It’s been a long week. Time travels slowly and at the speed of light, and we are all on top of each other while simultaneously being at least six feet apart. Here are some things I’ve been obsessed with in the last seven days:
- Looking on eBay for vintage wind up watches. I don’t know what it is about gears and jewels and things that work without computers. I’d say I’m a prepper and like to be ready for systems failure, and that’s sort of it, but really I just love all things analog. I didn’t know what analog meant until a few years ago, when I went to a meeting with this giant, lovely dreadlocked man named Ron. I had invented a vegan cheese made from hazelnuts and I wanted to sell it in his store. Ron told me he “loved this analog cheese idea.” I pretended I knew what he was talking about and then I went home and asked my partner because she always knows what words mean. She said “it means pre-digital. It’s when something is made mechanically.” All those tiny gears! Somehow, there’s crystals or jewels or something in there! And they’re DOING things! You just wind it up and all day you’ve got a little best friend on your wrist, chattering away, jewels humming with magic earth powers, gears all interlocked and working in unity. Someday I’m going to start a wind up watch collection. Right now on shopgoodwill.com there is a WWII military issued Bulova watch for sale that was probably being worn by an Allied trooper as he swooshed in and stomped Hitler. I wanted to get it but I got outbid and I can’t go over $40.
- Baby squirrels. We have a squirrel nest under the eave of our house. They are heartbreakingly cute and heartstoppingly BAD AT CLIMBING SHIT. One tiny baby squirrel sat on the branch of the fig tree for fifteen minutes getting up his nerve to jump onto the roof of the neighbors house. He finally jumped and landed on the SMOOTH METAL ROOF and slowly slid down the slope. He hit the edge at about one inch per hour and exploded into a mess of fur and nails, grabbing every leaf and twig in reach, as he nearly fell to the ground for another fifteen minutes. It was like somebody had thrown a fur covered washing machine spin cycle into the fig tree. We were inside watching through the window making noises like we were at a Wimbledon match between Billie King and Bobby Riggs. There could only be one winner.
- Coffee metabolism. Did you know that we have a gene that decides how quickly (or slowly) we metabolise caffeine? One gene, just for caffeine! It’s called CYP1A2. (Just a really beautiful name! If I get another dog I’m going to name it CYP1A2). You can be a fast caffeine metabolizer, a medium caffeine metabolizer, or a slow caffeine metabolizer. Forty percent of us are fast, forty-five percent are medium, and fifteen are slow. It all comes down to your genetics. If you have a fast parent and a slow parent, you’ll be a medium and so on—you can figure out the rest. If you are fast, coffee can reduce inflammation. If you are slow, you shouldn’t drink coffee because it can CAUSE inflammation! Isn’t that a trip? I think I’m probably a medium, but I do know that when I drink coffee it makes my heart palpitate in an unusual way. I mean there’s normal life palpitations—when you nearly drop a seventy year old Pyrex bowl that your partner made cookies in when she was nine (it was wet! I have smooth hands!), or when you have to jump off a sixty foot quarry wall into Kentucky Lake with your whole watching family bobbing down below in a boat, or when you stop on the street and get out to help a snapping turtle get out of the road and you forget to pull the emergency brake in your manual truck and it begins to roll backward toward a trailer and instead of jumping back in to pull the brake you decide to try to stop it like Superman would do and run to the back and push really hard but the grass is too slippery and you have a sinking feeling that you’re about to be smashed between your truck and a mobile home but the truck magically stops at the last second because your used-to-be girlfriend was smart enough to scoot over into the driver’s seat and PULL THE EMERGENCY BRAKE!! (it was wet!! I have smooth hands!)—and there are unusual palpitations, like someone has reached into your chest cavity and is trying to milk your heart like it’s a cow teat. I recently quit drinking coffee, by the way.
- Coronavirus. Every time I have to go do something outside my house, I use my pendulum to tell me if I have coronavirus on me when I get done. I’ve been doing it for weeks. I hold the pendulum out in front of me and say “do I have coronavirus on me?” and it will spin clockwise if I do and counterclockwise if I don’t. Every time it says no, leading me to doubt that a. coronavirus exists or b. that my pendulum is an accurate predictor of its presence. You have to pick one because I went back and forth too many times and gave up. So yesterday was grocery day and I suited up and went out. I went to a Trader Joe’s first and then I had to go to Safeway because they have the good vegan mayo (it was on sale!). When I was done, I got out into the parking lot and pendulumed “do I have coronavirus on me?” fully expecting the usual no response. But holy hell! It said yes! Insert usual heart palpitations here. “Is it on my clothes?” Yes. “Is it on my groceries?” Yes. “Is it on my shoes?” Yes. “Do I need to go home and take off all my clothes and put them in the washing machine and bleach all my groceries?” Yes. Holy hell!! I freaked out. All the freaking that hasn’t been happening for weeks due to positive pendulum results flooded in. I rolled up all the windows so that I wouldn’t infect all the people I drove by and put the pedal to the metal. I jumped out when I got home and screamed for help. My partner, who was working on something that I’m sure was VVVVVVVEEERRRYYY important, didn’t seem to understand the gravity of the situation at first. “I’M COVERED IN VIRUS!!! HELP ME!!” I screamed from the front porch, ripping off my clothes. She stared at me, confused. “THE PENDULUM SAID I HAVE VIRUS ON MY CLOTHES AND IT’S ON THE GROCERIES!!” I screamed, nearly naked, glasses askew. “What do you want me to do?” she asked calmly. “HELP ME!! GET SOMETHING TO SPRAY THE GROCERIES WITH!! BLEACH!!” I screamed. So she googled the best way to disinfect groceries, while I stood on the porch in my underwear. She went to get the rubbing alcohol and started laying out the french fries and vegan mayo on the table to spray down. She may have only acted to shut me up, but it had the desired effect. My heart palpitations began to ebb as I threw every stitch of clothing I was wearing, including my shoes, into the washing machine. We went on full corona defense, disinfecting every crack of the house with alcohol, putting health shield virus killing essential oil in the diffuser, and burning the grocery bags. I pendulumed “is the virus gone?” Yes. “Are we safe?” Yes. “Did I catch coronavirus?” No. Whew. I turned to my partner and said. “Thank you for your help. I may have overreacted.” And we laughed. And now our house smells great.