Boredom is setting in

I’m having tea these days, rather than coffee. Green tea.

One issue I’m having is that I forget to put the teabag in the cup! I get the water boiling and add honey and lemon to the cup, but I then pour the water in and there is no tea! Not sure why that is, but I think I am starting to get stir crazy.

At the beginning of the pandemic I thought it wasn’t a problem being self quarantined. I felt that it was my usual schedule. But I guess it’s not. I miss my family and friends, I miss travel, I miss going places and doing things. I tend to go to the same restaurant if I want take out because I feel I can trust them for safety. I don’t get delivery. I have started going to the supermarket after a couple of months of getting Instacart deliveries.

But it’s time to get out and about again, only the covid numbers keep going up. I’m not sure why people can’t be safe. I see so many people without masks. I read that if everyone wore a mask when they are in public, the virus would be gone in a couple of months because it would have nowhere to go.

Let’s hope for change soon. Who would have thought 2020 would have been like this? One whole year – a strange year – 2020. Not 2019 or 2018 – unlucky 2020!

I love when people persevere

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My friend Josh

My friend Josh, a tv producer, is now the Key Lime Pie King around here. So from behind the camera to in front of it – he was featured on GMA yesterday. I remember one day he told me he wanted to get a cart to sell his pies around town. I didn’t know what he was talking about, but a week later he sent me a picture of his pink and green monster – he already had the cart and was selling pies from it around town.

Josh is a tv producer (you probably know so many of his shows) – who loves making and selling the best key lime pies! The grass is always greener, how many would rather be a tv producer (and cameraman), he filmed this whole thing himself since GMA was unable to send a crew out!

What I love about this story is the success of it. So many people are out of work due to the pandemic and this is the time to realize our dreams. It’s a time of change. And rather than sit around and mope, Josh started doing something he loves – baking!

Whenever I see one of these success stories on tv, I literally get up and touch the person on the tv. Seriously! If it’s a mom who started a million dollar business from her kitchen table, or a guy who saved the family farm or whatever, I am very interested in that. I thrive on that. I touch them so I can get a piece of them – a piece of their energy. I do that for people who also have come back from a bad illness or accident, too. And to know someone like Josh, who I would touch through the tv, is even better – especially since I can touch him in person!

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Josh (right) and me selling pies last Sunday.

Kayaking, beaching and cycling

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Me boating.

board-comicToday’s comic came to me when I was watching a couple of paddle boarders the other day. I live on the bay and am always seeing some action on the water. Since the self quarantining, there has been a lot of activity during this period. I guess people are getting bored sheltering in place so they are hitting the water, and that’s an easy way to be out and about and still shelter in place.

I see more boaters, kayakers, and jet skiers and paddle boarders – more than ever. Which reminded me that I haven’t done any of this lately. I’m not sure why. I used to bicycle a lot and roller blade, too, but don’t do that much either anymore.

For so many years I went to the beach daily, sometimes for an hour, sometimes for five hours, but it was almost a daily thing. I would go to different beaches, some to swim, some to layout, some to just eat lunch at a picnic table and then get back to work and so on. For many years I met my friends on the boardwalk on Miami Beach late in the afternoon after work and we would run – then go to happy hour – not a great combination, but that was our life!

Sometimes I would go alone and hang out on the boardwalk until it got dark. I used to love the tranquility and the twilight hour being at the beach. Then I would head home and do it all again the next day.

The grass is always greener

tom-maskI received a text from a friend in New York. I hadn’t heard from him since April. He saw one of my full moon photos on Instagram and said he was jealous and wished he was here in Miami.

But of course, I wish I was in New York right now. I would be there now normally if we were in normal times. I’m wearing my New York cap (and a mask) in their honor, as you can see here.

Oddly enough, New York and the whole tri-state and maybe most of the New England area are the safest places to be these days. But of course there is that pesky quarantine for visitors. Which I guess is a good thing. They rid themselves of the monster, why open the door and allow it to re-enter. But he tells me the “liveliness” is missing in the city these days. He used that word.

There was a time when I was content to just be, you know, not to get up and travel. But now I’m feeling restless. I still feel that I need to visit the Carolinas this summer. Being cooped up in the house for months would make anyone want to escape.

I’ve been out and about of course, but just to run here and there and get back home.

