Covid Diaries - Testing

In terms of lockdown, I have been pretty good about just staying at home. Kitty, on the other paw, feels like she has to get out and go shopping on a regular basis. It sort of drives me nuts, but she does get a few items that we might be needing. She started feeling sick last Monday and took a few days off from work. Her symptoms seemed totally unrelated to the virus, but a tele-doc told her to get tested. So yesterday I got to see first-paw how the process is conducted. I didn't need a test unless she tested positive. They gave her several nasal and throat swabs. One was for a quick analysis to give an indication as to whether we should be concerned. It came back negative. *phew* I was worried because I had just gone to the dentist and eye doc over the past few days and would hate to be "that guy" who spread the disease. Hopefully her more robust test also comes back negative. I'm feeling fine, which unfortunately doesn't mean squat when it comes to this virus. I did get paranoid earlier in the week when I woke up in the middle of the night with my head just roasting. I didn't feel feverish, but my head was burning when the pillow wrapped around it. It must have just been a menopausal hot flash.

NYE 2020-21

Of course it was a quiet New Year's Eve. Kitty's friend came over and we had pizza. They wanted to watch some movies, so I obliged. The first was "Soul." I worried that it was some kind of "woke" movie. I was pleasantly surprised to find a very complex plot and outstanding Pixar animation. I was even more surprised to find out that the score was done by Trent Reznor. So, yeah, I expect this film will be nominated for a bunch of Oscars.

The next movie was "Wonder Woman 84." I wish I could say the same good things about this film like "Soul," but it was a shitshow. I am SO over superhero movies! And it was if the writers were 20-30-somethings who maybe heard things about the 80s and threw a bunch of things together. It was a mess. I lost interest in it almost immediately.

As midnight approached we switched back and forth to various coverages. Things ranged from a local broadcast from Santa Fe where they had local acts trying their best to perform, to horrible lip-synch acts from "internationally famous" artists that I had never heard of before. At midnight I quickly put on Sabot to welcome in the new year in fursuit. There was not too much gunfire this year. I finished off the evening like I had in years years past. In Chicago they always showed a Marx Brothers movie so that you would start the year with laughter. I found "A Night at the Opera" and enjoyed it until I passed out in my chair around 2 am. This morning we watched "Mank" on Netflix about the screenwriter from the 30s who wrote "Citizen Kane." I'm going to have to rewatch it. They skip around time so much that it was hard to keep the plotline straight. But you can bet that Gary Oldman will probably get a Best Actor nomination when the time comes.

Mesa Update - 2020

Ever since development started on the mesa in back of the house, I have been keeping track of how the work has been progressing in annual year=end posts. This year is no exception! Here is the latest map showing the houses that have been constructed or are being constructed. My own criteria is that the house gets added to the map when framing begins. I pointed out in an earlier post that there is at least one house that was started years ago and never completed. I guess they just ran out of money. This year the total is 149. In addition there are 28 houses in the Tiburon development (Unit 18). There are several lots with either foundations poured ready for framing or for a foundation ready to be poured. There are also several lots raised and leveled and waiting for foundations. They finally started a house above (to the west of) FurCentral. Thankfully it is a one-story job where only the top of the roof is visible from the patio.


Going back to old year-end posts, here is how the development has been going (# of houses not including Unit 18):
2014: 4
2015: 24
2016: 50
2017: 77
2018: 95
2019: 112
2020: 149

And with that...Happy Nude Deer!

Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra

Christmas has come and gone. Since it's 2020, a special day is called "another day." We actually had our "celebration" on the Tuesday before which consisted of me cooking up a rib roast which we shared with scritchwuff and Kitty's friend. After dinner we all sat back and watched "Christmas Vacation." Over the next few days we watched our usual assortment of Xmas shows; "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and "The Year Without a Santa Claus." On Christmas Eve we watched "It's a Wonderful Life," and on Christmas Day we watched "A Christmas Story" (of course while wearing a pink bunny suit!). We had debated about what to have for Christmas dinner and decided to finally do a "Christmas Story-themed" meal. We ordered out to a local Chinese restaurant. From what Kitty saw and heard when she went to pick up the food, many other folks had the same idea as we. We ordered a whole bunch of stuff knowing we would have leftovers for days. It ended up being a very memorable meal.

