Quarantine Journal (Updated Daily) Days 1-100

We pulled our kids out of school and began sheltering at home two week days/four days before the official order came down for San Francisco. I'm keeping track of the day to day change. This post will be updated daily. Maybe.

Note: I don't edit these posts, so they can be very raw.

Day 1: Thursday, March 12

I'm not used to seeing my husband so paranoid and worried. When I first met him, he thought climate change was not agreed upon by science. Are we overreacting?

Day 2: Friday, March 13

Nope. There's the announcement from the school district. Enjoying my last week of normal work schedule. Thank jesus we got a trampoline for our backyard a few weeks ago. Laughter and shrugs from the kids about missing school.

Day 3: Saturday, March 14

Walk to the Botanical Gardens, headed for the obscure plants. Ate home-packed lunch on the steps of the Music Concourse (notably featured in Contagion, the movie). Is it safe to use a public bathroom?

Watched Contagion again, recommended in my Amazon feed. Answer: not risking it.

Day 4: Sunday, March 15

Homeschooling is going to be great.

Day 5: Monday, March 16

I hate homeschooling.

Day 6: Tuesday, March 17

My kids hate homeschooling.

Day 7: Wednesday, March 18

Binge listening to the bands I used to love in the '00s, aka, my 20s, when I had all the time in the world.

No, friends and family, I'm not looking for content to fill in the boredom. Instead, I'm wondering where the f*ck all my time suddenly went?

(Still, hold the line.)

Day 8: Thursday, March 19

God I love my work.

Day 9: Friday, March 20

Drunk jackass attempts to deface the little library we installed in front of our house with a sticker. "But it's my personal art!" Fuck you, dude. Also, who's going around touching things right now?

(Feel ridiculous yelling at someone through a screen, about a sticker.)

Day 10: Saturday, March 21

Eight forms of arguments with my kids to get them off their iPads and out for exercise. Tears and screams. I'm also screaming.

Soul-soothing walk to Mt. Sutro and back. My son's lifework will be to prove that we are already zombies. My daughter has 20 questions.

Day 11: Sunday, March 22

The already headless frog finally falls entirely off our spinning rainbow front "lawn" thing. Bad news from a friend in Italy who is no longer allowed out of her apartment, even for a walk. Twitter is bleak and bloated.

Grocery store closes earlier than expected.

Day 12: Monday, March 23

Kids begin walking in the street. Mac n' cheese boxes are in quarantine in the garage.

Looked at the news.

Every month that has passed since November 2016 has felt like a decade, but the last two days are somewhere so malicious and dark that I no longer believe in the ticking of the clock.

Day 13: Tuesday, March 24

Someone left free wipes and a kind note for neighbors in the little library we put in front of our house. A piece of unexpected good news about my kid’s school budget felt like a burst of sunshine. A friend knows the two bearded guys on the new LEGO show; because that’s Portland, folks.

My quarantine experience is made of many tiny gold bricks.

Day 14: Wednesday, March 25

The new normal is going to sleep wondering if that heavy feeling in your chest that makes it hard to breathe is the beginning of the end, or just anxiety. Went for a short but intense bike ride this morning to remember what it really feels like to be unable to breathe. Success.

Day 15: Thursday, March 26

Organizing a quarantine birthday party for one of my kids. No one likes my idea of wearing fancy masks to lunch. Beautiful sunset.

Day 16: Friday, March 27

Up before dawn so one of my kids can take an online art class. There is no way in hell I would have done this in normal times. No flippin’ way.

Day 17: Saturday, March 28

Family afternoon walk around the neighborhood. It’s like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood out here now. Everyone’s our friend. Purged and cleaned out kid #2’s room, yielding three full bags of trash. Some deep part of me thinks that surely this is an anti-viral measure.

Day 18: Sunday, March 29

My kids are suddenly best friends these days—except when they’re not. It’s wonderfully sweet.

Day 19: Monday, March 30

Our first—and hopefully only—quarantine birthday. A for effort, E for extra hugs. Neighbor kids have begun to play in the street. This reduced amount of car traffic needs to be the new normal.

Day 20: Tuesday, March 31

Now that we can’t get eggs from the grocery store, I find myself obsessing about all the recipes I love using eggs. Blueberry muffin batter, hollandaise sauce on spinach and poached eggs, bim bam bap. We’re also out of white bread flour and all-purpose flour, damn you stress bakers, so my biweekly bread loaves are tasting a little different—but as long as we don’t run out of butter, I’m good.

This is our official school spring break, which so far largely consists of me and my husband pretending not to notice that the kids are still on their iPads, many, many hours later. “I don't see anything. Do you see anything?” We were supposed to make our first ever family trip to Disneyland this week before the quarantine hit, though I’m not at all complaining. It’ll just make that trip all the sweeter when we all this is over. If it’s ever over.

Day 21: Wednesday, April 1

Attempted to help one of my kids draw a rectangle as part of an online class on Adobe Illustrator 101. Could not draw a rectangle.

Day 22: Thursday, April 2

I thought I had a good handle on who my neighbors were, but the quarantine has begun revealing who the real local icons are. Hats off to the woman who shuffle runs up and down the middle of the street every afternoon under a parasol while singing along to her ear buds.

Also, we took our cat outside for a walk yesterday (in his carrier mounted on a rolling cart); it was the only way to get my daughter out of the house.

Day 23: Friday, April 3

Woke up at 5 am with intense dizziness and nausea. Couldn’t find a comfortable way to sit or fall back asleep for hours. Still feel very off kilter. WTF?

Day 24: Saturday, April 4

Still kind of dizzy, though the nausea has disappeared. It's rained most weekends since the quarantine in San Francisco began, which is probably a good thing for keeping people inside, though it would have been nice to leave the house today.

The dumpling place in our neighborhood has closed, much to our dismay, but the pizza places remain open. Is shitty pizza more essential than dumplings? Feels like the kind of question that will keep me up at night.

Also: should we cut our own hair?

Day 25: Sunday, April 5

I think I must have an ear infection. I’m not feeling great despite a lot of sleep. I am of course paranoid that this is the onset of the infection, even though the rational part of me says that’s ridiculous. My husband has been making chicken soup broth from carcasses since this morning. The house improbably smells like Thanksgiving.

Youngest child 0 - Cat 1. Her face is slowly becoming a map of failed girl-cat claw interactions. I don’t think our cat likes quarantine; the kids tried to build a zip line to carry him across our backyard in a crate. 🐈

Day 26: Monday, April 6

Husband got up pre-dawn to be at the grocery store when it opened. Success. The eggs are back, and I’m feeling very grateful.

School is odd right now.  There’s a week lull between last week’s spring break and when official online instruction is supposed to begin, so art has officially replaced Chinese for the week for my youngest, and we’re taking a lot of “field trips,” which just means walking to the park and back. My oldest is obsessed with taking online classes about how to make money. I don’t think he actually likes the activities of capitalism—playing Monopoly makes him anxious—but he has always felt really worried about getting and keeping a job that will make him lots of money. I get that. Son, may I gently suggest that Robux may not be the best financial investment?

Meanwhile, it’s fascinating to watch my daughter’s friendship road bumps happen and resolve over screens. The issues aren’t new, but there is a much stronger incentive now for these kids to work things out. Otherwise you will end up talking to no one but your parents for the next few months—and the cat will get really, really fed up with all the extra attention.

The masks we got for the horrible smoke from all the recent wildfires in the area have once again become a staple of our daily life. These are some very, very odd years. Sometimes it hits me real hard.

Day 27: Tuesday, April 7

The sun came back out today, and life feels softer. Last night our cat dragged a succession of mice into our house (two dead, one alive). Needless to say, I didn’t sleep super well. Today I spent an hour outside riding bikes with my kids, and then alone. It felt wonderful.

There appear three kinds of drivers out on the streets now. First, the essential workers—god speed to them, and all the respect. Second, a growing number of non-essential workers being super careful about all the people now walking and trying to play on the street. And last, and definitely least, the non-essential worker speeding like he’s in some road warrior remake, free at last to maim and kill with impunity. Fuck that guy. No really. Super fuck that guy. Your personal TP hoarding run is not that fucking important.

Day 28: Wednesday, April 8

Marriage in confined spaces 24/7 is hard.

Day 29: Thursday, April 9

Went to my doctor's office to get my dizziness thing checked since it still hasn't gone away. I was surprised and nervous when they asked me to go for an in-person visit. Since the dizziness only happens when I'm lying down or reclining, for the most part, I biked across town to get to the appointment and back. Honestly, it was wonderful to be outside again, even if it brought the threat of death. Bizarre, but nice. There are still a lot of (non-essential) people out and about.

The doctor's office visit was also a different world, though. I didn't see a single other patient. The good news is that it turns out I have a form of vertigo involving some dislodged crystals in my inner ear. Crystals, people! I'm feeling magic. The other good news is that it's going to go away. I just have to continue to live with some constant low-level nausea and occasional spurts of dizziness in the meantime. I just hope the trip to get the answers doesn't lead to anyone's death.

Day 30: Friday, April 10

Our cat continues to escalate his efforts to bring in more small, vaguely dead creatures to eat. Today was a mole (or gopher? hard to tell), which he brought in repeatedly over the course of the afternoon, in various states of demise. I don't know what he's trying to tell us, but if he's reading this: we're doing fine on food. No need to help! I was just kidding about those egg fantasies. Really!

Road warrior behavior outside continues to escalate. Kids no longer playing on the street. Lots of selfish f*cks out for recreational drives, now featuring high speeds. Stay home, people. When it's not safe for people to walk on the street near their house because of your driving habit, you--personally, literally, you--are a public health hazard.

P.S. The only good thing to come out of the Covid-19 shutdown so far has been all the beautiful, clear skies out there. Also a public health imperative. That also won't last at this rate unless the City opens the streets and puts a stop to all this selfish driving. Seriously, go home.

