Here’s how it goes these days. I start the morning at the south end of my dining room table, eating my breakfast, drinking my tea, reading my newspaper (for as long as they continue to slip it under my door). I’m taking bets that I’ll get the paper maybe through Friday before they either don’t let the guy come upstairs or the New York Times stops deliveries.

This morning, I’ve added a zoom cuppa with my production staff. Five of us met for a chat over our morning tea/coffee. I met with them from the west side, my camera shooting back into my kitchen. It was comforting to chat about the chaos and see how we’re all coping.

Yesterday, at 9:00AM, I scooted over to the east side of my dining room table, where I plugged in my earplugs and my laptop and embarked on a long day’s journey into the Zoomsphere, joining meetings of my colleagues to discuss the issues of the day – course realizations, business continuity. Yesterday I did an online training about breakout rooms, which I’m sorry to report left me extremely disappointed (no offense to the instructor, who was charming), but the vicissitudes of Zoom’s breakout rooms will not advance my cause of building group morale among the students in my Introduction to Theatrical Production class.

At 1:00PM, I unplugged my earbuds, leave them on the table and walk fifteen steps to my refrigerator, currently well stocked with a variety of vegetables and cheese and eggs. I had some roasted butternut squash and the couscous salad I made yesterday. I return to my South End dining position. I worked on the crossword puzzle in pen in honor of my husband’s practice. It was Tuesday when I wrote this, so the puzzle was solvable without too much trouble.

At 2:00PM, I plugged my earbuds back in and go back to work on the East Side. What’s ironic is I’m probably seeing more of my colleagues this week than I have in all the weeks preceding this. You can see the worry on their faces, the brittle laughter at our shared commiseration in the Zoomsphere. I can’t imagine a group of people I’d rather be keeping communal cyberspace with than my colleagues at the School of Dramatic Arts. They’re positive, hard-working and funny. I love them to bits.

I worked most of the day collaboratively in the google drive which this COVID-19 crisis is forcing me to master. Apparently, I haven’t mastered the inviting-to-the-zoom-meeting yet. My invitations leave a wake of colleagues wailing “I tried to RSVP and the zoom link disappeared!” This is unsettling. But at least, due to the patient coaxing of colleagues better skilled, I now know how to work in a google doc collaboratively.

At 7:00PM, I rose from the table which has become my self-contained world and wandered over to the parlor to do some writing. I would have loved to go to the gym and walk on the treadmill, or do some rowing on the rowing machine. I can say that now enthusiastically, now that they’ve closed the gym in my building in accordance with Mayor Garcetti and the LA Dept. of Health guidelines against COVID-19. I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll weigh 300 pounds by the end of the month. My fitbit isn’t syncing properly, and my former student has invited me to the weekly step challenge; I will make a poor showing unless I figure out the synching and also get up and walk around a little more. One of the gyms where I occasionally spin is offering to let people take bikes home for rental. Would it even fit in my car?

Post workday, upstairs I could still hear the heavy padding of the dog child who has gotten heavier since last week as they run across the floor the length of the living room.

Outside I heard the buses whizzing by, and when I lean over the railing, I can see the line at Ralph’s growing, then receding as they allow people into the store on a schedule I don’t yet understand. Last night I ventured over to Ralph’s to see what I could see – ostensibly I went for yogurt I thought I might try making my own yogurt. Ridiculous, because I don’t really eat very much yogurt anyway, but I thought I would try and flex my pioneer making skills. Tomorrow I may try to darn a sock or plant some corn on my balcony. I do have a pack of seeds from the Huntington’s 100th year celebration. Oh, did I mention that they closed the Huntington to visitors as well? If you recall, they were taking precautions earlier this spring around the Lunar New Year. Well, it’s official today, and heartbreaking. There goes my plan for some exercise over the weekend.

A picture from February 7, 2020 at the Huntington.

Most of the days are spent reworking assignments of the physical making of theatre we have done all semester and can no longer do. Talk about thinking outside of the box. I miss the students and find myself thinking about them incessantly. Hoping they are all okay.

Last night, I had to stop and take a moment to FaceTime with my son and his family just to remember what matters. My four-year-old granddaughter makes it very real what matters in this world.

Hang in there, world. Try not to stress eat yourselves to death.

3 thoughts

  1. I really appreciate your posts. I don’t comment much but I think in this time of CORONA you would appreciate something to read. Of course we all have books ( mine is “The Hemlock Cup. By Brittany Hughes. Have been trying to get to this for months. It is a history of Athens during the time of Soccrates. An excellent study I might say.) Then there is the internet. All the magazines that have piled up over the ages ( yes I still get magazines) and TELEVISION…relentless television.. anywho…I just wanted to say that I think you have a very readable book in you and I think you should pursue that idea. I have read all of your posts and think you have found “your voice” and you should continue with an eye on a book. Just a thought…also just in passing I don’t know if thos is helpful or not but I am throwing it out there…I consider you as one of the top 3 Stage Managers I ever worked for…not to keep you in suspence the other two were Jimmy and Mary. I LOVED working with all three of yuz. You were the pinnacle. I hope that this sentiment of mine is welcomed and not disgarded because it is heartfelt and warented. On top of this I just wznt to express my gratitude. That’s all for now…keep writing…

    1. Oh Stan,
      I’m so grateful for your kind words. These are such bizarre times. I hope you and your family are all well and safe. Keep on reading and thanks for the suggestions. I am working on a book and so appreciate your support. Be well and safe and don’t go to the beach with all those spring break kids. :/

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