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Showing posts from April, 2020

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 7: Day 46

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Captain Mom’s Log: Week 7: Day 45

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Creamy Optimal Foamy Freedom Everyday Energy END TRANSMISSION

Captain Mom's Log: Week 7: Day 43

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As we now get closer to the two-month mark, I wish I could say things are stabilizing. We remain as lost and detached as ever. Floating in a void that is this new planet with all emotions living on the edges of our sleeves. Fraying and escalating at the slightest prompt. Simple commands like, "Eat your peas," cause an eruption like never before. News such as, "High winds and possible power outages," leaves me limp. I pull the blanket tighter and refuse to get out of bed until there are only minutes left before I need to make myself presentable to the Zoom world. These logs are starting to loop and repeat as do the days. Monotony is the new rhythmic norm. Chief Mate shakes me from my spiral. "Let's go outside!" I don't hesitate. Not for a second. Chalk in hand, we draft tags. Keep calm and chalk on. END TRANSMISSION

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 6: Day 42

I tried my best to turn off social media this weekend. It is a hard habit to break. I found the phone in my hands several times before a sharp reminder scolded me and I put the box down. So much of my daily routine relies on this weird box. I never would have imagined such a thing could exist as a child. Recipes and reminders keep me searching for the phone. I take to hiding it from myself. Then curiosities like, “What does a beetle eat?” cause me to pull the box back out. Compared to most days, I’d say I succeeded in disconnecting. I feel revived. Today was a day of music. Teaching, playing, discussing. I’ll take my small successes where I can. They are few and far between these days. END TRANSMISSION

Captain Mom's Log: Week 6: Day 41

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I've been wracking my brains all day trying to think of an appropriate topic for today's log. But there is only one thing that keeps coming back to my mind. It is truly too horrific to speak of and yet it plagues me. I feel it is my duty to inform you of this morning's events because you may one day face a similar situation. I believe it is my duty to warn you so that you can prevent such a thing from happening to you. Let me reassure you, it is preventable. But I must also warn you, this is not a post for the faint of heart. I was brushing my teeth, as I do every morning. Nothing unusual about it. Left side first, then right. Always the top first, then the bottom, then back to the top because I switched down to the bottom row too quickly. I work the brush over a big chunk of them at once instead of individually. I used to be more careful. I stopped counting teeth somewhere in my teens when stickler routine became tedious. I brushed my tongue because that's what someo

Captain Mom's Log: Week 6: Day 40

I'm starting to get used to the oscillating weather. And I do love the way the rain shimmers on the kelly-green leaves. Rain or shine, I make my way outside now. If the animals can do it in their fur, I can grab an umbrella. I met a man on my walk. We had a conversation. A real live conversation. His image didn't glitch out. His voice didn't warble or chop itself into bits. We spoke and the sound waves traveled directly through the air from one person to the other. From six feet away. When it ended he gave me the most quizzical look and we each went on our way. Human contact. Interaction with people is rare these days. I'm afraid to have a conversation in the grocery store. Go in, collect needed items, go out. Don't dawdle. Don't breath on anyone. Only get what's on the list. Except for those windmill cookies. And the key lime pie. I don't feel human in the store. Everyone is plastic wrapped in their own little bubble and there is no human contact. Eve

Captain Mom's Log: Week 6: Day 39

Time is thick and foggy, and yet there is somehow more stuff crammed into every moment than there ever was before. Usually that makes the day pass more quickly. Now it plods on. Multitasking takes on a new level. It is a skill necessary for survival. The monsters will eat you on this planet if you can't keep up. Work, family, sanity. Balance the wheel or the wheel will crush you. Self-preservation is key. I have found an archived document that accurately depicts my new way of life. It is hyperlinked below. In this scenario, I am represented by Jack Sparrow. Chief Mate is represented by Will Turner. And my work is the ever level-headed and authoritative James Norrington. Me Vs the Wheel of Life END TRANSMISSION

