|This election has me like this swamp monkey at San Diego Zoo (Taken 6.28.2020)|
|This election has me like this swamp monkey at San Diego Zoo (Taken 6.28.2020)|
|Ficus & Kiwi for National Black Cat Day (Taken 2.21.2020)|
|Today's Mood. (Taken at San Diego Zoo 2.10.2020)|
|Mandrills (Taken 3.9.2020)|
|Taken at San Diego Zoo (3.9.2020)|
Apparently I'm a maskhole.
My cousin is visiting from LA so we all hung out at my parents' house for some food and such. Darren and I left to get food and when we got back, she was walking her dog with the girls...they were wearing masks but not my cousin. "Are you mask exempt?" I asked her. "I'm not sick," she laughed.
Inside the house I was setting up the take out and she sat next to my dad and I told her that if she's gonna be near my dad, she needed to wear a mask.
She complied, but then it was especially awkward the rest of the night.
I just really don't know what is so complicated about any of this. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Don't go out if you have any symptoms. Minimize mixing. Stay outside when you do. Separate further if you're eating/drinking. There are enough people getting sick through no fault of their own who are taking every possible precaution but are exposed by nature of their jobs that the rest of us don't need to be potentially spreading by being tired of following the safety measures. And we should really get used to it because we're going to be mask wearing for a very, very long time.
|La Jolla Cove (Taken 10.23.2019)|
I think I'm recovered from the whiplash of last night's debate and I keep teetering with anxiety about the outcome of the presidential bid on November 3. On the one hand, it feels like there is going to be record voting nationwide to get covidiot-in-chief outta there, on the other hand, the last 20+ years of intentional voter suppression, gerrymandering, court-packing McConnell blocking hundreds, if not thousands, of bills, and the horrible record of polls and I'm really scared, but I can't really dwell on it or it's going to be a long 2 weeks.
The other thing that I was thinking about today was all of this squandered opportunity. When the pandemic struck and we knew very little about it, lockdown was appropriate. But as we learned more and things loosened up, it feels like we could've had a really hard reset on our way of life. Certainly some businesses realized they could allow their staff to work from home or with more flexible hours (or both,) but imagine if there had been a real shutdown: if the City took the opportunity to fast forward all the street and sidewalk repairs, upgraded lighting and bike lanes and all of the backlogged 'Get It Done' projects, if people were encouraged to clean up their streets and neighborhoods like we were encouraged to garden, if nationally we were called on, especially those of us who got stimulus checks, to put in hours at national or state parks or hiking trails or at beaches or cleaning up schools. Imagine if, besides a national coordinated COVID-19 plan and messaging, if our national politicians reprioritized literally everything related to our environment and infrastructure.
Instead, most of us just tried to keep our heads above the water while maybe making bread or learning new recipes or planting a garden on the side while trying to make sure our kids could manage distance learning. Meanwhile corporations made insane profits and politicians took advantage of our attention by stringing us along on stimulus packages while taking the election to new slanderous depths full of not just attacks, but flat out lies and deception. Now we've got pandemic fatigue on top of election fatigue and it's making people drop their guard, take greater risks, and ignore the things that will continue to keep us healthy, despite all of the early warnings that we were staring down 1-2 full years before a vaccine could be expected and widely distributed and could see from the lack of early national response that we'd see the worst of it all.
2020 has been a really hard and long and depressing and stupid year, but it didn't have to be this bad. I hope that everyone remembers that as they prepare their ballots all the way down ballot to our local races.
|Clairo Taken 10.18.2019 at House of Blues|
We just watched the debate and I'm left exhausted. I didn't really see much worthwhile reading or news today since all news was focused on the supreme court appointment and the debate which is really, really boring. I did watch most of Grand Army last night and will probably finish tonight. I'm enjoying it but I wish Netflix could do a teen show that actual teens could watch. It's definitely not appropriate for Nova though I guess a 14 or 15 year old might be different.
