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Stardate 73689.7: Ninth day of social distancing

Did you know that in San Diego County men are twice as likely to get COVID-19 as women? Bet I know why, too. Men suck at hygiene. But not me. I now wash my hands for Pledge of Allegiance seconds like a good American boy any time I think I might have touched something. We’re healthy here in McLandia. That box of Pinguinos still remains unopened. The champagne bottle remains corked. Adam and Kristen– married at 21, with 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 5 chickens. We are all alive and well in America’s Finest City. Speaking off, they closed the parking lots at the beaches and parks today because the Zonies gonna Zona and party at our beaches anyway. For real? Arizona ruins everything. Please, if you came for Spring Break go ahead Venmo me all your money (Adam-McLane-2) and kindly go home. Come back in July, please! My standard for watching things on TV is so low right now that I can’t tell you what I watched today. Somewhere between LivePD and Season 17 of Jeopardy. I’ll watch anything even mildly entertaining at this point. Today our neighbors led a tiny rebellion and had a miniature, socially distanced, alcohol-free, taste test of the Rolando Street Fair over on the boulevard. I take that back. A neighbor gave the band a beer served to them via a 10 foot pole. It was wonderfully Rolando and my heart needed that. If the cops ask I wasn’t there. It was Doug Lister, I swear. Other than that I sold some more plants. People with children like milkweed, just so you know. Kristen and I also planted nearly 500 new seedlings because we have nothing else to do with our time. Seriously, how cool would it be to see 3,000 Rolando neighbors have a vegetable garden this year? I’d give myself an award if we can make that happen. One family who bought plants today had a 3 year old daughter who really, really wanted to get close to me or maybe even touch my leg. So we kind of played tag while her mom shopped and asked questions and I was a big meanie because I didn’t let her catch me, much to her mothers amusement. After a couple minutes of this her very strong daddy put her back on his shoulders for the long walk back to Aragon Drive. Let’s face it, if she did touch me I’d have to take another shower and I don’t like to shower more than once a day and I’m conditioned to writing long sentences and worrying about our water bill and I’d already showered and if I shower too often my skin dries out and everything is itchy and if I’m itchy than I’ll start to think I’m sick and if I think I’m getting sick I’m pretty sure I’ll actually get sick because I won’t be able to sleep. And sleeping, I’m convinced, helps you not get COVID-19. Did you know men are twice as likely to get it than women? I think it’s because men have bad hygiene. 

Current body temperature: 98.7
Rolls of toilet paper: 2.6
Supplies: Low on cookies.
Social distancing grade: B- (Worth it, Rolando!)

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Stardate 73687: Eighth day of social distancing

Today I waved at a passing helicopter. For real. I was a little sad when they didn’t wave back. Maybe they did and I just blinked? And when people came over to buy plants today I resisted the sudden urge to hug them. Speaking of the plant sale. There’s nothing more wonderfully hilarious than people trying to pay you for plants though. “I’ll just leave this on the table.” I mean, money is dirty, but whatever. I’ll take it. Gimme that dirty coronavirus money! Heck, I sold a lot today so I plan on doing it again tomorrow. What else am I going to do? And we started a few hundred new seeds this afternoon just in case the government collapses. Tomorrow was supposed to be the 24th annual Rolando Street Fair. Sandi Grossman Buehner made it look easy… I mean, she never postponed the street fair and I had to postpone the blasted thing in my first year. So yeah, I suck because taking on the street fair somehow unleashed a global pandemic. My bad. I can’t think of the last time I touched someone outside of my family. It’s weird, in normal life you socially touch people all the time, and now I feel like if I accidentally shake someone’s hand I should get a ticket. Or run for Vice President. How are you supposed to greet people now? I notice some people are bumping elbows but I find myself touching my heart… like I do when I greet the Muslim women at school. I rather like that, it feels more natural than bumping elbows. I made black beans today. If I had a Cuban mother I reckon she’d be proud of me. And why did I type “reckon”? Tonight’s update is written by Samuel Clemons apparently. I do declare. The beans were good though. I reckon. Let’s be honest that this self-quarantine thing kinda sucks. I mean, we’re all making the best of it, but you know what would be better right now? Talking about our March Madness brackets. Or the street fair tomorrow. Or my second mission trip starting today. Or shaking hands with strangers. But instead, here we are, socially isolating ourselves so we don’t eat the Pinguinos. Has anyone started to wonder if this is the opening chapter of a Zombie book? No, just me. Have I mentioned I miss people? Like a lot. 

