Editor's Note: I send a shout-out to those folks on this email distro whose phone calls recently brought A Distant Light into my furloughed Somnelence (apoligies to those I've not listed): Arkansawyer, James 'The Neil-some Biker' T, Andrea P for Pizzazz, Joni 'Positive Vibes' K, Mizz K, The Czarina and Overcooked Valerie C! To my most lovely wife, Smurfy M, a powerful shout-out of love for putting up with me these 2+ weeks of home-dom ...
Since my friends in DC are having Shutdown Parties to lighten the mood, I’ll contribute country-style.
Things to do while furloughed:
· Scroll through your cell phone directory and find names listed you’d entirely forgotten while speed-dialing all your usual suspects. Proof in the pudding is calling those whose friendship you value after a year away.
· Think of your boss and co-workers as people with feelings, not those pains in the *** that you interact with each weekday. A humbling and gratifying activity, especially while playing darts.
· Winterize. I mean, we had low last night of 41 (yeah, baby, 4-chilly-1 on Oct. 2!), so time to drain and roll up those hoses. In brisk winds with 40-mph gusts I later heard. I’m tired…
· Memorize those country music songs you always hear. Dress up and sing along loud and proud!
· Clean those things that never get cleaned. Crawl around the floor with your dogs. Talk to the hamsters.
· Wrap the water heater with insulation ($20 @ Home Depot). Will it save a fortune? Probably not. Do you feel frugal afterward, a guardian of your family's money? Yep!
· Wash the windows, outside first w/soapy water. Rinse screens. Better have some furloughed free hours: our 4,000 sq. ft. home took me a cumulative nine hours.
· Go online and troll through your health plan's website to learn its nuances. And I'm supposed to then be able to understand the roll-out/eyes rolling in my head of the Affordable Care Act (which I DO support)? I'm so outta luck after finding my son's medication, dispensed for a year by Express Scripts, being displayed as 'Cannot Price.' I am mentally soft, weak, not ready for ACA ...
· Lastly: devour your cookbooks (figuratively). Do a recipe you never found time for while making excuses in our too busy lives. Why are they so busy - necessity or choice? Hmm, it makes me wonder as I see the furloughed free hours stretch into wandering days and pointless weeks.
Smithsonian Article du Jour: The Golden Arches of McModernism