Thursday, December 31, 2020

CoViD-19 NYE | Mayor Gloria Demands COVID Enforcement | STFH NYE | Watch The Schizophonics Live Tonight | SD Reports 3 Additional B.1.1.7. UK Variant Cases |

Ficus (taken 5.12.2020)
It's New Year's Eve and we're hanging around the house waiting to watch The Schizophonics on Twitch while also watching celebrations from around the world. Did you see that sick drone light show in Scotland?? Imagine if we could end fireworks forever with that! My dog and all the dogs I know wouldn't be forced to find house hiding spaces all night long whenever some dork shoots off fireworks in our neighborhood. 
I feel like I wrote everything I wanted to say in my last post, so I'm gonna cut and get to hanging out with my family. I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and safe New Year's Eve and a better 2021. Darren and I used to go to Mexico for New Year's Day but obviously won't be doing that this year, so I'll be back and doing all this again tomorrow. xoxo. Adios, 2020.

2020 Diary & Photos: Lists Of Everything That Kept Us Thriving, Sane, and Finding Joy In This Year of Chaos

My birthday was one of many summer trips to San Diego Zoo (Taken 9.28.2020)

I started this post in August, and then things started opening up again and I thought that it was no longer relevant, but as everyone gets around to their end of year lists and reflecting on the year, I thought I'd revisit and finish the post once and for all....after the jump.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

CoViD-19 California Reveals Safe Schools For All Plan | UK COVID-19 Variant B.1.1.7 Found In San Diego | Local Flu Cases Rising |

 A summer photo sess at our favorite Balboa Park fountain (Taken 8.27.2020)

I'm watching the news and it is hilarious/terrifying how people cherry-pick what they heard from today's Governor's media briefings. There are parent groups that have wanted schools open all along directly countering parent groups and teacher unions who want the science to be followed before schools reopen. So just to be clear, what the governor said today was that a "county must have 7-day average case rate of less than 28 cases/100k people per day to implement plan." Our county is currently at 76.3 unadjusted and 38.1 adjusted so they're all getting in a tizzy prematurely. Remember we were teetering around 6.8-7.2 for over a month back in Oct/Nov so to move down below 28 (which is 4x the previous metric, by the way) is going to require less community spread, and as in the plan, the capacity for weekly asymptomatic testing for staff and students. We're pretty confident Nova will not be in school the remainder of this school year unless Biden's administration comes in like bulldogs and gets their shit together for vax distribution, mandated masking, and extensive increases in testing, PPE, and supply-chain needs. As Dr. Carlos del Rio of Emory University  on PBS Newshour said, "This is an incredibly complicated operation to conduct...Even for a credibly competent government, this is not an easy thing to do."
Things are still mostly chill around here, though I'm kinda freaking out because Nova had a slight fever and yacked today and as we know, we did go to my parents' house for Christmas. We think it's from some spoiled food she ate today, but we're keeping an eye on it and feeling like assholes, even though Christmas was her only time out of the house in like two weeks besides our nighttime dog walks. And are we supposed to test and isolate and mask in our own house now? You can read and watch so much but then you get a scare and feel paralyzed. It also made me wonder if anything else has been studied on food-borne transmission of COVID-19. The WHO and CDC still don't consider these risks, and there was some stuff from China about traces found on frozen food, but that was left amounting to nothing or not studied further, I don't really know. There are a ton of notes for today's State and County briefings but I'm going to get offline before my eyeballs pop out of my head. 
Be safe out there. xoxo

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

CoViD-19 Tuesday: Stay-At-Home Order Extended | Congressman-Elect Dies of COVID-19 | CoViD Variant Detected in CO |


So long ago before we knew what we know (Taken 4.29.2020)

It's been an exciting day around the household. Slept in. Woke up. Had burgers and homemade fries for lunch. Watched California media briefing. Hung outside until our property manager showed up and told us they have to get pest control to come out before the new neighbors can move in. (Just wait until it floods again, or in the summer when the ants take over, we wanted to tell him) We watched the evening news, I worked through my inbox, then we made amazing tacos, and now we're about to watch the second half of Hamilton. 
I was joking when I said it was an exciting day, but we're happy to be home and healthy and we can't really ask for more than that. 

Monday, December 28, 2020

CoViD-19: House Vetoes Covidiot-in-Chief, Dems Dare Senate To Act | How To Fight COVID At Home |

Masked Up at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 11.18.2020)

I guess part of the thing about writing a blog, or regular social media posts, is that I'm not a very motivated person when it comes to sending out holiday cards. I think I've sent cards one time as an adult and it's been a couple decades. But I love receiving them. We don't get many but I look forward to the ones I do get. And it was completely understandable that we got even fewer after this crazy year, but today we got that unmistakable writing from Susie and her beautiful card she designed from boygirlparty and all is right in the world. 

It's so hard to see it snowing in our local mountains and not race up to play in it. In winters past, we would drive up to Cuyamaca with the van, but last time Darren had a hard time with the chains because we were already in the thick of an active snowstorm before we put them on. Since we've barely used the van this year at all, I wouldn't really feel safe driving it up without a big inspection. We also have a problem with the headliner falling, which may be among the first things we spend our *massive giant* relief checks on. It seems like such an erroneous and unnecessary way to blow $300 but it's actually really unsafe and hard to drive when it's falling on your head. 

One other thing I had on my mind, and was reminded by this facebook post that's going viral which I'm pasting at the end of this email, was that on top of all of our efforts to stay home as much as possible, and wearing double masks and goggles when we have to go out and shop or do laundry, I've been following recommendations I've seen since early in the pandemic. I take daily Zinc, C, D3, B12 and a Probiotic. We bought a no-touch thermometer and do temperature checks everyday, sometimes multiple times a day because we bet who will be closest to 98.6. Today I re-upped a vitamin order from Costco and have a pulse oximeter on the way. We always, even pre-pandemic keep a fair amount of aspirin, Tylenol, and Advil on hand. We always keep a stash of Emergen-C, local farmer's market honey, and tea in the pantry. Thankfully none of us have had any symptoms or even contacts, as far as we know, though you can be certain we'd get tested if we ever thought otherwise. I read a tweet from a woman who tested positive and thinks she got it from her building's elevator and it's just a reminder that, even if you're alone, if you're in a confined space like an elevator, any bathroom that isn't your own, any retail or restaurant for pickup , you should at the very least be masked up. We'll be waiting our turns for our vaccines but won't hesitate to get them. I dunno. I'm not a doctor and have read enough to believe we're being as safe as possible, but even if we're wrong, I'd rather go overboard than not have done enough. Maybe I also rationalize that it offsets me and Darren's whiskey and beer speakeasy nights. Healthy living, except when we're not, ya know? 

CoViD-19 Monday Relief, Kinda | EDD Nightmares | Morning Briefings: WHO, NY, NJ, CA | "Surge Upon Surge Upon Surge"

My sister's puppy, Roxy (Taken 12.25.2020)

We did it. I finally gave in an bundled Disney+ into my Hulu account so that we could watch Soul. Darren has always been a fan of jazz, but recently discovered a trove of Thelonious Monk performances that were previously unavailable, so he's been watching and rediscovering old favorites incessantly the last couple months. We've also made Nova a fan of A Late Show with Stephen Colbert and band leader Jon Baptiste, so it was a no-brainer that we were going to watch the movie before we were filled with spoilers. So all I'll say is that we enjoyed it. This means I can finally see Hamilton, as I'm probably the last American who's never seen it, but don't expect me to watch any of the universes because I'm not interested.