Current body temperature: 98.2
Rolls of toilet paper: 2.7 cases 
Number of times I touched my face today: Hundreds, if not thousands.
Supplies: The cookies are going way too fast. 
Social distancing grade: A

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Stardate 73684.2: Seventh day of social distancing

No one ate the pinguinos today so it’s a good day in McLandia. Today marks a week since we started social distancing and it feels much longer than that. I just want to shake hands again. It’s hard to believe that a week ago I picked up Jackson from school and joked with his teacher, “See you in August.” I’m a prophet now, I guess. Today I heard that men are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as women. So that’s cool. As someone who has worked from home the last 9 years, if I’m honest, daily life isn’t all that different. I’m actually quite a bit busier than normal. But like a normal Friday, I got an itch to be social and go out for lunch. That never happened but we did notice that people were super friendly when we walked the dogs. It’s like we’ve reversed roles on dog walks, if one human sees another we are like HI, A HUMAN! HI! HI! HI! In other news, we ordered delivery for dinner tonight and both places we ordered from had a delivery option where the person just left the food at the door and texted you to let you know it was there. It only got awkward when I needed to give one guy a cash tip. He didn’t know what to do. So I just left it there and went to wash my hands. I didn’t touch him though I wanted to give him a hug. I just washed my hands because that’s what I do when I feel awkward now. Murray, the family dog, when he feels awkward, licks himself where his testicles used to be. Let’s just be thankful I only wash my hands, OK? In other news, I’m simultaneously paying attention to the news and really feeling anxious about watching the news because I know just about everything about this virus I could possibly need to know and Anderson Cooper’s now working from home and I feel like our relationship is headed somewhere unhealthy. Let me save you the next 7 days of the news. It’s a pandemic, everyone is gonna get it. You are probably going to get it. So am I. Kristen and I are increasingly convinced we’ve already had it as Jackson’s entire school got sick with something that was kinda like the flu but wasn’t the flu. But hey, let’s stay home a few weeks, ruin everyone’s retirement account and small business, and probably get it anyway. Also, can we talk about how many people go on cruises? I had no idea until they became incubators for this virus. Cruises let you say you went cool places without actually going there. So I guess that’s a benefit. It’s the weekend. I have no idea what that means or why I need to know. Who cares if it’s Friday or Tuesday or Sunday anymore? We can’t leave our house, so like Jackson’s teacher told Kristen today, “You can decide when it’s Spring Break.” It’s going to be Spring Break for a couple months, I think. One last thing. Why did Sean Spicer from Season 1 get to ask the President a question during the press conference today? Is he still on payroll? Does he just hang out in the back of the room with Sarah Sanders and CJ Craig telling jokes and the President accidentally called on the peanut gallery? I really need to know. And can we get the Mooch back from Season 2? He was my favorite so far. 

Current body temperature: 98.3
Rolls of toilet paper: Classified. We have enough but not too much. 
Number of times I touched my face today: 42
Supplies: I opened the black beans today. No idea what I’m going to do with them, but the bag has been opened. 
Social distancing grade: A

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Stardate 73681.5: Sixth day of social distancing

Today was full of smiles and tears. My day started off with a conference call that brought huge smiles; my day ended with tears when the Governor issued a stay at home order. For real bro? Your wife doesn’t even believe in vaccines and you’re putting us on lockdown? In our house we are each dancing with hope and despair as recklessly as Spring Breakers in Miami Beach. For real. Send those morons back to the Big Brother set where they belong. Let’s admit that this social distancing thing is a freaking emotional roller coaster. Sometimes I find myself both optimistic and pessimistic at the same time and same sentence. Of course, I’ve lost track of time so maybe there’s enough time between them for it not to be weird? But time is weird right now. At one point I thought it was Monday and another time I thought it was Saturday. Turns out it’s Thursday. Thanks Siri. Right after the Governor told us to stay home our lone daycare dog went home. Three weeks ago we were turning away dogs left and right. Now? Kristen’s dog sitting business has gone dark. We love our regular dogs and their owners more than we love the money Kristen earns from watching them. So it the separation really hurts if I’m totally honest. Shortly after Shanti went home I took the big kids to Vons for one last hurrah in public before the Gavin Shutdown began. We bought mostly calories. Junk food like chocolate, 1 packet of tortillas, 1 loaf of bread, and 3 kinds of Oreos. Because my kids have been blessed with my dark sense of humor, they bought a Get Well Card for the first McLane Family member to get COVID-19. It says, “Breathe in. Breathe Out. Breathe Easy.” and the inside says “You’re strong enough to make it through this.” And that, boys and girls, is how the McLane’s roll. The first person to get it with a box of Pinguinos, to open the champagne, and gets the get well card. The second one to get it? They get COVID-19 and that’s it. 

