This is a Kitten to Be Named Later. (It actually came with the name Simba, but Frannie is trying out several names.)

Lady in town was fostering a litter of ferals from Michigan, and Chris found her on FB offering them to good homes. So, the cat is quarantined in a bathroom for the night until we can get him to the vet in the morning for shots, a checkup, and an oil and filter change.

The Nintendo 2DS XL arrived yesterday. Once I picked up a 32GB microSD card, we loaded Pokemon Ultra Sun and Animal Crossing: New Leaf on it.

I’ve set up my New Leaf town (named after Winslow the dog). Otherwise, F has been busy on the new device. Her Switch looks lonely now.

I get that logistics can be an issue with the large-scale COVID-19 testing that MLB teams have to do, but it still feels weird to read about it when I was able to be tested and get results in a couple of hours before my medical procedure a few weeks ago.

Deleting the Twitter list I created to follow political feeds. When the first thing you do upon awakening is fall down a giant rabbit hole lined with stories about QAnon and Trump-induced racism, it’s time to get away from the drumbeat of rage and idiocy. I’m tired.

I am in the kind of deeply foul mood that comes with the downhill end of a three-day weekend plus periodic abdominal cramping that remains despite one ER visit, one colonoscopy, one endoscopy, and multiple doctor visits.

Am I the only person who sees the use of the word “anyways” and hears a barely literate teenage girl?

“Anyways” may in fact be in the dictionary, but it looks wrong – and should be.

Back inside. Boom show still going on outside. Dogs unhappy. Cat doesn’t like it, either.

Fourth of July fire at dusk. The fireworks going off all around the neighborhood make it feel like a war zone tonight.

Celebrated our nation’s birthday by purchasing a Nintendo 2DS XL online. My enjoyment of Animal Crossing is taking a big step forward without destroying my budget or my guilt over big financial purchases.

I suspect F will be co-mayor of my AC town and play the preinstalled Mario Kart on the new device. Aside from playing AC: New Leaf on it, I probably will just watch Netflix on the 2DS XL and leave the rest of the game play to the 12-year-old.

Mainlining dark mint Tim Tams and waiting for Advil to kick in. (Yes, I’m back to Advil, but just two at a time now.) The salted cold foam cold brew I had this morning probably set off cramping.

The Spousal Unit, explaining why he’ll eat a grapefruit first before having a mango for breakfast: “If you eat the sweet first, you’ll never eat the sour.” There’s something surprisingly poetic and philosophical about that.

The 12-year-old just used the term “canonically” in a conversation about Animal Crossing. Strangely proud of this.

Trying to organize my nightstand a bit.

Tried to watch Fox News coverage of “President” Traitorpants’ flyover at Mount Rushmore; 10 minutes and two MyPillow ads later, we had to cleanse our palates with “Peppa Pig.”

I need a drink.

Spending a beautiful day off doing some belated spring cleaning before dropping off a bunch of stuff to Goodwill and running a couple of retail errands.

Somehow, being productive like this makes me happy.

I’m grateful for the role of cellphones in the capture of injustices that must be fought and corrected. But there’s a difference between being on watch and being a voyeur.

Unless it depicts either cute animals or a threat to my personal well-being, social justice, or national security, I don’t want to see that security camera footage, hear that 911 call, or view your cellphone video. The level of especially gratuitous voyeurism these days is pathetic.

Reality TV culture is evil. And that has ultimately led to a threat to my personal well-being AND national security in the highest reaches of government in this country.

New owners, old employer, horrible future. There’s a petition going around to save the Chicago Tribune from its particularly greedy hedge fund owners. Please sign in support of local journalism.

Went to our favorite neighborhood breakfast diner for the first time in months; it just reopened today as part of our state’s Phase 4 of reopening businesses.

If not for the social distancing need, I would have hugged the staff upon arrival.

Made Spam musubi with way too much sushi rice. Got bread baking in the oven, and potatoes boiling on the stove.

It’s a good day for starches at our house.

Weekend routine (mid-pandemic edition)

My weekends have fallen into a routine that is neither perfect nor exciting, but it’s comfortable. Much of my off time ends up in the home office, where my personal laptop actually fits into the same dock I use for the work laptop.

It’s probably not a great idea to spend my relaxation time in the same place where I slog through work. But the home office is still my personal space, with a futon sofa and most of my books and arts/crafts materials stashed there. The dogs love the space. Frannie comes in with her gaming and talks Animal Crossing and Pokemon strategy. And I can stream Korean baseball and other video on the big screens. It’s become my happy place, and it helps make work tolerable on rough weekdays.

A typical weekend goes something like this.

Saturday morning: Having biscuits and other breakfast food that C brings home from Chick-fil-A. Then listening multiple times to “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” and maybe other NPR programs either on terrestrial radio or, more likely, the TuneIn Radio app.

