Lots of people have been fortunate enough to keep their jobs throughout the pandemic. I am grateful to have built up a piano studio (partially gifted, partially hustled) in lieu of my performance job to make ends meet. Some people have been in and out of work depending on the local changes in policy as leaders addressed health concerns. And some people have had the better part of a year to themselves.
No matter what camp you ended up in, there were still some common questions that came out of the burden of the year, in my opinion:
-Am I safe?
-Am I healthy?
-When will I be able to see my loved ones again?
-What on the face of god's green earth is the Tr*mp administration talking about?
As the vaccine rollout becomes more extensive and shots become accessible, we have a lot more of relearning to do.
For starters, most of the people who will read this want their vaccines for themselves, for their families, and for a chance to return to some semblance of "normal" as soon as possible. (This is called responsibility.) In many states, though, it's still hard to get your shots if you don't fall into the most vulnerable groups and frontline workers. There's an agonizing waiting game at play, and even when registration opens up, it's hard to find time slots. That's extra, stressful labor.
Taxes were easier and simultaneously much harder for me this year, too. I had less income and deductions to worry about, sure, but it was painful to look at all the months of decreased or no income, and to gather the additional paperwork to prove that I had some assistance from unemployment.
As things open back up, there's also relationship pressure. Some people are more comfortable than others gathering indoors, maskless. I am not one of those people, and won't be until I have both shots and complete the waiting period after. I have offended friends by declining to come over and hang out. Some of these relationships have soured, and I wonder if they'll ever be quite the same. I spend a lot of time worrying about this, or grieving it, depending on the stability of the friendship.
Lots of people have experienced loss this year, too. There have been few places to process those loses communally since everyone has been stressed and many people don't have much to give in terms of support. I have been on both sides of this conundrum. I lost two very important people, both very long term mentors, and was unable to attend their funerals. I lost my job. So did most of my friends, also artists. I kept a lot of hurt to myself.
I'm feeling particularly burned out today, and as you can see, I haven't written much the past few days despite having fairly strict writing goals. I'm trying to take it easy on myself; to acknowledge that healing these losses as they arise is important, and that easing the mental inflammation of each new stressor takes energy and care.
I have the feeling that getting back to "normal" will be like learning to swim. One toe in; oof. The water's cold. Now I'm used to it. Let's add the foot. Same thing. Okay, I guess I can cannonball in and just give it a go, but wait..can I tread water? Can I slap my arms around enough to keep this frantic body afloat? And if not, is a lifeguard near by to pull me back to the surface?
Maybe you are more resilient than me, but if we're in the same proverbial boat (biting our nails, staring at the water, fearing a leak should spring up), I'm sending all the best to you. Because the truth is, the new "normal" is not "normal." A lot has changed, and so have we.
Until tomorrow, stay well, stay safe, and stay kind.
I don't know about you, but this one-year anniversary of the pandemic has my brain reeling a bit. Every day feels like groundhog day. I wake up, I write for about 30 minutes, I have the same breakfast I have every day, I write or read for an hour, I walk for 90 minutes-2 hours, and then I either teach for 3-6 hours, stream, or continue writing. Around 8 or 9pm I pour myself a drink (depending on when I finish my other work) and read more or prep a bath and think of a movie I'd like to watch.
I am the same person as I perform these daily tasks, and then I'm not. Some days I feel great while I am productive and focused. Other days I am melancholy or depressed and I struggle to force a smile during a Zoom call. I've always struggled with mental health, but this particular landmark feels heavy. (It doesn't help that mother nature gave me 2 days of beautiful weather and replaced them with another grey-sky'd snowfall.)
Anyhoo. I keep to my usual schedule because of that article about the astronaut swearing by routine as a means to sanity when you're stuck somewhere. It's been helpful, but then again, I didn't sign up to be an astronaut. I'm an artist, and I need color, light, travel, exorbitant clothing and music...I need travel. It's hard to be happy when the things you're thirsty for are unavailable at best and unsafe at worst.
John and I just finished our daily walk, in which we discussed how much we miss live music. It felt more poignant than usual. Perhaps it's that one year mark. Perhaps my consciousness is finally catching up with my starving brain.