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 6: Day 38

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A deep vibration of a song emanates from the woods. The unmistakable sound of the great horned owl. Its call is both soothing and weighty. One swooped above my car once. It’s one thing to understand their size from books and a bit of imagination. It’s quite another to see one several feet above you. It could easily take our brute-of-a-cat at any time. The call and response of two owls becomes a song and dance. I am in bed. Covers over my head. I don’t want to Internet. I don’t want to Zoom. I can’t take another story about people who have no regard for other people’s health because they want someone else to cut their hair. Okay. I know it’s about more than that, though. I know it’s about people without jobs right now. They are scared about survival, too. They just want normalcy. We all do. It all breaks my heart. Mother, moon, magic, mystery, mythology. All associated with the owl. It is no wonder it was my grandmother’s favorite bird. I think about all of the animals on the plan

Captain Mom's Log: Week 6: Day 37

The walls are suffocating once again. Irritation wears itself on my skin, in my hair follicles, in my aching heels. Why are my heels aching? Every need of every being around me feels grating. There's not enough food in the cat bowl. There aren't enough eyes on how I eat my cereal. But this guy can do this really neat trick. Why can't you put the kind of cat food I like in the bowl? Watch how these guys spin when you put them together like this! There's a dish on the table, are you done with it? I have a meeting in 5 minutes, so I can't help you log in, do you think you can do it on your own? Yes. No. I can't log in because you're logged in, Mom. 4 minutes until my meeting. My hair is a mess. I can see the bottom of my kibble bowl and it's a disgrace. Do I care if they see me disheveled? Everyone's hair is a mess. Mom, I can't log in. 2 minutes. Of course I care. Why is my hair frizzier when I'm at home? Or is it just that I have access to a m

Captain Mom's Log: Week 6: Day 36

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A black beetle crawled out of the mound of food that collects because our dear cat can't keep it in his mouth. Moist, partially masticated food is the perfect place for such an insect. He didn't appreciate my sweeping. I named him Alexander. I watched him walk away into the void under our kitchen cabinet. Alone. Without food. The hardest part in all of this is watching loved ones suffer and not being able to help. Sick family members are unable to eat homemade soup for fear of germs that may have been folded into the broth. A friend who desperately needs human contact is unable to answer the door to receive bear hugs. There is no more driving parents to the grocery store or to their routine visits to the doctor. Prescriptions for real life-threatening diseases are running out because idiots in charge are selling them as a false miracle cure. The list of can'ts goes on and on. But my intent is not to make anyone's situation harder than it already is. So, here is a list

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 5: Day 35

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Today we learned where meat comes from. Specifically we discussed the cubed chicken in soup cans, bacon slices, and ground turkey. What did you learn? Diagrams encouraged. END TRANSMISSION

Captain Mom's Log: Week 5: Day 34

I found bacon on my last excursion for provisions. This was my second chance. This time I wouldn't let my mind wander. I wouldn't burn it like last time. The crime almost got me booted out of the encampment. I separated the slabs of meat while Chief Mate sang at the top of his lungs from the top of the stairs, "Bacon Bacon Bacon Bacon!!!" His toothbrush still in his mouth so the "n" didn't quite make it out of his mouth. The bacon felt strange. Every pack is slightly different. Consistency, smell, greasy residue. I squeezed five pieces across the skillet. I always put as many as the pan can handle because I despise cooking bacon. The less amount of time I have to spend stretching apart the slimy flesh, the better. These monstrosities actually grew wider and I barely could fit the last piece. It overlapped every single strip as I shoved it in horizontally across the top. Bacon is supposed to shrink, not grow. The smell filled the house and the "Bacon

