Wednesday, March 31, 2021

CoViD-19: Stay-at-Home Orders Worked | Vaccines Work | COVID Corruption Investigated | Biden Releases American Jobs Plan | AAPI Racism Report |

So what I wanted to say yesterday about Supervisor Desmond and others complaints about the girls at the Convention Center getting educated is that these fucking assholes love comparing apples to oranges. All local schools have plans for reopening but the difference with the convention center is that those girls are not allowed to leave. If you want your kids back in school full time, then send them, don't let them come home, don't let them play soccer, don't let them see their grandparents, don't let them do anything except school. That would be absurd and is precisely why Desmond needs to SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP. 

On the bright side, Pfizer is reporting 100% efficacy in 12-16 year olds, so hopefully they get a quick EUA and kids like Nova can be vaccinated by the fall school year. Until then, I think we'll probably go test this weekend or early next week just to be safe. I learned after the fact that a friend who dropped by the campsite is an anti-vaxxer and now I'm so irritated that he was even there. 

I'm slowly working through the 500 emails that accumulated over the past couple days, but I'm pretty beat, so I'll have to pick it up tomorrow. Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

CoViD-19 Camping | Gloria Promises Compassionate Cleanups | Desert Camping: Rangers Warn Of Unprecedented Busy Season |

I am such a liar. We have two adjacent campsites at Sweetwater Summit campground, but as my 'friend' Evan Dando sang, I lied about being the outdoor type. Because I was coming off my vaccine and into menstruation, I've been especially tired and yet can't sleep when I try. We brought Ficus yesterday and she basically stayed in the van the entire time. So for her sake and mine, and since I hadn't been drinking, me and the dog went home and I slept in my comfortable giant warm bed. Or tried. But between the cats and the dog, I was up feeding or letting someone outside or comforting one of them throughout the night. It wasn't until sunup that I actually got any sleep. 
Camping is funny. It's fun to be outside but they spent all day feeding kids, separating quarreling siblings. I was home. I didn't actually come back until around 6 and Ficus insisted on coming though now she's been laying in the van for 3 hours. She'll be fine when we move to the tent and Kristian turns of his speaker. I'm a no music in public spaces person, but I guess I'm the minority and don't get a say until 'quiet hours' start in 15 minutes. 
While I was home, I caught Jen Psaki's media briefing and of course saw the news that asshole Desmond is using the Convention Center's temporary housing for unaccompanied minor girls for political cheap shots and I'll say more another time but FUCK that guy. Stay safe out there. I'll be back to normal tomorrow. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

CoViD-19: Wear A Goddamn Mask | Local Cases Decline As US Surpasses 550,000 Deaths |

 We're camping so no links today, just today's data, but I highly recommend watching the CNN special on the pandemic and what an absolute coward Dr. Birx is. 

I did not expect it to be so cold and I didn't expect that the campground wouldn't have firewood for sale, so we'll definitely be running home when the sun comes up. I swear you can't take me anywhere. Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

CoViD-19: Still Not Safe; 62K Daily US Cases | Camping & The Psychology of Safety | Chill Out About Comic-Con |


Camping at Sweetwater Campground (6.10.2020)

By last summer, we started to know more about Coronavirus and how it spreads and that things were safer outside than inside. We went camping at a campground with amenities that was local enough to run home to check on the pets (or in my case, take a nap) while also enjoying outdoor time without screens. That ended up being the last time I used a public bathroom. I've gotten both my shots but still need time for them to kick in. I'll still be masking up. We're planning on doing the same trip this week and no joke, I bought a toilet seat that fits on top of a 5-gallon bucket and a privacy tent to be used as a loo.  I still think people are gross and those stainless steel no-cover toilets at County facilities are nasty and I'd rather not use them if I can help it. All that to say no promises on data for the next few days. 

In the meantime, it was a quiet day. I got my second Pfizer shot yesterday at 5pm, then was up with anxiety until 5am because everyone told me to expect to feel like I was hit by a bus about 8 hours later. That never came, but I definitely slept in and Darren says I've been more subdued than usual, though I think that's just the microchip getting to work reprogramming my brain. Just kidding. I feel good, I just maybe would've rethought getting my vaccine at the same time as PMS and a ding-dang heat wave. I will survive. Camping though...let's just say we're taking both cars in case I need to come home for a nap and a real toilet. 

There's a lot of news across the country and world that are all tied to political unrest and/or climate change, so I'll spare you, but I did feel like I had to share the announcement from Comic-Con after people were complaining that it is going to fall on Thanksgiving weekend (and of course the news LOVES to air such complaints.) We know from Wonderfront that San Diego Tourism considers November and December dry spells for tourism, and offers tremendous discount on facilities and permits to maintain some revenue stream. With Comic-Con, anyone who couldn't tell they were trying to have a smaller, pandemic-cautious event specifically during a holiday weekend is just being crazy or willfully ignorant. Tickets and guidance haven't been announced, and I imagine nothing will be set in stone until much closer to the event, when we have a better idea of local pandemic conditions, vaccinations, community spread, especially once summer happens and schools reopen, if people will need 'vaccine  passports' and whether or not any of it can really happen inside. But of course, let's interview some dude in Iowa who is so mad he won't be able to come to San Diego for Comic-Con. Seriously. Seriously?

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

CoViD-19: Vaccinated! | Normal Heights Drug & Weapons Bust | Pedestrian Fatalities Increased 22% During Pandemic | California Quietly Updated Guidance For Live Events & Theme Parks |

Koala Mama and Joey (Taken 3.19.21)

This week I kept seeing articles about vaccine jealousy or friends shaming friends about perceived line-jumping. While I understand having had this feeling back in December or January (like when weed shop employees were considered health care, really?) but vaccine supply has tripled since then and continues to grow. I've helped several people find vaccines appointments and there are now multiple ways to find them. Eligibility expands to adults 50+ next week and all people 16+ on April 15. Eventually we're going to get to a place where we're begging people, trying to convince them to get vaccines. I'm hoping when the Casbah reopens we can require vaccination cards with ID checks. If you're still trying to get an appointment, reach out and I can try to help. I am including the County's vaccine numbers so you can see when they tend to arrive and how the doses administered rate continues to grow. 

I got my second shot of Pfizer today and so far, so good, though everyone is warning me the chills will come about 8 hours after the shot. I got mine at the CVS off of 43rd St. The best thing was finally trying Sayulita's whose large order of carne asada fries could feed five people and their burritos are the size of an adult's forearm. We definitely overordered. And we'd definitely go out of our way to go back, especially because our favorite tamales can be found just down the street from there.  

I didn't do much reading today so I don't have many links to share, but I forgot to mention this crazy drug and weapons bust that happened a couple nights ago just a couple blocks up from my house. And I did include a link to StreetsBlog's article about the doubling of pedestrian deaths during the pandemic, but you probably could have already concluded that based on how piss-poor everyone seems to be driving these days. Also, California updatd guidances for live events & performances, and for amusement parks and theme parks.  Stay safe out there. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

CoViD-19: Dr. Walensky "Deeply Concerned" About National Trajectory | Assemblyman Gloria vs Mayor Gloria: Sports Arena Contractors Battle Over Low-Income Housing | Psaki vs FOX | Photos: San Diego Zoo |

Papa Gerenuk Chomps Dinner (Taken 3.26.21)

Darren and I intended to have cocktails last night, but by the time I finished my post, it was kinda late to start drinking. So today I'm gonna keep it short so I can get to hanging out. 