I grew up Catholic, and an important Catholic season is Lent, a preparation period before Easter. It's meant to be a reminder of Jesus' 40 days in the desert without food or water. The ritual is a 40-day period where you give something up in order to celebrate Jesus' resurrection and experience the sweetness of new life.
Unfortunately, I am no longer blissfully subscribed to religion, but I am thinking about that yearly practice. I used to give up sweets, and on Easter morning, upon finding my basket somewhere hidden cleverly in our home, I found myself without a craving for most of the treats it held. This was my experience with being vegetarian for 8 years and vegan for 2: I lost the taste of meat. But Lent is only 40 days, and after a year of no live music, I am still dying to experience it.
Of course, the body has needs and inclinations, but I think our brains and souls need more. I hope that, once we get to the other side of COVID-era, we will have more fulfilling and ecstatic experiences at an abundance of concerts than we ever have.
Paws crossed that Riot Fest happens this year. Good god. I remember finally accepting that it wouldn't happen in 2020. Riot Fest is as close as I'll get back to religion...a sort of place and time that makes me feel otherworldly. I'd give anything to be able to go this year. More on that later, though.
Until tomorrow, stay well, stay safe, and stay kind.
I don't want to write this. I don't even want to think about it, but I'm consumed by the weight of American Selfishness. The feeling I've always had about Americans has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Listen, I am someone who decides on what is best for herself at all times ala Ayn Rand's philosophy. There are tiers to what is acceptable selfishness, though.
The basic rung of selfishness, the one I subscribe to, involves self-preservation. I need to eat, I need a break, I will take that promotion. I don't see much fault in that, especially when it involves a better or more easier means to provide for oneself or one's family. However, throughout the course of this pandemic, I have seen a different level of selfishness, and though it is disturbing, I don't see it as alien to American culture.
I have seen friends and family members blow off mask mandates, go to parties while someone's grandma was dying of COVID, travel across the country while millions suffered through unemployment or worse, skipping in vaccine lines (oooh, I am HOT about this today), or touting a ripped off version of the Pro-Choice motto, "My body, My choice."
First off -- let me debunk the appropriation of an otherwise extremely valid phrase. My Body My Choice in the form of the Pro-Choice movement holds up because it implies that a woman can make a decision for her own body, not only including the physical burden of bearing a child, but also the financial burden for supporting it throughout life, possibly without a partner. The GOP claims to be avidly Pro-Life but refuses to care for people of color, the socioeconomically challenged, the LGBTQ+ community, and I could go on and on, but let's hit the mutual pain point...veterans once they've finished their rounds of combat.
Let me hit you with this lengthy, albeit important quote:
“The unborn" are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don't resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don't ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don't need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don't bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. It's almost as if, by being born, they have died to you. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe."
- Pastor Dave Barnhart, MDiv., PhD
So, what about the living? There is a double standard here.
The problem with the GOP usurping "My body, My choice," lies in this: by refusing to adhere to social health protocol because you want to have a martini indoors or go on Spring Break in Florida, you are endangering others. You're risking the health of locals, and also, god dammit, your fellow humans who work in the industry. Yes, those people who serve your food and drinks, oh-so-forgetable folks who are at times working month-to-month to send their kids to decent schools and put food on the tables -- yes! They exist! How astonishing! And people who forget that are so, so selfish.
Let's not forget the arts community: the painters, the dancers, the musicians. Oh goooodd I know how much you miss the arts! But few in power will discuss it because art is deemed "non-essential". Yeah, tell that to my depression, and tell it to the Kardashian family as well. No one is exempt from missing good, live music or dance or whatever you're into.
So as people mourn the death of their favorite five-star restaurant, I sit here, still scraping by to make ends meet, robbed of my dream job and staring at my master's degree diploma which has gathered quite a bit of dust in this past year. How quickly we dismiss our fellow humans' contributions to our own sanity.
Moving forward, I'm looking at you, line skippers. I'm in group B+ in Illinois. I have asthma and a few other underlying conditions. I've followed every rule about quarantining, testing, not traveling, etc. I've made no concessions. I'm struggling with my mental well being. And well, you, who needed to go to that party across state lines... As Phoebe Bridgers said in Kyoto, "I don't forgive you". I'm still struggling.
