So the thoughts go, ah, another cousin has died. He was seventy-three. Positive for COVID-19, kidney failure was his cause of death.
The thoughts continue, when did I see him last? What happened to him in the interim?
The thoughts drift…did he marry and have children? Who are they and where do they live?
The thoughts roll on to other uncles and aunts and their children, and their children’s children.
Two other cousins passed away in 2020. Hadn’t seen one in two decades. Almost six had passed since I’d seen the other. They and I were small children. Also passing was an aunt, not seen since I was two or three.
In a modern age of connection and travel, it’s startling to recognize how many of my family members I know about, and how little I know about them.
Two related stories are there to be told. One is of a cousin fourteen years younger. He was friends with my sister via FB. (My sister has a different father than me and last name and she’s since married a few times.) He reached out to her: “Hey, how come my mom’s maiden name and your brother’s last name are the same?” He was too young to remember me, and didn’t know about our connection.
Another friend request came in last year. Mom’s older brother had a son who know lives north of me by a few hours. Can we be friends? A few years older, he and I have a lot in common. On one FB exchange today, we discovered that we attended the same Joe Cocker concern a few years ago. From our description of where we were sitting, we were within yards of one another.
It’s a large world and a small world, a world tangled with connections and distance. I began trying to untangle some of it today.
Floofblematic (floofinition) – A difficult issue to solve involving animals.
In use: “Find a stray can be floofblematic as the animal might be someone’s pet who has become lost, an issue that microchips and the database of pets and owners is hoping to reduce.”
Nine Inch Floofs (floofinition) – Industrial floof rock (flock) band. Formed in Clevefloofland in 1988, the group’s name is frequently stylized as NIF, and their fans are known as NIFits. Nine Inch Floofs were inducted into the Floof and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.
In use: “Nominated for thirteen Floofy Awards, Nine Inch Floofs won twice, including for their song, “Floofiness in Slavery” in 1996.”
- The more that I’m writing, the worst that I sleep. I dream more when I’m writing more, too. Yesterday produced a great writing session, a miserable night of sleep, and a flotilla of dreams.
- I think that I sleep worst when I’m writing more because more of my brain is engaged in the writing process. The writing is consuming more bandwidth; shutting it down at day’s end is problematic. I keep writing while I’m doing other things, including trying to sleep.
- The good news with the novel in progress is that the characters escaped Arsehold at last! How surprised me, but was totally in tone with the rest of the book. This is, of course, when writing is most fun and rewarding.
- I always worry about saying too much about writing these days. I don’t want to jinx it when it’s going well, you know? Don’t want to scare off or anger the muses. I never elaborate to others about what I’m writing any more. It’s a novel; it’s meant to be read. I don’t want to explain it; I want people to read it. Sometimes it’s hard to stay true to this as excitement about the story, characters, and concept bubble up and make me happy. I guess I’m an eternal optimist that these stories and novels will come to be in people’s hands someday. Really, though, I write for me and have a good time doing it.
- I’m subscribed to HBOMax and enjoying several shows. Nevertheless, I have a complaint about the service. Every time I select it, the first thing that comes up is, “Who is watching?” My name is right there on top. It’s the only name. Below it are options to add other profiles or to add a kid. Seriously? Why must I answer this every friggin’ time? Just accept, I am the one watching, and get on with it. If I want to add someone else, I can go into options or the account, you know. It shouldn’t, I suppose, but it irks me to no end.
- COVID-19 vaccinations are increasing among friends and family. I know ten people who have been vaccinated. Three different states – Oregon, Texas, and Pennsylvania – are involved. All who were vaccinated except one were seventy plus years old. The one exception is in her forties and is in the healthcare industry, although she’s in research. Both vaccines have been employed among this small sampling. None have reported significant adverse reactions beyond a desire to nap and mild fevers. Let me know how your vaccination goes, please.
- My wife and I are a year apart in age, which adds another spin to our vaxsit. I’m sixty-four and a half. I turn sixty-five in July. I’ll be eligible. But do we want to do it if we can’t do it at the same time? Part of our formula about whether and when is that I have hypertension and she has RA. I suspect that we’ll be included as part of a group that’s fifty years and older later this year, making our one year difference moot.