I will comment on a few things, however. We went back to the San Diego Zoo today to try to live it up before it is fully overcome with spring break. I posted about the Mission: Spring Awakening launching on Saturday, and I'll note that when I checked today, all Saturday reservations are gone, at least for members. I don't know if there's a different allotment for single-day ticket buyers. Even though we didn't arrive until 4:30, it was still super crowded. The line for Skyfari was especially long, and while I couldn't tell if they're still using every other car, as far as I could tell, folded strollers are still not allowed at boarding. I crossed paths with dozens of below the nose maskers which wouldn't be so annoying if their groups weren't spread out and hogging up entire pathways and trails. 

Before we went to the Zoo, we watched Jen Psaki's press conference and there was nothing really of note except her testy exchange with the dick reporter from Fox who was crying that mean Mr. Biden wouldn't call on him or his colleagues. Boo hoo. The best answer would've just been that he doesn't call on them because it's a NEWS briefing, and they clearly are not news. But alas, she has integrity and couldn't say so. 

I kinda skipped most of the rest of the day's news, but basically cases are going up in the US and is coinciding with spring travel, school and business reopenings, and people generally increasing mobility. Our cases should still get down some in San Diego, but we're still looking okay. I'd love to lock California up and ban all out of state travelers from anywhere, but obviously I'm an extremist. Oh, there was this funny thing about Sports Arena that VOSD reported on which basically stalls the project unless they commit to more low-income housing based on a law that passed, including a vote from then -Assemblyman Todd Gloria. Definitely worth the read. I'm off to the speakeasy. Stay safe out there. 

Mission: Spring Adventure at the San Diego Zoo Offers Entertainment, Extended Hours

In the onslaught of constant COVID news, I almost missed this email from San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, but it is kind of exciting. After being shut down for so many weeks in 2020 and almost entirely missing out on the entire Jungle Bells season, we're finally in a place where the San Diego Zoo can offer entertainment and extended hours for Mission: Spring Adventure, with extended park hours running from March 27th through April 11th. Check out all the info after the jump. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

CoViD-19: CA To Expand Eligibility To 50+ Starting April 1 | CTA: Fear of Virus Supersedes Concerns Over Learning Loss | Photos: San Diego Zoo |


When I wrote yesterday about why I don't recommend going to the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park with me, I mentioned that I obsess over certain animals, shoot a gazillion photos, and generally am not great company, but I failed to mention that I talk to all the animals. Kisses, calling them baby, slow-blinking with the cats, and bird calls all day long. We hadn't gone into the Scripps Aviary in a while, so we ducked in as the rain picked up and we tongue-trilled at the Turaco, getting him to sing his 3 minute elaborate call. Later on, after spending a ton of time with the hippos, visiting the cats, hitting Africa Rocks, circling Elephant Odyssey, and finally heading out of the Zoo, we stopped again at the Scripps Aviary and I spotted the gray parrot. He used to be really chatty, saying hello and goodbye and fluffing his neck when you tell him he's a pretty bird, but I hadn't seen him in some time. Today he was right by the viewing area and we whistle exchanged for several minutes, as he came closer and closer to the viewing fence. I love these little moments and it's why we go back as much as we do. Plus, you can't beat the light crowds on a drizzly, cold day. 

Today there was a ton of news and none at all. The direction of the country is really gonna come down to the filibuster or relying on McConnell retiring or croaking, and in my experience, evil people with no conscience tend to live longer lives because they just don't give a shit about anyone but themselves. 

President Biden held his first open press conference and he made a few digs at his predecessor which were quite the zingers, but it's amazing to feel so refreshed and hopeful after hearing a president than feeling distraught and hopeless. He's not perfect and there is a lot of cleaning up to do, but it sure did feel good to watch. 

I also watched Gavin Newsom's media briefing and he announced expansion of vaccine eligibility for 50+ starting April 1 and 16+ on April 15th. I am still completely willing to help anyone get an appointment who needs one. I'm literally up all night all the time. After watching Newsom tonight I found an email from one of the recall dicks and all I could think was can you even imagine how much worse the last year would've been if one of them had been in charge??? It is terrifying. It would be awesome if they didn't come up with enough qualified signatures and we can just put it behind us already, but I guess we'll see how it plays out. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

CoViD-19: US Cases Increasing, San Diego Surpasses 3,500 Deaths | Jen & Dustin Share Vaccine Story | Ward Supports AB122, Idaho Stop | Photos: San Diego Zoo Safari Park |


Tank Puppy Rhino M'wezi (Born Aug 2020) at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 3.24.21)

I was thinking about how many times people say we should meet up at the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park and I was thinking about what a miserable experience that would be. I watched the gorillas for like 20 minutes today, then stopped at the Turaco to make him do his silly bird call, then after walking the full lagoon, spent a ton of time with the lions who came right up to me at the glass to do their daily chuffing, watching rhinos Holly and Mwezi, and then Darren and I sat in our little spot to watch the elephants until after the park closed. (Security generally gives 30 minutes or so before more aggressively nudging people out.) I took 460 pictures today. Darren patiently finds a bench and brings a book. I also have a philosophy that Zoos are more like museums than amusement parks, so we speak in hushed tones if we even talk at all. So yeah, you probably don't want to go to either park with me. I'm not fun. 

Going there kinda kicked my butt though, so I'm gonna call it a night. I'll get to the rest of my email tomorrow, I guess. Today Nathan Fletcher laid out three paths for San Diego to move to the orange tier, so that's worth understanding, and the COVID response team talked about the spread of variants and concerns that case rates are rising again across the country as people become more mobile and things continue reopening. I also included a letter I got from Chris Ward after asking him to support the "Idaho Stop" for bicycles, and a link to a sweet story about my pals Jen & Dustin's vaccination story as first-time parents. Catch ya tomorrow. Keep staying diligent and keep safe out there. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

CoViD-19: NIAID Calls Out Astra-Zeneca Data | Daddy Gets The Jab | Gun Reform Now | ACA Deadline Extended | Photos: San Diego Zoo |

Good Girl Shaba Plays Peek-A-Boo (Taken 3.23.21)

Sometime in February, San Diego County announced that they would accept names on a list for homebound seniors to be given vaccines at home. All you had to do, they said, was call 2-1-1 and they would take your information and reach out when they could come to your house. I three-way called the number with my mom, which resulted in her getting an appointment at the Chula Vista Superstation, but not really any information about how long it would take for my dad, a homebound senior. Since he doesn't get any of the Great Plates benefits, I feared he wouldn't be top priority. Recently it was announced that the organization that was supposed to handle the in-home shots gave up after 3 dozen shots because it was too challenging. 

Since then, the County came to a new agreement with Sharp and we tried calling again, reaching out to friends who may be in the know, and called a couple other numbers who were collecting the information. This morning, my parents got a call that the vaccine-mobile would be at their house at 1pm, and my dad got the 1-shot Janssen vaccine. My parents didn't get a celebration for their 50th anniversary in 2020, but this year it looks like we'll all be fully vaccinated so we can celebrate close to the actual anniversary date and I couldn't be more grateful. 

