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Sunday, April 5, 2020

CoronaVirus, Day ? (lost count). Architecture in the Catskills

Few observations -

I'm wearing a mask when I go out.  I'll probably paint lips and a tongue on it, just for kicks.  One has to wonder how long it will be till the NYTimes runs a fashion article about different mask makeups.

For some reason, while my grocery store's shelve are alarmingly getting less filled across a broad array of items, clam chowder this week seemed to be holding it's own.  Whereas, Campbells Tomato soup, which i was listing as strangely available, was gone this week, and lord have mercy, I had to go off-brand, which I have never done.




A lot of people are walking their dogs.  Dogs are getting more walks, getting more attention, than ever before as people stay home and look for something to do.  I noticed while walking my little 1 mile loop, which is typically solitary, all sorts of new dogs and people.  Happy days are here again for the canines.

I feel retired, trying to fill my days, which I'm doing pretty well.  The key seems to be to acknowledge a few realities.  1, you aren't going to be as productive, so accept it.  2, because of the lack of travel, commuting, errands, sports, kids activities, etc..., the days are longer, and take more 'effort' to fill. 3, to survive the time, you have to reinvent, with an acceptance of downtime, acceptance of a slowdown and redefine the auto-response of 'busy' to define a successful life to something unAmerican like 'satisfied, bored, and sitting quietly'.  It's as much as a mental pivot as a physical one, and for Americans, not necessarily the worst thing ever for a gogo culture.

Noted a very strange and counterintuitive development, that being a real halt to my online shopping.  For months or longer I've been annoyed at the frequent one click shopping, with little or no real budget or thought of real necessity.  I mean, it's a continuation of the day to day bounce from 100 other activities that the purchases while not unnecessary or desired, happened as a 'check that off the list' routine among 100 others, but when you got the credit card statement it was an 'ugh' moment with half the things hardly touched (like my 32 piece sketch and drawing portfolio set or my 8' extension arm to hang Christmas lights on trees in my yard, to unfairly single out two).  But low and behold, since I've been hangin' at home, you'd think the shopping would fill some of the void, but it seems that reducing consumerism in one direction (physical), sort of reduces it across the board.  Sure, I'm still buying stuff (like my new toaster, which resulted in eating a lot more bread), but not big ticket items, and not at the rate one would guess with all the time I have on my hands.

Which makes me wonder how many people and families will take away from this isolation a new set of priorities and realizations about what they thought they needed in their lives and what they actually do need.  I'm just wondering if for some people, the awareness of 'buying whatever, whenever' was bringing less joy than may appear, may pivot and just consume less for the foreseeable future once this is over - like once off the roller coaster of 'buy this, buy this now amazon culture', it's easier to stay off.

I find my days go 1 of two ways - they are either lightly structured, moving through breakfast, tasks, dog walks, kitchen cleanups, work tasks, exercise, etc... or they aren't, and I barely shower, do my hair and accomplish much of anything.  Even the former is done at a slow pace, but like a retiree, it has the form of structure, so what I'm finding is while you have to give yourself a break in comparing it in anyway to what was being done prior to the outbreak, a semblance of structure and routine goes a long way.

Otherwise, you get caught in the loop I did the other day, when I finally turned off CNN and found myself somewhat entertained watching daytime TV shows like Ellen, PD Live (Cops spinoff) and a few others too shameful to mention.

Even if you do fill your days, there is too much day to fill, so I'm getting a lot of movies in - Lately "Lord of the Flies", 1963 version, 'Of Mice and Men', John Malkovich, 1992, "Lawrence of Arabia", "The Favourite", "Dumb and Dumber', "Dumb and Dumber To", "Ground Hog Day", you get the picture.  It's embarrassing in a vague way to know my bookkeeper is seeing all these purchases.

I call this picture below "Dog sitting on a new stone wall on a Friday evening c. Happy Hour"


I'm doing a lot of watching and waiting.  Waiting for my wildflowers to grow I planted last fall, waiting for the leaves to bud, waiting for grass to grow.  No rush though, I got nothing planned or pressing.

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