September 7th, 2020

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Indulgence, sort of

Here's some of how I've treated myself lately.

I drive. It's a good idea to run the car at least once a week, and certain errands are easier with one. Though dealing with other drivers driving badly — and making sure I don't drive badly in response — remains a challenge.

Last Friday I considered doing a drive, and woke up extra early to do so (do it while it's cooler out), but as the morning went on, I decided I wasn't in the mood. Instead, I was in the mood to visit Beulahland. It currently has afternoon/evening hours Thursdays through Sundays; so that evening, I bussed and walked over to it. I last did that August 7th, also a Friday, and took advantage of the new porch on what had been some of NE 28th Ave.'s street parking. Getting there by bus and on foot meant I could let myself have an adult beverage; I went with a Buoy beer. Also food: grilled cheese plus a hot dog, followed by an RC. Turns out I honestly like RC.

The porch was full, but Beulah has limited indoor seating. So I set up at the tables next to the Gorbachev poster, which has googly eyes on him and is surrounded by Arsenal FC scarves, wanting to be both near a front window and in sight of people inside. Didn't want to feel like I was hiding.

It didn't feel as much like an indulgence. Because of how careful we were being. And because of how weird it felt to eat inside a bar/restaurant, during all this. So far in this pandemic, I've only done that three times: My Father's Place in Inner SE Portland, Kyllo's in Lincoln City with Mom, and Beulah on Friday. (I've been looser with being inside of coffee shops, I'll admit; I still go to Space Monkey and to Carnelian Coffee, and alternate between inside and outside.) So I didn't linger in Beulah as long as I wanted to: I wanted to finish, get more hand sanitizer on, then head home. As I did, after topping well.

This is going to feel weird for a bit. A continued bit. Pandemic means I have to find more ways to write interestingly.

Meanwhile, I can treat myself with books (some digital, some my own, some borrowed from my nearest library branch — I wait some time before reading them inside, or handle the books carefully then wash) and movies (DVDs from, again, the library, plus what I can borrow on the Hoopla app: Sunday I watched The Commitments).

Alicia Snavely

We've lost Alicia Snavely.

She passed away yesterday. I don't know much more than that. A friend broke the news to me just over six hours ago. Since then I've mainly thought, rested, and slept. Had an unsettled dream, I'm not surprised to say.

I've known Alicia for about 15 years, thanks to LiveJournal and her account mac_arthur_park; later we migrated to being Facebook friends as well. This feels like a body blow. God, it's such a fucking cliché to say someone was full of life, but she was: caring, brash, funny, good with people, enthused, and with absolutely zero tolerance for bullshit. If she was mad at bullshit, she had damn good reason to be.

This is bullshit and she'd be damn mad at that.

I miss you, Alicia Snavely. I'm lucky I knew you. I'll try to hang on to that.
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More about today

Today I was asked "Are you sitting down?"

A friend was reaching out to me to break as gently to me as possible the news of Alicia Snavely's death Sunday. It's a difficult chore. People have done it for me; I've done it for them.

(I want to be asked "Are you sitting down?" when there's major good news to pass along, damnit. Yes that does happen.)

That conversation changed the shape of my day, because my mother was on her way to visit. We were going to go get food and shoot the breeze before the ash (from fires northeast of us) got too heavy in Portland. It meant I'd been processing the news for only a few minutes when Mom arrived. I had her come in and asked her to sit down. I said it confusingly and I think she thought I asked her to wait until I'd sat down. But we sat, then I told her.

We talked briefly, and agreed I wasn't up for going out. She walked to Space Monkey for a sandwich, then returned and drove home.

Now. I mentioned the ash. Portland has started a wind-and-ash emergency: winds from the east have really picked up this afternoon and evening. We've already had lots of power outages in the area, plus blowing dust lowering visibility on at least I-5 near Salem. We have devices charged up in case we lose power.