2020 is just exhausting.

In every possible way.

Today I gave myself the day off; I did a little necessary housework and that is all. Tomorrow I need to get out in the world and get gas and put air in my tires, and go to Publix (grocery store). My poor car has barely moved since March. I’m working from home and will be for at least the rest of the month. The grocery store is less than two miles away, and I really haven’t gone anywhere else.

Coronavirus cases are spiking in Florida; every day the number of new infections is worse than the day before. We broke the 2,500 new cases in a single day mark yesterday; a new high. But screw it, this is so boring! The governor says it’s fine, let’s open everything! Bars, gyms, movie theaters – go for it! Mask wearing has decreased as well, right when it’s even more important that we do what we can to protect ourselves and each other.

I live in a neighborhood with a lot of seniors, older than I am, in their 70s and 80s, and I am just shaking my head at their total disregard for their own safety – no masks, little social distancing with a lot of them. Not everyone – one man I don’t even know alerted me that Publix had both boxes of disposable masks and plenty of hand sanitizer on hand when he’d been there earlier. I said, “Now if we could just get people to use them.” and he agreed.

Our Governor DeShithead has declared that schools will reopen in August, because – and I’m not joking he really did say this – it’ll be safe because kids don’t get the virus!

Because that’s what schools are, you know, buildings full of just kids roaming around with no adults present, so no risk! And kids can’t get it [yes they can] and certainly can’t get it and bring it home to their parents and grandparents, right?

Local school districts greeted this statement from the governor with caution, as in “Yeah, we’re still evaluating what we’re going to do.” At the rate new cases are climbing, I’m thinking this will all sort itself out by mid-July, and not in a good way.

Meanwhile, I’ve decided that I really need to get a couple of things done before shit gets even worse. I have a haircut appointment for Monday evening. I mentioned before that the salon I go to has a solid plan in place and is taking precautions, and I feel reasonably comfortable with going in for another quick, very short cut.

The first time Maria ever cut my hair was in March, days before everything shut down. She had snipped away so quickly I had no idea what I’d end up with. It turned out to be the best haircut EVER, and it was such a perfectly balanced cut it grew in very gracefully. It has taken over three months to finally look unkempt. Fingers crossed that she can recreate that perfection; it’ll get me through the rest of the summer if necessary.

I’m semi-committed to going gray, but honestly, that’ll depend on how I feel about it when much of the remaining brown is chopped off on Monday. If it looks as I hope it will, bright and silvery, I’ll happily embrace the gray. But if it looks dull and steely gray and I look all faded and tired, I’ll slap color on it without a second thought, and try again next year. I am fine with gray if it’s a pretty, bright, silver-gray. If it looks like that dull, battleship gray, well, that’s why we have hair color.

I’ve also made an appointment for an eye exam; again, they’re taking all the precautions, and I really can’t put this off any longer. My glasses are on the brink of falling apart, and my prescription is way out of date, and I stare at computer screens all day. I am definitely feeling the eye strain.

Arlo the new baby puppy is the smartest little bugger ever, and he’s definitely not going to stay a little bugger. He went for a shot the other day: 8.5 weeks old, 13.5 lbs. The vet said part Catahoula was a good guess, but his face doesn’t have his grownup shape yet. I reminded my daughter that Great Danes also come in that dark merle coloration.

Whatever he is, he’s a handsome little devil and sweet as they come, and has been a breeze to train – he’s mastered sit, is learning down, and taught himself to ring the bell at the back door when he needs to go out. 8.5 weeks old. He’s a baby genius.

The rain finally stopped long enough for me to meet him the other evening, and holy crap, I’m so glad I adopted adult dogs (and cats). He’s utterly precious, but utterly exhausting.

I had offered my too small, cheap old desk to my daughter because with everybody working and schooling from home, they needed all the work space they could get, and it finally stopped raining long enough for them to come collect it. My son-in-law brought Arlo, and I held him on his leash while they got the desk. It took about five minutes for them to pick it up, carry it down, and load it into my daughter’s SUV.

In that five minutes, Arlo and I had done at least a dozen, “No, that’s not food” “What’s in your mouth?” “Drop it!” samplings of leaves and sticks, considered chasing a squirrel (the leash was a deterrent) and he generally wore me out. He was in constant motion and needs constant watching, like a hyperactive toddler. I was very glad to hand his leash back to his daddy. He’s utterly adorable and will be a handsome and very intelligent dog, but holy shit, I’m too old for a puppy.

Another Long, Random Update.

Someday I really need to get my blogging act together.

Anyway, you four people who still read this mess:

My daughter’s family had to say goodbye to Cosmo, as they’d known and braced themselves to face for the past month. The mast cell cancer absolutely tore through him in the last days, with new tumors appearing overnight. Our lovely young vet told my daughter she’d cried when she’d read the pathologist’s report, because he was just SO young.

But Cosmo taught us all good lessons about living in his brief three years: he lived every damn day with such joy, and whatever he did, he just WENT for it, with all of his energy. His life was short, but we are all better for knowing him.

And it might seem abrupt, but their new dog already found them.

My daughter put her name out on various rescues and shelters within a hundred mile radius, and says that within a minute of hitting send on one, got a call, “I think we might have your puppy.” They drove to Gainesville, met said puppy, agreed, and brought home a 7.5 week old hound mix they’ve named Arlo, for both The Good Dinosaur, and the legendary Mr. Guthrie. I hope the music legend doesn’t mind. This Arlo is very smart and a Very Good Boy already.

Arlo is a mix – his mom was dumped at a shelter with her three newborn puppies – and while she appears to have been a true Heinz 57 of pit bull, hound, possibly shepherd and God only knows, it appears dad was a Catahoula, because Arlo is the picture of a Catahoula and so are his siblings. Daddy’s genes were strong in this litter. They looked absolutely nothing like their mom, as if purebred dogs were just randomly inserted in her womb. But he does have his mother’s sweet, gentle eyes.

The minute I saw that face and that gorgeous merle coat my crazy dog lady breed encyclopedia brain went to Catahoula, and yeah, I think Daddy was.

I haven’t met him yet, it’s been rainy AF here. Cristobal may be making landfall in Louisiana, but he’s been raining here all weekend. Last night we had tornadoes, and it’s pouring here again. It’s thundering and pouring as I type this.

Tomorrow is Monday, again. I wish I had the energy to write pithy political stuff about current events, but Jesus, it’s just so damn insane. The protests this weekend gave me hope, as did local governments rejecting federal “help”. As of today, there are still protests, but they are peaceful and uplifting, and give me hope. Even the new, bizarre fence around the White House has been turned into a public display of peaceful protest. And the Mayor of DC is a badass leader.

I have no idea what is going to happen between now and November, let alone between November and the Inauguration. If we survive this, can we please fix that archaic shit? There is no reason in this modern age to elect a new government in November and not let them take office until the end of January. Tighten that shit up to 30 days, please. We aren’t carrying packets of documents on horseback. And about that Electoral College? Same issue. It might have made sense at the time it was established (it didn’t; it just appeased the slave owning states) but now it has been used twice just in my recent adulthood to install the loser of the popular vote, and both times with disastrous results.

2020 has been a freaking disaster movie so far, but God loves us and gives us puppies.