Saturday, February 27, 2021

CoViD-19: FDA Approves J&J Vaccine | In Late Night Vote, Congress Approved Rescue Plan | Supreme Court Is Out To Kill Us | Happy Birthday, Darren! |

Happy Birthday To Darren, 2021 Style (Taken 2.24.21)

I think I figured out what had me all rankled yesterday and it wasn't just that my lady time was harshing my vibe. I was just starting to feel like everyone was demanding things of me. I'm unemployed but it doesn't mean I'm just sitting around all day looking for something to do. I have a family, I have plenty of projects to keep me occupied, I have this site, which makes no money but keeps me alive inside, and I still get hundreds of email a day to sift through. I'm more of a recluse than I project and sometimes I just wanna be left alone. Last night once I got offline and everyone was asleep, I watched United States vs Billie Holliday on Hulu and it is so super intense and tragic and forces some hard looks at racism, government, sexism, domestic abuse, and opioid abuse, all in one life.

Today, the construction next door was non-stop from 7am to 7pm, but I made the best of it by getting into the studio and cleaning out my closet which felt like a good step in getting it more cleaned up and livable beyond our 'speakeasy' it has been. I'm listening to Barack Obama's book on audio so it was peaceful to just get into cleaning mode while playing it through the stereo. 

Today is Darren's actual birthday and we didn't do anything really special besides making amazing poke bowls using the yellowfin and shrimp from our Know Seafood order (use my referral code for $25 off!) Now he's on a nighttime bike ride, and hopefully that will shake his anti-birthday funk. Either way, I'm going offline for the night. Stay safe out there. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

CoViD-19: CDC No Duh Report: Safer Communities Mean Safer Schools | Petco Shuts Down Again Sat-Tues | Playing With Data |

Kashmir musk deer at San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.24.21)

Today I was the Kashmir musk deer. At the San Diego Zoo, she/he lives alone under a long walkway by the underappreciated aviary. It will look at you if you click your tongue and talk to it softly, but startles easily and really just wants to be left alone. 
I was up super late last night, the kind where night turns to morning and I only went to bed when the sun was up because I didn't want to ruin the rhythm of Nova's school day. When I did finally sleep, it was long and peaceful and I ignored texts and phone calls and emails all day. Sorry if you're one of the ignored, sometimes I just need the time. Darren and Nova went to Presidio Park for a little meet-up with our friend, but I'm not quite ready for social activity and the anxiety of being out in a world that feels like nobody else gives a shit anymore about this pandemic. I hate to be the party-pooper, but the rapid decline in cases has petered out and in some cases are going up again, so there's nothing really to celebrate and even more reason to step up the caution. 
I'm keeping it light on links today because honestly, everything is in a holding pattern. All the "news" was about what could happen over the coming days in weeks instead of things actually happening, so we'll learn about J&J or the Rescue Plan House vote or what is happening with vaccines that are going to places that shouldn't have them, like medical concierge companies or plastic surgeons who are doling them out against protocols. Maybe even someone will investigate how McKesson even got their contract since they can't seem to get the vaccines out on time, snowstorm or not. 
Again, sorry if you needed me today. I needed to unplug and let my body rest and have time with the family as we had a lobster and scallop feast to celebrate Darren's upcoming birthday. They're all asleep now and I may just follow suit. Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

CoViD0-19: California Tops 50,000 Deaths | Congressional Bigots Keep Bigotting | Shocker: COVID Spread High in Gyms | Vaccine Eligibility Expands |

 

Koala Joey at San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.24.2021)

The kid finally decided to come home today so we spent some time hanging out in the backyard, but without our trees it was actually too hot, so we took it upstairs to the catio instead. We created a game where we read the dumb media questions asked during the daily press secretary briefings and how we think Jen should/would answer. "I'm not going to negotiate legislation from this podium" is a popular one, but sometimes I imagine she just wants to say, "that's a stupid question I've already answered a dozen times and the President isn't going to comment on the last president's bullshit or let his past policies survive the next four years." Like seriously, some dumbass asked if Biden would invite the Texas senators on Air Force One when he visits Texas on Friday. Besides the fact that Cruz should be quarantining after flying, Biden isn't going to put insurrectionists and traitors on his plane.

Anyway, it was a lovely afternoon. Eventually Nova and Darren took a little trip to Andersen's Nursery and bought a ton of flowers to go in the planter they made out of a pallet so I'm looking forward to sprucing up the yard for a green spring and summer. 

I have barely gotten through any of my email today, however, so hopefully I can catch up tonight because if I don't dwindle it down, it just piles up and makes me cranky. I was trying to decide on pulling the trigger on a new couch but instead realized Living Spaces was still open so we went there to look at a couch I found online and thank goodness I didn't order it sight unseen because it was definitely not what we're looking for. But that store is massive, so at least I have an idea of what we're all looking for in our ideal sofa in our very small living room. Also, 8:30pm is a great time to go furniture shopping because the commission-driven sales people are too busy cleaning the floor and fluffing pillows to hound you every seven seconds. 

I may eke out another post if there's anything worth noting, but the big news today was that the US launched retaliatory air strikes on Syria, the parliamentarian ruled that the minimum wage hike may not be included in the American Rescue Act, and the bigots of congress voted against expanding the Equal Rights Act to LGBTQIA? people, but it passed anyway. I don't know when or how Schumer is going to end the filibuster, but it needs to happen NOW. The republican obstructionist party has got to go and everyone should be paying attention to how these people vote against their own constituents interests over and over again. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

CoViD-19: CA Variants May Be More Infectious & Deadly | County To Expand Vaccine Eligibility On Saturday | J&J Poised To Get EUA On Friday | Biden Cancels EOs of The Last Guy |

I Love This Gorilla (Taken 2.24.2021)

Today was a much better day around here. I had a morning call with my music venue pals with SDIVA and Darren chippered up a lot. He made me a great lunch of shrimp & mac salad and after watching Jen's media briefing, we went to the San Diego Zoo. It was a little crowded since we didn't arrive as late in the afternoon as usual, but I attempted to use some of the information I got from the Tropical Photography video I watched last night, to mixed results. 
I watched some news and the County Media Briefing and the County Town Hall when we got home, and between those and a quick scan of my socials, there are a lot of crazy hot takes out there. So here I am with my own. 

I think there's a strong Venn diagram overlap of people complaining about slow vaccine rollouts and people who complain that they don't get tickets to sold out shows. Is it 4th grade we learn about supply and demand? Perhaps some of us should review, because holy shit! This is a GLOBAL pandemic. Our country failed in response in EVERY POSSIBLE WAY for all of 2020. Thankfully science moved forward with barely any of our cooperation and they found vaccines! And they have to manufacture them! And factories have to manufacture the vials and the needles and the pipettes and virtually nobody was ready for that because of the old covidiot in chief and now we're a month into this administration and there are still supply chain problems, and cold chain problems, and weather problems, and technology problems, and equity problems, but calm. down. man. We're all gonna get shots in our arms. Schools are going to open, and at least here, it's gonna be done safely. And little Johnny Quarterback will get his football season and you can look 30 years down the road and blame his CTE on the vaccine and not the fact that you let him play high school football and everything is going to be just fine. Ugh. 

And to Alexis Rivas hounding Fletcher about 2% of vaccines going to non-County residents. Fletch stumbled a little but I think the answer you were fishing for is that people are coming from Tijuana to get them. This is because anyone who works in healthcare in the county, even if they live in Mexico, can be vaccinated here. Same goes for American nationals or dual-citizen residents who are 65+. But nice try. 

So yeah. Next tier is starting on Saturday. For half a million people. Calm the eff down and wait your turn. In the meantime, stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

CoViD-19: Case Rate Drops To 15/100k Residents | San Diego Unified: All Schools, All Grades To Return In April | CDC Gets More Pressure To Dangers of Aerosols |

 

Mwezi Is Everyone In My House Right Now (Taken 2.21.2021)

It's been a ho-hum day around here. I think Darren gets into a little funk around his birthday and with Nova gone and me just lazing around watching news or napping or reading email leaves him pretty bored. I was fascinated with today's briefings, and also watched my share of coverage of Tiger Woods' massive rollover crash. I don't really care so much except in watching the ways celebrities are treated so different than the rest of us. We would've been drug tested on the spot, especially if it was known that we just had another major back surgery 5 weeks ago and a history of reckless driving and DUI. It very much appears he fell asleep or the thing nobody wants to say, was suicidal seeing as he never hit the brakes. Whatever, at least nobody else was involved. I can't decide if that is actually good advertising or bad advertising for the 2021 Genesis GV80, but it looks like everyone on the scene is saying he could've died, so I guess that speaks to the safety of the vehicle. 

I also watched the governor and Jen Psaki and just the same dumb questions as always. I watched some of the Capital Insurrection hearings but that's why we have news to just edit the informative and revealing parts. Now I'm watching Nat Hub's "Daily Dose of Nature" on Youtube and it's on Tropical Photography. Maybe I'll practice his techniques in the Zoo aviary at some point this week. All I know is if I don't get Darren out of this house, I'm gonna have a sad panda on my hands. 

Today was a big news day locally because SDUSD released their reopening dates, City Council passed the short term rental restrictions (which don't go far enough, in my opinion, but it's something), and our case rate has once again dropped significantly to 15 cases per 100k residents. That is good news. I don't think we'll see any more major drops, I believe they'll be more incremental, but barring any crazy variant outbreaks, we could actually get out of the purple tier in the next month or two, and that will be amazing when we do. 

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

CoViD-19: New Cases Continue To Drop | Back To Masking Basics | Biden Memorializes COVID-19 Deaths | Happy California Day! |

 

Happy National California Day! (Taken 6.15.2021)

Today is National California Day, so it felt appropriate to post a pic of our California Sea Lions, but I haven't been to La Jolla since we pulled Nova from soccer, so hopefully our numbers continue to drop and I can start leaving the house a little more regularity and with a little less paranoia.

But while I'm on that, can we get back to mask basics? The State of California requires you to wear a mask when you're out in public around other people, whether you're inside or outside. A mask should be worn over your mouth and nose. The CDC is now recommending double masking (disposable surgical-type mask underneath a cloth mask on top). This means that those early days when we were making masks out of bandannas or using neck gaiters are inadequate. Pulling down your mask to use binoculars or take photos, as I saw yesterday at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, defeats the purpose, as does pulling it down to yell, or cough, or sneeze. This really isn't that complicated. Old Navy sells cute, cheap masks which go on sale all the time. You can order cheap procedure masks from Costco and it could be on your door in a day or two. If you don't have Costco, Avacare Medical is another good site. I know there's this whole pressure cooker situation where everyone wants everything to go back to normal, but masking and distancing aren't going away anytime soon, so if you haven't gotten used to it after a year, you better get used to it now. 

Around here it was a low-key Monday, just the way I like, after me and Darren had a speakeasy night. We don't have anything really going on at all when the kid isn't around, but it is Darren's birthday this week, so maybe we'll find a special way to celebrate. Stay safe out there.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

CoViD-19: SD Sees Lowest Cases In Months While US Surpasses 500,000 Dead | Military Assaults Go Uncounted |Texas Nightmare | Photos: San Diego Zoo Safari Park |

 

Mwezi is around 5-6 months old. San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 2.21.21)

I've given up even trying to have normal sleep. On Saturday night I watched Nomadland on HULU which was so good, especially as it rolls credits and you see that most of the people in the movie play themselves, or some version of themselves. I went to bed before 3am, but then as typical, at 4 am my 22 year old cat comes into the kitchen meowing at top volume to let us know Strawberry has taken her heating pad from the couch, so I have to wrangle the younger one into my room and then get the old grumpy lady back to her spot. By the time I settle into bed, Strawberry will do biscuits on my butt and legs for about 20 minutes before she settles in between my legs, paralyzing me from flipping or moving my legs in any way. So then I'll just doomscroll while the east coast news starts coming in and finally doze off somewhere around 5 or 6 am.

Needless to say, life in the house goes on around and without me, but when I do finally get up, I spring out of bed with some idea of what we're gonna do and today, that was San Diego Zoo Safari Park. This was actually a terrible idea because it was a Sunday and perfect weather and thus it was crowded and full of mommy militia and bro-beer-dads, all filling up the walkways with their masks off, so there's no way to get around them. It's a nightmare and it makes me crazy, but we have some quieter spots and just stayed there for the couple hours we were there. And that's where all the regrets fizzle, because we got almost 45 minutes more or less alone with Holly and Mwezi. 

It was also funny because I say "more or less" alone, but there was this woman who shoots at the two parks numerous times a week. I see her probably 75% of my trips to either park, and she was talking some shit about all the other photographer hobbyists. It was hilarious to hear this older senior woman sounding like a middle schooler talking about her likes on Instagram. I tried to chill on my hashtags on IG a while back and this was a huge reason why. I'm there for the animals, not to be be made inferior by someone who has the bank to buy a $10,000 camera and crazy expensive lenses. 

Anyway, after all that we grabbed take out from Minh Ky, ate at home, then took Nova's back to my parents' so she can school in peace. Hopefully my dad can get his in-home vax soon and my mom's second appointment is just a couple weeks away so that when they tell Nova she can sit on the couch she doesn't have to keep saying, "I'm trying to keep my space," while wearing a mask in their house. Stay Safe Out There. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

CoViD-19: US Can't Keep Up With Sequencing | Dems To The Rescue For Texas | Youth Sports Rant | Make A Cheap Air Filter |

Ficus, Strawberry, & Kiwi on their blankets, towels, and heating pads.
I hate sharing interior pics, but it's ok for #LoveYourPetDay (Taken 11.27.2021)

I am not always a good person. I experience my share of shadenfreude or deep feelings of 'good riddance' when certain media figures or politicians kick the bucket and sometimes even hope for it when I hear people like Mitch speak or I read rulings by Clarence or wonder why Donny is even still in the news. I'm a bad person, but I still think they are worse. 

In that vein, it's easy to look abstractly at Texas and think about how just a few months ago, some trucks tried to run a Biden bus off the road or how California was not only criticized, but mocked for blackouts and fires. But someone posted a meaningful tweet that really hit me that basically highlighted the fact that Biden won New York in the 2020 election with 5,230,985 votes. Joe Biden lost Texas with 5,259,126 votes. Around 29,000 more Texans voted for Biden than New Yorkers. Considering voter suppression and gerrymandering and legislative bullying in the state for so long, it isn't hard to envision a blue future for the state (and let's face it...most states who've had the same kind of suppression and gerrymandering.) I've had the good fortune of traveling to Austin on three separate occasions and obviously it was amazing and I have more friends in Texas than I realized who all suffered immensely this past week, not to even mention the dozens of people who died or will die due to circumstances resulting from the past week's weather. Watching AOC and Beto and even Bethenny Frankel step up with their fundraising and direct aid has been inspiring, and I'm not gonna lie, makes me feel like a total asshole. 

As for other things going on, I'm feeling much better (thanks to those who reached out.) I'm thinking it had less to do with exposure to anything and more about late night habits and vices, even though it's been a few days since we had a tequila night around here. 
The last thing on my mind, of course, is school and youth sports reopenings. I think we're pretty clear for Nova's school returning, but if that measurement of community spread keeps moving, I'm gonna have to use my best judgment when we think it's okay for her to be in a classroom again, and for how long, and what mitigation would have to take place for us to feel comfortable (Do you remember what it's like to spend time around middle school boys?). And the same would be true for sports, though I think that she's given up on soccer forever and is on the fence about competitive derby, which is probably still a long way off from returning anyway. So today's post won't just be data and articles, but a few threads that got my attention last night. I'll catch ya on the flip. Stay safe out there.