Well, this was dark, but don't forget. It's your body, but it isn't your choice if you want to see your neighbor thrive, whether it be physical, psychological, or financial, until we all get our shots. The economy is the people. Don't get it twisted.
I have much more to say on this, but don't have much padding for it.
Until tomorrow, stay well, stay safe, and stay kind.
I've had a weird thing about cemeteries as long as I can remember. As a child, I was fond of objectively creepy things; spiders, snakes, mystery novels. Add in teenage angst and a few emo bands that wrote about death and mausoleums and I was a lost cause for all things sunshiny.
When I was younger, I have a memory of going to a graveyard with my mom. She brought charcoal (or maybe dark, thick pencils...I can't remember), and paper. We would find headstones that had indistinguishable text from old age and the wear and tear of the weather. She showed me how to place the paper on the face of the stone and rub the charcoal in such a way that if I was careful, I could reveal the hidden names and epithets underneath. It was magical, in a way...a secret power.
Now I am fortunate to live a few blocks from the largest cemetery in Chicago proper, Rosehill Cemetery. It is 350 acres large and houses over 100,000 graves. That's a lot of dead people, considering some of those must include mausoleums and family plots. The primary mausoleum, which looks a lot more like a museum than a crypt from the outside, contains the bodies of some of Chicago's most successful and wealthy dead: The Montgomery-Wards, the Shedds, and the Sears families.
John and I go walking there at least once a week, sometimes more. We know some of the places where famous people are laid to rest, and sometimes we discover new spots. I like to walk by the Schwinn plot and send silent thanks for my bike from time to time.
The tremendous irony of my love of cemeteries is my crippling fear of death. I don't know where it comes from. Maybe one hospital stay or painful accident too many (I wrote on this for my Skiing and Skating post). Maybe, also, it's because I have just begun consistently loving life a few years ago. Shout out to John. Whenever I think about dying, my chest clenches and my stomach churns and I break into a sweat. My mind races, and I go into hypochondriac mode, wondering if I have any new health issues that will usher me towards the light more quickly than I'd planned. It's no fun.
So, with any fear, I suppose it's a process of staring it in the face or sitting with it quietly until it's just another thing in the room, rather than some enemy or assailant. I think that's why I'm subconsciously attracted to cemeteries. That, and their natural beauty, especially in my otherwise urban neighborhood. Rosehill Cemetery has tons of trees and flower beds. It's actually quite peaceful.
I'm off to my next task. Living doesn't leave me much free time, but I'm enjoying it any way.
Until tomorrow, stay safe, stay well, and stay kind.
Holy crap, have I had a lot going on lately. I am so pleased to have a full studio of piano and composition students, and I just heard I'll have my old job back when it's time. The weather is getting better, so I'm able to see more friends outside and have a social life (though I'm certain that I am more awkward than before). I can't believe how busy I feel, and I made the very conscious decision years ago that no way, no how, was I ever going to have kids. Nothing against kids; I'm just selfish with my time. (Shout out to all of those parenting in a pandemic.)
With the newfound business comes anxiety, and I realized throughout the course of the pandemic that my anxiety is much worse than I thought it was. I spend afternoons wondering why my hands are shaking and nights staring at my bedroom ceiling, fighting the urge to fidget on my phone. Sometimes it all accumulates and crashes on me the moment I let my guard down. You know the times: the perfect afternoon days, the deliberate once-weekly clearing of the schedule. It's like my brain knows when I'll have the space to have a panic attack. Thanks, buddy.
Even conversations seem more stressful now. Maybe that's why I have been spending more time with writing lately. It's almost a way of experiencing dialogue, but with myself. And I'm always safe with myself during these talks. I can hit delete, I can back up content that I want to have forever (those who know me well know that I have an awful memory from my PTSD) and I can be truly honest, fearlessly, because I can call it art. That's a pretty cool space to occupy.
