Friday, November 26, 2021

CoViD-19: New Variant of Concern Omicron | Dept of Interior Releases Report on Oil & Gas Leases | Comic-Con Special Edition Kicks Off |


Thanksgiving Was Small This Year (Taken 11.25.21)

While we were home preparing deviled eggs and enchiladas to eventually head to my parents' house to hang with my sister and nieces, apparently Nova was spending her Thanksgiving in a church hall with the Republican side of her extended family and now I'm completely pissed that we apparently weren't explicit enough about who and where she was allowed to go while on her trip. It's so frustrating spending nearly two years being so careful and then know that people are on the other side of the country not giving one shit about anybody else. Thankfully she's fully vaccinated so her risk is low, but I didn't want her getting on that plane in the first place and we'll definitely be a lot more discerning if they try to have her back. Obviously we'll be home-testing her upon return and get her back into regular testing at school on Tuesday, too.

Our Thanksgiving was nice and chill except when I got home and realized I still had listings and a newsletter to do. But I got them done and was going to stay offline today but some work things came up and the new Omicron variant of concern was all over the news, so I couldn't not post even if there's no data. And I'll say this about the newly identified variant: we need to stop treating South Africa like shit and trust their science and scientists. We need to stop looking down on other countries when they have better sequencing and surveillance than we do. We need to demand that the CDC get their shit together and get their numbers up to date, their data more transparent, and increasing multi-fold on sequencing. Otherwise, we're just at the mercy of our own most misinformed and in denial and this cycle will just continue on and on. After hearing that news and seeing images of the Comic-Con lines (Chris Morrow, YouTube), all I can say is that I made the right choice for me and my family, but I'm sure it was a blast for those who can be a little more relaxed.

I will say that Darren and I visited the hospital today, though we told my Dad we likely won't visit next week until we give Nova a good week of observation and such. They had to fix some equipment in the room, so we made my mom take a little break and she took us to this nice little garden they have at the VA hospital around the HVAC gear on the 2nd floor. After the visit, we went to San Diego Zoo Safari Park for Wild Holidays. I love Christmas lights but I was a little bummed that they close up several of the areas of the park, including the elephants and Kilima Point. We were able to do the Lagoon Walk before they closed that down, and were going to leave by 6 but discovered Tiger Trail and Australian Outback were still open, so we did that walk, but seeing any actual animals were few and far between. Still, a nice and chill night out. The kid is back tomorrow, so I'll probably take the rest of the weekend off and be back on Monday. 

Stay diligent and safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Friday, November 26-Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | Comic-Con Special Edition | #GreenFriday | #SmallBusinessSaturday | RSD & Vinyl Junkies 4 Year Anniversary |

I was sitting at home on Thursday night feeling so proud of myself for not having opened my laptop all day and then it occurred to me that I only did listings through Wednesday and I needed to prepare a newsletter for the Casbah. 


So my relaxing Thanksgiving quickly detoured into watching poorly dubbed foreign movies on Netflix while I worked to get these done. 5 hours later and here's the results. I'm so tired, so I'll do a do-over tomorrow and work as minimally as possible. I didn't include it in the listings, but Sea World's Christmas Celebration has commenced and runs through January 2nd, with select nights of later hours and fireworks on weekends. Likewise, San Diego Zoo Safari Park kicks off their Wild Holidays with lights and extended hours on select nights. Jungle Bells is coming soon to the San Diego Zoo, but not until after December Nights, so look for that December 10. This weekend also kicks off the Comic-Con Special Edition and it's my first Con in maybe a decade where I didn't sign up for a media pass. Hopefully that doesn't ding me for future Cons, but my dad was already hospitalized by the time they were available so I didn't wanna take a spot that I wasn't realistically going to use, being crowd averse as I still am. 

