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Dear Readers:

Many of you know someone who has or had the ‘Rona. I do too: Simon, lead singer and guitarist for Jesse’s Divide (a band I’ve mentioned too many times to count). He is finally on the mend, and he agreed to write about his experience (you know I love a good guest post). He thinks he got it during a visit to the grocery store. Here’s his story.

Stay healthy and active,
Beth

Simon (top right) chats with Rob (top left) and Nick (bottom) — the other members of Jesse’s Divide — while all are in captivity, and Simon is on the mend.

Hi Beth!

You asked me to describe to you my recent setback, as though you take a great interest in my pain. (Note from Beth to Simon: I wouldn’t say I’m interested in your pain. I’m interested in your story. I’m a journalist!)

I woke on Monday (April 6) feeling okay, but as the day went on, I started to develop hangover-type symptoms: light headache and a pain behind the eyes. Thought nothing more of it, and carried on as normal. That evening was when things took a turn. I started with a high temperature. My head was hot, my body was cold, and I was sweating and shaking constantly. I had no idea what was going on because I thought – “I don’t get ill; I’m too healthy.” (Note from Beth: Simon is vegan but could live on Oreos, apparently.)

Tuesday morning, I woke up looking as though I’d just stepped out of a swimming pool. Again, hot head, cold body, dripping in sweat. Decide to have a shower. As I clean the assets, I go lightheaded, lose my breath and collapse. I have to bang on the bath for someone; I can’t shout because I can’t catch my breath. My chest is tight and I’m like Miles Dyson during his death scene in “Terminator 2,” only holding a showerhead, not a detonator. Fortunately, my wife Aimee hears me and helps me out.

The day continues with an unbelievable headache (the worst I have ever had; it was like someone had inflated my head to bursting point, and people were screaming behind my eyes), shortness of breath, intermittent cough, and hot and cold sweats.

These symptoms didn’t ease off until Sunday, when I started to breathe normally again. Around Thursday I was forced to take some paracetamol. My wife, my mother and a doctor friend all insisted I had to. I’m stubborn when it comes to medication, but this really helped me to get back on my feet, and I should have listened to them sooner. (Note from Beth to Simon: YES. Remember this later.)

Now, the added bonuses: My dreams were messed up. I was in the “Tiger King” documentary at least twice, and a reccurring dream was of me situated in a familiar black void next to a house-sized steel-pressing machine. The machine would press and laser-cut bits of steel and throw them out to me. All these pieces would mould (Note from Beth: “Mold” for the Americans.) into each other through a portal containing a world of jigsaw-style steel parts. This happened every night.

Another joy of this was that I couldn’t keep down large quantities of water. If I had more than half a small glass, I’d have the runs! (Note from Beth: Delightful!)

ANNNNNNND, aside from my head, do you know what was the most painful part of my body through all this? My hips. MY HIPS! I mean – how?!?! I had to rub tiger balm on them every night. (Note from Beth: Tiger balm = Tiger King dreams.)

With a family around me and two young kids, I had to isolate from everyone and Aimee was following me around with disinfectant spray! (Note from Beth: I totally get it.) I couldn’t hold or go near my wife and kids for 12 days. That was unbelievably difficult.

So that’s my fight with the virus. By far the most debilitating thing I’ve been through. I’m on something like Day 13 now, and I’m still dizzy with a tight chest. The headache has gone, and I can walk about again!

I consider myself healthy, and I very rarely get ill, so I thought, I’m very unlikely to be affected by this.

Boy, was I wrong! It’s not something I’d wish on someone, but I’m grateful now that perhaps I’m somewhat immune. I have felt how it impacts the body, and for those in a more vulnerable physical position than me, it’s clear to see how it can take lives.

Please stay safe. Don’t be dicks.
Simon

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Hey all you cool cats and kittens!

I like to try to make people laugh. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am Chandler. I like to pretend everything is OK.

Everything is not OK.

  • There’s so much uncertainty.
  • I don’t like staying at home.
  • I burned the gyoza I took so much time to make because I was preoccupied by being sad.
  • I’m rarely sad, so that was a surprise.
  • There’s a woman at work who hates me, and I don’t know why.
  • We don’t have any toilet paper. (I’m kidding. Old habits die hard.)

I miss working out. There: I said it. I know you’re shocked.

I miss all of you.

I miss normal life.

I took going out to see live music for granted. Going to restaurants. To festivals. To the beach. Seeing friends and family whenever I wanted.

I have so much to be thankful for:

  • I have a job.
  • I have a job I like.
  • I like my boss.
  • Eddie is a funny person.
  • He has a job.
  • The kids are great. Really!
  • None of us has the ‘Rona.
  • I have fantastic friends and family with whom I can chat via Zoom, Skype, Hangouts, What’s App and Houseparty. I have options!
  • And a bidet. 😉

But the reality is that none of us knows how long this will last. And the leadership in this country is woefully inept.

For example, Gov. Kemp opened the Georgia beaches, superseding more restrictive local orders. He also said he didn’t know sometimes people were asymptomatic. 🙄

Sigh.

It’s hard. It’s harder for some than for me, but let me have my moment.

I’ll be fine tomorrow.

Take care of yourselves. I love you all.
Beth

 

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Dear Readers,

I’m so excited that my badgering has paid off. Here’s another guest post. The Royce had a birthday last week, and it prompted some reflection.

I’ll be back next week with a story about the eldest. Parents with teenagers will relate.

Love,
Beth

This is The Royce in his natural habitat.

