Cloister Commentary, Day 276: The COVID Holiday Wind is LONG

Holidays, COVID-style…

Nicole and I started the day by picking up curbside groceries, getting precautionary COVID tests, and assembling and distributing at distance “stocking stuffers” to friends (the latter was all Nicole’s imaginative doing).

We also executed a drive-by drop-off gift exchange with our dear friends Janet and David. Turned out we gave each other currently out-of-print: I got Bud Powell, David got one of his favorite speaker’s greatest hits.

My mom was able to see a new doctor–she’s had a rocky road of late–and she’s making the relationship permanent. She’s gotten three different prescriptions for her arthritis- and tendinitis-inflicted shoulders from three different physicians, and the new one seems the most sensible. She sounded truly happy for the first time in a week.

It was a frustrating mail day. I’m well aware the USPS is overwhelmed, undermanned, and criminally undercut, but we didn’t even get our expected regular mail (I’m beginning to think the “Informed Delivery” app just amplifies my anxiety), and an important package’s USPS tracking looked like the flight of a fly at a BBQ. It left a Columbia distribution center at 7:15; this morning, it’s leaning a St. Louis distribution center. I need to chill.

Dinner was Boca burgers with cheese and onions, Springsteen green beans, and Yukon gold taters. Nightcap: Old Fashioneds with Runamok Maple Cocktail Syrup from Vermont. They tasted as great as Bernie Sanders is.

Catch-up: I forgot to mention one of my few pandemic accomplishments–I finished reading The Holy Bible! Well, kind of. Rather, it was Mark Russell’s condensed (no “begats,” for example), laugh-laden, and (accurately) retitled God is Disappointed in You. I’m not a believer, except in the notion that every literate English-speaker needs The Holy Bible, Hamlet, and The Odyssey under their belt for the sake of wrestling with references in traditional lit. Sample of Russell’s work? “If you’re one of these Christians who’s full of faith, but who lets widows and orphans starve to death, you need to either start doing Christ’s work or start calling yourself something else.” From “The Letter of James,” if you’d like to compare with the original.

Streaming for Strivers:

One night back in The Old World, we were vacationing with Janet and David at The Elms in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. We had been having a blast, but everyone but me had slid into a snooze, so I put my headphones on and listened to this. It’s probably my favorite EDM-ish album and it always brings back memories of that trip where nothing really happened but being together. YouTube is making the album a mystery, so you’ll have to click!

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