Anyhow, I'm completely wiped out so off to bed. Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

CoViD-19: Thanksgiving Safety | Ahmaud Arbery Murderers Guilty | Vaxxed vs Unvaxxed Data | San Diego Red Flag Warning For Fire Danger |


Family Photo For Dad's Birthday (Taken Circa 9.7.2021)

I wasn't going to publish a post today. I watched the Armaud Arbery verdict this morning and felt like it was a good time to shut the laptop, walkaway, and be grateful for small joys. Eventually Darren and I spent the afternoon having cocktails at the San Diego Zoo -- me taking my first ride on public transit since before the pandemic -- but then we got home and I had already started this post and I'm going to give myself a holiday weekend break for real so I decided to finish it up. It also helped pace the margs which was also probably good planning. 

So Thanksgiving is here and for my family, I knew it would be different than usual, but now has seemed to have evaporated entirely. My parents were hoping Dad would be released home with all this new medical gear arriving at the house, but even then, my dad is too weak to use it, so they can't release him at all. So the agreement was that if he went home, we'd do Thanksgiving there. If not, we'd do a casual outdoor thing at my house minus a turkey, but with a bunch of chicken and cheese enchiladas and deviled eggs (my specialties), my mom's ham and potato salad, and probably a ton of charcuterie, the idea being my mom could sneak away from the hospital for an hour or two to catch a break. But now that's up in the air, too. And that's totally fine. Or it isn't. I don't really know. Whenever my dad seems better, I have to remind myself that he is still in palliative care and considered a hospice patient and has signed a DNR with witnesses. And then he seems really bad and I have to remind my mom of all of these things so we don't get ahead of ourselves getting the med gear intact for his return. And it sucks. 

So today you get a picture of us around his birthday in September, and just hoping this family photo wasn't our last. Love to you all and have as happy a Thanksgiving as you are able for whatever it means to you. Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but I assure you every day around here is appreciated and we continue to give Thanks. 

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

CoViD-19: Global Cases Back On The Rise | US To Release Oil Reserves | GRAMMY Noms Announced | How Shipping Works (Or Doesn't) | San Diego Needs More Public Bathrooms |

Bonobo Hiding From The Crowds at San Diego Zoo (Taken 11.23.21)

A few weeks ago, I told Darren that President Biden was waiting to release crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve the week of Thanksgiving and here we are. It wasn't really prognosticating; if you pay enough attention to what Jen Psaki says and what she doesn't say, it was kinda obvious. I wouldn't be surprised if a full battle is waged with the Dept of the Interior to start pulling permits fro drillers not using them (or something similar within the law) and not maximizing their capacity back to pre-pandemic levels. Obviously energy corporations hate when Dems are the party in charge and they're, along with OPEC+ nations, trying to sabotage any progress in this country to reap maximum profits and subsidies while paying no taxes and not employing union workers to maximum capacity. It's gross if you think about it too hard. 

But you'll remember I also said there would be a Christmas tree shortage, and here we are. It's not necessarily a shortage so much as likely price spikes because of a combination of supply-chain transporting of the trees (or importing of fake ones) and the record fires and droughts and floods across the US. I'm still not sure what we'll do; maybe go retro and buy a tinsel tree. So I have other predicitons. I'm estimating that right around New Year, though if we're lucky not till mid-January, California will have counted 5,000,000 cases of COVID. Numbers are going up across the country quick, and if we look at Europe, and consider about 15 Million Californians still aren't vaccinated AND hardly anybody is wearing masks anywhere AND international and cross border travel both recently opened AND antigen tests are still too expensive AND vaccine and mask mandates are still being litigated all over the country with courts ruling strictly across political lines, we are still kinda fucked. 

Today I had to go to my mom's because a mechanical sling lift was being delivered in case my dad is ever released home. I had a couple of hours to kill before the guy was gonna get there, so I went to the San Diego Zoo, and it was PACKED. I'm gonna be super general here and say almost all Asian tourists are not only wearing masks, but good KN95s. Among everyone else, maybe 10% masked. And I know we're outside, but every exhibit had masses of people hovering around. (Except for my secret ones and I'm not gonna share those hiding places to the masses.) What I don't understand even more is we sure do hear an awful lot about how red-staters hate us, but they sure do love our tourist attractions and our city in general. They're identifiable because they almost always have some identifying shirt or hat on that tells you exactly where they're from. 

I'll stop being mean about tourists. But the point remains. Cases are up and rising. Be even more cautious because it seems nobody else is.

