Sunday, October 31, 2021

CoViD-19: WaPo Attempts To Predict Virus Wind Down | Jen Psaki Tests Positive For COVID-19 | US-EU Steel Deal Saves Bourbon |


Horrifying Remnants Of A Pumpkin Left As A Birdfeeder (Taken 10.17.21)

I don't really do Halloween, but then I saw this Twitter thread of pets in costumes with arms and I couldn't get enough, so maybe I'm not as Scroogy as I let on. Plus I was in a good mood this weekend...I guess taking Saturday off from news and YouTube did, in fact, improve my psyche. Plus I got new pajamas that just look like casual pants so I don't feel quite so guilty wearing them around the house all day. 

Today Darren and I went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park while Nova was with my sister trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving. I didn't get any big moments with the rhinos-- they were down in a lower valley only viewable by the tram -- but I got some cute elephant time including a moment when the entire herd gathered on the upper level and stampeded down to the lower level. I'd like to think they were running toward me, but more likely their dinner was put out for them to discover. 

There was some big news coming out of the G20. The steel and aluminum tariffs being dropped on EU produced imports, for example, is a big deal, and in return, the European Commission agreed to drop a planned 50% tariff on US spirits, including bourbon, which would've been a very, very big deal. Jen Psaki also put out a media release that she's tested positive for COVID-19, which is super unfortunate, though she's fully vaxxed and has mild symptoms. But since media was already writing click-bait headlines about the study from last week, this is a long but worthy twitter thread (again) about breakthrough infection, vaccination, viral load, viral clearance, and everything else the headlines are mostly leaving out. 

I think it's gonna be a busy week so I'm gonna enjoy the rest of my Sunday in peace. 

Stay safe out there. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

CoViD-19: FDA Authorizes Pfizer For Kids. Next Step: CDC | The Pandemic Is Still Here; And Here Come The Holidays | 2021 Sees Most Auto Fatalities In 15 Years | CA Condors Reproduce With Partenogenesis |

National Cat Day: Strawberry Feeling Super Chill (Taken 10.22.21)

I know. Look at that chunka munka. This is Strawberry, Strawbs, Tikka, Monster, Mean Girl. What happened was that we adopted her a few years back and she was mean and scared and kinda vicious. Understandable after her both her original families kicked her out in her first nine months of life. But then she got in our household and Kiwi was getting old so whenever she'd appear, we would feed her, but then Tikka (which I've learned translates to "Chunk") would always help out with leftovers, and well, now she's a giant cat and we have her on a stricter diet, but kitty weightloss isn't quite so easy. But it's okay. We love her and I'm not trying to shame her on National Cat Day. 

It's been super busy at work but I still finally made it outta the house so Darren and I could do a couple of the last hours of HalGLOWeen at San Diego Zoo, but looks like I have homework this weekend even though our weekend shows are already sold out. Darren will be working both nights so I might make an appearance but that's not a promise. I'm also hoping to get some time at Safari Park on Sunday. I guess we''ll see how the weekend goes. 

Numbers are going up ever so slightly, but this is how it started last year, with Labor Day rolling into Halloween into Thanksgiving then Christmas and New Years, so even if you're vaccinated and boosted, you need to step up your non-pharmaceutical mitigations like increasing indoor ventilation and mask wearing. 

Stay safe out there.  

Thursday, October 28, 2021

CoViD-19: San Diego R-eff RIses Above 1 | Cheap SSRI May Kill COVID "Cytokine Storms" | Biden Lays Out BBB Framework |

Lioness Ellen at San Diego Zoo (Taken 10.27.21)

I guess I wasn't the only one who just wasn't feeling it today because the County didn't put up COVID data despite the fact that they're supposed to update daily. I was kinda having one of those days, too. First, we all know I don't love the heat, and today was hot. But after I babysat last night, Darren and I hung out in the speakeasy and then time got away from me so I didn't get enough sleep. I was trying to get work done this morning, but I just hit a wall around noon, so I just gave up, slept it off, and woke up feeling so much better. Huh. Who knew that 4 hours sleep is inadequate?

We visited my dad tonight and he's not well. The doctors have put the hope in his head that he might be able to go home while we can see with our own eyes that he cannot. I talked with my sister about it last night but it's so frustrating because she still hasn't vaccinated my niece, who became eligible at the beginning of the month. If she had done it back then, my niece would be three weeks away from fully vaccinated and would be able to see her grandpa. I don't think it has really hit my sister that he is at his end and could pass without ever seeing the girls in person again. It gets real real when he shows you his wristband with DNR on it, or shares that despite all his conditions and diabetes, they let him eat whatever he wants, though he mostly doesn't have an appetite, or when my mom talks right in front of him that hospice means he's going (gestures pointing upwards), as if we don't know, though maybe she just has to say it for herself so she can get used to the idea. The nurse they called cruel at Kaiser was maybe just not soft enough for their liking, but "lady, hospice could mean 6 hours or 6 months" was maybe the most honest thing a nurse has said to them.  

I haven't really worked through today's email because my head is elsewhere and every time there's some hope of movement on the Build Back Better bill I get two dozen more political emails, either fundraising, urging me to call my representatives, sign a petition or all three. Sometimes I have the tolerance to read through them all anyway. Today just isn't one of those days.

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

CoViD-19: Merck Will License COVID Pill | SD Case Rate Drops to 7.5 Vaxxed, 23.1 Unvaxxed | Mayorkas Expands "Protected Areas" Restricting ICE & CBP Action | US Issues 1st Gender X Passport |


A Pic of Magnolia (l) and Jacaranda (r) for Black Cat Day (Taken 10.22.21)

I'm happy to say today was a much better day than yesterday. I got sleep. I got work done early. I forced myself out of the house which turned out to be a couple nice hours at the San Diego Zoo with Darren. And now I'm babysitting for a friend while she's at the Lord Huron show. She's got Apple TV so I'm bingeing as much Ted Lasso as I can before they get home. 

Today was an interesting newsy day. The US is in a weird squabble with Turkey because they maybe bought some fighter jets from the US and then the US said they couldn't have them but haven't given back the money because the Turkish president is kind of a psycho or something? Maybe I'm misunderstanding. What was more important was that Secretary Mayorkas issued a widesweeping modification to "protected areas" where ICE and CBP can do enforcement, meaning they have to justify if they're going to traumatize a bunch of kids or people in a school or church or a shelter or a medical facility. On top of that, the State Dept issued their first Gender X marker on a US passport. I know that with our stupid fucking Senators and Congresspeople and Supreme Court reversing or blocking every progressive step we've made for human rights it can all feel worthless, but this is why the parties are not the same. This is why we fight so hard, even for moderates, to get the crazy nutjobs out. And they'll be out. Voted out, retired out, or surely some of those fucks will die off and maybe, just maybe, the world can be made better for our kids and our kids' kids instead of blowing it all to shit. Then again, today a 9 year old told me that he doesn't want a vaccine because "there's not enough research". Don't worry, I read him his research, told him that he had to get 10 vaccines just to go to kindergarten, and that schools are currently the biggest source of community outbreaks. Neener. Fucking. Neener.

Stay safe out there.

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, October 27-Tuesday, November 2, 2021 | Soccer Mommy | Lord Huron | RFTC | Delta Spirit & Deer Tick | Creepy Creeps | Perfume Genius | James Taylor | Julien Baker |

Soccer Mommy (Taken 10.3.2019)

I finished listings last night but was looking for a very specific photo to use so I saved that for today. I didn't find the one I was looking for, but I did find my Soccer Mommy photos from a couple years ago. I'm super bummed because she'll be at Music Box tonight and I was notified this morning that I have tickets and a photo pass, but I made another commitment since I hadn't heard back. With Nova in school and testing weekly and Darren working all Halloween weekend at the Casbah, I might be ready to ease back into going to shows, but only gonna dip one toe at a time. Seeing Mother Road at the San Diego Repertory was a good start...a 1/3 full theatre with everyone masked and vaxxed, and I registered for the Dia De Los Muertos event at the Old Globe next week, but I'm still gonna be extra dad is still at the VA hospital and we are still visiting him every few days. 

