Cute Corona Cootie

Cute Corona Cootie

Except at the polls on Tuesday, and likely mainly because of that Anne did not teach this week. The kids were off today and will be all of next week for spring break, and after this last week that will feel like a lifetime. Dave is on indefinite telecommuting duty in Boston. Since he lives at the juncture of Harvard and MIT and they are both shut down, he is enjoying having Cambridge pretty much to himself. Meanwhile, Dan’s TV gig just closed in Brooklyn. His was the last production there to shutter and who knows about his reality TV gig next month.

Welcome to our new reality, life in the fast lane, with a multi-car accident just ahead of us on the freeway. We had been scheduled to fly to California today and when I called my Dad earlier this week to tell him we would not be coming, I felt really bad and a little bit foolish too. I still feel bad, but I don’t feel foolish anymore. This disease which for weeks has always seemed to be someone else’s problem, is now moved upon us and with surprising rapidity. The world is closing down around us, one venue at a time.

I have yet to detect many signs of the virus here. The count of confirmed cases continues to grow only slowly, but that could be because we just don’t know. Unless you are a celebrity or a crony, no one gets tested to find out. I taken to doing the grocery shopping early in the morning. It is less crowded then. I slather on hand sanitizer, both before and afterwards. Yes, I have hand sanatizer. You want some? How does a dollar a squirt sound to you?

Anyway, while in the store, I keep my social distance from everyone. I have an ear cocked for any sign of that tale-tell cough and I checkout using the U-scan. Then afterwards, again using hand sanitizer, I lather, rinse, repeat. At this point cabin fever seems to be more of a concern than the coronavirus. To that end, Anne and I got out on our bikes today. It is easy for bicyclists to keep a social distance from others, as we whip on by them.

For full disclosure, the plush toy is not actually a corona cootie or virus, but is supposed to represent the measles. It was one of a selection of such toys, each one portraying some microscopic pathogen. They were in one of the learning labs at the science center. I created its evil eyes using Photoshop, making it both sinister and cuddly at the same time. Go ahead hug it and then pass it along.

Happy Friday the 13th! Stay healthy. Stay lucky.

Trunk Bay Beach

Snorkeler’s Eye-View of Trunk Bay Beach

We hadn’t spoken with the boys, like in forever, when last night we got calls from both of them, after some prompting on our part. They are both doing fine. They had some news to relate, but all of the really good parts, they specifically forbade me from putting on the blog. I find that these things come out in time.

Dan is working hard as a union man. This means getting up at five to answer a 6 AM call. He’s building sets for several different TV shows. Usually as a fill-in for some else who is out sick or something. He doesn’t know from one day to the next where he will be working tomorrow, but other than that fact, the amount of work is pretty steady. He seemed really tired and opened our conversation with a yawn. Those early morning set calls are really not his cup of tea. He did offer me one out. If I could find other corroborating evidence, out on the web, then I could mention something that he said. He is so into protecting the intellectual property of his employers. Well, after clearing my Deep Throat, here we go. One of the shows that he has worked is called Faces.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, this yet to be released Apple TV series will star Julianne Moore and co-star Clive Owen. JJ Abrams is producing it and Stephen King is writing the show’s scripts. They are still looking for a director. King’s involvement certainly hints at the series’ supernatural overtones. The set that Dan was working on was huge. Faces is described as “a deeply personal thriller that follows Lisey (Moore) two years following the death of her husband. The story explores a series of events that causes her to begin facing amazing realities about her husband that she had repressed and forgotten.”

Our other phone conversation was with Dave. He has settled into his new job and it being a job-job, he now has more money. He was thinking about getting a new car, but instead now is looking for a new apartment and leaving his current bohemian digs, in the attic of an East Cambridge house. This hunt is not for the faint of heart. In Boston, landlords usually command three months rent, first month’s, last month’s and a security deposit. And on top of this the frequent need to hire a broker and you are talking about four months rent or about $10K. He does have some friends, who are planning on leaving Boston and if he can snag their apartment, then he shouldn’t need to pay for a broker. It is in West Cambridge, in a more upscale neighborhood. Stay tuned for more news later.