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

CoVID-19: Thanksgiving In The Time Of COVID, Take Two | UCSD Trolley Extension Opens | Water Main Breaks Flood San Diego | Retail Crime Flash Mobs | US Urges Evacuations Of Ethiopia | Psaki Ups Desantis Disses |

Family Time (Taken 11.20.21)

I think I've had about enough of Dr. Walensky. Today she was asked a question about the wedge being driven through families over vaccines and she does this thing where it's almost like she throws all her medical knowledge out the window like a toddler begging their parents not to fight. Be. Real. If people aren't yet vaccinated, it's too late for Thanksgiving. That ship sailed before Halloween. If vaccinated people don't want unvaccinated around, that's their call, and we need to stop giving this obnoxious loud minority so much time and attention. Shots are accessible, free, and safe. Who wants to share a table with an ignoramus who puts everyone else at risk? Because if they won't get vaccines, you know they're also not following any of the other non-pharmaceutical interventions, like masking, and are more likely to partake in high-risk activities. It's not worth it. Yes, get vaccinated. And if you're 6 months past your mRNA series or more than 2 months after J&J, you should get boosted as soon as possible. But for the holdouts? Most of us stopped giving a shit about them months ago anyway. 

This goes to something else that irritated me this weekend. The new blue line extension of the San Diego Trolley to UCSD opened over the weekend. In a news interview, a spokesman was asked about COVID safety mitigations, and they said that besides masks being required, the cars are sanitized nightly. It would seem to me that SDMTS-- especially since it is now going to UCSD, arguably one of the premiere medical and science schools in the country-- could've advised that they should be talking about ventilation and air exchange on public transit, not on sanitization, which should just be standard always, even pre-pandemic. So as long as we keep asking the wrong questions, centering on the wrong issues, we're going to keep seeing shit like this:

    U.S. COVID update: Daily cases rise for 16 days in a row:
        New cases: 157,959
        Average: 94,428 (+1,584)
        In hospital: 49,531 (+303)
        In ICU: 12,435 (+209)
        New deaths: 1,405
        Average: 1,140 (+10) 
            more data from

Fortunately, I'm happy to report my family is all vaccinated, my niece still needs her 2nd shot, but everyone else is fully vaxxed and those of us who can be boosted are. On Saturday morning, Darren took Nova and her aunt to the airport to go to St. Louis. We lazed around the house and watched too much Netflix. My cousin came down from LA so we all met for dinner at Filippis IB where we sat on the patio and had a nice dinner then hung out at my mom's for a couple hours. We talked about Thanksgiving plans and found out my god-sister's boyfriend is Snoop Dogg's nephew so they're going to the Doggpound for Thanksgiving. WHAT?!!? Obviously that was a fun conversation. After getting home, Darren and I enjoyed a few too many cocktails, which left for a very, very lazy Sunday. You've gotta do it once when the kid goes away but can't make it a habit, you know? 

I hope everyone gets to enjoy the holiday week amongst loved ones and friends and gets a chance to catch up on sleep. I think we all really need it. 

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, November 20, 2021

CoViD-19: Boosters Approved For All Adults| Mayor Holds Ground On Anti-Vaxxers | BBB Passes House | Another Racist Murderer Acquitted | Biden Gets A Physical |

Me, Darren, Nova, and Aunt Barb (Taken 11.19.21)

On Friday morning I woke up to the news, as many people did, that the racist Kenosha vigilante murderer was found not guilty on all accounts. And like many people, I was not at all surprised. But also, like most people, I was angry. This country is super fucked and when the Supreme Court no doubt allows concealed carry for anyone, anywhere, we're going to be even more fucked. In fact, I was so enraged that I just had to kinda dip away from news and social media for the day. 

It wasn't super hard to do on the Friday before a holiday week and because I've been busting my ass all week. Plus, Nova's Great-Aunt arrived in the afternoon, so we were mostly entertaining for the night before I finally gave in and watched the 11 o'clock news. 

