Tag Archives: covid-19

The Teri Tome–My 2020 Hits and Misses

I can’t believe my blog, The Teri Tome, is five years old already. Wow, those years flew by way too fast.

Sitting here writing this blog post, I’m trying to remember back to 2015, and sadly, nothing earth-shattering is coming to mind.

Maybe it’s because my memory is shot, or maybe it’s because, in 2020, life interrupted my recollection of anything pre-covid.

And okay, maybe I sound like Trump when I say:

Corona, corona, corona. Corona, corona, corona. I’m so sick of corona.

Stick me in the arm with the vaccine already!

I’m sure you would all agree that 2020 was a lot to deal with. Okay, it was a dystopic sh**storm. And I’m happy to say buh-bye to all 366 days of it. (2020 was a leap year, remember?)

But, to be fair, it hasn’t been all bad. Forty-three long weeks in quarantine has taught me a lot about myself and my definition of essential.

In the early months of 2020, I considered it my lost year.

Until I realized that 2020 was the year I found myself. I’m a changed and hopefully better person than when I naively rang in 2020.

I’ve questioned the fundamentals of “normal,” and going back to my pre-covid life as my pre-covid self isn’t an option.

Just to be clear, I haven’t locked myself down for the past ten months because I’m afraid corona’s gonna get me.

My reason for living like a hermit all these months is simple. Without my family and close friends, I have no reason to venture out.

Let me break down my pre-Covid routine for you:

My standing nail salon appointment: I’ve perfected my mani-pedi skills, and my nails have never been healthier.

My monthly haircut and color: I’ve become adept at trimming my hair, and I’m okay with going grey.

Grocery shopping: I always despised shopping for groceries, so having them delivered works for me.

Clothes and shoe shopping: 2020 was the year I wore schlumpf clothes 24/7. Schlumpf is a thing. Look it up in the Urban Dictionary.

Going out to restaurants: Sitting outside in the brutal heat or the freezing cold is not my idea of fine dining. If I can’t go to Peter Lugar’s in style, I’ll wait until I can.

The last time I filled my car with gas was early February 2020, and March 7 was the last time I left my house. (Except for my flu shot and three doctor visits.)

March quickly morphed into July, then September, followed by non-Thanksgiving, non-Chanukah, non-Christmas, and non-New Year’s Eve.

And please don’t judge me, but during my endless months in quarantine, I found solace in all things 1:12 scale. Okay, I’m more like obsessed.

There were too many 2020 days when I wanted to miniature myself small enough to move into my newly renovated dollhouse.

When my head wasn’t stuck in a dollhouse, I baked some killer bread, grew potted veggies and herbs on my patio, spic-and-spanned my house, socially distanced in my frosty garage, and created some awesomely impressive meals.

And my fingers to elbows have never been cleaner! I’ve been singing the ABCs and Happy Birthday in my inside voice at least fifty times per day.

In 2020 I binged on mindless reality shows I would never have otherwise wasted my time on. Awful shows like 90-Day Fiancé (so creepy) and Married at First Sight (so desperate).

2020 was also the year I could barely string together a sentence because I developed a severe case of writer’s block!

And whenever I wrote, it was forced and mostly dark, which is why I’m only going to bore you with my Top Five blog posts instead of my Top Ten.

And okay, I’ll throw in the worst blog post of 2020 as well as the best of all time (2015-2020).

I do owe you full disclosure: Of my 32 total posts in 2020, I wrote seven of them eons ago—pulled from a novel titled My Stolen Diaries that I’ve been writing since 1992.

And weirdly enough, when I calculated the traffic numbers for my Top Five blog posts, four of them were from that ancient rough draft novel.

It turns out my Top Five posts are less of a post-mortem on what Teri was writing in 2020 and more about what Teri was writing in the 90s.

The Teri Tome generated over 300,000 page views in 2020, a whopping 47% increase from 2019, so I’m pleased.

I’ll start with the worst blog post of 2020:

#1 WORST IN 2020 

I Tried to Save a Cat’s Life Yesterday: I was sorry to see that this blog post was a loser. I still haven’t gotten over that poor pregnant cat. And I’m not sure that anything can be done about it, but we have way too many feral cats in my North Woodmere, New York neighborhood.      

