On the last day of real life, six months ago today, I ate pizza at a restaurant with some of my favorite people. I miss them. Critical commentary and witty banter in person feels like family. Critical commentary and witty banter via Zoom feels like maybe we’re mean.

For days I will eat a bagel, some pickles and cheese for lunch, and maybe a bowl of cereal and a mini Hershey bar before bed. Then one day I will consume ten thousand calories within a few hours – chicken biscuit, a box of Gobstoppers, pizza, fries, banana cream pie from the Cheesecake Factory. I will get a tummy ache and promise myself and God I will never ever eat that way again if I can just go to sleep and feel better. But about 10 days later I will in fact do it again. I cannot seem to stop this cycle.

This household consumes ketchup at the rate of 38 ounces every 6 days. It is more precious than milk, bread, OJ, and maybe even toilet paper.

John Cusack should not play a serious serial killer. Just stop it, Netflix. He’s supposed to be holding up boom boxes and kissing girls that are like us. Grosse Point Blank is an exception because the government made him do it AND because he kissed a girl that could have been us.

I let my teenager go on a double date to the roller rink. All kids were driven there by parents. All kids were in a public place at all times. All kids were wearing masks at all times. COVID dating simplifies some things for parents.

I have a thousand and one complaints about virtual school. I’m not sharing a single one. Teachers are busting their butts and stuck in the same crappy situation as all the rest of us – but they also have to try and teach with few resources and sketchy leadership. I desperately want my girls to go back to school and learn face to face, and at the same time I am terrified of the risk involved.

I am not going to be one of the first half a million people to get the vaccine. That’s a Stephen King novel just waiting to be written.

Occasionally I’ll get a little brave and venture out, but then I end up spending the next 14 days holding my breath a little. Vacation was great, getting my hair cut and colored was great, getting a pedicure was great…but I’m not sure it’s worth the late night thoughts that bombard my brain or the slight tension that rests in my shoulders the couple of weeks following.

Every time I start to worry about sickness and events outside of my control, I try to remind myself that evidence of miracles walks around my house daily. I snapped this picture of Audrey a couple weeks ago and I keep coming back to it. She’s got a little Wonder Woman stare combined with maybe a Drew Barrymore Firestarter moment. Her expression is so focused. And fierce.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

My favorite quarantine purchase is an In Our Prayers display. It’s a visual reminder and a method to communicate who and what is on our hearts. Right now every single one is related to family: blood family, church family, work family.

I am watching too much news. This has resulted in my firm belief that there is no revelation or story or coverage that is going to sway votes for or against Trump at this point. Supporters of his will not believe them. He said it himself years ago and it’s an absolute truth – he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and still get votes. The case involving the President and E. Jean Carroll and the Justice Department is the news story that has me the most frustrated right now: DOJ to represent Trump. The president denies knowing his accuser and is being asked to provide a DNA sample as part of the case, which is pretty standard. His DNA, that could prove he’s telling the truth and she’s lying, is the thing he’s trying desperately not to provide. Why aren’t more people asking why is that?

The longer I’m out in the world less and at home more, the less faith I have in humanity. Especially if I spend any time on Facebook or Twitter. I need to get out to see the good in people. Online, it’s too easy to judge solely based on what they copy and paste and share. And yet, I guess that is who they are. It’s all so confusing.

Regardless of what some people might say in rally speeches or tweets, I’m voting Democrat but I am not trying to lock anyone in their homes, fire all police officers, overturn the second amendment, fighting to keep churches closed, or thinking we shouldn’t be allowed to say God in America. I’m just a girl, standing in front of the TV watching a boy, who’s not doing a very good job at his job.

I have peaceably protested. I have never been a participant in looting or destruction (unless you count that time we spray painted the train overpass in college). I think the destruction of property is wrong, it works against trying to get people to see your “side,” and it distracts many from the core issue. And yet at the same time I get why some people are doing it. Sometimes frustration builds and builds and builds over months or years or a lifetime and then it bursts out. Maybe if we didn’t view equality and fair treatment of all people as an issue that has sides, we wouldn’t be dealing with these explosions.

I don’t know if this is real or photoshopped, but it doesn’t matter. It sums up how I feel about several situations in the world right now.

This world lost a pretty great human a week ago. Her name was Alicia. We went to Emory & Henry at the same time and we graduated together. She was fierce and passionate, she had a huge heart and an old soul, and she spoke truth verbally and in writing. She stood up for people regardless of what others would think of her. About a year ago, we were both having “a day” on the same day and I picked up my phone and dialed her number instead of sending a message. I hadn’t heard her actual voice since 1995 but it seemed like no time had passed since the last time. We laughed about old times and current times, we man-hated, and we traded Momma stories. The time talking was the hug I needed, and I hope she felt the same way. I am so thankful I made that call, and I have a feeling she’s looking out for us from that great cloud of witnesses while slyly making mischief and casting some spells by request.

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