Tuesday, November 30, 2021

CoViD-19: Omicron: We Only Know What We Know | Courts Toe Party Lines On Vax Mandates | Another School Shooting | Court Upholds Ban On Large Capacity Magazines |

Baby Giraffe Approx 2 Hours After Birth (Taken 11.29.21)

I was so excited about the giraffe birth yesterday that I didn't even mention that we had this zippy situation where Darren picked me up from the San Diego Zoo, we rushed home, we dressed up (and I put on makeup for the maybe the 4th time in two years) so we could get Nova to derby and us to the Casbah staff photo shoot, all while I was trying to get my giraffe photos and videos to my pal at NBC, which didn't actually work, but I tried. 

But I have to talk about the Casbah photo shoot because it felt so nice to be among almost every coworker. I know I've been absent. I know I've been avoidant. But when there are no customers in the bar and I know we're all vaccinated and the fans are on and we're all chill, I could be a semblance of old me among old friends and happy and not worrying about masks or ventilation or drinking before the kid is asleep...another major thing I've avoided all pandemic even though one beer and one shot is certainly not gonna spin me into a bad step-mom vibe. 

Compare that to today, where I was simply enjoying an afternoon trip back at the Zoo with Darren when his cousin called frazzled that she'd missed yet another flight. This is the cousin whose job it was to fly to San Diego as an escort for Nova on Saturday but who decided to purposely create a six hour layover so they could explore Phoenix after they'd already missed their first flight which had a scheduled layover in Chicago. It hurts my brain thinking about it. So she was at the airport with 5 hours to kill and was asking advice on places to go IN TIJUANA. WHAT?! Who thinks you can just casually cross into Mexico and back and go sight-seeing or shopping or whatever and get back with enough check-in time to catch a flight? 

So yeah, we got sucked into the hurricane, picked her up, treated her to dinner (not quite sure how that worked out), walked around Old Town to kill time, and dropped her off in time for a reasonable person to check in. I was pretty much a day behind in work, but I'm just gonna backdate this post by a couple hours so this post doesn't get mixed up with Wednesday's data dump. 

Now that I'm wrapping up, I'll say that about 70% of my email today was asking for money. Super annoying. I'll also say that omicron is stealing all the headlines, so I've included a lot of links below, but the long story short is we don't know what we don't know, and we only know what we know. But what is getting annoying is people, including Dr Walensky and Jeff Zients, repeatedly saying the virus is "unpredictable." It really isn't. We follow mitigations as best we can and in regions of high compliance the virus stays at bay and where people fight mitigations and deny the virus is airborne and that the virus and subsequent variants are hoaxes and that vaccines aren't necessary/effective/whatever we see consistent resurgences of the virus and continued high hospitalizations and deaths. The waves, at least now, are actually entirely predictable. In my opinion, vaccine mandate deadlines can't come soon enough.

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, November 29, 2021

CoViD-19: Omicron "Cause For Concern, Not Panic" | New Variant: Same Mitigations, Still Airborne | Photos: Baby Giraffe Born at San Diego Zoo |


Baby Giraffe Born Approx 2:30pm at San Diego Zoo, Taken Approx 30 Minutes Later 

I know it was a long weekend and all the news is still in your face about Omicron and supply-chain and holiday shopping and cyber-Monday and inevitable double your normal emails for Giving Tuesday, but I got to witness something AMAZING today. 

I was going to the San Diego Zoo for the afternoon, as I often do on Mondays. As I entered, a Zoo employee came up to one of her coworkers at the entrance saying she just witnessed the birth of the giraffe. 

I'd been anticipating this since they put up the birthing fence within the habitat at the beginning of November. I hustled through the long walkway to the mesa and came upon about a hundred people oohing and aahing. I set up with my camera behind a couple people who eventually tired and left so I was able to post up pretty much until closing to watch the baby. The big excitement was about the baby's first steps, which usually come within an hour of birth but takes a few tries first. And so we waiting. Baby would try to get up, collapse, then get enough strength to try again, legs splayed in all directions, tumbling forward and backward, rolling to its side. 

After about an hour, the moment finally came and mom had cleaned and preened, and nudged her legs in a way more conducive to standing up and it did it! Wobbly legs, mom stood over her and straightened her legs until one step, then two, then looking for a teat. I was told the mom was Saba, and this is her first calf. She would walk away, and the little calf would follow, as the other curious giraffes looked in, necks over the fence to get close but still maintain distance. 

The whole experience was super amazing, and I filmed about 20 video clips and shot over 550 photos right up until my camera battery died. I was excited and shared it with Eric over at NBC, so he did a little writeup and photo gallery with my shots here.  You can see the first steps on my Instagram post here. And I'm gonna post some photos as the end of this post. 

As for COVID-19, just assume Omicron is gonna be and Delta is still everywhere. The US is still only sequencing 5-10% of samples and there are still no widespread surveillance programs for the public besides what we've been doing at SDUSD, but even then, weekly PCR testing is opt-in, so you know that shit is going around undetected. (And we did an antigen test when she returned from Missouri, too.) Plus, there have still been no strong statements by WHO or CDC that COVID is airborne which is really holding us all back but would likely collapse entire industries should it be said with real force.