She took us to dinner, so we opted for Ponce's, which luckily wasn't super crowded when we arrived. Obviously I love the food there and I've been going since I first moved to Kensington in 1998, but eating out just isn't really in my budget anymore, so it was nice to be treated. After dinner, we went to the Michelangelo: Sistine Chapel Exhibition that's in the former Robinson's-May building at Westfield Mission Valley. I hadn't been to a media party in ages so it was great timing being able to take everyone before Barb and Nova leave for St. Louis in the morning. Nova's Great-Aunt Barb is my favorite of Nova's extended family and she's got fascinating stories. And she lives in South Carolina, so we talked all about the Murdaugh Murders. The exhibition was pretty cool to get the history of the frescoes and see the details up close, and a hosted bar for the event is never a bad thing. 

I did eventually watch the news and Jen Psaki's media briefing and worked through my emails, which is why it's 3am and I'm still on my laptop. I was just going to skip a post, but I figured I'd rather do it now while everyone is asleep and leave the rest of my weekend wide open since we don't get any data updates on the weekends anyway. So you might hear from me over the weekend, but most likely not. Don't send the search party. 

Oh, and Jen Psaki is always amazing but Friday she was full on heroic as the asshole from Catholic News or whatever was trying to yell out his question -- as he always does -- and Jen just kept on ignoring him, moving on, and calling him out for talking over other reporters. Today his burning question was about how Catholic bishops are concerned the BBB reconciliation bill will prevent faith-based preschools from getting federal funding. I say GOOD. Churches shouldn't get a single dollar if they can't follow the rules everyone else has to play by. And since I was so hard on Mayor Todd Gloria yesterday with regard to Balboa Park, today I must give a shout out on him holding his ground on vaccinations for city employees. Cops and others who can't follow the rules clearly have no regard for the public and shouldn't be in those jobs in the first place. Don't give in, Toddio.  

Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

CoViD-19: Unvaxxed Have COVID + Flu Co-Infections To Look Forward To | Masking Still Works | CA Budget Surplus | Mayor Gloria Touts Balboa Park (Hopes Nobody Remembers Jacobs Plan) | $2B Astroworld Lawsuit Filed |

Sunset Over Balboa Park from San Diego Zoo Skyfari (Taken 11.18.21)

Today I saw a handful of news articles about Mayor Todd Gloria giving tours of several projects either completed, underway, or slated for renovations in Balboa Park. We all love the park, so how could that be bad, right? Well, while I generally like Todd, he would very much like for us to forget that he supported the Jacobs Plan to cut into the Cabrillo Bridge with a freeway offramp to a parking garage. As it stands, the City can't get their shit together for our parks, so a new initiative launched yesterday to add a tax to the November ballot that would fund our parks and libraries. I don't understand how this keeps coming up as an issue. We don't ask about profitability from our police or fire departments. Our streets and sidewalks are all money pits, but the City still fixes them (to an extent, I mean, so long as Ortiz does all the work, they'll just continue crumbling, but you catch my drift.) 

Our City also just gave acres of Balboa Park to San Diego Unified in an illegal deal that is flying under the radar because who is gonna stick their neck out and say that the one entity that benefits the City should have to move even though that's exactly what they were supposed to do decades ago?? So, sure. Balboa Park has improved, but it has a long way to go, and everyone should be watching closely so it doesn't get turned into a profit-generating private space limited to those who can afford it. It's bad enough they close the park to the public for Maker's Faire, that the Prado restaurant tried to put in a dining Ferris wheel, that the last guy wanted to allow a hotel and other concessionaires, and that most of the organizations pay no rent in the first place. I assure you, it's not gonna be great when every piece of the restored Botanical Garden and surrounding grass and plantings have a plaque or naming rights from rich donors, or when you'll try to go visit and it's closed for a wedding or private event. But yes, for now, our park is a pretty alright place to go. (If you want to take family photos, the Grinch tree is up and decorated and can be pretty empty during weeknights during showtimes.)

In my world, things are looking up. Nova realized that her mental state hugely affected her physical state and postponing her trip would just make things worse, so while she did skip her flu shot appointment this morning, she's feeling better and is planning on going on her trip. St. Louis has a mandatory indoor mask mandate regardless of vax status, so she was at least feeling more comfortable about things like that, especially if her mom drags her to church. Her Great Aunt will be arriving tomorrow and flying back with her on Saturday, so we don't have to worry should any cancellations or things come up. Then she'll be escorted back on a flight with Darren's cousin, so that should be nice, too. Besides all that, I went to the San Diego Zoo by myself for the afternoon and though I'm behind in work, it was totally worth it. Truly, truly, my happy place. 

Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Thursday, November 18-Wednesday, November 24, 2021 | 100 Gecs | Little Hurricane | Slow Pulp | Julieta Venegas | Beabadoobee | Wavves | Jordy | Dawes | Havnauts | Lagwagon |

Beabadoobee Returns To San Diego (Taken 10.18.19)

It's funny after a nearly two year global pandemic-- where some of us had nothing but downtime-- so many people can still be feeling totally burnt out. 
But that is totally normal. 
Downtime filled with financial and health and political and mental unease wasn't truly downtime at all. And for the millions of people who never got that break, the burnout can feel even worse. 
So all we can do is take a breath. The holidays are upon us and while often a stressful time, we can choose to not make them so. We can choose to forego the hard parts and focus on the easy parts. We can skip the big box Black Friday rush for televisions and grab takeout instead. We can go to a show. We can take advantage of San Diego's almost-always perfect weather and the dozens, if not hundreds, of free holiday events. We can reach out to family, friends, people we haven't seen or talked to in ages. You don't have to make excuses, everyone was on the same boat. 

There are a ton of events leading up to Thanksgiving. I probably won't do listings for actual Thanksgiving Thursday, but I'll get something rolling for at least the rest of that weekend. I'm also trying to resurrect my holiday event guide, so while there are a lot of tree lightings and craft fairs, if I can get to all of those, they'll be on their own page so as not to bog down the music listings. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

CoViD-19: Boost Now, Celebrate Later | Creep Congressman Censured | (Blood) Diamonds Last Forever | NatGeo Kids Africa Launches |


Kamaria will be 3 months old in 5 days (Taken 11.17.22)

I had an interesting morning. I don't usually get much feedback about this website, but every once in a while I'll get a comment or email on an older post and wonder what search someone even did to land there. 

Today a woman was asking me about Tom Delonge, suggesting that he was human trafficked in the late 1990s and the Tom we think we know isn't really Tom, or something like that? And also that my boyfriend looks an awful lot like him so am I sure he's not actually Tom? And then she called me a "lier" because she somehow thinks I was withholding information that would lead to busting the human trafficking case wide open. I tried to explain that while I went to many Blink-182 shows (and Blink, for that matter) back in the day, I don't know Tom and have never met him. So yeah, that was a fun exchange. 

It was a beautiful day in San Diego, so after Darren did a quick bike ride, we went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We only did the lower half of the park today but it was still nice. We had skipped the tram the last few trips because it was so crowded but gave it an effort today. We actually seated on the tram but got off because this woman was wearing the strongest, most hideous perfume that gave me an instant headache. If that isn't science on aerosols, I don't know what it. So we disembarked and were able to get on a later tram after spending some time with the cheetah and watching Kianga and baby Kamaria run around the giraffes. I always like getting a new and super enthusiastic driver and we actually got to see a bunch of the rhinos in the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center which we almost never get to see. After our tram ride, we spent about an hour at Kilima Point where Kacey and Alice and Kianga and Kamaria and a few other of the girl rhinos were all browsing or sleeping and it always feels so powerful to be so close to them with not one single other person around. 

I definitely wanted to go to the Casbah for the Color Forty Nine and The Dodos, but I couldn't get my work done in time and Nova is sicker than she'd been letting on. She tested negative again with her PCR test at school, so we are fairly certain it is just a cold, but now it might cause her to miss her trip altogether. She has a flu shot scheduled in the morning and will have to find out from the nurse practitioner if she should fly at all. It feels like a hard no to me, but it's not really my call, unfortunately. 

