Sleeping with a robot

Covid quarantine, continued.

The air purifier in my room is cylindrical, white, and about two feet tall, coming across as a cute robot — until you operate it, that is. It emits an eerie blue light that waxes and wanes. The color is chilly. Eye cover takes care of that, but the noise is inescapable. It should read as white noise but somehow doesn’t. After three days I can’t help but feel the thing is sentient and a tad malevolent.

The bedroom now feels like a somewhat creepy Airbnb we stayed in for a night near Portland, Oregon. It was a filler stop the night before flying home and I hadn’t been terribly picky, but you never know with these places, do you?

We got to the modest bungalow late and the place was dark. Everything was in order — clean, well-appointed, but? There was a communal kitchen you didn’t want to be in. The bathroom forced you out into a shared and dark hallway. I couldn’t put my finger on why it made me feel uneasy then and still can’t really. But it did.

I know not to doubt these impressions anymore. Maybe if I wrote about it one of my fellow writers would say the piece paints classic picture of anxiety disorder (thanks, Linda*) But, so? When K and I were looking at houses there was one that made my skin crawl. K didn’t understand why I so badly wanted to leave but terrible things were happening within those walls, I just knew it.

The robot-air filter must be disturbing my sleep because I didn’t wake up until 10:30 this morning. TEN-THIRTY! I was vaguely aware of the mechanism timing out and going dark and silent — probably around three. I fell into a solid, deep sleep at that point.

I was shocked, really shocked, to see the time.

Tonight, I’ll run it from five until bedtime and leave it off during the night. K hasn’t tested again yet but is likely still positive. I just read a physician’s explanatory twitter thread about how long a person can remain contagious. Oy.

I’ll cap this off with another mushroom picture from yesterday’s walk — ar, ar.

* Not her real name and it was okay, really. You should’ve heard the piece. It was about what a woman does to feel safe when her husband is out of town and might have involved setting up booby traps on the floor outside of her bedroom.

Barcelona and Covid

I borrowed a friend’s super duper HEPA filter. I have three fans in position, ready to circulate the air. My husband’ll take our bedroom and bath and I’ll take one of the boys’ bedrooms and their bath. We’ll wear masks.

Because? You guessed it. He caught COVID. K spent the week in Barcelona duking it out with Tylenol and room service. He didn’t make his presentation. “It’s like a bad cold,” he said, as many do. He stayed longer than his coworkers but is traveling home now after a positive test.

I know. I know.

I stopped to buy ham so I can make one of his favorite meals this weekend: ham, au gratin potatoes, and something green. I also bought a generous pack of chicken wings to add to the chicken carcass that’s in the fridge. This batch of chicken soup has to be good, silky-good. His senses of taste and smell do not seem to have been affected.

Today is cool. A beautiful first day of fall. Finn sniffed things on our walk this morning per usual and tried to roll in some very stinky soil amendment near The Terraces which was not usual.

I listened to This American Life — about a couple that travels to Switzerland for an assisted suicide. The husband had Alzheimer’s.

Did I already post this? (speaking of dementia!)

No one understood why I didn’t want to go to Spain with K. I kept saying, “It’s because I don’t want to get Covid.”

When K gave me the news earlier this week, I laughed and said, “You didn’t have to get sick to prove me right!” (Not immediately, of course. That wasn’t the first thing I said …)

I’ll be back to answer comments from last post. I seem to be missing some of my usual mojo lately.

PCC image this week: B&W photos of men

A Saturday dog walk

It’s the kind of day when you take your thin cardigan off halfway through your walk. Beautiful, in other words.

I swear dogs are so much smarter than we think. Case in point: passed a beagle who howled in just the right register and with just enough volume to penetrate Beyoncé on ear phones. Oh, hello over there!

I never wear earbuds the whole way because they create a barrier to the world. Before Beyoncé, I briefly sampled a recent Sisters-in-law podcast and whew, switched that off fast. I wouldn’t mind a day of not thinking about Judge Cannon and classified documents.

Do you see the chipmunk?
I love all the directions here
Another arrow in the form of a shadow

A friend who is also an intellectual property lawyer gave me a free and informative rundown on copyright law yesterday. It was excellent timing because of that notice I got on Instagram last week.

I had no idea, for instance, that posting too many words from a book could be problematic (and here I thought I was promoting the author!) I will be more judicious in future, maybe limiting quotes to a short paragraph.

Also “fair use” (a defense against a copyright violation allegation) is broader than I thought. For instance, an image doesn’t necessarily have to be transformed if the artist is using it to make a commentary that differs from the original.

Not making money is a factor, BTW, but not an exemption. I thought it was.

There are also privacy interests apart from copyright issues. Public figures have no privacy interests to protect. So that means, for example, that the recurring Jeremy Irons face in one of my collage series would not run afoul of the actor’s right to privacy. Only the photographer in that case might have a grievance.

Home. Garden having a final flourish
Paper only — border is a photo of a quilt I made. Buildings from a magazine. Barn eave from PCC

The upshot of all this is I want to use more exclusively my own images. The interior magazine image above was originally whole. Yesterday while thinking about all of this, I ripped it in half and oriented one half upside down.

Paper collage discussed above is here doubled exposed and filtered with another quilt I made (below).

Or is it the one below? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. I don’t mind that.

Oh stop now! You’d never know I meant to be very brief here. I have an AWA workshop in a few.

But no discussion of copyright is complete without noting the value of proper attributions: please find some of Deb Lacativa’s extraordinary fabric in quilt above (if you hurry, she has a new batch of vintage, hand-dyed fabrics available). Also, both the nine-patch and woven cloth strips arise out of a long association and class-taking with Jude over at spiritcloth. A real mensch and a maven, she is.

From the pile

I really am finishing things. I thought this “Halloween quilt” was done but decided otherwise recently.

I didn’t like the way the house poked up out of nowhere and lacked stability. So I added some bushes and roots.

The foundation might need a little greenery as well. What do you think?

Meanwhile in the studio I revived a woven paper swatch that I don’t really like and made this “Snowglobe.” The profile is this week’s Paris Collage image.

Incorporating an unlikable element can lead to redemption or regret. This one is tending toward regret.

Sometimes (usually) collage is bing, bing, fuss a little, fuss a little more — satisfaction. Not today.

K is at the office. The table he cleared of papers last night (it’s garbage day) revealed the missing galls. They were just THERE. I flung them over the deck rail into the back yard.

I leave the echinacea until next spring because the goldfinches love the seeds. The birds are so light! And so brightly yellow! Every time I step outside and startle two or three away, I get a little burst of joy.