Day 31: Saturday, April 11

Bedazzled the rainbow spinny thing I put in front of our house. When I bought it on Chinese New Year, it had a frog bouncing on the very front. The frog ended up falling off in disturbing chunks over the next few weeks, leaving a gaping blackness at the center of the otherwise mesmerizing spinner. Our home office/guest room/laundry room looks right at the patch of sidewalk where the spinner lives, so it’s been fun to see just how much love it gets; it’s astounding. The thing has been Instagrammed more than anyone else in our family. All kinds of people stop to watch it emote color—by themselves, with their kids, with their dogs, with their babies, drunken and ironically, in many languages. Watching people trying to get their dogs to notice color is especially hilarious. It’s been one of the best purchases I’ve ever made, particularly now with so many people out taking local walks, looking for any signs of hope. So I hope that the little purple gem my daughter and I put at its center will be a new source of delight. At the very least, I hope that it doesn’t fall off before tomorrow. Someone else has placed painted rocks in our little patch saying “Joy” and “Love.”

Also, there’s a sign around the corner with a drawing of a taco that says, “It’s okay to fall apart. Tacos fall apart, and we still love them.”

Day 32: Sunday, April 12

Happy Cat Appreciation Day.

Day 33: Monday, April 13

People are starting to ask more questions about when this will all end. It’s a tough question to answer, given how little correct and timely information we got about when it began. I certainly don’t know, but it seems pretty clear that the future holds a lot of social shaming and interpersonal hard feelings about what is and what is not the right thing to do.

Also, a mouse appears to be living under our oven thanks to our cat. I am really over this feline. My husband is attempting to vacuum it out.

Day 34: Tuesday, April 14

Cat ate the mouse. Don’t ask me how I know.

My oldest friend got laid off today. She hated her job, but I’m still sad for her. She’s now one of millions, despite all her impressive degrees and career accomplishments. Things seem fairly rosy still in wealthy San Francisco in terms of people coping, but I wonder when the edges will start to really fray, when people will start acting on their desperation. There’s a fair amount of illegal house construction/remodeling work happening in my neighborhood—which, classic. My online mom groups also make it clear that a lot of the well-heeled ladies out there are bringing in nannies despite the SIP order, in large part because their husbands refuse to do any of the housework and childcare and the women are falling apart trying to literally do everything, a job, a teacher, a housekeeper, a wife. Moms are losing their shit all over the private Internet. Their husbands are going to be the death of some people, whether they realize it or not.

Day 35: Wednesday, April 15

Our backyard is exploding with life, plant and otherwise. I would not say that I enjoy gardening in any way, shape or form, but I’ve started weeding when I can. We’ll see how long that lasts. There’s something incredibly depressing about an overgrown yard right now. I also have seeds now for some basic herbs and beans. My intention is to plant them in my long-suffering EarthBox this weekend. Last time I did this, though, a raccoon dug all the seeds up the next day and nothing grew except resentment and bitterness. So who knows if it’ll work? It seems like a good idea on paper since we’re all in this for the long haul. (Well, xcept for those folks in Michigan screaming into their own coffins. What will be the death toll from that protest?)

I continue to find new ways for education technology to stick pins in my eyeballs. All hail Google Classroom, except when Google Classroom refuses to load any of the actual relevant stream items for the day no matter how many workarounds you try. [Silent scream into the void.]

My husband is actively discussing letting our eight-year-old, who is the most visually and manually gifted of us, have a go at his hair. Except apparently all the clipping sheers and electric razors are sold out on the Internet.

Facebook advertising is making enormous inroads into my life. After seeing about 1,000 ads for the thing, I bought one of my kids a Moon Pod, which is essentially a bean bag chair. He is in luuuuuuv. He won’t be able to go back to swim team for a year at least, or any pool, so this is pretty the closest he’s going to get to the same sort of sensory experience. Now all schooling is performed on the Moon Pod.

Day 36: Thursday, April 16

We relaxed our rules about grocery shopping no more than once a week today, and I made my first trip to the store in months to score some sparkling apple cider for tomorrow night’s big virtual Go Fish party with my daughter’s best friend’s family. I hope the trip doesn’t kill me, or anyone else. In the larger scheme of things, I would really hate to die for sparkling apple cider and a number of impulse purchases I’m not super proud of. In fact, it probably wasn’t such a good idea to go at all. I’m sitting here now feeling like I must be coming down with something, and it’s all but certainly completely in my head. Maybe? Maybe not? I hate this.

In any event, it was something to see our normally bountiful store with aisle after aisle of barren shelves. I remember visiting Russia in 1994, and seeing much more dire versions of today’s shopping experience, and thinking that it looked like weird theater. You know what’s not out, though? Wine. Wine and beer. The booze and leaftover Easter candy sections were both going strong, as far as I could see. It really is challenging to see well with a hospital mask on. It made it harder to scan the shelves quickly and get out. Not that I’m complaining. I sprayed the heck out of my cart before entering the shop.

In happier news, I decided to make a cross fit-ish adventure of the trip. Meaning, I walked. Specifically, I took the steepest possible route, and on the way back, strapped two bags of groceries to my backpack-like bag just to make it weird. I’m sure I looked like a Martian, but it was in fact some damn good exercise. If it was actually cross-fit, I would have been running, I suppose. But I didn’t want to jostle the eggs. (Also, I hate running.)

Day 37: Friday, April 17

I broke the news to my older kid about summer camps and general uncertainty of school next fall, and he took it really hard. SIP is absolutely, 100% the right thing to do and we're lucky to be able to do it, but wow is it hard to watch your old-enough to have their own life but still young and extremely tender kids absorb the impact to their life. I'm not talking about petulance. I'm talking about tears and just profound fear.

He's been going through a pretty big emotional rollercoaster since we started quarantining. Unfortunately, this has been the first year since preschool that he's been consistently happy and eager to go to school, so the having that community taken away from him so abruptly has been an especially big blow. He's gone from being angry and standoffish to really, really tender with us and his little sister. He's making less effort to connect with his school friends, and instead spending more time hanging out with her and gaming with his two close friends from outside of school. I see him putting such an effort into being a caring and responsible member of our family, particularly when it comes to his sister and cat. He's a much younger and wide-eyed version of himself. It's both beautiful and heartbreaking.

My daughter has also had her own big reactions to the situation, but on the whole is someone who defaults to finding the silver lining in any situation. Truly, anything. She likes all the family time, and loves the attention from her brother. Still, there's been a lot more tears from her, and from everyone. It's hard not to mourn all the things we took for granted but are now so out of reach, and that's okay. It's okay to cry.

Day 38: Saturday, April 18

I sewed a mask for my daughter today, who has pitched fits about wearing her N95 Vog mask out in the world. Never would I have imagined myself such a knowledgeable consumer of masks 10 years ago, but between the wildfire smoke and Covid-19, these things have become the new hat.

While I toiled over my sewing kit, my son sat far away from, but in loud talking distance with a friend at a neighborhood park today, which boosted his spirits. Though of course his friend desperately wanted to bring their iPads--and I'm sure my kid would have been equally feral about it if I let him think that was even a possibility--smh. As anyone who has ever done online dating, there really is no substitute for interacting with someone in person. Even if you have to talk really loud and remember that you are not a robot.

Meanwhile, once we got the mask decorated with cat whiskers, I helped my daughter try a bike with gears for the first time (she has a faithful single speed). I appreciate that our quiet street has become a real refuge for us to make short bike loops with our kids just to get out the wiggles and keep up their health. My daughter and I had some conflicting language about what harder versus easier gearing meant--the unique but inevitable challenge of two people who only communicate in metaphors--but we got there eventually.

The highlight of the day, though, was definitely our much-anticipated Go Fish zoom party with my daughter's best friend's family. The actual logistics of the cards were complicated, but there was a lot of sparkling apple cider and juice pouches on both sides keeping everyone open to the chaos. The lighting on their end was moodier than my eyes naturally wanted, and I began to think the next hot quarantine accessory will be movable spotlights, to help glam up your zoom parties. Or, maybe I'm just re-inventing the lamp.

Day 39: Sunday, April 19

Today somehow became homesteading day. I sewed masks for my son and myself, planted seeds for herbs and beans, baked bread, researched water purification tablets for our emergency water supply, weeded some of the backyard, rearranged backyard furniture so we wouldn't trip over them anymore and assorted other unglamorous Sunday home/family maintenance tasks--none of which fall in the category of fun, or even enjoyable. The masks are janky and raccoons will probably dig up the seeds again. The bread will be good (thanks Josey Bakery), but the weeds will grow back and there's still a ton of debris in the backyard to clear out and put--somewhere. What's the point? Tonight I reclaim as my own; if you need me, I'll be oozing on the couch under the loving glare of a screen.

Day 40: Monday, April 20

Is there anything more dispiriting in the ‘90s than buying a Bowflex? I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure my dad bought a Bowflex back then, which sat doing nothing in our living room. All hail the Bowflex. Today, my modern equivalent of a Bowflex arrived. I bought some exercise bands/rings/straps thing off a Facebook Ad (of course), but, unlike the Bowflex I have no intention of using it to exercise. My kids have long mourned my husband’s decision to remove the swing that they used to love to pieces in their playhouse (he built the playhouse and put up a temporary swing, mid-project), and right now, the more opportunities for movement in our home, the better. So I jerry rigged the “Bowflex” to work as a swing on the now-completed playhouse structure. Who knows how long it’ll last out there in the weather, but my sense of accomplishment justified the first batch of cookies I’ve baked since Christmas. They were delicious.

It is 4/20 today and I live very close to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The mayor asked people to stay away, but I’m guessing from the cluster of circling helicopters overhead that people are ignoring the order. I’m sure this is Mayor Breed’s favorite day of the pandemic.

