Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day: Biden Tribute | Ultimate Self Care: Naomi Osaka Pulls From French Open | CoViD-19: WHO Designates Variants With Greek Alphabet | Photos: San Diego Zoo Safari Park |

American Coot and Chick at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 5.31.21)

I know it's Memorial Day so it's a somber remembrance to all fallen soldiers. But I'm also ignorant. Do we only memorialize those lost in battle? Or those who died after service from cancers and injuries from say, burn pits or toxic exposure or during training exercises? Or those who've taken their own lives after coming home with mental wounds too deep to carry? And does it include anyone who has ever served and died of natural causes decades later? I don't know. Watching the news and reading Twitter, I would say I'm not the only one who doesn't know. So here's the wiki: 

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties.

I honestly don't know if that clears it up. So I'll spare talking about which I know nothing.

What I do want to talk about is Naomi Osaka. I played competitive tennis from my youth through college. I was never at the level where a future in tennis was a consideration, but I did it was intense and I had welts on my legs from the self-harm behavior super common in tennis of slamming your calves with your racquet to punish yourself for stupid mistakes and unforced errors. It was a joke amongst my teammates back then, but largely contributed to hanging up my racquet the second my final tennis season was over. I've maybe played a dozen times in the ensuing 20 years. That pressure is real. 

And so I cannot even imagine what it is like for elite athletes like Naomi Osaka, regardless of the sport, add the fact that she's a woman and a person of color at that. International sports media has never been particularly kind, empathetic, anti-racist, or supported women nor have the money-hungry sports associations, whether that be Roland-Garros or the French Tennis Federation, the IOC, the NBA, the PGA and all the others. It's disgusting that Osaka felt it necessary to withdraw because of threats by Roland-Garros and the other slams. What does she have to do? Shave her head like Brittney? Get run off the road and die like Diana? Overdose like so many...too many to name? Get into multiple car wrecks like Tiger? Start openly popping pills? What does it take for someone to outright say that they are suffering and for all of us to fucking listen? It's super gross and I just had to say something about it.

Besides all that, we went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park this afternoon, after discovering they were open until 7. It was a little crowded when we arrived after 4, but we just hung by the African Lagoon Loop watching American Coot chicks until it died down and still got my late hour with rhinos, giraffes, and elephants, so it turned out to be worth the trip. Tomorrow we have reservations at the San Diego Zoo for the opening of the new Hummingbird House and the Monitor Lizard Terrarium. I'm gonna cocktail tonight so hope everyone had a great weekend. Stay safe out there.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Memorial Day Weekend: May Gray Remains | CDC Studies Equity & Extracurriculars | Tulsa Massacre Anniversary | Will Biden Protect Bear's Ears? |


San Elijo Lagoon (Taken 5.28.21)

I had an absolutely uneventful day and I'm totally okay with it. I didn't get a lot of sleep but got up and caught up with news and there were no new details on the Hialeah shooting in Florida that had occurred overnight. I watched the Netflix documentary on Amy Tan and highly recommend watching. Darren made us a bountiful breakfast. I read. I talked to my parents. I caught up on email. I put away some laundry that's been lingering for days. I took a nap. I watched the news. Darren made us a Korean dinner with rice, bulgogi, seaweed salad, stir fried fish cake. Now I've just been watching The Story of Late Night on CNN which is super fascinating. Perhaps tomorrow will be more eventful. I'm actually okay if it's not. 

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Memorial Day Weekend: Sun, Fun, and Faux Outrage | IATSE Speaks Against States Cutting PUA & PUEC | Uber Still Sucks | San Diego Music & Arts Upcoming Openings |


It was such a nice day which involved sleeping in, hanging around and eating Tacos El Panson in the backyard, and then we decided to go to my niece's soccer tournament at Hickman Fields. It was pretty fun to watch but also made me so glad Nova called it quits on soccer. I can't handle the anxiety, especially when the games get super physical. A girl basically body-slammed my niece and I don't know what I would've done if she actually got hurt. Apparently in the first minute of the game, someone left in an ambulance. 

After the game, we stopped by Book Off which was stimulation overload and then got ice creams at Mitsuwa before calling it a day. As we were driving home, I was perusing my phone and saw an article on -guess which network's website- that was freaking out because Kamala Harris unbelievably tweeted for everyone to enjoy the long weekend. They're so used to Tweedle Dee that they can read beyond anything written or unwritten by a tweet. I would suspect the president and vice-president already have commitments for honoring Memorial Day on Monday but these dipshit racists have to seize every moment for their faux outrage. Funny you don't see them picketing Ford and Chevy for all their Memorial Day sales. Fucking idiots.

Clearly it was a slow news day besides every network talking about the beach crowds, gas prices, and industries that are rebounding and busier than they were pre-pandemic. I did include some extra reading, in case you're interested in IATSE's statement against states that are pulling the extended benefit from unemployment, Uber fucking over their drivers even after they got what they wanted in Prop 22, some event updates, and some COVID stuff, too. 

Stay safe out there. 

Friday, May 28, 2021

CoViD-19: CDC Releases Camp Guidance | Biden Releases Budget | County Installs Free Feminine Product Dispensers | ATF Inaction Under Fire |


Caterpillar at San Elijo Lagoon (Taken 5.28.21)

I was really hoping to be a little more productive going into the weekend and get my inbox under control, but it appears everyone else thought they'd do the same and triple the volume I get daily. Ew. So I mostly ignored it. I'll catch up later and get some more in depth reading in but cocktails are waiting for me in the speakeasy so I'm gonna cut. 

What we did do today was get a ton of time in the sun. We went to Anderson's Nursery and  bought some pollinator plants for an old bookshelf we've laid flat to convert to a planter in hopes of getting some more butterflies and hummingbirds around since the construction next door removed all the weeds and wildflowers that had provided habitat in the past. It looks so pretty and I hope it does the trick. We've already gone through most of the compost we got at the dump so may have to make another trip soon. 

After the afternoon of gardening, we decided to go to San Elijo Lagoon. It was pretty empty as it was after 6pm and the visitor's center was closed, but we just wandered some of the trails with the dog and me stopping every ten feet to watch more birds and flying fish. The marine layer had already rolled in so after a couple miles we called it a day. None of my pics are especially great so I'll skip sharing and chalk it up to a learning experience instead. 

Maybe it's because people are traveling and thus testing more, but today's positive cases in California (4,864) was more than three times as many as yesterday (1,418), and our 170 deaths are almost a third of the 577 US deaths-- though they may actually be different reporting days, but the point remains: don't start thinking this thing is over. Not by a longshot. Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: More On Masking, Ventilation, Breakthroughs, Viral Loads. The Usual. | What The Hell Is Going On With Mexico? |

Ficus at Fiesta Island Dog Park (Taken 5.27.21) 
I wanted to make sure I go into the weekend with more or less a clean slate, so I finished going through my inboxes and decided I would do another post before my nightly one on Friday because it's already gonna be a busy news day with Biden releasing his budget and congress breaking for a week and media packing it all in before Memorial Day weekend. 

I also stayed up late watching Plan B on Hulu. It's very similar to Booksmart in that it's a night of adventure with two besties blah blah, but it was pretty good. Glad I didn't watch with Nova though, there's a graphic peen scene and maybe a little above her need-to-know at this point in her teens. 

I really probably could've just skipped all this reading, but I think it is important that we're mindful going into the holiday weekend that while over 53% of the population of San Diego is vaccinated, NO children under 12 are, kids 12-15 are only partially vaccinated, if at all, and young people aren't showing high percentages of vaccination as we saw with boomers and gen xers. You can probably trust your server or bartender or grocery cashier has been vaccinated, not so much the person sitting next to you or waiting in line breathing down your neck. And as I've mentioned multiple times, I absolutely don't trust tourists, being that there's already an inherent danger in travelling at all, even now. 

On a separate note, I've been seeing a lot of separate but loosely connected stories about Mexico and tensions with the US and their crazy elections and assassinations and violence and travel bans and none of that even touches the migrant issues. I thought I'd kinda do a little roundup on all of that, too. 

But now I need sleep. Stay safe out there.  

Thursday, May 27, 2021

CoViD-19: Ventilation Is Key | Governor Newsom Launches Vax Incentive Program | Level Up San Diego Offers Free Summer Programs for SDUSD Students | Vaccinated Tourists Are Ruining Everything |


I keep putting myself in this position where I am scrambling to get a post out before midnight, but it shouldn't be a shocker that I am still working through my email for the day. In fact, most of today's links are from yesterday's inbox, I'm still trying to catch up. 

Today we ended up going to Fiesta Island for a few hours. It was so nice out and Ficus loves scaring off other dogs who try and come to our beach mat when we're hanging out. It's like a constant pet parade and it's fun watching all the different breeds of dogs interact and fetch and chase each other and swim and play. The Coastal Commission is actually voting on the Fiesta Island Dog Park next week so you should definitely submit a public comment opposing Option A and supporting the City-Council supported Option B. 

It's been fun to enjoy San Diego before we're completely overrun with tourists when we try to dodge crowds entirely. I know that our economy depends on tourism, but the 'ugly American' stereotype we've been known for in other countries has taken an even uglier turn in our own country. We're rude, we're messy, we act entitled, and we can't stop taking photos of ourselves. 

The pandemic really seemed to exacerbate the problems because public bathrooms and interpretive centers were closed, trash pickup seemed to decline in public spaces, and disposable masks can be seen pretty much everywhere. I'm a member of a hiking group on Facebook and it feels like every day there's yet another post with 'this is why we can't have nice things', whether that's people not cleaning up after pets, people trespassing or going into restricted areas, graffiti or rock stacking, or ruining the beautiful sounds of nature blaring their crappy music instead of having the decency to wear earbuds. Then you see these people on planes fighting flight attendants, people in stores still fighting about pandemic mitigations, hearing stories from restaurant servers and bartenders about the general rudeness of their clientele, people raging on our roads as if they themselves are not the traffic. And on top of all that, the swap-meetification of our public spaces with unlicensed vendors making the boardwalk and Balboa Park look like shit. The downsides of living in such a desirable place, I guess. I hope it gets better but I won't hold my breath. I will, however, probably not be leaving my house this weekend. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

CoViD-19: Unvaxxed Face Same Dangers As Always | Mass Shooting In San Jose; Echoes of Enough Is Enough While Nothing Continues To Get Done | Photos: San Diego Zoo |

Tapir Calf Loves Demonstrating Their Independence (Taken 5.26.21)

It's no secret that I love the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and San Diego Zoo, but they're not above criticism. (I'm still not happy about their drastic annual passholder increases.) Today we went to the Zoo and as with the Safari Park, there is no longer the health screening questions asked by a person, just a couple signs indicating you shouldn't enter if you've been exposed or had symptoms of COVID-19. That part is fine. Whatever. But we couldn't help but notice that all of the face covering signs are now gone throughout the Zoo. 

This is the updated mask policy

San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park continue to follow the State of California guidance. Guests who are outdoors and fully vaccinated may remove facial coverings when they are more than 6 feet from employees and other visitors. Guests ages 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a facial covering at all times except when actively eating or drinking.

Look, even if outdoor transmission is nearly impossible, the State Health Order and the County Health Order are still in effect: masks are required indoors and in outdoor crowds, regardless of vaccination status. This weekend is Memorial Day. Unlike the Safari Park yesterday which was nearly empty, today...a Wednesday before the holiday... was packed, and not with individuals, couples or small families, but with groups of multigenerational families, playdates, strollers, wheelchairs, spanning across walkways, hard to navigate around, moms tending to screaming kids who want more goldfish and more milk, everyone eating or drinking and yelling and laughing. And the screaming! So many kids screaming. 

I know, I know. I hate fun. 

I'm a funkiller. 

But that's why it's especially frustrating to see so many people maskless. They were all with kids who are not yet eligible for vaccines. There were a ton of tourists and while many may be regional, we can safely presume that plenty of these people flew into San Diego, unvaxxed, without quarantining, and now they're running around town in crowded spaces and it all makes my head explode. I know things are looking up but it isn't over. We can't just go back to normal, and be expected to trust fellow humans to do the right thing when they never have before. I mean, I barely ride my bike anymore because we've seen how much worse drivers are now than ever before. Has anyone made a master cut of all the maskholes berating service industry people throughout the pandemic, how many fights have broken out, how many airline passengers removed? And now we're back with road rage, mass shootings, more ammosexuals than ever. Our culture is absolutely bonkers. Seems like requiring masks for two and a half more weeks should've been an easy and obvious thing while we get closer to vaccination goals in that time. I still have a million emails to read, but maybe I'll do another post later. 

Stay safe out there. 

CoVId-19: CDC Releases Breakthrough Stats | Deaths & Hospitalizations Remain High Among Unvaxxed | SD Approves Deal With SDGE | Chula Vista Ditches Columbus | Photos: San Diego Zoo Safari Park |


The lunar eclipse is approaching and of course San Diego marine layer is completely blocking any view, but I had made the choice to stay up and get through email through the night when we decided to go to San Diego Zoo Safari Park. 

There's this really magical lull that happens around holidays...Memorial Day Weekend is upon us and so it seems every one hunkers down into work or whatever to save the good times for the weekend, so the park was totally empty. They dropped the health screening questions last week, and while masks are still required, most people we saw only put them on if they're passing others, which was quite infrequent today. San Diego's vaccine rate is actually really good right now so I'm far less a freak about it than I have been in the past, even just days or weeks ago. 

We like to mix it up when we go to either the San Diego Zoo or the Safari Park, so today was a "down" day...we skip the upper park where Australia, Condors, and Tigers are and just do the lower part, down the stairs at the big elevator tower, around the Africa Loop to see Okapi and Kudu and Vultures and such, then around the lagoon to see all the local freeloader birds as well as the ones in the collection like the flamingos, stork, and hornbills. Then we come up by the cheetahs, pass lion camp, then spend time a Kilima Point to watch the rhinos, giraffe, various gazelle, cape buffalo, and then end the day watching the elephants. 

Today was especially magical because Casey and her baby Alice came right over to us. I think they associate the click of a shutter with the caravans that feed them apples and treats so they are super comfortable just coming right over. My heart swells. It was after closing time when we left the point. We visitied the elephants and they were all scattered at first, but again, we were the only ones there and all of them came to their pool. Sometimes it seems they're posing for the camera. It was pretty special as both babies came by as did the mommas and aunties. A little elephant parade just for us. 

Anyway, there are some articles worth reading linked below but I'm gonna go outside and try to blow the clouds away to see this ding dang eclipse. 

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego Estimated R-Eff "Decreasing" For 1st Time Ever | US Surpasses 50% Adults Vaccinated | A Year After George Floyd's Murder, Has Anything Changed? | Tonight! Super Flower Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse |

Lioness Etosha at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 5.25.21)

 Having a 14 year old around is funny. For one, I'm constantly reminded how I was when I was that age, and even though this kid shares none of my DNA, I've been in her life for more than half of it and she's a totally sarcastic know-it-all just like me and Darren. She also seems constantly bored. She could be reading or watching TV or gardening or at the Zoo and she just looks totally bored. Maybe it's the pandemic, but maybe it's just being fourteen.

Which is why I was surprised when I asked what to do today, she chose the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We had some magical moments, but naturally we got there late and stayed late and stopped at H Mart on the way home and then cooked the food we'd picked up at H Mart and so I still have an inbox bulging with emails, so I thought I'd get to today's basics and then since I'm gonna stay up for the Super Flower Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse I'll get another post in. Fingers crossed for clear skies. 

Stay safe out there. 

Credit: NASA

Monday, May 24, 2021

CoViD-19: Fully Vaccinated Numbers Inch Forward; Cases Sharply Decline | California Outlines Fire Preparedness | Music Comes Back |

Ficus at Dog Beach OB (Taken 5.23.21)

My favorite local venues have been announcing shows for several weeks as have many of my favorite indie bands, but I just haven't adjusted to the thought of going to shows or what that will look like when the time comes. When we were walking around the jetty on Saturday, I was so shocked to come upon a fully packed bar with a cover band playing. Granted it was outside, but I was like no way do I need someone two feet away screaming in my face "so good, so good, so good!" I'm gonna need some space, you know? 

But as each day passes and we clock another grouping of vaccinated in San we're at 52.3% of the 12+ population fully vaccinated and hitting 90.3% of the County's goal with at least first doses... things are looking up. We're counting down to next week when Nova gets her second shot because it means hundreds of other 12-15 year olds will also be eligible for their second shots and then we may really see the numbers take a quick jump. It's exciting and today after seeing a show coming to town late summer I got so excited and then instantly felt dread because of course it's the same night as another amazing show I would likely go to. 2019 problems, amirite? And so I guess we may have some kind of normal again after all. 

But there's still a ways to go before we get there. Today I saw an online friend complaining about EDD, a news story about a woman who is tired of waiting for funeral reimbursement from FEMA, and venues complaining that the SVOG process has been too slow, too confusing, too difficult. While these are all legit and valid complaints, NONE OF THESE THINGS would exist without this administration so can we just be happy about something for a little quick minute? I mean, I know Biden hasn't singlehandedly fixed immigration, taxes, housing, infrastructure, policing, gun control, climate change, social security, health care, droughts, fires, conflicts in Myanmar, Venezuela, Colombia, Tigray, Ukraine, Belarus, all after 4 months in, but can we breathe for just one little second? I will. 

Scan your favorite music sites and buy tickets early and often! I learned today that during the pandemic, in markets where there were still shows in "pods", outdoors where you had to buy the whole grouping of tickets, people were so hungry for entertainment that they were paying 4x more on average than the same artists had charged in the before-times. That doesn't necessarily mean tickets are going to be jacked prices, but it does mean there will be opportunists manipulating the secondary market and I will hate those people even more now than ever before. But also ticketing sites have found ways to authenticate tickets to prevent resale, so maybe the year off will work in everyone's favor after all. Fingers crossed. 

Stay safe out there.  

  • State Data:
    • Southern California ICU Bed Availability: 33.9%
    • R-effective: 0.72
    • 76 New Cases/279,690 Total Cases
    • 0 Deaths/3,751 Total Deaths
    • 3.8 cases/100k population (Assessed on 5/18. Unadjusted Case Rate)
    • 1.6% Test Positivity (Assessed on 5/18)
    • 2.1% Health Equity Positivity (Assessed on 5/18)
    • 132 COVID-19 hospitalized patients (-8 patients, -5.7% from prior day)
    • 44 COVID-19 ICU hospitalized patients (+2 patients, +4.8% from prior day)
    • 235 ICU beds available (-5 from prior day)
  • County Data:
    • San Diego County COVID-19 Update – 5-24-2021 - County News Center 
    • 25 New Cases/279,714 Total Cases 
    • 0 New Daily Deaths/3,749 Total Deaths
    • 4,009,835 Doses Received/3,557,805 Doses Administered
    • 1,898,283 Partially Vaccinated/1,465,436 Fully Vaccinated
    • 0.4% Daily Test Positivity/1.3% (7-day avg after 7-day lag)/1% Test Positivity (14-day average)
    • 3.4 cases/100k population (Assessed on 5/18. Adjusted case rate per 100,000 excluding prisons.) 
    • 99.6% Case Investigation 
    • -7.2% Day Over Day COVID-19 Hospitalizations (97 patients. -38% over 30 days)
    • 38% ICU Capacity (35 patients. -22% over 30 days)
    • 47 Staffed ICU Beds Available
    • 0 New/15 Community Outbreaks (7-day)
  • Universities:

Sunday, May 23, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego Average Daily Cases At 99.8 Over Last 7 Days | Spring Cleaning | Dog Beach |


Ficus at OB Dog Beach (Taken 5.23.21)

Today was a very chill Sunday. To be honest, I was having very detailed interesting dreams so I stayed asleep in the quiet of my bed a few more hours than I intended...a road trip through California, some bouldering and hiking, my cat making friends with bunnies...that gave the day an aura of lingering peacefulness once I did finally get up and out of bed. 

Darren wanted to go to OB, the dog beach side of the channel across from the jetty we had accessed on Saturday, and so in spite of it being a little cold and windy for the beach, we obliged, with Ficus happy to splash around and me trying not to imagine just how dirty the water in that channel probably is. 

But it was so joyful. We were mostly away from other people but dozens marched by, with each of their dogs trying to instigate play with Fi or coming over to me on our beach mat to say hi, see if I had treats, or generally shake off all their sand and water all over me. It's probably not the best idea to take my camera for such occasions but sometimes I can't resist. I've also been seeing so many people posting on socials about car breakins at popular hiking and beach spots around the county that once I've committed to taking my backpack out of the house, it doesn't leave my site once we park and go for whatever walk or excursion we have planned. 

I did eventually go in the water which was so low tide that you could go 20 feet from the shore and still be knee deep, so we just kinda sat in it like it's a hot tub until the sun hid behind some clouds to steal any warmth. It was nice. 

I know that life is slowly getting back to pre-pandemic normal in many ways, but since I had a mostly WFH situation in the first place, I fully intend to keep visiting all of these pretty little spots that we always know are there but sometimes forget to take advantage of. Because of that I didn't see anything particularly newsworthy to share today. I can't stop thinking about the 6 year old boy killed on an LA freeway, a road rage shot from behind that went through the trunk twice and through his carseat killing him as his mother realized what happened and held him in her arms as he died. It's too much. So many things feel like they're looking up and then something like that can still happen out of nowhere, all the more reason to hold family even closer and enjoy a beautiful day while we can. Also, watch Eurovision 2021 on Peacock, frequently employing the fast forward button. OMG. 

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

CoViD-19: Better Mask Guidance | San Diego Public Library How-To Festival | Gender Diverse Youth Number Nearly 1 in 10 |

Hospitality Point Jetty (Taken 5.22.21)
I haven't spoken to Nova's mom in years, which is why the fact that her presence is so constant in our lives is so infuriating. Every time Nova speaks to her on the phone, we end up unraveling the call for hours. Sometimes, like today, we were still talking about it even though it's more than 24 hours later. 
The issue is that Nova feels she has to "photoshop" her life because nothing meets her mother's approval. She's a super Christian wingnut and would be totally fine if Nova only had white bible thumping friends. As it is, her music is inappropriate, her clothes not feminine enough, her friends too diverse. She's barely been in school but has made a friend who is non-binary and feels super connected to them. Nova was practically in tears realizing her friend's parents accept their gender diverse identity while Nova is stuck with a mom who thinks it's a sin to eat Indian food because Indians aren't Christian. It's fucking ridiculous. 
So today we had another long talk and walk that we know it's hard for her to stand up to her mom and always have to edit her life and I think it maybe sunk in a little more, offering the back up that if it continues, we're going to start listening in on speakerphone like we did when she was little and interjecting or ending the call altogether if she cannot behave like a kind and civil human being. 
We drove out to Marina Village at Hospitality Point and walked along the bay while she vented. I hadn't ever been out on the jetty and it was so pretty and clear out and I feel like we got through to Nova. She actually said that if her mom doesn't clean up her act, she can't imagine maintaining a relationship with her after she turns 18. I hope for her mom's sake that she get her shit together. 
Stay safe out there. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

CoViD-19: California Updates What To Expect for June 15 | Mitigations In Schools Work | Dating Apps To Encourage Vaccinated-Only Matches | Photos: San Diego Zoo Safari Park |


Zuli and Mkhaya at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 5.21.21)
Today is Endangered Species Day

When I can't sleep, I read a lot. Last night my Twitter feed was starting to go crazy with the stuff about Prince Harry's latest interview, violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque even after the ceasefire, some violence that broke out in LA and New York, and then COVID Twitter caught my eye. 