Current body temperature: 98.0
Rolls of toilet paper: 2.75 cases
Number of times I touched my face today: 700 times in line at Vons. 
Supplies: We bought secret chocolate Pinguinos. 
Social distancing grade: B

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Stardate 73678.6: Fifth day of social distancing

Let’s start off with a question I’ve wondered all day. Should I fill out my Census 2020 questionnaire now or should I wait to see how this turns out? Just wondering. I mean, someone has to eat the Pinguinos if you catch my drift. Today I also decided that the first person to get the virus gets to open the bottle of champagne we never opened on New Years. It’ll be awkward if it’s Jackson but we won’t tell the grandparents. That makes everything better, I think. I spent nearly all of today on the phone. Not Zoom, like the cool kids doing distance learning. No, I made phone calls like a grown up faced with the realities that not working for the next two months might not mean good things for my IRA. Or my mortgage. Or my somewhat obnoxious addiction to buying food for my family to eat. Or my desire to buy a farm and raise goats for goat yoga and cheese production. That said, it was a good day of making phone calls. I think people are super nicer on the phone right now because they are just desperate for human interaction. And I’m so desperate for human interaction I’m willing to push past any social anxiety I may have to cold call a complete stranger to ask them for a favor. Kristen took the dogs for a walk this afternoon while I made phone calls. A bit later I wondered, “What is that loud noise?!” It was raining so hard the roof was whining. I left the house in our minivan and found Kristen, Jackson, Murray, and Ms. Bey a couple blocks away, completely soaked. As SoCal residents I think we’re fine with the social distancing thing, but it’s the rain that’ll end us. Late afternoon Kristen and I made our escape. We went to Starbucks… the new chairless, stay 6 feet from everyone version, and then took a walk by the the Hotel Del in Coronado. It was cold, like way too cold. So we didn’t stay long but it was really nice to be outside and remember why we pay all this money to live here. Remember outside? It’s like in the house but with fresh air, not in the house, and stuff. We returned home. We didn’t touch anyone and I didn’t put my fingers in my mouth when I wasn’t supposed to today. So today was a good day. Since time is going so slowly I have an idea. Let’s celebrate our birthday every Friday. I mean, we might not be living much longer… have you listened to the people in charge of things? I wouldn’t lend these people a phone charger much less put them in charge of public health. But I digress. We should celebrate our birthday every Friday because I figure we gotta get the good birthdays in while we can. Plus, I like cake and we have 25 lbs of flour to use up. Tonight we watched Frozen 2 and I confirmed that no, I do not want to build a snowman. 

Current body temperature: 98.1
Rolls of toilet paper: 2.75 cases
Number of times I touched my face today: At least 15 times while writing this. So not good.  
Supplies: I was promised black beans but have not yet eaten any. Do they exist? 
Social distancing grade: B+

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Stardate 73676: Fourth day of social distancing

Stardate 73676
Fourth day of social distancing

Today we took up arms against the gravitational pull of despair. We will not be bored! We will not be isolated! We will fight! Er, calm down dude, it’s only Facebook. After coffee Kristen and I settled in on a major work project. I taught her how to add items to WooCommerce and then we competed on who could do it the fastest. Kristen won. Seems to be a theme around here. I’m not a loser but I lose a lot. We decided that Jackson will do school from 9-noon each day. He was mad for long enough to remember how bored he was. Then he logged in to everything and got to work. He did as well as an extrovert stuck at home with four introverts trying to concentrate is going to do. No Jackson, I don’t want to talk right now. Tonight the governor said he didn’t think kids would be going back to school at all. So it’s summer break now? Great. I’m going to send Jackson to play at the governors house in Sacramento. After a weeks productivity squeezed into 6 hours I went to Tijuana. They have toilet paper there. That’s the story. The toilet paper is safe because there’s a direct correlation between the people hoarding toilet paper and the people who are afraid to travel to Mexico. I have a roll of toilet paper in my van for anyone who wants to know. It’s there because sometimes in Mexico you need a roll of toilet paper. Monday I went to LA. Tuesday I went to Tijuana. Wednesday I am not going anywhere. I did not touch any strangers today. I got something sticky on my hands in the grocery store in TJ. And I licked my finger. I don’t know why. I think it was sugar. Or coronavirus. I used hand sanitizer immediately afterwards. I’m probably gonna die. Also, just learned there was an infected student at UCLA. We are all gonna get it. If I get sick I’m eating those pinguinos.

