My Memory Is Failing, You Say? What Memory?

Greetings, gentle reader, and welcome to December 2020. Yes, this year is finally crashing to a close, and I could not be any happier.

Sorry. Thank you Ryan Reynolds, though, for creating that. It sums things up really well.

Anyhoo…

This week was full of stuff that resulted in very little to share. Much moving about of things (mostly in the garage) as a result of which, in the end, little apparently changed. I know it happened, but no one else will know or care.

But that doesn’t mean there is nothing more to read. Oh no! Please read on!

It seems I completely forgot to wish my US readers a Happy Thanksgiving last time around. Even then it would have been a day late, but it would at least have happened in the right week. So sorry! I make no excuses. My bad. I hope you had a wonderful holiday during which you saw no one except those you live with, and thus helped keep the pandemic from spreading.

Yes, it is clear the title of these posts matter. Last week’s post (titled What Position Do You Sleep In?) has nearly twice the interaction than the previous post (unimaginatively titled Nov 20) has. But that wasn’t the point of that long winded exercise.

Instead I hoped some of you would let me know if I was unique in suffering sleep issues, or prove I am not alone in my travails. And it turns out I am far from alone. I had quite a few messages in which people described their own sleep issues — past and present — and in which they suggested I consider various alternative sheets & mattresses, exercise, and medication. There was also quite a bit of sympathy (thank you) and one expression of near worry. (Hi mom!) The latter came with a recommendation that I get a sleep study done to see if I have apnea, but my wife assures me that at those times when she is awake and I am not, I do not stop breathing. No way am I getting a sleep study until (a) Covid is a thing of the past and (b) I am convinced that my tornado like sleeping habits will not destroy thousands of dollars worth of expensive electronic equipment that I would be wired up to. I honestly suspect it will never happen, but don’t tell my mom. (Oh, wait…)

Anyway, thanks to everyone who commented. I really appreciate it, and I am sorry about your own sleep related issues. If it helps, I officially grant you permission to sleep late whenever you want in order to make up for any sleep lost at any point in the past. You can tell your boss that if you so desire.

Another thing from the last post was…

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I asked what the items on that list mean. Only one (!) person took me up on that offer, and she had it spot on. Was this too easy, or was everyone wrapped up in the sleep issues and didn’t go on to reply to this? I may never know.

Anyway, here are the various items:

  • Mask — during the pandemic it only makes sense to spend any and all time in public masked. But how many times have you left on some errand only to discover halfway there that you forgot to bring a mask? I’m to the point of keeping an emergency mask in the car, but since they need washing after use and thus must be taken into the house when I get home, if I ever actually use that mask I will no longer have one in the car, since (of course) I will inevitably forget to replace it. This note reminds me to grab a mask before leaving and avoid the entire mess. Simple enough.
  • Keys & Wallet — If you’ve ever seen the movie The Princess Bride you might recognize Peter Falk as the grandfather. At the end of the film, as he is getting ready to leave, he does a little routine, patting each of his various pockets to make sure they contain everything he arrived with and mumbling “okay… okay… okay.” Anne and I call this the “ADD pat-down,” and we do it all the time. Despite that, I regularly walk out the door without one of these items, no matter what I am planning to do. The lack of keys will become obvious if I need to get into the car or lock the front door of the house, but the absence of my wallet might not show up until much later. Reminders are good.
  • Bags — For a while this didn’t matter. The stores stopped letting us bring our own bags due to the pandemic, but that has changed and they are OK once again. But I regularly find myself at the grocery store without them, which really is the classic definition of a first world problem. In that case I simply put the groceries back in the cart and then into the car loose. Once home I go inside, grab the bags, and use them to move the groceries into the house. Silly, but not a problem. Still, if I can avoid that dance by remembering them in the first place, life is slightly easier. Oh, and for those who suggest keeping them in the car, that’s right back to the issue with the mask. They come inside after being used and then I’d have to remember to take them back out. *sigh*
  • Phone — Don’t leave home without it, right? I mean, if I am at the grocery store and want to ask Anne about which variety of flour she meant for me to buy, how will I do that without my phone? As a rule I don’t forget this device, but should that happen things are not going well.

The remaining items are (somewhat) tied together, and were added to the list by Anne just to make me smile. This is the second version of the list, by the way. The first was getting a bit ratty and was replaced. No contents changed, however.

  • Sword — As it happens, I was a fencer, specializing in the epee. And you never left home without your duelling weapon, right? And it goes with the mask because…
  • Z — for Zorro, the masked defender of the people in California, created by Johnston McCulley, and appearing for the first time in The Curse of Capistrano in 1919. It only makes sense for this to be on the list given the mask and sword. Now, I am pretty sure Zorro fenced with a sabre, not an epee, so it’s really not perfect in my case. But who is going to argue with a guy carrying a sword?
  • Cape (crossed out) — I thought would be the most difficult item on the list. Of course Zorro wore a cape, so its presence would be expected, but why the circle & slash indicating no capes? It turns out my one (brilliant!) respondent on this topic had help from her daughter here. It is a reference to the movie The Incredibles, during which one of the heroes (Mr. Incredible) is talking with his designer (Edna Mode, aka E) about a new suit. He wants a cape. Her reply is to list off a series of superheroes who were killed because their capes got caught in various horrific ways. “No capes!” she finishes, and that line has been stuck in our household for a long time now. So, Zorro or not, no capes!

There you have it. And now my forgetfulness is now on display for all the internet to see. I should be hiding my own Easter eggs any day now!

In other news, I got the closet in Anne’s office finished up:

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New rod, new shelf, new bookcase, new baseboard, all painted. The doors will go up in a week or two. I want the trim paint to be fully cured before that happens.

A lot of art was hung. Here are some photos of that:

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Much of that is by people we know personally. A few were purchased from galleries, and a couple are postcards bought while travelling, but in most cases we have at least met the artist. In many we’ve been friends for years. It is so nice to have it up on the walls, even if we will eventually have to take it all down when we paint. The space feels much more like home when I look up and see things that I know and love.

Many thanks to all the artists represented here, and also to those who gave us some of these pieces.

Note that not everything is up just yet. If you know of a piece that you don’t see, it’s not lost. More will go up in the guest bedroom and the library, but we had limited time this past week, and this is the extent of what we got done.

Also, there is still a bit of room for more. That’s always important, and I look forward to acquiring works from some of my fellow art students in the future, among other things.

Oh, and here are the dogs who were not all that thrilled with me walking around taking pictures of the art:

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Please chase the link below. I tried to embed the comic directly, but that did not work. I could have saved the image and included it that way, but that’s not the right way to do these things.

Cheers!

Written by

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.

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