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Alone With My Enthusiasm

This week had its ups and downs but I’ll focus on the positives. Like last Sunday, when it was warm enough to visit with my Dad in his driveway (though it was windy as heck). It was the first time I’d seen him in MONTHS. He and his wife are fully vaccinated but still being careful. I am now eligible to get vaccinated myself, though I haven’t been able to find an appointment just yet. And President Biden announced that he will direct states to make all adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations by May 1st. That works for me. Let’s all follow Schwarzenegger’s example.

Five things that brought me joy this week:

  • I am a long-time fan of Shonen Knife. And of The Kitchen Sisters. This week those worlds collided in a fun episode called The Osaka Ramones: The All-Girl Punk Band-Shonen Knife. Nostalgia overload.
  • The already dreamy Jason Mantzoukas is even cooler than I could have imagined: Jason Mantzoukas Has Had Time to Really Geek Out on Music. And we’ve both been maintaining our chill by listening to harpist Mary Lattimore’s Silver Ladders. Swoon.
  • Saw this news: Lou Ottens, Inventor Of The Cassette Tape, Has Died. Then I remembered how I discovered boxes of aging cassette tapes in our attic in the early 80s. I used them to record an alternative radio show on KFAI that aired on Sunday nights. I’m still amazed I was able to pick up the Minneapolis radio station’s signal on low quality boombox in my bedroom in White Bear Lake. But that’s how I discovered some of my favorite bands. Siouxsie & the Banshees, Screaming Trees, Joy Division, New Order, Pere Ubu, Tones on Tail, Bauhaus, etc. Later I spent my teens and twenties making mix tapes for friends and crushes alike.
  • Recently I convinced my kid to watch Amy Poehler’s Moxie with me. That doesn’t mean he’ll listen to tales of my riot grrrl youth or read my zines. It’s not a perfect movie (it still centers whiteness too much) but we both enjoyed it well enough and the soundtrack is superb.
  • I’ve been a big fan of Kate Quinn’s historical fiction. And I’ve been obsessed with Bletchley Park FOREVER. I was thrilled when the book I pre-ordered popped up on my Kindle this week. The Rose Code is about three women codebreakers Bletchley Park. I’m already halfway through the danged thing. I should slow down a little and savor it.

Right before I started teaching last night I got great news from my accountant. Somehow I am getting a refund this year. I was convinced I was going to be paying in again. This is such a relief. I actually got a little choked up. I’d been so stressed out about it. I’ve decided to take a break from teaching Fall semester, and I’ve turned down some wedding photography jobs for Fall. I am running on empty and need more downtime. But that will mean being better about budgeting. Not having to pay in for taxes gives me a little more breathing room. Phew.

Beautiful ironwork at the entrance of Lakewood Cemetery depicting the goddess Athena and her owl

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