Day 41: Tuesday, April 21

“Everyone should do what’s best for their family” sounds like such an innocuous phrase on the surface, but if you’re a mom who has spent any time online, you know it has become one of the most insidious justifications for wealthy white exceptionalism in the vast and highly policed mom online forums. There’s no group more adverse to direct conflict than white moms, so it makes sense that we can’t go a day our fellow moms without hearing or invoking the mantra invoked like it’s the Word of God. It gives us all an out for actively discouraging confrontation, and hey, who would possibly argue that you shouldn’t do the best for your family? It’s the white mom equivalent of “local control” or “states rights!”

Indeed, like those rallying cries, the phrase is most often pulled out to allow our peers to justify racist decisions about schooling in public settings where we would otherwise be (rightfully) shamed. Recently, though, it’s become the new go-to justification for finding your own convenient loophole in the SIP policy. I know what the law says, but I need to do what’s best for my family ... so I’m going to rent a house in Napa, ask my nanny to keep coming in, hire a housecleaner rather than confronting my husband about his non-participation in home maintenance, take a distanced walk with friends, etc. 

The phrase is so ingrained in our collective psyches, that I also find myself relying on it to justify my own loopholes—but I need to stop. I regret a couple things I’ve done recently. They weren’t egregious, but they were stupid. We’re in quarantine for a reason, and we need to keep a hard line since we can. Otherwise we’re just as bad as that lady demanding that SIP be lifted so that other people are forced to put their health at risk to give her a haircut. But god, if the prospect of dying by drowning in your own lungs isn’t enough to induce us to confront our privilege and stop excusing the inexcusable in our online groups, I truly don’t know what is. No one should be shocked by these inane zombie protests around the redder parts of the country. We’re doing the same damn things in our own ways over here in our blue cities and suburbs. The virus truly does not care about your intentions. It wants us all dead.

Day 42: Wednesday, April 22

It’s Earth Day. Listening to Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time on repeat. Crying. I don’t know why.

Day 43: Thursday, April 23

Sheltering in Place puts a magnifying glass on every dynamic in your family. One thing I've become keenly aware of in the last couple weeks is just how exhausting it is to the main person in your family managing everyone else's emotions. Being the person to be cheerful and upbeat about school in the morning, even though I'm just as unexcited about another day of homeschooling as everyone else. Making sure there's a good conversation going at dinner, even though I just want to collapse in front of my computer. Joking around with people who are on the cusp of falling apart to help them take a step back from hard feelings and put them in perspective, even when you're also feeling frustrated. Etc.

Now, there are a lot of good, selfish reasons to tune yourself into everyone else's emotions and try to keep spirits lifted. It can be fun to joke around, it's nicer to live in a place where everyone is at least lighthearted and open to each other, and our kids genuinely need help learning how to manage their own emotions. This is a new, scary time, and they are quick to tear up or just generally have big emotions. My heart goes out to them, and I am absolutely on board with taking care of their emotional needs, helping them process and grow. Though, unlike my parents, I expect my son to become equally proficient at these skills as my daughter.

But sometimes I need a break. It's a lot of fucking work to deal with my own heightened emotions on top of everyone else's, and when I'm PMSing or just feeling the pandemic worry extra hard, I need a break. I just need a fucking break. On those days, I look at my husband at the dinner table as he stares off into space, lost in his own thoughts and feeling absolutely no responsibility for the dinner conversation, and think, wouldn't that be nice? I see my daughter slam herself into her room to cry, and think, I'd like to do that, too.

The only problem is, if you're the main person doing this in your family, and you've been doing it a long time, whenever you take a break, you're immediately perceived as being mean or harsh. In fact, you're just being you, not worrying about other people for a minute. But everyone is so used to you being this other, emotionally palliative, available person, that they perceive it as a deliberate loss. It's no coincidence that every major fight I ever have with my husband immediately follows a period when I've been ill. He thinks I'm being deliberately mean on those days, but what he's experiencing is me not actively managing his emotional needs. Because I'm sick.

It is absolutely never, ever the other way around.

I'm also realizing that being expected to do this work means that other people don't know how to help me when I'm not just sick, I'm down. I'm blue. I'm listening to music and crying--right in front of their faces. My kids are pretty good at dealing with me when I'm clearly angry, though I try to keep that to a minimum, of course. But the only people who can help me when I'm blue are my girlfriends. They, not my husband, are the people I call to talk through my shit and talk about my real feelings. Even though I love him. The harsh reality is that we can help each other because we know the real version of each other, and we also know what it means to be the main emotional manager in the family, and how draining it is. God bless them, and I love you all. Call me.

But this isn't a good set up, and I don't know how to get out of it. I'm lucky in that I work for myself, so I'm not doing this at work all day, too. (There's a reason there are so many effusive moments in a lot of women's emails, folks, and it's not because that's how we're actually feeling.) I don't want to have to manage other adults' moods, and I certainly don't want to be given shit for turning off the active effort to take care of myself on occasion. Yet, here we are. This doesn't seem like the time to get into this--not when I can't get out of the house and go for a long walk or something else that helps me keep things in perspective and calm. Reasonable. We're all at our worst--as well as our best--right now. But if you're a woman reading this and you're in my shoes, just know that you're not alone. And if you read this and it has never occurred to you that your wife/daughter/mother/etc may be performing this work in your family, please step back, listen more carefully and ask yourself what you can be doing to make things work better for her. Because she is tired. 

Day 44: Friday, April 24

My eight-year old cut my 10-year old's hair last night. I was on board with her doing this in general since she's very visually astute, but I was planning to show her some videos about hair cutting beforehand so, you know, she'd know what she's doing. Instead, my son came down around 11 pm, well past both of their bedtimes, to announce, "she cut my hair." Heart stop. It actually looks pretty good, particularly for someone who doesn't know how to cut hair. A little like our cat. He'll live. Next stop: my husband's hair--he's clearly deeply nervous about the prospect. I think I'll let mine grow some more ;)

Day 45: Saturday, April 25

San Francisco is in bloom, bursting with color and life. I planted some herb and bean seeds in our house and backyard. Now little sprouts of basil are starting to come up in the old dim sum takeout containers sitting next to the plastic rocket in my son's room. It feels like a small miracle. In addition, I killed my wrists last night handwriting the dialogue of the three last chapters of the manuscript I've been working on, well into the dark hours. Shooting those words out into the world also felt like a small miracle--as is deciphering my handwriting after the fact.

I continue to weed the backyard while listening to Beethoven's 9th. I think I may be turning 60.

Day 46: Sunday, April 26

My kids are starting to melt down again.

Day 47: Monday, April 27

A hearty fuck you to the Boomer dudes out driving like angry assholes in their cars. I won't wish you death, but I do wish you a great deal more self-knowledge--especially if it's painful.

In brighter news, the lemon balm started sprouting in our little indoor garden, and the basil continues to reach for the sun. No sign on the beans I planted outside. They may still be there?

The mayor has extended the SIP order through the end of May, and now my kids' summer camps are starting to cancel or go virtual in earnest. Los Angeles is warning that school in the fall will be virtual. There's no real point in face palming. At the end of the day, I'd rather not drown in my own lungs, or cause anyone else's death. Plus, today was the first day I was able to get a lot of work done while simultaneously homeschooling, which felt like a major victory. My kids and the school have settled into a routine: I periodically give them edits on their work and ask probing questions like, "why did you take the iPad with you into the bathroom?" and "are you finished yet?" I also give them exciting snacks and take them on an afternoon bike ride through the neighborhood hills--cardiovascular health has never felt more vital--but otherwise sit and do my work.

There was some excitement this morning when our cat's best friend (worst enemy? who can say) came over and they chased each other around our yard. I particularly enjoyed it when they ran across the trampoline and sort of catapulted themselves through the air. But my feelings may be singular. Our cat was out of sorts for the rest of the day, for reasons that will forever remain a mystery. Don't feel too bad for him, though. I'm sure he'll console himself with a few extra rodent kills somewhere over the fence when we least appreciate it. God bless and happy hunting.

Day 48: Tuesday, April 28

I planted watermelon seeds in a pot I found lurking in a dark corner of our backyard today. It seems incredibly aspirational--the equivalent of wearing a sparkly tube top in public. But why not? I will be fucking amazed with myself if I pull off growing watermelons. Everything else from this SIP will be dust.

While I was digging in the dirty, my kids started building out a backyard fort this afternoon. I'm starting to experiment with leaving my children for long periods during their distance learning so I can do wild things like shower and go on calls. It's getting easier, and I don't mind missing the hour my son spends trying to perfect the formatting of a Google slides presentation. Too many bad memories from my 20s.

I've been making a half-hearted effort to continue taking voice lessons during SIP. If you know me, you know that I've always been a choral singer, the art of dorking out with your emotions in a group. Singing about God for people who don't necessarily believe in God. Ironically, like church and swimming pools, choirs turn out to be one of the deadliest things around these days--maybe it'll make it more popular? My teacher suggested I try using one of the new music collaboration apps to try laying down tracks, and work up to a virtual choir, in the hopes of inspiring me to practice more. I dutifully experimented with it over the course of a few nights last week, but quickly realize that I'd rather do the dishes than listen to anyone else's collaborations on these apps. So mine are probably going to be just as lifeless. Anyway, I look forward to the transgressive proximity of singing with other people at some point in the distant future, the fleshiness, the simultaneous exchange of droplets of vibrating air.

Day 49: Wednesday, April 29

My bean plants started to shoot today, and the mint finally decided to start making an appearance. I feel like The Invention of Magic for having been able to grow these tiny little stalks. Keeping my goals small these days.

The mayor announced some loosening for SIP starting soon. Nothing that will directly impact me or my family, though I guess we can go picnic in parks—if we dare. It’s good news, though. We’re doing something right, collectively. Hopefully we won’t undo it all.