Saturday afternoon

** Catching up on Korean baseball, usually with Jason Benetti doing play-by-play, off the ESPN site. I don’t really keep up with the KBO at a detailed level, but I like how the games and the baseball chatter keep me pleasant company while I read or write. Like right now, as I write this. Even when MLB starts up again, I like the idea of having these games on whenever I like.
** Surrounding myself with books, which I may or may not read at length.
** Streaming other video. Sometimes Twitch feeds of Anthony Bourdain shows, Animal Crossing play, or even Bob Ross programs. Other times, YouTube with Catholic videos, Stephen Colbert reruns, or Animal Planet shows; I’ve become fond of “The Vet Life” lately.
** Writing email, snail mail, and/or blog posts. Maybe posting to Facebook (which I’ve done more – weekends only – than I have in a long time, which still isn’t a whole lot).
** Lying down to relax the chronic pain in my lower back (and shoulders and neck).
** Sifting through the piles of printouts and books in the office and bedroom, and filling up the recycling bin.
** Sometimes heading to our parish for confession and 5 p.m. vigil Mass.

Saturday evenings: Dinner, maybe a round of Cards Against Humanity (Family Edition), or maybe a fire with s’mores in the backyard.

Sunday morning: Attending early Mass (if I haven’t gone to the Saturday vigil Mass), then reading/praying through the “Celebration of the Word” liturgy with F when I get home. (F eventually will accompany me to Mass, but not right now.) After that, breakfast – either pancakes at home or hitting a local diner, with the Sunday papers in tow.

Sunday afternoon: Either a Sunday drive for all of us, or a jaunt through a forest preserve for F and C and the big dog while I stay home to relax my back. (See Saturday afternoon activities.)

Sunday evenings: Same as Saturday evenings, plus possibly some catching up with editing work after everyone else goes to bed.

It’s not thrilling or exotic, to be sure, but it works for me. And it’s not like we’re going anywhere this summer, so this is probably my weekend blueprint for a while.

A hazy day of recovery

I can cross “Have a colonoscopy” off my bucket list now.

Good news: My innards are fine. Even got a bonus stomach scan upon the doctor’s recommendation (after he called to make sure my health insurer would cover it). Except for a tiny stomach polyp that he sent out for an evaluation – he said it’s unlikely to be much of anything – that scan largely turned out okay.

The not-so-good news: I’m not at 100 percent today. Still feeling the after-effects of the sedation. The nurses repeatedly told me, “You’re going to have the greatest nap of your life,” and they were right. I tried to forget the fact that they used Propofol, the stuff that killed Michael Jackson.

Chris said I slept pretty much through the night, which isn’t often the case. But I still woke up groggy, and sitting up made me woozier.

The doctor and nurses also warned me I might have a sore throat from the stomach scan that went down my throat, and soreness arose last night and continues to linger.

On top of that, the abdominal cramping is back, albeit in a mild way. Funny thing is, I experienced no such pain during the past day and a half of a clear liquid diet and intestinal purging. The cramping returned after I started eating again. Starting to think it’s time to go back to the kind of low-fat diet I tried immediately after my gallbladder was removed. And maybe start curbing my dairy intake.

So, as I said, I’m not at 100 percent. I was hoping to log back into work by noon, but I went ahead and called in sick for the whole day. Glad I did. The post-sedation haze I expected has lasted well into the afternoon.

Colonoscopy prep is the worst. I sure as hell better be clean as a whistle in there when this is all over.

How to destroy your Animal Crossing camp without really trying

So, I learned the hard way that when you uninstall and reinstall Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, you pretty much lose your data (unless you link it to a Nintendo account, which I did not). I ended up destroying my level 77 campsite empire in a matter of seconds.

Fortunately, I was off yesterday (albeit for medical reasons). I spent more time than I care to admit rebuilding my #PocketCamp world; I’m already up to level 17. And yes, I linked it all to a Nintendo account.

And get this: I have lychees! (For the uninitiated, AC Pocket Camp players can pick several kinds of fruits, with one of three rare types: grapes, lychees, or lemons. My old camp had grapes; the new camp has lychees, which I thought only showed up for players in Asia.)

But I’m low on Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp friends. If you play, hit me up: 4365 6093 734

Since we aren’t traveling much this summer, I decided to try a little container gardening to spruce up the deck—despite my track record of failure with plants.

Got some Italian parsley, basil, geraniums, and some kind of blue and purple flowering plant that Frannie picked but I had never heard of. Also, a hanging basket of purple petunias, as well as lavender and catnip.

And a pink flamingo that I’ve named Bob.

So, my hospital requires a COVID-19 test before surgeries and other procedures like the colonoscopy scheduled for me tomorrow. Found this out Saturday, so I scheduled testing for this morning at the hospital’s drive-up facility.

It wasn’t as horrifying as I anticipated; the nasal swab wasn’t quite long enough to scrape the surface of my brain, but even with the 10 seconds it took to swab, it was still uncomfortable.

In any event, I tested negative for COVID-19. Never have I been so relieved to charge ahead with extended intestinal purgation.