The news was interesting today...I didn't bother posting about the Jan 6 asshole getting sentenced because we already know there is no justice in our justice system. The creep congressman was censured which essentially means nothing. The US participated in some summit called the Kimberley Process Plenery about blood diamonds and couldn't get the group to expand the definition of conflict diamonds, so maybe think about that before you flash your bling. Everything else is sorta par for the course. COVID-19 numbers are all over the place depending on the source, so all you can do is know that even for vaccinated people in San Diego, the case rate is higher than what would've kept us in the most restrictive tier this time last year. Not saying you shouldn't live your life, but I recommend maximum precautions, limiting indoor time among people whose vax status is unknown, wear a mask when appropriate, and as I keep telling the kid, keep that air circulating at all times.  

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

CoViD-19:Pfizer Seeks EUA For Oral Antiviral | More Evidence Supports SSRI As Anti-Inflammatory | Deputy Press Sec Gives No Fucks About NRCC | Racist POS Chicago Cop Retires To Avoid Discipline |


Another of Otis at San Diego Zoo, RIP (Taken 10.27.21)

Today was a pretty uneventful day for me. I feel like I got control of my workload and thus was able to have more intense sleep. I was looking forward to watching a movie screener only to realize I didn't have the right password. I tried watching the news but it is really hard sometimes. I will say I far more appreciate giving airtime to people who are actively getting boosters or cute little kids who want to do the right thing and get their shots instead of what they've been serving us for 18 months of anti-vax and anti-mask rhetoric. 

It is a little nicer around the house because my little Magnolia is obviously feeling much better so sometimes just working and watching them have the zoomies all over the house is enough entertainment for me. We're also laying low because Nova has this gross cough. We'll get her PCR results in the morning and now have a few antigen tests on hand just in case, and she has a flu shot appointment and checkup on Thursday, so hopefully she gets cleared for travel. I can't even imagine the hysterics her mom would throw if we don't put her on a plane. I also kinda think any illness she's got is a little psychosomatic or triggered by her deep-down not really wanting to go. I can't imagine how hard that is for a 14 year old. It also complicates things by having someone with a cough in the household, so we're kinda stuck not visiting my dad until she's better or she's gone. 

Anyway, looks like that movie password came through, so I'm gonna get down with some egg nog and a road trip film. 

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

CoViD-19: Increases In Cases Before Thanksgiving | San Diego Zoo Beloved Hippo Otis Euthanized | Biden SIgns The BIB | Talks With China | Russia Blows Up Satellite |


RIP Otis the Hippo, b. 3.10,1976 (Taken 10.4.21)

I was devastated to learn today that Otis the Hippo from the San Diego Zoo was euthanized over the weekend after suffering from a degenerative joint and spinal disease. He had been so cute lately, swimming all the way over to the far side of the pool to say hi to onlookers, or just taking up residence in the sleeping corner while the cleaner fish did their work. He was six months older than me, so I guess I felt a bond with the fact that we are both bicentennial babies. As far as I know, he sired something like 7 or 8 calves, and I think he killed one of them when he was trying to mate, which I've heard is why the San Diego Zoo moved to having alternating days in the pool, sometimes Otis by himself, and sometimes Funani and baby Amahle. 

I mentioned I was at the Zoo on Sunday afternoon and went again today, but only for about an hour because work is a little hectic at the moment. Apparently every concert in 2022 that has been booked but not announced wants to make sure they do so immediately so you spend your money on tickets instead of wasteful junk for Christmas. 

Today I was asked when I think places should stop having to ask for proof of vaccines or negative tests or what the offramp would be to get there. As I wrote last week, our cases are actually higher now than a year ago. Our case rate among the vaccinated is almost the same as the case rate was last year when nobody was vaccinated, and about three times as much for the unvaccinated. And we were moving into the purple tier. So maybe we can talk about benchmarks for rolling back policies, but to be honest, I don't know why we aren't doing MORE: requiring vaccination with no opportunity for testing as an alternative, mandating masks indoors for unvaccinated, pushing for a third shot of the mRNA vaccines as normal course for vaccines instead of calling them "boosters" at all, having businesses post their safety plans, including any ventilation or lack thereof. It's not gonna happen but I wish it would. Instead, the news gives the anti-vax and anti-maskers massive segments, perpetuating this insanity. In the meantime, Nova is about to fly out to St. Louis for a week which I am NOT pleased about at all, and now she has this gross cough that as far as we know is not COVID but she'll be tested again at school tomorrow. Sometimes being really careful still isn't careful enough. COVID isn't the only gross illness going around this time of year. 

Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

CoViD-19: UK Kids' Surges Are Warning To US, CA | Why Thieves Are After Your Catalytic Converter | Fans Come Through For Rick Lyons | Acknowledging Mortality |


African Gray Parrot at San Diego Zoo (Taken 11.14.21)

For the greater part of the past two years, we've all been confronted with death in one way or another. Some of us lost people to COVID-19, some of us lost loved ones or friends to other causes and couldn't attend in-person funerals, the music scene certainly lost some giants, or maybe you've just seen or heard or read a story that hit you especially hard, besides all the coverage in our average news cycle. At the moment, my dad is in hospice, but also had a long stint of non-COVID illness leading to this moment when we couldn't visit at all. I currently have three acquaintances with terminal cancer. Death sometimes feels like it's all around us. 

And so yesterday when I read that Petra Mayer- the books editor of NPR- died, it just hit me. I mean, I don't have a radio anywhere in my house and we have SiriusXM in the car so we almost never even listen to terrestrial radio. I was not familiar with her work or writing, at least not by name. But here's this woman -- my age or close -- who three days before dying was geeking out on Twitter about Doctor Who; two weeks before, she's out at a Monkees concert; a month and a half she's celebrating a new union contract, a new podcast, pictures of her cat. And now, she's dead.

Whenever I stumble across a death, I'm a doom scroller. I want to know how or why someone died, particularly for what can be considered a premature death. According to NPR, her death was due to a pulmonary embolism. Causes can include birth control, smoking, high blood pressure, surgery, heart disease, but are actually pretty common. As many as 1-2/1,000 people a year develop blood clots. And can they happen from vaccines? 

Dr. DeSancho stresses that your risk of developing a vaccine-related blood clot is no greater than the general population’s overall blood clot risk. “The risk of getting a blood clot either venous or arterial from the COVID-19 vaccines is very minimal compared to the risk in the general population,” she says...among the more than 7 million recipients of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, there were just six possible cases of blood clots in the brain, she explains. “The risk of complication is extremely low,” she says. - Weill Cornell Medicine (7.14.21)

So it's sad, and we have to look ourselves in the mirror. We truly never know when we're living our last day. But I'm certainly not going to waste the time I have on some jackhole calling me a fat ugly hoe on Facebook as much as he was trying to antagonize and bait me. 

Instead, I'll tell you that Darren and I had a lovely afternoon. One of our kittens had a little cyst or something that we could tell was bothering her for about a week and it was growing and she was at the point of crying if we touched her at all, so we had to take her to B Street Veterinary Hospital. They were super busy and took her in (we called first), but told us it would be more than an hour before seeing her. To kill time, he and I picked up lunch at Giorgino's, pulled out our beach mat and had a picnic at 28th Street Park. When we finished and still hadn't heard from the vets, we decided to go to the San Diego Zoo to kill time. Shortly after we arrived (scoring the very first space in the very closest row to the entrance), we got a call from the doctor. We had to talk her through where the abscess was, she told me the treatment protocol, quoted me a price. The Zoo closed at 5, and right about then she called us for pickup, saying that she found the problem, drained it, gave Magnolia some light anesthesia, an antibiotic to clear up any residual infection, and $234 later, our kitty is clearly feeling much better and sleeping off her drugs, and we can rest easy knowing that she's no longer in pain. 

I know that vets are affected by the pandemic; if you just count the sheer amounts of pandemic adoptions, business is busier than ever, but the all women's practice at B Street has now come through for us twice this summer. I never mentioned it, but shortly after we put Kiwi down, we got a condolence card from their office with her paw prints on it. They have signs on the door asking people to be patient and think about the kind of vibes they bring into the office and I really hope people take heed. We have been so pleased with the care our furry babies have been given. Appointments are backlogged for weeks, but they leave flexibility in their schedules for emergent care. And I appreciate there are no surprises after treatment. Another expense we hadn't planned for but our babies are well worth it. 

Stay safe out there.