 

Aging vs. Old: A Rant
Guest post by The Royce

So, yesterday was my birthday. And that’s good because, hey, another trip around the sun, right? But somewhere along the way — in the last, oh say, few years or so (I don’t know whatever) — it occurred to me that, while I am not old (yet), I am, in fact, aging. Maybe I’m finally “of a certain age” — whatever the hell that entails — because, while I’m definitely still an easygoing person, little things are starting to grind my gears just a bit.

Like those damn neighborhood kids walking in my yard! LOLJK. (Note from Beth: I don’t think he is, in fact, JK.)

Though it’s commonly *cough* invariably *cough* attached to middle age and miracle creams, signs of aging actually applies to things other than crow’s feet and smile lines.

I’m talking about the less-obvious, non-physical signs of aging. Because like it or not, every day of every year, you’re aging. You just don’t notice it.

Until you do.

And then you notice it again. And again. It’s a lot like buying a new car that you thought was unique and rare until you drive off the lot and there’s three of the same vehicle waiting at the first intersection you get to.

On Jan. 13, 1974, the Super Bowl was on my seventh birthday, and I got to watch my favorite team, the Miami Dolphins, become two-time world champions against the Minnesota Vikings. Not a bad day for a kid.

In 2020, the game is three weeks later, two hours longer, and the pre-game show lasts half a day. WTH?

When did that happen?

You see, that’s not old. That’s aging.

Recently I went out with my lovely wife to meet some friends visiting from out of town. We arrived a few minutes early and looked over the drink menu while we waited.

I’m sorry, but WTF?! How did a cocktail get to be $14 in this town? (Note from Beth: They live in Savannah.) Did I teleport to Manhattan when I walked
through the door to this place?

Again: Not old. Aging.

You know why people don’t go out as much when they get a little older? It’s less about being tired and more because we don’t want to get bent over paying those ridiculous prices every time we feel like having a nice meal somewhere. Hey, how about we go out for dinner and have a couple glasses of WELL SHIT THERE GOES A HUNDRED BUCKS.

No, it’s not denial. Old will, with some luck, arrive eventually.

But for now … nah, not old. Merely aging, just like I have every day of my life. And considering the alternative, I’m fine with that.

Seriously, though. Would it kill the little cretins to stay off my lawn?

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Dear Readers:

My last post resonated with a few of my female friends. A college friend, “Sue,” wrote the following that she said I could share as a guest post. (And you know I love a good guest post.)

See you Monday with fresh content from me, courtesy of Gideon.

Beth

My own non-resolutions
By “Sue Buckley”

This year, I will not:

  • Keep those heels I think that I might wear just one more time. You know the ones. My knee and ankle … done.
  • Brexit quietly or vote for Trump. I demand IQ tests with a score range of at least superior or gifted — depending upon the scale — for all voters.
  • Wear all that odd jewelry I’ve accumulated over the years. In fact, I may give it away.
  • Obsess over the last time I changed the kitchen sponge. (Trust me: This haunts me.)
  • Blurt out what I “really think” during a video call. It’s impossible to hide my face. Learned this from experience, and it’s easier without the visual.
  • Say yes when I mean no. I was taught this during my formative years, but it wandered back in. I don’t have to spend my time anywhere or with anyone if it’s not valuable (true friends and family excluded).
  • Not shut up about menopause. I don’t care how boring it gets. They don’t tell you this shit. 
  • Not finish my book. (Beth and I have the same goal.) It’s happening this year.

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Dear McKinnons,

Every time we stay with you, we have something to laugh about. From Petra trying to fatten us up like Thanksgiving turkeys to Patrick disappearing in the middle of the conversation to go to Home Depot, it’s always an adventure.

On Thursday, I walked into your house with the family. Patrick took one look at me.

Him: What’s on your pants?
Me: Serial killers.
Him: Is that a band?
Me: No. Real serial killers. You know. Like Charles Manson.

(The leggings I mentioned in this post.)

This time, even Ryder and Mia gave us a laugh.

After I tagged along on the guys’ outing to see “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Friday (the bros and a bra), we discussed the finer points of some key deaths. (No spoilers.)

Ryder went back into the vault to describe Obi Wan’s death like this:

His towel dropped.

I laughed so hard, I was wheezing.

(Ryder then asked if he was going to make it into my blog finally. Yes, my young padawan.)

Mia, who has a competitive streak like her father, did not want said father to win the Uno game Friday.

She turned to me, sitting next to Pat as I always do.

Her: You got something for him?
Me: I do.

She plays a color she knows I have. I throw down a reverse. She wins the game. We high five, because she won and not Pat.

Evil. I love it.

Saturday, Petra and I were having a serious conversation about the deaths of our fathers and subsequent guilt.

Here comes Pat to vacuum right behind her.

Petra and I looked at each other. Shocked. Then started laughing because OF COURSE HE HAD TO DO THAT RIGHT THEN.

Then last night, we all played a Pictionary-like game called “Buzz Draw.”

Naturally, someone yells out “penis” if anything is remotely phallic. (Like there is ever going to be a penis prompt on a family game card.)

Gideon drew “winter.” He thought at first that no one got it.

Mia: I said ‘winter’ a long time ago!
Pat: But I yelled ‘penis’ at the same time.

Speaking of penis, your dog Angus took an unusual interest in me.

I feel like I need a restraining order. Counseling at the very least.

Here he is rubbing his slobbery toy all over me under the table.

It’s better than what he usually rubs on me. (Hint: See theme of the game above.)

Perv.

Anyway, thanks for letting us stay with you this weekend. And thanks especially for the laughs.

Love,
Beth

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