pandemic New Year's Eve
Thursday, December 31 2020
After adding a couple features to my Taxinator, I was finally able to produce a tax import of shippable quality for our workplace's most problematic tax customer. After that, the workday was over, since the head honcho had declared our New Years vacation to begin at 1:00pm if we were done with our deadlines.
By then, Gretchen was craving a burger and fries. In warmer weather, such a hankering was satisfied by a drive down to New Paltz, where we could get a sandwich based on the Impossible Burger with great fries at P&G and then have a picnic on the east bank of the Wallkill. But in cold weather, we'd have to drive the food home and eat it here, by which point the fries would've already lost the freshness that a good fry-eating experience requires. So, with some deliberation, Gretchen decided we should get our burgers from Shindig in Woodstock and then immediately eat them upstairs in the bookstore she works at. This would require that it be after-hours at the bookstore, which moved our lupper to 5:00pm, nearly suppertime.
While waiting for that, I did a little firewood salvaging, going some distance west of the Farm Road and bringing home a backpack of fairly dry skeletonized chestnut oak (despite heavy rains last night).
At around 5:00pm, we (including the dogs) met Sarah the vegan at the bookstore just as it was closing. And then Powerful, Sarah and I walked up the street and placed an order at Shindig, which has sheltered outdoor window similar to that of a drive-thru, but for pedestrians to order food from during the pandemic. These days one can also get alcoholic beverages through such windows, and it's just no big deal. I felt perfectly fine drinking my double IPA as I walked down the sidewalk from Shindig to the bookstore, perhaps because of the new pandemic reality coupled with the impunity that comes with being a middle-aged white guy.
Once before, Sarah and Gretchen had dined in the upstairs "book reading" room of the bookstore, and it was perfect for our needs. It was warm, and there was enough air and distance that even if one of us had coronavirus, it was unlikely to spread outside our bubble. Also, Sarah is informally in our bubble anyway. There had been a plan to have a bonfire at our house tonight, but Ray and Nancy are quarantining after one of Ray's restaurant co-workers tested positive for coronavirus. The only other person not in our household who would be at that bonfire was Sarah, and we were socializing with her now under better conditions.
At some point in our conversation, Powerful's parole came up. I asked when he thought it would finally be over, and he said he had no idea. Apparently there's no set termination date for parole for someone who gets out of a prison sentence for the kind of crime for which he was convicted. It all depends on the whims of administrators. This seemed unjust to me, as one of our other prisoner-friends got off parole after only two or three years after serving a sentence for a crime that involved cutting a human corpse into pieces and dumping them into the Hudson River. In the case of Powerful's crime, his only involvement was non-lethal violence on a victim who was killed by someone else.
As for the burgers from Shindig, they were probably the best Impossible Burgers I had ever had. Perhaps this was partly because in mine avocado had been substituted for mayonnaise. Gretchen doesn't like avocados, so hers ended up containing non-vegan mayonnaise instead. But she ate it anyway; she's not the kind of vegan to reject food compromised in this way. [Furthermore, she later told me, the buns weren't vegan either.] The fries were also very good, though Gretchen couldn't quite eat all of hers, and at the end she split those remaining between the dogs.
This evening I took a 10 mg tablet of olanzapine, the drug Gretchen took in place of citalopram while we were in India a year ago. For me, it's just an occasional medication to take instead of diphenhydramine when I want to get to sleep. I was asleep two hours before the beginning of 2021.
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