Let’s Get Physical.

My county of Nassau on Long Island is in Phase One of re-opening. New York City is also in Phase One, meaning that construction and curb-side retail is open, and people can go out to eat in restaurants if there is outdoor seating, or indoor seating for no more than 25 ppl / 6 feet apart.

The most immediate consequence of Phase One is traffic. Suddenly, the roads are jammed again. I had forgotten the noise — I’d forgotten that in my backyard, you can hear trucks roaring on the Long Island Expressway (Exit 37 is one mile away). I am a little depressed that life is getting back to normal, as far as the everyday cacophony is concerned.

I’ve heard that literary agents are getting pitched all kinds of pandemic novels these days, but it’s not going to happen as a literary genre because everyone is weary of the subject. However, I predict that there will be all kinds of feel-good quarantine memoirs coming out next year, about spiritual epiphanies or precious family bonding experiences, personal insights or home renewal projects that transformed inner and outer realities.

I won’t be writing one of those books. Nope. Not for me. For I have learned nothing, I still hate most people, and my house still looks like two grad students on scholarship live here.

Top Cat had one pandemic project that matters. He has finally sorted out the several hundred vinyl records he’s been storing in the basement for 20 years. He’s actually thrown out some, has given most of them away to collectors, and saved about 50 for his own archives. We have a turntable, in fact we have two, but if he wants to play old Moody Blues or Quicksilver Messenger Service, I got to be waaaaaaay far away.

I have zero nostalgia for the music of my youth.

I know there is one Dear Reader here (*cough* Steve) who still listens to disco from the ’70s, and I am here to drag you into the post-pandemic 21st century. Consider it Phase One of Vivian Swift’s Return to the New Normal, in that I am back to bossing people around.

Dua Lipa has a whole new album called Future Nostalgia, which is all about her re-creating that disco sound with an update.

If you like old 1970s disco, you need to hear Physical. It’s my jam when I’m starting the fifth mile of my daily run, when I’m tired and I want a nap and I need something to keep me moving for those final 5,280 feet.

This has nothing to do with Olivia Newton John’s Physical.

If I can get one person to trade Doico Duck for Dua Lipa, I will be happy for about a minute, then I’ll revert to my normal pissant self because bitching about life is my main jam.

For instance:

Today, the Tennessee legislature is debating whether to remove a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the KKK, from the capital, which, much to my surprise, is Nashville. Republicans are voting against the statue’s removal for “historical” reasons, and the usual bullshit about Southern culture. But here’s the thing: the statue was erected in…*checks notes*…1978.

So, yeah, there’s still room for “debate” on whether symbols of white supremacy have a place in public spaces in this country. Well for fuck’s sake, do I have to go down to Nashville to march?

And if I do, I’ll have Dear Reader Maryanne‘s phone number written on my arm. Good to her word, she did email me her contact #s, and an open offer to bail me out on my next social justice outing because she knows that if I called home, none of the cats would bother to pick up the phone. Thank you, Maryanne. Knowing I have bail makes me want to go out and be a little more ornery next time.

And that brings you all up-to-date on Phase One of the Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning, Whatever.

I hope you all are getting a peek at what your new “normal” is, and that you all like what you see.

And, oh yeah: Fuck Trump.














This (above) is the Robert E. Lee memorial in Richmond, VA. The city council as been debating whether to take down this statue for five years. This is how it looks after the Black Lives Matter protest of June 1.












Hang in there, Dear Ones. See you Friday.


7 Comments, RSS

  1. Megan

    Thank you, well said, I can’t express how much I appreciate your blog. I believe the tide is turning and it is because people are speaking up. I identify with, “I still hate most people, and my house still looks like two grad students on scholarship live here.” Say hi to the cats for me.

  2. Casey

    This is what I need, to know that it’s OK to not emerge from quarantine a better person because that’s not my style either.

    I needed a good laugh too. Thanks for being here.

    Dua Lipa is good stuff!

  3. Lois Molitor

    Love your books and fully support your position on our current administration. Worst in the history of this nation. One point tho: The donation by the restaurant chains was made by one franchisee: James Bodenstedt of Muy! Companies. When the Wendy’s corporation learned of the donation they pledged $500,000 to “Social Justice Organizations”. Go ahead and enjoy your favorite burger.

  4. Susie

    I’m really hoping you keep up the twice a week updates, they have been a godsend.
    Also, my neighbor has been keeping a pet kangaroo, and it got out, and the cops had to restrain it, and while we can’t keep chickens, the kangaroo is totally legal.
    2020…what are you on?

  5. Kirra

    Good luck with the wind down!
    I’m very impressed Top Cat sorted his records out.
    The protest here in Adelaide last Saturday was amazing, excellent speakers and an amazing vibe. Our chief police said best protest crowd. So glad I went!
    I like the statue with the graffiti and black ballet dancers but it’s even better if it goes. One of my favourite things was seeing the people of Bristol topple the statue of the slave trader, drag it through the streets and throw it in the river. Look it up if you haven’t seen it.

  6. Maryanne is the best and you don’t know the half of it! Go get rowdy! I know what you mean about the noise. Same here. I don’t notice it so much in the day because there are other distractions but when I walk home from Rick’s at night I really hear it. And the planes are back.

    I live in a graduate student house too, I think. I look at it every day and say “I really should pick up that corner today.” And I don’t. I’ve been productive but the house is a mess and yesterday I borrowed Rick’s vacuum and felt I’d done the most productive thing of my quarantine.

    Take care, Vivian. And thanks for the smiiles today.

  7. At this point, I would almost be happy to be harvested by aliens.

    OK! I will take on your Dua Lipa recommendation and give it a good listen. (I can’t do it now because it would interrupt Dave’s daily rendezvous with “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which gives you a sense of the time warp enveloping our household.) Dua Lipa is one of those people who I’ve read about but couldn’t begin to provide details if asked — so perhaps you’re making me more hip. 🙂

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