Current body temperature: 97.2
Rolls of toilet paper: 2.85 cases
Number of times I touched my face today: Yes 
Supplies: We have not opened our 25 lbs of black beans or 25 lbs of flour. I don’t know why. We are down one box of Pop Tarts. 
Social distancing grade: F (finger in mouth in public place)

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Stardate 73673.1: Third day of social distancing

Field trip day. Today’s coffee was really good. Today was also the first day of online learning for our 11th grader. I give it another day before e3 cancels school. Left at 8:15 to go to LA. Normally that’d be a huge mistake but today made it there in like 2 hours flat. Driving 80 MPH is a form of social distancing. Megan packed up her room. We saw students there but we didn’t talk to or touch anyone. So I don’t think we’re going to die. I did a good job not making dad jokes while she packed her room. But I wanted to. There’s no prizes for not telling dad jokes. But when you tell them they pay you in eye rolls. I am an eye roll millionaire. By this time I’m guessing 100% of husbands in the United States have propositioned their spouse with a social distancing joke. Like the virus that joke works 1%-3% of the time. See, eye rolls are free. We ate on campus and it was delicious. I had flash fried tofu with ginger and a sushi salad. They were so cautious at the dining hall that some student was getting paid to pour soda. I wish they’d tell him I can handle a full cup. The food at UCLA is delicious. Food at Moody sucked. Unless you liked cereal. I love Captain Crunch. I might hoard that next. We got back at about 4 PM. With rumors of San Diego going on lockdown like the Bay Area, I ran to Home Depot to get some stuff we needed. They did not have toilet paper. I don’t need toilet paper but I am socially obligated to look. We got Megan moved in. The kids instantly started talking Minecraft. I think they formed a coven or some sort of sorcery. Whatever keeps them busy. I washed my hands a lot today. I did my best to not touch stuff. I found a secret bottle of hand sanitizer. 

Current body temperature: 98.2
Rolls of toilet paper: 2.85 cases
Number of times I touched my face today: A million. 
Supplies: One of our doggy daycare clients traded us 3 lbs of rice for a dozen eggs. A neighbor traded us 12 oranges for a dozen eggs. 

Social distancing grade: C- (I went places but I didn’t talk to or touch anyone. Apparently I’ve been social distancing for years!)

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Stardate 73670.5 Second day of social distancing

First I made coffee. Then I drank it. Kristen drank coffee, too. Then I painted the trim in the office. Then I actually measured things in the office and realized the desk was still too big. I used all sorts of tools and the desk is now 16″ wide. Then I sold some plants to a guy named Shawn from the internet. He bought 9 plants and I was super happy. We didn’t shake hands. We bumped elbows like Bernie and Biden do on The Golden Guys. As soon as Shawn left I washed my hands for Pledge of Allegiance many seconds. I tried not to think about where those $27 had been before. I washed my hands again after putting the money in the drawer. Kristen and I disassembled the bed in Jackson’s room and reassembled it in the office without breaking it or cussing at each other. COVID-19 is really bringing us together in unexpected ways. I watched the press conference from the White House but wished I hadn’t. The fed cut rates to 0%. Then the CDC said no gatherings bigger than 50 until after the Rapture. That was weird. I tried to watch the debates but it was more like two old guys arguing at a coffee shop. Remember coffee shops? Remember February? I’ve aged 4 years since February. We’re probably all going to get sick anyway. I’ll get sick right now if I can go back to my regular life afterwards. Deal? Kristen deep cleaned the kitchen today. In a week we will have repainted the whole house and begun construction on an addition. We ate pasta for dinner. Me gusta la pasta. Then we played Monopoly Deal. The family has agreed that when we play board games we let Jackson win. Can tears spread the virus? Just asking. Of all the things I miss, I miss people the most. 

Current body temperature: 97.4
Rolls of toilet paper: 3 cases
Number of times I touched my face today: A million. 
Supplies: I have a secret box of Pinguinos. If I get sick I’m eating them all. They are on the top shelf if I die. 

Social distancing grade: B+

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Stardate 73667.8: First day of social distancing

First I wrote a Facebook post. Then Kristen and I picked up two dogs we are watching. One of them swam in the pond 3 times. Then I sold plants to people but tried not to shake their hands. I shook their hands but felt bad about it. I immediately washed my hands. I need to learn a 20 second poem. I counted and I only washed my hands for 10 seconds. Next, I went to Costco with a neighbor to laugh at people buying toilet paper. I bought cheese, coffee, açaí, and creamer. I did not witness a fight at Costco. We found parking easily. We left disappointed. 

I spent the evening retrofitting my office in case Megan comes home for 6 months. I sense she would rather not come home for 6 months. I painted trim in the office I meant to paint in 2016. There’s a lot I wish I could change about 2016. Painting the trim before installing it is one thing I wish I could change. 

Current body temperature: 98.3
Rolls of toilet paper: 3 cases
Number of times I touched my face today: A million
Supplies: We have 25 lbs of flour. 25 lbs of black beans. 1.5 gallons of creamer. 3 lbs of coffee. 

All good in the hood. 

Social distancing grade: D

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The Villain in My Own Story

Here’s something coaching others has taught me: We’re often as much our own villain as we are our own hero.