There are so many great shows happening, so get your booster and go see them for me. If I could throw caution to the wind, I'd be at Soccer Mommy tonight, James Taylor or Perfume Genius on Monday, and Julien Baker on Tuesday, and maybe RFTC on Friday and Nothing on Saturday if I was extra indulgent, but like I said, it's gonna take me some easing in to shows again, particularly because I've kinda sworn off Uber and Lyft. The pandemic changed me. I hope it changed you, hopefully for the better, too.

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

CoViD-19: FDA Panel OKs Pfizer For Kids | Boosters Available for San Diegans | El Super Rips Off Employees | CBP Agents Act With impunity | DOJ Busts Global Drug Trafficking Operation |

(Taken 10.4.21)

I didn't have a very good day. I stayed up late Monday finishing the third season of "You" and then the kittens were going crazy from like 4 in the morning so I couldn't sleep. Work has been a little stressful because I was having problems with my social apps and agents are back to being pre-pandemic demanding. I'm pms-ing and TV is just a barrage of bad news all the time- the Facebook Papers, the Insurrection investigation, obstructionists in Congress, and we're likely to hit 50 MILLION cases of COVID-19 by Halloween.  Today I was asked about my dad and just talking about it makes me sad, especially after a friend's dad just died yesterday. After getting through most of my work, however, I did finally get a nap and am feeling much better now. And then I saw this article:  

Stress from the pandemic has made even basic decision-making difficult, poll finds.  Daily tasks such as choosing what to wear are a struggle, particularly for younger adults, parents, Black people and Hispanic people, the American Psychological Association found.

Talk about hitting the nail on the head. Things that should be no-brainers...taking my laptops in before they became unusable, getting a new phone, ordering stuff online, transitioning to the new newsletter platform for work...get stalled and procrastinated and then they become an emergency when they're ignored. I think it's why the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park have been my safe-havens for the past year and a half. They're consistent, it's good exercise and I'm not staring at a screen, the crowd can vary but generally you can get off to your own low-traffic areas, and the animals all have an enviable routine. Some are even happy to see you.  

I guess I'll do listings tonight, but I'm doing so slightly begrudgingly. I'll try to have a better Wednesday.   

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

CoViD-19: UCSF Studying COVID-induced Psychiatric Issues | Members of Congress Implicated in January 6 Insurrection | MAGAts Take On Something Else They Don't Understand: SEL |

San Diego Zoo (Taken 10.25.21)

Kimmel did a funny package tonight with news clips from all over California about the rain. Of course, the news goes apeshit with reporters on the street talking about the drizzle, then wind, then rain, then the rain being over, then traffic, then all the impacts - mudslides, downed trees and powerlines, outages. One reporter even called the rain "an annoyance at this point."

I'm more of the I-love-rain persuasion. After dropping Nova off at piano, Darren and I walked around the San Diego Zoo in the rain, until he left to pick her up and came back for me. My jacket and pants were soaked by the time I left, and it's possible I was the actual last person in the Zoo. I hope this rain is just a preview of the winter because we all know how desperately the state needs it. 

Today was a very active news day so there are quite a few links worth reading today. Mostly I just hope the Facebook news means finally some changes at Facebook will be forthcoming and the Rolling Stones report on the January 6th insurrection accelerates the investigation and results in kicking some of these fuckers out of the House. 

Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

CoVID-19: Is UK a Bellwether for the US? | Old Town: Iipay ~ Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok Grand Opening | Bomb Cyclone Hits NorCal | Charlottesville Trial Set To Begin | Goddamn Marathon |

Alice isn't the baby anymore. With mom Casey. (Taken 10.20.21)

Last year, in what we thought was the peak of the pandemic, the City of San Diego suspended most parking tickets. We live on a street sweeping street, one side is No Parking Mondays and the other is No Parking Thursdays, so you can imagine this is a complete pain in the ass. However, during the pandemic, we continued to move our vehicles so we wouldn't fall out of the habit. But wouldn't it be our stupidity that got a parking ticket the very week they resumed ticketing. I don't even remember what happened, how we forgot, but it's been chaotic here...the construction next door had mismarked signs up and work trucks taking up street parking and now Ortiz construction is working on the Meade Bikeway and of course they just leave their Cats all over the streets, and then this morning was the goddamn Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and I forgot it in my listings, failed to mention it to Darren, so sure enough when he got home at 3am after working at the Casbah for Emo Nite, he parked in a marathon spot on El Cajon Blvd. Today was partially spent at a Road One lot, dropping $300 to get the towed car out of impound. Fuck. 

And of course it totally sucks, but then you see the line of a dozen people, all waiting for their minimum $300 towed vehicles. What if we didn't have a second vehicle to get there? What if we didn't have the money on hand to get the car out? What if he had waited on paying his registration and we couldn't get the car out at all? I understand that there was a marathon and there was a sign and even though it was 3 am he should've looked harder and we wouldn't be in this mess, but basically he's got a couple more nights at the Casbah that he will basically be working for nothing just to recover the money from the tow. It just makes you think about our punitive systems that intentionally keep poor people in poverty with no clear way out. The pandemic exacerbated that, but there were also millions of people, like myself, who were able to use the stimmies and UI to our benefit, to stash away cash while we waited things out. For people like Darren, it was a way out of the abusive rideshare economy and now he can take his time to find meaningful work that he actually enjoys and wants to do. Not everyone was so lucky, but it's why we need to keep the pressure up for the Biden agenda that helps people instead of punishing the poor for being so. 

I wanted to go to the Safari Park today, but obviously that whole tow thing kind of squandered the afternoon. But I'll wrap it up and try and get a couple hours in at the San Diego Zoo just for good measure.  

Stay safe out there. Watch those goddamn parking signs. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

CoViD-19: Time To Get Your Booster | FDA Dives Into Pfizer Data On 5-11 Year Olds | CDC Messaging Still Sucks |


Kianga and baby Kamaria. Today the calf is 2 months old. (Taken 10.17.21)

I wanna talk again about messaging. 

I've done my best for the past year and a half+ to organize information as it comes out. Local news sometimes gets it right, but they also love to use dramatic language - crisis, chaos, confusion are some favorites. It is literally their job to make things NOT confusing, and instead do man on the street interviews with people who are doing their own research, waiting and seeing, or just flat out not trusting the science/doctors/government. We really don't need to see these dumbfucks on our televisions every night. 

Yet, at the same time, Dr Walensky SUCKS at messaging. Today she presented information about boosters and was asked a few more times to clarify what she was saying because her messaging sucks. There's this category of who should get boosters "those who are 18 or older who live or work in high-risk settings." They keep saying this is health care workers and teachers, for example. But if we look at, say, community outbreak data, restaurants, bars, sporting events, concerts, theatres, retail, grocery stores, factories, basically EVERYWHERE that is indoors with people not in your household is high risk. And with the number of cases that happened within households, if you have kids in school, if you work outside the home, if you go out in public, now you have potential exposures that you can bring home where you're probably not wearing a mask or taking the same precautions you might in public. Add underlying conditions-- more than 42% of Americans are considered obese, 14% are smokers, 47% have hypertension, 10.5% are diabetic, plus dozens of other conditions, and really, EVERY adult should get a booster. 

And don't get me wrong, things feel better than before...cases are largely among the unvaccinated or in congregate settings and such, but if you look at the map below, there is still substantial or high transmission nationwide. For the country to be considered safe, we need to get below 10,000 cases a day. They've been saying this since the beginning. We're still averaging around 75k. For our county to be safe, we should be back around 100 cases a day. We've been around 400-700 a day, depending on lab reporting. If you remember the California tier system where we were trying to push below 7 cases per 100k, just among vaccinated people we're still above 11, and it's closer to 30 per 100k people for unvaccinated. 

We're okay, but we're not great. People should still be wearing masks indoors. Bars and restaurants and music venues and conventions and public meetings should all be requiring proof of vaccine. I felt safer at the Repertory Theatre knowing masks and proof of vaccination were required. There was maybe something comforting that 95% of the audience were senior citizens, brave enough to go out into the world. I don't know how the Board of Supervisors and City Council and School Boards aren't requiring vax or masks at their meetings. Seems like a simple public health measure that would get rid of some of the nutjobs, too. 

