Saturday, October 31, 2020

CoViD-19: Superspreader Rallies | Election Anxiety | New Puppy | Senators Investigate 'Excess Death' Rate | Rehabbed Mountain Lion First Released In CA History

Nova with my sister's new puppy, Roxy (Taken 10.31.2020)

I was having some kind of day today. I didn't want to get out of bed at all, enjoying the quiet of my room with my cat asleep at my feet, experiencing the double fun of PMS and PEDD (Pre-election Distress Disorder™) while Darren was at my parents' house attempting to put their shed together. I also am no fan of Halloween as I've been Then we heard that my sister got a new puppy and we jumped to action to head to Chula Vista. By the time we arrived, there was no helping Darren because he was trying to get the roof on it, I'm too short, I tripped and ate shit, and the plastic was getting all moist and impossible to work with. 
And there was a puppy to be cradled and sniffed and loved and smooshed. My sister wasn't there so I didn't get the full story, but apparently Roxy came from a Tijuana rescue event that was held at Belmont Park. She's 4 months old and will be a joint custody situation between my parents and my sister's family. She's so super cute and I can't wait to see her again. We're also gonna try and introduce Ficus so she doesn't become territorial over my parents' house, but might wait until she gets all her vaccines first. 

CoViD-19 California Cases On The Rise, Expands Testing | San Diego Polls Open Saturday | US Buys Antibody Drug (That May or May Not Work) for $1250 Per Dose |


October 30th is World Lemur Day (Taken 10.7.2020)

It should be concerning that the lowest dip in COVID-19 cases since the summer was still higher than the highest peak from the spring, but if you believe the administration, there's nothing to worry about. We have really, really blown it with this entire pandemic. After "flattening the curve" we could've "isolated the infection" or "squashed the sickness" but only recently have people actually been talking about getting rid of the virus, when California is on the verge of 1 million cases and the US is likely going to hit 10 million cases within two weeks.
Last night Darren and I had fun in the speakeasy watching Shoot The Glass play Bar Pink, then Tim Fears came over (backyard distanced) and I got a bit more tipsy than expected, but fun all the same.
Today we spent the afternoon at my mom's house attempting to put together her new shed which has about a thousand different parts, so I guess we know how we'll be spending the rest of the weekend. I still hope we'll get to make it to the Zoo or Safari park on Sunday to celebrate the end of free October kids (not that it's a bad thing, just the crowds were too much for us.)
Everyone went to bed early tonight so I'm watching Holidate on Netflix, an utterly predictable rom-com and will spend the rest of my raging Friday night catching up on my Bravo shows. 
If you haven't yet voted, polling places open on Saturday or you can still drop off your mail-in ballot at official dropboxes, including at city and county libraries. Let's end our national nightmare once and for all. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

CoViD-19: US Surpasses 9 Million Cases | San Diego Has 8 New Community Outbreaks | New Music From Matthew Caws, Steve Poltz


Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, Taken 1.18.2020 at Casbah San Diego

I know I'm a super bummer, but I can't remember being a fan of Halloween. Maybe it goes back to 4th grade when I was so stoked to be Cyndi Lauper and then my brother's friend Pete Marnick made fun of me, I chased him around to parking lot, and completely ate shit on the blacktop of our school, leaving me in tears and with scars on my legs that still make my hair grow in spirals on my shins. I've never really liked dressing up, for Halloween or any'll never find me cosplaying or at a Ren Faire, either, but we'll probably be hanging around the house so maybe I'll attempt Dia de los Muertos makeup on Nova or something to entertain ourselves. 
I think it's really gross that I've seen screenshots of party invites and it's frustrating that half the news is how we're going to be in this mess until late 2021 and the other half telling us to live our lives like everything is okay. As it is, there have been 7 outbreaks in the past 7 days in grocery stores alone, which means even though we thought we're low-risk shopping with goggles and masks and not meandering but just getting our specific items, it may not be enough, though I guess I'm starting to agree with the KPBS, VOSD, and SDUT lawsuit demanding more information on outbreaks because we don't know if they're among staff or customers, or if one positive person could be counted in multiple outbreaks, like if I'm asymptomatic and positive and go to a grocery store to shop, a restaurant to eat, and a gym to workout, am I counted thrice? (Obviously hypothetical as you could not pay me to go in a gym right now.)
As I've been saying, we're trying to lay low through the election (at least,) so today we watched a nature talk on Bats in San Diego presented by Mission Trails Regional Park. Last night I watched "Someone Has To Die" on Netflix which takes place in Spain but is dubbed in English. It was good, but dark, as it shows the gross treatment of homosexuals circa 1954 under the Franco regime- (not that it was isolated to Spain.) There's also a lot of Spanish racism against Mexicans expressed in the show. There's nothing funny about the subject matter, but we did have to laugh that the overdubbed father that has a heavy Castellano accent where an -s- sounds like -th- so he says things like "My thun (son) ith (is) not omothexsual (homosexual)" 
I'm getting things done early around here because me and Darren deserve some speakeasy time tonight to rock out and have some adult beverages. Try to keep sane out there. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