Speaking of mental illness (woohoo! That's going to be a common thing in these posts. Sorry/not sorry) I came to a realization while working on my latest book two days ago. I won't share too much of the story, as I like to keep my creative cards close to my chest until it's time to play, but it's about the nuances of a romantic relationship. As I was trying to discover more about one of my characters, I wrote "the little hurts create the big hurt" on my whiteboard, which is actually a purple board. I don't know where it came from; it just popped in my head, and was entirely in the context of the story I'm trying to tell. Then, I realized that little brain blurt was true about real life too. I am diagnosed with complex-PTSD, which means prolonged bouts of trauma, lots of isolated traumatic events, or in my case, a little of both.
I regularly get frustrated with my brain and my body. Why does it react that way? Why does it become incapacitated at times? Why can't I make it feel better? I can't put my finger on an isolated incident, but I know now that little hurts create the big hurt. I am sure that many of you can relate, whether or not you have PTSD. Relationships end because there are enough little hurts to terminate them, right? Enough mean kids tease you on the playground and you develop a mistrust of your peers. I can think of a plethora of examples.
So perhaps the big hurt is healed at the root: the little hurts. I'm trying to isolate all of the painful minutia of my life, rather than focus on the major ones (assault, abusive relationship, etc.) and that's been interesting. I'm thinking of the friend who didn't pick up during the bad relationship, or the colleague who made a comment on my physical appearance after the assault.
I don't know if it's going to work, but it's certainly a fascinating experiment thus far. I'll keep it up. Oh, and I have a few thank you notes to write to my fictional characters.
Until, tomorrow, stay well, stay safe, and stay kind.
P.S - Have you listened to Animal yet? It's all about this s***.
All I want you to do today is listen to my new single, Animal, on Bandcamp and/or Spotify.
I also want you to check out the work of my collaborators, Spenser Forwood, Jordan Jenkins, and John Charles Weston. This single was supported and put out by Odd Pop Records - I highly recommend sending your music there, or following their social media!
Now, go out there and fight one of your mental beasts!
Until tomorrow, stay well, stay safe, and stay kind. And listen to Animal. Thank youuuuu.
I just finished reading Stephen King's half-autobiography, half-manual on how to write, "On Writing." It was phenomenal, and incredibly inspirational as I continue on my journey of trying to be a better writer.
One of the major takeaways is something that I've heard in every creative self-help book, which reminds me of my favorite Merce Cunningham quote:
"The only way to do it is to do it."
King recommends writing 3000 words or more every day. I am close to that goal with some consistency, but here's the caveat. Because I am also teaching and preparing to go back to gigging, my "free" aka my creative work hours are a little more slim. I haven't been reading much at all.
I love reading. It's probably in my top three favorite activities, along with hanging out with John and traveling (especially internationally. Airdrop me anywhere and I will glom onto the thrill of adventure and find my way around, I promise you). I have frequently wondered why I haven't read more over the past year, especially with the free time. I fielded this question to a friend who absolutely had the answer.
It's an escape, and escapes can have the potential to feel shameful if they're executed in excess. Alcohol, weed, TV, junk food, whatever your bag is...if you've ever gone on a binge or bender, you know what I'm talking about. I could have been cleaning the apartment if I didn't watch three seasons of "X". I could have gotten up earlier if I didn't have that last drink. I could have done my taxes if I wasn't catching up with an old friend.
Once again, I lift a proverbial glass to the vices.
Reading doesn't have negative side effects. It makes us smarter, and through the learning process, it makes us kinder. Empathy and education go hand in hand. (I will die on that hill. Fight me.) It helps us understand our fellow humans and the world around us. So strike that one off of your "vices" list, now. (P.S. My friend Bill wrote a song about what you should or shouldn't be doing. I highly recommend that you listen to it now.)
Here's the thing: Life experience makes you more interesting. (That's another hill that I will die on.) Without having loved and lost, publicly wept after missing a connecting flight in Barcelona, and partied with strangers in the belly of a cruise ship, it's possible to be missing a flavor in the stew that is you. Of course, sometimes money is tight and/or we make the responsible decision to kick drinking or reckless spending for a period of time. We need a substitute activity.
What better than reading? You can experience all of those things you don't have the money for, all the calories you shouldn't be eating and the drugs you shouldn't be doing-- right at your fingertips--through someone else's lens (...and body. Thank goodness, as I'm a huge Hunter S. Thompson fan).