All this to say if you think you want a booster for an extra layer of protection, you should get one. I got my Pfizer boost on Tuesday and besides an appreciated solid 11 hour sleep and a sore arm, I had no side effects. 

And this isn't the only thing where messaging sucks. All we're hearing about is supply-chain issues but not one person has said, "for the time being, people should stop buying stupid shit." Instead they show us crazy mom's at Party City spending $200 on decorations to make up for last year's Halloween being canceled. So which is it? Are we all struggling to afford the rising costs at the pump and grocery store or are we all flush with cash because the American Rescue Plan actually worked for the people it was supposed to target?? 

Today was a low key day around the house...I cut Darren's hair, he did laundry, we indulged in a home-cooked lobster dinner (6 tails for about $50 at Costco, still less than what it normally costs for the 3 of us to eat out) and I went to the San Diego Zoo for the last hour it was open to hear the mariachi and because I hadn't left the house all day. Looking forward to a low-key weekend. Nova is going to a friend's house so maybe we'll visit my dad while she's gone, and hopefully get a Safari Park trip in, too, though the rain cannot come soon enough. 

Stay safe out there.   

CoVID-19: ACIP Encourages Boosters | Delta Plus Detected In US | Petito Alleged Murderer's Remains Identified | Millete Pleads Not Guilty | Mother Road at SD Repertory Theatre |

The Stage of Mother Road at San Diego Rep (Taken 10.22.21)

My grandpa was a farmer. He was born in 1907 and came to the US when he was 14 with an uncle claiming him as a son. He worked on other people's farms for decades and eventually owned several properties of his own in South Bay, where he grew seasonal fruits and vegetables. Later in life, they would be illegally seized from him over some false accusations, taken advantage of because of his broken English and limited literacy. In my lifetime, he had one farm property left and grew the best corn and watermelon that you could ever imagine. I've still never tasted anything close to it. After his death in 1993, we were forced to sell the property which was landlocked by two other properties and today there are dozens of condos where he farmed. 

In the backyard of my grandparents house was an old Studebaker school bus that me and my siblings used to climb around and scare each other by saying that there were dead bodies in the back and dare each other to go all the way in. In actuality it was mostly full of spiders, boxes of wicks from old oil lamps, old tools from the farm. We would learn that the bus was used to transport migrant workers during the Bracero program

I'm not a politician, but to me it seems that with the "crisis" of the border migration and supply-chain issues paired with the labor shortage, why haven't we brought this program back? You could require vaccination, properly vet migrant workers, and give two year work permits with the possibility for long-term residency or citizenship. Government agencies could make sure labor laws are observed and that there's humane treatment and fare wages for the workers. Because if we're being honest, we know that our service industry, our agricultural industry, and our manufacturing industries have long relied on a migrant workforce, legal or not.  

Federal immigration agents detained 1.7 million migrants at the border during the fiscal year that ended in September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data reveals. It’s the highest level of arrests since 1986. - The Washington Post

It's funny because I wrote all of the above earlier this afternoon, enraged by the nonsense on the news. And now it's late night and I got home from seeing Mother Road at the Lyceum/San Diego Repertory Theatre. My mom acquired the tickets and I promised I'd go even though the thought of being in a room with an unknown amount of strangers was terrifying to me. She needs to get out into the world more than just life between home and the hospital. Fortunately I wasn't having a panic attack the whole time. The theatre audience was maybe at 30% capacity, everyone was required to be fully vaccinated and wear a mask the entire time inside the building.

I didn't know anything about the show going in, so it was kinda funny after what I'd written earlier that it was a take on Grapes of Wrath: the cousin of Tom Joad finds the only living descendent of the Joads in modern times to make sure their remaining Oklahoma farm stays in the family. Except it turns out the only Joad left is an American-born Mexican campesino. Through the 2 hour play, we learn how a Mexican got into the Joad lineage, the secrets families keep, the scars we carry from our past. It was intense, emotional, and inspiring with just an 9 person cast, and seasoned with enough racism to be cringey and think about what people like my grandpa endured, what people of color today still endure, that the color of my skin is so much lighter than my own sister that the world treats us differently. It's really good and worth a see if you're a person who enjoys theatre. In the lobby, there was information about farmworkers' struggles, which you can find at and this list of organizations that work for criminal justice reform and mental health resources. 

A funny thing: after the play, Darren was waiting to pick us up and heard an older white lady ask her white male companion, "do you know what an ese is?" Maybe they should include a glossary in the program for the Spanish words the gringos couldn't understand. Ha! 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

CoViD-19: FDA Approves More Boosters, Mix & Match, Still Needs CDC Approval | Importance Of Vaccinating Adolescents | GOP Doesn't Want You To Vote | County Urges Flu Shots | Newsom EO Addresses Supply-Chain Issues |

Kamaria, fresh off a feeding, with a milk moustache. She will be 2 months old on Friday. (Taken 10.20.21)

In my post on Friday, I complained about the CDC's reporting. I said, "In fact, the CDC kinda blows, I don't understand how the County's vaccination numbers differ so drastically from the CDC. It doesn't make sense." Well, thanks to Voice of San Diego, I got my answer. Kinda. But at least someone is asking the questions. Despite doing this website for 15 years, I don't actually have a government recognized press credential so I don't get the access a reporter gets to ask questions like that, so I'm glad they did. 

As I mentioned here yesterday, and all over socials, too, Darren and I got our Pfizer boosters yesterday. I definitely believe that the rest of the world desperately deserve vaccines, and I think wealthy countries need to stop just sending money, but armies of vaccinators to get the job done, and I think more factories should be built to increase supply, and I think the pharmaceutical companies have a moral and ethical responsibility to share vaccines with the world. All that being said, I have no control over any of that, so if a booster is available to me, I'm going to take it and don't need to justify that nor feel guilty for it. Mostly I was worried about side effects, but besides the sore arm, I've been fine all day. 

And because we were fine, we were up early and decided on a day trip to San Diego Zoo Safari Park after I did the bulk of my work this morning. (I still owe a couple marketing plans, but that's what Thursday is for.) The weather was perfect and hours are back until 6pm for whatever reason, so I got a ton of rhino time, first with Casey and Alice, and then with Kianga and Kamaria, and also some sweet elephant time with Zuli and Mkhaya. I will say we took the tram, which are less frequent as they wait for them to be full. I probably won't do that again for awhile. It's just way too cringey to have unmasked snot-nosed kids open-mouth coughing and sneezing right over your shoulder with parents who don't make them sit down or cover their faces. I understand we're outside, but we're still inches apart for 30 minutes and it's so gross. 

Lots of news links today. 

Stay safe out there.  

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, October 20-Tuesday, October 26, 2021 | Nation of Language | Jimmy Eat World | Anderson East | Allah Las | FINNEAS | Hamilton Leithauser |

Formerly The Irenic, Being Demolished For Housing (Taken 10.16.21)

I heard that the Mission Gathering Church, home to The Irenic, was being demolished for another housing project. I'm not against housing and I'm not surprised that the property under the building is worth more than the building itself, but it is still sad to see it go. 

I was able to work dozens of shows at The Irenic. I worked the door, sometimes sold merch, and after the church decided to get rid of their single water fountain, was able to sell water to the often sold out all ages crowds. Frightened Rabbit played there. Japanese Breakfast. Snail Mail. Tennis. Ra Ra Riot. The Evens. Owl John. Bad Books. AJJ. Weyes Blood. Dodie. Rooney. Léon. Julien Baker. Pinegrove. Hinds. 

So many amazing shows. 

And don't get me wrong. There were some duds, too. There was this wildly popular band and the artists were such assholes on stage they would cuss out their fans, saying they're only in music for the chicks. It was satisfying to see their band fall apart and dropped with the whole Burger Records scandal a few years later. There were bands whose labels were sure they were the next big thing so they thought so, too, in front of their piddly undersold shows. That's the whole thing about live music in small venues. Sometimes you catch bands on the way up. Sometimes you catch them on their way out.  

