Tuesday, January 25, 2022

plan to change to plan

I may have mentioned that planning is a laughable activity these days. Surprising no one, 2020-too is proving the rule, not the exception. This week was to be the start of a two-week holiday jaunt down the coast and east to New Orleans, but omicron and the lack of testing made me think it's best to delay a few weeks.

My s.o. is celebrating a birthday so we relocated to an Airbnb in a nearby neighborhood for a few nights. Or so we thought, until the drunk bro's arrived to party in the unit upstairs. A few hours of yelling, thumping and door slamming later, I complained, which enraged them into further stomping and hollering. At 1 am they pounded on my front door screaming Come outside, so we packed up and left, gunning the rental car onto a foggy dark street, my legs shaking so hard that I had to pull over and take deep breaths. I got my money back and we reconfigured the rest of the weekend but I'm tired and wrung out. My body feels like a couple of wrestlers pummeled me.

On the bright side, there were delicious pastries from a Salvadoran bakery, homemade enchiladas and breakfast tostadas, some long walks with coffee and a joint, and lots of Australian Open tennis. 

My only plan now is to enjoy the bright moments in each day, however brief.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

deus ex cinema

Many Sundays are movie days for me. I chef up some popcorn, grab a beverage and hit the couch to watch one, two, even three movies, anything that looks interesting or fun. It feels luxurious to give myself these hours to watch what I want. The only rule is if I'm not enjoying it, move on and and find something else. 

Last week I watched "Icarus," a documentary that starts out as a look at the world of doping in cycling and morphs into a real-world thriller involving a crooked Russian scientist, a massive scandal and at least one suspicious death. 

I also plowed through "Justice League," the Zack Snyder cut. Cyborg and Flash were by far the most interesting and fun characters. DC really is a vibe killer, and not subtle when it comes to family and romantic melodrama (will Wonder Woman ever pass the Bechdel test?). When Superman stood on screen shirtless, his gut sucked in, chest hair carefully shaped and manicured, I cackled out loud. At least Ben Affleck seems to realize that Batman is ridiculous and plays him as louche and disaffected.

And speaking of superheroes, I also watched the "Hawkeye" series, which for me was mostly successful due to its lack of focus on Jeremy Renner. I truly enjoyed the up-and-comer archer played by Hailey Steinfeld, as well as Echo, the complex enforcer who is Native American and a deaf woman and fights to kill.

Monday, January 17, 2022

cautiously cautious

It's been a week of birthday and vacation prep. I have a lot of cappies in my life and trying to be festive and also safe-ish is a challenge during year 3 of this sheeit.

****I'm sick of discussing the pandemmy and yet it's ALL we talk about. ALL of us. ALL of the time. Even when we don't want to. It's the text, the sub-text, the meta, everything. Always.


Last weekend I ordered cupcakes and cookies and spent half a day traversing the city in a Zipcar (sitting at 1/2 a tank and missing its gas card, naturally), delivering treats and saying masked, sidewalk hellos to friends. After last year's lonely trauma I couldn't risk another spiral. And it turned out mostly great! Lots of smiles and air hugs and catch-up chats and one inadvertent merge onto eastbound 520.

Then an hour at a lakefront park with 3 friends, some Prosecco and chocolate popcorn and the remaining cookies. And finally home for Indian food and some family and friend Zooms.

Another day my niece brought me homemade chocolate tarts, piped with white flowers and dusted with edible gold dust. 

There was a moment on my friend's front steps, when we realized we haven't laid eyes on each other in two years. If I think about it I'll cry, I said. 

We just keep soldiering along, vaxxing and masking and waiting for better times, still thinking that they're just around the corner. I want to believe this is true, but it's getting harder to be optimistic. We're radicalized now. The government ain't going to do much, and a third of our fellow humans don't give a rat's ass about anyone else. 

We're all we got.

There's no going back. Only forward. Into what's next.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Friday, December 31, 2021

just bounce, baby

Life since Thanksgiving has felt like being on a trampoline. Every plan changes. Every day something has to flex, adjust, be canceled or rescheduled. Every outing is a calculation of risk. Staying home is the safest thing covid-wise but the deadliest mental health-wise.

We pulled off Hannukah just before the variant swept through, keeping the guest list tight, staggering 2 people here, then 3 people an hour later. Windows were open and distance was kept and the post-fete negative covid test was a relief.
Our family’s grand plans for a holiday together began falling apart a week before Christmas. Snow loomed in the forecast, all up and down the highway corridor we’d be traveling. Omicron meant our destination was implementing new restrictions on gatherings and updating them daily. One person got sick, then another. We ended up celebrating as we did in 2020, at our separate homes and on Zoom.
It’s a bitter pill in a year when it seems like that’s all we’ve had to dine recently.
To keep my spirits up, I’m still reading and enjoying media.
Shang Chi was the feature film for Christmas Day. It’s wonderful! Funny and intricately planned and paced, from the way information is released to the knockout action scene on a San Francisco city bus. I need to watch again so I can enjoy the spectacle.

I just finished Casey Plett’s Little Fish, about a trans woman in Canada who finds out her Mennonite grandfather may have been gay or trans. The writing is raw and courageous. Plett mentions Torrey Peters in the afterword and I think this is a perfect companion piece to Detransition, Baby. Both books address pain head on and like massaging a bruise, make it hurt a little extra so that together we come to a greater understanding.

Another gem is Janet Mock’s Surpassing Certainty: What my Twenties Taught Me. This memoir by an acclaimed writer and executive producer for Pose is a window into a trans woman of color’s experience getting jobs, marrying, studying journalism and finding her place in the very white, very male world of publishing.

As we inch closer to 2022 I feel relief--bye bitch--and anxiety. I’m looking forward to writing and books and love and friends and good times and delicious cocktails. Don’t let me down 2022.

bsp videos don't sleep on 'em