I can see the arguments for movies and television as well. I'm a fan of both, and admittedly have watched more in the past year than I probably have in the rest of my lifetime. The magic of a book is in the occasional lack of detail; it's the unidentified mushroom, the lack of detail in a character's hair color, the confusion as to the motivation for a crime. There is so much beauty in the obscuring of the minutia, or perhaps the timely revelation of it.
I'm having a fantastic day. John and I took an 18-mile bike ride, including a quick stop at a patio for a coffee/beer, respectively, but the highlight was a few minutes at Myopic Books. That's my favorite used book shop in the city, and I always come home with a treasure trove.
My pickings today included two Stephen King books (yes, dad, I'm catching up...), Oscar Wilde's "A Picture of Dorian Gray", the Guns N Roses biography, and Timothy Snyder's "On Tyranny", which should be a quick read. On deck before I get to these selections are: "The Sunflower", "Mrs. Dalloway", and a few family heirloom finds.
I really love reading. In fact, my new book (eek!) is a drama/romance novel, and the main character is based around her love of books. So I'll consider all of these purchases and all of those slippery hours on the couch with 400 pages pinned up by my fingertips "research". That'll give me the mental pass to continue the deep dive.
What are you reading lately? I love suggestions.
Until tomorrow, stay well, stay safe, and stay kind.
This Friday, 3/12/21, my recently remastered single, Animal, will come out for your streaming pleasure. I haven't "released" anything on a major platform since I was sixteen, but that's a whole other story for another time. Anyway, I'm pretty excited.
What's Animal all about? A lot of things.
Here's the easy part. On the surface, it's about a chance encounter with a mountain lion in the rolling hills of coastal Pacific California. I was on Artist Residency at Djerassi (see March-April 2018 blog posts for specifics on how amazing that was...) and I was avoiding a specific hiking path on the property because I was told that a family of mountain lions resided around that area. On one of my last days I decided that I was paranoid and opted to hike it. Caveat: almost every hike I took was a solo one. I loved my community time with my fellow artist residents, but I'm a loner at heart and also leaned into the solitude.
On this particular afternoon, I left my phone and headphones at home, settled into the rural landscape and sad to be leaving. Once I got deeper into the tall grass I heard a snarl. It was like a growling kitten, but about two octaves deeper. I saw some of the leaves, taller than me, rustle and then slow. I raised my hands above my head, screamed at the top of my lungs, doing and odd stomp-dance in place, and sprinted all the way back to my studio.
I was dripping with sweat when I arrived. I Googled mountain lion growls, and sure enough, they matched the sound I heard in the wilderness. I paused for a moment of gratitude and called John.
"Are you sure?" He asked.
"Yeah, I'm sure. Listen to this!" I sent him a short Youtube clip that showed what a mountain lion growl sounds like. After he heard it, I affirmed: that was exactly what I heard.
I checked with my residency director who confirmed that she had picked up several startled artists from that exact area of the property who'd encountered the mountain lion family as well. That was all I needed. I poured myself a glass of wine and sat down at the beautiful baby grand piano to write.
As I mulled over the language of the song, feeling badass as hell, I realized that this experience wasn't so different from the many instances in my life where I had been cornered, attacked or coerced by powerful or not-so-powerful men to behave in ways that would ultimately be damaging to me.
I thought -- what if I was the mountain lion, and they were the little 4'10" woman walking by?
It might not have ended so well. Weakness of the mind always results in weakness of the body, and my mind is sharp.
As I get older, I settle into an odd strength. I feel in control of my surroundings, my relationships, and to a certain extent, my future. I know what I want, ya know? If I can stand up to a mountain lion, I can stand up to a sleazy agent. I can stand up to the pressure to do something I don't want to do. I can stand up to myself. Animals know how to do this. It's a survival technique, and I'm a survivor of many things. What better confirmation of growth could I have been gifted?
So, yeah. I realized that day...I'm an Animal amongst the Animals for the first time.
Anyway, that's the story. Don't wear it out. I won't. Ask any other questions if you have them. I'm an open book.
Until tomorrow, stay well, stay safe, and stay kind. Oh, and stand up to your personal mountain lions. The key is to be louder than they are.