The venue was also riddled with management problems. We just wanted the room with our staff and sometimes a church staff person would just make it a miserable experience. I got in a verbal fight with an outside security guard because we'd have an acoustic musician inside, and he'd be outside blaring YouTube videos on his phone, while he was supposed to be protecting the building and the people inside. That was unpleasant. There was a night we had to kick out a creep for not minding personal space of some underage girls and after he was kicked out, he returned to throw boulders at the doors. Sometimes we would watch activity at a drug house across the street, before it burned down and eventually was rebuilt by new owners. One time I stopped this ass from trying to run off with an entire box of a band's vinyl.

Still, I have so many fond memories there. Hours of soundchecks and doing some SoundDiego interviews and hanging out with the artists when they were cool enough to want to, and just chatting and going a little deeper with my Casbah coworkers in a quieter, alcohol-free setting. Nova saw her first concerts there. In fact, when Darren and I first started dating, he would bring her by for slow introductions so he wasn't immersing me in her life too fast. 

Today we drove by on our way from vaccines at CVS to do some grocery shopping at Vons, and even more of the building was demolished. The "sanctuary" is completely gone. Only part of the annex in the back is still standing, and soon that will be gone, too. It gave me some pangs of sadness. I hope the scumbag who called noise complaints on us at every show for the last year is satisfied and gets no sleep for the next 12 months or more of construction on that corner. 

But on to the next thing. All ages venues generally don't last more than a couple years. Soma is an anomaly for sure, but even they are in their third location and now working with LiveNation. All ages venues always have people with good intentions wanting to put on shows and provide safe spaces for kids, but they generally don't make enough money unless they are subsidized by the community or there are alcohol sales involved. Even Soma now has beer. I'm looking forward to seeing how shows go at Bridges, an all ages space in Clairemont Mesa, but it definitely won't have the convenience of walking 10 minutes from my house. Change is hard but it's the only real constant. 

For anyone wondering, I'm now 10 hours after my Pfizer booster and flu shot. My arm is tender, but I have no other discernable symptoms. I'm tired and crosseyed, but that's because it's 2:30 am and I've been doing these listings for close to 5 hours. Time to call it a night. As Tim Mays always says, onward and upward. 
Stay safe out there.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

CoViD-19: CDC Releases Breakthrough Data By Vax | Larry Millete Arrested For Murder of Maya, Contacted "Spellcasters" | Tahoe Gets Snow!!| My Booster & Flu Shot Day | Newsom Declares Drought Statewide |


Kianga and Kamaria at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 10.17.2021)

So far, so good. 

Yesterday I went on CVS to look at booster appointments and the site was under maintenance. On a whim, I checked again this afternoon around 3pm and was able to book appointments for Darren and I with just an hours notice, and we were able to do them at the CVS closest to us in North Park instead of National City as before. While we were there, we added flu shots just for good measure. I'm six hours in and besides a sore arm (I got both shots in the same arm), I'm feeling fine. 

Today was a big news day in San Diego because District Attorney Summer Stephan and the Chief of Chula Vista Police held a press conference after Larry Millete was arrested this morning on suspicion of murder of his wife, Maya Millete. It's hard not to have an interest in the case because it's been so extensively covered on our local news. You can watch the press conference here where Summer Stephan gave a whole bunch of information about the case that she believes won't tarnish the trial or jury pool. The craziest detail? That Larry contacted "spellcasters" to try and make Maya drop her divorce, and then to put a spell on her to be incapacitated so that she would need him and unable to leave. Like Misery? WTF? It took way too long but it's about time he was arrested. 

Since I'm feeling good and haven't been hit with the sleepies, I'm gonna try to bust through listings tonight. Wish me luck. 

Stay safe out there.  

Monday, October 18, 2021

CoViD-19: Yes, Breakthrough Deaths Occur. Still Rare. | Biden Admin Seeks Regulation On PFAS | Cracked Pipeline Culprit Possibly Identified | State, City Address Freeway Encampments |


Red River Hogs at San Diego Zoo (Taken 10.19.21)

I did my best to limit my media consumption today. Darren and I hung out in the speakeasy last on Sunday night listening to the Douglas Coupland audiobook of Bit Rot and it made for a slow-moving Monday. I still got in an afternoon trip to the San Diego Zoo and I took dozens of photos of the red river hogs because Darren's band is called Groove Pigs and he's been trying to plan for their next digital release, whenever that happens. 

After the Zoo, we grabbed some quick tacos and zipped Nova to derby. She was super excited because today was the first practice with full contact for fully vaccinated players. While there, Darren and I went to the VA hospital to visit my dad and spent most of the time trying to log in his phone to ESPN so he could watch the Bills v Titans game. Eventually he just watched his team lose on my phone, but he was happy to be able to watch nonetheless. He seemed in good spirits, though I know he puts on a certain face when we're there so we don't know the pain he's really suffering. He also talks a lot about the amazing food he's being served. Apparently in hospice, all dietary restrictions are kinda thrown out the window.  

Eventually we were all back home and after watching the finale of Only Murders in The Building, I did eventually watch the news. I was watching some of the coverage on the vaccine mandate walkouts and it occurred to me that if the news covered every event with that amount of attendees, then literally every single sold out show at the Casbah should be on the news. Honestly. A sold out Anti-Flag or Creepy Creeps or Emo Nite at the Casbah has more attendees then that pathetic showing at Balboa Park. Subtract the people who don't even have children affected by the vaccine mandate and you're talking about a couple dozen people. It is absurd that our local and national news gives so much airtime to the whackadoodle fringe. There's actually a goddamn school that is making vaccinated kids quarantine so they don't "shed" vaccine, and the MAGAts are going to conveniently leave out the Colin Powell was severely immunocompromised and no vaccine could 100% protect someone fighting myeloma. For these reasons, I'm keeping the links short today. They don't get any more of my attention. 

Stay safe out there.  

Sunday, October 17, 2021

CoViD-19: Mandates Are Working | US Surpasses 45M Cases | Kids CoVID Carriers After All | Cleanup Hope For the Pacific Garbage Patch |

Kamaria (born August 22, 2021) spent some time at Kilima Point
at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 10.17.21)

It was such a nice weekend in San Diego. I feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and I think I need to skip the news a little more often because the sight of certain politicians just destroys my mood and it just isn't worth it to freak out about millionaires in office who I have literally no way to influence. 

I was up early on Saturday, made a nice breakfast, sat on the patio and read for awhile and watched a movie (She's In Portland) all before anyone else was up. Once the house creaked awake, my sister called and we met for lunch at Ponce's, and afterward sat in the Kensington Library park to listen to the band that was playing as part of the Adams Avenue A-live. It kinda felt like the old days when I lived in that hood because we ran into friends at Ponce's and then my old neighbor Gregory Page was in the park, too. In the afternoon we took Ficus on a short mini-hike and then the rest of the day was lazy around the house...more reading and TV and not a workday but just a quick look-see over my email, so I limited my internet time. If I'm being honest, all day I was looking forward to margaritas in the speakeasy with Darren, but a consequence of getting up at 6 is that I didn't even make it through the 11 o'clock news. I was out. 

I didn't want to squander my Sunday, so again, up early, watched some TV, read for awhile, and told the family I wanted to go to San Diego Zoo Safari Park between 2 and 3 so I could have a fair amount of time to explore their Autumn Fest and do the tram and chill with the rhinos up on the lookout. Apparently we weren't the only ones with this plan, so it was pretty crowded and there was a big wedding that had some areas close early and the tram was crazy busy but still, we had our quiet moments, Nova took a book and read in a secluded area when she didn't want to be dragged around the park, and I must've watched the rhinos, first Kasey and Mwezi then Kianga and Kamaria, for more than 2 hours. Then we did a little elephant time before the autumn lantern ceremony before the park closed at 7. 

Since I am feeling awake and alert, I'm gonna join my beau in the speakeasy for some cocktails and I'll be back this week with all the usual news and drama. In light of some planned walkouts by anti-vax teachers and parents tomorrow, I've included some studies and writing about kids and COVID that are worth digesting. What those walkout people don't realize is THAT'S WHAT WE WANT. I don't want my kid in a class with unvaxxed teachers or other students who are eligible and just not getting the shot. So how about you do a walkout and don't come back until you suck it up and get the shots or the pandemic is behind us? Say, 2025? 

