What Do You Know, There Was Actually Some Good News This Week Just in Time for Pride Month.


My adopted home state, New York, is in Phase One of re-opening after locking down since March 15. I dread Phase Two, because in Phase One the traffic in my suburb has become a nightmare already, and in Phase Two dentists are allowed to go back to work. As soon as Phase Two hits, I know my dentist will hound me about resuming where we left off three months ago. Now, I thank the lord that I live in the time of modern dentistry… with about the same fervor that I wish modern dentistry would leave me the fuck alone. Jesus, I hate going to the dentist, but having a nice smile is much more important when you are in your 60s than it is when you are in your 20s.

Old people are creepy. It’s a fact. This is something that I remember from my 20s with vivid clarity, and I’m not letting myself off the hook just because I happen to now be in my 60s. You have to take care of stuff, like teeth. And hair. And shoes. And wear lipstick, and shut up about how you used to buy Wonderbread for 35 cents a loaf. Update your eyeglasses. And stop wearing plaid shirts.

So, yeah, I’ll be phasing out of quarantine and sharing public spaces with **shudder**  people, and it will be the official end of my Corona Cocoon, and I will be sad (about having to act “normal” around “people” again) and terrified (of my dentist).

It will take me a while to ramp up my activity level from my quarantine baseline of coma-esque restfulness. I am so used to doing nothing that this morning, when I had to go to the post office and to the drug store, I did the post office and called it a day. That’s all I can take. I’ve pencilled in some castle-making for 6 – 8 PM, when I’m recovered from the exertion of  mailing a package (hey Jeanie! Look for something from me in about a week!), but I won’t hold it against myself if I decide to stay on the couch watching Netflix instead.

Speaking of Netflix, I was watching another multi-episode drama from Asia last night, about a magic portal between two parallel universes and the time-traveling king who jumps between them and I thought to myself, I wonder how long it takes to learn to ride a horse.  (Although it’s set in 2019, the king rides a horse through the parallel universe portal.)

I would like to know how to ride a horse. I think I would look cool on a horse. This might be my new hobby, the one that stops Top Cat nagging at me to go outside for FIVE MINUTES and enjoy the beautiful day.

If any of you Dear Readers knows anything about riding a horse, please let me know if it’s possible to learn to look cool on a horse in one Summer, and do I need to get a special cowgirl name?

Brianna Noble on her horse, Dapper Dan, riding in downtown Oakland, CA, June 11, 2020.

And, oh yeah. Fuck Trump.

Yay! We got a win for America!


























Seizing on a medical milestone that doesn’t exist, President Donald Trump said Tuesday [June 16]  he thinks the same scientific expertise that produced a vaccine for AIDS can deliver one soon for COVID-19, too. “These are the people – the best, the smartest, the most brilliant anywhere, and they’ve come up with the AIDS vaccine. They’ve come up with, as you know, there’s various things, and now various companies are involved … AIDS was a death sentence, and now people live a life with a pill. It’s an incredible thing.”

There is no vaccine for AIDS.

See you on Friday, Dear Readers. Let’s avoid going back to normal together.

8 Comments, RSS

  1. Megan

    I am very much resisting “going back to normal”, we need something so much better than normal. Vivian you can learn to ride in a summer and you would look cool I’m sure. Brianna and Dapper Dan look very cool indeed. A cowgirl name while not mandatory would, I think, be a brilliant idea. Wear a helmet concussion is no fun. Thanks for the uplifting start to the day, and congratulations on navigating a trip to the post office. Enjoy the castle making.

  2. Kirra

    Loved the blog Vivan! Mid week saviour for those of us working. Sorry your living in fear of your dentist, ours have been back at work a while here in Australia and I’ve attended my check-up in May.

    Favourites this week:
    Nirvana lasted longer that the confederacy.
    There is no vaccine for AIDS.

    See you Friday!

  3. Casey

    Aw, that sweet little boy holding the sign I Matter, how can anyone want to live in a country where that actually has to happen to make some people consider it as a fact.

    I had forgotten that I used to think that 45 was old and that 60 was one foot in the grave. I like your list and I get it about the plaid shirts. Lately I’ve begun to notice that all old while guys in their 70s look alike. They all look like Ed Asner.

  4. Alex

    I had to go back to the dentist for a regular cleaning recently and it was the easiest time I’ve ever had there, because they couldn’t use the fancy electronic gizmo (too much spray) and did nearly everything by hand the old-fashioned way. The gizmo gives me gag reflex anxiety. Without it, I was a totally happy camper.

    Horses: I learned how to ride a horse at age 9, and I don’t recall it being very hard, so long as you have the *right* horse — GENTLE. Horses can be moody and the first thing to learn is what their ears are telling you — they have a whole language of ear positions regarding their emotional state that you really need to pay attention to. The other tricky bit is sitting properly in the saddle so you don’t get bounced around too much. The rein-guide movements are straightforward. At our age (I’m also now solidly in my 60s), I’d be concerned about neck and lower back issues, I must admit.

    I think you’d look super cool on a horse.

  5. I’m glad you’re able to get out (and extra glad because I’ll have mail to anticipate!) and hopefully you can find a horse somewhere nearby to take on. Not my area of expertise! I’ve ridden a horse twice. Once was enough!

    I’m going to probably have to do the dentist soon too. He hasn’t called to remind me of my June appointment. But it will happen. Doc next week. But the dentist is — well, in your face. Apart from that, laying low and heading north soon for my summer of being a hermit. Last week’s trial was good. I’m not ready to “go back.” By the time I am, they’ll probably tell us to Shelter in Place. One day at a time.

  6. You’re right — the Supreme Court is providing a couple of bright spots this week, it seems.

    I haven’t ridden a horse since summer camp when I was about 13, but I don’t remember it being very hard. Then again, I did get thrown once, so I am not the best model to follow. (No injuries, though, to either me or the horse!)

  7. Leslie

    Vivian, reading your Wednesday blog makes me laugh out loud. Sigh, if only it wasn’t so true.

    Netflix recommendation: Midnight Diner

  8. The toppling of inappropriate statues wave has started to wash over Vienna too. There is a large statue commemorating Dr. Karl Lueger, mayor of Vienna from 1897 to 1910, on Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Platz in the first district. However, this man just happens to have been a rabid antisemite and a role model for that German-speaking dictator who started the Second World War. Last week the statue was covered in pink grafitti (which has been cleaned up in the meantime) and a petition for its removal has been started.

    There is a also bridge in my district named after Dr. Karl; a historical committee that investigated official names in the 2010s came to the conclusion that the bridge is a “Fall mit intensivem Diskussionsbedarf” (a case where intensive discussion is required). That discussion apparently hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it will now.

    It took me a minute, but then I got the great IKEA joke. And I enjoyed on the road…and Calvin and Hobbes.

    Thanks again for all the laughs. It’s a better way to start the day than reading the headlines.

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