Today was day two of beautiful Spring weather here in Chicago. My weather app read 63 degrees Fahrenheit, but in the sun, it felt much warmer. (I just checked again; it's almost 70. Woohoo!) I was down to workout leggings and a tee shirt by the third hole of round one at our usual disc golf course.
As my favorite Kanye West and Fall Out Boy tunes blasted from my portable JBL, I felt as though I was in another dimension where things were normal. I could play outside, dance (awkwardly) in public and feel happy without feeling worried that I was breaking any health and safety rules. Sure, the ground was muddy and the usual angry drivers honked away, but it just felt good to be, and to be outside today, even with the plethora of pre-thaw goose poo on the ground.
It's been rough, but I'm starting to get the feeling that the payoff from all of these dark months will be sweet. Like, really sweet. I'm ready to don my cheapest, finest sun dress and park it on our rooftop with a margarita, like, 359 days ago. I'm ready for a sunburn! I'm ready to be uncomfortably warm and concerned about my body odor in public! Bring it on!
Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for my vaccine, but today was a nice confirmation that when that time comes, I might get a little bit more of a mental lift than I thought I would. I've been diligently dreaming and fantasizing about travel, lavish indoor dinners, and breathing heavily on my friends' faces again. I know we're not quite there, but I am starting to feel a pinch of hope, which isn't something I've felt in awhile.
Don't you find it funny that within a month and a half of a different administration, one that embraces science, is seeking cooperation, and finds its roots in empathy, we have a vaccine rollout plan and an end in sight? Everyone vaccinated by July? Perhaps large concerts or music festivals come late summer and fall? I don't think it is a coincidence. I like to give credit where it's due, and in the case, I can't give much credit to the former administration. It's not a partisan thing; it's again, facts, empathy, and a politician executing their duty to their constituents: service. Part of service is listening. The other part is acting in the best interest in the most amount of people. In the case of Covid, the answer should have been an easy one. I'm glad we're finally getting the solutions that are, unfortunately, overdue. I'm glad that we're getting some eco-friendly legislation passed as well. I'm glad about a lot of things that, as a citizen and not a political mastermind, seem like no-brainers in terms of treating people with basic humanity.
I try not to make things political, but as Britney Spears said, "Oops, I Did It Again."
Anyway, back to the lovely day and some exercise. I think I've effectively tweaked something in my back from not playing for so long, but my serotonin levels are up, so I'll take it. I hope you're all feeling a bit better if you're like me, living in a more seasonal area of the country. And if not, I hope you feel better just knowing that millions of Americans are going to have protection against this virus so we can all move forward. Oh, I also look forward to getting my job back, thanks to the people who are following safety protocols, dealing with a bit more social distancing and mask wearing, and for god's sake, respecting public safety guidelines regarding travel and large gatherings. Y'all are the real heroes.
Until tomorrow, stay safe, stay well, stay kind, and wear your damn mask!
Today's entry will be fairly short and bland, dear reader. I recently updated my MacBook Pro to try and make some of its programs work faster and in return it gifted me with an onslaught of problems. After a rough morning (I'm feeling under the weather...the jury's still out on whether it's a head cold or depression), I managed to do some reading. After that I took a long walk to Lake Michigan with John and worked on a recording. Then I taught for about four hours straight, made some phone calls and tinkered with my MacBook. I even got sent up to the senior tech-smart-person! That's how important I am.
The sixty degree weather was a nice breath of fresh air, though. John calls a day such as today "the day", meaning, the day when winter is completely over for sure, and spring is on its way. I really hope that's the case. It's been a long winter with no thanks to the pandemic.
I've enjoyed spending my days writing my second novel, which (teaser!) is a variation on a Romance novel, but it's not all that cute. It's a medium that I haven't tried before, so it feels very vulnerable and uncomfortable, but it feels right. Now that we're through "the day" I look forward to writing with the windows open or up on the roof or out on the balcony.
I apologize for the scattered post, y'all. It's been a doozy of a day, and I didn't even get to my book. My brain is turning into mush, so I might leave it here...I promise something juicier tomorrow. Otherwise, flip back to yesterday's post, or the day before. Those are better.
Damn technology issues, gobbling up 2 hours of my night.
Welp, until tomorrow, stay well, stay kind, and stay safe. Let's all go take a nap.