Oh boy, another Friday, another list of 5 worthless things. Well, maybe some of these things will be worthy? But first, a rando photo from the Boulevard:
I sure hope Jo’s Salon survives COVID-19 because this place and its ever-changing window displays is a true neighborhood institution. (I have never been inside, mostly because I think you have to be an AARP member to receive services.)
1.Henry decided he wanted to get chairs for the front porch (which, as you may know, is barley a porch but there is enough room for two outdoor chair things but we always just sit on the steps and then wonder why our butts and tailbones hurt). This prompted an evening-long Internet search for chairs between Henry and Chooch, who is also very invested in our yard cleanup project after taking one (1) landscape class at the Gifted center last year. At one point, I misheard Henry, and thought he said he was searching for “Clown chairs,” which naturally piqued my interest! But no, he was merely searching for “lawn chairs.” Anyway, this inspired me to search for clown chairs myself, but the only cool ones I found were actually antiques and cost $500 and up. Um, not for a porch in my hood. So then I started searching “swan chairs” and “porch thrones” and “chairs with feathers” and “flamingo chairs” which yielded no results that impressed me, however, I did accidentally find two flamingo planters which are currently en route to my house. Meanwhile, Henry said fuck it and bought two generic porch chairs from Big Lots which I refuse to sit in because they’re plain. Where is the glitter?! WHERE ARE THE SPARKLES?! Maybe I can make rhinestone tentacles to attach to one of them. WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY. Or so I’m told.
2(a). My workplace has been really impressing me with their commitment to continuing the conversation of race. Last week, they invited the president of the NAACP to speak with us via WebEx and it was AWESOME. I felt so grateful that we had the opportunity to listen to such wise words and real experiences from someone in that position. This past week, the president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund spoke with us, but my audio was super wonky so I have to go back and watch the recording of that one at some point. Also, the firm is launching a pro bono initiative for equal justice, focusing on voting rights, criminal justice reform, and equal justice for indigenous people. I signed up as a volunteer because it sounds like an amazing thing to be part of and I really don’t feel like I’m doing enough as it is. Making donations, posting on social media, and making changes to my own self just seem to only go so far and I feel like I need more action, I don’t know. We’ll see what this entails and if I suck at it or not!
2(b). Re: how I’m working on myself. With all the reflection and introspection in these recent weeks, I remembered this time about 10 years ago which really shows that even though I have always considered myself “not a racist,” I was 100% not handling situations properly. I live in a duplex, and at that time, a Black family lived on the other half. I never had any issues with them, and they still to this day were my favorite neighbors BECAUSE I NEVER HEARD THEM. Anyway, in the duplex on the other side of our driveway lives HNC and his wife. His wife has always been SUPER TERRITORIAL of the driveway, it’s legit insane. So it was only a matter of time before my neighbors performed, in her eyes, some ungodly driveway infraction, resulting in a fullblown screaming match IN MY FRONT YARD. HNC’s wife’s daughter was also involved, and as the verbal fisticuffs escalated, well, out came the slurs. I have always been slightly terrified of HNC’s wife because she seems like the type to go all knives out and massacre the whole block. Sounds dramatic, but…. So instead of flying out the front door the moment I heard the n-word being flung about all willy nilly, I waited until later and then went to my next door neighbor, knocked on the door, and told her, while crying, that I overheard the argument and wanted her to know, whether it made a difference or not, that my family and I did not subscribe to those same hateful sentiments and that I was truly sorry that happened, and that I was on her side. But all these years later, knowing what I know now, I WASN’T DOING A VERY CONVINCING JOB TO PROVE THAT I WAS ON HER SIDE. Because I hadn’t done ANYTHING. I let HNC’s wife run her mouth instead of confronting that racism head-on, because THAT is how you fight the good fight. Not waiting until later and telling your Black neighbor that you don’t hate Black people because let’s be honest, while I wanted to believe I was telling her this to make her feel better, didn’t I also, deep down, do it to make myself feel better too? Yeah, I’ve learned. That won’t happen again. I can’t say I’m an ally otherwise. (I seriously am terrified of that neighbor though, but there was this one time several years ago when I heard her outside erratically accusing Chooch of breaking her sidewalk lights and I was NOT IN THE MOOD so there was a real confrontation that day which she clearly wasn’t expecting and we have never had a problem since then, is all I’m saying.)
This has nothing to do with the photo of a creepy stairwell that I peeped on one of my nightly walks down the boulevard because the door was left open, but I overheard Chooch refer to Henry and me as his “housemates” the other night when he was talking to god only knows who on the phone.
