Friday, April 17, 2020
I think Olga is getting sick of the cemetery. Yesterday afternoon as I turned in our usual direction for our walk, she dug in her heels (to the extent that she has heels) and tried to go the other way, toward the Heath.
I always figured it was all the same to her, as long as she got outside. But apparently not.
As you can see, though, we went to the cemetery as usual. I amused myself by taking photos of all the little religious figurines on some of the graves. I love how weathered they look.
In other news, I have been furloughed from my job. This sounds more dramatic than it actually is -- I'm still employed long-term, and I'm still getting paid my usual salary. The difference is that the school isn't footing the bill. Most of it is being shifted to a government program that supports businesses so they can survive this coronavirus epidemic without laying people off. (I guess our re-enrollment figures for next year, and thus our revenues, are up in the air given that no one knows what the future will bring, and the school has to cut costs.)
This means I can't do any work for school after Monday, when my furlough begins, until at least May 11 -- not even my meager little side projects. The furlough could be extended depending on what happens after that date, or shortened if by some miracle this crisis subsides. I have no negative feelings about it whatsoever. It's basically a bookkeeping change. Dave is still working as usual because he has students, whereas I'm a support worker whose job is vastly curtailed now that I can't go to school. Strange days!
I'm enjoying Garth Risk Hallberg's "City on Fire," though I'm still not convinced it needs to be 900 pages long. The book is so big I can barely hold onto it, and at the risk of sounding like Donald Trump, I do not have small hands. Hallberg has a vivid writing style that produces some terrific sentences. For example: "When Mercer felt that he'd had enough -- that he would explode literally this time, leaving bits of brain hanging from the wallpaper -- he volunteered to let Sally out, followed the arthritic old collie out to the dead grass the porchlight didn't reach. He was shocked each time by all the stars you could see out here, the same ones the Greeks and Trojans had looked upon, a reminder that you were adrift in an insane vastness where nobody knew your name."