Around the homestead, not much is going on. Apparently my cousin will be visiting from LA this weekend, so we ordered some more giant pretzels (today is Enjoy A Pretzel Day) so we can have another little backyard Oktoberfest.
|Billy Eilish at Soma. Eilish is doing a livestream this weekend for $30. (Taken 11.17.2018)|
It's been another low-key week around my household. Nova and I are slowly working through Interior Design Masters on Netflix, and the other night I binged Social Distance, also on Netflix, alone while everyone slept. It was actually pretty good. Every episode is a separate story so you don't have to watch every episode or in any particular order. Now I'm starting Grand Army The only time I left the house today was to drop Nova at derby. We took the dog so she could run around at Chollas Lake, but we kept it short because a sign said the gate gets locked at 6pm.
There's a lot of reading to take in today, but the summary is that COVID numbers are up, people need to maintain vigilance, voting is going to be super safe but your polling place won't be the same as in normal times, the WHO didn't say we shouldn't have lockdowns, and the US has had 100,000 "excess" deaths, which means it's possible that COVID or COVID-tangential deaths (like people not going to the doctor or hospital for necessary treatments) are underreported by 80,000-100,000. Also, Dr. Wooten explained that we were moved from 7.1 to 7.0 because the state had counted two cases that were actually prisoners who are supposed to be excluded from the data.
Thursday is gonna suck because of the confirmation and debate, but we'll get through it and keep chugging along as we must. Maybe I'll get outside a little bit more and skip the news altogether.
|Sleeping Fossa at San Diego Zoo (Taken 10.7.2020)|
|Baby tapir for Rainforest Day (Taken at San Diego Zoo 2.14.2020)|
|World Okapi Day (Taken at San Diego Zoo Safari Park 11.11.2019)|
|A pre-pandemic beach day (Taken 9.7.2019)|
I know people die every day. People get grim medical diagnoses all the time. But today I found out my friend, Eli Reyes, an amazing drummer from Fresno who played in numerous bands died. We met when he was in Rademacher and I lived in Kensington and would have late night after parties and let bands take post-show showers or crash on my floor or feed them taquitos. Eli was a 'broseph' and we had a lot of fun times whenever he'd come through town, and 40 is way too young to die from a heart attack. While reading through Facebook and the many tributes to him, I came across another post from a high school friend who has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She's 44. My age. For 3 years she was telling doctors something was wrong and they gaslighted her, told her she was suffering from depression, or that our bodies hurt as we age, and now her cancer is everywhere in her body. Just last week another former high school classmate shared that he's been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Again, he's my age. It got me wondering if there are statistics on how many people growing up in Chula Vista get cancer compared to other areas when we had the stink of Rohr Industries releasing all their emissions at night all of those years, where you'd wake up in the morning and the morning fog layer smelled like rotten eggs. None of us live healthy, pristine lives, but I'm not ready to see my friends dying. I'm not ready to die. COVID-19 numbers are so outrageous, but 219,154 people are still somewhat in the abstract even though I try to imagine all those families and loved ones left behind. But this hurts a little more. A little too close to home. I'm gonna keep it short today and enjoy my weekend with my family. May you all be so lucky to be surrounded by people who love you during this crazy time.
|I miss my sea lion pals at La Jolla Cove (9.14.2020)|
Today I awoke to New York Times alerts that the president had declined to declare additional counties of California as major disaster areas, and then shortly thereafter he reversed course, but not quick enough for the rage to be felt. I stayed off the news for awhile until things calmed down. I spent some time hanging out listening to new music with my dog while the plumber finished his work and it looks pretty good except that he only painted half the bathroom. Seriously? You couldn't just paint the whole thing so it's one color?? It's also a little bummer that he didn't cover the toilet while he was doing all of his work because now it has spatters of spackle dried on in random places.
Darren and I decided that we could break quarantine since we've all been cooped up for 5 days, have had no symptoms, had no known exposure, and are pretty sure Nova's fever was because of the bee sting on Sunday. We loaded up on stuff at Costco and will still be laying low, which has pretty much been our MO since March anyway. I also did the curbside pickup thing at Petsmart, except they don't actually do curbside after 7 so I had to go in anyway. And they didn't have all the items I ordered, so they refunded me instead of offering me substitute items, so next time I'll over-order and make sure I do it earlier in the day.
I watched a movie called The Last Word (Hulu) from 2017 that I thoroughly enjoyed, and it's super late but I'm still going through email.
Today the County of San Diego had to hold an unscheduled media briefing because our case rate is rising and we could 'tip back into purple'. On Thursday, we were at 7.7 (cases per 100k) and Friday was at 7.8 (cases per 100k) and have been over 7 for 6 consecutive days. This is happening globally. You should really take a look at how Italy, France, the UK and other places are reinstating strict protocols. It seems so obvious, but Dr. Wooten had to say, "if you're sick, you shouldn't go to work, you should go get tested." It's insane that people aren't doing this and if employers are allowing it, maybe they should be shut down.
Magic 8 Balls says, "outlook not good."
|Better days at Bar Pink (Taken 2.17.2020)|
|My little Strawberry Tikka (Taken 9.7.2020)|
Darren and I had quite the night last night over-imbibing during our self-imposed quarantine. We finished watching Lodge 49 and it was just as confusing an ending as I knew it would be when I realized my friend Andy Siara was one of the writers. The plumber is getting closer to finishing our bathroom and I'm trying to stay positive but he has a lot of sheet rock replacing and caulking and hopefully painting, too, before it looks like a normal bathroom again. Last night I couldn't take it looking like a Grapevine gas station bathroom anymore and cleaned it down, but it's still gonna take a deep cleaning after all is said and done. I don't really understand why anyone would remove well-built fixtures for plastic, but whatever, the guy seems to know what he's doing and hopefully he can properly seal all the gaps and exposed sections before the weekend is here.
We're still low-key quarantining but as I said before, Nova was stung by a bee so we think her fever was a reaction to that. It's funny that on Monday when I was out shopping I picked up a no-touch thermometer at Ross not knowing that we'd all be using it dozens of times that night and numerous times since.
So we're just kicking around the house a lot. Darren popped his rotator cuff while doing stuff around the house, so it's actually convenient that we're all laying low, though I may need to find a sling for him until it gets better. Today I watched the county briefing, skipped the confirmation hearings, caught up on my Bravo shows, and watched American Murder: The Family Next Door which is so insane but put together so well. Shanann Watts certainly documented her life in fine detail. Now I'm watching Upload on Amazon which is way more chill. Hope everyone is doing well out there in the big wide world. We'll be joining you in it soon enough.
|One year ago, Bastille played with Joywave at SDSU CCCU OAT (Taken 10.13.2019)|
|Burrowing Owl at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 9.25.2020)|
Today was the first day the plumbers were at my house to replace the entire bathtub and shower. It seemed to go somewhat smooth, though our tub was like 75 years old and made of heavy steel so they basically had to saw it in half to get it out of the house. There's now a crazy hole in our bathroom with actual access to the downstairs bathroom. I would assume they're trying to rent that space once they're done with the repairs up here. The plumber said he can't believe our tub never just fell through the floor.
While all of that was happening, Nova was doing school in the speakeasy with the pets, Darren was making sure everything went smoothly, and I was banished from the house. I attempted to go to the Zoo, but the lot was packed and the line was still pretty long for it being almost noon, so instead I went to La Mesa to shop and popped by to visit a dear friend that I haven't seen in ages. We were talking about COVID-19 and he said 'it's basically a flu' and 'we're all gonna get it sooner or later,' and I'm not gonna lie...I was triggered. Yes, people die from the flu and some people have bad reactions, but I've never had a flu that had me feeling sick 4, 5, 6 months later, or having never-ending brain fog, or causes heart problems in otherwise fully healthy athletes. They're not even close and people need to stop acting like they are.
After all that, I came home to find out Nova was feeling sick. At one point her temperature spiked to 102.8 and I thought, "oh my god, I'm such a hypocrite!" We got it under control with a cool shower, fluids, and Advil, but we also realized she was stung by a bee yesterday and this could just be a symptom of that, but I guess we'll be quarantining for at least a few days to see how it goes and if we need to go get tested.
While I was out shopping, I listened to the Governor's briefing and he mostly just congratulated the Nobel Prize winners from California, congratulated the Lakers, and the latest stats, noting that we're still averaging 69 daily deaths in the state and this isn't over. The only interesting media question came when someone asked why the new household guidance was issued, and he said, "Guidance doesn't mean Go," that holidays are upon us, so it was responsible to share less risky guidelines than none at all.
The main news today was about the Supreme Court hearings and I could only stomach about 10 minutes. I'm sure there are thousands of hot takes that can be found so I'm just gonna skip it. Today's stats are after the jump.
|Elephants at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 10.10.2020)|
|Sugar Glider at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 10.10.2020)|
|California Tower as seen from San Diego Zoo Skyfari (Taken 9.20.2020)|
|Hummingbird pollinator at Africa Rocks at San Diego Zoo (Taken 10.7.2020)|
I told you I'd post my voting recommendations today, but I need another day or two. I'm just not feeling it today after watching the Pelosi media briefing, but if you must know now, For Mayor of San Diego, I'm Gloria over Bry, in spite of his past support for the devastating Jacobs plan in Balboa Park, I still think he's light years ahead of her as a person and candidate and his vision for the City; Gomez over Jacobs because billionaires shouldn't be able to buy Congressional seats for their heiresses though I'm sure Sarah is a nice person, and Duran for the D3 city council seat because she stood out above the other candidate at the local debate held in North Park earlier this year. There are some that aren't in my district, but I urge you to support Ammar Campa-Najar for Congress if you're in that area, and Terra Lawson-Remer for County Board of Supervisors if you're in that district. And here's a repaste of where I stand for the state propositions: Yes on 14, Yes on 15, Yes on 16, Yes on 17, Yes on 18, Yes on 19, Undecided on 20, Yes on 21, No on 22, Undecided on 23, Yes on 24, Undecided on 25
As I said, I made the mistake of watching Nancy Pelosi's media briefing and it is so depressing. Basically she says that the reason negotiations for a stimulus package have stopped is because the Democrats are demanding a portion of the money be used specifically to increase the T3 Strategy nationwide: Test, Trace, Treat with the goal of squashing the virus while the White House wants a blank check to spend how they see fit and maintain that no national plan is needed. Obviously that's a very one-sided view, but I fear not deviating much from reality, since this administration has proven to be nothing but destructive at every turn and doesn't think it's something to squash at all but something we should just live with. They don't like Dems telling them they have to spend money on the 99% of people and not corporations, and certainly not those of us in the lower 20%. In short, don't expect any relief before the election.
I also watched watched Michigan's Governor speak about the plot to kidnap her. Can this just be done? My 2020 bingo card is blacked out.
|A Golden Takin at golden hour at San Diego Zoo (Taken 10.7.2020)|
This morning I made a plan for the day, which is different than usual when I kinda just go with whatever the day brings: I would sleep in, then watch the Governor's Media Briefing delayed on YouTube, watch the County briefing live, then go to the San Diego Zoo, then watch the debate, then have post-debate cocktails in the speakeasy. And I stuck to it. So I'm wrapping up here so I can cocktail downstairs.
But of course I have some things to say before I go.
First, one thing kinda slipped into Dr. Ghaly's briefing yesterday and was reiterated today by the governor: there is no "green" or "non-restrictive" tier in the foreseeable future. This means you should stock up on masks because they're going to be required indefinitely, don't plan on schools being "normal" in a pre-pandemic sense for a very long time, and don't expect those initial things that were on the old version of "Phase 4" to open anytime soon: large theme parks like Disneyland or Six Flags, large indoor concerts or arenas, and as we're seeing, movie theatres and small music venues are still going to be a long, long wait. The places that are having live events (like the comedy club downtown) are currently doing so against the public health order.
Second, that debate really cemented my adoration for Kamala Harris. I don't LOVE all of her policies or historical moves, nor do I feel that way about Biden, but the decency, belief that we can be better and do better for everyone, citizens and non-citizens alike, and shutting down that horrible, horrible man tonight was impressive. I got my ballot today and I'll be filling it out tomorrow. I'll share more of my stances since I appreciate the few friends who've reached out to ask which candidates and initiatives I'm supporting. And about that debate, do not for one second believe that a person who, on his watch as the lead on the Coronavirus Task Force has watched 210+ Americans die; who on his watch is trying to take away healthcare and Social Security; who on his watch separated infants from parents and has left asylum seekers to endure the outbreaks in horrific ICE facilities; who on his watch is defending murderous cops and denying systemic racism; who on his watch forced hysterectomies on women in ICE custody; and who on his watch is failing to support millions of Americans who are out of work and at risk of losing housing, not to mention creating such scarce pandemic support that people are forced to choose between proper isolation when they do get sick or continuing in their jobs because they can't afford not to, and on and on and on. Seriously. There is no decision to make here. Any claim to being pro-life is just show and complete and utter bullshit.
Last, I'm going to make a conscious effort to chill on my social media posts/likes/comments through the election. I have this outlet (and I appreciate those of you who still read it) but the outrage posts that retweet or repost whatever crazy thing the lunatic has said still amplify his message. I will not post any polling or comment on any such things because we know what happened in 2016 and we have to be prepared for anything. I have been snoozing and unfriending completely on Facebook at a rapid clip and I'll keep doing it to maintain my sanity.
|Nova & Fi at Grandma & Grandpa's House (Taken 10.4.2020)|
|Nadia in her chicken hat for her birthday/Oktoberfest (Taken 10.5.2020)|
|A random pic of my cat grooming herself (taken 6.24.2020)|
I'm hanging out with my family, doing another distanced/outdoor party for the fourth week in a row: dad's birthday, mom's birthday, my birthday, and today, Nadia's 11th birthday and Oktoberfest. So I'm not gonna write anymore, just give you today's stats, and keep my political (fingers crossed) feelings to myself.
|Kiwi (Taken 10.31.2019)|
The news out there is still crazy and I just want to bury my head some more, but as always, you should keep up with Heather Cox Richardson's daily posts, don't go down Twitter rabbit holes as I did today, and try to keep yourself from going crazy. Last night I binged "Emily In Paris" on Netflix, which is typical Darren Star deliciousness, and today Nova and I binged "First Day," which is a four episode show on Hulu about a transgender girl going to high school after living her primary years as a boy and the challenges and ultimate acceptance she faces as her peers find out. It's very 'After School Special' but it's really sweet and I felt like it was an important show to watch with Nova.
Today's stats after the jump. Don't forget to tune into Low Volts and Dani Bell tonight on Twitch at 8:30pm.
|A grazing cow near Ramona Grasslands for World Farm Animal Day (Taken 9.12.2020)|
|I miss Amahle and I miss swimming (Outtake at San Diego Zoo 6.16.2020)|
When my niece was born, it was around time for the German American Societies Oktoberfest. After my sister had Nadia, it was only about a week later that we were at the celebration, and at one point I had her in a Baby Bjorn while carrying a couple beers back to our table and getting some funny looks. "She's not mine," I'd say. The German American Societies Oktoberfest has been a family tradition for many years, and in lieu of the party this year, I found this amazing Pretzel company in National City that makes New York, Philly, and the giant Bavarian ones. I got 3 boxes of 6 individually wrapped Bavarian pretzels, which come frozen and can remain so up to 6 months, and come out to just under $3/pretzel, which may seem like a lot, but compared to the $10 they cost at that spot in North Park, it's a great deal. Also, they're huge and maybe I overbought since me, Darren and Nova tested it out and could barely get through one.
So Nadia will get her Oktoberfest birthday party after all. If you want to get your hands on your own pretzels, you have to call or shoot an email for for pricing and so they can have your order ready when you pickup. San Diego Pretzel Company is the wholesale factory and open Monday-Friday 8am to 4pm. Or you could probably hit me up since I doubt we'll go through 18 of them anytime soon.
I have been attempting to post these updates daily for some time now, but it should be noted that these days, many of the articles I'm sharing are opinion pieces...so you have to discern between my opinion by choosing to share the piece in the first place and then the opinion of the respective authors for each piece. It's just the way things are gonna go the next month, it seems. Info, stats, and articles after the jump.
|One of the many "outtake" photos from San Diego Zoo. Call this the Heat Wave Sprawl (Taken 9.28.2020)|
This morning I watched yesterday's Dr. Ghaly briefing and Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, the State's first Surgeon General, spoke about mental health during the pandemic and she's so charismatic and soothing that I want her to read me bedtime stories. You can see her portion of yesterday's media briefing here. I was reading about New York state's limited reopening which got me curious to look at their dashboard. For comparison, San Diego county is averaging almost 10k tests per day. Los Angeles is testing just shy of 12.5k tests per day. Yesterday alone, New York City tested more than 37k people!! I know I should be comparing tests/100k people but I just don't feel like digging that hard around their dashboards.