3. Last weekend (or the weekend before? The calendar in my mind should be in a Dali exhibition), Henry and I drove past a Chili’s, and it occurred to me that I have eaten at a Chili’s so rarely, that I couldn’t think of a single thing that would be on their menu, and then I felt amazed that this is a restaurant chain that has somehow survived all these years while evidently being so basic that I have never once in the last 20 years even CONSIDERED it as a dining option?! And then I started to freak out and wonder how I have forgotten about its existence all these years when I used to always frequent the shopping center that this particular Chili’s franchise lives and realized that I only have one very vague memory of eating there when I was in middle school, with some friends who weren’t close friends and it was actually kind of weird that we were all even together—why were we together?!—and I think we had probably also gone to the movies because there is a theater right there too but I have no idea what I ate and only remember going home and realizing that I left my camera there and my mom had to call the damn place and then drive me there to get it, and I’m certain I must have eventually gotten that roll of film developed because I have always been a memory hoarder, but what photos did it contain!? AND WHERE ARE THEY NOW!? Wow, thanks for the deep dive into my past, Chili’s. (I’m looking at their menu now. Black bean patty substitute option,, “awesome blossoms” sounds familiar, and corn on the cob is a cool side option, but otherwise this is a vegetarian’s nightmare. No thank YOU, Chili’s.)
How great is this Bong Joon-Ho and his Oscars pin I scored from the pin goddess The Idol Collective? If you still haven’t seen Parasite, what are you even doing with your life?!
4(a). I had to give a training presentation at work yesterday and I was nervous about it because it was the first time I was presenting to more than like, 2 people and even though they’re all my work-buds, my nerves do not discriminate. My lead-in was a throwback to when I was pregnant and freaking out as the nine months drew closer. My calculus professor at Pitt (god, she was the best, this older woman named Joanne who once accidentally sprayed Windex in her face when she was trying to wipe down her projector screen) told me, “Just remember: the birth is only one tiny moment out of your life. You can get through it!” So I decided to apply this to yesterday’s training, which my coworker Nate thought was an excellent strategy even though he’s never given birth, but then I admitted to everyone that on the day of my scheduled C-section, I tried to leave the hospital and the nurse was like EXCUSE ME and I was like YEAH I CHANGED MY MIND I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS NOW which is what I tried to do yesterday but it didn’t work – I had to forge ahead with the training session and you know, it was fine. I did fine. There was applause at the end.
4(b). When I was trying to think of ways to make myself the most calm during the presentation without resorting to shots of soju beforehand (I was afraid I would wind up accidentally drunk and make it all worse), I wondered if I would feel safer having Chooch sit next to me or if I should put him out in the yard. I opted for the latter.
4(c). What made it worse though was that I had to do this on the tailend of a check-in call that was only supposed to run for an hour but ended up being TWO HOURS AND 20 MINUTES which is unacceptable in everyone’s book, I think. I was so fatigued after that. But! Like my Pitt professor once said 14 years ago, it was only a small moment out of my life and afterward, I was like YEAH LET’S GOOOOOOOOOO, like all this energy and adrenaline came rushing back to me and I had nothing weighing me down anymore!
Sugar Spell did a charity pint sale last week so we scooped (lol) some up because what’s a little weight-gain when it’s for a good cause, and Henry even snatched a sundae kit too, the contents of which I attempted to photograph but then Penelope photo-bombed it and the dire need to shovel vegan ice cream into my gaping maw was too great to prolong any longer, so I never did go back for a better shot:
5. It’s looking like my department will be easing their way back into the office sometime around late July and I am excited only because I have bought some new shirts, jewelry, pins, and phone cases over the last several months and I miss the random compliments I get while walking around town on my lunch break YES I’M A NARCISSIST AND ALSO A LEO. We thrive on compliments. I’m not excited about the trolley though. Or dealing with the new safety procedures that have been implemented. I have had conversations with several work friends though and there are some of us who think this is too soon. I mean, I think restaurants have reopened too soon as well. Because this whole “green light” thing is giving people the misconception that things are back “to normal” and they’re not – we’re still in the middle of a pandemic with no fucking vaccine!? WHY AREN’T PEOPLE WEARING MASKS? I swear to god, these maskless assholes running amok are going to be the first people to go on social media asking people to pray for them after they get COVID-19 but ok have fun at the movies and Olive Garden, you selfish assholes! IT’S JUST A HOAX, RIGHT?
UGH. On that note, I’m about to go wake up Henry and tell him I’m ready to be fed. Go do something you enjoy. (Unless it’s illegal, then I don’t condone it!!! ESPECIALLY IF IT INVOLVES ANIMALS! UNLESS YOU’RE STEALING AN ANIMAL FROM AN ABUSE HOUSEHOLD. THEN OK! My mom actually did that twice, to the same person. The most proud I’ve ever been of her.)