Today in January, 2023

Our 80s museum is above a wooded corner. It’s a good spot for election signs, and I am regularly contacted by a neighbor who is well-connected with local politicos about putting signs there. She bought me a bag of groceries during my first week of Covid lockdown, so I always say yes. Last winter after the political signs went up and came down, a local roofing contractor (but not the one that everyone uses) put up his sign on the corner, like that’s what the corner is for: ads.

I thought about calling the number and telling them to take it down (which is what you do when the creepy guy running for a judgeship thinks he can slip his sign in with the others), but it snowed and a plow knocked it down and when the snow melted, I found the sign, took it home, cut it into a square, covered it with gesso, and painted it black. On one side, it is December 24, 2022. On the other side, January 1, 2023.

The January, 2023 box has the smaller boxes from December, 2022 inside it.

This January, we had an abundance of Tuesdays, and a shortage of appropriately winterish weather.

If you look closely at the first three January collages, you will see that I wrote “2022” and not “2023.” I am sure somehow that if I would have posted them on Twitter someone would have corrected me. I posted them on Mastodon, though, so either no one looked carefully enough, everyone was too polite, they felt it was an artistic choice, or they were respecting my tender feelings.

I picked up the embroidery again for the first time in a year and each time I do it I have the same feelings: I am not good at this; this takes an infuriating amount of time; I must remember never to do this again.

You spend most of your time threading needles, dropping needles, looking for the tiny scissors, cursing about threading needles, marveling at how bad it looks, wondering where the good reading glasses are, and hoping there is enough of this shade of purple.

The Fresh Direct bag I cut open and gessoed for the 22nd’s data painting is now sewn back together and full of other collages.

It is now the beginning of the end of the third year of our pandemic. In the past month in the U.S., we had 1,559,533 new Covid cases, and 15,419 new Covid deaths.

Vizsla dog with repainted Fresh Direct bag that is now full of artwork held by straps in his mouth

Today in July, 2022

Oh, hey, remember the other pandemic? The one that used to be called Covid-19? The one that two American presidents claim they’ve beaten, but is still killing hundreds of Americans every single day?

Yeah, me neither.

I went to a dog show with my dogs and made some new friends in July, and it was really fun, and I did that pathetic thing where I showed my new friend one of these and he said, “Oh, you’re an artist,” and I didn’t say, “Yes.”

I thought about that on the 19th, when I was painting.

Which is funny.

After they found a guy with polio in Rockland County last month, the New York State Department of Health started doing wastewater surveillance, and other other detection efforts, to check for signs of the polio virus.

“Polio is a dangerous disease with potentially devastating consequences,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “In the United States, we are so fortunate to have available the crucial protection offered through polio vaccination, which has safeguarded our country and New Yorkers for over 60 years. Given how quickly polio can spread, now is the time for every adult, parent, and guardian to get themselves and their children vaccinated as soon as possible.”

My grandfather had polio as a child and died of its long-term effects his early 70s, suffering serious, debilitating medical problems during most of the years that I knew him.

Covid is still killing over 400 Americans a day, and has already killed almost 1,000 American children under the age of 11.