Conjunction Pics

I went up on the mesa on the 21st to catch the conjunction. I was worried that if I stayed in the yard I might miss it since the planets were setting right behind the mesa as seen from the patio. It turns out I could have stayed on the patio and seen it, but I would have had to get the timing right. As it turned out I had a lovely walkie and had a wonderful solstice moment. The Christmas lights and the lights of the city laid out before me, the Moon was shining right above me. Jupiter and Saturn were coming together. And a yotie was heard crying off in the distance. The Winter chill also helped remind me that I was alive and enjoying every minute.

Just after sunset. What I liked about this pic was just how sharp the terminator came out.


The conjunction as captured by a cell phone camera


I am wondering if I just happened to catch a reflection of "the green flash" just after the sun set. Perhaps it was just some other atmospheric aberration or some sort of camera effect.


What the Bear is Watching - Year-end Edition

Now that I'm home for a couple of weeks, I have been kicking back and enjoying the tube. So there's lots to comment on!

"The Mandalorian" - I have thoroughly enjoyed this season. I have been reading about how the show has been succeeding because it's building its own niche in the Star Wars franchise. So I will admit that I was a bit disappointed in the season finale in that it felt it just HAD to pay homage to the old skool Star Wars geeks. Some people really dug it. I thought it was pandering. No spoilers.

"Star Trek: Discovery" - I have been reading how the show painted itself into a corner at the end of S2 by including Spock and Pike. How do you reconcile timelines from the original series that are now only several years apart?!? Simple. Send Discovery 900 years into the future! Somehow it's working, but I have reservations. They hint of some huge cataclysm that happened which perhaps set back technology. But think about it. If some Vikings were suddenly thrust from 1100 to 2000, would anything about them be relevant in today's world? I will also say that the last episode we watched was one of the worst I have seen. It better pick up or I will give up on S4.

"Big Mouth" - I said I would not continue with this series after S3, but a friend said S4 was funny. Meh. The original concept of kids going through puberty with their sexual awakening manifesting itself as demons was good in S1 and 2. It wore thin in S3 and continued to do so in S4. I think I'm done.

"Breaking Bad" - I must say that the best part of binge-watching is the preservation of timeline. I watched this show when it was on the air. So there was a week between episodes and months between seasons. Plus they fucked around splitting the seasons to gain greater interest. It was SO much better to watch the entire show in chunks of 1-2 episodes per day every day. The plot continuity was preserved. I immediately re-watched "El Camino" which, once again, enjoyed much more the second time around with greater continuity. Continuing in this vane I am now re-watching "Better Call Saul"

"The Office" - I think I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I re-watched the entire series, all 188 episodes. I never realized how shark-jumpy it got near the end.

"His Dark Materials" - The show has moved on from "The Golden Compass" into "The Subtle Knife." So far it's staying fairly close to the books with a few new plot points to keep things interesting. I'm still not thrilled that they are downplaying a person's demon. But I am still enjoying the series overall.

"The Queen's Gambit" - I heard favorable things about this Netflix series about a female chess player in the 60's so I gave it a watch. It was quite good. Feminists were giving it rave reviews because it portrayed a complex female character. Yeah. OK. But the story is good as well as the acting.

"The Boys" - This kept popping up on my Amazon Prime page, so I gave it a watch. It's a very interesting take on superheroes where they exist in our world not so much to fight crime but to promote their brand and increase corporate profits. What happens when you give a Superman-like character the ego of Trump? I think it's a fun series.

"The Crown" - Yes, we're continuing to enjoy the latest season which bring the Royal Family into the 1980's.

Failure to Launch: Shows I tried and gave up on.

"Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts" - A Netflix animated series put out by Dreamworks. It looked interesting with some anthropomorphic characters, but the show was just a little too "woke" for me. They are really trying too hard to bring diversity and inclusiveness into entertainment. In the process they just come across as racist. A white girl who came from a loving world is suddenly thrust into a threatening landscape where she gets rescued by a street-smart black girl?!? Yeah. No. Gave up after a few episodes.

"Bleach" - When I joined the furry fandom there was a lot of overlap with anime. I felt excluded because I tried to give anime a shot, but I just didn't "get it." I remember listening to weeaboos at cons talk about learning Japanese so they could better appreciate the dialogue in their favorite series. I seemed to recall hearing about this series, so I gave it a watch since it's on Netflix. Either the translation is terrible or just the dialogue itself is, but I couldn't take more than a few episodes before the banality wore me down.

