pandemic diaries: weeks 28-31

So, yeeeeaaaaaahhh, I'm kinda behind. To recap, as briefly as possible, here are the highlights of the past four weeks:

Air quality continued to be poor during much of the past four weeks but it's been pretty decent the past week or so, so it's like it never happened! Just like the months of insane fireworks around here. How effortlessly we forget and move on once they end. Sigh.

Neighborhood cat who usually ignores us graced us with their attention on a recent morning walk.

Love cats and art as much as I do? Watch this short film made in 1983 about the history of cats in art at the Met (I even learned something new!). "The Favorite Cat" is the cat on my address book, which I bought at the Met gift shop in 2001.

7yo mesmerized by AI.

Jenny O'Dell is working on a new book that I think will fit nicely in my Artists in Offices bibliography. I finished How To Do Nothing some time ago, but I keep thinking about it, especially when I watched The Social Dilemma recently and then saw the AI show at the recently reopened de Young Museum. More thoughts on all three to follow.

12yo made this for me for my birthday.

I have a new website! I haven't figured out what to do with it just yet, but I will. Soon! If you have ideas, leave them in the comments.

Vegan pepperoni! Vegan calamari!

Speaking of birthday, yes, I've joined the pandemic birthday club, the result of which was not too different from non-pandemic birthday celebrations. I enjoyed a couple of hours in the studio, a solo walk, and a vegan birthday spread from Butcher's Son and Love at First Bite, both in Berkeley.

It was a good mail day when this arrived. From my friend Jesse Kelsey, aka Neat Beats, who provided the intro/outro music for my podcast, his first album! So impressed (pandemic, new job, new house, two kids) and I daresay a little proud. You can listen to the album for free, here.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have landed a somewhat pandemic-proof job right before the pandemic. Even so, after a decade of trial and error (mostly error), I feel this very real possibility always lingering at the edges of my daily juggling act. I hope this conversation about the essential nature of childcare for working parents continues after the pandemic is over.

Lots of businesses in Oakland (and around the country) have closed permanently since the pandemic unfolded last spring. I was really sad to learn of the MADE's fate. Letting go of their space (where we celebrated my son's 9th birthday) is a done deal, but you can donate (here or here) to help them with storage and moving forward in a pandemic/post-pandemic world.

The children are still doing distance learning full-time, at home. It's a weird time, wrapping up week 10 of the school year, as we simultaneously settle into a somewhat sustainable routine (we could do this forever!) that is also somehow mildly torturous. And the very people who keep reminding parents that this is an unprecedented crisis situation turn around and dismiss, whether intentionally or not, how incredibly challenging this has been and continues to be for kids, parents, families, relationships, etc. I can feel deep gratitude for jobs we can do from home, space and technology for school work to happen, and our continued health while also refusing to sugar-coat how far from ideal distance learning has been and continues to be. 

On a lighter note (unless we're talking about calories, that is) the pandemic baking continues. Pictured above is vegan pumpkin pecan pie bread from Rabbit & Wolves, one of my newer go-tos for vegan recipes. 

At the Great Peter Pumpkin Patch in Petaluma earlier this week.

How are you celebrating Halloween this year? So far, we've done all the usual stuff: decorate the house and front yard, hit up a local pumpkin patch, buy costumes, throw out the old candy to make room for the new, etc. After trying all week, I finally snagged tickets for Boo at the Zoo for Halloween day. But no trick or treating for us this year (I'm thinking of doing something a little like an Easter egg hunt). 

Finally, if you live in California, please vote yes on Proposition 15. It's a flimsy bandaid for the gaping wound created by Prop 13 over 40 years ago. Our public education system needs all the support it can get as we collectively recover from the mess we find ourselves in.

Otherwise, we're binge-watching Killing Eve season 3 and I'm loving how over the top this season is. Highly recommended for your viewing pleasure.

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