action de grâce 2020

so autumn came speaking in the language of colors and i have been away for a while lost in the wonderful world of plants. and with the winter comes loss to make the way for new beginnings. the necessary seemingly never endless grey haze before you fall asleep. where dream and wake is knitted together with fine wool. to keep you warm. to keep you unsure.

days have been consumed with lots of good things, great things and sad things. but here i am, to report on my wee life.

it’s almost end of november, thanksgiving is around the corner and the smell of burning wood in fire places is in the air. mornings are wonderfully fog filled and what can i say, i’m content and blissful.

i’ve lost another kitty sadly and at the same time i ‘m happy to say he had a long and carefree life and he didn’t give any indication that anything was wrong at all. alas, this is the truth about animals as they mask their sickness.  i named this kitty after my human child. we carry little burdens in our hearts. a small funeral procession is carried out with every loss. a funeral that ignites on its own. a sadness that rises like the embers of winter firewood. a past self, the size of our fist. a heart swollen up inside our rib cage. a word so heavy it has no name. something so full that it feels empty. a hollow carcass that beats with our name. and a taste so fickle it fades before the feelings are swallowed. a smell so sublime, it vanishes before sleep arrives. a death so vivid, it blurs all the innocence left behind. a price so huge it takes all goodness to recover. and sooner or later these little flying flickers of daily routine, turn into huge weights over our shoulders. we look down and walk more humbly. we smile quietly and pick words with care. we say goodbyes with a delicate caress and hello with warm embrace. we live life all the time wondering what if ? and price of life that doesn’t exist.

couple of weeks prior to his passing, i took another kitty to the vet on an emergency visit. here i have to say that i really like my new vets even though they are super busy for my liking and it’s hard to get a regular appointment. i observed that snuggles was breathing funny and so off i took him to the vet. what i didn’t realize was that emergency appointment means the vet would take a look at him between the regularly scheduled appointments and so the kid was sitting by himself in an examination room while i was sitting outside in the car and i think he totally freaked out. and i finally got him home around 4:30 pm on a saturday and i returned to him to give him some food when i saw him flopping on the floor turning blue and trying to catch his breath. i called the vet and after realizing i was unable to help him and i am not going to bring him to a vet in that condition, i said a little prayer and waited on him to die. as he was trying to throw up, i opened his mouth and removed the sticky mucous from his mouth and throat and i think it helped him a bit as he was no longer blue but still lying on the floor. i kept stroking him a bit and read to him psalm 121.  after a few hours he seemed to recover but only the second episode started around 10 pm and i was pretty sure he would die. i mean, to see this kitty in so much pain and my inability to help, is too much for me. at one point i actually wanted to break his neck so as to give him a quick death but i didn’t have balls. so i secluded the kid in another room, in all honesty thinking that he will die, said another prayer, chanted psalm 121 and left him in the room. an hour later i went back to see if he died, and to my surprise the kid was sitting up and i bawled. i quickly gave him his medications and shoved some food into him as i thought if he died at least i did my best. i was up all night and went back every couple of hours to see how he was faring and also to feed him couple of mouthfuls of food. i left him some water, some food and also a litter box. and on sunday at around 8 am i went to give him his pills and also some food but when i opened the door, the kid dashed out of the room made a bee line to the litter box they usually use and had a good pee. he was a bit unsteady on his feet but he surprised me a lot. by sunday evening, he was behaving as if nothing happened while i was dozing in and out of sleep with an eye on him. my kids surprise me to bits. now a days i am bit worried that they are super comfortable with me being home a lot and so i think they may get separation anxiety when i go back to office.

speaking of office, i am thinking of asking my boss that i want to make my job work from home and i kinda hinted at it. i seriously have almost couple of hours of commute each way and as i have no intention of taking public transportation due to covid in any foreseeable future. i probably have to look for another job in case my job doesn’t become work from home deal.