Bilateral Time Slicer Intermix, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, 2017

21c Museum Hotels is a combination contemporary art museum and boutique hotel chain. We visited the Nashville branch of this chain that was launched by Laura Lee Brown, heiress to the Jack Daniels fortune. There are currently ten hotels-museums in the chain. A venue in Chicago is opening soon and a Saint Louis branch is scheduled to open by the end of the year.

In all its venues, this is the only museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art of the 21st century. The museum is open free of charge 24/7. All of the hotels are built in salvaged and repurposed old downtown buildings. The one in Saint Louis is slated for the old downtown YMCA building.

The intermix of faces in the bilateral time slicer include Anne, Becca, Corwin, Rey and myself. Think of it as a photo-booth, with extra artistic help. Anne was the first person to use this machine and for the longest time, hers was the only one displayed. She was eventually able to coax the rest of us in joining her on camera. With each new face, older images (in time, not age), are then pushed outwards, I managed to snap this photo, before my face was acquired by the AI.

We had lunch in Germantown, one of the older and now trendier neighborhoods in Nashville. We ate takeout Thai for dinner. With the game Gizmos, Rey took the gloves off on us today. It wasn’t pretty and he wants to play Scrabble next.

Rey and Becca are in full house hunting mode. They are focusing on the area near where they rent, which is very cosmopolitan. Unfortunately, ICE is preying on this diversity. Trump is complaining about the homelessness in San Francisco and LA, but the homelessness in Nashville rivals what I’ve seen on the left coast. Here is a better photo of Corwin, the man of the moment. Left Off! Power to the people! Or am I reading too much into that little fist?


Powder Puff

Powder Puff

We drove to Nashville to see the new baby, Corwin. Friday’s big ice storm was kind of a bust. So, we had no trouble with weather on our drive down here. The temperature was mainly in the fifties and never below freezing. There was a lot of flooding that we drove through. Most of southern Illinois is underwater and the Ohio River was easily three times its normal width.

So, Anne is a great-aunt now. She was always a good aunt. I guess this makes me a pretty good uncle too. Rey and Becca’s two month old son seems hale and hearty. He has almost doubled his birth weight. Becca fixed an excellent Chinese fried rice dinner and afterwards, we played one of their new board games, this one is called Gizmos. Somehow, Anne won and I came in second, but don’t ask us how to play the game, except that it involves collecting cards, coins and marbles, not necessarily in that order. I’m sure that we’ll get another chance to better understand the game, but by then our beginner’s luck ought to have run its course. Mainly, we just sat around and went ooh and ah over the baby. Corwin seemed to enjoy the attention almost as much as we enjoyed giving him it. Tomorrow, we’ll try a field trip.

Spirit of St. Louis

Spirit of St. Louis

Dan and Britt left the Lou on Sunday morning, their destination, Brooklyn. This is normally a fifteen hour drive. This is a long drive in the best of circumstances. NYC born and raised Britt doesn’t drive and Dan was suffering from a cold. So, Anne and I had offered my services as a co-driver. I was up for it. I could extend my visit and see some sights, but Dan said that he was fine and could do it. The Pennsylvania turnpike tour bus wreck that had killed five, had already occurred and we discussed alternative routes. They finally made it, but were a good five hours late. Along the way, they saw not one, but two tractor trailers that were on fire. Dan sent a text at four in the morning. One of them they just missed due to a fortuitous dinner break and gas stop (Eat here, get gas.) They heard the sirens pass them by at the rest stop and were stuck with nothing to do except to wait for the fire to be put out. Anyway they made it and now Dan has a car, the Prius.

In another sense, Dan and Britt made it out-of-town in the nick of time. Monday saw no parking signs go up on the other side of our street. Today, the water company showed up for work. Fortunately, they will be tearing up the other side of the road. Two years ago, we saw the sewer company doing this kind of work. That job was on our side of the street. So far, the water company’s footprint isn’t as heavy as the sewer company’s was. No stacks of pipes, no port-a-potty on anyone’s front lawn, at least not yet. Again, no water shutoffs yet. Still, I drew a pot of water, for emergency toilet flushes. Dishes, showers and laundry could eventually prove problematic, at least during the day. We’re back down to only one vehicle again, which we can park off street in our driveway, but based on our experience with the sewer work, parking on another street may be necessary. This ordeal is supposed to last until March. Oh boy, we’re having some fun now.