THE OPPENHEIMER REPORT (May 25, 2020)
The first week with our new little gremlin has been interesting to say the least. It has been over 20 years since we had a 9 week-old puppy in our family. Dogtor SYDNEY Taylor is beginning to feel comfortable in her new home. Scattered all over the living room floor are dozens of dog toys, accumulated over the 3 generations of Miniature Schnauzers who preceded her. Each toy has a story; each one is a happy memory. Sydney seems to be very happy, and I have become one of those silly people I used to belittle for posting their cute pet videos on Facebook. Regardless, it certainly is nice to have a healthy dog in the house again after grieving the loss of our Jasper for 13 months. In our case it is so true that "a house without a dog is not a home". This is the longest stretch of time that either Shauna or I have ever been without a pooch in our family.
Lately, I have not been watching a lot of television. We usually watch the eleven o’clock news, but I have a limited tolerance for bad news. What I find particularly upsetting is the constant reminder of how divided we all seem to be. Face masks vs. no face masks, should we open for business vs. should we not, cottagers vs. locals? The most perplexing debate is whether or not this is all some kind of overblown hoax foisted upon us by nefarious forces for political gain.
Of late, I have been watching more live streaming on the internet than I ever did before. Music heals. Last week, we watched and listened to the 2 QuaranTunes concerts sponsored by Hunters Bay Radio & Lake Of Bays Brewing Company / Huntsville Brewhouse. Singer/songwriter and former local Deni Gauthier performed a great set of original songs last Thursday night, and Saturday night, Hack & Heron, Christine Heron and her partner Jason Bradley Hack, performed their entertaining covers of everything from The Eagles to Led Zeppelin in an alternative Bluegrass style.
I also watched 2 normally humorous people broadcasting serious messages in separate live streams last week. Singer/songwriter Jann Arden has been streaming impromptu cell phone videos as she walks her dog near her home in Alberta. She just talks about how she's feeling, and I enjoy listening to her ramblings. It’s as if I am taking a walk with a friend. The other live stream I took in was comedian Lewis Black. He was being interviewed in his home, and that interview by 2 hosts was in turn live streamed to the public. That was odd. What was even stranger was hearing Black talk seriously about the anxiety he has been experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sequestered in his home, as many of us are, he seemed much different than what one might have expected from his onstage personality during his angry, ranting, comedic act. He talked about the psychological ramifications of isolation. While he doesn’t need to worry about starving or becoming destitute, and he has access to a therapist, he has experienced many of the adverse side effects of isolation that the rest of us are feeling. I found it interesting to hear and see this other side of one of my favourite comedians.
In her talk show “Just Show Up”, Hunters Bay Radio host Yvonne Heath spoke today about the stressors of this crisis. She said she is mindful of what she posts and her inclination is to try to see the positives in all of this. I can relate to that, because negativity is a self-propagating energy. I keep chanting to myself, “do more good than harm, to myself and to others.” Sometimes, I am more successful at that than at other times. Right now, we’re just going to focus on our wonderful new pup, keep our spirits up, and stay connected to those we love.
Written by Jamie Oppenheimer ©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED