What’s Bringing Me Peace Right Now

  • Consistently sleeping enough for probably the first time in my life since before college
  • Never setting an alarm
  • Muting notifications on my phone for hours at a time without worry
  • Drinking the Good Coffee every day
  • Learning to bake bread – it’s particular enough to keep me mentally engaged, but I can space out for 11 minutes while kneading dough
  • Spring is here and came with a surprisingly short pollen season, meaning I can spend time on my porch without suffering for days afterwards
  • Keeping said porch swept and tidy
  • Watching the carpenter bees bumble about, loudly buzzing
  • Planting anything I can get my hands on. I’ve got two small palms, a money tree, a striped spider plant, a well-established rosemary bush, sunflower seedlings everywhere, plus two types of tomatoes started and basil seeds that should sprout next week
  • My sweet dumb baby cat, who is loving that I am home all day, every day and chooses to express that love by following me from room to room, yelling until I sit down so he can snuggle up against me
  • Spending time with Mr. Smoot
  • Not spending time with Mr. Smoot, instead working on projects in my office/creative space
  • Not yet fighting about the distribution of time spent on the two points above
  • NEVER WEARING A BRA OR PANTS
  • Related, having a truly surprising amount of sex (not that I am complaining, mind you)
  • No for real, like, I’m almost tapped out
  • almost
  • 🙂

Checking In

These are Strange Times, y’all.

I find myself feeling as though I don’t have much to say most days, until I think about writing a post, and then it seems like far too much to even begin to capture in words. It’s a weird caught-between-two-places feeling, like nothing matters and everything matters. Like living in a liminal space, where time isn’t passing as it should? Yes. That. Like we’ve slipped outside of time. Like the time between Christmas and New Year’s has grown to emcompass an entire season. At least it’s not winter.

Where we are, at this moment in the liminal spring, is that our willfully ignorant, election-stealing, Trump toadying, worthless waste of air governor has finally, finally, placed the state under a Stay At Home order effective this evening at 5pm. In our state, we have over 5000 cases of covid-19 and 150ish deaths (32 and 1 in my immediate area) and Georgia should have done this weeks ago. I believe it’s going to take at least two weeks to show any slowing or flattening of the curve, so we’ll see where we are in mid-April.

Hopefully, by then the stimulus checks dangled so tantalizingly over the heads of the populace will begin to be distributed. We should be among the first to receive one, thanks to doing our taxes online each year and paying from our checking account (insert a “you guys get a X” meme here, where X equals ‘a tax refund?’). This check would just about cover 2 months of COBRA insurance, which would be lovely. I’m mentally okay with the social isolation, I’m learning to lean in and enjoy unemployment, but not having health insurance in the middle of a pandemic may not have been my smartest choice. Things I couldn’t plan for…

The rest of the Great Plan To Rewrite My Life is falling into place, though. We signed the lease for our perfect* new apartment in our favorite city this week, and yesterday I mailed the deposit (and a whole slew of letters and cards to friends). Do either of us have jobs lined up in the new city? No, but I have to trust that this will all work out. I’ve done what I can to network myself into a new position, which was slated to begin this month but HA HA HA hiring freeze! The labs that process drug tests for the new employer are currently closed as they aren’t an essential business. No ETA for when they may reopen, no opportunity with the new position to train from home. It is nervewracking. I’m trying not to obsessively recalculate the budget for every day’s new variables. Trust. Breathe. And so I keep reminding myself.

Trust.

Breathe.

*and it is perfect – there is a street level entrance (so we can roll in handtrucks of book boxes) with a front yard (for gardens and front porch sittin’), but the slope of the land means the kitchen has a balcony overlooking the greenest, shadiest courtyard imaginable. OH, and it has recently refinished floors – no carpet for cats to tear up or vomit upon. I never want to move again.

This post was written to:

And we’re back!

To celebrate the End Times, here comes Everything’s Just Smooty 5.0, or “If I don’t blog about this goddamn pandemic and get some of this shit out there, I’m going to claw my skin off because I’m stuck in the house for months”. I dare say some of you may be feeling the same way, in which case I throw you these words like a lifeline. 

All hail and well met, fellow Isolationeers!

I haven’t written anything aside from business emails or texts in quite some time, so bear with me while I remember how to properly structure a paragraph. It’ll take a post or two.

Here in Middle Georgia, we had our first Covid-19 case reported at noon today. Truly, a momentous occasion! People down here didn’t seem to be taking it seriously until Tuesday or so. The president of the University where I am no longer employed released an ill-considered and dismissive statement Saturday night, saying classes would continue as normal this week. The community flipped OUT; that statement was pulled down from the school’s website by Sunday evening. I’m extremely thankful and lucky to be gone.

I admit, when I scheduled my resignation for this month and budgeted for a few weeks of time off, I didn’t expect to be spending them in isolation with just the husband and cats. As Mr. Smoot has struggled with asthma and generally weak lungs his whole life, we’ve been really careful since this virus took off a couple of weeks ago. My goal is to avoid either of us going in the hospital before I start my new job and have health insurance again.

