IT FEELS LIKE calm has mostly returned. I'm almost hesitant to say so for fear of the inevitable chaos we have grown so accustomed to dealing with. But as I ruminate over the climate of our society and life in general, I feel a sense of pacification at the moment. I genuinely feel that the tidal wave of tumult in so many areas may be in our rearview mirror, and it feels so good.

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I LIKE HOUSES but not house parties. I think it's because I'm bad with people but good at putting up walls. But now that the pandemic has forced me to spend an entire year pacing like a laconic labradoodle inside the walls of my home-turn-well-appointed-penal-institution, I'd do anything the hear my withdrawn walls reverberate with the chatter of the handful of friends I've kept in touch with over the past year.

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SPRING WAS REALLY showing off at the mid-March open-air fundraiser at the Ivy Leaf Farms in South Houston — almost as if it were trying to make up for its recent shortcomings. But can you really blame weather? Of course you could, but weather is weather. Weather will never learn to care about us, our travel plans, our comfort, our acres of blueberry bushes. Yet we're all obsessed. Did you hear what weather did? Boy, I wish he'd notice me.

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