as i reported previously, i have started gathering plants in an effort to duplicate my mother’s garden…  i have a few more plants to go to complete the list. i have other plants like orchids, as well and i am steadily collecting them. but most recently i started collecting rare (and thus expensive) plants and when i say plants, they are cuttings and seedlings. all these cutting and seedlings are costing me a lot of dollars to be honest and i have been eagerly waiting for tax refund so i can splurge on a rare plant cutting which is costing me an arm and half a leg ! i think i will also buy some more orchids to add to my orchid collection.  i have watering schedules for all my plants as i get exhausted watering them all in a day, and i have different day schedules for them.

so i can safely say my portfolio now involves some equity in goddamn expensive plants. and also as these plants are toxic to animals i have make shift terrariums and mini glass greenhouses.  i have joined rare plant groups and learning a lot on these projects. people are so knowledgeable and kind. the most expensive cutting which i purchased so far was $2500 and yes there are plants much more expensive than these…

i have been incredibly happy with my projects and how i’m diversifying my mental portfolio.

read a lot less books than i wanted to as now a days i have less time and also as i started to watch a lot more television episodes so i can polish my french and spanish languages. the important french phrase i learned was “je m’en bats les couilles” which literally means ‘i beat my nuts about it’ which is obviously a bit vulgar and so “i don’t give a flying fuck or no fucks given” would serve the same purpose.

we are heading into another lockdown / quarantine. i started to think of good days and social interactions as to food- for example the other day i said that the last good day before lockdown has last me for three weeks (mentally and emotionally) and the social reunion with my friends on thursday will last me another three i think. you know what i mean ? it’s like okay i had something very good that i can think of for the next few weeks and be happy. taking care of yourself is very important and i will go get my flu shot this week as i’m off work. i probably will cook an elaborate meal and stuff myself while watching some favorite shows. (i have been lazy and wasn’t cooking and have been living on nothing but coffee, brioche, cheetos and diet soda)

the choice is always ours. the pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. ~ william arthur ward

happy thanks giving !!

week -1 shelter in place (sip)

everything feels really fragile right now. i know that everyone is scared, anxious, unsure about the future. and rightfully so. but if anything, let the current moment serve as a reminder for all of you social beings, of how much humans need each other, of how much they rely on each other, and more importantly what our duty is to each other. if we practice social distancing and maintain good hygiene, we both protect ourselves from catching the virus and also protect others by reducing our chance of carrying it and passing it on. wishing all of you health and happiness in these uncertain times. may we all, even if not literally, be there for each other.

not that much changed in terms of my schedule except that i don’t have to get out of the bed at a god awful time to get dressed and run to work. this is a great change and i welcome it. and oh, of course, i still take a shower, and put on a clean shirt… oh the other advantage is that the break from the bleating of terry at work regarding his dietary habits and other crap. he would complain on and on if there is someone to hear it. there are two people he complains to a lot and unfortunately i’m not deaf and so i can hear every single word & he almost became a white noise; he is a very flaky person with no substance & who puts on airs of someone who is intelligent when clearly he is not and  every fucking day, he would complain on and on about this & that and i would just shut him off by listening to some music and my poor boss, started thinking that she is the reason (as i can hear her as well when she is on calls for her meetings) that i’m putting on headphones.

watched a couple of movies vincent and the end of the world (flemish / french), el hoyo (spanish) watched my sci-fi shows. read & reading books; ordered the new asterix comic books; bought more stocks and now debating if i should buy more of my company’s stock; don’t feel great about my company’s performance tbh; waiting on the temps to get warmer so i can plant stuff in the garden;

my church started airing services online and for the first time since i became a seventh-day adventist, i kept sabbath as god intended. i attended the church services without wasting time to travel to church & enjoyed services because of the technology. when the directive came to not have crowd gatherings of 50 (and then 10), my lover was extremely rejoiced and his happiness was short-lived and now he must attend services if he spends time with me or he must go home.

oh, all my kitties came down with sniffles and as a scientist two things i observed; my kitties all came down with upper respiratory infections and currently being given the medications and wondering if there is any bearing with covid (indirect, like something i brought into home has corona virus strain b or i may have already been exposed to covid but as i expected it just passed through me quickly); as almost all my kids are senior kitties, i have a tendency to leave their wet food around in bowls, & plates around the house whether they eat or not; i feed them in the morning and before i leave for work i put out more food and once i get home, throw out the remaining food, and feed them their evening meal, and put out food for the night. you see, my wee units are very picky with their food like their mama and they take a bite and go away and few mins later they come back and eat more. because of this constant food supply, and the windows of my house are always open, there are many flies buzzing about in general to my disgust as the trash in the bins attract flies; but since this covid saga started, no flies can be seen and am wondering if there is a correlation. scientist me, making notes of my observations !

i’ve been stocking up on my kitties’ medication (for minor fevers & ailments, etc, i diagnose and treat the kitties myself). also, last sunday, one of my cats had a huge asthma episode, and after subsiding her attack with albuterol and starting her on prednisolone, i ran to cvs to buy her the inhaler (as it’s no insurance it was bloody expensive $300). and to get more prednisolone for my wee units, on last friday (day before yesterday) i was driving to my vet, and i thought there would be no one on the streets, or to an extent less people. believe it or not, my neighborhood is somewhat quiet but as i was coming towards philly, i saw huge numbers. and i was a bit shocked to say the least. i went and i got the medications, and my vet and i were talking about groceries. so, as i am a vegetarian i have no problem getting fresh veggies & fruits. i had some difficulty finding half & half for my coffee & i was bleating that i may have to start drinking black coffee and my vet told me go to shop-rite, that they are well stocked. so i dropped by the shop-rite, and what a fucking mistake… it was teeming with people. i turned around and fled as fast as i could.

the stupidity of people is beyond my comprehension. i keep thinking that i have come to grips with the human pettiness and stupidity, and then someone goes and does something even stupider, surprising me. case in point, people are dying by thousands and we are still not even at the peak ! and the disease is spreading exponentially and still people are behaving as if there is nothing going on or as though it’s mild case of flu outbreak; stupid teenagers on spring breaks and the partying on the beaches and what not ! honestly, they should be shot !! i actually was dumbfounded when my colleagues at work behaved as though this won’t touch them ! and then there are a few who keep forwarding me “fake news” just ’cause i was being unfortunate to be included in these group texts; and then there are this other category of people who pile up on toilet paper and i’m like why ? this is not cholera ? and even if you run out, that is not the end of your fucking world as all you need to do is jump into shower ? and i have seen this before when people hoarded stuff at the mention of snow; to be fair as i don’t have human children, i’m not hoarding that much and i also think that me being vegetarian doesn’t help in hoarding. so i go out late every other day, to get some veggies and fruits and i would be the only one who would have two or three items 😊

i have so much stuff i need to do around the house, ugh. it’s been weeks of just kinda… maintenance mode. and now i can’t even get a fucking cleaning help. which i know is okay, considering all that’s going on, but it doesn’t really help stave this restlessness, you know ?  i’m incredibly fortunate, especially since both me and my boy can work from home, so i try to focus on that. it has been nice, all things considered, to finally have more time with my insanely overworked lover. it shouldn’t have taken a crisis for his hours to be more liveable, but we live in a capitalistic landscape.

anyway…

pace yourself people ! we are in this for a very long time and so no need to go through all the things which you need to do. if you haven’t already grasped reality, let me explain to you. we may never have normalcy till they find a way to eradicate this virus. not two weeks, not two months. this virus, if it is anything like it’s zoonotic sister variation, if you are exposed, and lived, it will stay dormant in you and will become active when your immunity is down and then kills you. i’m also predicting that if you got infected, even if you live, your lungs may severely be damaged, with lesions, probably scar tissues, and may even end up in getting cancer. it is very tricky virus and it knows how to survive. this is a single strand rna virus and i’m pretty sure is is mutating from person to person and so the genome of this virus is not the same in any two people. and so, no chance of having a good cure.

so stay the fuck home if you have no business to go out ! if you must, wash your hands every time you touch something.

like elnor says “choose to live” !

(star trek: picard)(goddamn proud to use this reference)(waiting to use it for ever !)

life in the time of covid-19

camus’ “the plague” is absurdly relevant these days…  hence forth, year 2020 shall be called “the year of the plague”.

on a reflective sunday morning, looking out the window at a beautiful sunny day, i was thinking about our life as it is these days…. but first things first ! thank the god almighty, who protects those who chose him. he gave me this promise when i was staring into the abyss with no direction and i would like to share this with you all. “he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty. i will say of the lord, he is my refuge and my fortress: my god; in him will i trust. surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. he shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” psalms 91:1-4 kjv

i have been preparing since january and still got overwhelmed with all this mostly because people are idiotic and came to office sniffling & with sore throats; and yes a tiny little virus, has brought down the entire world to halt and on it’s knees. and there is rampant panic and i admit it that i am anxious because i am in the high risk category as i’m asthmatic and i don’t want to tempt fate. of course, me being scientist who worked with various pathogens before i know how to take care of myself but that’s a lab setting, and this is real world. i am taking precautions when i go out and as our company encouraged it, i am working from home.

we may be heading for the complete lock down and staying home for months, may be a year if we are lucky, but i’m thinking probably 18 months and being home doesn’t phase me at all on account i’m a born antisocial and so i’m in weirdly privileged position of not being heavily affected by all this social distancing in terms of mental health as i would rather stay home than converse with idiotic people.

how am i spending my days you ask ? i’m chilling with my wee units / i’m reading books / working while listening to classical music /  exercising / making art / playing games / learning new things / investing money & buying stock (perfect time as we are in bear market) / researching stocks / buying objet d’art / buying books / organizing my house & cleaning / i spend more time for morning family worship with my wee units and the boy (when he is around) / cooking meals / debating (and fighting) with my scientist colleagues on facebook about everything and honestly i am happy because this gives me so much of intellectual stimulation. on the whole i should say i’m more productive than before.

and also tom brady left patriots & oh well, life goes on… while i’m really pissed but i see the hand of his wife behind this or he just may realized that he is getting old. who knows.

for those who need social interaction to have a good mental health, here’s a little list and you may add to it

  • clean. being in a clean house will make this so much nicer. if you’re stuck in your house all day, being in a clean home will help. plus, it’s a good exercise (i’m motivating myself).
  • if you have a garden, plant some stuff for spring, tidy it up, feed the birds, whatever.
  • if you have a netflix watch list, go through it.
  • if you’re sick, change your bed. i’ve been cleaning my sheets every other day. it’s nice to have fresh sheets.
  • watch documentaries
  • change out of your pyjamas, even if it’s just into a hoodie and some sweats. you’ll feel better.
  • be creative… paint, collage, sketch. try and improve your skills. get creative!
  • call your family and friends! facetime or phone.
  • rearrange your furniture, create a new ambiance.
  • have a clear out of clothes you don’t wear anymore
  • read !! read books you haven’t read yet or reread your favourite books. get lost in a different world.
  • teach yourself something. i like to study stuff in my own time. botany, human evolution, space, anything. learning stuff is fun when you’re not getting graded on it.
  • fuck it, learn a new language. i’ve been polishing my french, hindi, spanish language skills while learning german & am snoozing my way to the top.
  • bake, cook, make something. create new recipes.
  • if you’re sick, open the windows. its recommended for covid anyway but its nicer to be in bed with the window open.
  • watch nature outside your house. for like half an hour today i watched birds. i counted about 37 this morning.
  • nap
  • journal how you feel or vent to someone. its frustrating being stuck inside
  • make a bucket list

delicate

what’s with the boys i date (or marry) and kayaks ? the boy declared that he would like us to go kayaking, as soon as the weather permits and i’m like you are insane because i’m pretty much convinced that i would drown in my own bath-tub… i hate any activities on water, like tubing (which i did and felt that i may drown), boating (which i did and felt that i may drown), almost surfing (and pretty much drowned) ! one of the guys i date a while back (before i was married), wanted us to go to belize on his boat or a yacht or whatever the goddamn thing americans buy and so no my dear boy, we ain’t doing that or to be precise, i’m not doing any kayaking but you may !