There were apparently two studies based on California hospitals that suggested that children hospitalizations in the State were overcounted by as much as 40%. The author was so proud of his huge get, suggesting that all of the state policies and in his view, the state bowing to teachers unions were all a massive mistake. Of course I was infuriated and took it personally. I only know one parent friend whose concern was ever serious illness by COVID, and their kid is severely immunocompromised. These studies, to me, answer questions nobody was really asking, which was separating kids hospitalized with COVID vs kids hospitalized for COVID. The issue for kids, at least to me, is that they're disgusting little vectors of everything. You could barely watch a news story with an adult wearing a mask properly, but I'm supposed to trust the stinky dirty prepubescent kids are gonna wear a mask correctly? Wash their hands? That schools even have appropriate amounts of working bathrooms and sinks for the kids to use them with adequate time to use them? And with the schools...we've had school lockdowns for years with doors and windows closed and suddenly we can count on them keeping them wide open while pumping the A/C and their MERV 13 filters? What I, and most of the parent friends I have were actually worried about, was kids coming home with asymptomatic COVID and spreading it to someone in the family who wouldn't have such a good outcome. 

Anyway, my endless scrolling also found me reading qualifications to the open elephant keeper position at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (shockingly I'm not qualified,) checking if OSHA had updated workplace COVID guidance (they haven't,) about the ex Pirates player who was raping underage girls in various cities when he was playing for the MLB, some beef happening right now between US and Mexico that I couldn't really make sense of that has to do with a money laundering investigation of a governor, and about the little girl who fended off a would-be kidnapper and smeared him with slime so that he would be arrested because she learned on Law and Order: SVU that you should always leave irrefutable evidence. 

And then I finally did actually sleep. And when I woke up we went to the Safari Park and wandered around and got some sun and then watched Mkhaya and Zuli playing around. I spoke with the docent when the crowd had mostly gone and asked about the tantrums I witnessed on Wednesday and said that the herd has definitely been displaying trauma with the absence of the older boys who are now at the San Diego Zoo and I gave my suggestion that they let them Zoom. Remember I'm not qualified to be an elephant keeper, but my cats and dog definitely watch TV so it seems like if they at least knew the boys were alive and okay that their hearts wouldn't be so broken? What do I know?

I didn't really read many emails today so I'll probably drop another post later tonight or tomorrow with day-old news. Stay safe out there.  

Thursday, May 20, 2021

CoViD-19: County Reaches 50.2% of 12+ Fully Vaccinated; Add More Mobile Sites | Psaki Schools Doocy, Again | San Jose Mayor Calls Anti-California Naysayers "Eeyore Caucus"; Governor Signs New Housing Legislation |


My calendar says today is National Rescue Dog Day. A Recent Pic of Fi. (Taken 5.5.21 at Fiesta Island)

I have had a really hard time motivating this week and I can't really pinpoint it, but I'm working on it. I will try better to get out of the house on Friday after being unsuccessful today and yesterday. Maybe the May Gray hits me more than I realized. Whatever the case may be, I'm looking forward to the weekend, which is funny because my days all kinda blur together but on a weekday I've got 240 new emails waiting for me by noon and that isn't the case on weekends, so I like the chill vibes. 

I did watch all the briefings today: the White House with Jen Psaki, the State with Governor Newsom and some Bay Area leaders as well as Toni Atkins, and the County with Fletch and Vargas. I do have to point out this hilarious moment when the mayor of San Jose referred to the naysayers who try and drag California with inaccurate talking points as the "Eeyore Caucus" and it was kind of hilarious. Psaki had yet another exchange with Peter Doocy from Fox which is always entertaining. I put that link below because it's a little longer. It's also kinda funny to watch because literally as they were having the briefing, behind the scenes an Israeli-Hamas ceasefire was being sorted and would go into effect hours later. It's almost like the Biden Administration is effectively handling every chaotic and distressful situation that comes their way. Meanwhile the County reported that more than half of the eligible people are fully vaccinated. (50.2%, to be exact) What a time to be alive. 

It's getting late and Darren and I have finally jumped back into The Handmaid's Tale, so I better get to it. Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

CoViD-19: Mask Guidance Uses Epidemiology; Ignores Behavioral Science | Rioters Absurd Defense | Reckoning In Craft Beer Industry |


The Bees Were Busy Pollinating the Beautiful Flowers of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. (Taken 5.18.21) 

The coolest thing happened last night. I was on my balcony -- the catio -- when all the sudden Strawberry got spooked and jumped off the wall to hide. I looked over and there was a giant raccoon on the neighbor's roof. Once he saw me, he jumped down into this weird junkyard space my landlord has and then made his way back up and over to the roof of a shed in our yard. Unfortunately in my excitement for it, I stayed up way too late, which made me feel like a piece of shit today. I blew off two calls and am still going through email at midnight. Needless to say, no big adventure today but Darren got us Lefty's Pizza and it was just as wonderful as I remembered. 

I've been watching all of the debate about vaccine passports, masking or not, parents protesting their children having to continue to masks, ad nauseum and it really is exhausting. We have a lot of very stupid people amongst us. For some reason the county's vaccine dashboard was down today, so I used the CDC's vaccine numbers which are significantly lower than the county has reported, presumably just a delay in data, but then I was reading something online that said only 13% of east county residents are vaccinated!! That is insane. (Update 5/20: It was also wrong. This is a clarification from VOSD: The NBC story said the “overall” vaccination rate in East County is nearly 13 percent. That’s not correct. That 13 percent is the percentage of vaccinations in the county that have been given to people who live in East County.) It might spin me into even more lockdown than before! I'm so glad that the State and County are continuing mask mandates, but I hope they extend beyond June. And while I'm making wishes, can we just close California to Utahns and Texans and Zonies and all these other places that are low vax uptake and banning mask mandates altogether?? This stupid virus isn't going away, probably ever, because of the stupid among us, here, across the country, and across the world. 

Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: It's Only Confusing If You Have No Capacity To Comprehend | Pandemic Spurred Career Changes | Indie Venues Anticipate Openings | Photos: San Diego Zoo Safari Park |


Southern White Rhino at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 5.18.21)

On our way to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Darren driving the I-15 carpool lanes, I was stewing. I had tried to get through as many emails and YouTube news and briefing clips as I could before we headed out. I have a pretty extensive subscription list on YouTube, so it feeds me the latest videos amongst my subscriptions and it felt like there were a hundred new videos from the night before to Wednesday afternoon with click-baity headlines with the words "masking" and "confusion", the vast majority from local news channels. 

Now, I get that it was maybe confusing on Thursday or whenever Dr. Walensky gave new guidance, but over the weekend, she was on at least four different shows to clarify that the new "guidance"--- not rules, not regulations, not mandates -- was only for fully vaccinated people (at least 2 weeks out from your 2nd shot or your only shot if J&J). 

Apparently we're all toddlers and only listen to the parts we want to hear. 

By Monday, CDPH (California Department of Public Health) clarified that our indoor mask mandates were still in effect regardless of vaccination status. They said it's so we can have more people vaccinated, allow businesses to prepare, and allow the new segment of 12-15 year olds to get shots. But the unspoken/unwritten part was that we've seen how stupid and selfish people are and the first to unmask would actually be those who never masked or vaccinated at all. So those of us who did both deserve the safety of indoor spaces still requiring masks. 

So as I said, I was stewing, and sent this tweet, specifically directed at Channel 10 and News 8 (because those are in my subscriptions) though I know other stations are guilty of the same. "Enough with the stories about mask confusion. It is YOUR JOB to CLARIFY to the communities where you report. CA still requires masks indoors. End of story. DO YOUR JOBS." (This is the part where I remind you I used to work for NBC San Diego but they're not in my YouTube feed because they have their own app and don't post every clip from their news as the others do.)

I needed to vent and I did and then had a lovely afternoon at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park with my family, with some sweet kangaroo and wallaby time, a little love from the cassowary and tree kangaroo, some talking to the birds, and then watched some of the elephants throwing a temper tantrum before spending the last part of our day with seven of the rhinos that were all at Kilima Point. 

When I got home, I watched the abbreviated 6 o'clock news from Channel 8 and lo and behold, there's Carlo Checchetto and Marcella Lee emphasizing at least 4 times that masks are still required indoors in California. I followed up with a thank you tweet, of course, even if it had nothing to do with me. This really isn't that hard.

Beyond all that, I was wandering San Diego Zoo Safari Park and thinking about when the tram will open, which lead to thinking about what California revised guidance will be when June 15 rolls around, assuming we stay on the trajectory we're on with cases and hospitalizations low and dropping, and vaccination numbers rising, and so here's my projection: anything that skews heavy with children-- zoos, theme parks, museums, summer camp indoor activities, schools, childcare-- will all still have mask requirements. Bars will be a free for all because no bar is going to do a vax check. Music venues, especially all ages ones, may continue requiring masks or conversely, a negative test or vax proof. All things we should be able to live with. And for the love of god, if you have kids who aren't eligible for a vaccine yet, set a goddamn example and continue to mask up and save the griping for when they're not around. 

My whiskey-driven 2 cents. Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

CoViD-19: Vaccines Are Working When People Get Them | More Than 600k 12-15 Got Jabs Since Authorization Expanded | San Diego Extends Outdoor (TOBO) Program |

Western Burrowing Owl Chick at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 5.18.21)

Today was a beautiful day to go to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. And on the way home we got BBQ from that famous local chain that people love to hate around town, so I'd say it was a pretty good day. 

But because we did all that and took the dog for a walk after, I don't even wanna tell you how many emails I still haven't gotten around to reading today but it's a lot and it's also late and I deserve a night in the speakeasy. So I'll keep this one short and probably bust out another post later in the night or early in the morning, because that's how I do. Stay safe out there. 

Monday, May 17, 2021

CoViD-19: California Reiterates Mask Mandate Through (At Least) June 15 | Biden Commits More Vax To Global Efforts | 2021 Bike Anywhere Week | SDUSD Offers More Walk-In Vax Clinics | Photos: San Diego Zoo |

Malayan Tapir Calf Came Out To Play Today (Taken 5.17.21)

I sometimes try a Sunday reset by intentionally going to bed around midnight with some melatonin so I was feeling great when I woke up this morning. But instead of springing into email and whatnot, I read. I'm in the middle of two books at the moment, but I am loving Crying In H Mart so much. I was crying through like half the book, but it is definitely worth a read. I should be done with it in the next day or two but there are a handful of people on the library waitlist behind me. 

I did do some morning social media reading and noticed that Troy Johnson was asking for opinions about the outdoor structures that restaurants have been able to build during the pandemic. A lot of people had a lot to say for or against...restaurants vs parking...spaces that pay for outdoor space vs restaurants getting parklet space and code and on and on, but at the point when I was looking at least, nobody seemed to care about biking anymore. So many of the very same restaurants who were crying that they would die without their parking if it was taken by bike lanes suddenly had no problem losing parking for their outdoor seating. Just like the businesses who got PPP and grants are now calling people lazy for not racing back to work their shitty jobs. I know that the City is going to extend the outdoor seating/parklets/patios regardless of what I have to say about it, but I hope that they demand structures be fire, ADA, and COVID-19 compliant, that they do better inspections with regard to blocking the public right of way, and that the bike lanes we've been promised for years still get completed in a timely manner.

When I was ready to emerge from my reading bubble, Darren made breakfast for lunch, I caught up on some email and briefings, had an afternoon call, and then Darren and I went to the San Diego Zoo while Nova was doing her piano class. He's in the middle of a book that is now overdue, so he mostly sat and read while I was entranced by a couple peacocks peacocking each other, the always cute baby babirusa, and once the crowds passed, mama tapir showed off her baby some more. We hit the leopards and takins, then elevatored up to the elephants before heading to the mountain lions to take the Skyfari back over, but the staffmember told us it was too late, even though there were still at least three families waiting in line (which means 6 gondolas). So we lollygagged toward the entrance and actually got some time with the Maned "Wolf". He's maybe the most elusive animal at the Zoo, so I took my time with him before we carried on.

I think I may be out of shows to watch so maybe I'll go finish my book now. Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

CoViD-19: Masks Are Still Mandated in California | One Month After Indoor Services Resume, Church Outbreaks | Uber's Tax Dodging Scheme Brought To Light |

Today is Love A Tree Day (Taken 5.10.21)

I broke my streak. 

For the past couple weeks I've been trying to force myself to some adventure out of the house every day and yesterday's was just a brief run to the San Diego River Garden and I had planned on San Diego Zoo Safari Park today, but conditional on it raining, and since there was pretty much no traceable rain besides Oceanside, we decided it would just be a normal crowded Sunday there and passed. 

But then I decided to make a Korean feast with the bulgogi we got at H-Mart, and some of the sides we picked up as well as a steamed egg and by then it was late. Then I wanted to go shopping but Darren talked me out of it and then he felt bad but by then I was already back in pajamas and so here we are and I didn't leave my house today. I hope to make up for it this week for sure. 

Global news has been especially charged lately, so I'm gonna steer clear and stick to the usual around here. The mask debate carries on and almost exactly one month to the day that churches were allowed to reopen to 100% capacity indoors, The Rock Church is having outbreaks among their many campuses. It's almost like we knew that was going to happen. 

Beyond that, I'm just cozy at home catching up on my shows and looking to get back in my groove after a full night's sleep. Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

CoViD-19: A Lot Of People Have A Lot To Say About CDC Mask Guidance For Vaccinated People | The Best Case Yet For Aerosol Transmission | kpbs Profiles Minh Ky |


Darren and Nova got straight to work with all the compost we got yesterday and made some new planters and transferred my succulents which outgrew their boxes on my catio. While hanging in the backyard, I talked with my mom on the phone for awhile. She told me that my sister hasn't gotten my niece vaccinated yet because she didn't want to do it before their trip. 
Say what? 
So it turns out they're flying to Indianapolis to see my uncle and cousins. But the girls are unvaccinated. Nadia isn't even eligible until they lower the age threshold or until she turns 12 in October. I cannot understand the thinking on any of it. It would be one thing if they were testing regularly just to be on the safe side, but they're not doing that either. I told my mom that they're going to have to quarantine and forbid my sister and the girls from visiting for a while after they return. My eyes have rolled so far back into my head I've given myself a headache. 
And I've been stewing on the CDC announcement and I posted some opinion pieces about it below, and every news outlet has covered it, every late night host has had their jokes about it, but the thing I keep thinking about is how we're all now just in a living experiment and I don't like it. Despite still standing state and county health orders, friends who work at Trader Joe's and Sprouts have said their stores have stopped requiring masks. Just when things were really starting to feel positive and safe and like we're heading in the right direction. the CDC just made me, and others like me, a massive reason to distrust everyone around me and that really fucking sucks. At least with maskholes, you had a visible cue as to whether the person was nuts or not, but that cue is essentially gone now. I'm not stoked about that at all. Stay safe out there. 

Friday, May 14, 2021

CoViD-19: More Science Supporting MRNA Vaccine Effectiveness | Governor Newsom Lays Out "California Comeback Plan" in THREE HOUR Media Briefing | Gig-Work Is Work |


Darren and Big White II at the Dump For Free Compost (Taken 5.14.21)

It wasn't a typical adventure day, but the other day Darren wanted to go to a nursery to buy soil for some of the plantings we've amassed around the yard and I suggested we instead get compost from the dump. It's free to San Diego residents and you can pretty much take 6 32-gallon garbage cans full at a time. I don't think there's a limit to how many times you can go. So I figured by the trash cans so we have them for our endless recycling littering the yard, and then have the compost when we need it. I'd only ever been to the Miramar Landfill once in my life and it was just to the front, so I never knew you could drive in and choose you compost or mulch. If you do it though, come prepared. We brought the garbage cans, contractor's trash bags, shovels, gloves, masks, and goggles, though it wasn't as nearly a dirty task as we expected. Also, did I ever mention we got the van painted this year?? She's so pretty now. 

Our real adventure was supposed to happen later, but Nova was definitely feeling her vaccine because she has not ever taken a nap in the time I've been in her life, but she zonked out for 2 hours in the afternoon, so we stayed home until she was up and dinner was fed, then Darren and I had a rager Friday at Costco at closing time. 

I still have a ton of email to get through and I didn't delve too deep into the news because Governor Newsom's media briefing laying out his May revisions to the budget was almost 3 hours long!!! Dr. Ghaly was supposed to have some guidance updates but I'm guessing that it will take a couple days, not hours. I started watching Jen Psaki but lots of the same dumb questions, so I figure I can catch up with everything this weekend and go have a night in the speakeasy in the meantime. Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: Science Behind New Mask Guidance For The Vaccinated | SDPD On Video Using Excessive Force | Local Reports: Gun Violence, Ped & Bike Deaths | Casbah: Durand Jones & The Indications, Sylvan Esso Tickets Go On Sale Friday |


I know I shouldn't still be up at 5am, but I really wanted to finish reading everything in my inbox and make sense of the CDC stuff that came out on Thursday before every media outlet continues to repeat that we don't ever need masks if we're fully vaccinated ever again. I'll move that whole diatribe after the jump. There was also a lot of interesting local news, including the success rate of the Convention Center reuniting unaccompanied minors with family or sponsors, a study on gun violence in our region, reporting on Vision Zero and pedestrian and bike deaths, and that horrific video of SDPD beating an unhoused man for the very serious crime of allegedly urinating in public in a city with so few bathrooms that you can probably count all of them on your fingers and toes in a county of 3.3 million people. And then the end of the post I included some Casbah news since I will eventually venture out of my cocoon for concerts again. If you click the flyers you'll get to the ticket links. 
I shall now attempt to sleep. So far Nova has no side effects from Pfizer besides a sore arm and being extremely tired after our four mile hike, so fingers crossed she's back at school today unscathed. I'll still do a Friday post after all the briefings and stuff but I thought I'd do this interim post because today is going to be a big news day. Be safe out there. 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

CoViD-19: Fully Vaccinated May Opt For Masklessness (When Allowed) | 12-15 Year Olds Line Up For Shots | Things Are Looking Up | Newsom Announces Small Biz Relief Initiative |


Today was such a perfect day. Darren and I had drinks in the speakeasy last night, slept in this morning, and by the time I woke up, Darren had taken Nova to get her first shot at San Diego High. She was feeling fine when they got home, Darren cooked us some haddock and black cod from our latest KnowSeafood box and when I was done watching Jen Psaki and part of the COVID Response Team Briefing we loaded up the car for today's adventure.

We went to Rancho Penasquitos Preserve, parked at the spots on Camino Del Sur, and did the approximately 2 mile hike out to the waterfall and back. I was a little worried Ficus wouldn't make it but we stopped a lot and gave her lots of water and it was totally worth it. Everyone is now totally zonked out. Afterward we stopped at H Mart and loaded up on our favorite fixins, inspired by Michelle Zauner (Japanese Breakfast) because I started reading her memoir, Crying In H Mart, last night. 

I have a lot to say about the new CDC guidance, mainly that EVERYTHING they have put out from the beginning of the pandemic has always been "guidance" or "recommendations". Our mask requirement is by a State Health Order and reinforced by a San Diego Health Order. California mandated masks before the national recommendation and every single news outlet seemed to completely miss that States and Counties can still make their own rules, simultaneously that businesses may still choose to require masks, which is still easier to police than vax cards, and no kids are fully vaccinated at this moment in time, so kids must still wear masks per previous guidance. It isn't hard, but there is nuance, and it sucks that we lived for four years under the last admin who could only chant in three word slogans and so we suddenly seem incapable of deciphering any nuance. And the CDC isn't exempt from being confusing and full of poor messaging because now they're saying mask wearing is a personal health choice but for over a year we've known that it was not a personal choice because I protect you and you protect me. A little more emphasis on the FULLY VACCINATED 35.8% and that the reason this is changing now is because we have enough supply for everyone to choose to vaccinate would've been nice. But no, so now we're potentially gonna have mask wars as bad as ever. So frustrating. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego Cases Drop Under 100 For First Time Since May 2020 | 12-15 year-olds Now Eligible For Pfizer In California | Governor Unveils Education Plan Including Universal PK |

The Old Mission Dam in Mission Trails (Taken 5.12.21)
I'm just gonna say this right now. You'll probably still see me in a mask for a while. Yes, I'm vaccinated, but I don't really trust my fellow citizens to be honest about their own situations and frankly, an entire year of not being sick at all was pretty awesome. I'm taking my allergy pills like 10% of what I used to have to, and any feeling-shitty days during this pandemic of been of my own doing...a hangover here or not getting enough sleep or crampy bitchy periods. So Governor Newsom kinda took everyone by surprise today when he announced that most mask mandates will be removed, but mask guidance for certain situations may continue, specifically crowds of strangers from other countries and states, i.e. conventions or festivals. It kinda felt like he hadn't really thought it through too much but I would be dismayed if mask requirements are dropped for indoor activities at schools and camps or hospitals and health facilities, concert halls and indoor arenas. But that's just me. You do you. 
We were hanging tight because the Western States Working Group APPROVED Pfizer is supposedly meeting tonight to determine vaccine eligibility for 12-15 year olds. In which case, the County says they'll have Pfizer at their permanent sites but not their mobile sites, which should not be confused with the Sharp and UCSD mobile sites at various SDUSD high schools which were specifically planning for this age group to be approved this week. We're ready and on standby to get Nova to San Diego High for the walkup site from 8:30-4pm on Thursday or Friday. 
It felt like a big news day all around. Governor Newsom has been dropping massive initiatives to use the state's budget surplus and it is so hilarious watching stupid kevvie throwing Twitter tantrums about them and how much better he'd be for our state and then immediately getting dunked in all the subsequent replies. The Israel-Palestinian situation is disheartening and it's easy to go down a rabbit hole of commentary, especially about the last administration and the corruption that runs deep with Kushner as a mark. Still, even with so much bad news, it feels like things are good and under control and the wolves aren't watching the henhouse. 
Today we did a small loop around grasslands and the Old Mission Dam at Mission Trails and it was lovely. Lots of birds and lizards and squirrels and bunnies and it was lovely and my dog is wiped out. Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

CoViD-19: County Prepares To Vaccinate Tweens & Teens | Governor Newsom Announces Homelessness Initiative | Stupid Unvaccinated Padres Players Gets COVID |


It's nearly midnight and I'm still working through email today, but I like to try to post in the same calendar day so this is what you get. We had a really nice afternoon today. I forgot my keys at my parents' house over the weekend, so we dropped by to get them, then went on to IB to wander around the trails off 16th Street. 

After bird-watching there for a bit, we moved on to the Strand and watched the least terns squawking overhead and flying fish breaching out of the water. We drove through Coronado, stopping by the tennis center where I used to coach, and then grabbed Salud tacos after crossing the bridge, we we proceeded to eat on the pier of Cesar Chavez Park. 

It was super fun getting outside in empty areas and being able to roam maskless. Which makes me have no tolerance for people who are refusing vaccines. I know shaming people doesn't work but nobody reading anything I have to write is a denier. To find out Tatis, Jr.  and Myers tested positive for COVID-19 is infuriating. I know it's tricky to force vaccines when they're in EUA but the Congressional Research Center determined in November that it is legal to do so. Are these jackasses afraid of side effects? I mean, what pampered princesses.  

Anyway, I'm in the middle of watching Governor Newsom's media briefing. I'll make another post if I need to but his initiative on homelessness is linked below.  He was in San Diego today with Supervisor Fletcher and Mayor Todd Gloria and I can't believe they didn't call me. Stay safe out there.  

Monday, May 10, 2021

CoVid-19: FDA Grants Pfizer EUA For 12-15yo; Still Awaits CDC Approval | Governor Proposes California Comeback Plan | HHS Includes Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity in Title IX Protected Classes |

Backlit Balboa Park Fountain and California Tower (Taken 5.10.21)

I got up bright and shiny this morning, hoping to get the FDA's announcement that 12-15 year olds would be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. That announcement ended up not coming until the afternoon, but now that the FDA has given the emergency use authorization, it will still need to be considered by a CDC committee which isn't meeting until Wednesday. If they approve it then the CDC would authorize, while concurrently the Western States Advisory Committee would have to approve and then the County has to give the go-ahead. So the tweens may be eligible as soon as Thursday or Friday, but I wouldn't expect it until Monday, and hopefully SDUSD will continue the clinics, particularly at Hoover or City High so we can get that shot in Nova's arm as soon as possible. 

We spent the late afternoon at the San Diego Zoo but I've been having shoulder pain, so I took it easy on the photography and the ones I did take sucked balls so I'll just skip posting pics today. But we did walk from the Zoo to the Moreton Bay Fig and the new platform which is pretty cool in spite of me not really seeing the project as a priority for the park when it was proposed. From there, we walked through the Prado and over the pedestrian bridge to the rose garden and succulent/native plant garden before heading home for the night. 

Today's media briefings were mostly uneventful. Lots of questions about the conflict in Isreal-Palestine, the ransomware hacks, and more harping on the jobs report with Fox news trying to emphasize people choosing to stay home and Jen having no patience for it. As has been covered extensively, thousands of unemployed people have changed industries to find better jobs, with better pay and less contact with asshole customers and asshole bosses, parents still have to watch kids who aren't in school or childcare fulltime, and many industries, like mine, still haven't reopened. It also takes a lot of fucking nerve for businesses to complain about EDD and support workers are receiving when they all got bailouts, PPP, taxbreaks, waived licensing and permitting, and other grants to sustain their businesses all last year. It is frankly appalling and galling. Meanwhile, the Governor proposed a massive "California Comeback Plan" which would still have to work through the legislature but would give more stimmies to tax filers earning up to $75k. Some of those details are linked below, too. 

And just because I think these are fun, here's another anti-vax email:

Why are you promoting people getting a vax that are still in testing stages? Use to love your venue but not if your promoting shit like this.  The vaccine does not protect anyone.  Does it really make sense to have a mask on then take it off at your table? You guys are brainwashed.  Please remove me from your list!
Uh, no problem. You are removed. Stay safe out there. Contrary to this person, vaccines protect all of us and there are now dozens of studies to show it (including this one), including the fact that US cases dropped below 25k which as far as I can tell is the lowest daily case rate since June 18

Sunday, May 09, 2021

CoViD-19: "Mask Faithful" | The Price Of Populism | Police Reform | Mother's Day | Anti-Vax Hate Mail |


A Rose at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden (Taken 5.6.2021)

Darren and I had so much fun meeting up with Eric at the Casbah on Saturday night. It was so good to see so many friends and this time we spent a little more time hanging out than the last time. Afterward we continued the party in the speakeasy which made for a really fun night. 

It was a lovely Mother's Day around here, too. We picked up a couple burritos and rolled tacos and carne asada fries from Sayulita's and made our way to my mom's. We opted to take Ficus but my dad has a heart attack whenever she and Roxy are there together so we didn't stay as long as usual. When I was a kid, we had a German Shephard that bit my cousin's face and my parents almost lost the house over the lawsuit and my dad pretty much never talked to anyone on his side of the family ever again, so I understand his caution, but it can be a lot, especially because Ficus is nothing like Ignauts was. 

Since we'd eaten so early, for my Mother's Day back at home, we watched some comedy television and then were all hungry again so at my request he made us breakfast and it was delightful. Now I'm couching and watching smut television while Darren jams out in the speakeasy and the kid is fast asleep. I hope everyone had a great Sunday, even if Mother's Day is so hard and heartbreaking for so many. 

Finger's crossed we get a Monday morning FDA announcement!! Check the end of the post for this hilarious response Casbah got for encouraging people to vaccinate. Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, May 08, 2021

CoViD-19: More On Airborne Transmission (More of What We Already Knew) | Reassessing Work | Problems With Fuel | Today Should've Been Ahmaud's 27th Birthday |


(Taken by Vito de Stefano for NBC SoundDiego 1.23.20)

I do my best to bookmark interesting things to share later, but for the life of me I cannot find this Op-Ed I read last night nor can I remember where I read it so hopefully I'll resolve that brain fart because it was a great take on the trouble employers are claiming to have hiring people. I've found a similar one from Washington Post but it's not as riveting as the one I read last night. I'll try to find it in my history or something. 

We're pretty excited because tonight, me and D have a double date at the Casbah with our friends. It will be our first time eating with other people at a place that isn't my house or my parents' house since well before last March. I kinda wish Casbah had a reservation system, but I'm sure it will be just fine. I'm doing my best to quit Uber so we'll sort out the designated driver thing before we head down. I'm keeping it short because I have to get ready but I hope everyone is enjoying San Diego. There are numerous stories about the high cost of travel expected this summer as hotel, airfare, gas, and car rental prices are all through the roof as businesses exploit the pandemic to try and make up for lost revenue (even though we all know they got bailouts and PPP) so it feels really good to live in San Diego where every day is a staycation and you can find a million awesome things to do.

I did want to note that today should've been Ahmaud Arbery's 27th birthday and we need consequences and convictions for his murderers and we need these cases expedited and tried immediately for his family to get any semblance of justice. White power must be fought everywhere it shows its face, from our communities and neighbors all the way to elected officials.   

Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: The More You Know | CDC Acknowledges Airborne Transmission; Updates Transmission Modes | San Diego River Days! | Hiking Safety |

Nova Along Bayshore Bikeway (Taken 5.10.2020)

  After getting through all of yesterday's email, there wasn't a ton I wanted to share, but San Diego River Days are here and there are always some really cool things to do. Most of the in-person activities are already full since they have to maintain COVID protocols, but there are lots of hikes, self-guided walks, and obviously it is totally free and ok to just take your grabber and bucket out for trash cleanups. We love the San Diego River Garden but wanna check out a few other spots we haven't been in awhile, too. 

Friday, May 07, 2021

CoViD-19: Pfizer Applies For FDA Authorization | SD Businesses Can Host Vaccination Events | Psaki Destroys Newsmax "Reporter" | Officers Indicted For Floyd Murder |

Kiwi Turned 21 This Month (Taken 5.7.21)

Oh my god. I was watching the media ask questions to Secretary Yellen this morning and it was hilarious. "Um, we've created this narrative that people aren't going back to work because unemployment pay is too high, can you please tell us the data to confirm our non-stop reporting this for the past several weeks?" "Well, actually that is all bullshit because there are still many reasons people can't go back to work, particularly because kids still aren't back in school full time and we're still in a pandemic, but you know, people are being selective and turning down gig and part time work for better, full time jobs with better benefits. Pay more and they will come." And then Jen Psaki shut down the woman from Newsmax and it was amazing. The news has had no shortage of restauranteurs volunteering to share how lazy people are but haven't commented about how business has picked up because people finally have money in their pockets again. 

Meanwhile, I said I would get out of the house every day but today was not really very adventurous. We had some returns at Ross and I had a cost adjustment at Big Lots, so that was our big Friday night (because Ross is open until 11. Why?) The good part of that is we were able to get Nova some clothes that will fit her rapidly growing body. Then we had to get Filiberto's because that USAA commercial was stuck in my head. 

The news has been going crazy today about Fletcher's comments that he doesn't expect San Diego to get to the yellow tier before June 15, which is exactly what I told our SDIVA group back on April 22. Apparently people are super upset because LA got to yellow before us and Darren made an important point, which is that Los Angeles County called out businesses by name whenever there was an outbreak. In San Diego, they only revealed the type of businesses where outbreaks happened, not the specific restaurants or bars or gyms, which probably had an impact on cases there, besides the fact that they ramped up PCR testing. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. I've got more email to get through today, but seems like I've already shared enough reading for the night. Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: County Adds Extended Hour & Mobile Vaccination Sites | Biden's America The Beautiful Plan l Fletcher Disses LA | Photos: San Diego Zoo & Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden |


Malayan Tapir Calf at San Diego Zoo (Taken 5.6.21)

I've been trying to make sure I do something every day beyond just watching briefings and reading email and sitting in my backyard, so today the May Gray called for a quick visit to the San Diego Zoo. Darren was doing laundry and Nova just got a book of Billie Eilish sheet music in the mail that she proceeded to deep dive into on piano and guitar, so I went alone after seeing video of a new okapi baby on exhibit. Of course, by the time I motivated it was almost 5pm so I didn't see the okapi, but I did get a lot of time with the Malayan tapirs who, while I'm probably just projecting, seemed to be playing hide and seek with me, moving from the lower part of their enclosure to the upper part and back again several times. They make my heart flutter and they make the coolest noise that is somewhere between a shrieking high whistle and an elephant's trumpet. So yes, I talk to them. Because of course I do. I also got some fun time with hippos Funani and Amahle who were all over their pool today. 

After the Zoo, I went to the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden and everything is in bloom right now, and absolutely gorgeous. I'd highly suggest an early morning or late afternoon walk around. Plus, if you're vaccinated, there are a few people here and there, but it's open enough and empty enough that you can take the mask off and literally smell the roses. The colors are so vibrant and there's just so many of them. 

Today was the start of the later hours for three of the County's vaccination sites, so if you've had a hard time getting to the early daytime hours, perhaps the 1-8pm timeframe works better for you. Plus they've got a ton of mobile sites popping up to 'meet people where they are' all over the county, so if you haven't yet, it's time to get on the vaccination train. Psaki didn't have a press briefing today because the president was travelling, but apparently you can be sure that Nathan Fletcher won't ever be running for governor because he had a lot to say about LA, even if it was in a joking way how fans of a team egg on opponents. Clip at the end because it made me laugh out loud. Tomorrow the Casbah's newsletter will have a playlist from Mayor Todd Gloria and it's a pretty solid list that you might be interested in checking out. Be safe out there.  

  • State Data:
    • Southern California ICU Bed Availability: 34.4%
    • R-effective: 0.88
    • 219 New Cases/277,098 Total Cases
    • 3 Deaths/3,716 Total Deaths
    • 5.5 cases/100k population (Assessed on 5/4. Unadjusted Case Rate)
    • 2.2% Test Positivity (Assessed on 5/4)
    • 2.7% Health Equity Positivity (Assessed on 5/4)
    • 166 COVID-19 hospitalized patients (+3 patients, +1.8% from prior day)
    • 41 COVID-19 ICU hospitalized patients (-2 patients, -4.7% from prior day)
    • 207 ICU beds available (-7 from prior day)
  • San Diego County Media Briefing:
    • Vaccinations are going well
    • 63% of eligible San Diegans have at least one shot, 44% have 2nd shots (Dashboard now ncludes DOD and VA numbers. Will update those numbers every 2 weeks)
    • Vaccination supply has caught up with demand, allowing for appointments to be made a week out.
    • Shifting sites to extend hours at 3 sites
    • More pop-up drop-in vaccination centers. Identifying high visited areas with MTS, senior centers, faith-based orgs, Elks Lodge, American Council on Islamic Relations (to set up vaccinations after Ramadan concludes), more partnerships with employers
    • County has multiple rotating vaccination events; most open every 3 weeks. For full list, check here. Mobile vax sites can be found here.
    • 67.2% of South County residents are vaccinated. 
    •  Media Questions:
      • Can schools, public or private, make vaccinations mandatory? Dr. Wooten says it would be up to each individual district who would then have to vote on it, but as far as I've read, making vaccinations mandatory while still in EUA is a sticky situation and almost no entity has tried it. 
      • County is encouraged by number of 16-19 year olds getting vaccinated as they've only been eligible since April 15.
      • Daily testing numbers include countywide PCR tests. They do not count Antigen./Rapid Tests.
      • LA and SF were able to descend to yellow tier because they had more cases (so reinfection now is low), high vaccinations, and higher numbers of people getting tested with negative results which dramatically drops case rate. (This is why I think everyone, especially people with kids in sports or school should continue to get tested regularly, even if parents are vaccinated)
      • County now has more doses than demands for appointments
      • Only one B.1617 (Indian Variant of Interest) detected in San Diego 
  • County Data:
    • San Diego County Update - County News Center 
    • 226 New Cases/277,323 Total Cases 
    • 0 New Daily Deaths/3,716 Total Deaths
    • 3,445,425 Doses Received/3,071,489 Doses Administered
    • 1,692,336 Partially Vaccinated/1,194,000 Fully Vaccinated
    • 1% Daily Test Positivity/1.7% (7-day avg after 7-day lag)/1.4% Test Positivity (14-day average)
    • 5.0 cases/100k population (Assessed on 5/4. Adjusted case rate per 100,000 excluding prisons.) 
    • 96.8% Case Investigation 
    • +2.6% Day Over Day COVID-19 Hospitalizations (137 patients. -16% over 30 days)
    • 31% ICU Capacity (35 patients. -33% over 30 days)
    • 51 Staffed ICU Beds Available
    • 1 New/18 Community Outbreaks (7-day)
  • Universities:

Fletch burns LA:

San Diego Zoo/Rose Garden Photos (Taken 5.6.21)