- I mentioned oatmeal in another post, and the huntress commented on oatmeal. Her mother made it very thin. Soupy thin. I think of that as gruel. Yeah, I know it’s not the same. While that’s how my wife eats it, I’m not a fan of it. I make my oat meal so thick, it’s almost a soft cookie.
- I grew up putting brown sugar in my oatmeal. Well, it started as white sugar but once I had it with brown sugar, the game was done. I then learned to add raisins and nuts. Now I put all manner of things in my oatmeal. I currently add cranberries and walnuts in my oatmeal, and granola as a topping. I like the contrasting crunchiness and flavor.
- When I was first served oatmeal at my wife’s house while in my teens, they surprised me by adding butter and bacon on top. I’d never heard of such a thing! That surprised them, because that’s how they always ate it. Adding bacon and butter to my oatmeal wasn’t something that I adopted. My wife doesn’t add it to her oatmeal, either.
- The world seems weirdly calmer with Joe Biden in office as President. Is this my imagination? Am I just reading less news? That doesn’t seem to be the case. Have news outlets shifted how they’ve reported? Perhaps. Or is it that there’s less bad news, or it’s being less reported, or not catching my eye… Maybe we’re just in an intermission in the bad news cycle.
- Or maybe it’s some sense of numbing of normalization to bad news. Locally — specifically, in Jackson County, Oregon — COVID-19 positive cases have been declining. We haven’t had triple digits in several days. We’re trending down, but we trended down in November. Then we had a Christmas spike. Meanwhile, people aged 20-29 are the most positive cases here, but those aged fifty and older dominate the hospital beds, inline with what’s been seen elsewhere, and what’s generally expected.
- Okay, got my coffee, actually my second cup. No mid-morning treat to go with it. No cookies, pastries, or doughnuts. Nevertheless, time to write like crazy, at least one more time.
Today is January 22, 2021. Sunrise is 7:33 AM and sunset is 5:13 PM in Ashland, Oregon, moving us closer to ten hours of sunlit. Our temperature is 37 F. Choppy layers of clouds, like pieces of clothing being sorted and stretched, are moving as the weather finds itself. A storm is shyly crowding in. We might have snow next week. We’ll definitely have colder weather.
Hammerin’ Hank Aaron passed away. Hammerin’ Hank broke Babe Ruth’s MLB home run record in 1974. I graduated high school and joined the military that year, so that’s childhood’s end for me.
When I think of my childhood, Hank Aaron and baseball were a large part of it, almost as big as music and politics. Music was defined by its growing presence on television and the increasing number of festivals and stadium shows. Other things from that era include the Doomsday Clock and the chance of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. using nukes, the Vietnam War and the peace talks, Watergate, student protests and riots in the 1960s, the oil embargo and gas shortages, and the explosive spread of cable television. Reasoner, Smith, Rather, Brinkley, and Hunt gave us the news at night. We were sending rockets with men in them to the moon and talking about the future of computers where everyone would have one in their home. The EPA had been created and the ERA was still a possibility, acronyms which were regularly discussed in school and on talk show panels.
It’s nice having President Biden in the White House. Nice not waking up to see what madness Biden’s predecessor was saying. Been a while since I read about a Karen employing privilege to insult and attack others. Coincidence? No.
Today’s song comes after another busy dream night. In one dream, I and others sometimes say, “There she goes,” in response to someone we’re looking for. In the course of thinking about that dream and phrase, the LA’s 1991 song, “There She Goes”, jumped into the thoughts. I guess my mind thought that would be helpful. It wasn’t.
Anyway, “There She Goes” is a strange song to me. It feels and sounds like something that should have been a hit in the early seventies or late sixties due its simple structure and sound. It’s also a brief song, under three minutes. Growing up with pop/rock, songs on the radio were typically three to four minutes long, so this song is ending just when you expect it to explode with something more. It doesn’t, leaving me asking, “Was that it?”
Here we go. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. Cheers