This week's heat has me pretty much bunkered up at home, especially after being in the sun all day Tuesday for the Battle of the Bands. I watched today's County briefing and there wasn't a whole lot of new information there except...holy shit!.. 14!! new community outbreaks, with five of them in restaurants (not restaurant/bars) which just makes it so clear to me that my family will not be eating at a restaurant in a very, very long time, though we have stepped up our takeout with El Panson and Jochi Resto getting our occasional dollars. Also, Nathan Fletcher clarified that the numbers used to determine our tiers are the "illness onset" days, not the "test reported" data which is what is given in the daily briefings. This is what reader Michael clarified to me, but I kinda think Fletch was specifically answering the email I sent him last week.
If you're looking for something to watch, I recommend this documentary about Newport Music Hall called "If These Walls Could Talk" (though you should skip the part with the radiant asshole Ted Nugent. I also haven't done any TV recommendations in a hot minute, but I recommend watching "This Is Paris" which is surprisingly good. We're in the middle of watching Utopia, though I'm not sure I'd recommend it because the violence is intense and the subject matter maybe inappropriate while we're enduring a global pandemic. I also started Lodge 49 on Hulu but haven't seen enough to feel any kind of way about it.
Anyway, today's news and stats as well as some of the information shared yesterday are all after the jump.
|A view from the roof of North Parking (Taken 9.29.2020)|
|Mid-jump ring-tailed lemur at San Diego Zoo (Taken 9.28.2020)|
|Me and the Fam at the San Diego Zoo (Taken 9.20.2020)|
|Today is Mhkaya's 2nd Birthday. I think she's the one on the left with Zuli who is about 2 months older (Taken 9.25.2020 at San Diego Zoo Safari Park)|
|Southern White Rhino Holly and her new male calf at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 9.25.2020)|
|2020 Mercury Prize Winner Michael Kiwanuka (Taken 1.22.2020 at The Observatory North Park)|
|Haven't Left The House in 3 Days, So Here's Another Picture of Tikka On The Catio (9.23.2020)|
Today's Governor's briefing was pretty long-winded but addressed the climate crisis. He signed an executive order that ends sales of internal-combustion cars effective 2035, but also included a number of initiatives regarding fracking, e-bikes and scooters, public transit, and infrastructure. I may read through the thing at some point but not today. The County Supervisors briefing, on the other hand, was pretty short because Fletch wasn't present and the phone lines weren't working so they just took a few media questions via text. I have got to get that number!!
Anyway, Nova stayed home sick from school yesterday, so we've been laying low to keep an eye and we're pretty sure it was because she ate too much pepperoni too early in the day and it just didn't agree with her stomach. So, we'll get back in the world. She's gonna do derby right now and I'm gonna go shopping to pick up a few things we need and then we'll get her and tonight feels like a speakeasy night for sure. I keep saying that and falling asleep by 9pm. Not that that is a bad thing, but I purposefully slept in so I can go all night.
|Today is also Elephant Appreciation Day (Taken at San Diego Zoo Safari Park on 8.23.2020)|
|September 22 is World Rhino Day (Taken 6.28.2020 at San Diego Zoo Safari Park|
This Saturday at 5pm the San Diego Zoo is hosting a virtual Food, Wine & Brew Celebration. You can buy tickets to the virtual party, which also includes one of four boxes for pickup this week, including a Wine Lover Box, a Beer Enthusiast Box, or a Spirits Sipper Box for $50 each, or a $25 Non-Boozer Box. Get your tickets here until noon on September 25th. More information after the jump.
Today is #NationalVoterRegistrationDay. Celebrate with @HeadCountOrg and make sure you’re #VoteReady. Register to vote or check your status now at HeadCount.org
|A Year Ago Today I Was Working at the Loft for a show with Phum Viphurit (9.21.2019)|
|My Dad Turned 72 on 9/7. Today My Mom Turned 70. (Taken 9.20.2020)|