I went to the local hardware store today to get some yard waste bags and stakes for my budding bean shoots. Apparently you have to train them to grow around stakes, which feels very fairy tale. I just hope it’s easier than training a cat. We haven’t had a lot of success there; fur dude is still bringing in mice. Now my daughter wants to start keeping them as pets. smh

Today’s was my second in-person shopping experience over the last few months, though this time in a space with much narrower aisles. The staff was determined to help me, which was nice, but I kept having to do this awkward dance where the sales guy would come at me, mask dangling off his face, and I’d back away until he noticed, stopped and put his mask back on. All incredibly awkward, especially when he rubbed right up against me to get by—why?! I don’t envy these men for having to work in that store right now, but it’s become clear that this pandemic is the first time that a lot of white men have had to think about how they’re sharing and moving their bodies in public space. The rest of us have been playing that game since learning to walk—we’re good, thanks—but a lot of white dudes that I have to navigate on the streets when I’m out for walks, etc. seem totally surprised to have to consider their bodies relative to others. They also feel uncompelled to wear masks. Must be nice!

Day 50: Thursday, April 30

There's a family holding a birthday party on the corner down the block--with lots of visitors. So, yeah, sheltering in place is winding down.

Day 51: Friday, May 1

My older kid spontaneously made cookies this afternoon out of boredom. He adapted an existing recipe, so I’m especially pleased. I’m voting for more boredom.

Day 52: Saturday, May 2

I took my daughter up to the top of Twin Peaks today on our bad-ass electric cargo bike. It was far less crowded on the mountain than I expected, likely because of the foggy weather. We both had a freedom up there that I've never experienced before--the sound of the wind on a high peak when there's no cars nearby is incredibly peaceful. I've been feeling rough, so most of the rest of the day is about preparing to bury myself in sleep.

Day 53: Sunday, May 3

Sleep helped, for the most part. Unfortunately, the screen-time -> zombie children struggle is real, and getting out of hand. So, I locked up our screens for most of the day today. There was a notable detox period, but it didn't take too long before things turned fun. We hung out a bunch, had a dance party, pillow fight, played a weird stacking games, did some cat harassment, made bread and generally just enjoyed each other's company, all analog. I want to do this more often, regardless of sheltering in place. Well-to-do white kids rarely learn the art and value of just chilling with their family; we tell each other that it's more important that they're out there, achieving. But fuck that.

Day 54: Monday, May 4

We’re back in all types of flour. God is good.

Day 55: Tuesday, May 5

Last week I felt like I was finally so on top of things that nothing was impossible. Everything was on a steady course upwards, at home and in our city (though not our country). I got smacked back down to earth yesterday, and the descent continues today. Everything that was going better was a lie, and shit ain’t remotely okay. Now I have to pick everyone up and fix everything through my magical, and not at all replicable properties as a woman who can get things done. I’m having a surge of intense anger that I hope will abate once I get outside for some fresh air in a bit, but right now I want to scream.

Update: It’s about an hour later, and I’m tempted to delete the above paragraph because the feeling quickly passed. I’ve figured out some solutions and feel no anger anymore, but honestly, the above flare is so common for me right now in shelter in place, that it seems wrong to pretend it doesn’t happen. The small things—are they the most important? The least?—add up so quickly when you are living on top of people. Even in the best of circumstances.

Day 56: Wednesday, May 6

It's my 20th college graduation anniversary this year, and I got my pre-reunion report on what everyone's been up to in the mail last night. I was a little apprehensive about reading the book. I'm the kind of person who deletes everything when she's finished with a project--I fear carrying around emotional baggage, even if it's positive. Case in point, I've deleted all my friends from Facebook at least twice in the last 15 years. I'm also still haunted by the glaring typo I submitted to my entry for our 15th reunion book.

But I did eventually open the book and read some. I was heartbroken to see someone I remembered as being so optimistic and funny leaving screenwriting after 20 years in order to go to law school. I sincerely hope he is making a choice that gives him lots of joy and fulfillment, but that entry felt like the absolute sign of the times. Trump's America. Dead dreams, progress reversed. This guy was funny. It was also a little sad to see people writing about how excited they were to see everyone at our now-reunion, though I wasn't planning to go.

Day 57: Thursday, May 7

Went to bed last night terrified that I was coming down with the virus. Woke up still feeling messed up, but I thankfully have no fever. It's likely this is just a cold, but then my immediate question is, how in the world did I get a cold if my family is sheltering in place? I think I'm more disturbed by this idea than any other.

Day 58: Friday, May 8

I'm still feeling sick, and panicking about whether I have the virus. No one else is sick in my house, so that's a blessing. I hope that trip to the hardware store was not my undoing. I don't want to die for a large, purple plastic bucket that my kids use to carry our cat around the house. It's probably just a cold, but I'm staying home, not even taking walks around the neighborhood, just in case. Doing silly things to keep the world light and hopeful.

Of course, it isn't. The hunting and murder of Ahmaud Arbery by two white men is--well, I don't really have the words. It's sick. It's predictable, and I damn sure hope it's brought to real justice. Sometimes I think it's nuts how much I talk with my white kids, particularly my son, about being anti-racist, etc. How much I call stuff out with him. But it's not. We've got to change our culture, feel a little crazy, fellow white parents. Change isn't going to come until we change.

Day 59: Saturday, May 9

Still feeling off. Have begun waking in the early morning, convinced I have lice. I’m positive I don’t have lice. I replanted the herbs I was growing indoors in our outdoor Earthbox. It turned out to be a cold, foggy day, so hopefully they don’t die. My early Mothers Day gift is not participating in the group clean of the house today. It’s a practical kind of love.

Day 60: Sunday, May 10

It's Mothers Day and my wedding anniversary. I'm wearing blue eyeshadow and glitter nail polish courtesy of my daughter's home spa day gift. My son claims he's going to make me a giant cookie. My husband and I have champagne chilling in he fridge for tonight. It's not a box of chocolates, but it's still all very sweet.

I woke up again at 4 am this morning convinced I had lice, and that someone was about to break into our home. I really hate these anxiety dreams. The illness is still in me.

Day 61: Monday, May 11

Homeschooling can be painful, but it’s also been really interesting to learn more about how my kids think and learn. I’ve been working closely with my daughter on helping her become helpful with writing at length. She’s gone from finding it a big deal to type out a sentence to writing three paragraphs since we began homeschooling. I should probably ease up on the pressure to get her to write, but I admit that I’m addicted to what she’s putting on the page. It’s so free and unintentionally poetic. She writes with a totally open heart, and while her punctuation and spelling is ... progressing, the content is sunshine and cute maggots. I can understand why people love teaching these kids.

Day 62: Tuesday, May 12

I continue to feel un-good, but it’s become like pregnancy where you’re just so used to feeling wretched, that it becomes how it is. My son claims he read that cats can catch coronavirus now, which is a little ominous. Can this possibly be true?

One of our neighbors finally moved out yesterday. They’re moving to NYC, and put it off for a while because of the level of infection in that city. What a terrifying thing to be doing right now. They were nice neighbors and I wish them all health and ease. Moving, though, would also be such a strange experience right now. To go from SIP in one apartment to another, box to box. New York is such an incredible city, but the delights are all out on the streets. To move there just to sit inside your apartment would mess with my mind. But I hope they do exactly that, for everyone’s sake.

One of my kid’s summer sleep away summer camps is having a Zoom town hall tonight to get feedback on whether to hold in person camp this summer or not. I’m not sending him if it’s in person, and it’s nice that they’re being so solicitous, but what a strange experience that conversation will be. I’d really rather that the camp just has a conversation with the local health authority and make a decision about what to do based on the science. Last camp like this that my family went to together—Camp Mather—had to be closed midway through the summer after gastroenteritis swept through the place. I was one of the lucky ones to get it while we were there, and it stunk. (Literally.) I can only imagine what an outbreak of Covid-19 would look like in that sort of not-quite-closed, deep woods setting. Dark, dark thoughts.

Anyway, in good news, my plants all appear to still be alive despite the repotting and spate of cold weather. And I have once again reassured my youngest kid that there will be no zombie apocalypse. Make a note.

Day 63: Wednesday, May 13

I think I’ve given up on singing for a while. I took five years off of choirs after I gave birth to my first kid. I still remember my first rehearsal back, when I still thought it was possible to do both. I was sweating from the effort of trying to stand, and I was too tired from the lack of sleep to sustain any sort of nice sound. (That first pregnancy, on the other hand, was wonderful for singing. Second was hell.) At this point, though, there’s not going to be any more choral singing for a long time to come thanks to the coronavirus, and I can’t seem to enjoy practicing solo singing at night anymore. It’s a relief just to admit that I don’t want to do it anymore. One less thing to tend to right now. So, goodbye singing. I’ll come back to you, someday.

I was delighted to discover that I can finally control my kids’ iPad screen time from my own device. Revolutionary! The whole screen time program is a little lacking—like they didn’t invite any highly-motivated 10-year-olds in to show them all the ways you can get around the controls short of knowing the password, or update it to account for SIP homeschooling. (I know one if Apple is interested ...) But at least now I don’t have to touch their greasy, nasty-ass bathroom-visiting ipads if I want to turn the restrictions back on at the end of the school day.

Day 64: Thursday, May 14

I went for another long walk today out to the ocean, mostly on quieter side streets. I used to walk all the time to get places, and it was no big to do the kind of walk I just attempted. But now, between the mask and the relative lack of daily activity, I was feeling the burn. My mask was huffing and puffing with my breaths, and I'm pretty red-faced from the hills. I had planned to walk back, but ended up taking an electric bike share after realizing how hard it would be. I need to get out there more and move my body. Unfortunately, the resurgence of assholes in cars (I supposed that's redundant) is not making it easy. On the sidewalks: illegally parked cars and men who refuse to wear masks or not consume the whole sidewalk. In the roadbed: drivers speeding and refusing to give way. The city's slow streets program is better than nothing, but it ain't good out here. So, where am I supposed to go?! We are reaping what we collectively sewed on so many levels right now.