I didn't even know until after an already good day. I was up early, Darren and I had a nice home brunch, caught up on some news and such, and went to the San Diego Zoo for the last hour they were open. It's definitely more crowded right now, but when it's like that, we stick to our philosophy of "birds and stairs." The aviaries aren't a super popular feature for tourists who may just be coming for this one time and just want to see the big animals: cats, apes, and bears. Additionally, the mommy militia have to avoid a lot of the gardens with stairs and steep hills with their double wide strollers, so we're still able to see a lot and find quieter less traveled spaces. I also made sure I visited Shaba the elephant to tell her what a good girl she is. As we were driving home, we saw a brass band practicing in the parking lot which was a nice little surprise. Catch it on my Facebook. Stay safe out there! 

Monday, March 22, 2021

CoViD-19: Premature Reopening Could Have Dire Consequences | Shooting In Boulder | Media Misrepresent Border Situation As New | AstraZeneca US Trials Look Promising, Still Await EUA |

KOLARS at Observatory North Park. Today they announced the dissolution of their band and relationship. (Taken 1.25.2020)

Today a man walked into a grocery store and opened fire. Ten people, including a police officer, were confirmed dead. It happened in Boulder, Colorado, where just days ago a judge struck down local gun regulations as a violation of state law. More than a few people noted that the pandemic must've turned a corner now that we have mass shootings returning to the country. This, after the horrendous shootings last week in Georgia where a racist incel targeted Asian spas. In both cases, the shooter was a white male. And in both cases, the "suspect" was relatively calmly perp-walked in cuffs, which is still just astonishing compared to how we see suspects of color taken out for even minor violations. Meanwhile, the media is obsessed with identifying a motive, which continues to be absolutely infuriating. I don't really give a shit why some sack of shit opened fire, except that we live in a culture of guns, incels, misogyny, and aggrieved white rage against everyone and everything because life didn't turn out the way they wanted or felt entitled to. And we completely lack the political will to change any of it. 

I was going to write about what a nice day it was. We had decided our stimmies would go to repainting the van and today we got it back after also getting a new windshield, and it looks amazing. We basked in the yard for awhile, took a late afternoon nap, walked the dog, and then went right back into watching all the news of the day. Please stay safe out there. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

CoViD-19: State and County R-eff Rising | State Closes in On 20 Million Doses Administered |

This weekend's hero, Shaba, at San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.2.21)

I don't no why I watch the news sometimes. A manager standing in front of his crowded indoor restaurant said that with the movement to the red tier, "we're moving in the right direction." Meanwhile 21 states are seeing increased cases, the variants keep spreading, and images of Miami Beach are sickening. I can't imagine that politically anyone would tolerate closures or rolling things back, but I also can't imagine things are going to get better and moving to less restrictive tiers anytime soon. The absurdity is so evident when you see other places, like Hong Kong or New Zealand, shut things down when any outbreak or cases pop up, and here we have over 50,000 cases a day and states opened up like things are totally fine. 

While everyone else is out living in the world, we spent the afternoon cloud watching from our catio and answering-- as best as we could--Nova's million and a half questions about what high school is like. Then we binged on popcorn while watching "My Spy" on Amazon and then we're going to take her back to my mom's for the week. The news was full of rallies supporting AAPI communities which was beautiful, and then a lot of nonsense about the border, as if this is a new problem that started on January 20th, and then a lot of talk about the NCAA tournament and the discrepancies between how they treat men's and women't basketball differently. So I'm gonna skip all the links today and just skip to today's data and numbers. San Diego's r-effiective is on the rise, so I would urge you all to stay safe out there. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

CoViD-19: Young Continue To Drive Transmission, 50+ Pay With Their Lives | San Diego Zoo Elephant Breach Video Emerges | Last Chance To Register For 79th District Election |


Me and Darren at the San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.19.2021)
I was trying to find more pictures of Shaba and it just made me sad because I spend so much time taking pictures of the elephant herd at the Safari Park, but I hate shooting through the wires at the San Diego Zoo, so my pictures of the senior elephants is limited. I did come across pictures of Tembo before she died at 48 years old in 2019, so that was kinda special, but I need a way better way of organizing my photos than what I currently have. Maybe I can train the tween to do it for cash. 

Today was another beautiful day in San Diego. We went for a small walk with the dog aroung the San Diego River Garden, had a nice lunch at home, hung out in the backyard, and then Darren and Nova made shrimp linguini that was perfection. After dinner, Darren and I made a grocery run and restocked both fridges and the freezer. I tell ya, Grocery Outlet at 8:30pm on a Saturday night is where it's at. Nobody is in the store, everything is freshly stocked, and the workers are super helpful and fast because they want to start closing up and getting ready to go home. 

I did find some stuff in yesterday's news that I thought was worthy of sharing, but mostly we were just obsessed watching the video of Shaba the elephant 'fake charging' that jackhole that jumped in her enclosure. We'll probably go back next week just to see the scene of the crime, and so I can make sure I get some portraits of the old elephants while they're still around. Stay safe out there. 

Friday, March 19, 2021

CoVid-19: CDC Releases Updated Distance Guidance for Schools | CCC Votes To End ORV At Oceano | Imbecile Breaches Elephant Enclosure | Photos: San Diego Zoo |


Shaba the Elephant at San Diego Zoo (Taken 12.3.2020)

Today was such a nice day. The weather was perfect, Darren and I got amazing tacos from El Panson for lunch, which we ate in our backyard which is bursting with plants and color right now, and then we went to the San Diego Zoo. 

Or I should say, attempted to. The parking lot was so crowded, so we checked the site and hours have expanded to close at 6pm instead of 5pm, so we did a little lookie-loo drive around Balboa Park, the bayfront, and downtown before working our way back to the zoo and while still crowded, we got a good spot and were able to get right in and stayed through closing. It wasn't a great photo was a little crowded, the light was terrible from sun to shadows, and lots of sleeping animals, but it was fun to walk around anyway. Plus there was an arrest for some dude jumping into the elephant enclosure with his toddler that was happening while we were there, though we didn't know why the cops were there until after we were home. 

After that, we went to my parents' house and got a little bit of puppy time with Roxy and brought Nova back home. Needless to say, I didn't get through much of my email today, but I'll filter through this weekend and post if there's anything I need to share. One thing I did notice, besides watching the White House COVID-19 response team briefing and the modifications to distancing recommendations in elementary schools was a couple reports that salons and personal care businesses are demanding that they should be vaccine eligible. I know it's a wide swath of people and businesses, but it struck me as a little funny that a couple months ago, this sector was demanding they be allowed to open indoors because they're so safe and following all safety protocols, and now they seem to think they're industry is so dangerous they should bump up their vaccine priority. Pick a lane. Anyway, stay safe out there. San Diego numbers are still high, the US is still testing above 50,000 new cases per day, and hot spots are rising in exactly all the places that have lifted restrictions, and now we'll see what our openings do to our cases in the days and weeks to come. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

CoViD-19: New Tests Detect Variants | EDD Drops Extension Information | Vaccines May Help Long-Haulers | Overcrowding Exacerbated Hospital Deaths |

Shaba the Elephant at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 3.17.21)

Last night I started watching Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admission Scandal on Netflix, but it was after some drinks in the speakeasy so I started it over tonight and it is so disturbing. It's kinda funny because my sister recently gave me a box of stuff she'd found at my parents' house while cleaning my old bedroom and in it was this angry and bitter ranty essay about how rich people and the whole college application process sucks. I also found my admission acceptance from UC Berkeley, where I never went because my parents made me go to community college first. In retrospect, a good decision, though I wonder about the whole sliding doors effect, what life would've been like if I had gone as a freshman. The documentary highlights just how outrageous this scandal was. 