Friday, February 19, 2021

CoViD-19: CDC Must Address Aerosols | After CA Revises Youth Sports Guidance, Judge Gives Go Ahead | Vaccines Still Facing Nationwide Shipping Delays |

This is how I feel today. (Taken 2.5.2021)

I'm feeling a little under the weather so I'm monitoring closely and will get tested this weekend if I need to, but my only real exposure would be babysitting earlier this week, and I don't think I'm in any danger. We did also go to the Zoo, but we were literally near nobody the whole time we were there. But still, the feeling that any sniffle or sore throat or headache could be COVID-19 sucks, and I'm 100% on the side of teachers when it comes to reopening schools. It was shocking to hear Newsom say that the 25 cases per 100k was adequate compared to the Legislature's proposal of 7 cases per 100k, when he and Dr. Ghaly were the ones who were using the 7 cases per 100k as the standard for tier movement all along. It's also astonishing that a judge took it on himself to open sports and there are expectations that other sectors may reopen soon, like indoor dining, gyms, theaters, etc. It really is so stupid. How about focus on schools, give that at least a month to see how it goes, then worry about sports or indoor dining or bars or gyms? We've been told all this time that decisions are being driven by science but now suddenly those metrics aren't so clear as more people become vaccinated, as a high percentage of the population has already been infected, and sorry for being so crass here, but maybe they think the most vulnerable have already died as we approach 50,000 deaths in the state. It's hard to say. But I'm just as happy to keep on mostly staying home and dodging the world until I'm vaccinated. 
I don't actually have much more to talk about because I mostly laid around today, sipping on tea and chicken broth and sleeping with my cat on my lap. Hoping it's nothing. Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego's R-eff Drops To .68 | Fletcher Delivers Progressive State Of The County | Prop 22 Will Ravage The Economy | Vaccine Delivery Delays Continue |

 

Cheetah at San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.18.2021)

I still have a ton of email to get through tonight because Darren and I decided to spend the afternoon at the San Diego Zoo. It was such a nice day that it almost makes me feel guilty seeing all of these places freezing across the country, but we pay sunshine tax for a reason, right? I felt like I had to be close to the animals today because I was so heartbroken about the wildlife sanctuary in Texas that has so many helpless animal casualties from the cold. 

We had a couple cool moments, like the tiger pacing right in front of us and almost 20 minutes with hippos Funani and Amahle with nobody else around. There's this amazing feeling when you make eye contact with animals that large and beautiful. We closed the day by the giraffe, and the month-old giraffe has already been booted from the nursery because another giraffe is about to give birth. Like, she literally had liquid coming out of her and was pacing and just waiting for it to come out. After, we grabbed burritos at Colima's and it was just what I needed. 

I didn't watch my usual briefings and stuff today. I did watch the very inspired and very progressive State of the County speech from Nathan Fletcher (I've embedded it below) and watched the usual news, but I tried to listen to Jen Psaki but had to give up because the media just keep asking the same repetitive questions. I also wanted to point out that the "R-effective" which measures the transmission is .68 which is green (good) for the first time in ages. This is good news, but we're not in the clear. I'll get any missed stuff in the next post. Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

CoViD-19: Winter Storm Uri Delays Nationwide Vaccine Deliveries | California Rolls Out 'MyTurn' Statewide; Immediate Relief Agreement with Legislature | SF Ferris Wheel Wants 4 Year Extension |

 

(Taken 2.5.2021)

What a dumb day. Last night I came across a story about the so-called Observation Wheel at Golden Gate Park. Like the one proposed at Balboa Park, it was supposed to be temporary. Once it was fully installed, however, California went into stay-at-home orders and eventually only opened for about 5 weeks around October/November before the holiday surge and reinstatement of the stay-at-home order. So instead of asking for an extension of their "Certificate of Appropriateness" which is like, does this stupid fucking monster thing belong in a public park, for say, 6-9 months to earn back their losses, they're trying to extend this thing for four years, while still calling it temporary so they never have to go through CEQA or the EIR process. It's so gross. Spoiler alert: after three hours of calls and discussion, they continued the item to their next meeting on March 3rd. Meanwhile, the SF Recreation and Parks department will likely take all the same pleas and calls on Thursday while they determine whether the permit should be extended to 2025. I don't generally pay attention to Bay Area politics, but this very much could've been our same stupid predicament with the proposed Sky Wheel in Balboa Park. Thankfully that has been tabled, but I hope they never resurrect this misuse of Balboa Park lands. I don't plan on watching their future meetings because it was a total time suck, but I'll definitely follow the plight and the media spin that people who don't want it are somehow NIMBY or 'fun killers'. 

Nothing else really to report. The construction kicked back up today and was like sitting through a 5 hour series of earthquakes from 3-5 on the Richter Scale. It is a really good think Nova is staying with my mom. I also watched the State and County briefings and for fun we're watching Jen Psaki's briefing on YouTube because at this point we can predict how she's going to answer the same idiotic questions. ("I'm not here to negotiate that from this podium." or "We believe this IS a bipartisan bill as polls show as many as 80% of the American people want this relief and they want it now.") But I can hear Darren clinking around the kitchen letting me know it is time for cocktails, so I'll bid adieu until tomorrow. Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego Drops To 22.2 Cases Per 100k; K-6 Schools May Reopen | US Experiences Crushing Weather | FEMA Rolls Out Vaccination Supercenters |

 

Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional at Observatory North Park (Taken 2.12.2020)

Since Nova has been at my mom's, things have been pretty quiet around here. Today I got my kid fix in as I watched my friend's first grader for a couple hours while her brother was at a dental appointment. We watched a kid movie on Netflix called We Can Be Heroes and did a puzzle of the United States. She's an adorable chatterbox and I hadn't seen her since she was much younger so we had a fun little afternoon. 

It was also a media briefing heavy day. We watched the California, White House, and Pentagon briefings, and a few newscasts, too. The storm across the country is horrifying and while it's easy to declare Fuck Texas because of the shithead politicians there, the posts from my contacts in Austin have been heartbreaking, with people sleeping in their cars to run their heaters and being out of power for days, with more dangerous weather to come. I can't even imagine. I always say I'd rather be cold than hot but imagining three days in sub-freezing weather with no power might have me rethinking that position and I'm so sorry to hear of the suffering and reported deaths with likely more to come. 

As for us, there's not much going on. Nova will probably stay with my parents through Friday, though the construction site is just sitting there untouched for several days. I may try to convince Darren to do a San Diego Zoo or Safari Park trip with me, but I also have been prone to just kicking it in my pajamas all day when it's been chilly. So we'll see. Stay safe out there. 

Monday, February 15, 2021

CoViD-19 President's Day Weekend | More News On Variants | CA Risk Decreasing, But For How Long? | Biden Stands Up To 2A Nutjobs |

A Pic of Funani and Amahle at San Diego Zoo For National Hippo Day (Taken 11/20/2019)

I had such a nice extended weekend. We got some backyard time without construction noise and Darren's cooking has been especially impressive of late. We went for a short little hike through the canyons around the 25th Street park with Ficus which was really nice and reminded me that there's a whole world outside our yard that may finally be more accessible as these vaccines continue to roll out. We also took Nova to my parents' house where she'll stay for the rest of the week so she can do her distance-learning in peace.   

Of course I also watched my news binges for the day. That weather across the country is insane! Happy to pay the sunshine tax to live in this beautiful state. And while I'm thinking about California, I'm already so sick of hearing about the recall efforts. The news keeps giving airtime to this Hitler-looking guy behind the campaign named Orrin Heatlie who is a real piece of shit, sitting in front of his American flag to let us know the nationalist that he is incase it wasn't clear. Governor Newsom is far from perfect but this recall effort really pisses me off because the republicans know they would never win this state in an actual real election. Fuck all of them and I hope everyone registered makes sure to vote NO whenever this special election happens. Never forget that Faulconer didn't do shit for San Diego. 

Stay safe out there. California's R-effective was green for the first time this weekend but it's now gone back up, so we may already be seeing that variant spreading which would be no bueno for sure. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day! | COVID-19 Data Improving Locally, Statewide, and Beyond |

Me and My Valentine, Darren (Taken 2.11.2021)

I'm gonna follow the lead of everyone else and take the day (mostly) off. I've included data where it was provided but I guess this big weekend with Lunar New Year, Valentine's Day, and President's Day all in the course of four days has everyone taking time off. I will say that while the holiday may be having an effect, our numbers are looking promising with the lowest new cases we've had in ages and hospitalizations and ICU hospitalizations are looking promising, too, and indications are that ICU won't go down much more because hospitals are finally scheduling other types of surgeries.  

Around here we had a low key day. Darren and Nova built a succulent wall garden planter out of a pallet they found on a bike ride with a 'free' sign on it, I attempted to organize my dresser drawers, and then I joined them hanging in the yard for a couple hours. I finished the crab we ordered and now my Facebook feed is full of ads for seafood boxes and I want to order them all. Tonight we're just hanging around the house with Darren making pizzas with the dough Nova made yesterday and I'm trying not to get sucked into the internet while I'm finishing this post, so I'm gonna call it quits and hope you all stay safe out there. 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

CoViD-19: Vaccines Are Working When We Can Get Them | San Diego Tops 3000 Deaths | Senators Vote Cowardice On The Record |

The Gorillas at San Diego Zoo Safari Park have recovered from COVID-19
and are back on exhibit. (Taken 11.10.2020)

Today's acquittal didn't come as any surprise, but that Maya Angelou quote comes to mind, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." So it is written who supported the former president and party over country. It is on record for us to never forget. 43 senators chose to look the other way or attempt to save their own asses or who knows what they tell themselves to sleep at night. I did my best to avoid social media because I don't need to feed my outrage any further, but I do always have my go-tos like Rebecca Solnit or Heather Cox Richardson to give some context and perspective. I just hope this means that the news will finally stop showing his disgusting face, the late shows retire all impressions, and we can close this horrible chapter of American history and hope he just withers away. 

To take a break from all of that, I finally watched Life In A Day 2020 on YouTube and it is full of humanity and hope and sadness and grief and joy and it is definitely worth the watch. Tonight we're cooking up the crab I ordered from Seattle so I'm gonna cut it early tonight. I will also mention my mom got her first Moderna shot today at the Chula Vista Superstation and said it was easy-peasy, organized, and an overall great experience and she didn't experience any symptoms or pain. Hope you all can get your appointments when your tier comes up. Stay safe out there. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

CoViD-19: Petco Vax Canceled Sun-Tues Due To Missed Delivery | California Has Its Own Mutations | School Guidance Released | Impeachment Trial Wraps |

The crowd for The Frights at Spreckels Organ Pavilion (Taken 2.15.2020)

Darren and I had a super fun night in the speakeasy and it meant that I slept an amazing 12 hours! It was delightful. The day was chill, we hung in the backyard for awhile since the contractor finally put in a temporary fence as I requested, and I've spent most of the evening trying to get my email under control which was almost triple my usual volume. 

Today the CDC released their school guidance, which is more or less identical to what California already had in place, and after glancing them over, it is promising that barring any crazy spring or summer surge and more evidence that vaccinations have lasting effects (which at this time is unknown), that Nova will be going to in-person high school this fall. Fingers crossed. We obviously don't want her going to school until its safe, but as an only child, she's certainly been more isolated than kids with siblings. 

There was also news that a shipment of Moderna didn't arrive as expected, so they've got to reschedule three days of Petco Park Superstation vaccination appointments. It was kinda funny watching the news freak out over the news, while just moments before they're showing the harrowing weather across the country, including that 100 car pile-up in Texas. "Gee, I wonder what could've caused this delay?!?" I'm not saying it doesn't suck, but people need to be a little more chill. At least we're on a path forward compared to where the country was a month and a half ago. Moderna is distributed by McKesson which we were warned would be slower. 

I don't think we have any big Valentine's/Chinese New Year/President's Day weekend plans other than a big dinner with the crab legs I ordered from Northwest Seafood Express as a Valentine's/Darren's Birthday plan. We probably have to get a Costco trip in but hopefully we can stall that until Monday. I also think Darren is finally desperate enough to go shopping for a new couch, so we've been feverishly comparing Mor, Jerome's, Bob's, and Living Spaces online but we'll have to go in to see what he could actually feel comfortable sitting on. I dread it, but it has to happen because our couch's life has been exhausted. So yay. Very exciting stuff around here, I know. Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

CoViD-19: CDC Cleans Up Guidance | County To Surpass 300,000 Cases, 3,000 Deaths | House Managers Conclude Case | Photos: San Diego Zoo |

Shaba, a geriatric elephant at San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.11.2021)

I'm going to keep it short tonight because I got a little ranty earlier today that I'm keeping after the jump. I personally had a great day. I slept well! I woke up bright and shiny in the morning and Darren made breakfast while we watched the Impeachment trial. We also watched pieces of Jen Psaki's media briefing. By the afternoon, I'd written my rant (see below), put away laundry, tidied up the house, and while Darren was on a bike ride got to grooming my overgrown and long-ignored eyebrows before we packed up and went to the San Diego Zoo for the closing two hours of the day. 
From there, we went to my mom's to pick up Nova, grabbed some lumpia from Jochi, but they were out of pancit, so we called an order into 777 Noodle House and had a smorgasbord of Asian delights. It was actually a perfect day, though I'm gonna have to catch up on news and emails tomorrow because I want to have some speakeasy time tonight. In the meantime, I'm stoked I got my situation handled with EDD, and so feeling aggressive, I did a three way call with my mom and 2-1-1, which after going through their phone tree, got us to this super amazing woman named Jackie who not only added my dad to the homebound seniors wait-list for vaccinations (the pilot hasn't quite rolled out as yet), but she was able to get my mom an appointment for this weekend in Chula Vista. While the news is harping on the difficulty of getting vaccination appointments, I would say be persistent. If it is true that vaccines may roll out to the next tier in 2-3 weeks, get your 65+ parents signed up as soon as possible!!! Otherwise they could get lost in the system once everyone and their brother claims to be a food and ag worker which includes restaurants, delivery, takeout, farming, etc. 
Anyway, I'm getting screen blindness which surely means I need to wrap this up. I will say from the impeachment, the best line of the day was a quote: 

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”. - Voltaire

Anyway, be safe out there. Rant and Zoo photos and all my daily notes in between, after the jump. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

CoViD-19: CA Vaccination Update | CDC Updates Mask Guidelines | Impeachment Trial Reveals Harrowing Video |

A Vulture at San Diego Zoo Safari Talk (Taken 2.3.2021)

What a difference a day makes. I still didn't sleep normal...I attempted sleep at midnight and kinda tossed and turned until I surrendered and just got up at 4 before finally falling asleep for real at 6 until about 11, but then I had to get up for an SDIVA Zoom which even though it gives me a little anxiety, was nice to chat with my music venue pals. 

But I am having such a better day than yesterday. The construction was loud af all day but I didn't let it get to me. Nova has been staying with my parents so she can do zoom school without the disruption. Darren and I have been watching the impeachment in bits and pieces (PBS NewsHour has great video broken down in chunks) and I'm so proud of the managers for calling out everything that lead up to the insurrection. Conviction isn't the point. Getting senators on record where they stand on insurrection is the point. 

Meanwhile, a family with three under 7 year old kids decided it was cool to climb on the excavator and tractor that are doing the work next door and I took some photos and called my guy at the City, but I kept my cool. I've now told them 4 times that they need to seal off the property when they're not working but what else can I do? (Can't say the same for my new neighbor who filmed while he was yelling at them to go away.) 

While perusing the interwebs, I found a woman online who gives EDD advice and followed her instruction, and ended up calling and getting through, and after 40 minutes on hold, was finally able to certify several back weeks, and I might also get paid for the mid-summer week they skipped when I was re-hired then re-furloughed, though that will take another call to a different person on another day. I also realized that my San Diego Zoo reservation wasn't for yesterday but for today, but we had to skip it because I had a frozen seafood delivery we had to stick around the house for. 

And after all that, Darren and I are making fish tacos and I am feeling great. The pandemic pendulum swings. One of these days I may actually leave the house again. In the meantime, stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

CoViD-19: Variants, Vaccines, and Feeling The Pandemic Pendulum | Impeachment Trial To Proceed | More on Section 230 | Waiting Your Turn For The Vaccine |

In The Before Times at Ken Club (Which We Now Know Wasn't Actually The Before Times)
 Taken 2.8.2020

I guess it finally happened to me. I hit the "pandemic wall," or as I've been referring to it, the pandemic pendulum, swinging from optimistic, rah-rah, 'we can do this' attitude to today when I literally could not get out of bed. I woke up at a somewhat reasonable time, scrolled through social media, watched a little bit of the County Board of Supervisors meeting, watched a little bit of the impeachment hearing, and then decided, 'fuck it' and went back to sleep. I even had a zoo reservation that I just couldn't motivate to suit up into actual clothes and go into the world. 
At the end of last year, there was definitely this feeling of 'just get us to inauguration and things will start to get better,' but with the insurrection and the inauguration and the impending governor recall effort (and every stupid news channel giving it oxygen) and states willfully pulling basic COVID safety measures to defy the new administration, and people just going on about their lives like everything is normal again it is just too much sometimes. I am so grateful for the moves that President Biden is taking with his executive orders and whatnot, but I'm so angry at the opposition he gets day after day. Sit down. It isn't your turn anymore. You gave us four dreadful years and killed almost half a million people with your incompetence, you have nothing of value that we need to hear.  
I'm angry that people are out drinking at bars and breweries. I'm angry that the news still show story after story of people not wearing masks or wearing them wrong, especially when they're in positions to know better. I'm tired of people going back to normal lives while post after post in my social feeds is yet another friend who is sick or another friend mourning a COVID death among their family or friends, often linked to yet another GoFundMe to cover medical and funeral bills. 
I'm tired of trying to call EDD and navigate their 2 minute phone tree only to be hung up on every single time. I'm trying to be patient. "The glitch will be fixed by the end of January," they said. And so I'm still waiting. I'm so frustrated. 
But the best thing I can say about all of this is that all of these feelings are totally normal. The pandemic pendulum swings. It won't be like this forever. We will get vaccines. We will get relief. We will see friends again. We will hug our loved ones again. There will be live music again. There is room for anger and grief and outrage while also having room for joy and gratitude and love. So here we are. 
Be safe out there. 

Monday, February 08, 2021

CoViD-19: After Stay-At-Home Lifted, Community Outbreaks Rise | Dems Investigating Botched Pandemic Response From Previous Administration | Convalescent Plasma May Have Caused Dangerous Mutations |

 

Matthew Caws of Nada Surf (Taken 1.18.2020)
"Never Not Together" Dropped on 2.7.2020

Today I put on a pair of jeans and then about an hour later, I was like "what was I thinking?" and went right back to my loungy comfy pants. After we dropped the kid off at my mom's last night, Darren and I had some drinks and after he went to sleep, I had some more, and I had myself a little binge watch party. I watch the New York Times presents series from FX on HULU. I watched the Pandemic episode and the Britney Spears episode. Then I started watching the Megyn Kelly movie Bombshell, but couldn't get through it. Even watching fictionalized Fox News people was just too much for me and was killing my buzz. 

There was a lot to watch today, with Jen Psaki and the COVID task force, and what Darren called "The Superfriends Episode" which was a press conference with Governor Gavin Newsom, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, Mayor Todd Gloria, State Health Secretary Dr. Ghaly, and County Health Director Dr. Wilma Wooten. For sure Newsom is on a campaign to remind Californians all that he's done through the pandemic so people vote against the recall, but it was still kinda cute to see them all gush about each other. And anyway, FUCK KEVIN FAULCONER. He's a piece of shit and did nothing but leave destruction behind him and duck away to let everyone else handle everything so he could try to keep his own hands clean.  There will be no recall votes coming from this household. 

Besides all that, I am still slowly working through my email, so you may get another post tonight or a super long one tomorrow. Till then, stay safe out there. 

Sunday, February 07, 2021

CoViD-19: Super Spreader Bowl | Health Care Workers Experience Backlash From Deniers | Variant B117 On The Loose | A Look At Section 230 |

San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.2.2021)

Like a lot of people, we watched the game today. Or rather I did and Nova and Darren did everything possible not to be in the room at any time. Darren is still outraged about the NFL's treatment of domestic abuse in the league. We hadn't watched games for years because of their despicable racism and exploitation and poor attempts at social justice, and then Darren kinda started watching again and made me love Mahomes, and so here I was watching the dumb game alone. As expected, it was an awful game, it brought no joy in our house, and even the ads were subpar. But at least my new popcorn maker came in clutch. 

This week is going to be kinda nuts with the impeachment starting and teacher conferences and an upcoming four-day weekend. I've got a couple upcoming San Diego Zoo and Safari Park reservations, too, so hopefully we can get out of the house a little more now that we can return to a mask-controlled outdoor environment with relatively low-risk again.

Stay safe out there.   

Saturday, February 06, 2021

CoViD-19: Supreme Court Majority Thinks It Is OK To Die For Jesus | Variants and Vaccines | Roll Out The Rapid Tests |

 

Dwarf Crocodile at San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.5.2021)

I had a nothing day. I did nothing, I went nowhere. My big day included eating fresh ceviche on my catio in the sun, watching news, surfing the internet, reading my news. Darren made another lovely dinner, Nova and I watching "Finding Ohana" on Netflix which was basically a modern Goonies and finally put together my new popcorn maker. Super exciting stuff around here.   

I will say I'm totally okay with my nothing day. Darren and I were up super late in the speakeasy on Friday night and I'm watching Facebook closely because I now have several friends currently battling COVID and it is super scary, especially how people start feeling better and then suddenly turn worse (watch an explainer here.) I hope everyone stays safe out there and enjoys Sunday whether you watch the game or not. I love Mahomes so I'll be tuned in for sure. 

Friday, February 05, 2021

CoViD-19: Supreme Court Allows Church Capacity, Singing Limits | Votes Moves American Relief Forward | Photos: San Diego Zoo

Koala Joey at San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.5.2021)

In the new saga that is my life, today the construction began next door. We were told we'd have a fence by Friday, but instead we have the opposite: a partially excavated empty lot with no fences to the street, alley, or between our properties. I stayed in bed just dreading looking at it, but when I finally did I crawled back in bed until I realized I can't really do anything about it and should still go to the San Diego Zoo. We waited until Nova was done with piano, so we only got about an hour in but I was still grateful to have gotten out of the house. 

By the time we were back and realized all the fencing was gone, I reached out to a couple dudes who are the liaisons but it was too late. Hopefully we don't have to wait for Monday but I have no faith in this developer whatsoever and just a few weeks in, he's been nothing but incompetent. It. sucks. 

But I can't let it ruin every day from now until completion so hopefully we just have a couple bad days and it isn't a constant battle. Stay safe out there and enjoy the beautiful San Diego weekend coming our way.

CoViD-19: Parroting False Data Doesn't Make It So | Vaccination Mistakes | "Return of the Regulators" | Propaganda Frame By Frame |

Newman the Sand Cat at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 2.3.2020)

It is so late so I'm calling it, but here are some of the other things I came across as I finished up my reading for the day. Mostly just more stuff about school reopenings and a few long reads that are worth a look. I'm looking forward to Friday as I have another Zoo reservation, so hope everyone has a good and safe day and I'll probably circle back late Friday night. 

CoViD-19: While Cases Drop, US Sets Record With 5,212 Deaths | Biden Flexes Human Rights Muscles | AP Reports Catholic Dioceses Took In Billions of PPP |

 

Cape Buffalo at San Diego Zoo Safari Park Taken 2.3.2021

Obviously I'm so glad that the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are open now, but I'm still shaking my head at the lifting of outdoor dining restrictions and the constant drumbeat that schools need to reopen, even now when our numbers are way higher than they were back when we started shutting everything down in the first place. I think it is incredibly irresponsible for Dr. Walensky to say that schools can open safely when that is not the official CDC guidance and the statement needs to be qualified with 'if masks are worn, if students are distanced, if HEPA air filters are installed," etc.. Whatever...we are pretty much counting on no in-person school this year and are totally fine with that, though I realize that is not a popular position and a lot of parents, especially with multiple children households, are having a really rough time. 
I didn't really do anything noteworthy today except for sitting out in the sun and trying to wrap my head around my missing trees. Grieving trees is real. 
I've got a newsletter to get to so I'm gonna cut, but I still have a ton of email to sort through, so I may do another interim post if necessary. Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

CoViD-19: US Passes 450k Deaths | Vaccinations Continue Ramping Up | Rs Hate Losing The Game They Created | Photos: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Mkhaya and Zuli Were Having Fun Wrestling Today (Taken 2.3.2021) 

I'm glad I did my bonus post last night because we did Safari Park today and I just don't have it in me today. Basically the news is people complaining about not getting vaccine appointments across the country, then doctors convincing us why everyone should get one, and then our electeds telling us things will get better and ramped up more and more everyday. In the meantime, I'm so happy for friends getting vaccinated but I understand people being disgruntled when a masseuse at a fancy day spa and someone selling weed at a pot shop gets priority over people with disabilities, comorbidities, or are actual first responders or frontline workers or teaches. It's so crazy. 
The rest of the news is about the Rescue Plan and impeachment so a lot of the same stuff as always. 
I'll get to watching today's county briefing on Thursday which is normally an otherwise slow news day. In the meantime, today's numbers and my Safari Park photos are below. I'm definitely out of practice, but it was nice to be there all the same. It wasn't crowded at all when we arrived at 3pm, but there were definitely more people who take advantage of the wide open spaces by cruising around with their masks as chin-bras or just drinking beers and making sure their kids always have some sort of snack in their hands to exempt them from mask wearing. Super eyeroll. But it wasn't bad enough that we won't be back super soon. Maybe even on Sunday during the big game. 

CoViD-19: Misinformation On Social Media | Vaccination Focus On Education, Equity | Biden EOs On Immigration Policy | Biden's COVID Response Team Expanding Vaccinations and Testing |

Taken at San Diego Zoo 2.3.2021

I couldn't help myself. I should've been at home chilling and watching Bravo, but I felt compelled to watch the media briefings I missed, so I watched Jen Psaki and two different COVID Task Force briefings, as well as getting through all of my email and reading. So instead of piling it all on later on Wednesday, I thought I'd push out another post. We will be at Safari Park today, but there will be a several briefings today, including Jen Psaki's daily briefing, the COVID Task Force, and the San Diego County briefing, though those are getting pretty routine. I should probably slip some sleep in there at some point, too. Have a great humpday out there and stay safe. 

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego Reports Under 1,000 New Cases For First Time Since November 29 | Dr. Ghaly Cautiously Optimistic | San Diego Zoo Photos |



We went to the Zoo! The San Diego Zoo reopened on Saturday and I made a handful of reservations last Monday when the Stay-At-Home order was lifted. We arrived around 3pm and there was no line at the health screening and no line to get in, though there was a peahen walking through the gate when we got there which was pretty cute. It wasn't crowded at all which was nice, and everyone mostly seemed to be masked and compliant with distancing, except for the few Mommy Militias who always seem to have 18 kids running around shoving Cheetos or Takis in their grubby little vector faces. It was fun and there are a lot of babies...we didn't glimpse the few-day old giraffe who was hiding in its barn, but the babirusa piglets were adorable with their zoomies. We have reservations for Wednesday at Safari Park. After the zoo we got Tacos el Panson, so it almost felt like life is getting back to normal. 
Which is also to say I have some catching up to do. I've got some media briefings to watch and emails to read. I'll make sure they make it to the next post if there's anything worthwhile to share. Stay safe out there!

Monday, February 01, 2021

CoViD-19 Mistaking 'Open' for 'Safe' | Missing 'Weak Ties' | Late Night Twitter Wars | Twisting Words | COVID Is Still Deadly | Mayor Gloria Hosts Vaccine Town Hall (VIDEO) |

My Trees Have Now Been Slaughtered (Taken 12.9.2020)


Darren and I were totally gonna rage last night and of course, we both zonked out. Unfortunately it meant I napped at night and ended up waking up and watching Friendsgiving on Netflix which was pretty funny. I ended up going to bed but just endlessly scrolling through my phone and discovering late night Twitter. I got caught up with university and government epidemiologists fighting over school openings, Biden diehards joining with trolls lighting up a hashtag of #BlueMAGA, the idea that basically Biden is the same as T***p and lied about $2,000 checks, and people outraged over Governor Cuomo and Governor Newsom. I have a lot to say about all of those things, but I'll throw them after the jump and just keep it simple here. 
I ended up staying up all night, finally falling asleep around 8am, which I guess was ideal because then the developers came and cut down our trees. Darren made sure to vacuum, run my fan and air conditioner, and generally make noise so I wouldn't hear them and go chain myself to the trees or shoot arrows at them. By afternoon, Darren got Nova from her sleepover and it's been a pretty normal Monday. News is still bonkers, but what can we do? It will be this way for some time. I may skip tomorrow's media briefings because we have our San Diego Zoo reservation, but we'll see. Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

CoViD-19: Variant Dashboard Created by UNC | Highway 1 Washes Out To Sea | US Condemns Myanmar Coup | Prior Admin Actively Undermined States, Vaccination Programs |

 

Old Mission Damn and Mission Trails Regional Park (Taken 1.9.2021)

Tonight we dropped Nova off at my mom's for a sleepover and I'm riddled by anxiety over it. We haven't really been anywhere, so I'm not concerned at all that Nova could give anything to my parents, but I think my whole psyche has just completely shifted. I understand how and why people become shut-ins. When we leave the house, I can't wait to get back home, completely wash my hands and face and change out of my clothes that have been out in the world. It's not good and it's not healthy but at least I'm recognizing it and I think letting her stay there so she doesn't have to endure the planned excavator breaking up the lot next door and removing our trees is a first step. And we'll be going to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park this week, too, so maybe I'll see shining examples of people actually masked up and can at least temper these feelings that the world outside of my home is insane and scary. It all could just be my lady functions talking, too. Maybe all I need is chocolate. 

While we were at my parents' house, it was a little bit sad lamenting family and friends lost to the pandemic. Nobody immediately close to us has died though we are aware of distant friends, but the lamenting was more about family and friends who have completely signed on to the virus as a hoax, the election was stolen, the revolution is still yet to come, and a "real" inauguration will happen on March 4.  Uncles, godfathers, cousins, siblings that you just can't believe were educated people that believe all of this bullshit. It really is so sad and scary and a total mindfuck if you think about it too hard. But it's also why I've fully embraced my cocoon. Since the kid is gone for her first sleepover since March, me and Darren will be living it up Speakeasy style tonight so I'll sign off and expect that Monday is going to be a day full of briefings and news. Stay safe out there!

Saturday, January 30, 2021

COVID-19: California Passes 40,000 Deaths | Surprising To No One: Coachella 2021 Canceled | San Diego Zoo and Safari Park Reopen |

San Diego River at Mission Trails Regional Park (Taken 1.9.2020)

Darren and I had a fun late night in the speakeasy on Friday night. We were listening to the new releases from Arlo Parks and Adrianne Lenker as well as catching up on some podcasts and dipping into some old music, too. That resulted in a super chill and low-key Saturday. Darren has always wanted us to see Persepolis but we could never find it streaming so he checked it out from the library and we finally watched it. We also watched the CNN special investigation on QAnon which is even more bonkers than we already thought. In between, I'm also watching Bling Empire which is awful and terrible and a full-on trainwreck and hilarious and great TV all in one. 

We haven't had takeout food in weeks, but I've been having a hankering for egg drop soup. So instead of going to Hong Kong, I found recipes to make it and the accompanying wontons and it turned out amazing, though I'll need a pasta maker to get the wontons thinner in the future or just suck it up and buy them for a buck at the grocery store because they took way longer than the soup itself and now my back is killing me. 

Because of all that, I didn't do a whole lot of news watching or internet reading, though I was really sorry to hear about the jogger, Max Lenail, who died at Mission Trails Regional Park. We've been there during storms when the river is rushing and while beautiful, conditions can get really dangerous, and it sounds like he was there on Friday while the rest of us were at home marveling at the rare hailstorm. All that to say, I'll get back to it tomorrow or Monday but you're not really missing anything: people are still fighting back and forth about schools reopening, more cases of variants have been found in the US and will continue to be identified so long as samples are sequenced (which isn't happening nearly as much as it should), and there's crazy weather across the US. 

Stay safe out there!!

Friday, January 29, 2021

CoVId-19: CA, UK, Brazil, South Africa Variants All Confirmed In California | "Rapid Testing Will Be The Way To Reopen The Economy" | Fight Over California Schools Escalates; Stagnates |


Rhinos at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 8/23/2021)

Lately I've been thinking about antigen (rapid) testing. It's believed that they're less accurate than PCR tests, but "you can't wait for the perfect" as Newsom always likes to say. They need to be massively produced and everyone should have access to them that wants them, and employers should be supplying them for their employees, especially in cases of grocery and drugstores with built in pharmacies. And while vaccinations ramp up, there shouldn't be any decline in testing and they need to make sure tests continue to be available to everyone free of charge. Then I watched Governor Cuomo today and he said the same thing; that reopening the economy will depend on the continuation of testing among workers, events, health care environments, schools, churches and more. 

Meanwhile there's massive back and forth about school reopenings in California, with the Governor trying to accelerate negotiations with teacher unions and the unions pushing back that they should get vaccine priority before returning to classrooms. Again, are we just all assuming that kids are going to walk into safe, distanced classrooms with powerful HEPA air filters and circulation, while also wearing masks and keeping distanced all day? It just seems crazy. Underneath all of that is whether or not COVID vaccines can even be mandated because they're currently only approved under Emergency Use Authorization. In the DOD press briefing on Thursday, they were very careful to repeat numerous times that vaccination among service people is completely voluntary. They also emphasized that while the DOD had established a plan for vaccination distribution among their military bases around the world, there was in fact, no federal plan for vaccine distribution to the general population, confirming the Biden administration's claims about 'non-existent' plans.

Besides all that, it was a beautiful cozy, rainy day in San Diego. It hailed briefly and it was cool to see some accumulation on our 'catio'. Unfortunately it leaves us in limbo on the trees and construction...not that I want them gone any sooner than they need to be, but because we've made arrangements for Nova to stay with my mom on Sunday so she doesn't have to try to do school when there's an excavator working next door. Other than that, we're doing family movie night with The Dig on Netflix and enjoying it. 

Continue to stay safe out there! If you get really bored, you should watch the San Diego Zoo Safari Park giraffe cams which often have the rhino babies running around and splashing in the mud. Can't wait to be there next week!! 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

COVID-19: Cases Decline But Deaths Still High | SD Resumes Parking Enforcement | County Attempts To Improve Vaccine Distribution | Stop Saying Schools Can Reopen |

Monkey Puzzle Tree (Taken 1.28.2021)

It is safe to assume that everyone wants kids back in school. The differences of opinions have been about how and when it is safe to do so. So the other day, the CDC shared a study saying that schools can reopen with specific safety precautions. The problem is that this was not a guidance or recommendation or even an endorsement, but every single media outlet took it as such. That's why it was so refreshing today to hear Press Secretary Jen Psaki emphasized this point and also the fact that the study was based on one school in rural Wisconsin. What they also aren't talking about is that the actual age of a school matters. If ventilation is one of the highest determinants of spread, newer modern buildings have a clear advantage. Are my nieces safe to go back to High Tech High sooner than students who go to my alma mater Hilltop High which was build decades ago? Probably. But even then, the time isn't here yet. Especially since teachers aren't getting vaccinated until the next tier (after the 1.2 million health care workers and 65+) and students under 16 can't even get vaccinated until the studies are done and vaccines approved for kids. The news channels love to get people riled up and make them think opening is in the near future and then show the outrage when they are reality checked and told that it is not. It is incredibly frustrating. 

I've been thinking of questions I would ask at media briefings and would hope that I would come off better than some of the idiots who get the privilege of calling in. I would ask Dr. Ghaly if the 4 week ICU projections include hospital rooms at normal function or are they including the surge beds, where non-traditional spaces have been converted to hospital beds and ERs turned into additional ICU capacity. Does it also include the waivers so that staff can be more thinly ratioed from 1 nurse to 2 patients to 1 nurse to 3 patients. 

I would ask Nathan Fletcher if there is a plan for homebound seniors like my dad, or the people receiving the 92,000 daily meal deliveries through the Great Plates program to be vaccinated and if so, how they can sign up for such a program. 

I would ask Governor Newsom to speak about the issues with EDD and when the "reopen claim" glitch will be fixed on all accounts, and I would also ask him to speak about filing for Covered California when people have been on unemployment for nearly a year and their income is likely to have dramatically changed from prior years. 

Today's briefings were pretty interesting so there are a lot of notes if you're interested what is coming from the president's office and San Diego County Board with regard to vaccines and variants and all that stuff, check the notes below. 

Nothing really new around here. Apparently my trees will be coming down this weekend or by Monday and we'll have a new fence by the end of next week. I'll believe it when I see it. It was a really beautiful day today, so we did spend a lot of time in the backyard enjoying the trees while we still have them and I took dozens of photos so I could have them forever. We talked to my parents and Nova will be staying with them on Sunday so she doesn't have to do distance school with all the construction noise while they break up the asphalt currently covering the lot. We continue to stay home, but I am getting more and more excited about our San Diego Zoo and Safari Park reservations next week. 

Quote of the Day: "In terms of executive actions, he also ran with a commitment to take steps immediately to address the pain and suffering that the American people were feeling, and that includes overturning some of the detrimental, harmful, and at times immoral policies and actions of the prior administration." - Jen Psaki (when the 5th or 6th reporter asked about Biden's executive orders being contrary to his claims of 'unity')

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

CoViD-19: Use Your Judgment, US Records Another 4000+ Daily Deaths | Getting Tested Could Be Worse: China Introduces Anal Swabs | Biden Introduces Climate Policies; Leaves Fracking Alone |

 

A Backyard Shot To Remember Our Trees (Taken 5.2.2020)

I posted today's picture because things couldn't be more different. This is from last summer when we were always in the backyard playing games and trying to entertain the kid. On Tuesday, the fence was ripped out by the new project developers next door, and we've officially learned that by Monday, all of these trees will be slaughtered and removed.

Needless to say, I am not happy about it at all. But as renters, we have no say, and no right to object. There may be nests in the trees, but that isn't enough to stop it from happening. 

So, we will carry on. I have been in constant contact with our property managers and am at least fighting for priority to be put on reinstalling a fence, wall, or whatever they have planned, partially because we have pets that need an enclosed yard and partially because in the last month alone there have been three different police interactions involving the property. I'm working through the stages of grief about the whole thing but that process isn't linear, and the anger just makes me miserable and doesn't change anything so I'll have to learn to deal with it and plan a bigger, badder garden come spring and once we have an idea how things are moving on the project. 