Day 65: Friday, May 15

I'm starting to see more moving vans around our neighborhood. The area leans towards owners, but my sub-section of the neighborhood has a wider variety of home types, which lends itself to more renters. One of the renters in the building next door just moved out, and again, I'm starting to see more moving vans. I wonder if other renters will be leaving, or even homeowners. We're in a pretty quiet part of San Francisco, but as people pour back into their cars, I think it's going to become pretty unpleasant/deadly to navigate the streets during the pandemic. I can understand the impulse to flee for somewhere even less dense and pretend that the rest of humanity doesn't exist. It's the ultimate white people impulse across generations. We own our home, and love it (and the neighborhood, on the whole), so we're planning to stay put. But I suspect the landscape of who lives where is going to be changing significantly in the next year.

Day 66: Saturday, May 16

Sheltering in place will force couples to either fix any communication issues or drive them apart. I think we're thankfully on the path of fixing our shit. I hate the toll of this virus, but I am glad to be forced to confront things head on, and to have more opportunities to hang out with my husband and be ridiculous together.

On that note, today my kids imagined a complete physical redesign of San Francisco. The elements are candy, amusement park rides (including water slides) and cats. A giant gummy cat mounted on Sutro Tower, and an annual holiday in which we all get to eat it, called Gummas. (The neon green gummy cat with a heart of gold magically replenishes the next day through the energy of our celebration.) All houses must be the color of cakes. The Golden Gate Bridge is candy cane. Cats in pneumatic tubes. Clarendon Avenue is a face-first waterslide. Truly, why not?

Day 67: Sunday, May 17

Yesterday was a nice day, but right before I went to bed, my husband came back from tucking in the kids and told me that our older was running a fever. My kid was still bounding around the house, looking happy, but he was also clearly flushed. It wasn’t a high fever, but it wasn’t nothing. My son has the immune system of a superhero. He’s run fevers maybe three or four times before in his whole life. This past fall was the first time he ever got a cold—which is nuts. So, when he gets a fever, I am. On. Alert. I woke up in terror at 5 am and went to check on his. Naturally, the sight of his mom standing in front of his bed in the dark didn’t do good things for his sleep, but it was reassuring to see that he was okay looking. His fever was gone by the normal hours of the morning.

So, now the question becomes whether he has COVID-19. And if so, how he got it. Did I have it after all and infect him? He’s had no contact with other people in months. He was coughing a little earlier in the week, but I thought he just had something in his throat. It wasn’t a consistent cough. He’s sneezed a handful of times. Anyway, yes, I am on high alert.

Day 68: Monday, May 18

My son had a temperature .1 degree higher than usual last night and continues to cough and bit today. He's sneezed two or three times and was really tired this morning. My husband seems unperturbed, but I'm still worried something bad will come of all this (yes, I know .1 degree is a statistical nothing, and also that he stayed up super late, reading, as always). I took his pediatrician's online symptom test to see if we should get him evaluated, but it told us to stay put.

Coincidentally, I'm not feeling awesome today, though it's hard to tell whether that's an actual illness or the always-wonderful first day of my period. I'm going to eat a lot of ice cream, go to bed early and hope for the best. May all the anxiety bleed out in the night. I'd probably also feel less worried if my kids' passport renewals weren't stuck in purgatory. We did the application in early March, and now they're "in progress" indefinitely, until the federal agency is back at work. Or that's the claim. I can certainly think of darker outcomes.

In positive news, I think I may have found a way to get my daughter to actually wash her hair. Honestly, not that it matters right now--but I would like her to be someone who values hygiene. Results will be clear in a few hours. I'm going to hold onto the positive news.

Day 69: Tuesday, May 19

My daughter did, in fact, wash her hair. Everyone is happy.

I tried to get a lot of sleep last night, but I ended up waking up constantly. So, I'm trying to be gentle with myself today. I have no fever, so I think everything that's ailing me is stress and an unusually intense period. My son continues to appear fine, thank baby jesus. I'm not someone who gets sick easily. I've been blessed with great health on the whole, and am good at handling huge loads of responsibility and deadlines. But I do manifest the occasional especially deep stress in my body. Eye twitches, nausea, heavy feeling in my chest, grinding teeth at night, panic attack, etc. I skimmed a new report on how f*cked we are about climate change today, and that probably didn't help. I know I'm not alone in having a physical reaction to the mere threat of the pandemic. Those folks heading out to force people to cut their hair and sell them beer through their non-masks are really something to be so incredibly oblivious to the very real promise of death.

It's completely likely that I will wake up tomorrow with sunshine on my tongue.

Day 70: Wednesday, May 20

We've been having these unbelievable blue and peach cotton candy sunsets for the last week. I love lying on our couch and watching soft serenity gust across the top of San Francisco, in total silence. I regret not doing this more often pre-SIP. My kids are spinning out survivalist fantasies. I blame myself.

Day 71: Thursday, May 21

Last night, I was one of a thousand parents who logged into a Second District PTA Zoom to hear our SFUSD superintendent talk about what school might look like next year. The TDLR answer is that they don't know, but are trying to prepare for all possibilities--which is impossible to do. There's something especially dystopian when public leaders go into a public space and tell you honestly that they don't know what's going to happen, and then leave at a certain point to spend time with their own family. I don't envy Dr. Matthews his job.

The two side pieces of information that especially piqued my concern was the superintendent's allusion to the fact that certain local decision makers didn't understand the importance of schools as places for more than just academic learning going into this emergency. That the link between school services and the ability for adults to function in other capacities was not clear. Who the fuck is this stupid?! The other disturbing bit of information was the severity of the projected budget cuts looming over California schools after next year. As many people have warned us for a long time, the foundations of the most essential components of our society are cracking and giving way right before our eyes. It's unreal, except it's not.

My son wrote a blog post about how useless and purposeless he feels right now. I've been encouraging him to write purely for himself, to get whatever feelings are bundled up inside, out. I'm glad he took the hint, because while I know he (and every other human child) is struggling with this situation, I didn't understand that this lack of purpose and agency was at the root of things. That simply waking up, eating breakfast, doing online school, playing a game with a friend, having dinner and then going to bed, was not enough life for kids eager to learn the world. I think I'd also feel awful to be in such a passive situation.

So, we spent dinner discussing realistic options that could give our kids more of a sense of purpose right now. They're of course not jumping up and down to take on more chores, sadly, but learning CPR, improving self-navigation around the neighborhood ("take a walk and make sure everyone survives") and other survival skills seems to appeal. I also need to find a book, if it exists, of native climate adaptation strategies for us all to read, and see if they could apply here. That's the theme for our family now: adaptation. Community and adaptation.

Day 72: Friday, May 22

Have I mentioned? My watermelon plant has budded. There's one very determined stalk emerging from the dirt. I'm shocked. Still a long way to go until there's a big juicy, intact fruit there, but you know, props to me. I may have to wear a sparkling tube top in public to make up for my earlier doubt.

In big news, there's been a strange uptick in the number of people driving to our little library we keep in front of our house. It's there for everyone, but I have to say, these folks are really missing the point and I sort of hate them (though not really). Not coincidentally, we also have an overflow of books. I had to bring out an extra crate to give to the second woman who drove by. Ah, what qualifies as drama for people working from home.

I am currently watching an online talent show from one of my kids' schools. (It's just a Google video.) There's something extra personal about watching kids sing into a camera. Everyone's a youtube star in the making!

I took a lovely ride out to the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday afternoon. Thank god for electric-assist bikes. It's the first time I've been able to ride out to the tip of the land under the bridge in any sort of peaceful fashion. It's usually flooded with cars. I really appreciated the peace and views. I think I may have to bite the bullet and go to Walgreens this afternoon. A terrible thing has happened. We are out of paper.

Day 73: Saturday, May 23

I am sleeping so aggressively these days. Any hint of a possible illness, and I dive into that bed and sleep until I can't anymore. So far, it's working. Also, my nails are growing like crazy.

Today we--and about half of San Francisco--went down to Golden Gate Park's car-free space to ride bikes and laze in the grass. It's usually pretty busy on car-free days, but today was bananas. It's a perfect San Francisco day, sunny but not too hot, and everyone and their mom (literally--hi!) was out riding bikes. Dogs running free, a woman frosting a cake, balloons. It was beautiful. People were minding the social distancing, and many people were in masks (including me), so it felt very safe. My kids took off to ride bikes together for a bit. My heart went thump, boom.

We watched Queen of Versailles for family movie night. I was hoping to impress upon my kids the perils of capitalism, but they came away thinking that it'd be nice to be billionaires. Going to keep trying.

Day 74: Sunday, May 24

It's become very easy not to leave the house. Sure, it'd be nice to take a trip somewhere, but the longer we're in SIP, I find the easier and more comfortable it is to stay home. I like our home, I like my family, I like doing stuff around the house. Why leave? Today we made homemade bubble juice using laxative suppositories and turned on the bubble machine in the backyard, I weeded the front little tree patch in front of our house while talking to a friend being pressured to break quarantine, we cleaned and I did my weekly bread bake. Deep cleaned the oven. Good times. There was a desiccated gopher head and bones underneath our kitchen table. Our cat truly is living his best life, for better or worse. I suppose I am, too, in a lot of ways.

Day 75: Monday, May 25

I’ve been doing a whole manuscript read through in isolation all day, but it appears that the world went nuts celebrating Memorial Day. There was an alarmingly low flyover of a military plane flanked by two helicopters, lots of motorcycles and all kinds of power tools sawing away at unknown objects. The sounds of budding summer? I’m sure the flyover meant something nice to many people, but as someone who watched one of the planes crash into the Twin Towers, and both towers crumble with my own two naked eyes from just across the East River on 9/11, I really, really am not in that Venn diagram of appreciators. Nonethless, thank you everyone who has died for this country. May your numbers stop increasing.