For today, however, it's all media briefings. I watched the World Health Organization's presser and marked a couple links I think everyone should watch. Then, since I was already up early, I watched New York Governor Cuomo's briefing and then New Jersey's, caught the local news, and then watched Governor Newsom. I was a little disappointed he didn't address EDD and why it's been mostly down all day, he seemed pretty resigned today with the 'sobering' numbers. And I can't blame him. You can only shout at the abyss so many times, and it's clear that places like Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino and other super right wing trumpy areas are just going to keep defying the state orders without any enforcement. It's gross. Especially because it's mostly wealthier white people who think everything should open at the risk of the BIPOC service workers who are the ones getting sick and dying with higher frequency. Last night I was looking at this link that was on my COVID-19 resource page called Covid ActNow and that's probably why I've been up since 3am. 

Anyway, some of the numbers for the day haven't come in, namely the US numbers from The Tracking Project and the San Diego County Numbers, so I'll do another post later tonight. If you're on EDD and awaiting news, just hold tight...I'm sure we'll know more by the end of the day. 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

CoViD-19: Stay Home Sunday | California Reports 50,141 Cases, 1/3 Of New US Cases | HR 133 Signed Including COVID-19 Relief |


My parents have a strange collection of musical stuffed animals (Taken 12.25.2020)

It has been another cozy day at home. I'm in my Christmas pajamas and Santa snuggie and a pair of fuzzy socks. We've been enjoying the tamales we picked up from MexMart, and have been working through Christmas leftovers all weekend in our lounginess. I've even started enjoying football again, which is unexpected. Have you ever noticed how the enthusiasm level of the announcers for the Chiefs and Seahawks games is super elevated and they sound like they're being punished when they have to do Chargers games? It's kinda funny when you catch it. 

I'm posting a little earlier than usual because there was recent *breaking news* that the covidiot-in-chief signed HR133 which is the massive bill that keeps the government running through September, is a general spending bill, and the inclusion of the $900b stimulus/pandemic relief program. So it appears there was no reason for the delay except abject cruelty and political stunting. I'm watching the stupid dumbasses on KUSI and it is unbelievable they can even call themselves news. Their misrepresentation of information and facts makes me irate.  

Speaking of information, numbers are a little funny right now...some testing sites were down for the holidays so the San Diego positivity rate is really high, some Government departments were closed, and judging by current county job postings, San Diego is short of needed medical examiners and is even looking for a Public Health Medical Officer. There was below average national testing, resulting in California representing 1 in 3 cases nationally. The fact that three friends lost their dads in the past week makes me think that numbers will be really grim as the data catches up. Be safe out there, and don't forget that you're supposed to quarantine travelled during the holiday. 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

CoViD-19 Saturday: Stay At Home Order Extended | As UI Benefits Expire, Covidiot-In-Chief Golfs |

Mom & Dad and the grandkids (Taken 12.25.2020)

I don't have much to say today and not a lot of news. UI benefits ended today while the occupier went golfing. We watched Warriors on Netflix and it's super good and super intense but I'm kinda surprised there's no trigger warning at the beginning. Darren had to run out for dog food today, but otherwise it was a loungey all-day pajama day. 

Today's data and numbers are abnormal due to the Christmas holiday and fewer testing sites. I would presume that there were certainly some Christmas deaths, there's just non reporting due to the holiday. The stay-at-home order would have expired in a few days if our numbers were improved, but instead, the new order says we'll be under the stay-at-home order until all regions in the state are out of it, so we're gonna be here awhile. 

California Christmas Diary & Photos: Sun, Family Fun, and Seventy Degree Perfection | Our Sunshine Tax Pays Off

My cousin made custom "Maybe Next Year" sweatshirts for all the squad (12.25.2020)

I already gave my explanation about why I'd be spending Christmas with my family in spite of warnings, so I'm not going to justify or make excuses again. It was a perfect San Diego day, so we stayed longer than planned as we could more freely hang apart outside. I'm pretty sure there were pre-discussions about me being really anal or the 'mask nazi' in the family because anytime I came within 10 feet of anyone, if their mask had dropped beneath their nose or it was off so they could eat or drink, they'd get these big eyes at me like they were in trouble. And that's okay. If I'm mean or stern because I'm looking out for all of our health, I'll take those labels. Because it was as perfect a day as we could ask with the current circumstances. Photos and more after the jump. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

CoViD-19 Christmas Data

My sister, niece, and puppy Roxy (Taken 12.25.2020)

Merry Christmas, Everyone. It's a heavy Christmas for a lot of people, particularly the people missing the 321,992 known deaths from COVID-19 and the nearly 120,000 people in the hospital today, and people who couldn't be with loved ones today. 
I'm gonna skip all the articles and reading today, but the data is still worth sharing. I'll save the rest of Christmas for a separate post.  Stay healthy, my friends. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

CoViD-19 Christmas Eve | California Surpasses 2 Million Cases | GOP Blocks Relief | Tonight: Exile On Kettner |

Attempting to recreate the photo from 2014 (Taken 12.25.2019)

So I already confessed to having gone to Vons today, but now we're home watching the news and it's a reminder that we should be terrified to be out in public, when the news is interviewing travelers and they say things like, "I'm not worried, plus I've got my number one fan on my side," (while pointing up to ? Jesus? God?) I hate to break it to that 60+ year old black woman, but statistics are not on her side here. 
Since I already got my other post out today, I'm doing my daily data a little early, but the County has only partially updated, so I'll throw in hospitalizations and ICUs if they update later. For now, we're enjoying Christmas Eve around home. I made a huge breakfast of bacon, eggs, hash browns, and tortillas, we watched Love Actually, and now we have my giant rib roast in the oven, driving the dog crazy from the delicious smells coming from the kitchen. 
Don't forget that tonight is Exile on Kettner Blvd, the Casbah's annual Stones tribute night, and it will be free on Twitch starting at 7:30 (donations welcome and encouraged.) 
Peace out, y'all. Merry Christmas Eve!

CoViD-19 Christmas: "Stay Home. Don't Travel. But if you do..." | The Mistakes of Thanksgiving | The Mixed Messages of Christmas |

 A Family Christmas While Dad Was In The Hospital (Taken 12.25.2014)

Christmas is tomorrow and everyone has obviously made their own pro/con list about how to celebrate the holidays. And it is so hard. There are so many mixed messages. There are stay-at-home orders and restrictions and mask requirements and unenforceable quarantine guidelines. We know we should stay home, but we create our own loopholes. Every news story and politician and health expert sounds the same. "Stay home. Don't travel. But if you do..."
It's easy for me to say that no way I would get on a plane or a train or even public transportation during this pandemic. Like I might feel safe in a plane, but not in the airport. I might feel safer on a roadtrip, but I don't think public bathrooms are safe. During the pandemic, I haven't even allowed us to be anywhere away from our house long enough that we would have to use public bathrooms. Even with back and forth restrictions and some loosening over the summer, me and Darren haven't worked, we haven't been to any restaurants besides grabbing takeout about a dozen times between the same four spots, and my last time at the Casbah was March 13. 

Maybe it's over the top. Maybe it's not enough. 

But my family lives 10 minutes away, and I've definitely had my share of distanced/masked/mostly outside visits with them. 

Still, I follow the data. I know that the virus is everywhere. I know that people are openly defying stay-at-home orders. The news showed a grocery worker practically in tears because people are going and getting tested across the street and then coming into her store for groceries. She rightfully believes that if you think you need to be tested, you should be quarantining if nothing else, at least until you get your results. And then there are people who are going out or working when they actually have symptoms and it's astounding.

But we're still doing Christmas with my parents. I'll tell you why, after the jump.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

CoViD-19 California Sets Highest Daily Death Record | Stay-At-Home Lawsuit On Hold Until January: Stay Remains In Place | I'll Take "One-Term Lunatics" for $2,000, Alex (RIP)

Goofy Ass Picture of Me and My Sister at Sea World Christmas in the Before Times 12.13.2019

I fell out of the habit of sharing what I'm reading and watching because I'm still reading Becoming by Michelle Obama, my checkout of Barack Obama's A Promised Land is going to run out before I can listen to the whole thing, and everything I've been watching on streaming has been news, media briefings, Bravo or just crappy brain junkfood. I thought I'd be 50 cheesy Christmas movies in by now, but we don't have Lifetime or Hallmark, and the ones on other services have been meh, though I loved Jingle Jangle, Happiest Season was pretty good on Hulu, and You Are My Home was not typical sappy fare, pretty tragic actually, but good. I started watching a movie from the early oughts the other day and had to turn it off because Chris Brown was in it. I don't have to make a big to-do about it, but I realized just how many actors and musicians I won't watch or listen to because they're such pieces of shit in real life. The list is long, my friends. 

Anyhow, Christmas is only two days away and it is so hard not to run out to Costco and Vons and Target and Big Lots and Ross and buy all the things, but we're trying not to be part of the problem over here. It's like when you're in traffic complaining about traffic without acknowledging that you are the traffic. I'm also a little sad because we love spending the holidays at the Zoo or Safari Park, but that is obviously not an option right now either, and probably won't be well into February or March the way things are going. As it is, I'm in a major quandary if we should even go to my parents' house on Friday, but I'm saving that for a separate post because the decision making is really taxing. 

Today Governor Newsom did a short briefing before having a little conversation with Dr. Shirley Weber and Alex Padilla, so notes on that are below. After watching all of that, my neighbor dropped by with her dog so we chatted for a bit (masked/10 feet apart/outside) and then I watched the County's Media Briefing. They had an administrator from Scripps health as a guest and he was much more straight about the crisis around us and it is dark. Meanwhile, I said to keep an eye out for the Pacer's vs San Diego County/Gavin Newsom/State of California Case (Superior Court Case #37-2020-00038194-CU-CR-CTL) and I'm not gonna spend money to get court documents nor do I really understand legal speak, but if I'm reading it correctly, today's hearing was canceled ("ex parte was vacated") and the next "motion hearing" isn't until January 22, 2021, so strip clubs and restaurants, for the time being, must follow the current stay-at-home orders. I think. I'm also gonna guess that somewhere in the ROA (Register of Actions) is where KPBS got ahold of the outbreak information (if it wasn't just from the county with a wink, wink and a 'you didn't get this from me.') I can't be sure, both are just suspicions. Anyway, lots of stuff today. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

CoViD-19: QuaranTuesday | Virus Mutations Raises Red Flags | San Diego Case Rate: 36.3/100k | CA Names Padilla to Senate, Dr. Weber to Sec of State

Hotel Del Coronado Christmas (Taken 12.28.2019)

Another day at home. Our apartment management guy came by to let us know the neighbors will be moving in...the delay was because there were some mice that needed to be dealt with. I guess that's what happens when you leave an apartment unused for 6 months. Fortunately we had someone come a few years ago who closed up the 'mouse superhighway' so we haven't had a problem, though I know from my neighbors that this is a huge community problem.

I also talked to my sister and got the scoop on her father-in-law, but then we kinda got in a fight because she just got tested on Saturday, and even though they're negative, they should still be quarantining. Instead, they let him stay the night, and then today she's over at my parents' house after running errands, which for her usually means a dozen stores. It's like, how many risks are you going to take and bring into my parents' house? We'll still plan on the outdoor Christmas thing and leave if it gets weird or unsafe or uncomfortable. 

I was waiting all afternoon for the Dr. Ghaly briefing but never found one. Instead, we watched Biden's address, sat out in the sun for awhile, ate some of the no-bake cheesecake I made last night, and then I allowed myself a lovely afternoon nap while Darren watched the NBA and Nova made sugar cookies and frosting from my Betty Crocker cookbook which I've finally shared with her. We will definitely have to make some supply runs, but hoping that we can get through the weekend before it's necessary. Darren and I plan on a speakeasy night so I'm gonna wrap it up now. Beware the performative politics out there. What matters is deeds, not words. Keep an eye out tomorrow for new information on the strip club/restaurant case, news on 45 trying to performatively veto the relief bill, a briefing from the state to extend Stay-At-Home orders, and a briefing from the County. 

"Our darkest days are ahead of us, not behind us." - President-elect Biden (12.22.2020)

Monday, December 21, 2020

CoViD-19: Stay Home Monday | Winter Solstice & The Great Conjunction | KPBS Discloses SD Outbreak Locations | Relief Bill Passes Both Houses

Hotel Del Coronado Christmas Tree (Taken 12.28.2019)

Monday was the winter solstice and the date of the great conjunction with Jupiter and Saturn so close that they appear as the "Christmas Star." It was really pretty to watch the planets appear closer and closer over the past couple weeks, even if I couldn't capture it adequately with my camera. We had another day of not doing much...sitting in the yard, watching our daily visit from a hummingbird, stopping my cat from pouncing on our yard bunny. 

We watched the long briefing from Newsom, the always depressing PBS Newshour, and now I'm filling my brain with the junkfood that is Bravo. Darren has stepped up his cooking these days and his terriyaki chicken thighs are *chef's kiss*. It's hard to believe that Christmas is just a few days away, and while I'm usually a little bummed that we don't get a white Christmas, or even a gray and cold one, I'm not complaining this year, since we plan on staying in my parents' backyard the entirety of our visit. On the plus side, my sister and the girls' tests all came back negative, but her father-in-law decided to just show up unannounced so that could really skewer all the plans. I don't mean to be rude, but dude drove from Arizona unannounced. Not only should my sister's family be quarantining, but how incredibly rude anytime, let alone a pandemic. I don't really know how she's handling it, but I wouldn't let the guy in my house or near my kids and if he's planning on joining in on Christmas, we'll be staying home after all. Seriously. WTF? People are unbelievable. Which leads me to my super-rant. After the jump. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

CoViD-19: Relief Is Coming, Aid For Venues | Vaccine Rollout & Allergy Guidance | Virus Mutations Raise Concerns | SD LEAs Violate Disclosure in Tactical Gear Acquisition

Teddy Bear Christmas At Hotel Del Coronado in the Before Times (Taken 12.28.2019)

I have so much to talk about today, but I'm gonna put a lot after the jump, because today was actually a lovely day. I'm trying to reset my circadian rhythm so I didn't let myself sleep all day as I had been from our DDD experience last week. I woke up to Nova and Darren in the kitchen, and she was inspired by the bag of yeast I bought to make pizza dough from scratch. I spent some time outside, the weather perfect, and I went through some things to donate from the studio, put away laundry, and I messed around shooting Jupiter and Saturn at dusk. For the pizza makers, it ended up being about a six hour process and I wasn't super happy that D had to run to Vons for mozzarella and other stuff because I'm trying to make us fully quarantine so we can do backyard Christmas at my mom's, but I told him that's it: if we run out of stuff, we run out, or we can do grocery delivery, but there will be no leaving the house for us besides late night dog walks. 

Meanwhile, I caught up with my sister on the phone, and she told me that a girl from my niece's soccer team tested positive. The girl hadn't been to practice since Tuesday, and they've been doing outdoor, separated, workout only practices, but (a) I was so glad we pulled Nova from her team when we did because it was easy to see how the rules slip and (b) it made me mad because her program (though not her specific team) were the ones shown over and over on the news demanding the reopening of youth sports and competitive play. My sister and the girls found out on Saturday and all went and got tested, so hopefully they'll get their results tomorrow, but they're on lockdown now, too, or as my sister said in soccer speak, the DL. 

More and more friends are testing positive or knowing people who are sick. I found out a college pal who lives in London is a long-hauler after getting COVID in March and her symptoms are debilitating and devastating. Another friend's dad died last week. And then I caught myself fighting with someone on Facebook who is literally making up her own statistics, fighting with nurses and people who work in hospitals and morgues that they are all just exaggerating the numbers and danger. It is maddening. California is quite literally the world epicenter at the moment. If you think you don't know anyone adversely affected by COVID-19 at this point, you're are just not paying attention. 

Anyway, lots to get to today, so all of that after the jump. 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

CoViD-19 Stay Home Saturday | County Sets Weekly Records with 18,016 New Cases,129 COVID-19 Associated Deaths | Momentum Builds To Audit McConnell Election

Spreckels Organ Pavilion at Christmas (Taken 12.6.2019)

Obviously this whole restaurant thing has made me really mad. Local media uses words like "whiplash" and "yo-yo" to talk about the opening and closing of restaurants, but the stay at home order was never lifted. The county had already voted to appeal if the judge's ruling went against the order. When the state AG stepped in last week with a cease-and-desist, it should've been obvious that the state will continue the fight. Restaurants who thought it would be safe to open, when their headlines are back to back with nightly local and national records being set for deaths and positive cases and the lack of hospital beds and nurses and ventilators, you have to wonder what kind of business acumen some of these people even have. 

Meanwhile, my feed is full of friends who tested positive, or who are dealing with someone in their own lives who is sick, and in a couple cases, losing their own relatives to complications from COVID-19. And then I get mad all over again, because people are fighting for the right to go to a tasting room, and I'm just hoping that Darren stays safe and healthy when he has to unavoidably go to the laundromat to do our laundry. And I keep reading articles or posts from people who "took every precaution" and still got sick. One story was about a couple who "needed a break" so they took a weekend trip out of their home state and ended up sick. Hate to break it to you, but if you're traveling, you're not "taking every precaution." San Diego reported 129 deaths this week, breaking the last record of 96 set last week, and 58 the week before that, which surpassed the highest death weeks in July with 56 and 55 deaths. 

Besides all that, we've been home, besides Darren doing all of our laundry, hopefully enough to get us through for awhile. This evening I was experimenting with shooting Jupiter and Saturn in anticipation for the "Great Conjunction" on Monday. I don't have great gear, but the camera we got this spring has a wi-fi function with an app so I can use the tripod and change setting and snap the pic with my phone which is kinda fun. 
Be good out there. And make sure to look up to the sky every once in awhile. 

Saturday: Casbah Hosts Merch Pop-Up At Vinyl Junkies Record Shack From Noon-4pm!!


On Saturday, December 19, the Casbah will be hosting an outdoor merchandise pop-up in the driveway of Vinyl Junkies Record Shack to get all of your last minute holiday purchases. It'll happen from noon - 4pm. Drop by and say hi to Tim Mays, Luci, Ted, Doom, and Will who will be manning the fortress. Please wear your masks to protect yourselves and our staff. 

Vinyl Junkies Record Shack is located at 2235 Fern Street, San Diego, CA 92104

CoViD-19: Appeals Court Says Don't Go Opening Just Yet | SD Reports Record Cases & Hospitalizations | White House Retribution? Slashes Vaccine Shipments To 27 States | Orgs Call For Implementation of Crisis Standards Of Care


Silversun Pickups at The Observatory North Park (Taken 12.17.2019)

It was a super intense news day today, so I definitely regretted not getting through all of Thursday's inbox because it just piled on to today's. The big news was that the appeals court issued a stay on Judge Wohlfeil's ruling, meaning the restaurants and strip clubs may not be open. Meanwhile, in evidence of wishful thinking and overenthusiasm and a general lack of or disregard for COVID-19 safety, restaurants rushed to rehire staff and order product and reopen their doors, when they could've just thought for one minute that maybe they should wait and see what happens and honor the stay-at-home order because it's the right thing to do. When they show these jackasses on the news this weekend complaining about the yo-yo, just remember that they should've known better. These cases are happening all over the country, brought by lawsuits from churches and small businesses including gyms, restaurants, bars, and salons, so ultimately the states will, at some point, have to codify exactly what powers Governors and health officials can restrict under emergency situations and health crises, and what can be specifically considered as either, and we can probably expect that the Supreme Court will have final say on that down the road, hopefully long after this thing is all over. But in the meantime, just look at these numbers! It is CRAZY. With today's numbers, a Californian is dying from complications of COVID-19 every 5 minutes.
So yeah, I read a lot today and watched too much news, and then I saw this story on NBC News (starts at 11:58) about Termaine Hicks and I just broke down sobbing. He was trying to help someone and ended up shot and jailed for 19 years and is still able to smile and look forward and I wish everyone would watch it and just try and get a little perspective. 

It was also December 18, of 2019 when the House debated impeachment. As Heather Cox Richardson pointed out, at the time, Adam Schiff asked somewhat rhetorically, "How much damage can Donald Trump do between now and the next election?” and I guess now we know. It is so much worse than I could have ever imagined. 

Stay safe, stay home. 

Friday, December 18, 2020

San Diego Symphony Presents Free Livestream of Noel Noel with Narration By Jason Mraz

San Diego Symphony Presents Noel Noel Free Livestream
Friday, December 18, 2020 at 7pm

This is straight from San Diego Symphony's Newsletter, including their images. It felt worthy of sharing. It's like the before times when I posted about local music and arts events. So, so long ago.




San Diego Symphony Orchestra

Timothy Semanik, conductor

Reserve Your Livestream Here.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

CoViD-19: We're Doing This All Wrong | Some San Diego Restaurants Defy State Orders Under Judicial Cover

Ficus Before the DDD (Taken 12.6.2020)

It's after 10pm and I really need a speakeasy night, so I'm gonna save some of today's reading and links and emails for tomorrow. Tonight we're celebrating because Ficus is feeling much better and gave us a 'yule log' and compared to the past three days, that was certainly an assuring sign. And not to be mean, but the new tenants didn't show up today, so I don't know what's going on there, but for now the space is still just ours and I'm pretty stoked about that. We went on a dog walk just after the rain for the first time in days and now mama needs some whiskey. 

I spent a lot of time railing against the strip-club ruling, so my rant and today's data is all after the jump. I'll catch up with you tomorrow. 

UPDATE 12/18/2020: 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

CoViD-19: After Ruling, County Stops Violation Enforcement | Hospitals Induce Ambulance Diversion | County Down To 24 Staffed ICU Beds | More Than 50% Of SD ICU Patients Are COVID |

My Fam Celebrating Dad's Birthday in the Before Times (Taken 9.8.2019)

It's been a rough week. My dog doesn't seem to be getting better, so I was on DDD (doggie diarrhea duty) again last night to make sure she could get out when she needed to. Our yard currently looks like someone was trying to prospect for gold because you can't just hose it down or pick it up, sometimes you literally have to dig up a chunk of yard to throw away. This is extra unfortunate because we found out that the downstairs apartment has been rented and new tenants will be moving in on Thursday. Not gonna lie, having the whole yard to ourselves the majority of the pandemic has been awesome and we've never had to share the space before because it was so dumpy, none of the past residents made an effort to use the space. (I mean, there was literally a homeless person who the former handyman gave permission to sleep in my yard for a spell.) It's weird to think all the effort we made to make it nice may have actually been a selling point in how insanely high they have raised the rent in the past few years. 

Today the county had a media briefing and for the first time ever, they cut off questions for time constraints, but really I think the final questions were text questions from the asshole Mike McKinnon, Trumper and owner of KUSI, probably asking about today's court ruling, which stated that there was not enough evidence that strip clubs and restaurants were sources of infection and therefore could not be forced to close. I've said before, I'm so sorry for all the businesses and people suffering right now. We are in the same boat. But this is a public health crisis, with 200% and 300% and more, greater than anytime in the spring and summer, and the state telling us to stay home shouldn't be overruled. I will not patronize any businesses violating the order now or into the future, and while that isn't much of a threat or a boycott, I hope other sensible people follow suit.

Perhaps the County and State, in their appeal, will actually have to surrender to the other lawsuit, which demands identification and information about outbreaks. Like if I was a person who would go to Awaken church, then grab some stuff from Home Depot, then decide to relax for a couple hours at Pacers, am I really reporting the Pacers part to my contact tracer when I test positive? Just look at the weekly COVID Watch. In the past two weeks, 4,579 cases claimed they had no community exposure...55.4%, and since June, that number is 34,003, equaling 53.6%. They didn't just catch it out of thin air (unless it was aerosols in a GODDAMN COMMUNITY SETTING.) It makes me so mad. We could've been in such a different place with better leadership and frankly, better citizenry. But here we fucking are. Christmas is going to be so, so different. Let's accept it and do the things they've been telling us to do for months. 

CoViD-19: SD County Tops 52.7 Cases Per 100k Residents | Governor Gets Grim: State Activated 'Coroners Mutual Aid & Mass Fatality Program' | State Issues Sports Guidance |

California Sea Lion Pup (Taken 9.14.2020)

I had such a lovely Monday night. After Nova went to bed and while Darren was working on music with his bandmates (via chatroom and texts) in the speakeasy, I watched a cheesy Christmas movie on Netflix (Christmas In California), drank some egg nog, and painted some ornaments Nova and I made a couple weeks ago. 

Today I decided I had to go on a 'therapy cruise' which I haven't done in ages, partially because for years I didn't have access to a car and partially because it's ain't really cool to just go burning gas around the city for no particular reason, but these are not normal times and one has to do what one can to maintain sanity. I've been reading Becoming by Michelle Obama and I had put holds on Obama's book, but I didn't expect to get it so quickly with the year plus waiting lists at some libraries, but the County library came through with the audiobook. Darren came with me but maybe he didn't believe me when I said I was literally just going to drive around and listen to the Barack Obama audiobook because he was just wasn't feeling it. I'll go alone next time, but next time probably won't be anytime soon. Still, it was nice seeing some of my favorite places, even if we didn't get out of the car. 

By the time I got home, I watched part of the state media briefing before we finished The Wilds on Amazon. We finished watching the briefing after Nova went to bed. It was really intense. I found the page with the California Forecast models and it is terrifying. Earlier in the day, I found out an acquaintance's parents are both in dangerous shape after contracting COVID-19 in their assisted living facility, I'm starting to see more and more people with family members sick or dying. I'm also seeing friends on my socials with family members dying of non-COVID causes, which is also scary because it seems that the level of care could slip as staffing becomes strained and also people are not going to hospitals and doctors when they should because they are scared of being admitted and being alone, or worse, dying alone. Today's media briefing touched on this...reporters really want to catch Governor Newsom or Secretary Ghaly saying things like they were saying in Italy in the spring-- that doctors are going to have to start deciding who is worth saving. They won't say it, but Dr. Ghaly came close, "the point where we have to make some hard decisions on who might receive care," but didn't really finish the sentence other than continuing the non-pharmaceutical interventions we've been doing to prevent getting there. Meanwhile, there's the infuriating story about the White House security official who got really, really sick, is now an amputee, and his friends have organized a Go Fund Me. Like WHAT?? Dude works at the WHITE HOUSE. How is every expense, down to the penny, not covered??? I feel like I'm less afraid now of catching Sars-CoV-2 than I am of the crushing medical bills that could come if I were to be in that unlucky 12% who require hospitalization (or worse.)

So we shall continue the staycation to the extent we can. It pains me because it's pupping season at La Jolla Cove and Casa Beach and I haven't been since we pulled Nova from soccer, but I'll wait until this thing starts to see some control. Hopefully with vaccinations beginning, the new administration coming in January, and that long gap of holidays between New Year's and Memorial Day that we start to see some drastic reductions in cases. Until then, be safe out there. 

Monday, December 14, 2020

CoViD-19: Vaccine Distribution Begins | Biden Presidency Confirmed By Electors | Covered California Deadline Extended | Pandemic Year 1: What Do We Know?


The crew at Sea World Holiday Preview (Taken 12.13.2019)

The unromantic side of pet ownership is that sometimes they get sick. I don't know what's going on with Fi but I ended up staying up all night so she could go outside every hour on the hour last night. That means that I stayed up all night until Darren and Nova were awake to take over. That gave me a lot of time for doomscrolling and perusing Nextdoor to see if anyone was talking about the eternal mentally disturbed screaming that happens in our alley almost nightly. Nobody was talking about that, but I did find a free couch that we got excited about, made contact with the giver who told me we could come by for it tonight, and when I reached out again at the time she said, she had given it away to someone else. Ugh.

I did finally get some sleep though, then had a little bit of a panic because I realized I still need to investigate my Covered California options. Fortunately they've extended the application deadline for January 1 coverage to December 30, and general open enrollment ends January 31. So I may actually delay and hope there's some sort of federal extension of CARES by then. 

There is something awesome about day-sleeping though. When you wake up, all the news has happened. The electoral college confirmed Biden's win, people gave their thoughts and prayers for the anniversary of Sandy Hook, vaccination distribution and inoculation began across the US, and according to the Johns Hopkins University dashboard at 8:28pm, the US is at currently at 300,477 deaths. (The COVID Tracking project is always a little behind the JHU dashboard.) Just another day in this eternal staycation. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

CoViD-19: Staying Home | The Scarlet 'C' | Megan Thee Stallion Is A Goddess | Pandemic Staycation Mentality |

Megan Thee Stallion at Dia De Los Deftones Taken 11.2.2019

I never expected to be obsessed with Megan Thee Stallion, but I guess the pandemic has us all doing things we never expected. She was on Colbert and Corden last week and now Darren has been doing her "Body" dance and it is endlessly entertaining. It's funny because it was just over a year ago that she performed at Dia De Los Deftones and I didn't really get her whole vibe, but I'm feeling it now. 
Our staycation/nesting has continued. Last night I put Christmas decorations on the catio/balcony, enjoyed some spiked egg nog, and watched Bad Moms Christmas. 
Today Darren walked to Pancho Villa and loaded us up on Mexican delights. The fridge is now stocked with salsa and tortillas and ceviche, then he made a full Mexican feast with carne asada tacos, Spanish rice, and beans. Now we're cozied up watching more episodes of The Wilds with the kid and I'll probably go back outside tonight to watch Geminids. I kinda wanted to go to the coast tonight for the king tides but it's too easy to just stay home forever and see it as a staycation. This pandemic has really shown the great divide of the haves and have-nots, and for sure there are people faring better than others, but I'm coming to realize we can't beat ourselves up with guilt over what we do have. Give if you can, spend if you can, donate if you can, support small businesses if you can, and be grateful for what you have, but we all have to cut ourselves a break and let go of the guilt about it. I hope your staycations are going well, too. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

CoViD-19 ICU Bed Capacity Dwindling | County Reports Record Weekly Deaths At 96 | Stay Home |

The Crew at the San Diego Zoo in the Before Times (11.29.2019)

It's been a pretty scary week out in the world, so we have definitely been nesting and sticking home, reluctantly doing errands when we have to...getting provisions at Costco a few nights ago and sending Darren to pick up dog food. We try to time Saturday nights are actually a really good time to hit stores like Petco, because people in the world are still out running around doing fun stuff despite every region  in the state except NorCal being under stay-at-home orders, even if the Bay Area is preventative. 
We've started watching The Wilds on Amazon, so I'm gonna get back to some family time. Be safe out there. Hopefully we can start seeing some good news soon.

Friday, December 11, 2020

CoViD-19: San Diego Hits 7 Triggers, Sets New Records For Cases, Deaths | Adopt A Husky | Change State Code: Insects ARE Wildlife | The Covidiot In Chief Is A Loser. Again.

Nova at the San Diego Zoo (Taken 11.19.2020)

It's so easy to fill time, I don't know how anyone is ever bored. Me and Darren hung out in the speakeasy super late last night so naturally I slept in today and woke up to Darren and Nova making me breakfast...Pillsbury crescent rolls baked with cream cheese and blueberries inside and a fruit salad with bananas, mandarin oranges, apples, blueberries, and raspberries. We ate outside and then we snuck into the empty lot next door and threw the football around for awhile. It's usually locked up but some contractors were looking over it today and left the gate open so we took advantage. We finished the tree, watched some TV, I worked through my bazillion daily emails, and Darren has taken over dinner duties and made us some awesome salads and burgers.  

Besides all that, it was a hectic news day, with the FDA approving the EUA for Pfizer's vaccine at the last possible moment, the Supreme Court rejecting the covidiot-in-chief's latest attack on democracy but not before dozens of wackadoodle republicans jumped on board in support, and COVID records were set all over the place, with the highest new cases in San Diego, and correspondingly, the highest deaths this week with a day of data still due to report. It's really grim. So we're trying to do our best to keep spirits up around here, and I hope you are, too. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego Will Pass 100,000 Total Cases On Friday, Sees Highest Weekly Deaths Of Pandemic | US Posts Second Consecutive Day of 3,000+ Deaths | China Recommends Depends | Save The Cheese

Backyard time with Ficus (Taken 12.6.2020)

Last night I had a hard time sleeping. For one, there was a fire down my alley in the middle of the night that was pretty loud for awhile. I was also stewing on a predicament, but then I was up early, dealt with it head on, and gracefully got out of the awkward situation and more importantly, got some sleep. 
By afternoon, it was pretty cold outside so I didn't stay outside long, but I did finish my wreath, and we made more progress on the tree, which I'll probably finish later tonight. I also made my Costco run. We're doing alright on paper goods, but I still make sure to pick up a package of shop towels in the absence of regular paper towels, and I was a little bummed I couldn't find Disarrono. It's a little sweet treat I like to keep around in winter. 
Anyway, the Pfizer vaccine looks like it's gonna get approved, China is recommending diapers over using airplane lavatories, and the US had another day of over 3,000 deaths. Meanwhile, San Diego has reported 59 deaths this week, from 12/5-12/9, and still have two days of data to include. This passes the highest weekly deaths, 58, which was set last week, beating the two highest weeks (56 & 55) in July.  

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego County Expands Grant Eligibility | Local Hospitals At 6% Staffed ICU Available | US Reports 3,000 Deaths In One Day

Pics with the fam at The Old Globe's Dr. Seuss Tree (Taken 11.23.2020)

One thing I remembered last night that I wanted to mention yesterday was that in one day, more than 500 people were admitted to California hospitals with COVID-19. And while everyone is bickering about what sectors are the greatest vectors for transmission, yesterday's COVID-19 Watch should be concerning because 52.9% of new cases in the past two weeks are listed as "no potential community exposure setting reported," which I've said before is either misremembering, willful denial, or straight up lying. And the people who are reporting potential exposures, ranged from 1 to 14 settings visited.  

Today the US passed 3,000 deaths in one day, but apparently we're all cool with that. Except the LA County Health Officer, who was in tears at her media briefing, announcing 75 county deaths, their highest one-day number yet. 

For us, that meant another day of staying home. Me and Nova finished making our wreaths outside and enjoyed the sunset. I will need to do a Costco run soon, but I put it off tonight so we could watch The Grinch musical on NBC. I thoroughly enjoyed it, perhaps especially appreciative of the broadcast because we aren't in the financial demo to have ever seen it at The Old Globe. I've got some Christmas lights I've committed to putting on the tree tonight, so I'm gonna wrap it up, but hope everyone is doing okay out there. 

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

CoVID-19 US Passes 14 Million Cases, 100,000 Hospitalizations | San Diego County Assessed at 27cases/100k People, Reports 26 Deaths |

Christmas Tree Stand Placement Balancing (Taken 12.6.2020)

I'm gonna keep it short today. We haven't left the house since Saturday besides a couple walks around the neighborhood, so I don't have much to say anyway. Nova and I have been crafty...last week we made homemade ornaments, today we started making wreaths by upcycling some chain link fence from the yard, and will hopefully finish tomorrow. 
Now that we're in the stay-at-home mode, news isn't really changing except for the continually climbing numbers and the exhausting debate of whether or not the order is appropriate or helpful. I just can't with it all. Notes from Dr. Ghaly's media briefing are after the jump, and I'll probably watch more of the Board of Supervisors meeting when I find some time. 
We'll keep doing what we're doing and hope that people out in the world do the same, but if not, thankfully we are minimizing our contact with any of those people. I hope you all can do the same. 

Monday, December 07, 2020

CoViD-19 Spreading Like Wildfire | State To Deploy Exposure Notification App | San Diego River Not Doing Well: Earns D Grade | Pandemic Fatigue Hits Healthcare Workers The Most

Taken at San Diego Zoo Safari Park 11.11.2019

The stay-at-home order went into effect today and the outrage online is hard to avoid. I actually snoozed a group I'm in because the admin--who works for a restaurant--had been kinda outta control on his posts. Instead of engaging, I write here, take it or leave it. (haha) Instead of fighting about it all over there, this is what I know to be true: the pandemic is raging like wildfire. In the November issue of Wired, there's this fascinating article about the science of wildfires and how the science of fire has changed. There's a "dangerous phenomenon called plume-driven fire, in which a fire’s own convective column of rising heat becomes hot enough and big enough to redirect wind and weather in ways that can make the fire burn much hotter and, with little warning, spread fast enough to trap people as they flee." 
This is where we are in this pandemic. Things that were considered low-risk before are no longer so. There are a million things that could've and should've happened to avoid us getting to this place, but hindsight is 20/20. Bars should not have ever reopened. Mixed households should not have been allowed to dine together. The state could have required all stores, restaurants, salons, gyms to have a sign-in system. The exposure notification app that is finally rolling out on Thursday, CA Notify, should've been deployed months ago. 
For people who did lose work with the latest order, you should immediately file for EDD and CalFresh, businesses should be exploring all of the new measures, grants, loans, and tax holds from the state, plus all of the County and City offerings, too. I know it's really hard out there, but if we can just hang on until inauguration, we may begin to see some relief.  
There's a lot of reading and media briefing notes after the jump. 

Sunday, December 06, 2020

CoViD-19 Stay-At-Home Sunday | Health Care Worker Disillusionment | Whole House Organizing & Cleaning

Spreckels Organ Pavilion Balboa Park (Taken 12.6.2020)

Today was such a nice day. I guess that whole thing they say about 'acceptance' is true, and I felt really refreshed and unburdened today. I woke up motivated to assess all of the projects I'd like to get done while we're confined to the stay-at-home order and unlike in March, I'm looking forward to the nesting, because we know so much more now and can know that this order will likely continue through January and fill that time with things other than worry and anxiety. 

We ended up running out shopping last night. We picked up a Christmas tree at the outdoor lot at Home Depot. It was kind of crowded...obviously others had the same plan as us, so this year we didn't untie any trees to inspect, we just grabbed one sight unseen (she called to us) and paid for it and didn't wait in the long line for the one guy with a chainsaw to cut the bottom off or clip branches. We grabbed some cut branches for wreath making, and while Darren was tying it to the car, I ran into the store and bought a couple small Christmas-tree shaped tabletop rosemary bushes and some paper towels, which they had an abundance of. 

From there we went to Grocery Outlet and the plan was for Darren and Nova to wait in the car, but who knew that the store would be completely empty at 8pm on a Saturday night the night before a shutdown?? (That's a joke. I'm sure everyone was out raging instead.) We were the only ones in the store, grabbed everything we could think we could possibly need for the coming weeks (though there will still be more Costco trips in the near future) and moseyed home. 

That means today was planning to put the Christmas tree inside, which involved building a small platform to elevate it from the cats from an old stool and wood we had around the yard. I also did a deep dive into my closet and got it much more organized than it has been in a long while. And now I have a growing list of all the things I hope to get done with this abundance of time on my hands. Plus, I'll continue to keep doing all of this here, if for nothing else to remember what this whole mess was like and how we endured it. 

Saturday, December 05, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego County Clarifies Stay-At-Home Order | New County Record High Daily Cases 2,287 | COVID-19 Is Leading Cause of Death This Week

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Wild Holiday (Taken 12.27.2019)

I know that I often come off as an know-it-all and a busy-body and even sometimes a karma's-a-bitch asshole, so I'm sorry that I get so frustrated and finger-waggy. I really do feel sorry for everyone who has been so affected by this pandemic, I mean, all of us have been affected, but some among us more than others. I saw a friend who, after losing their business, is now selling their house and moving out of state. 
I can't imagine the decisions and sacrifices people are having to make. I can't imagine operating a restaurant or bar or music venue of my own. I can't imagine living alone. I can't imagine if I had significant health issues. I can't imagine having to work a job deemed essential and how scary that must be. I can't imagine what it's like for single parents. I can't imagine what it's like for people with multiple children all on distance learning. I can't imagine what it's like for people in dangerous domestic violence or abusive households. I can't even imagine people who have to mask up all day long. 
At the same time, look at our country and the lack of leadership and the screaming heads on conservative television and it's no surprise we are where we are. Look at these jackasses at their stupid fucking superspreader rallies. We should've listened in March when they told us we'd be exactly where we are for all of 2020 and well into 2021. 
That doesn't mean it doesn't suck. 
In fact, as I said yesterday, I was hoping to run out shopping for provisions and today contemplated making reservations for the zoo before they have to close, but if we're to 'minimize interactions' now, maybe we can still do a backyard Christmas with my parents after all. There are some things we need, so I will have to run out to grocery shop, but am hoping that doing it the last hour of the store being open will help it being less busy. But I'll do that alone and quickly and with my mask and goggles. We should've already gotten a tree but we didn't, so we'll grab that tonight, too, and then maybe then we can fully wrap our heads around the new lockdown. Be strong out there.  

Friday, December 04, 2020

CoViD-19 Breaking: Southern California Hits Stay-At-Home Trigger: 13.1% ICU Capacity | Who Closes? Who Can Stay Open?

Spreckels Organ Pavilion at December Nights (Taken 12.6.2019)

Talk about doom-scrolling. I was trying to motivate to run to Costco for provisions with the Stay-at-home order imminent and instead decided it can wait until next week. Now I'm slightly regretting that decision because the California COVID site updated with new data, putting San Diego, as part of the greater Southern California Region, at 13.1% ICU capacity which is below the 15% trigger for the new Stay-At-Home order. The effective order is a little wonky...the order kicks in at 12:59pm on December 5th and sectors must be closed within 48 hours. But once the trigger is met from that point, which it already has, businesses have 24 hours to comply. So I think either way, everything needs to be closed or adhering to reduced capacities by Monday at 12:59pm. I did see a lot of restaurants reminding people that they can still do curbside and takeout, but a reminder NOT to use food delivery apps, which take nearly a third of the money. I would also highly recommend that anyone who can, like my sister who is a hair stylist, should file for unemployment as soon as your first shift is cut. This order will last a minimum of three weeks, and with the after-effect of Thanksgiving still rolling in, I wouldn't expect this order to be lifted until sometime in mid to late January, and beyond that if we can't get things under control and make alternate plans for the upcoming holidays.

CoVid-19: Looking Grim: SD Sets New Case Record | San Diego Can't Stop Destroying Itself, Balboa Park Ferris Wheel Edition | Take The #CrashNotAccident Pledge

The first thing I saw when I woke up today was an article being shared online about the proposed Balboa Park Ferris Wheel being preliminarily approved. Naturally this got me so pissed, I sprung out of bed and decided to watch the 2+ hour Balboa Park Committee Meeting on the subject. I kicked myself for forgetting the meeting in the first place, but I guess I got caught up with other shit, which seems to be exactly as designed when the committee scheduled the previously unplanned meeting. You can see all my notes at the end of this email, but basically the committee voted to allow the Cohns and the ferris wheel company to further continue and pursue talks with the City and other entities. The whole thing is so goddamn stupid I can't even stand it. But they've emphasized even if they get al of their approvals from the City Council, City Attorney, FAA, Airport Oversight Board and all these other entities, it is supposed to be temporary, meaning specifically no more than 180 days. Some committee members were comparing it to one installed in Golden Gate Park, so I looked that one was installed in the spring, but then couldn't open until October, and now is closed again indefinitely. It would be really, really stupid to get this stupid thing in the Plaza de Panama, removing all the space that is currently being used by walkers, bikers, skaters, families, picnickers and beyond and then have the stupid thing not even able to be open. I find it all so irritating. 

We're trying to adhere to all the current recommendations, but I know it's really hard. I want to run around and buy everything we could possibly need for two months even though that is unrealistic because we count on things like fresh celery and cilantro and other things just can't be frozen or stockpiled. We still have to use a laundromat. The San Diego Zoo has been my main source of exercise during this pandemic because at least I can count on the mask requirement enforcement there and they may have to be shutting down, too. Some epidemiologists are even saying that ANY mixing should be prohibited, even the outdoor/masked/socially distanced kind and I guess you'll see my hypocrisy shine through because I'll certainly be hanging in my parents' backyard again before the year comes to an end. It's all a lot and I need to unplug to stew over it all and then get optimistic and remember, it won't always be this way. 

Thursday, December 03, 2020

CoViD-19: California Announces Regional Stay-At-Home If ICU Beds Drop Below 15% Availability | San Diego Zoo Moves To Reservation System | 1.5 Million COVID Deaths Worldwide

Momma Koala and Joey at San Diego Zoo (Taken 12.3.2020)

We were warned on Monday that another stay-at-home order was on the horizon, we just didn't know the trigger. Today we got the answer: the state has been divided into 5 regions (based on some previously established mutual aid within healthcare providers) and if the entire region gets under 15% of ICU beds available, the stay-at-home order kicks in. San Diego is in the Southern California region which currently has 20.6% of beds available. 
With that announcement, we decided to run to the San Diego Zoo for an hour which is probably exactly not what you should do when you hear how widespread the virus is, but I still think it's safer than any park or afternoon stroll through the neighborhood, things which will still be allowed and encouraged, even if we do hit that 15% trigger, which has been projected over the next 48 hours. 
What was surprising, however, was that the San Diego Zoo has now expanded the health screening queue even further into the parking lot in anticipation for Jungle Bells, which starts on Friday and is implementing a reservation system. It was supposed to have started on Wednesday according to the dude at the screening (where there was no line at all at 3pm) but is now starting on Saturday. Unfortunately, if we do hit that 15%, zoos, museums, and aquariums are on the list to close. I don't think the reservation supersedes that. All this to say, if you want to catch the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, Sea World, or Birch Aquarium, you better do it sooner rather than later or you may not be able to do so until 2021. 
All the notes on today's state media briefing plus other stats are after the jump. The county has been sucking at getting information out lately, so I'll update the community outbreak sectors when that information is provided. 

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

CoViD-19: San Diego Has 225 Active Community Outbreaks | US Records Highest Daily Deaths Since May 7 | SHARP Healthcare Speaks To Local Hospitalization Increases

Christmas Lights at Sea World (Taken 12.13.2019)

Darren and I were watching a movie last night when all of our power flickered and went out. It was an unscheduled outage affected nearly 7000 customers in the area, but fortunately we keep flashlights all over the house and were able to sort things out, but ended up asleep pretty early. I woke up bright and sparkly this morning, but after reading and going through email, I could feel the dry air was going to be a problem, took an allergy pill, then zonked right back out. When I woke up, Nova and Darren had been doing home projects, putting up Christmas lights, and Darren finally moved my pot rack from the studio and I don't know why but it made a huge difference in our kitchen. 
Today's San Diego media briefing was pretty grim, with SHARP healthcare's CEO talking about the rapid increase of hospitalizations and ICUs and how the healthcare workers are just spent. There are also numerous warnings that more and more, people are expecting the Governor and Dr. Ghaly to add more stay-at-home restrictions tomorrow or Friday, including from a friend who works at a hospital who said they were told as much in their managers' meeting. So I guess be ready for all of that. I promised the fam I'd make enchiladas tonight, so I'm gonna cut for the night. Have a good one, y'all, and I'll be here if the Governor speaks tomorrow. 

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

CoViD-19: As Goes The Country, Hospitalizations Skyrocket In San Diego, County Passes 1000 Deaths | US Approaches 100,000 Hospitalizations | Study Confirms Outdoor Transmission Lower-Risk | Kid Cases On The Rise


My Sister's Puppy, Roxy (Taken 11.26.2020)

I measure my amount of online time with how many times I run the battery of my laptop down and so far I've already done two and half cycles, so I need to wrap this up. I don't really have anything exciting going on around here. Darren and I had a late night in the speakeasy so it was a sluggish day, hanging out in the yard in this ridiculous December weather. We continue to lay low when possible though there still might be some Zoo visits in our near future, especially since Jungle Bells starts this Friday. And in good news, a study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases found that less than 10% of worldwide COVID-19 cases are attributable to outdoor transmission. I really believe that LA is doing it right but prohibiting all in-person dining, because people continue to mix households and obviously can't mask up while eating and drinking and we're not really going to get control of this thing until we shut it down. I'm still holding out hope that a new CARES act comes through before the end of the year. 

One thing I've been meaning to talk about, especially now that it's December, is Christmas trees. Growing up, we always had an artificial tree. In fact, I think we had the same one my whole life until my parents finally upgraded when I was in my thirties. My parents' house has a fireplace which they used to use often which is dangerous for a real tree. Because of that, however, I've always loved a real tree and have been getting one since college. This year, I was sure I'd changed my mind. The story of Rockefeller the Owl really pissed me off. To me, there was nothing cure about saying this little owl "hitched a ride" to New York...he was taken from the wild in his home. But I'm a hypocrite just like everyone and after my little shopping adventure yesterday and looking at artificial trees, I'm just not ready to pull the trigger, so I'm sure we'll be grabbing a tree before the weekend, too. But it won't be without a little guilt. Today's reading and COVID-19 data are after the jump. 

Monday, November 30, 2020

CoViD-19: NY Governor Cuomo Declares "The War On COVID" | San Diego Officials Urge Holiday Gathering Attendees To Get Tested | NFL Is A Joke That Isn't Funny | Cyber Monday Must Buy: A Humidifier


Mask Up or Stay Home at Wild Holidays at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 11.29.2020)

Okay, I told you I would knock out a second post tonight, so I updated some numbers and ended up watching New York Governor Cuomo's media briefing just because it's interesting to see how other states are handling the current surge. His tone is much more direct than Governor Newsom even though their strategies are aligning and their warnings equally as dire. In the meantime, Nova is at derby today and I'm wondering if we're being risky, even though they are masked the entire time they're on the property and they're outdoor and distanced. Like, is skating through someone's outdoor aerosols risky? Do we assume everyone is following protocols in their private lives even when I've seen the facility on TV with skaters wearing masks below their noses? Is my shopping run to Ross, Big Lots, and Costco more risky than her derby? I don't know the answers, I only hope we're doing as best we can, keeping things balanced, and minimizing risk where possible. And we take our own temperatures about half a dozen times a day because it's kinda fun with the sensor gun. 
If you're interested in NY's strategy, notes are below, as well as some additional reading. Particularly funny is the piece on the NFL. Also, not to give anything away, but the Casbah has a big exciting announcement tomorrow, so check your email for the newsletter, or check social media for their posts. 

CoVID-19 Governor Newsom Announces Immediate Business Relief Funds, Warns Of Stressed Hospitals, Future Stay-At-Home | Fauci Warns Of 'Surge Upon A Surge'

Darren and Nova Posing at Tiger Trail, San Diego Zoo Safari Park for Wild Holiday (Taken 11.29.2020)

It's about 2:30 and I'm feeling great. I fell asleep early last night cuddling with my cat and woke up super enthusiastic and ready to take the day by the horns. It was kinda crazy how many articles had come through by 6am, so my morning reading is at the end of this email, but Governor Newsom and Dr. Ghaly had a media briefing and it had so much information that I decided I would post this now and prepare a separate post as I work through my email and separate the #CyberMonday and #GivingTuesday stuff from the news you can use kinda stuff. Nothing against either of those, but lets not be tonedeaf and guilt people for not shopping or supporting small businesses or eating at restaurants or donating to charity at this time. 
I was, however, reading a lot of news before it was even 6am, as I mentioned, and decided that I needed to stock up on goods. I had a plan to hit Ross, Big Lots, Petco, Grocery Outlet and Costco, but by the time I'd finished up at the Ross and Big Lots on Lake Murray, Costco La Mesa was opening and I figured I'd once again try to get paper towels. 
Before I get to that, I have to say that I love Ross and Big Lots, and they're often in close proximity. Sports Arena has them closeby, Chula Vista off Palomar, and Clairemont Mesa, too. And I don't want to ruin it for myself, but the stores on Lake Murray are always clean and not nearly as busy as other stores, and at least right now, are super stocked. Especially Ross, which, if I was doing massive gift-giving this season, I could've taken care of all of it in one trip this morning. And they open at 7:30am. 
After I grabbed odds and ends we needed or had been eyeing for awhile, I went to La Mesa Costco. It's not my favorite of their stores by any stretch, but it too was well stocked and organized. It did start to get crowded as I made my way through the store, so I was glad to have a specific list and know how to navigate to get it all and get out as quickly as possible. Since I grabbed a rotisserie chicken, I decided to save the pet store and Grocery Outlet for another time. I was home by 11 and feeling quite accomplished. Loads of information about the Governor's small business relief measures and current COVID-19 outlook are below.