CoVID-19: San Diego Sees 13 New Community Outbreaks| Halloween Recommendations | Polls Open This Weekend | The Collapse of Live Music? | Casbah Virtual Halloween


This election has me like this swamp monkey at San Diego Zoo (Taken 6.28.2020)

Today's county news briefing reminded me that the free Flu Shot clinics were winding down, so we jumped in the car to see if we could make it by 4pm. Only problem was that the "Flu Clinic Location" listed for Central Region Public Health Center (5202 University) is not the same as County of San Diego Public Health Center Free Flu Shot Events at Central Public Health Center (3771A Oceanview Blvd.) So then I asked the girl at the counter (who quickly ushered me out of the building to talk outside,) and she said that people are lining up as early as 7am on the days they do the clinic, which starts at 8:30 on select days. "Can I make an appointment?" I dared ask. She said their appointments are booked THROUGH DECEMBER. Ugh. Anyway, obviously we didn't get flu shots, and I don't know if/how/when we will get them because it sounds like appointments are booked everywhere and some regions of the country are already seeing shortages. You can see info on the County site here.  
Other than that, we let Nova do derby again today, picked up some El Panson tacos, and my only other big adventure was to Costco. I'm not trying to create a panic like back in March, but the election and COVID-19 case increases as well as the change of seasons, even while we're pretty much the same all year round here, are making some items hard to get again. Just make sure you've got your pantry essentials and paper goods (and your booze if you partake) and you should be fine, but things could get weird the next few weeks is all I'm saying. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

CoViD-19 California Announces Oversight Group For Vaccine Distribution | High Winds Kick Up More State Fires | SDUSD Announces Phase II Reopening Plan For January


Ficus & Kiwi for National Black Cat Day (Taken 2.21.2020)

Today I read an article from a conservative website that said that all the polling is wrong and the covidiot-in-chief is going to win in a landslide and I feel like I've been having low-level anxiety all day, so I've been trying to distract myself. We watched  Us Kids last night, a documentary about the kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High who were thrust into gun activism after their school was shot up by a classmate. Tonight we watched I Am Woman on Netflix which was meh and hard to watch because her husband is such an asshole but I also never particularly like the anthemic song from which the movie gets its title.
I wish I had more exciting news to write today, but other than getting my vote confirmation from the San Diego County registrar, nothing too noteworthy happened today. We're really laying low around the house through at least the weekend but maybe on the first we'll head back to the Zoo or Safari Park after our long hiatus. I took notes on today's state media briefing and the SDUSD media briefing so you don't have to. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

CoViD-19 Stats | San Diego Sees First Youth Sports Community Outbreak | I Voted (And I'm Still Sad) | Black Women Views Thrashes Kush | NY Not Effing Around

Today's Mood. (Taken at San Diego Zoo 2.10.2020)

One of the many businesses that shut down over the pandemic is a pet store in Kensington called Buddies & Babes. The groomer there was so patient with Ficus who will nip our hands if we ever tried to clip her nails--not enough to hurt us but enough to let us know she won't tolerate it. I had been trying to track her down and managed to find her business card, and after looking her up on Facebook, found out that she's opening her own spot in City Heights. Her storefront is still being built out, but she's in the same lot as 7-11 across from Til-Two Club at 4745 El Cajon Blvd. She's super awesome and Ficus finally isn't slipping all over the kitchen or snagging on the carpet. You can book her here
On our way out of the house to get her mani/pedi, our mail carrier was across the street and saw us carrying our yellow mail-in voting envelopes and waited for us excitedly, "I'll take'em! I just emptied the box!" (referring to the two mailboxes about a block away). Hopefully we'll get our voting tracker texts tomorrow and can feel about getting our votes in to counter the very, very bad but obvious news from the Senate confirmation vote. And here's the deal. Every election in my lifetime has been "the most important election ever." If you think too hard about it, you can make yourself crazy and depressed about Bush v Gore, about all the horrific things that this country has endured, about stacking the courts, about minority rule, about the destruction of our planet, about 545 kids who have yet to be reunited with their parents, with racial injustice, and how heartbroken and shocked we were in 2016 and how we've hung by our fingernails to just survive the past four years. But life will go on. Or for many, it won't, and we'll suffer those losses, too. But none of that has ever made me waver on the importance of voting. San Diego has 1.95 million registered voters out of a 3.3 million person population (obviously a number of the unregistered are under 18). With automatic mail-in ballots sent to every registered person, there is no excuse not to vote.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

CoViD-19 US Surpasses 225,000 Known COVID-19 Deaths | California Fracking | Voter Guide

Mandrills (Taken 3.9.2020)
Today was a day where I went from pajamas I slept in, to showering, and putting back on new pajama lounger pants. It's so nice to experience feeling chilly and cozy after our aggressively hot summer. We're finally going through our ballots and stumbled upon this discussion about the School Board District A which is interesting but makes Sabrina Bazzo the far superior candidate in my book. 
Besides that, it was a low key day. We watched some baseball, watched some football. Last night I stayed up and binged The Queen's Gambit on Netflix which I thoroughly enjoyed, even though I'm not really a chess player at all. It's very watchable even if you know nothing about the game; it's more about an eccentric orphan's journey through excellence and addiction. 
The news cycle is going to be insane for the next couple weeks and there's a lot of big stuff happening, but you know where to find all of that and I'm just gonna keep it to the stuff I find relevant and doesn't mention those people by name as much as possible. 

CoViD-19 San Diego Stats | Petition: A For-Profit Ferris Wheel Doesn't Belong In Balboa Park | "Third Wave" is Here

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.  

Friday, October 23, 2020

CoViD-19 | Squandered Opportunities | Mental Health Resources | US Sets New Daily Case Record

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. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego Stats 10.22.2020

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. 

CoViD-19 San Diego County | Poll Safety | It's Okay To Say No | US Reports 100k "Excess" Deaths | Close Contact Redefined

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. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

CoViD-19: California Releases Guidances for Theme Parks, Stadiums | San Diego Hits 7.8 Unadjusted Rate But Remains In Red Tier | Casbah Custom Hoodies Pre-Orders


Sleeping Fossa at San Diego Zoo (Taken 10.7.2020)

We are getting too comfortable being home all the time, but we're trying to be responsible and not go out when we don't need to and not spend money when we don't need to, and the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are both still free for kids so we're still avoiding those. I actually saw someone's post on Insta that they waiting two hours through the screening line. We haven't made it to Fiesta Island or La Jolla Cove in awhile either, partially because we were self-quarantining, partially because Nova quit soccer so we don't have occasion to be in Mission Bay or La Jolla, and partially because the weather was just so miserable for so long. Maybe we'll fix that this week, maybe we'll stay in hiding until the election. I can't really say. 
In the meantime, today's briefing with Dr. Ghaly was enlightening because San Diego hit 7.8 unadjusted and 7.1 adjusted, which means we were in the purple tier, but then they 'fixed' it, and we stayed 7.0 which remains red. It made me wonder if there is some funny business because we've had a couple 'testing batches' show up even though they told us a couple weeks ago all of those problems should be resolved. Whatever. Not trying to start my own conspiracy theories or anything. But California also released guidance for professional sports and theme parks, and spoiler, they can't open until the county they're in are in the orange or yellow tiers, and only at super limited capacity at that. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego Cases Rising | California Vaccine Plan: Don't Expect Until 2021 | Martinis Above Fourth Permanently Closed | RIPink Livestreams

Baby tapir for Rainforest Day (Taken at San Diego Zoo 2.14.2020)

I'm trying to get back to pre-pandemic mode where Mondays are my 'day off' so today I challenged the notion that you can't catch up on sleep, and I kinda think I won. I was zoned out in my room all day, skipping emails and doomscrolling, until Darren revealed Nova was having some sort of breakdown. 
Apparently he was encouraging (forcing?) her to get out of the house and out of her room (which I swear smells like a high school boy's room at times) and go skate or bike or something. He told her she should skateboard around the block, but instead, she decided to try to do tricks-- which she doesn't know how to do--in the driveway, which is neither smooth nor flat nor appropriate for any kind of skateboarding, so of course she fell on her elbow and instead of sympathy, was met more with 'what were you thinking?' so it was full on meltdown city all afternoon. Eventually she calmed down and we decided to take her to derby because obviously she needed to be around anyone her own age and away from us. I'm not really prepared to be roommates with a mopey teenager, so hopefully this wasn't a sign of what's to come, especially if we're not resuming school or normal life until 2021 or beyond. 
Today's media briefing with the Governor was 'sobering,' to use his word, as he discussed vaccine distribution, wildfires, and the politicization of COVID-19. On Tuesday we'll find out if San Diego has slipped back to purple, even when adjusted, but there wouldn't be any changes until a second consecutive week, so at least for now, we shall remain where we are. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

CoViD-19: Is San Diego Sliding To Purple Tier? | Pandemic Fatigue Sets In Worldwide | There Aren't Always Two Valid Sides To Every Story


World Okapi Day (Taken at San Diego Zoo Safari Park 11.11.2019)

Today was a really nice day. The weather has been perfect this weekend after a crazy hot summer and it was nice hanging out in the yard today. We watched some of the #SOSFest on YouTube, Darren is happy because he can finally play guitar again after hurting his shoulder last week, and the animals are all happy that the plumber is done and gone. I talked to my mom today so we'll be heading down to Chula Vista to help her with a Costco delivery she's expecting in the morning. I think I've got some Housewives to catch up on so I'm just gonna leave today's stats and I'll be back tomorrow per usual, with the Governor's briefing.  

Saturday, October 17, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego Stats | Doomscrolling | Too Young To Die

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. 

CoViD-19 San DIego Case Rate On The Rise | Infection Rates Are Too Damn High | Arts Sector Devastated By Pandemic |

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." 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego Numbers Still Trending Up | Bar Pink Sells To CH | County Reports 17 New Community Outbreaks


Better days at Bar Pink (Taken 2.17.2020)

For 13 years, Bar Pink has been everything for me: a place to see live music, a place to catch up with friends, a place to have a date night within walking distance of home, a place to catch late night drinks after shows at other venues, a place to people-watch, a place to call home. The way the bar and staff welcomed me over the years (and sponsored this website when nobody else would) will never be forgotten. I don't know specifics about the deal beyond what's been covered in the media, and I don't need to be one of the people pestering Dang or Robin or Tara or Ami or any of the other great people to get an inside scoop, but we're in a pandemic and we know that bars and venues have largely been left behind with stimulus concerns: first to close and last expected to open, besides maybe theme parks, but even then, we don't have the clout nor outdoor options that they do. So today was a really sad day as the news spread. And I'm sure there will be more information and Bar Pink will speak when they're ready instead of letting speculation and gossip run rampant. A sad day indeed. I will be pouring a few tonight in their honor. 
In personal updates, our bathroom is almost done though where the floor meets the tub still looks like shit and I don't know how they're going to resolve that. Darren broke his phone about a week ago and so he's going through the nightmare of trying to transfer his old stuff, but his shoulder is doing better so that's a plus. And we're still quasi-quarantined which has a direct correlation to how much online shopping I've been doing. I've got a newsletter to send out, so I'm gonna peace out and will catch up with you tomorrow. 

CoViD-19 San Diego Health Update | County Offers Free Flu Shots | Herd Immunity "Unethical," Says WHO | No On 22 | #SOSFest Releases Schedule

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.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

CoViD-19 Dr. Ghaly Weekly Briefing: San Diego Stays Red | How To Do Lower Risk Halloween | Sean Penn Does Good (Again) | Jeff Tweedy Brings Hope

One year ago, Bastille played with Joywave at SDSU CCCU OAT (Taken 10.13.2019)

I'm not taking notes on the Supreme Court confirmation hearing because it is so brutal, but there are certainly interesting pieces to watch here and there. Senator Lee of Utah is a worthless piece of shit, and also, people ARE LITERALLY dying in the streets but he wants to go on some rant about being pro-life. What a joke. I decided to stop the hearings and watch the County Board of Supervisors meeting which was pretty low-key, just some reallocation of CARES funds that weren't needed in their prior allocations, i.e. money from the Great Plates program wasn't needed because it ended up being funded by either the State or the Federal government separately. There's always some fun digs between Fletch and Gaspar which I live for, and also lunatic callers from the public, like the guy who thinks there's no science to prove the existence of COVID-19, but if there is, there's no way to test for it, and if there is, the test being used isn't the correct one, but then again, it doesn't exist in the first place. 
Dr. Ghary did his usual briefing, too, and we're staying firmly in the red tier for now, with a 7.2 unadjusted and 6.8 adjusted case per 100k. Just note that this is worse than last week. so we're just riding that edge. 
We're pretty sure Nova's fever was a reaction to the bee sting, so after Benadryl and Advil she was fine and today everyone is healthy and happy. We're playing it safe and took Vons up on a free delivery + $20 off our first time and will stay home a couple days at least just to monitor, which is fine anyway as the plumbers continue to work on our bathroom, though today they didn't even show up until almost noon to take the tub to the dump and then barely dropped off the new tub and walls for install, so we'll see if he can really get it all done by tomorrow. I'm gonna call it a day because I woke up at 4am. Catch ya tomorrow. 
(Update: I forgot to update today's county stats. They're all there now. 52 Community Outbreaks in 7 days!! Way to go, San Diego! Let's reopen everything!!) 

Monday, October 12, 2020

CoViD-19 California & San Diego Stats | Supreme Court Hearings Begin |

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. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego Counts 45 New Community Outbreaks in 5 Days | Phantogram to Play Virtual Cali Love Festival | Oceanside Launches Inaugural Culture Festival Virtually


Elephants at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 10.10.2020)

One of the benefits of alcohol is that those "lowered inhibitions" can also be revelatory. I was so stressed out yesterday and so while Darren and I were hanging in the speakeasy we talked and talked and figured out a solution for dealing with this unforeseen bathroom remodel and then today he totally cleaned the studio so our disruption won't be so invasive and I feel a million times better about it. 
Today while watching the Seahawks v Vikings game (I've ended by boycott of the NFL in light of the evolution of their BLM stance which is far from perfect, but change is good,) they played Phantogram as bumper music and it made me realize that I forgot to share about the Cali Love Fest, and then Lou Niles sent me info about the Oceanside Culture Fest which is coming next weekend, so that's below, too. 
Lastly, I know we all have COVID-fatigue, but cases are seriously increasing all over the world and starting to uptick in San Diego. Don't let your guard down because none of us are getting compassionate use of any 'miracle' cures. 

CoViD-19 San Diego Crosses 50,000 Cases & Other Stats | San Diego Music Livestreams | NIVA #SOSFest | Photos: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Sugar Glider at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 10.10.2020)

I have been cranky all week. Lady problems can be partially attributed, but like everyone, I'm going a little stir-crazy, politics are out of control, and my sleep patterns have been more terrible than usual. I'm also experiencing major anxiety because our management company determined that they need to replace our entire bathtub and interior, so they're telling us it will be a three day job but the faucet and shower earlier this year and the toilet a couple years ago were double that time on their own. We've got access to the empty apartment below us, but with Nova in virtual school and the pets discomfort anytime someone is in the house, let alone worrying that our plumbers will wear masks while doing the job is just stressing me out. Hopefully next week I can say that I was overreacting and it will all be just fine. 
I finally finished reading Hieroglyphics by Jill McCorkle and am looking forward to reading more of her books while I hide under a rock through election day. I also watched a 2014 movie called The Road Within via the Hoopla app, which is available with a Chula Vista Library Card. It's about three troubled young adults- one with Tourrette's, one with extreme OCD and other anxiety disorders, and Zoe Kravitz plays a woman suffering from anorexia, who find themselves escaping their treatment facility on a roadtrip of self-discovery and overcoming their obstacles. It's intense, but I really enjoyed it, once I got past that always awkward feeling of actors portraying different issues or disabilities that they don't actually have IRL. We attempted to watch Hubie Halloween but didn't make it past 8 minutes because Adam Sandler's bumbling-idiot character is so tired and insulting.
Last night I read on Instagram that a woman whom I only came to know through her San Diego Zoo and Safari Park photos passed away suddenly and it really hit me. Granted, she was 75 years old, but one day she's posting pictures of the lions and two days later her pages are full of RIP messages. It's making me think hard about how I share my life and how I'd be remembered by whatever my last post was, either here or on socials, and I guess in that sense, I appreciate the reminder how quickly it can all go away. Today I felt we should honor her with a trip to San Diego Zoo Safari Park and it was soooo crowded. Like, pre-pandemic summer Saturday crowded. It's nice to see so many families taking up the free kids days in October, but we'll probably hold off on more weekend visits until next month. Those pics are at the end of this post. 
Lastly, I promised a music post, but to be honest, each event probably warrants its own post. At least their publicists think so. So I provided links and if I find the time, I'll do individual posts for the big ones, but if not, you can dig for info with the links provided. All after the jump. 

Friday, October 09, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego & California Stats | 8 More Community Outbreaks in SD | Mayoral Candidates Discuss The Future of Balboa Park | State Loosens Household Mixing Guidelines

California Tower as seen from San Diego Zoo Skyfari (Taken 9.20.2020) 

I guess we've been breaking the law for months now. Today, the State changed the public health order to allow outdoor home gatherings for up to three mixed households, while recommending keeping the same 'bubble' and continuing to require distancing and mask usage. This revision is funny in hindsight because they were allowing mixed households when restaurants reopened and we all know how that went. Anyway, I guess the past 4 weekends of birthday gatherings at my parents house were all illegal, even though we followed all the things. 
Today was a low key Friday and I was hoping to do one massive music post because there's a lot happening, but I couldn't get around to it. The mayoral candidate discussion on the future of Balboa Park was interesting but the focus on philanthropy from both candidates is definitely a red flag. For me, there are so many other city issues that make Bry a non-starter for me at all, so Gloria still gets my vote, but I hope the future council and greater community involvement can thwart any of their "world-class" big ideas. 
We also had taco night and watched On The Basis of Sex about RBG to add to our raging day. I'll hopefully get that music post up, but in the meantime, if you want to keep up with Casbah stuff, you should make sure you're signed up for the newsletter. You can do that at on the right side of the site, especially if you've changed email addresses. I hear there will be an email purge soon. Anyway, today's data, news, and notes on the Mayoral candidates discussion about Balboa Park are after the jump. 

Thursday, October 08, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego & California Stats | 28 New Community Outbreaks In 2 Days | Pelosi Says Squashing Virus Must Be The Goal

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. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

CoViD-19 California & San Diego Stats | Governor Newsom Launches 30 by 30 by '30 Environmental Land Use Strategy | Don't Count On Disneyland Anytime Soon | Photos: San Diego Zoo

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.  

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

CoVID-19 California Introduces Equity Metric | San Diego Stays In Red Tier But Hits Hospitalization Trigger | FDA Releases Vaccine Guidance |

Nova & Fi at Grandma & Grandpa's House (Taken 10.4.2020)

Today was another low-key day. I was up too late watching shows, then read into the wee hours of the morning. We're currently watching Lodge 49 on Hulu, and then once Darren goes to sleep, I've been watching Ratchet (in small doses), Valeria (also in small doses), and whatever random movies I happen to find. 
Today I watched Dr. Ghaly's press conference and they attempted to explain the "equity metric" but it wasn't super clear how it affects county numbers. We also watched a press conference with New York Governor Cuomo, and after watching Governor Newsom for so many briefings, it was interesting to watch Cuomo, because he is clearly done messing around with openings and closings. His big message is that you could close businesses, particularly 'non-essential' businesses back down, but the reality is that the "clusters" or community outbreaks are happening because of gatherings: houses of worship (who weren't supposed to be having services in the first place, then were supposed to have attendance limits) and unauthorized parties, citing weddings, concerts, and even pointing to the Rose Garden ceremony as superspreader events. So they're doing a bigtime crackdown with worship services limited to 10 people, restaurant caps cut to 25%, max 4 people per group, and a bunch of other restrictions. I appreciate Newsom, but I kinda like that NY attitude demanding enforcement of the health orders. 

"We know where the cases are and we know what we have to do. Government has to do it's job. But individuals have to do their job also. And organizations have to do their jobs also. We're all citizens. It's not government's job to catch you, it's the citizen's obligation to do the right thing." - New York Governor Cuomo

Today's news and articles after the jump. 

Monday, October 05, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego Stats | Newsom Nominates First Gay Justice Martin Jenkins To State Supreme Court | CDC Acknowledges Airborne Transmission (Again)


Nadia in her chicken hat for her birthday/Oktoberfest (Taken 10.5.2020)

We had so much fun celebrating Oktoberfest and Nadia' birthday at my parents' house on Sunday. We had our giant Belgian soft pretzels, grilled sausages, and my mom's amazing potato salad. We (distantly and masked) danced to silly polkas and the Chicken Dance for good measure. After getting home, Darren and I continued the party in the speakeasy and I'm paying for it today for sure, so the day has been full of a lot of couching and terrible TV. Nova and I watched Zookeeper which is just as terrible as you'd expect from a Kevin James movie, and then Darren and I started watching Sneakerheads which I'm on the fence about because how many bad decisions can one person make? Over the weekend we watched Vampires vs The Bronx and we all loved that. Super funny and quality family movie. I'll be back tomorrow with Dr. Ghaly's state0 updates with our updated county tier assessment. We won't see movement either way despite our unadjusted rate being in the purple tier last week because our adjusted rate had San Diego staying red, but it will be interesting to see the numbers regardless. Today's briefing notes and other news after the jump.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego Stats | Happy Oktoberfest

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. 

Saturday, October 03, 2020

CoViD-19 San Diego Stats: County Crosses 48k Cases | Rose Garden Red Flags | Tonight: Low Volts Live

Kiwi (Taken 10.31.2019)

 My little Kiwi is so old I don't even really remember how old she is. I think she was born in the spring of 1998, but it could've been 1999. Those were weird years for me as I had moved to Kensington from Mira Mesa and my college relationship fell apart. Point being she's been in my life for a really, really long time and she's not doing so great these days and we might have to make a decision as to whether she's suffering more than living. She's still getting up and around, but she kinds looks confused whenever she gets off the couch and she may have another UTI, which is treatable, but painfully so for a cat and it's just impossible to know what the right thing to do is. This picture is almost a year old, but she never stays still enough for a good photo, so this is what I've got. 

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.

Friday, October 02, 2020

CoViD-19 Mask Resistance Pervasive | Fallout From Trump Contracting COVID-19 | Cohns Propose Theme-Park Conversion of Balboa Park | Limited Library Reopenings

A grazing cow near Ramona Grasslands for World Farm Animal Day (Taken 9.12.2020)

What a crazy last 24 hours, no? Darren and I were already in Speakeasy mode when we'd heard that Donald and Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. Reactions have been exactly as expected, so I don't need to recount that here, but I guess I'll join the chorus in saying that it's okay to feel however you need to feel for a man who has repeatedly and intentionally endangered our lives and the lives of so many. If only we could all have the health care that he's going to get. In the time since the announcement, several other people close to him have tested positive, so maybe while they were all dancing on RBG's grave and celebrating the nomination of her replacement, she was giving us one final parting gift. 
Because of that news, I stayed offline as much as I could today. We did a Zoom with Nova's school and they've made the decision to remain 100% virtual learning through winter break (at least), which made us pretty happy. The school is going to great lengths not to just consider the state and county statistics, but the specific statistics for the zip code surrounding the school and the areas where most students live. 
We also spent most of the day in the yard, me in my swimsuit with the sprinkler blasting me and it was lovely and also helping our new grass seed and wildflowers continue to sprout.
But now here I am with my nightly post. We watched the second half of the Padres game, and we just finally watched My Octopus Teacher on Netflix and it was great. I waited a long time because someone told me it would make you not want to eat "pulpo" again, but it didn't really have that effect on me, but it certainly makes me want to go snorkeling again really soon. Anyway, today's news, stats, and hot takes are after the jump.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

CoViD-19 Daily San Diego Stats | Free October Zoo & Museums For Kids | Coping With A Trumper | No On 22 | Excessive Heat Warning Extended

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 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.