In news today, I watched a little of the County Board Meeting about cannibis and it was a hoot, and we watched the Psaki briefing with John Kerry and Gina McCarthy. Things seem to be moving and also standing still so I'm gonna quit while my pendulum leans to optimistic and go join Darren in the speakeasy tonight. Stay safe, my loves. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

CoViD-19: As Worldwide Cases Surpass 100M, "Things Are (Still) Going To Continue To Get Worse Before They Get Better" | One Year In, Still Mixed Advice For COVID-19 Treatment, Vaccination Intervals | Dr. Ghaly Reveals Formulas For Projections |

Can't wait to see grumpy Winston now that he's recovering from C-19 (Taken 11.10.2020)

I think I got the mommish award of the year today. In the year that we've been home because of the pandemic, the kid is going through puberty. We've only had a couple opportunities to go shopping over the past year, and dressing rooms are out of the question, so I've been ordering stuff online, but she's gone from children's sizes to women's size. So I've mostly had to guess on loungewear like leggings and sweats and t-shirts. But I took a chance on some Old Navy jeans in women's size and today she graced me with her 'new clothes happy dance' because they were actually the right size. What a relief. 

Other than that, I've been watching as many briefings as I can. Today Dr. Ghaly went into more detail as to why the stay-at-home order was lifted, and I have a lady crush on Biden's Press Secretary Psaki who gave another long one today. Biden did a little briefing, too. Then I watch PBS News Hour, NBC Nightly News, and then local news, but apparently the reporters only seek out restaurants who violate health orders, people who can't get vaccinations, people complaining that the new administration isn't doing enough (six days in), and people who complain about the weather. And then the obligatory shot of people not wearing a mask properly, like the salon owner who was wearing a plastic face shield over the bottom half of her face while breathing over her client to paint in highlights. 

I mean, I've got complaints of my own. My EDD is still not fixed. The people developing the property next door ripped out our fence today and are apparently going to rip out our trees before any kind of replacement fence or wall is reinstalled. Then at some point they'll actually start construction which I'm sure will take at least a year to complete. So, yeah, we all have our shit, but I don't need to keep hearing every goddamn whiner on my television. 

There was so much news today, and like I said, I watched multiple briefings so all those notes are below. But the biggest takeaways are that Biden rolled out more of their vaccination plan including increasing the US order for vaccines, Biden is considering equity across all legislation, departments, programs, rules, etc, and Susan Rice had some nice zingers for the Republicans. 

"Until everyone in the world is safe, no one is safe." - Dr. Larry Brilliant

Monday, January 25, 2021

CoVID-19 California Lifts Stay-At-Home Order; County Maintains Curfew | San Diego Zoo & Safari Park Reopen Reservation System; Winston Recovering | Sign Up For MyTurn | More Variant News |

Looking forward to San Diego Zoo Reopening (Taken 11.23.2020)

Last night felt like Christmas Eve all over again. Watching the local news at 11, NBC San Diego announced that Governor Newsom was expected to lift the stay-at-home order. I can't stand not knowing stuff, so I was trying to get sleuthy and decided to check the San Diego Zoo website, and voila! The reservation system was up and running starting on February 2nd. Naturally I made multiple reservations for multiple days and the thought of walking around and taking photos again and seeing new babies just makes my heart explode. 

As for why the state is lifting the stay-at-home order I was being sleuthy, too. Certainly there's a combination of the ICU forecasts, the R-effective dropping, and vaccinations ramping up, and faith in the Biden administration to get some shit under control, but I imagine behind the scenes there's also huge pressure from restaurants and school districts and also from counties who just couldn't enforce 'peaceful protest' restaurants anymore and if lawsuits go to the Supreme Court, we can predict how that turns out. Still, in the Monday briefing, when asked if the change has anything to do with recall efforts or lawsuits and suggesting it is arbitrary, Newsom responded that is "complete utter nonsense." For those that think it's still too soon, just keep doing you. Don't make unnecessary trips, stay home when you can, mask up, social distance, don't mix households, keep away from activities that involve contact with non-household members exceeding 15 minutes. I still feel safe at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, but you won't catch me eating at any restaurant or going to outdoor performances until I get those shots in my arm. 

Anyway, of course today the stay-at-home order was, in fact, lifted. The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are reopening on Saturday and I've got my reservations for a few dates in February. San Diego Zoo Global also gave an update on the gorillas, and particularly Winston. The press conferences were all over the place today. We watched Governor Cuomo, San Diego County, Press Secretary Psaki, and news (until I passed out on the couch.) But main takeaways: we're back in purple tier, but they've added outdoor entertainment (12 ft from patrons and other performers, patron tables must have 6 feet between them) and some limited youth sports. Additionally, they're kinda tweaking the vaccination rollout just to make sure counties aren't being so rigid that they're not vaccinating enough. But San Diego is still only doing health care workers and seniors 65+, which combined is over 1,120,000 people. (Tier 1A Health Care Workers in San Diego County 620,000, Approximately 500k San Diegans are 65+ according to Nathan Fletcher, Media Briefing, 1.13.2021) Nathan also says there are a couple programs to vaccinate homebound seniors, so I'll be following up with details on that when I can find them so I can make sure my daddy gets the jabs. 

Hope everyone is staying safe and warm out there.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

CoViD-19: Sleepy Sunday | Rostam Adds Music To "The Hill We Climb" | Variants of Concern May Be More Deadly, 'Compromise Immunity' | Newsom Expected To Lift Stay-Home Order |

A Photo of our rescue, Ficus, for Change a Pet's Life Day (Taken 12.6.2020)

Remember how that asshole who caused an insurrection in the Capitol used to call President Joe Biden "Sleepy Joe"? Maybe he was actually right about this one thing. There's news, of course, but the news cycle is so much more manageable. On average, I receive about 500 emails a day between my two inboxes, and a significant daily portion were political actions: sign this petition, demand that Congress do XYZ, ask your reps to roll back whatever. I'm still getting them, but they're just not quite so dismal or ragey and it feels so good. 

One thing I was thinking about last night as Darren and I were having drinks in the speakeasy was about the vaccination rollout. (I know, I'm so fun to hang out with.) I was thinking how I am so happy for my friends who have been able to get vaccinated or been able to get their parents vaccinated. But for those who haven't, I think everyone needs to slow their roll. The County just announced 65+ yesterday. They still have 75+ and health care workers to vaccinate. There are SO MANY. People aren't necessarily going to get an appointment right away with no complications. The last administration had NO PLAN except to reward "red states" and punish "blue states". There is going to be some time before the kinks work out. This is an undertaking that has never been done before. Factories are coming online to make enough syringes and vials and PPE available. People are being trained to provide support and vaccinate which might otherwise be outside their normal job descriptions. This isn't a switch turned on overnight, as much as we wish it so. And we all still need to mask up and socially distance and keep out of indoor settings for a long time. Wuhan locked down with tracing, testing, facial recognition, and apps. Here we still have plenty of assholes dining out against health orders. Everyone needs to continue to do their part, wait their turn, be an advocate for their own health and register for an appointment, and get a vaccination when they can. 

Update: The news is reporting that the California Restaurant Association sent an email to member businesses that the Governor is expected to lift the stay-at-home order based on the ICU forecasts. It probably also has to do with his incentivization of reopening schools in February. But note that his blueprint requires cases to be below 28 per 100,000. San Diego firmly remains in the purple most-restrictive tier, so if the order is lifted, it will still mean only outdoor operations. We're still seeing incredibly high numbers in the region and I wouldn't recommend eating or drinking in public, though I'll probably go straight to the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park the day it reopens. 

Anyway, I know I'm a barrel of fun times. Be safe out there.