Day 76: Tuesday, May 26

The Amy Cooper story has been ricocheting through the Internet all day--which is good. One very faint silver lining of COVID living is a lot more people seem to be paying attention to a) what's happening online and b) these seemingly mundane but incredibly important interactions that shape our racist society. Maybe it means that other white women out there are also taking more time than usual to pause and think about our past interactions with Black men and women? Or maybe I'm smoking crack? I don't know. It's certainly made me think. I've started reading Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey. I think I'll write a bigger post about the book after I'm finished and have some time to reflect on what I can be doing better. Just grateful I heard a conversation with her recently on Integrated Schools Podcast and learned about the book. The interview really made me feel something.

It continues to be hot here--80 degrees! Wowza! San Francisco can barely handle it. I look forward to my foggy overlord's return, though if the heat makes my mint and basil finally bloom, I'll consider it time well suffered. Why so shy, little plants?

Day 77: Wednesday, May 27

Another neighbor is moving out today. This man is the one neighbor I don’t like, so no tears for me. He’s a young, perfectly healthy man who insists on parking his white Tesla on the sidewalk while he scrolls through his phone for long periods of time—even when there’s plenty of open, legal, parking spaces on the street. I’m sure there’s some redeeming qualities there, but they have not otherwise been evident. Bye!

My husband reports that he found a pair of claws covered in bits of flesh in our kitchen this morning. I think he’s just fucking with me at this point. I hope. I regret my choice to finally begin watching Stranger Things.

It’s time—maybe?—to start making moves to socialize our kids more in the world. I’m worried about taking these steps, but I’m also worried I’m being over cautious, to my childrens’ detriment. Are socially distanced play dates kosher now?

Day 78: Thursday, May 28

My son had a real breakdown yesterday after I posted. He's gotten more depressed as of late about being in quarantine, and I--stupidly--shared an article about the Kawasaki-like thing that's been happening in kids to explain why we were still taking precautions despite his frustrations. Shit parenting move. Instead, he burst into tears and shut himself into his room. I did my best to console him after the fact, and we ended up watching extra hours of Stranger Things together while snuggling (when in doubt, bribe). We also had an all-family discussion at dinner about what makes us happy and what triggers sadness for us during this time. Not sure if that helped anyone. My daughter added a round of compliments to the discussion, which was nice, though also maybe ultimately not helpful. Btw, the only thing they can ever think to say on these occasions is "thank you for creating me," which honestly gets kind of old. (Though, also, not.)

Yesterday, of course, the Internet exploded about the latest police murder of a Black man, and I can't imagine what it's like to be black on top of dealing with a pandemic right now, kid fears, etc. It's so infuriating to see the same sh*t happening over and over and over. I think I was raised with an unusually skeptical perspective on cops for white people. My mother was an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago in the '80s, and spent a lot of her time prosecuting corrupt cops and telling us about it. There was no shortage. And my parents were political hippies in general, with other white political hippie friends, so I think I just heard more about police behaving badly. I remember when one of my white classmates' father insisted on being in our room when Officer Jellan (sp?) from the CPD came to visit us and deliver Reagan's D.A.R.E. program content. Noah's father was a lawyer and brought his yellow legal pad and glasses, sat in the middle of the classroom and took very detailed notes of everything the cop said, with a deep frown the whole time. I don't remember anything the officer told us that day--though I do remember those commercials on TV with the egg--but I remember the image of his father writing very clearly. Mr. Stein's small act of resistance to the War on Drugs definitely stuck in my mind.

I've also witnessed firsthand biased policing, both targeted at myself (for blocking traffic for a moment to stop a speeding driver for running me over while I was biking home to breastfeed my infant daughter on a day I forgot a piece of my breast pump at work, etc) and, more importantly, towards my Black and brown friends when I was younger. I've seen how differently my childhood friends felt like they had to behave around the police. Have I had positive experiences with the police? Maybe a few. But even in the few instances I've asked officers for help--like when a white guy chased me down the street last year--I never felt safe. I never felt believed. When the police try to help events at my kids' school, they just come across as scary, in their hulking vehicles and body armor. My view is no doubt colored by the fact there's only one cop on my family, and he's a distant relation by marriage.

Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor. Three names of among far too many of Black people killed by cops over just my lifetime. I hate that I can track my age just as much by those people's names as a song or a clothing style.

So: change. I've watched as largely Black advocates have poured their life-force into trying to reform police departments over my lifetime. They've had so much hope and passion. There have been protests, lawsuits, consent decrees, federal reports and promises of oversight. And small, meaningful things have changed. The requirement of body cameras, more required reporting. But it's that Chinese saying, the monk grew an inch while the monster grew a mile (I'm getting the words wrong, but you get the sentiment). Shit hasn't changed. Black people are still being killed. More and more Black voices seem to have reached the conclusion--and I find myself respectfully agreeing--that you can't reform what's inherently broken. Reform doesn't work. Police abolition is the only path forward now.

After all, it really is ludicrous what we fund the police to do these days. New York City may be one of the most egregious examples of the pointless and tragic dumping of public money into a department that has no business trying to address problems rooted in mental health, poverty, lack of education support, lack of jobs, etc. At a certain point I began to ask myself, what exactly are the police enforcing? It's rarely the law. The police break more laws than they enforce, and their selection bias on enforcement is so well documented and wrong that it's enough to make any reasonable person want to tear out their hair. So, if it's not really the law they're enforcing, what is it? I think that's a question more white people--including me--need to come to terms with. And then also look at our role in supporting that inherently racist and tragic system.

That said, I'll be the first to admit that I feel like an absolute looney toon talking about my growing support for police abolition. But it's my job as a white person to get used to allowing myself to feel uncomfortable sticking up for what's right, so ... so be it. I emailed the mayor and my conservative supervisor in support of moving towards police abolition in San Francisco. We'll see if/how they respond. I'm sure Mayor Breed in particular has a complex set of feelings about SFPD, and a lot of constraints on her actions, and I'm a big supporter of hers. I do hope, however, that our local leadership's attempts to balance a decimated city budget in the coming months and years does not overlook the chance to remove and reduce many budget dollars away from SFPD and to agencies that can pro-actively help the most vulnerable people in our city. Liberal white people talk are comfortable talking about the overfunding of the national defense department and the underfunding of education (if the military had to hold a bake sale ...) and the ICE, but we haven't yet made the connection with the same dynamic at play in our own cities. That our local police departments have the same inherent problems. It's there, though. The consequences are tragic--but they can be stopped. Police abolition.

Peace out from looney-ville. I'm going to ask my kids to dye my hair tonight.

Day 79: Friday, May 29

Last night my kids put our cat in his carrier, mounted it on a rolling cart and took him on a walk around the neighborhood. It's cute to see them head out together to have some special sibling (and cat) time--this is the second night in a row--but I was a little disturbed to discover that they carried the cat and cart all the way up the stairs to the top of a steep park. They wanted him to see the view, so ... Everyone survived, though, thankfully.

In potentially related news (?), a raccoon busted into our locked cat flap last night to get at the banana-carrot bread I baked a few days ago. I guess it was that good. Needless to say, we didn't sleep well.

We are also now mostly a family of gingers thanks to some Manic Panic that showed up yesterday. My daughter is planning to dye my husband's hair purple tonight. He's going to look like Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

Day 80: Saturday, May 30

The police are out rioting around the country. They are showing every one of their true colors. My heart has been pounding all day. I’ve been scrolling through Twitter non-stop, watching good people rebel against this racist show of force. I wasn’t sure what the most helpful thing to do was, particularly in San Francisco with a Black woman as our mayor, so I donated to a few bail relief funds across the country. I watched a video conversation Mayor Breed made with Jamie Foxx, a local community leader in the Fillmore and a Black cop (not our chief, who is also a Black man). I wanted to understand what our mayor’s thoughts were, since she is someone who lost a cousin to police violence. Should I be out on the street protesting? I think white progressive San Francisco is always down to rumble and scream, and I feel that rage now, but the sense I was getting was that local Black Lives Matter leaders were not finding that helpful. We need to follow their lead and respect the calls to action (or inaction, as the case may be). But yeah, I’ve definitely felt confused. So it was really fascinating to watch this incredibly raw (in all senses of the word) video conversation. To hear Mayor Breed talking about her messages to the police department: If you’re a racist, we don’t want you on our force. Police reform is obviously something she cares a great deal about, and has been pushing from the inside. I’m going to Zoom in to the next Board of Supervisors meeting and Police Commission meeting to see what BLM activists are calling for, and how I can support the actions they want to see. Policy reform and money. That’s what I feel like my best role is in this moment, though we’ll see. I’m so angry with what the police are doing—what they’ve always been doing.

Day 81: Sunday, May 31

Mayor Breed instituted an 8 pm curfew today. We have state troopers and cops from other cities coming in to enforce the curfew. I want to be supportive of her, but the sight of yet more police rolling into our city makes me ill and nervous. I’ve been looking around for more #defundpolice organizations that I can make donations to, while still obsessively scrolling through Twitter. Jesus. If you go on Etsy right now and search for masks, as I did today for my kids (the ones I made are ill-fitting and sad), there are a shit load of Thin Blue Line masks for sale. Makes me ill. In the smallest possible act of solidarity, I put up a BLM sign again in our window. I took ours down a year or so ago when it seemed hypocritical given the rampant lack of affordable housing in my neighborhood—or really, all of San Francisco. My husband and I do the letters and donations to support building more affordable housing everywhere here, but it’s translated into very little on the ground. So, I felt like if I couldn’t prove that I was really making Black lives matter in my neighborhood and city, I didn’t get to claim that I cared. Today, though, it felt important to put up a sign again. We’ll see if our window gets smashed. We live a precinct over from a hotbed of police officers. Anyway, tiniest possible level of resistance.

