pandemic diaries: weeks 15-17

There's not as much to report on the #momcamp front since both kids attended Fairyland's summer camp the past three weeks, their only summer camp to survive the coronarivus-era restrictions. And we all loved it, not surprisingly. As I mentioned in the last update, the camp was 100% outdoors, the kids were in small groups of 10-12 kids/counselors that stayed together the entire three-week session, no inter-mingling allowed. They had to wear their masks at all times, except when eating. In addition to hand sanitizer and both temperature checks and passive health screenings at drop-off, the kids reported lots of hand-washing and sanitizer available throughout the day. I also felt good about supporting Fairyland, one of many Oakland institutions really hurting financially right now.

Doing a full 180 from there, we learned at the end of last week that students will not return to school buildings anytime soon, the school year in Oakland beginning on August 10th (yes, that's hella early) with at least 4 weeks of 100% distance learning. I've experienced so many mixed emotions over the last couple of weeks as this conversation has heated up around the country (shared a few - with links to relevant past posts on this blog - in this Twitter thread in response to this article). And as much as I'd like my children to go back to school for so many reasons, I think this is absolutely the right thing to do and will be surprised if they can return to campus even after the initial four weeks. 

Between now and then I've planned four weeks of #momcamp (which is not to diminish how much my husband contributes, but the reality is I work part-time and I'm a bit of a control freak, I'll admit it - I enjoy the planning part and I simply have more time and flexibility during the work day to facilitate the "plan").

In fact, I even put this week's plan into a handy zine format that you can download and print from my website. The above video shows how you fold it (this video is a bit more detailed if you're having issues). I'll make one for each week for the duration of our summer break (which is only three more weeks after this week). In the meantime, here are some other things that happened or caught my attention during the last three weeks of the pandemic...

I wrote about Steven Johnson's 'Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation' here

I wouldn't call it binge-listening per se but I've been making my way through the Season 1 episodes of Rebecca Carroll's podcast. It's timely, of course, and excellent at connecting the dots between all that's going on in our country right now, percolating - okay, boiling over - as things have been the past few years leading up to 2020.

This is Paul. His cage-mates, Peter and Mary, were adopted already.

I haven't been able to actually hang out with cats and kittens yet, but I have helped answer potential adopters' questions at two drive-thru adoption events that resulted in about 50 kittens finding homes! If you're in the Bay Area and want to get in on the next one, start here.

We're still eating mostly vegan. Here are some highlights:

Vegan pizza from Dimond Slice in Oakland

Chocolate Chip Cookies, recipe from the Test Kitchen cookbook pictured above.

Bruschetta for dinner! With vegan sausage on the side.

Vegan brownies, also from the Test Kitchen cookbook, plus vegan ice cream and whipped topping, both from Trader Joe's.

I've been trying to spend more time in the studio actually making stuff (and not just working), although I did spend a decent chunk of non-working time rearranging the space so that both my desk and my creative work space have window views.

Some good news: Never Have I Ever was renewed for a second season! If you haven't yet watched season one, what are you waiting for?! It's delightful. As is Dead To Me, which got picked up for a third and final season.

4th of July in Oakland was, as the kids say, lit, as is typical the past several years. The build-up to this year's festivities was particularly long, the fireworks particularly loud, and we continue to hear a handful every evening, increasing a bit over the weekend. We're all pretty over it.

I bought a DIY haircut kit and chopped away at my bangs and layers over the weekend. I did okay (thinning shears are key) but I'm still very much looking forward to the day when I can get an actual haircut again.

And, you know, so many other things.

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