Stay safe out there. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

CoViD-19: CDC Holiday Guidance | Science of Masks | Let Them Quit | Historian: Jan 6 Driven By Racism | Advisory Group Recommends J&J Boosters | Travel Restrictions To Lift Nov 8 | Snowy Plovers 1 OHV 0 |


(Not a Leatherback) Turtle at Sea World.  (Taken 7.28.21)

Darren and I had so much fun in the speakeasy last night. I mentioned that I got a couple books by Douglas Coupland in the mail this week - Bit Rot and Binge. I also checked out the Bit Rot audiobook from the library, so we listened while we had cocktails and I'm glad that I still connect with his writing the same way I did since 1992 or so. He's the only author whose hardcovers I collect, though apparently there are a few more I don't have. I met him on June 8, 1995, which I only know because he signed my books with the date when he did a reading at the Price Center at UCSD. 

I would comment that his writing is so prescient, but I guess someone who is such an astute observer of people and politics and culture would easily see the world as it is now long before it happened. The writing was on the wall, so to speak. Still it's so fascinating and I'm so glad I bought the books. 

Today was a pretty chill day. I worked, talked to my dad for a little bit, and then Darren and I went to the San Diego Zoo again. It is super crowded for their HalGLOWeen promotion, but as I said last week, the families tend to cluster around the shows and performances. After doing our rounds, we caught the final set of the night of the San Diego Zoo Dia de Muertos Mariachi. 

I suspect it will be a low key weekend around here. I would like to go to Safari Park on Sunday but will skip it if it stays this hot. Ideally we'll visit my dad. I still need a booster and a flu shot, but I'll probably wait until next week. Maybe I'll actually watch Squid Game.  

Today's post might be a little longer than usual, because I'm maybe gonna take the weekend off. California and the CDC don't really offer good weekend reporting anyway. In fact, the CDC kinda blows, I don't understand how the County's vaccination numbers differ so drastically from the CDC. It doesn't make sense. I also included a must watch interview about American politics and the January 6th insurrection with a historian and a rant about these idiot cops and others who are crybabying about having to get vaccinated. So sick of it. 

Anyway, have a nice weekend if you don't hear from me till Monday. 

Did you know that -- without accounting for reinfections -- 10.1% of San DIegans have had COVID-19??? That is a crazy lot. The CDC issued holiday guidance the same and of course, I pretty much think Christmas is canceled, but they pretty much said what you'd expect if you've been paying attention. And why would you be reading this if you haven't? 

Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

CoVid-19: Advisory Panel Recommends Moderna Booster | Lost Years Of Life | COVID Crazies | Protecting School Boards |


Mwezi at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 10.14.21) 

Today was a busy and full day. I got up at the crack of dawn, which as we know and have well established, is not at all normal for me. But I wanted to get cracking because Thursdays seem to be my busiest work day and I was itching to go to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. So I busted ass, got a solid 6 uninterrupted hours of work in, and off me and Darren went while Nova was in school. It was a little hotter than I expected but it was nice and we hit our usual areas, impressed some tourists by making the turaco do his call, assessed that the tram line was too long, and spent some time at the top with Mwezi and his momma. We had a hard out so I couldn't linger like normal, but we got home, fed the animals, raced to drop Nova at derby, then visited my dad at the VA hospital. 

That was a little bit of a wasted trip because he has a prepaid phone and needed to add minutes to it, but now you can only add a month-to-month plan. I literally had to tell the agent, "my dad is in the hospital and wants to make sure we can cancel the plan without penalty after he dies!!" for them to stop their upsell. And it's true, that is exactly what he said to me, but we sorted it out. And we got some time with him and he seemed in good spirits all things considered. My sister showed up, too, so I think we're breaking all the hospital rules, but they see it's his room and they kinda let it slide. Maybe the more visitors and phone calls he gets, the less he troubles the staff, who by the way, are amazing. One nurse asked what the weather was like today because she arrived FROM TEMECULA when it was still dark out and wouldn't be going home until even later that night. 

I had a little rant I've been contemplating in my head, but now it hardly seems worth it. A person in my extended family has been going through cancer treatment and is a superfan of TFG and didn't get vaccinated, then traveled on a plane for a family funeral, then posted on their facebook asking about medical exemptions for vaccines for jobs that require them on Saturday and by Sunday they were posting that they and the whole family that traveled got COVID (which likely means everyone on the plane was exposed), and then was asking about where to get ivermectin and monoclonal antibodies. DO NOT BE THIS PERSON. Look up articles about cancer -- either past or current treatment - and every article tells you to jump the line, knock over old ladies, do whatever you have to do to get vaccinated. But okay, do your own research. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

CoViD-19 Was 2nd Leading Cause of Death in September | Messaging About The Messaging | Biden Addresses Bottlenecks (Christmas Is Still Canceled) | US Moves On Offshore Wind |


Ficus and Kiwi on the old couch and heating pads (Taken 9.23.2019)

Economics was never a subject that interested me. I tend to be more of an ostrich when it comes to money issues. Which is weird, because my dad was a finance guy with the VA for a majority of his career there, until he moved to Vocational Rehab, helping vets get money for their disabilities, for school, for housing, etc. 

For this reason, the congressional debates about the Build Back Better agenda and reconciliation and the debt ceiling and the pundits who just can't shut up with their garbage hot takes are fascinating and simultaneously infuriating and I'm just trying to read between the lines and understand what it means to me and my family and our community and across the country. The analysts want to find one thing, say a worker shortage, and pin the economy on that one thing. Or take it back further and somehow people think that the extra $600 then $300 in unemployment was a mistake. Poor people with money could suddenly buy what they needed, thereby competing and depriving everyone else for goods on the shelf. In reality, at least in my perception of things, there are factors too many to count. 

Obviously, we're in a GLOBAL pandemic. And while we in San Diego now have 80% of eligible people vaccinated, that isn't so in the rest of the country and the rest of the world. I've been reading about factory shutdowns over the past several months in Vietnam, Taiwan, China, Singapore and others. Then think about the food processing plants in the US - meat production facilities ravaged by COVID among workers, Title 42 stopping the flow of the migrant workers who work in those plants, and not even knowing in the beginning if food could carry the virus. Most recently strikes at Kellogg's, Frito-Lay, and other places because workers have had enough of shitty wages, horrible treatment, all while seeing their CEOs and stockholders making money hand over fist. Throw in the deadly deep freeze last winter, hurricanes, floods, droughts and devastating fires (and that's only talking about the United States) and no wonder things are "bottlenecked". 

So yeah, OPEC has us by the throat and they know it. And the corporations are certainly going to exploit consumer demand, raise prices more than they need to and keep them up because they can. And we're all eating at home and food prices are up, trucking costs more, wages are up, gas is up. 

But in all the news stories I've read, I'.ve not once seen or heard anyone say that we need to curb demand. Do you really need a new TV on Black Friday? Can your phone last a few more months or be repaired or acquire a refurbished one instead of needing a new one? Is your crafting so necessary that you need to buy styrofoam pumpkins and gourds at Michael's? I'm not talking to people in real need. I'm talking to those of us who can reel it in a bit, who have everything we need and if we don't, can be a little more creative in how we source our goods. 

I'm not immune. Earlier this week, my Goodreads account notified me of a new book by my favorite author, Douglas Coupland. In looking it up, turns out he actually has a few books I wasn't aware of. I had a credit, made the Amazon order for two of the books and they arrived in separate boxes (though thankfully from the same driver at the same time). But I still felt like a dick. I'm trying to be more conscientious about how I spend my money, my family has all been warned that we will not be buying gifts for Christmas, but on top of all that, I will try to be more conscientious of my sticker shock and whining about the cost of things. I'm grateful we had the American Rescue Plan. I'm grateful my job still exists because of grants and PPP and NIVA and SVOG. I'm grateful to have a roof over my head, a car to drive when I need but a lifestyle that means I almost never do. To be honest, besides the early days of toilet paper shortages, I haven't really felt too impacted except for the pet food shortages, so we just try to order long in advance of running out. Plan ahead. Focus on your priorities. Skip the junk. 

I still think we're gonna have to skip a tree this year, but somehow we always find a way.   

Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, October 13- Tuesday, October 19, 2021 | Tennis | Elefante y Inspector | OSEES | Men I Trust | Hinds | Willie Nelson | Blended Festival |


Men I Trust (Taken 6.20.18)

I started working on listings last night and then my internet went down. I don't know why I have to call COX to find out that there was a planned service outage from midnight until 6am...if you can text me when it's restored, why not text me in advance of it going down? I tried tethering from my phone but that was tedious and I got tired, so I decided to pick it up in the morning. 

But then I laid down to sleep and couldn't. Or I kinda did for a couple hours but there was construction on El Cajon Boulevard and at 5am I gave up on sleep and got to work. 

Of course there are soooo many good shows this week. The Bleachers show tonight is gonna be a good one and I'd definitely recommend getting there early enough for Claud. Tennis and Molly Burch at Observatory will be great, too. Casbah will be celebrating the life and art of Matt Hoyt who recently died of an aggressive cancer, and our friend Gayle Skidmore is in town with a show at Humphrey's backstage.  

If you're a fan of rock en espanol, two great bands, Elefante and Inspector will be at Music Box on Thursday. ford. at the Casbah is almost sold out so get a ticket now if you wanna hit that show. Friday and Saturday are jammed with shows so inspect those lists closely. On Sunday, I'd probably choose between Hinds and Men I Trust, both are exceptional, but the latter is already sold out. 

If you do go out, stay safe out there. Things are looking better for COVID but it's still with us so don't let your guard down.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

CoViD-19: Breakthrough Transmission Limited | Psaki Demolishes Cruz | Oil Spill Updates | WHO To Honor Henrietta Lacks | Adios, Amazon | Border To Reopen To Vaccinated In November | Swine Fever Getting Closer To US |


Hannah Joy of `Middle Kids at Soda Bar (Taken 12.13.18)

I chickened out. 

Or, as Nova kindly said, "it isn't chickening out if you were presented with new information and changed your mind."

I really wanted to go to the Casbah to see Middle Kids, I really did. 

I had procured set times.
We had cut our afternoon visit to the San Diego Zoo short so we'd have time to cook dinner before the show. 
Darren and I laid down ground rules and agreed that we wouldn't drink so as not to remove our masks.
My first article linked today is about low transmission among vaccinated.
I was even dressed and almost ready to go, just finishing up a few things online.

And then I opened an email. 

Someone had tested positive. People are out living their lives so they could've gotten it anywhere but who knows how long it took from contracting COVID to notifying everyone. And we don't have any context of vax status or if they're symptomatic. It just kinda flipped my feelings and I had to make the decision not to go. We're still able to visit my dad in the hospital so I just can't take chances like that. He's in hospice care but I don't need to be the one to kill him. We've already been loosening up as far as eating out and doing more activities that interface with more of the public, but the thought of standing still, inside, with other stationary people kinda gives me a panic attack. 

I'm totally experiencing FOMO and I know I'm missing a ton of amazing shows, but just with the current situation, I'm not ready. Still, I better get to work on listings because I think there are a lot of people who aren't regulars at the VA hospital, who aren't high risk or living among high risk people. For those people, by all means, have all the fun for the rest of us. 

Thanks to everyone who sent kind messages about Kiwi. My meanest cat, Strawberry, seems to be taking the absence especially hard, but I think things are gonna be okay as she adjusts. She is also going to hate us as we put her on a diet because she was eating all of Kiwi's food and gained some pandemic pounds.  

There were some newsy things I wanted to highlight. First of all, another Psaki bomb today as Jen shreds Ted Cruz. Second, Vice has a great story about how Amazon canceled plans to build a warehouse in San Diego because they don't like the County's plans to impose prevailing wage and minimum sick days to employees. This was discussed last week at the meeting and it's just being drawn up and investigated at this point, but it is popular among the Supervisors. Last, Secretary Mayorkas will be reopening the border to non-essential travel, but it will open in two phases- In November it will open only to fully vaccinated people from within North America. In January it will expand to all fully vaccinated foreign nationals. Seems like that might still need some tweaking and we'll probably get more details on Wednesday, including information on children, for example, but you can read the release below. Off to do listings.   

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

CoViD-19: Merck Seeks EUA On Oral Treatment | Indigenous Peoples' Day | National Coming Out Day | Plane Crashes Into Santee Homes | RIP Kiwi |


Ficus and Kiwi (RIP). (Taken 9.2.2017)

I still have two inboxes of email to read through but I don't think there's any news that won't be talked about tomorrow and the day after and the day after that. Since I wrote about Kiwi last night, I will mostly spare you, but tonight we took her to B- Street Veterinary Hospital in Golden Hill and had to say goodbye. Euthanizing a pet is excruciating emotionally, but it's also a huge financial decision. You can take your pet to the Humane Society and surrender them for $50, but you can't be present in the end. The other end of the spectrum is in-home euthanizing, which starts around $300 plus add-ons for travel and after care. I called one lady who spoke in a baby voice and charged $375 and I was like, no way is this woman coming to my house. Others could be as much as $500 and push cremation and mementos and how about I'll honor my dying pet by using that money to take good care of the animals we still have? As a non-religious person, there is also all this loaded language of grace and heaven and God's creatures and it is really too much for an atheist to handle. On a whim, I remembered that some friends have recommended B-Street in the past and I called ahead and they were super kind and understanding and were able to let us come in and hold Kiwi as she passed on and $140 seemed like a reasonable middle ground. Kiwi will be part of a group cremation and her ashes will be released in the sea off Point Loma.

It was time, maybe a little too long past due, and I'm sad but also feeling very relieved and that we did the right thing for her in the end. 

I didn't really talk about the weekend, but it was nice. On Saturday we went to the San Diego Zoo in an attempt to catch a little of the mariachi but we missed them. It was super crowded and not really my jam, so we did a quick walkthrough and then met my family for dinner at Fillippi's in Imperial Beach. Their patio is nothing spectacular but we had it to ourselves. I hadn't eaten at the chain in years and forgot that it is pretty good Italian comfort food. I also appreciated the family accommodating my wishes to be outside because I'm sure they would've rather been warm indoors. We hung out at my parents' house pretty late that night. Come Sunday, my cousin and uncle both left and we did the Zoo again, this time planning our time better so we could watch one set of the mariachi trio. I'm telling you, it is worth it to hear that girl sing La Llorona. You will be crying. 

After Nova was asleep and Darren was in the studio playing guitar, I watched The Starling on Netflix. I don't know why watching sad movies is a thing I do when I'm already sad, but it was really good and sad and cathartic. And then today rolled around and I'm glad it was a holiday because things seemed not-so-crazy and Kiwi spent most of the day outside in the grass warming her bones with sunshine and when we finally brought her upstairs, I knew that we couldn't wait another day if we didn't have to. Of all my pets I've had in my life, Kiwi was the most chill, not shy but never drawing attention to herself, letting the other animals be high maintenance and she was always just cool as a cucumber. 22 years is a really long life for a cat and I'm grateful to have had the time with her. Goodnight, sweet girl. 

Stay safe out there.  

Sunday, October 10, 2021

CoViD-19: Anti-Vaxxers Get The Axe | Oil Spill Response | Stay Back From The Bears | Southwest Airlines Delays | Preparing for Goodbyes |


Do you realize
That happiness makes you cry?
Do you realize
That everyone you know someday will die?

If there is a way to prepare for grief, I would like to know it. We live our whole lives knowing that everyone around us will die. Perhaps this is why we love forests, because the trees existed long before us, and hopefully will be here long after we are dust. 

The knowing doesn't make it an easier. My dad is hanging on at the VA hospital and when I spoke to him today, he was hopeful that they would be discharging him to home this week, which is his wish, but I think we are waiting to find out if he gets an in-home caretaker provided that isn't my mom. And any care at this point is just palliative care as he has been weened off all of his meds. That is just a daunting thing to think about and so I really don't think about it as much as I can avoid it. 