The curfew goes into effect in five minutes. I really, really hope the police control themselves and act like humans here. I’m dialing into those meetings regardless, though. My mind is not-blown but also blown by the number of white and Asian-American friends still posting about their fun beach trips today. I don’t know. I’m feeling really emotional.

Day 82: Monday, June 1

I'm scared. Trump's actions, and police actions have scared me a lot over the last four years, in particular. But I'm really, really scared. God help us all.

Day 83: Tuesday, June 2

I’m shouting into the wind. Or maybe pissing. Today was the last day of school for my kids, and it should have been the kind of day that I do a lot of celebrating and hugging. Instead, I spent a huge portion of my time watching and live tweeting a meeting of our Board of Supervisors, hoping that they’d be introducing police reform measures. Even if they were modest and not a full defund effort. Instead, they avoided talking about why people are out protesting altogether, and instead we were witness to an hour plus blow job of the SFPD by almost every single member of the Board. Even the ones who call themselves progressives. It was depressing as fuck. The conversation instead was all about whether or not to continue the curfew on the city indefinitely, and they were unable to make a decision. Only maybe 15-20 people called in to speak during public comment, and most of them only focused on the negatives of the curfew. I’m not saying the curfew question isn’t important, but there was so little attention paid to the actual issue at hand: reforming the police and stopping the murders.

Anyway, I’m all worked up about it—upset. I have a certain amount of minor PTSD about these meetings from being a transportation advocate for decades. Watching people being routinely awful and disappointing while patting themselves on the back. It’s part of why I left that work. My heart beats fast and I feel ill just knowing I have to go to one of these meetings. Still, it’s the right thing to do, so I’ll keep trying. But again, I sorely wish more white San Franciscans were calling their supervisors and speaking up at these meetings about actual police change. Even if you don’t especially value the lives of Black people (which, I don’t know what to say), you have to see now that Fanie Lou Hamer’s quote, “nobody’s free until everyone is free” is even more true in this moment than ever. It is a damn slippery slope from police force designed to check Black and brown people to authoritarian state, and we’re rolling down.

In better news, my daughter is learning to roller blade, and she’s been drawing some nice pictures of dogs. Happy end of school, folks. May the long, un-programmed summer ahead be more enjoyable than expected.

Day 84: Wednesday, June 3

My wrists hurt from live tweeting the San Francisco Police Commission meeting. Meeting is still going on.

Day 85: Thursday, June 4

I think the tide is starting to turn for the better with the ongoing anti-police violence/Black Lives Matter rebellion. Protestors haven't backed down despite the police essentially wilding in the street, beating the shit out of people for no reason, etc. Still, more people than ever are out protesting despite the virus, people are donating, calling their elected officials, telling their racist white relatives to go fuck themselves at long last, a few key adults in DC are putting our president in check, etc. Minneapolis is scrapping the idea of the current police department all together. That said, the police have killed more people, too. There's no silver lining or redemptive narrative arc for a history of racist murders, so I'm not trying to gloss over all the death and destruction. Those are full stops.

For my part, I live tweeted and tried to comment at the SF Police Commission last night (#sfpolicecommission), which was five and half hours of trying to re-season a rotting pig. That body is not the solution. I'm going to keep trying to do my part in this fight by focusing on Board of Supervisor meetings. I eat bureaucracy for breakfast.

I hung our "bowflex" in our living room yesterday for my kids. This whole summer of "home camp" is looking real long, so I'm open to anything that will occupy them for up to 10 minutes besides the cat. That poor cat. You know who's really the camp counselor, assigned activity and non-union employee in this situation? The cat.

Day 86: Friday, June 5

I haven't left the house today, but I do feel like I'm finally almost finished with the manuscript I've been working on--forever. I need to rework one last chapter plus a bit. The chapter was previously what I thought was a hard-hitting section on an explosion of police violence in my story, but after everything that's happened recently, now seems like a Care Bears episode. I'm sorry to say that I now have a lot more inspiration to work with. I conceived this story a couple years ago, and I never wanted it to turn out to be prescient, but here we are. I literally watched a video three days ago of a (pretty far out) scene I wrote, except it was happening for real, with real people, in real life--on this Earth. To be clear, though, the story is total fiction.

I was thrilled to see that our mayor announced yesterday that she's working with the one Black person on the Board of Supervisors to begin defunding the police. Thrilled! I'm sure--bet my rain boots on it--that the other members of the Board will do their damndest to put their ego before actual progress when it comes down to the negotiations and vote on her proposal. Half of them will couch their opposition as some sign of being more "progressive" than our mayor, who is a Black woman who lost her cousin to police violence, trying to stop police violence against Black people. And some white progressives will howl along with them, calling her all sorts of names. Just you wait. Remember: I'm psychic (see above).

In other news, I'm pretty sure my daughter is going to spend this entire summer maxing out her emoji allowance on her iPad. She keeps reaching the built-in limit from Apple and having to erase them all and start from scratch. There's glue and maybe Borax all over the kid bathroom, and our dishwasher was clogged with slime residue. My husband has begun work on how to add even more power to our electric cargo bike since our kids are getting so massive. It feels like really Flux Capacitor stuff. I have no idea what my son has been doing. I think reading? We've started to arrange more socially distanced get togethers with his friends, which has been nice for everyone. So I guess he's not living a life of total isolation. Speaking of disregulated beasts, the cat vomited his dry food this morning, along with the intact skin of a mouse.

Day 87: Saturday, June 6

I’m not sure how to keep talking about the protests here. It’s the background and foreground of every day now, and will be until things fundamentally change. It’s wild how fast the police made the case for defunding themselves for millions of previously skeptical people. We’re going to take our kids to the family march tomorrow. I showed them the photo of Black surfers lined up in the water at a NYC beach, and the police boat behind them. Everything about the police response has been absurd, but police pulling a boat on a group of surfers on the ocean takes it to a new level. What could the police possibly claim the threat was? That the surfers were going to loot some sand? Displace kelp? It’s pure intimidation tactics, and that’s all it’s ever been.

We did our weekly all-family house clean today, and I can’t shake the smell of Clorox on my hands, no matter how much I wash them with normal soap. I spent the afternoon doing laps at a local path with my daughter, her on rollerblades, me on my bike. We definitely would not have realized what a gem this place is were it not for SIP forcing us to look for close-by spaces. It’s one of my favorite places in the city now.

Day 88: Sunday, June 7

Went to bed feeling sick (from accidentally getting Clorox on my food? Covid?) and woke up feeling sick, so we’re going to scrap our plan to go to the march today. I’m sad, but I don’t think anyone will be at all appreciative of someone showing up who might be carrying the virus. So today is instead all about laying very still and counting down the hours until I can go back to sleep. About seven left right now.

Day 89: Monday, June 8

I’m still feeling sick, but I have no fever. So I’m assuming this means it’s not COVID. I really hope it’s not COVID, though it looks like the virus is starting to spike again, sadly.

It’s my day for running home camp, so my son is baking chocolate mint cookies and my daughter is inhaling frozen fruit and bingeing on audio stories. My daughter has long had the habit of snacking constantly through the daytime hours, so this is nothing new. But recently my son has become—in his own words—a yawning chasm of hunger. He’s a tween, and from the look of his clothes, I think he’s in the middle of a huge growth spurt. Or ... puberty?! He now sleeps in, has a late breakfast, two lunches, pre-dinner, dinner, 8 pm snack and then maybe an 11 pm snack. I keep finding the tub of gold fish in his room in the morning—empty. It would no doubt help if he wasn’t an extremely picky eater. It’s hard to get full when you won’t eat any actual food, son.

My tween has also become more determined to hang out with us in the evening. I’m not sure why. Usually, parenting services terminate at 7 pm in our home until one of us tucks the kids in shortly after 9 pm. That time post-kids is liquid life for me. Without it, mom gets cranky. But now my son keeps coming downstairs to very sincerely investigate what exactly we do with this precious time, and just to hang. It’s actually pretty cute, and I can’t get mad. Especially since he’s now literally hanging with us thanks to the swing I installed in the living room. I went to bed just after 9 pm last night and could hear the steady creak and thump of him swinging and reading in the living room, with occasional punctuated bursts to run to the counter and snack. Now my husband has company for his midnight snack.

I’m going to be live tweeting tomorrow some. New York City seems to be finally falling towards justice. I hope COVID-19 doesn’t stop the momentum of this incredible wave of uprising.

Day 90: Tuesday, June 9

I’ve had to take down the swing from our living room. Our tween has been going nuts on the thing, and he’s about one more huge swinging leap away from busting through the wall altogether. My kids obviously need the physical outlet, though, so we’re going to try to hang it somewhere else that won’t drive me and my husband batshit insane. I really miss having him on swim team—the stillness is not in him, and never has been. (Ask me how much my teeth grind when he runs back and forth between the couch and window seat, while I’m sitting on the couch.)

We had our first visitors—albeit solely to our backyard—since the start of SIP today. It’s my daughter’s best friend’s birthday, so she and her parents came over and we all put on our masks and sat far apart from each other in the backyard while the girls had some trampoline time together. It was lovely. We have a house with a small structure footprint, but a large backyard (for the city) and have put a lot of work into it, and I miss having people over for BBQs. Someday, eventually ... For now, though, the occasional trampoline visit is so welcome.

Also in good news, the hard laxative suppositories that I used to make homemade bubble juice (for lack of any other source of glycerine at Walgreens) melted in the sun, and now our bubble juice really rips. I will never be too old or cynical to enjoy a good bubble machine, especially knowing its laxative powered.

