Handsome AF

May 29, 2020 by Adam in Family

Joanna posted this picture of me modeling a sweater she made for her brother.  Being an internet savvy person, it was posted to Reddit where a random person stated that the sweater was great and I was "Handsome AF."  I'm presuming this means "Hansome As a Friend," so as not to cross any social boundaries, but the thought was certainly appreciated.

Joanna's heading to Portland this morning to hang out with Ben and do battle with our dysfunctional healthcare system.  There have been delays getting Ben into residential care due to lack of beds.  Unfortunately no one seems to be coming up with a good transition plan, which is causing stress for everyone involved.

School is winding down, just a couple more weeks to go.  Joanna's decided Duncan has to go for a walk and read for an hour a day as he'd cheerfully play on his computer all day.  No idea what's happening this summer and his usual trip to New York.  Life seems uncertain in so many small ways.

Work is going well for me.  Joanna and I planted tomatoes and weeded our little garden.  The weather has been warm and lovely - I finally setup an air conditioner in my little garden shed.  Excited for the rocket launch this Saturday.

Treasure Hunt

May 27, 2020 by Adam in Family

The week is moving along nicely.  It's Emma's official birthday today, though we celebrated early as she's at Jamie's house today.

The three day weekend was pleasant and lazy, with one of the highlights being Emma's treasure hunt.

Tuesday was quiet.  Joanna and I ate out on the patio and later finished a puzzle while Duncan had a socially distanced birthday for a friend.  They stayed up really late and played Minecraft, so presumably they had a good time.

Joanna and I are off to her office this morning to start cleaning things out.  After a couple months she came to the conclusion that she probably won't start things up any time soon, so she talked to the landlord and we're removing the furniture we want and selling the rest back to him.

I'm crossing my fingers for the SpaceX launch today, warning my coworkers I may stop in the middle of the meeting to watch it.  Fortunately we're all nerds, so it was well understood.

Edge of Seventeen

May 26, 2020 by Adam in Emma

Emma and I were driving and she turned on the radio to hear the Jack and Diane line "Hold on to sixteen as long as you can."  She's been pretty ambivalent about getting older, so the line's been stuck in her head since then.  I keep telling her that she's got a long time to go until she has to be grown up and responsible.

In any case, we put together a birthday extravaganza while she was with us over the weekend, though her actual birthday is tomorrow.  Emma made an offhand comment about a treasure hunt, which she had fond memories of as a kid.  Joanna went all out and put together an amazing 36 clue treasure hunt, complete with word puzzles and a puzzle box at the end.  We were exhausted but satisified at the end.

Emma was inundated with presents, cheesecake, and Tasty Thai.  Hopefully it's memorable.

Old Familiar Friends

May 25, 2020 by Adam in Adam's Games

Joanna was up in Portland for the first part of the weekend.  Emma's been slowly wearing herself out playing Stardew Valley, so she suggested to Duncan to play some Minecraft.  He cheerfully agreed and we found ourselves playing for a long while on Saturday and Sunday.

We made a nice little house by the ocean, mining, building, fishing, and exploring our way through the new features that have emerged in the years since I last played.  Duncan and Emma went on a turtle protecting stint, keeping the eggs safe from assorted monsters.  It was lots of fun.

The Cats Are Taking Over

May 21, 2020 by Adam in Family

Joanna's back from Portland after a visit from Ben.  The plans are still in flux, but he'll be there through next Friday and hopefully get into a free bed at the Farm Home in Corvallis soon after.  It was mostly a very good visit, so we're hopeful things are going well.

Emma finished both her AP tests, doing the weird single-question thing they're doing this year.  The rest of the year is pretty low-key.  She's also turning seventeen in less than a week - yet another thing to get organized and celebrate.

Joanna ordered some cat toys with catnip inside.  The usually well behaved Leia snuck up on the table, grabbed the plastic bag, clawed it open and spent the rest of the night rolling around looking goofy.

Weekend of Adulting

May 18, 2020 by Adam in Family

Joanna and I both were very grown up this weekend.  Joanna did taxes, I finished the paperwork for the house refinance, both of us voted, and we filled in the gaps with cleaning, yardwork, and so on.  Fortunately it wasn't all work and no play - we also took time for games, shows, and playing with cats.

Emma and I finished the last story in the Arkham Horror card game, defeating those pesky cultists and only going slightly insane.  The three of us played Carcasonne and Patchwork.  Duncan played Terraria, Emma Stardew Valley, and I played a bit of Control.  We also stumbled across the Drunk History videos on YouTube, which may become our new pizza eating show as it's at least a little educational.

Going the Distance

May 15, 2020 by Adam in Family

Oregon seems to be opening up today, at least somewhat.  I'm not sure we'll be leaping to go eat in a restaurant any time soon.  It would be nice to start doing more family get togethers, even if we eat apart from each other on the patio.

Ben's situation continues to get more clear after Joanna's recent visit.  He has a room available at least until next Friday and a bed in a place near Corvallis at the end of the month.  There might be a gap where we have to sort things out, but it feels like there's at least the outline of a plan coming together.

I think we're all feeling pretty frayed at the edges these days.  I've been thinking about Jenny this week, trying to do dentistry while following all the new rules.  My mom is wearing a mask in her house as her upstairs boarder is back for a few weeks.  Emma has her bizarre single-question AP tests coming up in the next couple weeks.  We're all doing weird things and it feels like the weird things will continue for the months to come.

The good news is that all the science keeps looking like a vaccine is possible, preliminary primate studies show it prevents the disease, and mutation rates are low.  It still may be another year or two until things go back to normal entirely, but I have a lot of faith that it will.