But this week we're making the decision to euthanize Kiwi. She is my 22 year old cat. She was my second cat, who I adopted to keep my first cat Syndey company when I was at work. Tragically, Sydney was hit by a car, and after that, Kiwi has outlived my dog Pascha, and my other cats Monkey and Boo Radley. Kiwi was born from a cat whose owner thought she was a boy until she had kittens. That cat was owned by my friend's aunt and has had a picture featured in a Dia De Los Muertos alter since she died at 21 years old. Longevity, it would seem, was in her genes. But it's time. Every time we've thought it was time before, she would surprise us and go outside, gingerly making it up and down the stairs on her own, just to sniff around the yard and walk with the grass underneath her paws. Today she spent a lot of time outside, we think to find a place to die, but Darren brought her back in and she ate dinner as usual before disappearing back under the bed. But it's clear she suffering and like they always say at the Zoo, we don't want her last day to be her worst day. So she has another night or two with us, and then we say goodbye. There is only grief in preparing for grief. 

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes
Let them know you realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
                                                        Flaming Lips

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, October 09, 2021

CoViD-19: First Expectant Mother Death In San Diego | Governor Vetoes "Idaho Stop" & "Jaywalking" Bills | Appeals Court Reinstates Texas Abortion Law | OECD Sets Global Minimum Tax | Biden Restores National Monuments |

I don't like Halloween. I never really have. I don't like thinking about a costume. I don't like dressing up. I despise people who scream, whether out of fear or joy. I know, I know. I'm a fun-killer. I also realize this might all stem from the trauma I had on Halloween in 1985, when my brother's best friend Pete made fun of my Cyndi Lauper costume and I chased him in the parking lot to try to hit him and instead slipped and spent the entire night bleeding from my gravel-filled legs, my makeup streaming down my face, my orange side-pony completely ratted up from falling. 

But I was excited to go to the San Diego Zoo on Friday night. Granted, it's free October for kids which means there are A LOT of kids around, and it's Halgloween so it is impossible for you not to hear the Monster Mash or the Addams Family theme song. But still, any excuse for a nighttime Zoo is fine by me. And because there are different nighttime activities most of the kids were occupied, while we stumbled upon a mariachi performance to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos by the Sabertooth Mexican Grill in Elephant Odyssey. This girl's voice is amazing! Unfortunately, we only caught the last two songs and a large group of obnoxious people wouldn't shut up, but I highly recommend catching them. I believe they play 4 sets at the top of each hour, separated by a 20 or so minute break. We just might have to go back this weekend. Halgloween runs Friday-Sunday during October and on these nights, the Zoo is open until 9pm. We'll be back for sure. 

The rest of my day and night weren't very eventful. Before the Zoo, we met my family for dinner at Point Loma Seafoods. I know restaurants are short-handed, but the quality of their food has really gone way down. I think it was in decline long before the pandemic. I know I'm spoiled because Darren really stepped up to be a master in the kitchen during the pandemic and we've been buying fresh fish from Know Seafood, getting 2-day frozen delivery from Costco, and taking advantage when Vons puts their shrimp on $5 Friday deals, but it's hard to spend that much money on mediocre food that probably just comes from Sysco anyway. And on top of all that, we didn't even eat with the family because they chose to sit inside the restaurant. I love my family and I love spending time with them, but I'm not sitting inside at a tourist spot when the restaurant can't even be bothered to keep their overhead fans on. Maybe I'm ridiculous, but I haven't been sick yet. 

So yeah. I was trying to taking a breather on a post for Friday, but my inbox was too out of control and I didn't wanna just kick the can to the weekend. There was a lot of news on Friday that I just couldn't skip. An appeals court put a stay on the Texas abortion law, thereby reinstating it. The US and like 130 countries agreed on a global minimum tax. San Diego experienced its first death of an expectant mother. Governor Newsom signed a shit ton of new laws, some which are great, some which are neutral. But he also vetoed two major ones on bike and pedestrian safety. DHS is canceling some remaining contracts for building the border wall. Biden restored national monuments including Bears Ears.  

Jen Psaki spent what felt like half her briefing explaining why everything feels like it costs more and why there are shortages of workers and goods, and she has to say the same stuff over and over, though I think she keeps missing the mark a little bit that it isn't just fear of COVID keeping people home, but parents of school-aged kids can't get jobs when their kids keep having to quarantine or isolate for ten days because of the spread in schools in many places in the US. I keep seeing everyone talking about the decline of Delta and that the virus is in retreat, but let's not get crazy. Friday was the first day under 100,000 new daily cases in months. But 99,000+ cases ain't nothin'. There's was also a lot on the investigation and clean up of the oil pipeline leak that is worth looking at because our beaches are affected, too. 

I've got a project I need to work on, plus my cousin is coming back and we'll probably try and visit my dad again, so don't expect a Saturday night post. 

Stay safe out there.   

Thursday, October 07, 2021

CoViD-19: SD Simplifies County Testing |Pfizer Requests EUA For Kids | Southwestern College Forgives Debt | Federal Agencies Address Climate | Senate Increases Debt Limit (For Now) | Oil May Be Reaching County Beaches |

Pygmy Hippos at San Diego Zoo (Taken 10.7.21)

I mentioned that my dad was transferred to the palliative care at the VA from Kaiser, so I'm glad I busted ass today because my work felt like it was never going to stop, and it was a busy news day, too. But I hustled and was able to get an hour and a half at the San Diego Zoo -- the only real time I get out of the house for fresh air -- and after, while Nova was at derby, Darren and I got to visit my dad. 

It was really hard. All of it is hard. Trying to be normal is hard. Having the hard conversations is hard. Wanting to record every word he says, trying not to cry the entire time I'm with him, trying to not focus on the end, like when he says, "well, I'm either going home, or I'm going Home." And he's so mentally aware and capable and his body is just failing around him. It is all so hard. 

So I'm not gonna talk about it anymore tonight. I'm going to do my work and I'm going to get sleep and I'm gonna keep putting one foot in front of the other and telling him I'll see him again until I can't. 

There's a ton of interesting news today, but you'll have to check the links yourself. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

CoViD-19: SD Panel Addresses Misinformation | LA Requires Vaccines For Indoor Biz | Supply Chain Solution: Stop Buying Stupid Crap | Otis 480 Claims 4th Fat Bear Week Title | Court Blocks Texas Abortion Law |

Not-So-Fat Grizzly at San Diego Zoo (Taken 10.4.21)

I'll start with condolences to the family who lost a loved one at the VA hospital which allowed my dad, at 1am in the morning, to finally transfer to a bed at the VA hospital. He's in good spirits, my mom and uncle were able to spend time with him and it sounds like I may be able to visit, too. 

I had an all day pajama jammy jam since I was up all night working. The cool fall air is a nice change in San Diego compared to our non-stop air conditioning days of summer. There was a lot of news today: a judge issued an injunction on the Texas abortion law, the investigation into the oil spill continues, and LA is putting into place vaccine requirements. Of course the news will focus on the "confusion" but I would hope that people understand that a COUNTY can put restrictions, and a CITY within that county can put even stricter restrictions. LA county is requiring proof of vaccine or a negative test for bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, sporting events and the like while the CITY of LA is also extending that to gyms, salons, City facilities and the like, though the operative word here is "eligible", so kids would be exempt for now. I'd love to see that here but we're at almost 90% of partially vaccinated and 79.4% of 12+ fully vaccinated, so I don't think the County will move forward with anything like that. 

Over the course of the past few days and weeks, eyes have been on supply chain issues. This was a great explainer from back in June. And since I've snarkily said over and over that Christmas is Canceled, I thought I would --with a strong dose of privilege, I'm well aware--state the obvious: stop buying stupid crap. There are things we need, sure, and we all buy dumb stuff, but maybe join your local Buy Nothing group, shop local, or only purchase items that are on-hand and in-stock if you absolutely need them, like if your fridge breaks. We all laugh at Black Friday footage of people fighting over cheap TVs and bargain electronics, but seeing people whining on the news that Halloween decorations or Christmas ornaments may not be here in time is nauseating. We can adapt. Cut out some snowflakes like you did in kindergarten, ffs. And while we're complaining about rising prices...we can't demand an end to offshore drilling and also demand lower gas prices. We all need a little flexibility and maybe I'm just watching too much news so I'm gonna step down off my soapbox and call it a night. It's hard to say how deep the fires affected us, but maybe psych yourself up for the possibility that your Christmas tree may cost double or plan on forgoing it altogether.

Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, October 6 - Tuesday, October 12, 2021 | Juanes, Middle Kids, Evan Dando, Black Midi, Beach Goons, John Hiatt, Dropkick Murphys, JPEGMAFIA and more! |

Middle Kids (Taken 6.19.2019)

As I've tried to be a little more relaxed and have now eaten at restaurants two nights in a row, I was thinking that I might have to finally quit my self-imposed pandemic lockdown by going to the Middle Kids show next week, but now that it's looking like it might sell out I'm not quite sure. And now with my dad's condition, everything is kind of up in the air especially in the event we're able to visit him. I'm still gonna plan for easing my own lockdown, and I guess to prepare for that I'll get my booster and try to get back to regular testing again, too. 

I have to admit that it is really hard to see so many great shows coming to San Diego and quietly sit them out. Like, I can't believe Juanes is playing SOMA! I mean, tickets are like $90 after service charges so I wouldn't likely have gone under normal non-pandemic times, but still. That is a big deal. And Evan Dando is playing Tower Bar?! And I was gonna go to Indigo Girls at the Shell with Jeff but I think he sold the tickets because I couldn't really commit to when I'd be ready for shows again, especially ones with assigned seating, even if it is outdoors. 

The mental gymnastics of risk assessment can be hard, but I haven't gotten sick thus far and don't plan on it now. If my dad hadn't been so vulnerable all this time I may be a little lighter on the leash, but I'm still playing it safe while he's still with us. As it is, I stayed up all night to get these listings done, just so I can be ready on a whim if and when my family calls. But for now, I shall sleep.

If you're hoping to go to Middle Kids, get your tickets now because it's probably gonna sell out by the weekend. 

Go enjoy a show or two for me. Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: Waning Immunity Demands Boosters | J&J Requests Booster EUA | California Oil Leak Ignored For Hours | DOD Implements "Continuous Vetting" |

Downtown San Diego From Coronado Ferry Landing (Taken 10.6.21)

Yes, it's almost 2 in the morning and I'm barely finishing up my post for the day. My dad's situation hasn't changed and so while my mom has been spending time with him, we've been entertaining my uncle since my cousin had to return to LA for work. And it was my niece's birthday so we got together for some pizza. 

We kind of have a circuit of restaurants that everyone can agree on when we have visitors, though not really places we would frequent on our own. Tuesday was Village Pizzeria at the Coronado Ferry Landing. The food is good, but prices are kinda premium because of the location and view, or at least more than I'd spend on a good pie elsewhere. Still, if we're going to keep eating out, it was nice to once again sit outside on an patio that was mostly empty. 

Dinner was fun but talk got political which is a terrible idea. My uncle lives in Indiana so he's in a different world when it comes to politics, so my eyes were bulging out of my face at some of the nonsense he was spewing while talking to my brother in law. It was like listening to Peter Doocy right at my very own dinner table and just as ill-informed. He makes fun of me for masking when I interact with staff and was boasting that in Indiana there's "no mask requirement nonsense," blatantly oblivious to the irony that he's the only person in my entire extended family who has had COVID-19. Later he was trying to get us to go to a casino. Um, no thanks. Naturally when I got home I watched the unhinged nutjobs at the County Board of Supervisors meeting on YouTube. You know, I think I know some stuff about stuff, but I wish I was so sure of myself as some of the public speakers are so sure of the nonsense they spew. 

I didn't follow the news super close today but the oil leak off our coast was ignored for hours by the Coast Guard and the oil company itself, which made the impact far greater than it would've been otherwise and it's disgusting. The Catholic Church of France revealed 70 years of child sexual abuse and the numbers are staggering: estimated 330,000 victims by over 3000 priests. That is 110 victims per priest. I cannot even wrap my head around that number. One bright spot in the news was that the Dept of Defense announced implementation of what they're calling "continuous vetting" which basically surveils members of the military and contractors, especially with security clearances, for criminal or questionable activity. THIS is how you drain a swamp. COVID-19 is still here, it's still with us, and we're still over 70,000 cases a day, so maybe we can all rein in the victory dances. I'll be making my appointment for a booster and flu shot this week. 

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, October 04, 2021

CoViD-19: Christmas Isn't Canceled (If You're Vaccinated) | Governor Declares State of Emergency Due To Oil Spill | President Biden Rolls Back Abortion Gag Rule | FB Goes Down |


Family Dinner at Loma's Chula Vista (Taken 10.4.21)

I did it. 

Today was the first time I ate out at a restaurant since before March 2020. My uncle and cousin are in town because of my dad's situation and Loma's is a family favorite, close to my parents' house, and they have an outdoor patio, which we had all to ourselves to eat, drink, and be merry, and get an amazing view of the lightning storm as it struck south, southwest, and west of us throughout our dinner. Our waiter was a super sweetheart and was kind enough to take some family photos for us, too. We eat there whenever family is in town, so it's been awhile, but everything was excellent and I ordered two quesa-birria tacos but could only get through one of them. Happy Taco Day. 

There's no news on my dad. In fact, everyone had to work or go to school today, so I went to the San Diego Zoo alone for a couple hours, as I do on Mondays, and it felt good to sweat out some steps in the heat. Although I had planned my route so I'd end up at Skyfari by 6, not realizing it was shut down due to the predicted storm. My mom was able to visit my dad but was treated like shit by the floor manager at Kaiser. Because he's hospice, he's supposed to be given exception and can have one visitor at a time and the nurse snottily told my mom that patients can be on hospice for 6 hours or 6 months, so she doesn't get special privileges. Needless to say my mom is pissed and hopes that he can get transferred to a VA palliative bed soon. 

I did find out that my uncle was fully vaccinated with Moderna before his breakthrough case. He said it was bad and he felt super sick, but he never had to be hospitalized. He's a cancer patient so a breakthrough isn't unheard of, but I was glad to know that he had been vaccinated or the family could be in a very different situation. 

The oil spill is deeply concerning; the news is reporting that the pipeline could've been cracked by an anchor of one of the dozens of barges waiting to unload off the California, coast, but nothing is certain at this point in time. The governor declared a state of emergency and Jen Psaki outlined what the federal government is doing:

14 boats have been conducting oil recovery operations since Sunday afternoon; 4 aircraft were dispatched for overflight assessments; shoreside response was conducted by 105 government agency personnel; and approximately 3,150 gallons of oil have been recovered from the water; and 5,360 feet of boom has been deployed. So, we are very engaged in the effort that is 24/7 at this point in time.

I'm going to go listen to the rain and get in my headspace for Tuesday. 

Stay safe out there. 

CoViD-19: Cases Declining | California Oil Spill Threatens Coastline | Christmas Is Canceled |


San Diego Estuary Wildlife Refuge (Taken 1.11.2020)

I'm not the only one who has been saying for months that Christmas is Canceled. All we've been hearing about is supply chain issues, unfilled jobs in factories and transportation, factories closing down because of COVID-19 outbreaks, and climate news like flooding from hurricanes or wildfires and now an oil spill which throw a big wrench into logistics. And yet we're letting Joe Manchin hold our country hostage. What a fucking prick. It's not like we'd ever expect a republican to do the right thing, but this crook needs to be threatened with his job and I hope all the progressive PACs are ready to flood his state in efforts to oust him come his next election. And now California has this oil spill to contend with, owned by a company from Texas, no less, and controlling my rage feels impossible. But Michael's has crafting pumpkins starting at $4.99 so maybe let's chill on the supply chain crisis for a hot minute. 

And I have to take a step back. We've all been spending a lot of time at my parents' house. My dad hasn't yet been moved out of Kaiser but he is officially in hospice so my mom is allowed to visit and we've been able to talk to him some more on the phone. I think everybody dreams of going peacefully in their sleep when our time comes, it is especially hard to know that as his organs fail, he's just as alert and sharp and smart as ever. Sure, sometimes he's a little woozy or slurring, but it's very hard to witness. My uncle should arrive by Monday and it feels weird to hope for a bed to open up at the VA because ultimately that means someone else is dying, but we'll just continue to wait for news as it comes. 

In the meantime, it's hard to say that life goes on, but the kids are all still in school, everyone still has jobs and extracurriculars and obligations and so we'll carry on as best as we can which is why you got a post today. I need the distraction. 

Stay safe out there.