Five Weeks In?

Something like that?

Steady state here, although New York is still losing hundreds of residents a day.  I suspect that at some point, it will hit me what that means, and I’ll become unfunctional for a while.  Still numb.  I do think my ability to be empathetic about the death of large numbers of people I don’t know was somewhat scarred over (along with a lot of other feelings) by 9/11.  There was definitely a pre-9/11 Eric that was very much a different person from post-9/11 Eric.

I do keep going through the loop of ‘I want to help – what can I do?’.  I already volunteered for that tech thing (and I did get an email back, but I don’t think it’s a call to action yet).  I have to keep reminding myself that a lot of times the most helpful thing is to get out of the way, and we’ve certainly been doing that.

Now that I’ve finished the study and test for the cybersecurity certification (which had a deadline), I think it’s time to rear back a bit and deal with some other issues.  Like I probably need to make a new will.  My will as it stands now will probably get the job done, but it’s ten years old and a lot has changed and I probably should be more specific or more informed about some of the bequests.  Did I mention that on the way home from Spain in October (the trip which started with us landing in Madrid, only to find my mom was in the hospital – step 1 of her downhill slide for the next three months), I did the though exercise of, OK, here are the four people closest to me – my spouse and my nuclear family – A,B,C,D.  If A dies first, what does that imply?  (and then B, and then C and so on)  Mapping out the various scenarios, in the different orders.

(I guess I would be “E” and you could put me in the order too, but once E dies, game over as far as E is concerned.)

Anyway, as a responsible adult, I have to realize that – of course though death can come for any of us at any time – right now it really seems like death could happen at any time.  So … make sure the will is up-to-date.

For the record, I don’t want a funeral, I want a concert where all my friends play and then there’s a party.

And the other thing is maybe it’s finally time to get a shrink.  I’ve been meaning to go into therapy for months now – much like the virus is doing to show up the flaws in the country’s safety systems and infrastructure, my life over the last few years has shown me how not-solid my sense of self is and how I need to shore that up.

So, yeah, I finished the training materials on Wednesday, and thought, OK, so I can review them and take the test Friday afternoon.  Which is what I did, except Thursday I really was sluggish and only got through about a third of it, and that meant that Friday was totally about cramming for the test, then taking the test.  (Skills you gain in college are still useful, I see.)

I thought the test went fine.  It was delivered online and ‘proctored’ – they had me actually do a camera pan of my desk and surroundings to make sure I didn’t have cheat material on my desk.  (I did, actually, but it was in a closed folder.)  Not allowed to have anyone come in the room, and no food allowed (!!), just drinks in a clear container with no label.  (they are really worried about cheating, I guess).  Test was 75 questions, took me less than a half hour to get through them, so I went and reviewed.  There was one where I couldn’t remember, for data categorization and data classification, which one was about figuring out what type of data it is (i.e., personal confidential info) and which one was about how secure it needs to be. But further questions made that clear in context, so I went back and fixed it.

Once finished, they came back with a splash page that said that IIBA is still establishing a baseline for a passing grade and they’d let me know my results in eight weeks. WTF. I know it’s a new certification, but that seems silly. My friend Mike mentioned that for one of his certifications, they passed the top X%, but that doesn’t make any sense either, to grade on a curve. This is a test of how well you know the material, and it shouldn’t matter whether 5% pass or 100% pass.  So, bummer about that, but it’s done regardless and I still opened the bottle of champagne I put in the fridge in the morning.  I am my own party.

Media consumption… last weekend, we watched the 50’s color version of The Prisoner of Zenda (which apparently uses almost exactly the same script as the 30’s black and white version, which C had already seen).   It was a lot of fun!  I’m enjoying the book, too.  I think I’ll start KJ Charles’s The Henchmen of Zenda this weekend.

We also watched Onward, which was really different and pretty good, and super-touching at the end.  Oh, and (for Easter), in the afternoon, we watched Easter Parade.  I don’t mind watching Easter Parade at all, but it’s kind of a clunky movie – for instance, Peter Lawford’s character doesn’t really have much of a place in the story – and the music is all second-tier Berlin.  “Drum-Crazy”, really?   Also, why would Judy fall in love with Fred Astaire when he’s been nothing but a jerk to her for the entire film?  Women, sheesh.

We finished Tiger King and did the first episode of the new season of Good Fight and then tackled something that C has been asking for for a while: When They See Us.  We got about halfway through the first episode while eating dinner and then I realized, “I just don’t have the stomach for this right now.”, cleaned up and went away and read until C finished it and came to the bedroom.  It’s good, no question, and important subject, but hard to watch and I just was not up for it.

And thank goodness for the frustrated artists who are producing content even when trapped at home.  Here’s two lovely, one funny.

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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