It’s weird but at the beginning of the shelter in place order back in March, I think, I said I was fine with it. I’m not now. I’m over it as I am sure you are, too.

I spent July 4th alone

I spent July 4th alone. I don’t think I have ever done that before. In my whole life I was always with people. It reminded me of a few years ago when I did New Year’s Eve alone. I had never done that before, I was always with family or friends or at parties, but one year I was alone. And I liked it!

I didn’t like being alone for July 4th though. I normally would be in NYC, actually, The Hamptons, with my cousins. These photos are from a couple of years past in NY. I usually do the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and at times have watched the fireworks from Manhattan when not in the Hamptons.  This one picture of Molly and me, in the car, on our way to The Hamptons last July 4th, is one of my favorite pictures. Molly is my aunt and uncle’s dog.

On Facebook yesterday, one of my memories popped up from three years ago – it was a little video I posted from a crowd at Long Island City, where I went to watch the fireworks over the East River, with Manhattan in the background. I don’t know how to save it and post it here or I would. There were literally tens of thousands of people there – all on top of each other. Wonder if that will ever happen again. I remember all of us trying to get on the subway back to the city after the fireworks – the crowds were backed up all the way up the stairs into the street. The same thing happened one year in lower Manhattan, near city hall, where the fireworks were over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Will we ever be in crowds like that again?

Anyway, one of my cousins called me early yesterday morning to tell me that it was still on – that everyone was driving out for the day. No one was sleeping over. They are all being quite careful in New York due to the coronavirus and that’s why New York went from having the highest rate, down to the lowest.

I guess I didn’t have to be alone, but I chose to be. I could have been with family, as our town and even my neighbors weren’t doing anything, but I know my family was doing things – boating, barbecuing, etc. Yesterday was the 14th day of me sort of self-quarantining after being at a family party 14 days before.

I didn’t want to say anything, but I was at this party for my nephew’s 2-year-old daughter along with maybe 50 other people. And not one person had a mask on and there was no social distancing. While it was all family, a lot of the people I didn’t know from his wife’s side of the family, maybe 50% of the people there – and they insisted on shaking my hand – even when I would pull it away, they would grab my hand! And my sister-in-law’s mother, who sees me all the time, insisted on hugging me – three times throughout the day!

So for 14 days I was freaking out – counting down the days until I was safe. Last week, a week after the party, my family had pizza night. I didn’t go and I explained why and they respected that, which was surprising, because in the past they would have said something like, “Get off your ass and get over here!” But they respected my decision.

Anyway, I spent July 4th alone. I didn’t like it. Hopefully next year it will be back to normal. Not the “new normal,” the old normal.

Superhero face masks

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I like these superhero face masks, but I don’t know if I would wear them. The logo is too big.

I’ve seen some fun ones with Charlie Brown and Snoopy, I Love Lucy and others.

Right now I wear a solid black one, which I like, it’s a bit heavy though and I’m thinking of changing it. But I’ve ordered so many and unless you buy them and then try them, there is no way of knowing if they fit right or if you can breathe through them and things like that. I must have 12 of them about now, and only like one or two.

I do like this Batman one with the logo small to the side. What do you think? Too geeky?

People are going crazy with the masks now. I notice on tv, the news reporters are matching their ties now. If they have on a red tie, they wear a red mask, and so on.

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Too many logos on this one.

Is the Earth crying?

spacex-print2With the Covid-19 virus, the riots and protests around the country world due to the George Floyd murder in Minneapolis, the virus of racism in our country and so much more these days – the anger, the tension and the raw emotion. I couldn’t just ignore it, so I created this comic last night for today. I wanted to add what’s going on in the country and world today and I guess this says it.

At first the astronauts were saying, “Do we have to go back?” but I thought that was sort of mean-spirited and too negative. I think this is better.

You can donate to the Black Lives Matter Fund here.

Food is fresher, have you noticed?

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I was mentioning Mother Nature’s revenge and the reverse of climate change in an article at the end of March. The air is fresher, the ozone layer is closing, the water is clean – I noticed the other day how clean the ocean is. When I was a kid it was gin clear, you could be waist deep and still see your feet at the bottom of the water, my cousins from New York always were amazed at that. But over the years with the over-population of the state and more and more and more pollution, the water got murky.