Captain Mom's Log: Week 5: Day 33

I threw out all of the pomegranate seeds. An almost-new package bursting with luscious seeds. I ate a handful of them on the first day of arrival and then promptly forgot about their existence until today. "Best By 4-14." Eh... What does a "Best By" date mean anyway? Usually you have another week before the food is spoiled. I rinsed them off just in case. Threw out a couple of suspect ones and then popped one in my mouth. The tangy and cold juice burst in my mouth. Delicious. Pomegranate seeds remind me of gushers, except they are probably more healthy. Do gushers still exist? I popped a couple more seeds in my mouth. Burst. Crunch. Squish. Not bad. "Best By" date is not always right. I palmed the remainder of ruby colored seeds into my mouth and squished into all of them at once. I could feel the pulse of prosperity permeating my mouth. That is what they symbolize, yes? Delicious -- No. Fermented. Ugh. What did I do? "Best By" date was not incor

Captain Mom's Log: Week 5: Day 32

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Between the onslaught of assignments and Zoom meetings that littered my calendar, I spent much of the day staring out the window. I noticed a woman had found a secluded spot in the woods. She sat on a raised manhole cover where trees met the gravel path above our glorious drainage swamp. It was both romantic and desperate. I found myself wondering what she was trying to escape or if she was just enjoying the scene. I watched as smoke meandered up from her fingers. She lifted the cigarette to her lips. Maybe she was a closet smoker. I decided I'd keep her identity a secret just in case. I never was a smoker, but she reminded me of a younger version of myself. I often sought out solitary spots to think and absorb and just be. I always found myself needing to escape one thing or another. Stress, people, life. It has been years since went for a solitary walk or sit. I haven't had a reason to escape. I haven't had the time. Does one need a reason to enjoy a favorite spot? Certai

Captain Mom's Log: Week 5: Day 31

My back aches from the old metal swivel stool I am chained to. Finally got new orders from base. I am now required to spend 8 hours in front of the communication box. Several hours pass while studying glitchy training videos where my questions disappear into a void. Another hour or two is spent writing papers that analyze the process and purpose of thinking. My main points circle round and round themselves until I stand up to stretch. Oof. My back won't let me stand up straight. I much preferred the early exploration missions where I got to walk and sit and think my own meandering thoughts. Now my thoughts are being forced back into a standard formula. APA, to be precise. I ordered a new stool. It has a cushion and the seat rotates with your bum as you lean in any which way. It is a sit-stand style stool. Say that five times fast. We are spoiled, really. Ordering whatever we would like with the touch of a button. Who from the early 1900s would ever imagine such a thing? My grandm

Captain Mom's Log: Week 5: Day 30

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The word Importance carries a certain weight, or heft, if you will. Objects that have Importance can change throughout a lifetime, but the meaning of the word remains more or less unchanged. Our mission, to make it out alive, is Important because humankind is Important. Today I decided to create some art that was more or less Important. I say "more or less" because the Importance of Art is completely and relatively subjective. The Importance and Relevance of these Artworks is entirely representational of my feelings given the current state of World Events, including, but not limited to the shoddy quality of my photography. Audrey White (b. before the pandemic) Where, In Fact, the Sidewalk Actually Ends and the Gas Line Begins, 2020 Photograph Audrey White (b. before the quarantine) Dish-Less Sink With a Side of Dew, 2020 Dewy arugula on found sponge This is by far the most Important Artwork of the past 30 days. It Represents my Satisfaction of a Job We

Captain Mom's Log: Week 5: Day 29

It has officially been over a month of tumultuous emotion, ever-changing news, rapidly changing lifestyles. I feel sea sick. Everything comes and goes. Like a slow pulse. The morning bleeds into yesterday bleeds into last week bleeds into - are we still keeping count? These logs are my only way to know the days anymore. If it were a hundred years ago, I suppose I would have notches on the wall. Now I have notches on The Cloud. The wind was angry today. I think it was trying to blow us out of our houses. If Aesop had taught him anything, the wind would know that a calming tactic is more persuasive. I watched the trees knock against themselves. I watched the sun shine and then quickly be replaced by rain pouring itself down in buckets only to be interrupted by the sun again. The weather could use some calming techniques. It left me feeling disjointed. Chief Mate helped anchor me back to reality. He made up a game. It was called Quest. It involved detailed labels of care instructions pl