"Hilda" - Here's a case where the show itself is actually kinda wonderful, but it's geared for a much younger audience. I like kids' shows that can be enjoyed on both an adult and kids level. This is just a super cute show. Maybe I could put it in the same category as "Bluey" which is 100% kids, but it's so nice that it can instantly put a smile on your face.

Last Day of the Year

Today is officially my last work day of the year. I earn quite a bit of vacation time every year (the product of 29 years of seniority). On top of that I chose time off as a 2019 performance bonus at the beginning of the year. That left my leave bank bursting at the seams. With Covid, there was no place to go to spend that leave. So I ended up with almost 4 weeks of unused vacation that had to be used by Jan 4. I took about half of that to visit Mom last month. I will be taking the other half starting this afternoon. An extra bonus was that Trump gave us Christmas Eve off, so that was another freebie. I plan on getting some reading done as well as doing a little more binge watching. More on that in a future post.


"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!?" Hell no!" - Bluto

Just a quick update to good ol' LJ. Nothing has happened since my last post. I have really been hunkered down in quarantine, making sure I didn't catch anything on my trip home. Since it's now been 2 weeks and I'm feeling fine, I think I'm pretty safe. I hope to resume C.U.N.T. gatherings tomorrow. I have noticed that I seem to undergo bouts of depression. Rather than fight them I just sort of relax, turn off my mind, and float downstream. This has been a stressful situation for all of us. But there is light at the end of he tunnel. It's OK to feel shitty once in awhile. Don't beat yourself up if you just want to curl up with a bottle of wine and the TV. Soon we'll all be back to our old routines. It will be a long winter, but there will always be spring.

Six Years

Today is Kitty and my 6-year anniversary. We have been together for more than twice that long, but it was only in 2014 that we made it official. Of course we've had our rough patches, but every couple does. It amazes me how many couples split up after one big fight or some unsavory fact comes out about the spouse. Oh no! Wife got drunk and kissed a co-worker at a Christmas party! Divorce! Oh no! I came home and found my husband wearing an animal costume! No comment. *lol* I've always said that I use old sitcoms from the 50's, 60's and 70's as role models. Husbands are always complaining about their wives, ("Lucy! You got some 'splainin' to do") Wives were always complaining about their husbands drinking beer and going bowling. They'd argue, but then there was always a "Baby! You're the greatest!" at the end. Now I'm giving a Kitty a hard time because I should be getting close to "7-year itch" territory. *grins*

Covid Diaries - Trip Recap

I got home on Monday. I said "goodbye" to Mom around noon, and it was a heartbreaking event. Sometimes she gets very maudlin, but there is some reality to the fact when she says, "Who knows> This might be the last time I see you." When you're 94 and all you see are friends and family dying around you, you know your time may be short. But still, it's nothing you want to hear.

The whole trip was extremely stressful. I was suffering from anxiety most of the time I was there. Of course the biggest worry was if I had fucked up by visiting her and exposed her to the virus. That's all I heard on the news while I was there. "DON'T VISIT YOUR RELATIVES!!!" "YOU'RE GOING TO KILL GRANDMA!" "DON'T VISIT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!" And yet here I was. For the most part I was quarantined. I figure I was there for 228 hours and I probably spent 220 of them at home, just going to the store for food. I debated for the longest time whether I should wear a mask in the house. I decided against it, but did my best to keep Mom at a distance. Of course that went out the window one day when she had a bout of loneliness and hugged me out of the blue. I flipped my shit one day when her caregiver came over for her bi-weekly visit and walked in the door without her mask. When I called her out on it, she got passive-aggressive with me which immediately earned her a call to her supervisor. It seemed like I was always on-edge dealing with the stress of the situation.

I was especially worried about my flight home since the situation just seemed to be getting worse and worse as the lockdowns got more and more severe. All of the dire warnings about packed airports and airplanes made me paranoid. I guess the media is doing their jobe correctly! Fortunately Midway was not that crowded. I sailed through check-in and TSA. The waiting area was a bit of a shitshow, but not terrible. The plane was only at about 30% capacity which was a blessing. When I arrived at the ABQ, the terminal looked like it had when we got home from flights arriving around midnight. Here it was about 5 o'clock, and it was like a ghost town. I was so glad to get back to my own house, my Kitty, and my kitties. I don't care if I have to hunker down for 2 weeks. It will be my pleasure.