Another reason could be that the cruise ships are not going out cruising and they are not dumping any trash and oil into the sea. Over the years the ships proliferated in number and of course the pollution caused by them proliferated.

I noticed another thing – fresh fruit and produce. Either Instacart shoppers are choosing the best there is or the produce is fresher and I tend to believe the produce is fresher simply because it’s always brought in fresh and the turnover is daily. People are buying more and more these days so the stores are stocking up more frequently, probably daily. I noticed it with lemons, celery, broccoli, apples and other things.

I’m sure the produce is going through the same amount of hands but you don’t notice it.

I have a neighbor who owns citrus and avocado groves. Every year for Christmas he would give each of us a case/carton of grapefruits or something like that. They were the freshest and most tender I ever have. I asked him why and he said only one pair of hands touched them, they came right off the tree into the carton, that was it. No other handling!

Which of course reminds me of apple picking in October in the Hudson Valley in New York state. I hope that happens again this year.

I saw an article about the future of concerts which mentioned 4th of July. I sent the first paragraph to my cousins, whom I spend 4th of July with: “Where were you planning to be on the Fourth of July this year? Backyard barbecue with your crankiest relatives, fighting over who gets to light the illegal fireworks that your derelict cousin smuggled in from South Carolina? Or maybe out on the Chesapeake Bay, arguing about the amount of mayonnaise in the crab cakes while drinking warm National Bohemian beer? Better yet, tubing down the Shenandoah with a soggy hot dog while blasting Grand Funk Railroad’s ‘We’re an American Band’?”

We laughed at the “crankiest relatives,” which is all of us at one time or another. We spend the 4th in The Hamptons, not Chesapeake Bay, but sort of the same thing. We are all hoping for a “normal” 4th of July this year.

The naked guy had a mask on!

There’s this guy who rides his bike around town naked. Or almost naked. For maybe 25 or 30 years, he has been riding from one end of the city to the next, all over Miami, in a flesh colored thong, so he appears naked and basically is. He’s about 65 now, so picture it. And no, I don’t have a picture. But if you ask anyone in Miami about the naked guy on the bike, they’ll know who you mean.

I’m thinking of this because the other day I was with a friend at a bar, which was closed, but had an open pick-up window for food pick-up, and he was talking to the naked guy who was the only person on the street with a mask! He wasn’t naked at the time, he was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. But I found it funny that about 12 people where there and the only person wearing the mask was the usually naked guy – all covered up – on his face that is.

As for the naked guy, the gym won’t allow him in wearing a thong anymore, he has to have a shirt and shorts and whenever I see him at the bike shop in town he is in a t-shirt and shorts.

I got a comics idea about the situation the other day at the bar because something funny happened regarding the mask and the naked guy and my friend. Stay tooned.

Sheltering-in-place is creating new businesses

hotdogsIn this covid time, so many people are changing their lives. I have two friends who are sort of in the food business. I don’t know how far it will go, but there are many people who started food businesses in their kitchens.

One friend is selling hot dogs from a stand in front of his house, you know, like the ones you see in NYC. I stopped by and the whole neighborhood was out. He is doing an incredible business, especially at his prices. I only wanted a hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut but I ended up with everything, two hot dogs for $16.00! I gave him a $20 and told him to keep the tip.

Another good friend of mine is selling pies and coffee! The coffee is ground in bags from some South American country, but the pies he is making in his kitchen from scratch. I took a couple of photos of him making the pies, but he is shy, which is the total opposite of his regular job – he is a cameraman and a producer of reality tv! I won’t mention the shows, but if I did, you would know them. So he prefers to be behind the camera, rather than out front.

He is selling the pies to restaurants and to people on the street. Those he sells in front of his house, like my hot dog friend. He has an idea now to go around on a bike and sell slices of pie! There is another guy in town that for years has sold hot dogs and hamburgers from his bike – so this is the idea with the pie.

Another friend started a bagel business, but they are gourmet bagels that sell from $9 to $15 each! And he sells coffee and other things. He sells 900 to 1000 bagels a day and sells out daily! Do the math! He has a regular storefront, presently he sells through a window since restaurants can only do take-out.

These are all village people by the way, they are from my village where I live. And they are my friends. There’s something in the water here I think.