I haven’t shared anything from my mother in awhile, so I thought today was as good a day as any for a little humor. Courtesy of my mother, who received this from my brother, I think. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out the source… but regardless, the importance of punctuation.
And now that many of us are getting or have already been vaccinated, there’s this:
A throwback to the early days of the pandemic…
And a few of my own that I found while looking for other things on the internet, which makes one wonder how we manage to get anything done at all!
Remember this family? Spoiler alert: It didn’t end well.
Perhaps this will be the new normal moving forward…
New Yorkers are a resourceful group for the most part, but we are also impatient, easily distracted, and busy. We are very, very busy. Don’t ask us what’s our hurry, you’ll be met with a bleary-eyed scowl of contempt. Don’t believe me? Ever walked down a street in mid-town Manhattan in the middle of the day? Everyone is rushing. People dart, purposefully, in and out of any who seem to have all the time in the world – aka tourists. You take your life in your hands just to walk a few blocks. At least this was the case before. Before #stayathome was a thing. Before our streets looked like this…
You can always tell the New Yorker from the rest of the pedestrians. We’re the ones who are waiting for the light to change like race horses out of the starting gate, jockeying for position, ensuring we’re the first to begin crossing seconds before the light actually changes, because that’s what we do. It’s in our blood. Even those of us who weren’t born and raised in New York City, that need to get across the street before the rest of the pack, and don’t kid yourself, it is a need; it’s part of our DNA. It’s probably what attracted us to NYC in the first place.
So telling us that we must stay home, not for weeks, but for months and months, that we mustn’t venture out unless we are in need of something essential, which might explain the run on toilet paper (for actual reasons see note below) merely an excuse to leave the house – is cruel and unusual punishment. Picture a race horse cooped up in a tiny stall for months on end and you’ll get a good idea of what it’s like for NYers. By the way, race horses are routinely given small animals to placate them, like a goat, sheep or chicken and though we’re not allowed to keep such animals in our homes here in New York City, dog walking has never seemed more enticing and exciting.
Which also explains why a trip to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s feels like a thrilling adventure. My husband and I refer to it as a “date”. As in, “hey honey, want to go out?” And the other responds, “Absolutely, which will it be?”
“I was thinking of shaking things up!”
“What do you say we head over to Gristede’s just to take a look.”
“Going downmarket, are we?”
“I can do Wholefoods, just thought it’d be fun to spread the love.”
“Absolutely! Gristede’s will be fun!”
And off we go, hand in hand, reveling in our courage and sheer inventiveness to try new things, still, after so many decades of marriage.
This is what the lockdown has done to us. We are a changed group. New Yorkers, known for their edginess are becoming downright pedestrian. We wear sweatpants and wander around in slippers, our hair unbrushed, sometimes for days. When we venture out we stroll, no longer needing to rush, we stop in the middle of the street to take photographs of flowers and our city, now unrecognizable. We smile at each other, even stop to chat with complete strangers. We even wave to our neighbors. People we’ve never exchanged two words with, we now know their names and the names of their children and pets. We know intimate details about each other, such as whether we tested positive for antibodies. I’m telling you, it’s a changed world…
*Fun Fact: I did a little research and learned that one of the main reasons there continues to be a run on TP is due to the fact that everyone is now at home and not going into their offices, which stock an inferior type of TP, versus the coveted TP most of us prefer. Evidently the machines producing the inferior, industrial brand TP are different from the machines churning out the more luxurious, cushiony and soft TP we use at home and therefore the production is not able to keep up with demand. For those of you wanting to know more – https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/04/08/coronavirus-shortage-where-has-all-the-toilet-paper-gone/2964143001/
On yet another night of sleeplessness I decided it was high time I found out where the whole – count sheep and fall asleep – idea originated. Which, oddly, led me to the discovery of Goats Parkour and the fact that sea otters love to eat sea urchin, which, as facts go, is kind of interesting, particularly at 3am and, anyway, who doesn’t love sea otters?
While googling – “the origins of counting sheep” I learned that this was something shepherds did before going to sleep in Medieval times, but a 12th century fable refers to counting sheep in the Middle East, suggesting this has been going on for awhile now. The article then ends with this sobering thought,
“Origins aside, the practice is an awful sleeping aid.”