I didn't really do much else today. I dressed like I was going to actually leave the house but never did. I caught Jen's morning briefing and watched the county's briefing in the afternoon. I watched a ton of news commentary about the Atlanta shootings, and I watched Ginny Silver explain the latest news from CA EDD. I forgot to eat dinner, however, so I'm gonna get to it now. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

CoViD-19: California Variants Deemed "of Concern" By CDC | Racist Incel Shooting In Atlanta | Tax Day Extended To May 17 | Photos: San Diego Zoo Safari Park |

*Mlem* Giraffes are so silly looking head on (Taken 3.17.21)

I stopped tracking the specifics of community outbreaks because so many of them were in "business or office settings" but as things have opened up, even slightly, two of today's six identified were in restaurants/bars (which is different from just restaurants) and so it begs the question why they decided St. Patrick's Day would be a good idea to allow red tier reopenings, especially when we can be certain that not all alcohol-serving venues will follow the capacity, reservation, and time-limits they're supposed to impose on parties. It's gonna be a big dumb mess and now the CDC has now deemed the California variants "of concern," suggesting they could be 20% more transmissible than the "wildtype" which is what they call the original virus. While our cases are no longer in the thousands, to think 5% of today's 411 cases will be hospitalized, and same for tomorrow and the day after ad infinitum, now is definitely not the time to drop your mask, to mix with groups, and treat life like everything is back to normal.   

The news was especially depressing today with the murders in Atlanta. Let's be very clear here: gun violence is often sexual violence and gun violence is often racial violence. This fucking incel racist asshole murderer got the privilege of being arrested and not shot dead by cops, who then went on the news and said it wasn't racially motivated and he was having a bad day. The PBS News Hour story on AAPI violence is worth a watch, and in fact I was watching it yesterday as the news of the murders was coming in. I've included some links in today's post for sites that have information and ways you can help fight AAPI violence. 

I made myself go to bed before midnight last night to try and get back to some semblance of normal. Me and Darren had a nice breakfast together for once, and after doing some webby stuff, we spent the afternoon at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It was a little crowded being spring break and all, but we are always to find our quieter spots. We spent a lot of time with the tigers from the epiphyllum trail, got some active cheetah action, and spent the last part of the day getting closeups with the giraffe and elephants as the crowds thinned out. It was lovely and now I'm going to join him in the speakeasy because I deserve it. Be safe out there. Maybe someday we can actually have people over to join us. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego Moves To Red Tier | More Studies Validate Vaccine Efficacy | Stop The Recall |


This pic of Strawberry didn't get enough votes to move on in March Meowness
(Taken 3.4.2020)

This week has been a convergence of things: it's the anniversary of stay-home orders, Nova is at my mom's this week, stimmies are in the bank, we have a date for school reopening, we have both gotten first doses, and it has been so cold going anywhere seems out of the question, but me and Darren have been living like college kids this week. Up all night, sleep all day. I over-imbibed on Monday, so there's no alcohol involved, but it has been kinda fun to escape adulthood for a couple days. I'll be back to being an adult soon enough as life goes back to some new-normal whether I'm on board or not. 

Of course the big news is that San Diego is back in the red tier. And even with it expanded to 10 cases per 100k, we're under the old standard of 7 cases per 100k. Our adjusted and unadjusted case rates are the same at 6.8 this week. I once again included LA's easy guide on what's open because I feel they've been communicating this better than San Diego County or our news outlets, though their county may be a little stricter than the State guidance, I haven't compared line for line because I don't need to: I will NOT be eating in-person at restaurants, neither inside nor outside, I will not be going to museums nor theatres nor live shows or anywhere that I'm stationary for any significant amount of time. I'll stick to some light shopping, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, walks around the neighborhood, visiting my parents until this thing gets a little more under control. Today I also included a letter from Gavin Newsom about the recall. I'm not certain that the recall effort will even have enough qualified signatures, but I am 1000% a hard no vote on the question of a recall. Stay safe out there. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

CoViD-19: Get The Vax | Judge Rules Against School Closures |

Spring Is Coming. I wonder if my butterfly will be back this year? (Taken 5.11.21)

I had this big long elaborate intro but it was a little dramatic for no apparent reason, but all I really wanted to convey was that if anyone out there is having a hard time getting a vaccination appointment, please reach out to me. I'm regularly up until 4am and that seems to be the time when CVS puts their appointments online. I've been able to help several people get their appointments and I'm happy to help anyone reading this, too. 

I haven't really gotten through any of my email today and didn't watch any press conferences or anything much of anything today besides cozying up in my warm bed. Maybe I'll get around to it all, but maybe not. Just know that it looks like everything is gonna open up before the kids even have the chance to get back in school, so don't be surprised if we fuck it all up and end up right back where we were. Stay safe out there. 

Casbah Bartender Gets Fanboy, A Rock and Roll Thriller, Up on Amazon Prime! Rent or Own It Now!


Casbah Bartender Gets Fanboy, A Rock and Roll Thriller, Up on Amazon Prime!

Five years ago, Casbah bartender/bar manager/co-owner Ben Johnson talked his fellow short film makers into making a feature length film. Luckily they didn’t know how large of a task it would be. After two years of filming and almost three years of editing, Fanboy was born, selling out 5 screens at the South Bay Drive-In in San Diego in January and February. 

Fanboy has been accepted onto Amazon Prime streaming platform, and is now available for rent or purchase. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

CoViD-19: SDUSD Updates Reopening Plans | GRAMMYs "This Show Has A Lot Of Butts" | Time To Dump Your Big Bank |

Record of the Year GRAMMY Winner Billie Eilish (Taken 11.17.2018)

I didn't sleep at all last night. Like at all. Could not turn the brain off. Which meant a pretty lazy Sunday. We got some time in the backyard in the sun but then took it inside to watch the early broadcast of the GRAMMYs. Nova commented, "this show has a lot of butts" and she wasn't wrong. 
We missed the end though, because we took Nova to stay with my parents. We took Ficus and that didn't go so well because Roxy was there and she's super hyper. When I was a little girl, we owned a dog that bit a relative which resulted in a lawsuit that not only almost lost us our house, but dissolved any relationship my dad had with any of his family which has never been resolved. So even though he loves Ficus, it isn't without extreme fear and caution, which doesn't really give the right energy when dogs are meeting for the first time. For the dogs part, they were mostly okay, though Fi growled a little when Roxy wouldn't get out of her face. But we kept them separated and didn't stay long anyway, being that it was already bedtime for Nova and my mom is feeling like shit after her second Moderna shot. Hopefully she feels better soon. For my dad's behalf, he gave me a big "Sheesh, what is with all that ass on the GRAMMYs?" to which I gave my standard reply, "you're not the demo," though neither am I because I don't super love pop culture's obsession with scantily clad women, either. Of course you have the right to wear what you want and love your body, but when it feels like careers are make or break dependent on appearance, it doesn't quite feel so women's lib to me. 
So this week should be somewhat quiet with the kid gone. SDUSD reissued their reopening plans with a more definitive reopening for April 12, with March 22 the date they've said they'll issue site by site opening plans. My stimulus dropped on Friday but there's outrage that some of the big banks are holding the money until March 17 which is why everyone should move to a local non-profit credit union. And I know I've been one of the many people who appreciated Cuomo's COVID-19 briefings, but I'm sharing a pretty deep article about his abusive behavior over the years. I guess I have PTSD because I thought that was just 'office culture' when white men are the board and the bosses and young women work for them. Times and culture change slowly but gotta keep moving forward. Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