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 4: Day 28

I can’t help but notice that the number of days on the log are the same as a certain Danny Boyle film. I imagine chimp-virus zombies climbing our hill. Fast ones. The worst kind. “The fire is blocking our path! We have to stop it!” Chief Mate cries. Co-Captain mans the grill while I lounge on my new bench. Smoke billows from the round black receptacle. We have no lighter fluid. “I need something to block the smoke from my face,” Chief Mate remarks. “What-ho! We have just been given such a face cover from a far distant ally...” “Why are you talking like that?” Chief Mate interrupts. Maybe I was pretending to be King Ezekiel for a second. I’ve got zombies on the brain. Not literally. The meat looks vaguely like brain matter. I try to steer my thoughts elsewhere. I watch the smoke. It may be hours before we eat. But the weather is pleasant, as is the company, and I have absolutely nothing else to do tonight. I don’t mind one bit. Unless there is a zombie sighting. That may put a d

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 4: Day 27

It’d been two weeks since I started the terrain vehicle. Thought it was time to give the ol’ girl some gas. Besides, we needed provisions pretty badly. A line of locals wrapped itself around the building. Face masks on. Six feet apart. “Excuse me,” I hailed a man retrieving the carts from the parking lot. “How long is the wait to get in?” “About 10-15 minutes,” his smile meant the world to me right then. This was real. Our new reality. Face mask on. Six feet apart. Is the mask on right? Is it inside-out? It’s poking me in the eye. How is that even possible? It’s hard to breathe. I open my mouth. I could probably stand to find a mint. Mouth closed, I wait in cue. It’s funny because I have imagined this moment many times. Not this exact moment, of course, but something similar. End-of-the-world shit. Every time I read history or watch movies, I imagine the scenario in our own world. I am plagued by my empathetic nature. But whenever I imagine war, famine, plague, disease, it’s al

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 4: Day 26

I didn’t leave the house today. Not once. I read an article a while back that said we as a human race were grieving. Grieving for the world and the loss of human lives. Grieving for the loss of our so-called freedoms. (I am paraphrasing and perhaps sprinkling in my own opinion. I don’t remember the exact words.) The grief is sitting with me again. It’s not negative. Not positive. Just heavy. My school assignments are getting increasingly more difficult to complete. But I force myself to sit at the desk until they are done. It felt good when I finally got biggest one out of the way. Tried not to think about the many other smaller tasks that are due by Monday. Then found my brain counting them anyway. Letting anxiety show it’s ugly face. How dare it? I decided to play with Chief Mate in his Duplo garden. But my ideas are not always welcome. I was handed a guy. I wanted my character to be peacemaker, but “He can’t do that! That’s not his way!” How dare he? I put my guy in timeout an

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 4: Day 25

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A fresh gale tore through the front yard today upheaving our canvases. I knew it was windy before we set out, but I put “painting outside” on the schedule and, by God, we were going to paint! “I don’t want to paint in the wind,” whined the voice of a boy who’s been allowed one too many television shows this week. “It will be fine,” I ran inside to grab reinforcements. Not sure who I was really trying to convince. Frog tape did the trick. With canvases anchored to plywood boards and palette paper taped to the sidewalk (I was sure HOA wouldn’t mind) we set to work. I invited our next-door inhabitant to paint with us. She stayed on her patio, us on ours. Nothing like painting with friends 20 feet apart in strong wind. “I made the feet too fat,” cried the novice painter. “Oh! But you can just repaint them. Paint is so forgiving. You just wait for it to dry and then layer and...” But Chief Mate was done painting. He was already whacking trees with his favorite stick. A regular pastim

