The First Weekend in Captivity.

My downstairs neighbor was sitting outside again, alone, when she called to me. Her company had gone home, and she was visibly more relaxed and pleasant. So I’m going to chalk up her weird behavior to the tension of house guests that overstayed their welcome and were on her last nerve, and forgive and forget.

The work laptop and the Elderly iMac (circa 2011) traded places, and I had my desk back for the weekend. I’ll swap them again in the morning, but it’s important to me to have MY STUFF in its normal place during my personal time. When this is over, assuming there is an “over,” and assuming I still have a job at the other end, all things I cannot count on at the moment, I’m buying myself a new, bigger, better iMac. I have been saving toward one, but under the circumstances I think I’d better hold onto that cash.

I cleaned the house like a madwoman, including deep cleaning Ellie’s bathroom. A large cat with hairy paws tracks litter everywhere, and it’s gross.

Before the virus hit the fan, so to speak, I had started turning my spare room/”office”/general crap catcher into a Disney-themed home office, and finally hung the Disney themed art I’d collected at various festivals.

Snow White is a digital image I got for being a passholder, or credit card holder, or something. The Walt Disney quote actually came from Amazon, which is a surprising resource for cool Disney art.
I bought this print at this year’s Epcot Festival of the Arts. This artist also has a really cool print of Walt and Steamboat Willy. I covet it, but I’m not buying art at the moment.

At the time I had planned to create a Disney blog as well, but that’s on hold.

And we had confirmation that the runDisney Star Wars Weekend has been canceled. Not postponed, not “to be rescheduled TBD,” but nope, it’s not going to happen in 2020, and we’re giving everyone their registration fees back.

That’s both disappointing to me personally, because I was excited about that 5k, but an alarming sign of how long we may be living like this. Although Disney World is officially closed through the end of March, they went ahead and sent the college program kids home when the parks closed, and now the cancellation of a major event in mid-April is a clue that they don’t anticipate reopening anytime soon.

It’s the uncertainty of everything that is the hardest to deal with. I have put the balcony project on hold for the time being. I can’t be sure how long I’ll have a paycheck, so yeah, that nasty old carpet can just stay there for now. If I do get laid off, I may tackle it myself. The idea of ripping up something I hate feels really satisfying and would be a great stress reliever.

In the meantime, while I wait to see what the future will bring, I’m going to organize my photos and plan my Disney blog, because this will be over someday.

I couldn’t find a taker for the old futon, so yeah, I have an office couch.

It’s hard to see the posters over the couch, sorry about the glare, but they were actually quite cheap and cool and from Amazon.

I’m Old. How old are you? I’m old enough to remember Eastern Airlines. And the coordinating Delta poster from 1971? How could I resist?

I’m on a no frivolous spending program for the foreseeable future, but I foresee some classy Disney themed throw pillows replacing the existing ones from Ikea. I think this one and this one would work, and I can see myself knitting a few pillow covers to mix with the Disney-themed pillows.

So, I have some plans to cope with this weird new world. Tomorrow, back to back to back conference calls start at 8:30 a.m., and we’ll get an update on the company’s plan on how we’ll cope, and yeah, it’s all totally fine!!

via GIPHY

So, What’s New?

I’m still here, writing blog posts in my head nearly every day. Yes, I know that’s not how it works.

So, what’s new with me? I’m waiting to find out whether I’ll be going to the office, working from home, or just not getting paid at all. I’m a contractor, and my contracting company sent us an email saying, “Don’t go to work sick,” and “Let us know if you are unable to work,” and nothing at all about giving us any sick days. I’m MUCH luckier than a lot of people; I earn a decent salary and have enough money in the bank to get by for a while, though this means any thought of a vacation later this year is out the window.