Which, I have to admit, kind of took the wind out of my sails. The final sobering sentence of the piece speculated, “Maybe that’s why Don Quixote preferred goats.” Which took me to this… I know, I know…
Watching this last YouTube video made me reconsider my whole, I’ll-start-exercising-again-once-this-whole-pandemic-is-behind-us thinking and so I got up and did some exercises. All of this was done before 4am and I’d just like to interject that New York City, despite the pandemic, is busy at 4am. I know this because I see all the lights on in buildings viewed from our living room windows, but I digress and anyway, my point being that you can cram a LOT of things into the early morning hours if you’re strategic about it.
While exercising, my mind immediately leapt to otters, because that’s where the mind goes at 3:30am while exercising in a semi-dark living room in Manhattan. That’s when I discovered the first video I posted, thus ending my short-lived-newly-discovered-exercise-routine, which, okay, you really can’t call it a “routine” when you do it only once, even though your intention is to do it daily, but never mind.
So then I began designing a new project, which turned into TWO new projects, because that’s the way I think – if one is good, two will be even better and anyway it’s not even 5am – the first features an otter and some sea urchins, and the second features mandalas, because otters can only be upstaged by mandalas in my opinion, though otters AND sea urchins are a hard act to follow. Still, undaunted, I plunged onward.
I also decided that I would video tape the makings of both projects, so that I will have, not just written instructions, but videos as well. By the way if you have any interest in either project please take the poll I embedded in yesterday’s tutorial, I would love your opinion.
All of this brings me back, full circle, to sleeplessness… I have no answers, though I read that counting your breath, as opposed to sheep, can be helpful, but then, when would I find the time to get all the things I want to do, done?! That was rhetorical.
I know today’s Thursday because I post a new blog Tuesdays and Thursdays, and also because I have my glasses on and my iWatch conveniently tells me that it’s Thu April 23rd. I also now know that it’s cloudy outside, and at this moment 42℉. Of course, one is putting a great deal of faith in one’s iWatch if you trust all of this, because personally, I’ve gone outside, wearing the appropriate clothing for 42℉ weather, only to find I’m way under or over dressed, and that it doesn’t feel like 42℉ at all, but instead much more like 50℉ or, conversely, 30℉.
One morning I woke up and my iWatch helpfully told me the weather was “Unusually sensitive”, which I thought bizarre and had me in search of a magnifying glass just to make sure my eyesight hadn’t suddenly gotten much, much worse. I then wondered if my iWatch was commenting on my emotional well being. That idea was so creepy, I felt compelled to google: “my iWatch is telling me the weather is “unusually sensitive” what does that mean?” as one does, and I learned that this was referring to the air quality. I felt a bit foolish then as that actually made sense, sort of, but still it felt weirdly prophetic and throughout the day I was on high alert for anything or anyone that/who might cause me to feel “unusually sensitive”. Thankfully, I made it through that day and am still here to tell all of you.
All of this reinforced my feelings that my iWatch was not an entirely reliable narrator. However, I do trust it to tell me what day it is. So today is “Thu” and it is, in fact, the 23rd. Who knows what month it is, my iWatch neglects to give me that information. And anyway this confusion is all a result of the current pandemic we find ourselves bit players in. Each day melds seamlessly into the next; the months are beginning to bleed into each other as well. Oh come on, I am not the only one out there feeling this way!
I tell you all of this because I have been doing YouTube videos on Sue Spargo’s #InstaStitchWithSue 90-day project and, as each day rings in a new circle, I do my best to keep track of which circle I’m recording on which day. In an attempt to speed up my taping process, I sometimes try to tape the intro to several days all on the same day, which I then edit and post on the correct day. If you’re confused right now, you can only imagine how confused I am. It doesn’t help that I’m not quite caught up, and every now and again I drift from Sue’s beautiful design and use her stitches as inspiration to do my own thing. So I decided to talk about that process yesterday I mean today in my video, which I am helpfully leaving below. You’re welcome.
In addition to all of this, I am also making my way through Sue Spargo’s Creative Stitching book and posting videos covering each of the stitches she features in that book, but stitched left handed, which you might not think makes much of a difference, but I can tell you, it kind of does! This was my original concept for my channel in the first place.
I have to go now, because I only have a limited time to tape while it’s still quiet and before everyone starts getting up, including the two construction sites that are both using jack hammers on either side of us. We live in New York City after all. There’s construction going on all the time, even during this pandemic.
Stay safe, stay home, wash your hands, wear a mask, not necessarily in that order.