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 4: Day 24

Co-Captain and Chief Mate worked on making a sling shot today. He has been instructed not to hit or harm any wildlife. The Inner Child in me loves the sentiment. However, the Inner Beast fully believes we will resort to eating squirrel by June. So ... target practice will calm my instinctual nerves. On a lighter note, I finally got my “snow” (see attached video). Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you want or could possibly imagine. And we must adapt anyway. Keep calm and face mask on. END TRANSMISSION

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 4: Day 23

Walking outside is tremendous. Seeing the sun and spring budding everywhere keeps a smile on my face. Spending time with my guys is a blessing. I miss everyone else, though. The weight is heavy and tremendously sad. I get to stop and smell the flowers, but conversations are limited to TMNT megablock storylines and what groceries are still missing from the stores (thank you hoarders). Take a minute today to do something you like. Don’t forget that the little things in life can make the biggest difference. END TRANSMISSION

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 4: Day 22

Walking up and down the aisles of a barren grocery store, I feel disconnected. From what, I can’t quite remember. I push the cart down one row, up the next. They all look the same. The Easter bunnies stare at me. Their adorable eyes mock and tease. Goofy teeth are garish in the fluorescent lighting. I want to squeeze them and bring them home. But I know better. I see dozens of untouched packages of dye for eggs that don’t exist. Seasonal items seem like bric-a-brac these days. Suddenly the aisle begins to shrink. The lighting dims and the grocery store is now a hardware store. Shelves of nails and the pungent and unnatural smell of fertilized soil in a bag. Lo and behold what do I see? A single roll of toilet paper staring at me. It is neatly wrapped in paper. The kind you begrudgingly put on the dispenser while using the restaurant bathroom because no one else will. Suddenly a second roll has appeared on the shelf. I tear up and gently place the two in my cart as if they might disap

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 3: Day 21

Conversations with Oliver. O: Meh. Captain Mom: Yes? O: Meeeeh. (paw protrudes at my face) CM: You have food. O: Mew. CM: It’s right there. (points to full bowl and food that has avalanched all over the floor) O: Meeooorwr. CM: ... O: (poke, poke) CM: How do your retractable claws not retract? (inspects dot of blood on arm, squeezes it to release bacteria - is that a thing? does that actually work?) O: Merower, mrrrrroooooow, meoooooowh. CM: (carries cat like a baby and places at the food dish) O: (sniffs overflowing bowl, looks up, eyes huge) CM: sigh. (places a solitary treat on the mound) O: (greedily inhales food while purrs erupt between crunches. food spills over the side, a byproduct of gluttony.) CM: (returns to book and thinks about the solitary treat and wasted food. there is symbolism there somewhere) O: (loudly licks his chops and then ever so daintily licks his paws). CM: sigh. O: (tummy rumbles) CM: No, no, no! O: (a guttural) chweth CM: (flies off t

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 3: Day 20

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Please tell me we are not the only household losing our damn minds? Humor me, post something ridiculous that YOU have done. Pics, Poem, Flash Fiction Story, Interpretive Dance, and.... GO! END TRANSMISSION

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 3: Day 19

Solitary Pajamas Apple muffins Cat fur Endless Music Agitation Donutless Numb Erik Estrada are ALL my friends School? Sucks END TRANSMISSION

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 3: Day 18

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The tree tops were lit Casting apocalyptic Glow of setting sun. Post your own haiku Include a picture or two END (of) TRANSMISSION

Captain Mom’s Log: Week 3: Day 17

My focus has dusted the bathroom and cat is snoring in a pile of fur. I started a load of laundry and forgot the soap. I watched my neighbors move and my hair is dry and way too long. I wonder if the faucet is unclogged or if the package arrived yet. How many days has it been since the Dragon Prince started? Chapter 7 of my math book keeps going and I don’t remember where I put the mail key. I AM BORED END TRANSMISSION