Saturday update

Since the last week of 2020, I’ve been doing a gratitude practice. Every morning before I get up, I thank the universe for the warm bed I’m in, my Downtown apartment, my job across Main Street, my writing career on Medium, my Downtown friends, opportunities to help others, and whatever else comes to mind.

However, part of a complete gratitude practice is being grateful for the undesirable stuff in life too. The idea is that everything you experience was sent to you because it was supposed to happen. So bless all of it and be grateful for all of it. Accept what is.

Man, are we getting a heaping helping of “accept what is” this week or what?

Let’s start off with the Shelby County Health Department. As lawmakers at the state level have wanted to pass legislation to take away some of its autonomy, I have always supported the department. However, after this week I’m rethinking my position. Bozo the Clown could have run the health department better.

Twice yesterday I attempted to get out and support my friends’ local businesses… and in both cases, minutes after I ordered I was told that the health department had ordered them closed. Then, in both cases less than three hours later, they were allowed to reopen. It’s just ridiculous after the past 11 months that the health department decides to dump even more restrictions on restaurants. Seems like if any business would know a thing or two about boiling water, it would be a restaurant.

Then there’s the fact that an inventory error by the department forced 1315 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be thrown out, the vaccine having expired.

Then there’s the ridiculously stupid rule that goes into effect today saying that if restaurants reopen their bar areas, anyone behind the bar must wear a face shield as well as a mask.

Okay. Two points I want to make here. For the past 7 or so months I’ve been served by servers in restaurants, and they get way closer to customers than bartenders do. With servers, there is no barrier between them and the customer. So if the face shields serve any useful purpose limiting spread of the virus, why do servers not have to wear them as well?

Second: When you think of face shields, who comes to mind? First person I think of is the exterminator. The Orkin man. The Terminix guy who gets down in the crawl space and meets rodents and termites on their home turf. I have to wonder if the face shield requirement was put in place to subliminally communicate, “It’s not safe to sit here” at the bar?

Back to the water situation: It’s not just Memphis. Much of Texas is in the same boat, as is Jackson, Mississippi. I still don’t have heat in my apartment because the water pressure is too low for the boiler in the basement to fire. I hear that other high-rise buildings are having the same trouble, most notably the building at 45 S. Idlewild in Midtown.

The Grizzlies host the Phoenix Suns tonight at 8:00.

Here’s a list of locations where you can get free bottled water around the city Sunday beginning at 10 AM. Closest to Downtown: Lewis Senior Center, 1188 North Parkway.

Memphis Tigers baseball Opening Week has been delayed because of the weather.

I’m not going to attempt to keep a running list of what restaurants are open this weekend. The clown show at the health department changes the rules every two hours, so I’m concerned any info I might post on here would be wrong. Best advice is to call the restaurants before you go and ask if they’re open.

Not sure this is still happening, but Wiseacre 2 is scheduled to show the classic John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John movie Grease tonight. The snack pack they’re selling includes bottled Coke, so you’re safe there.

Looking out my window, it appears they cleared the ice and snow off Second last night. Monroe did not get cleared.

Despite not having heat, I’ve had my best week ever writing on Medium. My past 11 articles have been selected for further distribution, meaning they’re eligible to appear in topic listings and on members’ home pages and in daily emails. Four publications that use Medium as their platform – The Startup, Curious, Blank Page, and Wholistique – have contacted me and asked to publish articles I wrote. I’ve earned as much in the first 19 days of February as I earned in all 31 days of January.

I seriously doubt I will make any attempt to go out this weekend. Going to wait it out and be happy that I get to go to work on Monday for the first time in 10 days. Back tomorrow if there’s any news.