The theme parks are all closing for at least two weeks, and I think that’s when shit got real for a lot of people around here. Disney NEVER closes for more than a day or so, if a hurricane is absolutely bearing down on Central Florida; and even then they’ll just watch the situation and stay open if possible. The parks are all closing until the end of the month (at least for now) and this is truly unprecedented. I’m wondering what will be going on with the Star Wars Race Weekend, which is now a month away. A week ago I’d assumed it would be happening, now, who knows? That’s the speed of events these days. I’m going to keep training, in my lazy, half-assed way, because walking by myself is a fine form of social distancing.

Schools are closed for the rest of the month. Delaney’s dance competitions are canceled. Everyone is stressed and exhausted, all over the world.

The last three years have been incredibly hard and depressing already, as many of us were forced to confront the reality that a lot of our fellow citizens are actually shitty people. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by the hoarding of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, because no, “we” are not better than this. “We,” are also incredibly fucking stupid: there’s no liquid hand soap available, but plenty of bars of regular soap sit untouched, next to the empty shelves.

Changing the subject: Gidget. I’m working on socializing my shy little dog. She’s getting much better about not freaking out when a neighbor stops to chat, but if I take her out of the security of my immediate neighborhood she still has issues. Yesterday I took her for a walk without Sophie, just around the streets outside my condo community. Quiet, residential, lots to see and sniff, she was having a great time and we made it halfway around the block when: OMG!! A MAN!! DOING YARD WORK!! He was several houses away, but I saw her start to tense up when she saw him, so I decided to cross the street, to put a little distance between us as we passed him. We were on the other side of the street when he paused, smiled and said hello.

Gidget froze, turned, and started dragging me back the way we came, with all the force her little barely 8 lb. body could muster. This walk was DONE. Then, HORRORS! We had to walk past a FedEx truck, and the FedEx man said hi to her and said she was so cute! Well, we had NO choice, we had to flee!

Gidget believes social distancing should become permanent.

One of the “benefits” of this strange new world we all find ourselves in is that it may give me time to finally work on this blog, and on the other blog that, so far, exists only as notes in my journal.

Meet the New Job, Worse than the Old Job.

For reasons I cannot begin to explain, I spent two days last week in FDOT Maintenance of Traffic training. It’s related to my new job; sort of. The instructor was very nice and when I explained what I did, showed me the small amount of stuff actually relevant to my job before the two days of intensive information even began. I still had to sit through the two days of stuff I will never need to know in my actual job, because…I don’t know why.

It was basically like having a high pressure hose of information I never needed to know pumped into my brain at great speed, but the instructor really was great and I’m pretty confident I passed the test. As a side note, I’m also now qualified to stand in the hot sun and work as a flagger on a highway crew, which is of course every 61 year old who spent 30+ years in corporate America’s secret dream! Narrator: No, it’s totally not.

So after a shitty and frustrating week of work and two days of bonus weirdness, the weekend weather was glorious!! What’s a tired, frustrated, pissed off, depressed woman who just wants to be a stay at home dog mommy to do?

I went to Disney World. Specifically, to Animal Kingdom, because it’s one of my two favorite “I don’t need no stinkin’ rides” parks (the other great walking park is Epcot.)

So it was an utterly gorgeous day, and every living soul in Central Florida had the same idea. The park was PACKED. It was also a cheer competition weekend, so there were roaming packs of teenaged girls in matching tee shirts, followed by tired chaperones also in team shirts, everyfreakingwhere.

In case you were wondering, a pack of cheerleaders, when spotting a baby gorilla, emits a simultaneous “Oooh!!” sound that could shatter glass.

My plans of grabbing lunch at Flame Tree or Harambe Market were foiled by the crowds. Yes, both have mobile ordering, which I totally, totally recommend, it’s the best thing Disney has done in a long time, but after getting your food you still have to find a place to eat it. That was going to be a problem. I settled for a huge pretzel.

I only stayed a couple of hours; that’s the great thing about living nearby and being a passholder. The crowds got ever more crowded, and it was actually quite warm for February, so I had no problem with calling it a a day around 2:30 p.m. I’m home doing laundry and trying to get myself psyched for another insane work week.

I really, really REALLY want to be a stay at home dog mom.

Really.