And now for my Top Five 2020 posts:

#1 HIT IN 2020

My Stolen Diaries – Chapter Two: To Know Yourself Is to Know Your Family : I was dumbfounded to see that a chapter from my rough draft novel was numero uno. It took me a while to figure out a format for excerpting from my decades-old unfinished book. When I finally settled on calling it a Novelog (novel-in-a-blog), I put up a Disclaimer and six chapters. I was reasonably sure they would all bomb. The thousands of hits that this 28-year-old Chapter Two garnered made my heart happy.

#2 HIT IN 2020

My Stolen Diaries – Chapter Four: The Yellow Kitchen Table: Wow, so this was also a thrill for me! Another chapter of my dusty old novel? To be honest,  I almost didn’t post this chapter for reasons I won’t disclose. But I have no regrets.

#3 HIT IN 2020

2020 Cedarhurst Sidewalk Sale: I Was Fired for Seeking the Truth: Getting fired from my job as Executive Director of the Cedarhurst Business Improvement District for refusing to put people’s lives at risk during a pandemic was devastating. But I’m glad my post reached thousands of visitors, and I hope it continues to attract tons of traffic. I miss my job, but I don’t miss the Village of Cedarhurst’s political posturing, the lies, the misinformation, or the bullying. And I’m still weighing whether or not to sue the Deputy Mayor of Cedarhurst for defamation.

#4 HIT IN 2020

My Stolen Diaries – Chapter Five: My First Diary: The first thing I thought when I added up the numbers and saw that the #4 spot was yet another chapter of my book—was that maybe, just maybe, my languishing novel has legs!

#5 HIT IN 2020

My Stolen Diaries – Chapter Six: Tit: Another chapter of my book! And BTW, Tit is the nickname for a bully character in my novel. And the thousands of people this chapter reached gave me new resolve to pull out that book and take a fresh look at it.

#1 HIT OF ALL TERI TOME TIME (2015-2020)

Bullies Are Cowards and Why I Refuse To Turn the Other Cheek: I have a lot to say about this one. Year after year, this post, written in 2015, continues to outperform all the others, and to date, has garnered almost 550,000 page views. And year after year, I’m thankful for the blog traffic, but the fact that “bullies” is my number one keyword says volumes about our world’s character. And as history has shown us, there are way too many psychopathic bullies out there. And from my personal experience, someone with a psychopathic personality disorder will almost always display some sort of mental illness and or narcissistic derangement. As far as I’m concerned, all three conditions are little more than a convenient label for crackpots and social deviants who over-estimate and exaggerate their abilities, status, intelligence, and looks.

In reviewing my 2020 hits and misses, as well as my top post of all Teri Tome time, I’m excited about highlighting more chapters of my novel on my blog.

And 2021 might even be the year I finish it!

I want to wish my loyal readers a Happy New Year. I hope that 2021 brings you wellness and equality, plus all the hopes and dreams you thought would happen in 2020.

And I can’t wait to see what 2021 holds for the new and improved Teri.

Stay tuned!

60,000 Dead My “Friends”


I thought he was my friend

until on March 18

he spewed his hate

and labeled me

a New York liberal.

His snarky friends

from

nowheresville

were making fun of

Cuomo and Scarsdale

while my family

was in lockdown and

my Aunt Mary was dying.

It’s a blue state thing

they wrote.

Like if I live in a blue state

I deserve to die.

I told him off.

He unfriended me.

“I think it’s because you are too much

for the guy. And Teri, I’m saying that in a good way.”

That’s what a true friend said.

My Aunt gave her ventilator

to somebody else.

She was buried on my birthday

and by April 6

10,000 in the U.S.

were dead.

What do 10,000 people

look like?

I found a photo

and printed it.

I ran my fingers over the

tapestry of faces and flags.

No red or blue or

black or brown or

white demarcations.

Packed together,

because it was

before our world

changed.

April 11

was always a

sad day.

But this April 11

20,000 were dead

and my sad seemed

meaningless in comparison.

I printed a second copy

of the 10,000 photo

and glued it

next to the other one.

It felt wrong to glue them

together.

And then 10,000 more by

April 16.

So I printed another one

and this time it felt

right to glue

them together.

I wept because

the triptych was

beyond words.

Four days later

Another 10,000.

Up to 40,000 now.

I printed the photo.

But I refused to glue it.

And then there was that

imbecilic friend

who wrote that more

people die from

the flu than Coronavirus.

Dr. Nobody.

I wanted to cut

her down to size

with my words.