CoViD-19: Fauci "You Shouldn't Hit The Clubs" | Stimmies Be Stimulating | Daylight Saving Time |

My last time at the Casbah- I was social distancing before it was cool. (Taken 3.13.2020)

I was watching the news earlier and there were two separate but similar rallies at the County Administration Building and of course it pissed me off. If you're going to protest school closures or hybrid learning, restaurants and gyms closed, mask wearing or whatever, you might want to represent with some people of color or check your privilege. It's absurd and pointless as we're already moving forward. You might also reconsider saying you know that schools can safely reopen when you and your children, at an outside rally, can't socially distance or wear a mask. And the news keeps interviewing loser Kevin as if anyone gives a shit about him or what he'd do when he was the fucking mayor and literally did nothing good for San Diego. 

I'll end my rant because Nova and I are cycling through comedy on Youtube. We caught Stephen Colbert's interview with Dr. Fauci. 

Colbert: If I get the vaccine, can I hit the clubs two weeks after?
Fauci: No, you shouldn't hit the clubs until we get the level of virus down so low that there's no threat to hit the clubs.

I was thinking that the Casbah may be able to open by the summer, but I'm thinking that was overly optimistic, especially as the US approaches 30 million cases and we're seeing peak mask-refusal across the country. Things are gonna keep opening up at a rapid clip, even before kids are back in school, so I imagine we'll see number stay around what they are or even rise again before the fall. 

I didn't really read much online today, so just a couple links. But you should also watch this horrifying story on KPBS News Hour about extremism in the military and contractors

Also, a little tip from California State Parks: daylight saving time: Not “savings.” There is no “s” in “daylight” when referencing “daylight saving time.” Note: Don’t forget to spring forward one hour this Sunday, March 14, starting at 2 a.m. Set your clocks ahead, stay safe out there, and rock the shot when you can. 

CoViD-19: March 13, 2020 The Day The Music...Paused |Save Our Stages| SDIVA | Photos: Lauren Ruth Ward at Casbah |

one year no shows

It was a year ago today that the Casbah held our last show. It was Lauren Ruth Ward and it was awkward as hell because by that night we were all well aware that things were starting to shut down. Our Saturday night show with Frances Quinlan had already canceled. The WHO had already declared a worldwide pandemic while our president was promising it would all just go away. 

I never thought I'd be writing regularly about epidemiologists, that I would grow to understand virologists and scientists and know the names of my County health officer and CDC directors and stop reading music sites almost exclusively for medical journals and publications. I never thought I'd grow to so deeply appreciate County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and even Greg Cox. We definitely couldn't have seen the summer of unrest that was to come because Black Lives Matter and a significant portion of our fellow Americans didn't and still don't agree. 

I hope that someday I'll be back to the tediousness of posting listings of live music shows around San Diego, and while I know some venues have already hosted shows, I'm going to work with the framework of when I'm personally comfortable returning to shows, I'll start posting about them again. In the meantime, people are still getting ill. People are still dying at an incomprehensible pace, even if it is significantly lower than just one or two months ago. 

I miss music and going out and interacting with strangers and seeing recognizable faces joined together for our common love of music, but this year has also restructured my values a ton...going to shows for me now means not seeing my parents and family and that's just not a tradeoff I'm ready or willing to make. This could change in a matter of weeks or months, I can't predict, but until then, stay safe out there, remember the past year in all of it's horror and beauty and stay vigilant, stay safe, and rock the shot when you can so we can discover what a new normal will mean for all of us. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego Prepares To Move To Red Tier | Contemplating School Reopening | SDIVA Save Our Stages | Your Truck Is A Death Machine |


It's like Lauren Ruth Ward Knew What Was To Come In 2020 (Taken at Casbah 3.13.2020) 

So much going on today and Darren is in the speakeasy so I'm going to type as fast as my fat little fingers will allow. I've been watching The One on Netflix and I'm totally hooked so I was up till sunrise before I finally drifted off to sleep. 

By the afternoon, Nova's school was having a Zoom session about reopening. It's a little crazy, I don't know how working parents are expected to drop off and pick up kids in the middle of the day, but for us it seems easy enough. They'll have cohorts of 16 students who stay in the same classroom for partial days, like 8ish to noonish, and the teachers will rotate based on the cohorts. They will have all windows and doors open AND the A/C on with something called MERV 13 filters. I would like to see them implement hourly room evacuations to clear the air and CO2 monitors in the classrooms, but I'm hoping that in a month numbers will be down so much and so many more people vaccinated that it may no longer be essential. We've already told Nova that if she chooses in-person learning, we'll make a habit of weekly or bi-weekly testing so long as tests remain free and available in the community. It really is so complicated though, with every family under such very different circumstances...multiple kids at different schools, both parents working full-time in non-flexible positions, people who have only paid attention to the politics and none of the science. I'm glad Nova is at a relatively small charter and the decision isn't too hard for us. 

Meanwhile, the County is reporting that we will likely move to the red tier by Wednesday. It's on a funny technicality that as vaccines increase in underserved areas, the rest of the community can ease things up. So we're technically purple right now with 8.8 cases per 100k, but once the state gives 2 million doses in the 'lowest quartile' of the healthy places index, the red tier can be achieved by 10 cases/100k of population instead of 7, which will then retroactively make this week red, I guess? It will change again when the state hits 4 million doses of the lowest quartile, but only affects the looser tiers at that point. It seems confusing or "moving the goalposts" but it's actually pretty straightforward: we're not gonna crush the virus, but with enough of us vaccinated or with antibodies from having had COVID, the risks of overburdening our health care systems again is relatively low. So, yeah, that's my explainer and I'm sticking to it. I found some interesting non-COVID articles today, plus a couple sick burns during the Psaki press conference. I also included LA's guidance for red tier, which is slightly stricter than the state, but you can get a sense of what will change. It really bothers me that LA has a lower case rate than San Diego, but that's a whine for another time. Stay safe out there and rock the shot when you can. 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

CoViD-19: 1 Year Later | B.1.1.7 Variant is 65% More Deadly Than Wildtype | California Modifies Guidance For Bars and Breweries |


Nobody was around, so we momentarily dropped the masks at San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.9.21) 

It has been one year since the WHO declared a pandemic and needless to say, it has been a crazy year. I am so very grateful to have remained healthy (besides my COVID +19, if you know what I mean), that I was afforded the privilege to stay home with my family and that we got the aid we needed to do so. I know that hasn't been the case for millions of Americans and I hope that is rectified as the money rolls out from the American Rescue Plan. 
I was trying to remember where we were and what we knew and when we knew it and I honestly can't say. I was still going to shows, but seeing them get canceled one by one as evidenced from my listings. I had gone to Soda Bar and the Ken Club a couple times but then had my final show at the Casbah with Lauren Ruth Ward on March 13. I remember someone trying to hug me and I backed away and insisted on an elbow bump. Tim Mays asked how we felt about the show (before the state shut down was announced) and I remember telling him that I had been so uncomfortable and nervous, but I was also so bummed because Frances Quinlan had already canceled her March 14 show.
Then shit got real. I was out hunting for toilet paper just like everyone else and we were so appreciative to have our yard and studio during the longest year. My family all live close, so we didn't go months without seeing one another as I was able to drop off supplies and groceries for my parents when needed and my life kinda changed to a person who would wake up at 5am to get to Home Depot when they opened. Darren has become an amazing cook and has been an incredible partner during all of this, Nova has done home-schooling like a champ. 
I have to agree with so many people who've been saying that we can't ever go back to normal because normal wasn't good enough. I hope we see lasting change and don't soon forget the lessons we learned, like keeping good people in your personal orbit and how very much voting matters. Continue to stay safe and vigilant out there and rock that shot as soon as you are able. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

CoVID-19: Live Performance Guidance Doesn't Look Good | Nursing Homes May Resume Visitors | Tragic Death of A Rare Tiger | Vote For Strawberry |

I wonder if this mandrill knew what was to come. (Taken 3.9.2020)

The news is so stupid that now they're talking about the "back and forth" weather causing problems for businesses. Because the 10 or so days of rain we get in San Diego are a real problem. Meanwhile, our house is cold and drafty and all I can think about is the people of Texas who went so long without power during such extreme cold and I get a blanket and suck it up. 

I don't know why I woke up so crotchety and grumpy today, but I think it was because Tuesday night before I went to bed I had a crazy allergy sneeze attack and I kinda freaked out a little, which I guess will be par for the course whenever any slight symptom of anything manifests. I'm fine today, however, and we did a big takeout order from 777 Noodle House, but reading the article about a correlation between pollen and COVID spread makes me glad to have the option to stay home when we need to. 

We mostly spent today watching the victory lap taken by the president, house, and the senate because FUCK YEAH. Courage Campaign has joined the anti-recall effort of the governor and it's no secret I'm all in. Nursing homes are opening to visitors, vaccine distribution is still super uneven and causing problems, and there's this live performance guidance that I didn't notice when the state announced the opening of sports venues and theme parks, so I've included that below, too. Stay safe out there! 

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego Drops Below 10 Cases Per 100,000 | Democrats Appropriately Give Victory Dance | Governor Newsom Delivers State of the State |

Amur Leopard at San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.9.21)

It is astonishing how lifted I feel with this new administration. With the ARP about to pass on Wednesday, things are definitely looking up. Darren and I had a super fun Monday night in the speakeasy and we've been listening to the new Julien Baker record on repeat. Today we went to the San Diego Zoo for the last couple hours of the day and the hippos and bonobos and leopards were all super active. I think they were preparing for the coming rain because when we got home, our Bun Bun was in the yard preparing, too, and normally she hops off when we get home but just waited it out for us to leave her alone.  

I didn't watch all the things today, but I did catch Governor Newsom's State of the State and found it to be inspiring and it made me grateful to be a Californian and feel nothing but sympathy for people who live in legislatively red states. Today the news reported a poll that said 36% of republicans don't want to get vaccinated. We're never going to crush COVID and we're going to continue to lose a lot more lives, but we'll keep living in our bubble and hopefully be just fine. 

I also watched a movie called Hearts Beat Loud on Hulu that was excellent and a nod to indie rock and even has a little cameo with Jeff Tweedy. I definitely recommend if you are looking for something to watch. Has there ever been a movie based around a record store that wasn't good? 

Anyway, it's midnight so I'm gonna wrap it up. Be safe out there, and rock the shot as soon as you can. 

Monday, March 08, 2021

CoViD-19: CDC Releases Guidelines For Vaccinated People | International Women's Day | Vote For Strawberry in March Meowness! |


Orangutans Karen and Aisha at San Diego Zoo Days Before Shutdown (Taken 3.9.2020)

We're inching closer to the anniversary of the day when life as we know it was changed forever. Though I guess it was more gradual for some people, and the exact day isn't necessarily the same for everyone. For me, I remember thinking people were crazy for going to Tame Impala at Sports Arena but then I still went to the Zoo and a few shows, White Reaper at Soda Bar and a few others, until our last day at San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the whole state went into shut down. Then I was like an intrepid spy, trying to track down toilet paper and hand sanitizer just like everyone else. 

This week especially we're going to hear a lot about this anniversary, even though in hindsight we should've all been taking appropriate precautions back in January. There are already debates about how things could've been so different if we had a different POTUS and all of that has put into stark focus the importance of voting, equity, representation. Hearing McConnell speak about bipartisanship is the biggest joke of all and we can only hope that he's not long for the senate. 

Meanwhile, it's so encouraging to see so many friends getting vaccinated and I'm doing my best to help people when they can't find appointments. The eligibility rules are really insufficient and inequitable but it doesn't mean people should wait or feel guilty if their eligibility comes up. I really believe the rollout of the current three vaccines is just going to keep accelerating so everyone will be eligible before you know it. I'm still anxiously waiting for the in-home vaccines to roll out because my dad would really like one but if the best we can do for now is make sure everyone around him is vaccinated, then that will have to do for now. 

I forgot to mention that on Sunday, Nova and I watched the Amy Poehler movie, Moxie, on Netflix and it's a perfect movie for International Women's Day. The music coordinator, Alexandra Patsavas, is a legend in the industry and found the perfect Riot Grrl soundtrack for the movie. I highly recommend, especially if you've got a teen girl in your orbit. I also watched the big Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I found it interesting but not shocking in any way. The question about Archie's skin tone hit a nerve because the exact thing happened when one of my nephews was born and his grandma noted how dark he was. Imagine your grandson is born as a preemie and your first thing to say about him is "he's so brown." Gross. Just like Harry, I'd say you could describe that familial relationship as "space." So yeah, anyone acting shocked that there are racists amongst the royals just hasn't been paying attention. 

Anyway, Tuesday should be a good day. The House is gonna pass the ARP, Dr. Ghaly will release our new numbers. If we get below 7, we start our count for moving tiers. If we're under 10, that could count, too, as the state is expected to hit the required 2 million doses for the lowest quartile by the end of the week, which would change the requirements for tiers. Some see it as confusing or moving the goal posts, but to me it makes total sense and has been consistent with the science as what we know and what we don't has evolved. Stay safe out there and rock the shot when you can!

Sunday, March 07, 2021

CoViD-19: US Reports Lowest Daily Deaths Since November, Lowest Cases in San Diego Since October | Photos: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Native Mule Deer Can Be Found Freeloading Around San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 3.7.21)

Darren and I had a super fun late night in the speakeasy on Saturday, feeling celebratory about the senate passing the American Rescue Plan, my vaccine, and having hung out with my family for a little while. 

Sunday brought gloomier weather, so we seized the opportunity to hit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It has definitely been more crowded lately, of course it being the weekend contributes, but it wasn't so bad as everyone seems to be legit masking and we know the park enough to find more secluded spots. On our way home we stopped at our favorite donut shop, Sesame Donuts on Carmel Mountain Road.

We've been adding a large order of birria from El Panson whenever we got tacos, so when we got home I made quesabirria tacos and they were AMAZING. It's really hard imagining restaurants will ever be a part of our normal lives again, even if the country gets closer to herd immunity. I highly recommend it. It's about $9 for a 32oz container, and comes with half a dozen tortillas, cilantro, onions, and limes. 

Anyway, things are chill around here. My spirit has been high as things appear to be getting dramatically better across the country, though I get so outraged when I see the news reporting on the recall effort in California. It is such a joke, Kevin Faulconer is a failure of a politician, and a report was released that the majority of their funding has come from just a dozen rich donors and it sucks that our system is so rigged that it can be bought and sold by the wealthy. But I'm pretty optimistic the whole thing will fail so I'll temper my rage for another day. Stay safe out there and rock the shot when you're able.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

CoViD-19: A Look At San Diego's Vaccine Deliveries | Senate Passes $1.9T American Rescue Plan | After Cutting Pay, Gig Corporations Bitch About Lack Of Workers |

My mask makes my face look crooked, but it's what we got in the moment. (Taken 3.6.21)

I can't really say what inspired me to continue to post on sddialedin during the pandemic except that it put me in a habit that felt useful and I'm the kind of person who wants all of the available information on something to ease my anxiety about it. And so a year has passed and I'm happy to have one shot in the arm and this pandemic diary of sorts to look back on. (Though still not over yet; this site isn't going anywhere.)
There are a lot of things to mourn about the past year, but poor people don't ever get sabbaticals, either, so even though there's a lot I coulda, woulda, shoulda done with the time -- organize my photos on hard drives, fully clean out the studio, get in better physical health -- in so many ways I have appreciated the time with my family unit, the gardening and time outside, the yard sports, being able to be more politically engaged, fixing up our catio/balcony, cleaning out closets, organizing the studio enough to make it our speakeasy a couple time a week. These are all good things. And today, with the Senate passing the American Rescue Plan, I feel a little more secure until the Casbah can reopen to it's full glory later this year. I hope other Americans realize how momentous this is. 
And so with that, I slept in today while Darren and Nova took the dog for a short hike, I had my daily fruit and cheese bowl (new habit) and then we went on a bike ride to City Heights library to drop off a DVD and pick up a book. I wish I had felt more comfortable leaving the house during peak pandemic, but I just didn't, so this was maybe my third time getting on my bike in a year. It was definitely a struggle going against the wind on the way home, but it struck me that we saw almost 100% mask compliance throughout City Heights. One might conclude that this area saw more deaths and illness than other areas so the people are not messing around, but it made me feel way better than a few of the hikes we attempted when nobody could be bothered to mask up just for the moments you approach other hikers. Maybe I can loosen my pandemic agoraphobia and venture to the places I love and miss so much like Fiesta Island Dog Park, La Jolla Cove, Mission Trails, San Diego River parks and trails. 
Now I'm writing from my parents' house and I guess we're technically breaking the rules because my sister and the girls are here as well as my cousin which would make us 4 households. But their living room and kitchen is bigger than my whole apartment, so I think we're good sitting around with masks on, fans on, windows and doors open. 
Today was supposed to be some sort of National Log-Off/Screen-Free Day or something or other, but I started a project last night that I thought I would share. Stay safe out there. Lots more after the jump. 

Friday, March 05, 2021

CoVID-19: California Updates Activity Tiers, Including Theme Parks and Stadiums | San Diego Surpasses 1 Million Vaccines | Pandemic Induced Agoraphobia | San Diego Zoo Inoculates Great Apes |


Bonobo at San Diego Zoo (Taken 10.27.2020)

I like to keep things up to date around here, I'm a little behind on email. My mom brought Nova home today, so we hung out in the backyard and catio for a while. After she left, Darren got tacos from El Panson and we spent the afternoon on the catio working and reading and whatnot. By late afternoon, Darren and I made our way to CVS so I could get my Pfizer vaccine. I certainly think the tier system is not really fair, but I also know that all the experts say to get one when you can, so I did. I feel fine, but I'm gonna log off so we ca have some family TV time. 
Since we spent most of the day outside, I only caught part of the White House briefing and part of the Governor's Zoom with state senators to sign AB/SB 86 to get kids in schools. I kept seeing the story about the San Diego Zoo's great apes getting COVID vaccines, so I shared that here, and there's other weekend reading, including an interview about post-COVID agoraphobia and anxiety. I also included the revised Activity and Business Tiers based on the new equity goals, including theme parks and stadium openings. I included those as jpegs at the end of this post. I'll work through the rest of my email this weekend and share if there's anything noteworthy that I missed. In the meantime, stay safe out there, and #rocktheshot as soon as you can. 

Thursday, March 04, 2021

CoViD-19: Mask Up Even When You Jab Up | State Outlines Equity Distribution & Modified Blueprint For Safe Reopening | Youth Sports Returns To CA Via Settlement | Photos: San Diego Zoo |


Agapito is so big, I can't tell if this is him or his mom. At San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.4.21)

I got my sleep schedule somewhat back in order and so I actually woke up bright and shiny this morning. It was nice to have a chill day with Darren as we cycled through the White House media briefing, the Governor's media briefing, and the press conference about the youth/high school sports settlement. I'm gonna keep it tame because I had a good day and I don't need to point out that our numbers are already lowered enough such that outdoor sports can start, and frankly if you let your kids do indoor sports right now, I can't say anything that is going to change your mind. 

Today the governor had a lot of new information, confirming that the state will be allocating vaccines to the lowest quartile of "Healthy Place Index Identified Zip Codes" and once those specific zip codes have hit 2 million vaccines (it's around 1.6 million right now), the state will adjust the cases per 100k required to move tiers for counties, namely that counties can move from purple to red at 10 cases per 100k instead of 7. So I guess that timeline tracks for what we all expected anyway, meaning all of these stupid lawsuits have been a complete waste of time, money, and effort. So there's all that. 

Nova decided to stay at my parents' house another night because she gets time with my sister's puppy, despite there being no school tomorrow and construction is at a standstill from the rain. We wanted to take advantage and go shopping for a couch but I think we're just frustrated because of our weird doorway being so narrow, our options feel so limited. So instead, we had lunch at home then went to the San Diego Zoo for a few hours. It was a little crowded but not too bad, and I'm trying not to be mad at the membership hikes since I won't have to worry about it for awhile, but the rebranding is actually pretty cool and they already changed the sign out in front on Park Blvd. And the merch is really cool so if money isn't as tight for you, go spend all of your money there. After the Zoo, Darren made an amazing lobster dinner with spaghetti in bechamel and now I'm a happy camper so I'm gonna wrap this one up. Stay safe out there and get your vaccine when your time comes up.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

CoViD-19: Skip The Guilt, Get Your Vax When You're Eligible | Fauci "Don't Declare Victory" | More On San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance | Comic-Con 2021 Remains Online | Stream Fanboy on Amazon |

Today is World Wildlife Day (Taken at San Diego Zoo 2.18.21)

I'm finding it so curious that I'm seeing news story after news story that San Diego may be moving tiers "as early as next week" as I read online. Nathan Fletcher alluded to modifications of the formulation of the tier system by the state because they were set before vaccines were available, so the projections of X amount of cases today doesn't necessarily translate to Y hospitalizations in 3-4 weeks. (At one point, the projection was 12% of all cases ended up hospitalized. That has dropped dramatically.) But for now, the old rules remain. "To advance, a county must meet criteria for movement to the next less restrictive for the prior two consecutive weeks in order to progress to the next tier; which can be achieved by either or combination of criteria described: Meeting the Adjusted Case Rate, Test Positivity, and Health Equity metric criteria for a less restrictive tier or meeting the criteria for movement to the next less restrictive tier through health equity accelerated progression." All of this still indicates we'd have to get red by Tuesday and stay there for a second week before we actually move to the red tier, but I guess it could all change should the tier system be modified. Tonight the state has indicated that in fact, 40% of vaccines will be reserved for certain zip codes, 1.6 million doses have already been distributed to those specific areas and the tiering could change once 2 million doses have been distributed, which could also mean the tier system stays the same but the offset could dramatically improve the "health equity accelerated progression." (Here's the AP News story that came out late Wednesday night. According to the article, moving from purple to red can happen at 10 cases per 100k instead of the current case/100k of 7. Right now, San Diego is still at 10.8)

In case I haven't been clear, I still think this would be a huge mistake. We messed up and let restaurants and bars open before and it meant that most schools never got to open. Can't we let this play out? Get the teachers vaccinated, get the schools open, then we can all go party at breweries, eat at restaurants, go to Padres games, and whatever else we're so desperately vying to do once we see community transmission is way down? I understand the political pressures, I understand the optics of trying to get things back to 'normal' before the March 13th anniversary of the first shutdown, and the rapid drop in cases is all good news, but I just feel like we need to slow our roll. 

Nothing else going on around here. We let the thunderstorm dictate our day and stayed in all day. Nova has opted to stay at my parents' house so we've been just lazing around staying warm and cozy. Last night I finished Ginny and Georgia on Netflix and I want more. Now I have to find something else to watch. And while talking about TV, you can now stream Fanboy on Amazon. Support Ben!! And stay safe out there...

CoViD-19: More Pressure For Aerosol Guidance | San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance: New Name, Jacked Rates, Blockout Dates | Voting Rights Act Under Threat |

San Diego Zoo (Taken 2.18.2021)

I had so much email on Tuesday, I decided to do an in-between post to get it all out of my system. Unfortunately that also meant I was awake when I got the press release about the newly renamed San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and it triggered a flashback: a couple years ago we were at a party at the zoo and overheard a conversation from a guy who worked for the Zoo and he was bragging about all the ways he was planning on increasing revenue streams. I have blogger ears and I remember how much his comments pissed me off because he was clearly of a higher income bracket than most people at the event. I remember feeling like this person was so out of touch and how everything he was bragging about would literally make the zoo inaccessible to a wide swath of San Diegans. 
And now here we are. I love the San Diego Zoo and I'll do what I can to maintain the level of membership that I have, though there isn't a direct equivalent, but it also really, really pisses me off. I love the organization, I love the conservation efforts and partnerships they have around the world, but jacking up their prices right now feels super tone-deaf. All that said, I'll probably make a visit later today. We'll see. In the meantime, stay safe out there. 

COVID-19: Vaccines For All By May | Global Cases Rise After Weeks of Decline | It's About Time: Dr Seuss Enterprises Ceases Publishing Racist Books |

The last time the tram was open at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (3.13.2020)

Watching the news pisses me off so much. How is it that they have such a knack for finding the most idiotic people to interview? Today some wealthy white teachers who teach in wealthy white areas were bitching about not getting vaccine appointments because schools have their own prioritization. It's literally been three days that teachers were added to the list, maybe settle it down a minute? Meanwhile, the idiot governor of Texas is opening everything and ending mask mandates and President Biden is a better human than me because I would just stop sending vaccines and government support to any state that won't mandate masks. 

It was a late night Monday around here so today was kind of a wasted day, though we did do a substantial Costco trip. It had been awhile and the speakeasy was running low on booze so I wanted to get us all stocked up before the next insurrection on March 4th. We also got a pizza which definitely hit the spot. 

I don't have a whole lot else to say today but there's lots of news, including that the San Diego case rate is now 10.8, which is promising but not quite good enough, but if the rate keeps dropping, we could get to the red tier by the end of March. It sounds like things are getting ready to open up a little more, I noticed that the San Diego Zoo is hiring tram and bus drivers so hopefully those come back soon, and Nova's school announced they'll be back in person in a hybrid model starting April 12, which is far sooner than I ever predicted. Hopefully BIden is right and we can all get vaccinated by May and beat the variants from overcoming all of our efforts and sending us back to square one. Stay safe out there. 

Monday, March 01, 2021

CoViD-19: Vaccine Free For All | More Evidence For Aerosols | CA Schools Inch Closer To In-Person Education | Empty Nesting |

One of my last shows...Sudan Archives at Casbah (Taken 2.29.2020)

Darren and I are once again empty nesting while Nova stays at my parents' house. We thought construction would resume next door, but apparently they failed their first inspection so they have to rehire the tractors and excavators to give us that gentle feeling of 12 hour earthquakes all over again. So I'm gonna keep it short because there's gonna be a lot of news this week and I already have a shitload of links for today. 

Besides all of today's reading, we spent some time in the yard, watched Jen Psaki and Newsom's briefings, and made AMAZING tacos with birria we got over the weekend from El Panson. We're now listening to a man who is screaming his head off in the alley so I imagine the police will make another appearance on our street tonight, but hopefully not. It's so hard not knowing the right thing to is he having a mental illness crisis or is he just entertaining himself (Darren thinks he was imitating a sax solo.) And let's be real, wellness checks often don't turn out so  well for those being wellness checked. 

Anyway, we're like two old people around the house watching late night monologues and having a little house party of two, so I'm gonna cut. But before I do, I want to say that there's a lot of reading if anyone actually clicks around my links, but one of the reasons the aerosol transmission issue is so important is because until the CDC makes it more of a focal point of their guidance, companies, businesses, and schools can continue doing less-effective or non-effective NPIs (non-pharmaceutical interventions) like plexiglass screens, without having to address the real problems of air quality, leaving workers especially vulnerable. Like how can schools open windows and doors when for school shooter protocols, they're supposed to remain locked? Or worse, they don't have windows that can even open? It's frustrating. Nova's school is all modular buildings but so many schools have decades old buildings and air systems that should've been dealt with the last several times school bonds have passed, but instead the money was spent on football fields and lights and new administration buildings while actual classrooms continued to degrade. The whole system needs to be burned down and rebuilt, but shy of that, we deserve to know that our kids safety comes first and right now, it's just a bunch of dancing bologna. Stay safe out there.