We’ve gotten into the habit of getting up at 6 or 7am to walk before anyone in the apartment complex is out and about, and I’m harness-training Shadow to walk with us. If anyone else here is up before the sun, I hope they enjoy the surreal sight of me walking a 17lb cat on a leash. Other than that, we stay home and occupy ourselves with the backlog of video games, TV shows, books and (for me) crafting projects from 10+ years of a job that swallowed my time, energy and spirit. Yesterday we started an at-home strength-training workout program, mostly because we were going to go crazy if we didn’t burn off some more energy. I’m hobbling around today but it feels worth it. (I was hobbling around last week for entirely separate reason, heh heh heh. I didn’t expect how extremely horny I’d be after quitting, but I guess I’m making up for years of exhaustion.)

As far as prep goes, we stocked up on shelf-stable goods and cat food at the end of February and I managed to snag one of the last remaining bulk packs of toilet paper last Friday. Since then, we’ve decided to only grocery shop at 5am when Kroger opens. 5am is a godforsaken hour of the night, best left to the absolute heroes serving on the overnight stocking shifts, but even in my early morning delirium I admit it’s less panic-inducing to see stores full of empty shelves when there isn’t a crowd of other people feeling the same way. Tuesday morning, we were able to get most of the things on our list except for fresh meat, but we were mainly shopping for an extra pack or two to freeze. We may try again early next week, and in the meantime are alternating meat days with vegetarian days.

I’m grateful for the many group chats and text messages I am a part of right now. It’s good to hear from everyone and know that life is continuing, somehow. Today was especially weird because it’s 84, sunny and gorgeous outside and all my sunflowers have sprouted. It’s odd to have lovely spring weather for the Apocalypse.

Be well and wash your hands twice as long as you think you need to.

-Smooty

Today’s Post Soundtrack

Shut it down.

I’m closing up shop at this location in favor of a a clean and shiny new experience at:

luminousverge.wordpress.com

The goal for Luminous Verge is to keep the focus on writing and less about personal day-to-day complaints.

However, given that JustSmooty has gotten up to v4.0 so far, there’s no guarantee it won’t resurrect itself in a couple of years. It’s got a zombie-like persistence to it.

Coming up for air, and swearing.

It’s been a shitstorm since Thanksgiving, to be honest. My assistant manager abandoned his job right before our balls-to-the-wall busiest time of the year, which was thoughtful of him. We have had an interesting time of it as a result. But I’ve got some lovely student employees, who threw themselves into the breach during Finals, and two more students who, providentially, stayed on campus over break for a job that fell through , so I snapped them up as well. It’s a huge ball of stress but not the catastrophic assfucking I was expecting, so… hurray?

After two 12+ hour days last week, I was able to actually take the whole of the long Christmas weekend off and relax. I promptly caught a virus and spent Christmas Day vomiting, congested, and running a fever. BUT the weekend was delightful in all other respects – presents were well received by all, I got to spend time with my boyfriend and sister, and talk to most of my other family, and video games. Lots of video games. An embarrassing amount of time spent on video games.

I’ve decided in 2017 I’m going to make a dedicated effort to knock titles off of my To Be Read list. Most of my reading is rereads or finding one new author and devouring their oeuvre as fast as I can get them from the library, so I need to buckle down and just start with the new titles I already own. 

First on the list is Rachel Aaron’s “The Legend of Eli Monpress”, a hefty trade paperback fantasy tome. I follow this author on Twitter and generally enjoy her posts, so I’m curious to see if her prose style draws me in. I’d really like to read Ms. Aaron’s science fiction series, but her publishing house doesn’t do business with our trade book supplier and I’d rather cut off a finger than order a new book from Amazon.

I wouldn’t look for too many more updates here until late January, after classes begin and the students stop fiddling with their class schedules. Less than a month, whee. -_-

November has just sucked.

There’s no two ways about it. This month – aww shit it’s December now, fuck me, where is time going – last month and today have just been bad, bad, bad.

I started with such good intentions. I challenged myself to blog every day, and I wrote out a posting schedule so I’d always have something to write about. I got a little off track due to travelling for work at the start of the month, but I was bringing it back around. Then, the election happened.

That was a miserable and surreal day, week, and present time. I was furious and sick the night of, crushed and disbelieving the next day. It’s taken more than a little while to put myself back together after. This election ripped my family apart and that drove me off most social media. It’s been a long November.

Things that have kept me whole in the meantime: the music of Amanda Palmer. Spending far too much money on Christmas presents. Watching all of Adventure Time from start to finish. And work – especially work.I’ve thrown myself into my job.

The end of term is always a clusterfuck of epic proportions, no matter how much planning and organizing one does ahead of time. The best you can hope for is that you can keep the clusterfuck out of view of the campus. You can fix most anything after you close. However, this turnaround looks to be especially clusterfucky as my only other fulltime employee walked out today. At least, I assume he did. He didn’t show up for his shift and didn’t respond to calls or texts. So that’s a bundle of delight.

Don’t expect to hear from me again until probably mid-January. Sooner if I go actually insane and they remove me from my position. I imagine I can talk a therapist in the nuthouse into letting me post to the blog.

I don’t have a blog today. 

I had one I was supposed to write tonight – a review of the first chapter of the Twyla Tharpe book – but to be honest, my lower eyelid is twitching so badly and so constantly I’m laying down with a warm washcloth over it, waiting for the election results. I just want this hellish  business over with.