In more serious news, I live tweeted (and gave public comment at) part of the SFUSD Board meeting today because there was an item about discontinuing the school district’s relationship with the police. I won’t get into the details here, but I learned a lot from the meeting, and feel like the continued focus on pressuring the Board of Supervisors to go big in defunding the police, remains the correct approach. What really chilled me in that meeting was hearing that the school board feels like they have no power to stop the SFPD from coming into schools whenever they want. I was also disturbed to hear about an incident of calling the police on a Black mom that I think may have happened at one of my kid’s schools earlier this year. I’m going to reach out to our principle to clarify. I can say for sure that the the school put all the kids in lock-down in the classrooms when the police came in to take away an “upset” parent earlier this year, and it scared the shit out of me at the time. I wished I had asked more questions since I certainly know what it feels like to be an “upset parent.”

Day 91: Wednesday, June 10

We got VR head sets. There's been a lot of celebration and fighting. This will be our form of vacation/travel for the year. Last night I stood in a temple on Mount Everest.

Day 92: Thursday, June 11

All I'm going to say about today is that I was sitting in the backyard, doing my work, and then suddenly there was a drone above me, taking pictures.

Day 93: Friday, June 12

Okay, so the drone yesterday turned out to be someone taking photos of the house for sale next door to us (so he claimed). Still, let me emphasize how ridiculous it's possible to look yelling at a drone.

I got an email a few days ago from the co-working place where I used to rent a "desk" every day saying that it's closing forever. I'm not surprised given everything, but it is a real disappointment. Working there was a real dream; it was a short walk to and from my house, and right in the middle of lots of good food. I could even walk to my daughter's school once a week. Those are some of the small things I miss about my life before the pandemic. Letting my son bike/scooter halfway home from school. Taking my daughter to skateboarding class.

The mayor continues to plug away at reducing the police force presence in San Francisco. I've done a few small things this week to support the effort, but not as much as I'd like. I'm going to try to pick it back up next week; I let work consume me this week. I see lots of hopeful signs locally, though. That said, San Francisco has always been a place where it's easy to get to yes. The implementation of the yes, though, almost never happens. That's the work now.

Closer to home, I've successfully trained one of my now-enormous bean plants to wind around a stake. I'm not sure how, or when actual beans will burst forth from the buds. But I'm appreciating the aesthetics. My husband and daughter made a chocolate cake today, and our new rice maker came; I'm hoping more easy access to rice will reduce my kids' needs to snack after dinner. There's been a certain amount of sneaking around at night, trying to get extra-hours access to the VR. Honestly, I can't blame them. VR really is magical. But so is my ability to get to sleep at a decent hour. Eat some rice and go to bed, children!

Day 94: Saturday, June 13

I feel strange writing this after talking so recently about how tender my tween has been, but the end of school has abruptly ushered in a level of anger and tantrum that I haven't seen since he was five and got kicked out of kindergarten. I don't know what to do. I put him on an electric Lyft bike and rode with him out and across the Golden Gate Bridge, and he was lovely out in the world, but the behavior rolled back in like thunder (diarrhea?) as soon as we came home. It was incredibly dispiriting; hell, I had packed chocolate cake for snack! Is this puberty? Quarantine depression? Transition difficulties? I have never, ever seen him this quick to anger.

Oh, and we got a school transfer for our younger child. It's a bittersweet piece of news. I love her school, and we were planning to keep her there for the entirety of K-5 after we transferred my son out, but the logistics of two kids at two schools has proved too annoying to ignore. I could tough it out if they'd eventually end up at the same middle school, but they feed into different schools, and that really sounds like a nightmare. So, it's a goodbye to the old school. My daughter is nervous, which is understandable. Under normal circumstances it'd be scary for someone as shy as her to transfer to a new school. In pandemic times, when it's likely that school will continue to be remote for quite a while, it's going to be extremely lonely and just bizarre. I feel terrible about doing this to her now.

Did you know that you can visit tiny pockets of North Korea in Google Earth, and that it's extra fascinating in VR?

Day 95: Sunday, June 14

I'm focusing on being a better parent today. I think I had a breakthrough conversation with my son today; only time will tell. My daughter I continue to pour love into. We were just reading a book about someone in a mochi costume. I love making her laugh with stories.

When I started this journal I thought it would only be for a few weeks, maybe a couple of months. I see now, though, that I am going to reach day 100 in the next week. This post is getting ridiculously long, so I'm going to end it on Day 100 and then start a new one for days 101+. Lord help us all if I reach Day 200.

Day 96: Monday, June 15

I have given up all attempts to work on the days I’m in charge of home camp. Unfortunately, it’s clearly helped my upset kids. It’s also sort of nice. We won’t be taking any vacations, so it’s like meting out little dribbles of vacation. Today involved some electric scooter rental, regular scootering and biking down to West Portal and back. I researched how to support my pole beans, which have exceeded all my expectations for sheer will to live.

I’ve also added standing items in my calendar to listen to and report out on police commission and Board of Supervisors budget committee meetings.

My son used to be on a swim team, and the coach has reached out about trying some open water swims in the Bay instead. I am terrified of open water swims—I used to do them in Chicago when I was a teen, and was absolutely convinced that I was going to find a dead body. But I’m kind of digging this idea. Anything to get him out moving his body in a group of other kids. I’m trying to work up the courage to try it myself. TBD.

Day 97: Tuesday, June 16

I'm really trolling the depths of my to do list to program home camp. Today we cleaned the garage, and now I feel like I should get a trophy. "Most Pointless But Satisfying Chore Experience Ever." (It looks phenomenal, people!) Yesterday I greased and tightened all the bolts on our garage door, and tonight I plan to oil the counters. The fun never ends.

The day was not completely lost to my mental health needs, though. We also went down to Golden Gate Park for a lackluster spin in the car-free area (which had a shocking number of cars in it)--and ran into my son's best friend; it was a happy surprise. I also saw another family friend from afar and got to reconnect with them later over text. San Francisco is a sort of big city, but I love that it's also small enough that we run into people we know more often than you might think. Though there is such a uniform look among many white tech families, that when I used to go to random family events, I would always spend at least half the time trying to decide if I knew the specific people, or they just looked like everyone I know.

Father's Day is on Sunday, so my kids are making my husband a card in VR using one of the 3D drawing apps. It's pretty incredible. I am so not a gamer or someone who ever enjoyed surfing the web, but VR is really making my soul sing. I spent a little time in the International Space Station today, floating around. Apparently I would not have made a good astronaut, though, because it only took about five minutes before I started feeling like I wanted to barf. I've also been spending a lot of time exploring "Japan," visiting places in a book I just read.

Day 98: Wednesday, June 17

Live tweeting the Police Commission meeting.

Day 99: Thursday, June 18

Well, I finished my manuscript today. I feel incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of calling it finished, but you have to draw a line somewhere, I hear. I still have some cosmetic formatting things to clean up tomorrow, but then I'll start querying. Wild.

I also installed a netting/stake system on my Earthbox, so hopefully my now enormous bean plants won't topple. The pole beans are past the top of the existing pole I optimistically stuck in there a couple months ago, and the other bean bush fell completely to the side when I tried to take out its one supporting pole last week (I immediately put it back). The box now looks a bit like a sailing rig, which is sort of enchanting. I just hope some of these plants grow enough soon that we can actually eat them. (I feel a little mean saying that, for some reason, but you know, that is why I planted the damn thing.)

In especially good news, I think we're in the process of turning the corner with my high-emotion tween. I've been aggressive about making sure he's eating, and also talking through any turbulence, staying calm and treating it like a missing skill, and he's responding. We also had an in-person get together at a park with another friend yesterday, and socializing always helps. I'll be very honest here that the friends we see now are the families where both the kids and the adults actually like each other. I appreciate the hell out of these people. Hi, Laura!

I think I forgot to mention it before, but one of the most satisfying things I've done during this SIP besides growing my plants, is paying a company to clean our trash bins. Best money spent ever. My god! Watching that wonderful man power spray the pestilent grime out of those blue, green and black receptacles of filth! His special rigged-up truck designed specifically to maximize the cleaning potential. That was a movie, a dinner, a dance and a chocolate bar. (I'm very big on cleaning, if you can't tell.)

It's Day 99 for our SIP. I think I'm going to get a bottle of wine to celebrate day 100 tomorrow--why not? I also need to find the mask that I seem to have accidentally dropped on the street yesterday. :(

Day 100: Friday, June 19

It's Juneteenth, and also Day 100 of sheltering in place for our family. These are completely unrelated events, but here we are. I first learned about Juneteenth through the Chicago Children's Choir, where I sang from ages eight through 18. The choir was formed way back in the '60s or '70s (not sure) specifically to create racial harmony in a divided Chicago by uniting children through music. It's a powerhouse organization now, but when I was there in the '80s and early '90s, there were a lot of bumpy years. That said, it was hands down the most formative experience of my life, including understanding myself as a white person. I won't wax nostalgic here, but just want to give credit to CCC for celebrating Juneteenth and teaching all of us kids the Black National Anthem. I didn't understand or appreciate what I was learning at the time, but all the discussion just this week about the importance of Juneteenth in this country has brought back those memories. I was an American History Major in college, with a sort of speciality in Af-American History, and I swear I learned far more from CCC about Black history than Harvard. So, happy Juneteenth! I'm planning to tune into CCC's special virtual celebration tonight and do a lot of crying. Singing always makes me cry; it's kind of a problem.

This will also be my last journal entry on this post. I've found it cathartic to write these little moments, so this is not the end. I'm going to start a new post for days 101+, and pray to the universe that we never reach Day 200. Though I don't know, maybe I should want this to continue, since the U.S. federal government is on a steady trajectory to murder another 100,000 people by acting like ignorant, incompetent fools about this virus. I appreciate the hell out of where I live, and I appreciate the many good moments in the last 100 days. Still, I hope. 🙏

Quarantine Journal (Updated Daily) Days 101-200