Knitting a felted bowl.  It’s an experiment, very interested to see how it turns out.  The bowl itself is easy to knit, and I got to use up some yarn I couldn’t do anything else with.  I’ll post pictures when it’s done.  I’m particularly interested to see how much the bowl shrinks when I felt it – I suspect a lot.

All right, everyone, stay safe!


This post is part of a larger project, #MOC19. Read more about the Mass Observation COVID-19 project here.  Also, we are trying to publicize this projects – if you have any ideas about good ways to do so, please let me know.

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