also we are thinking we will go salsa dancing (i do dance salsa, the boy doesn’t as he is a neanderthal) and take a language class possibly german or japanese. when i realized that i might take any class with the boy, something awakened in me…. like in a kinky sort of way….. like it makes me wet just to think that !

i forgot to mention but i did go to a therapist. i sat at the edge of my chair, didn’t even remove my jacket,all my stuff on my lap. as soon as the introductions were done, i told him that i may not talk or worse, i may run away as that’s the best thing i always good at. he said not to worry but to just chat. he was picked by my doctor but if i decide to continue i may find someone nearer to my home.

healthwise, i have gone back to the gym #hallelujah, #praise the lord and hopefully i will stay but i may quit the gym at my work and continue the one near my house. and oh, remember my cholesterol being almost 220 !?! my doctor repeated the test because she wasn’t certain and it’s normal levels now and everything is peachykeen but she wants to repeat it again in about three months which is fine by me. come next week, i am thinking of moving my money into government bonds as the market is quite uncertain due to corona. speaking of corona as my boss & others travel a lot, i may opt for flexible work place option and work from home as i have no interest in contracting flu or corona as people in general are very unhygienic and no consideration for other people. and one of the other reasons why i was driving in every day was because of other passengers in public transportation.

february is coming to a close and la de fucking da ! i could have done without the goddamn heartache. and wow my emotions really are hot garbage this week huh. i cried a river, build a bridge and got over it. i bit off a piece of golden thread and wove the strand through the pieces of my heart with a needle – to hold myself together. then i listened to sad and angry and beautiful music and i wrote about everything that makes the world stop and also what makes it spin again. i went and had a coffee with the boy and we hiked and biked to a forest, took a nap for an hour, fucked hard on the still cold ground, and got dirty from lying on the ground but didn’t care about it. i know that that the fractures seal and they may leave a scar but like a broken leg, i have learnt to dance with a limp before and sense the rain is coming by the ache. i honestly think, it wasn’t that bad of a heartbreak anyway because in my heart of hearts i knew he wasn’t for me but sometimes i am dumb, what can i say ? my friends think that i should raise a flag of my hideous act of dumbness ! but great things came out of this as the boy promised he will go to church with me this sabbath and i’m like achievement unlocked ! now if i get him to return tithes and to have him go to church with me every week, half the war is won (also may be have him become a vegetarian) ! but baby steps !

our story starts small. starts with bread crumbs and becomes constellations. our hands a postage stamp to explore each other. our hearts tethered by a thread. at night we have lain awake, naked for a story that started mid sentence. untraveled roads and unraveled dreams. someone else’s language on my tongue with an aftertaste of other people’s name. like i am supposed to be somewhere else. like you carried me elsewhere. this is all just sweet happenstance. we can call it hope. we can color it lemon yellow and bright blue like a prism of our seeing and meeting.

i hope this won’t be necessary but let it be known that this too will pass. pain is temporary and so are the situations.

one day i’ll be having my christmas dinner with the family i chose, maybe i’ll have gone to another, colder country to make it really feel like christmas, and i’ll watch the grinch, and i’ll never remember the past and all i have to do is wait for the storm to pass.

there’s nothing i can’t endure. i’ll just start making a plan and slowly organize my next life.

into the fog

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february has been foggy a lot and during those misty, foggy, daze (days), my morning commute has been absolutely divine….. i love driving through these mists listening to the classical music and if bach or vivaldi is on, it’s better than an orgasm and not even a great orgasm comes close (and i should know about all those orgasms) to what i feel at that time !

some things fall apart, some change into something else and some just fade away…

february is coming to a close and for a leap year, it ain’t all that bad !

(all those buildings are center city philly where i can’t even see the skyline because of the mists and a few near my lovely neighborhood)