In the meantime, I'll enjoy my mocha, playing with the kitties, and playing games in between the usual exercise, sleep, and other things to keep my mental health up.  We've got a long ways to go.

The Cats Are In Charge Now

May 13, 2020 by Adam in Family

Joanna hinted that the cat tree that arrived today was likely due to the new kitten making some unauthorized online purchases, but in any case we set it up last night and the cats seemed quite happy with the way it turned out.  This morning I came downstairs to find Leia at the top, sleeping away from her perch.

Life's been fairly uneventful the last few days.  Joanna and I had a date night last night, playing Patchwork and Potion Explosion after a walk to pick up takeout from Laughing Planet.  Duncan's in perpetual PJ mode - hopefully he remembers how to put clothes on when the pandemic is over.  Joanna's going up to Portland today for a meeting and visit with Ben.  We're still trying to figure out next steps, but I'm hoping that gets sorted out fairly soon.

As for me, work's been full of meetings.  They're not so bad, especially considering this one would typically require flying to Salt Lake City.  I'm slowly working through my work on the new team.  After a couple weeks, my list of things you can add, edit, and delete from will be completed.  It's interesting comparing the level of time and attention given to features on the two teams - I think I tend to be more "get 'er done" than "make it perfect."

Mother's Day

May 11, 2020 by Adam in Family

Mother's Day is winding up - it's always a little bit of a whirlwind for me as I rush to do nice things for all the mothers in my life.  I started with a semi-successful attempt to make gluten-free crumpets for Joanna.  Next was getting breakfast ready - I'd swept and cleaned the patio the day before, so it was a couple hours of making crepe batter, cutting roses, beating whip cream, and Emma cooked up perogies.  Mom came over, the first time in many weeks, sitting at a little table on one end while the rest of us ate at the big table.  Oh how the tables have turned, mother.

Emma, Joanna, and I played a lot of new games I'd gotten the day before - Mysterium and Patchwork being favorites.  They started life as board games, but made fairly good computer game adaptations.  The rest of the day was fairly quiet - going for a walk, keeping mischevious kitties out of trouble, and making a hearty dinner for all.  I'm a little sad to return to work tomorrow.

The End of the Beginning

May 08, 2020 by Adam in Family

Life seems to be full of these long, drawn-out disasters.  Eugene is opening up a tiny bit after being essentially closed for weeks.  Emma went in and had her braces adjusted.  Jenny's helping open dad's dental office.  Next week I think they'll start opening up other businesses, though I suspect it'll all still be weird for months.

Joanna's up visiting Ben again.  I think the place at Providence is going well and he's engaged with activities there.  The plan is for Ben to stay through Thursday and find a residental facility where he can stay for several more weeks, though there are challenges around availability and what insurance people will take.  I think we have some bumpy years ahead of us, but I'm hopeful we're on the right track again.

As for me, my life is generally doing okay.  I try to call or visit mom and dad weekly and Marco Polo my siblings.  Work is fine - meticulous and a little boring, but I'm thankful I have a job.  Joanna and I had a nice date night, finishing our space puzzle after sushi, then moving on to some card games.  I can tell she really loves me when she's willing to play Pirate Fluxx and Cat Lady for entertainment.  We both obsessively finished the first season of Broadchurch.  Emma just came by, bringing huge amounts of food - bellinis, perogies, homemade cheese, and chocolate cake.  We're going to all end up quite plump when this pandemic is over.

Sunday Update

May 03, 2020 by Adam in Family

Joanna drove up to Portland Friday night to check Ben in and get him settled.  He seems to like the new place better than Unity and seems to be doing okay and engaged in the activities they have there.  Joanna's been staying at a nearby hotel, knitting and watching shows in between visits.  She'll do one more today around noon then drive back to Eugene.  Joanna reports the local psychiatrist seems competent and some medication tweaks are planned.  Still not sure about next steps, but it feels like things are moving in the right direction.

I've mostly been hanging out with Emma and Duncan.  Yesterday Emma made cheese, Duncan worked on video editing, Emma and I played a board game together, lots of Stardew Valley was played, and the day wrapped up with pizza and science, followed by everyone playing Trine until bedtime.

Joanna got the results of her COVID-19 antibody test - it was negative.  I think we all have to assume we didn't get it earlier this year and it was just another annoying virus.  Yesterday I went to the local ED to pick things of Ben's that were accidentally left behind.  It was strange moving masked through this test outside the ED to pick things up from a gloved and masked nurse stationed at the booth.

What a strange future we live in now.

May Mocha Friday

May 01, 2020 by Adam in Family

When the disasters start layering on top of each other, I start appreciating the little things that make life good.  My mocha beside me is full and frothy.  I had a lovely walk with Emma yesterday.  The new kitten is mischevious but full of cuddles.  The weather is beautiful and the world is erupting in green and color.

Joanna's been going to the ED pretty regularly the last couple days, bringing non-hospital food and books as I don't think there's much to eat or do, though there's apparently a tv in there.  Ben's been relatively calm and likes having Joanna around, much in contrast to a few days ago.  We're still trying to sort out where Ben goes after this, leaning heavily on the opinion of experts.

Joanna asked her doctor for a COVID-19 antibody test which should be done today.  Hopefully we'll get results in a day or two.  If it ends up positive, I might try to get one too in hopes of minimizing the false positive risk.

I went to Market of Choice for the first time yesterday.  The world seems more cyberpunk every day with the masks and backpack full of cleaning fluid, spraying off carts.  What a strange future we live in.

As for what happens next, we keep playing things by ear.  I'd like to mow the lawn and weed a bit as things feel a little overgrown.  Otherwise it'll be the usual hanging out at home and doing very little.

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