I won’t rest until

I do.

Maybe she’ll

read this

and dump me.

April 24, another 10,000.

It took me three days

to finally print the

photo out.

50,000 dead

in the U.S.

and the WHO says

the worst is yet

to come.

And now today

another 10,000.

60,438 dead

in the U.S.

I thought about how to

share this with you.

I asked myself if I should print it out

yet again.

Yes, show them.

I didn’t want to,

but I felt compelled to

print and glue

them all next to

each other.

To show you

60,000.


My Corona Birthday Wish

Before the coronavirus, I didn’t want my birthday to come.

I was not looking forward to turning 67, and my thoughts kept going back to my younger days when I had a lifetime of living left.

For weeks before my birthday, I kept asking myself: How the hell did I get here so fast? To be sure, those 67 years flew by.

But my pre-corona outlook on everything has changed.

Now, I’m looking at my birthday, my life, my loves, and my future so very differently.

Going forward, I keep promising myself that I’m going to make significant changes.

I’m planning on working less and playing harder.

I’m going to spend more time with family and friends.

And I want to visit all of those states I haven’t yet had the opportunity to experience, although not so united these days.

And I’m not gonna lie, a ton of dark thoughts about what I won’t be doing crept into my psyche as well, because…

Well, if you know me, you know why.

I will never again shake someone’s hand without thinking ew, and will probably never hug a stranger.

And I’m reasonably sure I will never again venture into a crowded anything.

But I don’t want to dwell on the corona negatives right now.

I’m trying to focus on the good that can come from the virus.

Something good has to come out of all this misery, right?

Going forward, I refuse to wait out the rest of my life.

While in quarantine, I’ve been watching way too much news, but I can’t help myself.

The countless thousands of innocent people dying so painfully and senselessly make me sad mad.

And I feel compelled to watch the news all day and all night, wishing and praying for good news, or maybe even a miracle.

All those poor souls suffering, most without their family with them, and then dying, just like that.

I force myself to ward off the need to turn on the television by reading.

On my birthday, I read that the Egyptians believed that a person dies, not once—but twice.

The first death was their final breath.

And the second death was the last time someone uttered their name.

The concept was profound and gave me some peace. Although I couldn’t help but wonder who that last person would be for me.

That night I blew out my candle, and I made a birthday wish like no other before it.

And I know I’m not supposed to tell you my wish for fear that it won’t come true.

But these are trying times, so here’s what it was:

Please stop dying, and damn it, I want to live. But if I die, please let it be twice.

I Want February Back

February 2020. It seems like light years ago.

I celebrated my daughter’s birthday at Peter Luger in Brooklyn, and I was living the life. I was living the dream.

Until I wasn’t.

March is my new reality. March madness.

I want February back.

Hell, I’ll take last week back.

Last week my dear friend Ann was still alive, and my Aunt Mary didn’t have coronavirus.

What a difference a week makes.

After listening to Governor Cuomo’s daily news briefing today, I went online like I do every day.

I frantically clicked around from website to website. I scoured Home Depot, Walmart, Staples, Bed Bath, anywhere, for paper products.

$59.91 for a box of 125 tissues?

OUT OF STOCK. DELIVERY UNAVAILABLE.

My mind goes back and forth. My mind goes forth and back.

IN-STORE PURCHASE ONLY.

I weigh the options: Go to the grocery store and risk my life, on the one hand, skip the grocery store and save my life, and run out of toilet paper on the other.

I count my rolls of toilet paper and tissue boxes. I’m running dangerously low.

I ask myself what to do, as I sip my almost black coffee, afraid to use too much milk, lest I run out of it, and milk goes the way of toilet paper, and paper towel, and tissues, and spaghetti sauce.

Last Wednesday, I spoke to a BFF on the phone for an hour or so. This week she’s dead.

My Aunt is sick, and who knows when or if I’ll ever see her again.

I miss my kids and my grandkids. I miss my daughter’s dog and my friends and my consulting gigs.

I wonder who will be next, and pray that all this ends soon.

I can’t sleep and finally pass out at 3:30 am if I’m lucky. I wake up close to noon because my time clock is off.

I go to bed to the news, and I wake up to the news.

And it’s all bad. And inside, I rage at the nutjobs who say it’s all fake.

How many are dead today? Did those ventilators get delivered? Will I be needing one soon?

I take my temperature and hold my breath for ten seconds.

I want February back.