I have driven my car 729 miles since January. The last time I bought gas was in mid-May and with all my discounts, it cost $.45/gallon.
We have attended one show in 2020. This time last year we had enjoyed 9 shows. In 2018, we were at 16 shows.
Just when it seemed hopeless this summer that we’d hear any live music, two substitutes showed up. It isn’t the same, but it helps a little.
BBC Music just released a ton of videos from past Glastonbury Festivals.
The Richmond Symphony is doing a Beethoven recital series in July. We bought a ticket to the live stream.
No matter how the world goes, its important to maintain some traditions. For us that is smoking a meat. Today it is chicken. We brined it over night and then threw it on the smoker. No other rubs or sauces. I can’t wait to see what happens. I’m guessing deliciousness.
We have a surplus of mayo because a friend heard, incorrectly as it turns out, there was a shortage of Duke’s. We made chocolate cake yesterday and used some mayo. It is a recipe from the Depression when eggs and milk were scarce.
If anyone is worried about whether Lucy likes to hang out on the porch, this is how things generally are at our house these days. She’s in “her” chair, the better-half in his and I’m on the settee.
The better-half and I were talking the other day about how I used to keep a journal to chronicle our first years as a married couple. Whenever we dip into those notebooks (very occasionally) we have to remind ourselves why I was so amped up about something. Honestly, it usually related to the antics of his mother or my father. It really doesn’t matter anymore, but at the time…boy howdy. This relates to the current situation we find ourselves in. We’re wondering if we should be documenting this more somehow and what we’d say to the future. In the end, does it really matter that I sit at the gd kitchen counter for 8 or whatever hours each day? The days are relentlessly the same. We wake up, go to work, stop working, make dinner. Start over. The weekends are better because that usually means chores.
I ordered a completely ridiculous trucker hat with my Bitmoji on it so I can be weird in all of the endless video calls I’m on. I also have a rainbow wig that has made an appearance. It’s the small things. Here’s the cat, in the box that contained the ridiculous trucker hat:
Our garden has produced a ton of lettuce and spinach. We had so much spinach and so made spinach lasagna last night:
It was great last night and I expect it will be even better tonight. In addition to the homegrown spinach, we thawed the last of the tomato sauce I made last year and used that too. We were fortunate to get some sheep ricotta from our favorite butchery. We used all of that and a wee bit of leftover regular ricotta. Heaven help us, sheep ricotta is great on a crostini and even better in this lasagna.
We made red beans and rice the other day in the crock pot and because I can’t help myself, I made too much rice. We tried a thing that is apparently on Instagram, but we don’t ‘gram so I can’t say for sure. We have wanted to try the crispy rice thing for some time now and we’re really motivated now after we ate this for breakfast:
I pulled out the cast iron skillet, dumped in some olive oil and added the leftover rice. That cooked for 15 minutes (?) and then I made divots for two eggs. I covered the pan so the tops of the eggs would set. Crispy rice is a thing of joy. The eggs were set, not runny but jammy, and we added zaatar and salt and pepper. I think next time I’d like a little chili flake in there too.
Michael Franti always comes through.
Know how sometimes someone says something to you about you that is so false that you can’t even believe it? Happened to me today. The person who said it didn’t even hear herself say it. Yes, I’m being vague.
The words were along the lines of I totally forgot that since the late 1990s you’ve been involved in training and development of adults (which, by the way means I want everyone to learn new skills) and that I once said you’ll never get a job because you don’t know technology. Nearly my entire career has been about helping people learn how to use technology so they can do their jobs better. I went back to school twice so I could hone my craft. I am in it to win it and this is the bullshit out of someone’s mouth.
I like it better when quarantine means being nice to each other.
We didn’t go out with friends this week and we cancelled the reservation for next week. We did order lunch from the sub shop down the street and are going to get dinner and wine from our favorite spot because praise Jesub the state of VA is relaxing its booze rules for restaurants. You know we are a step away from the apocalypse if VA is doing the smart thing.
Work from home week was so successful we’re doing it again next week. My team now has a Slack page that we’re totally goofing on. We’ve all gotten over our fear of webcams. I think webcams are great because it means people are getting up and showering every day because no one wants to look like a freak (even if we know and love them for that). A small bit of encouragement from me and others also means my team is going outside even if it only means walking in their neighborhoods or eating lunch outside. It’s the small things.
The balance between supporting local businesses and not gathering is tough, right? We have two reservations for dinner at local spots over the next couple of weeks. Until the restaurants tell us not to go, we’ll go, but it does feel weird, right? If there are 35 other people in the room and it is a small room, I may not stay. I don’t want to be Typhoid Mary. It’s a balance.
Our plans for next weekend were cancelled the other day. No cultural event for us. Then there’s the band that is on tour through April that has paused their engagements. The venue has not released the money back to our card yet because they don’t know if they’ll be able to host the show at the end of April or not. Or maybe the show will be in August? Who knows. We’re waiting to learn more.
Tomorrow, my company is having an all-hands work from home day. This is to test the load. Apparently, there are some who have never worked from home. I was shocked to hear this. But, now they get to practice connecting remotely. I have four meetings on Monday so it will be interesting how all of them go. Other companies are 100% work from home so it isn’t impossible. I’ll be checking in with my team to learn how they did. Day one won’t be a big deal for us, but day ten might be.
It’s funny what people scoop up during panic buying. This is not a gastro-virus so what’s up with the toilet paper craze? We have enough food to comfortably eat for two weeks and then we’ll devolve into weird concoctions. We’re hoping to clean out our freezer. Wouldn’t that be a good outcome? Eat all that stuff we froze and then spend money at our local butcher and seafood shops?
Last weekend we went to Asheville for a few days. I’m ready to go back there. The best thing happened while we were there. It snowed.
Saturday we had snow for about half of the day. It was also windy and cold so we experienced winter in one day this year. We had tickets for the first time period at the Biltmore and had to stand in the massive front door area to get out of the wind.
The mansion is amazing and I’m very curious what the rooms look like that are not on display. Also, rich people back in the day clearly did not care about lounging around. The furniture, while beautiful, looked like you’d rather be strung out on a rack.
Asheville = good food, good beer and nice people. We had good meals all weekend and one place stood out. We can’t stop talking about it.
We ate pretzels with our beer at Wicked Weed and we’ll be making pretzels today. It’s interesting that on the day we were at Wicked Weed, it was very much spring again as there was a large crowd on the patio. So Asheville is much like Richmond in that if you don’t like the weather, just wait.
Our information security team sends fake emails to us on the regular so we’ll, hopefully, know what phishing looks like and not fall prey to stupid. The other day one phishing effort went around and several people in my department received the fake email. Only one person was slightly tempted to click on it, because in 2010 it was an actual thing that the company did–give Amazon gift cards as an attagirl/attaboy. She actually had one of those emails from 2010(!) and shared it with us. She also said she was cleaning out her mailbox. Now, I don’t feel bad that I just deleted stuff from 2016.
I got promoted last week. I’ve known this was coming since early October but there is so much to do before things like that can happen. SO MANY THINGS. Anyway, now everyone knows about how we’re shaking up the department and who reports to whom. When the news was first announced, one of my employees was so flustered she didn’t stop talking for the full 30 minute meeting I had with her after the announcement. Girl, take a breath.
I think that’s going to be my mantra going forward for the next several months. Take a breath.