Stay safe out there. Photos at the end. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

CoViD-19: New Variant of Concern Omicron | Dept of Interior Releases Report on Oil & Gas Leases | Comic-Con Special Edition Kicks Off |


Thanksgiving Was Small This Year (Taken 11.25.21)

While we were home preparing deviled eggs and enchiladas to eventually head to my parents' house to hang with my sister and nieces, apparently Nova was spending her Thanksgiving in a church hall with the Republican side of her extended family and now I'm completely pissed that we apparently weren't explicit enough about who and where she was allowed to go while on her trip. It's so frustrating spending nearly two years being so careful and then know that people are on the other side of the country not giving one shit about anybody else. Thankfully she's fully vaccinated so her risk is low, but I didn't want her getting on that plane in the first place and we'll definitely be a lot more discerning if they try to have her back. Obviously we'll be home-testing her upon return and get her back into regular testing at school on Tuesday, too.

Our Thanksgiving was nice and chill except when I got home and realized I still had listings and a newsletter to do. But I got them done and was going to stay offline today but some work things came up and the new Omicron variant of concern was all over the news, so I couldn't not post even if there's no data. And I'll say this about the newly identified variant: we need to stop treating South Africa like shit and trust their science and scientists. We need to stop looking down on other countries when they have better sequencing and surveillance than we do. We need to demand that the CDC get their shit together and get their numbers up to date, their data more transparent, and increasing multi-fold on sequencing. Otherwise, we're just at the mercy of our own most misinformed and in denial and this cycle will just continue on and on. After hearing that news and seeing images of the Comic-Con lines (Chris Morrow, YouTube), all I can say is that I made the right choice for me and my family, but I'm sure it was a blast for those who can be a little more relaxed.

I will say that Darren and I visited the hospital today, though we told my Dad we likely won't visit next week until we give Nova a good week of observation and such. They had to fix some equipment in the room, so we made my mom take a little break and she took us to this nice little garden they have at the VA hospital around the HVAC gear on the 2nd floor. After the visit, we went to San Diego Zoo Safari Park for Wild Holidays. I love Christmas lights but I was a little bummed that they close up several of the areas of the park, including the elephants and Kilima Point. We were able to do the Lagoon Walk before they closed that down, and were going to leave by 6 but discovered Tiger Trail and Australian Outback were still open, so we did that walk, but seeing any actual animals were few and far between. Still, a nice and chill night out. The kid is back tomorrow, so I'll probably take the rest of the weekend off and be back on Monday. 

Stay diligent and safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Friday, November 26-Wednesday, December 1, 2021 | Comic-Con Special Edition | #GreenFriday | #SmallBusinessSaturday | RSD & Vinyl Junkies 4 Year Anniversary |

I was sitting at home on Thursday night feeling so proud of myself for not having opened my laptop all day and then it occurred to me that I only did listings through Wednesday and I needed to prepare a newsletter for the Casbah. 


So my relaxing Thanksgiving quickly detoured into watching poorly dubbed foreign movies on Netflix while I worked to get these done. 5 hours later and here's the results. I'm so tired, so I'll do a do-over tomorrow and work as minimally as possible. I didn't include it in the listings, but Sea World's Christmas Celebration has commenced and runs through January 2nd, with select nights of later hours and fireworks on weekends. Likewise, San Diego Zoo Safari Park kicks off their Wild Holidays with lights and extended hours on select nights. Jungle Bells is coming soon to the San Diego Zoo, but not until after December Nights, so look for that December 10. This weekend also kicks off the Comic-Con Special Edition and it's my first Con in maybe a decade where I didn't sign up for a media pass. Hopefully that doesn't ding me for future Cons, but my dad was already hospitalized by the time they were available so I didn't wanna take a spot that I wasn't realistically going to use, being crowd averse as I still am. 

Anyhow, I'm completely wiped out so off to bed. Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

CoViD-19: Thanksgiving Safety | Ahmaud Arbery Murderers Guilty | Vaxxed vs Unvaxxed Data | San Diego Red Flag Warning For Fire Danger |


Family Photo For Dad's Birthday (Taken Circa 9.7.2021)

I wasn't going to publish a post today. I watched the Armaud Arbery verdict this morning and felt like it was a good time to shut the laptop, walkaway, and be grateful for small joys. Eventually Darren and I spent the afternoon having cocktails at the San Diego Zoo -- me taking my first ride on public transit since before the pandemic -- but then we got home and I had already started this post and I'm going to give myself a holiday weekend break for real so I decided to finish it up. It also helped pace the margs which was also probably good planning. 

So Thanksgiving is here and for my family, I knew it would be different than usual, but now has seemed to have evaporated entirely. My parents were hoping Dad would be released home with all this new medical gear arriving at the house, but even then, my dad is too weak to use it, so they can't release him at all. So the agreement was that if he went home, we'd do Thanksgiving there. If not, we'd do a casual outdoor thing at my house minus a turkey, but with a bunch of chicken and cheese enchiladas and deviled eggs (my specialties), my mom's ham and potato salad, and probably a ton of charcuterie, the idea being my mom could sneak away from the hospital for an hour or two to catch a break. But now that's up in the air, too. And that's totally fine. Or it isn't. I don't really know. Whenever my dad seems better, I have to remind myself that he is still in palliative care and considered a hospice patient and has signed a DNR with witnesses. And then he seems really bad and I have to remind my mom of all of these things so we don't get ahead of ourselves getting the med gear intact for his return. And it sucks. 

So today you get a picture of us around his birthday in September, and just hoping this family photo wasn't our last. Love to you all and have as happy a Thanksgiving as you are able for whatever it means to you. Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but I assure you every day around here is appreciated and we continue to give Thanks. 

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

CoViD-19: Global Cases Back On The Rise | US To Release Oil Reserves | GRAMMY Noms Announced | How Shipping Works (Or Doesn't) | San Diego Needs More Public Bathrooms |

Bonobo Hiding From The Crowds at San Diego Zoo (Taken 11.23.21)

A few weeks ago, I told Darren that President Biden was waiting to release crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve the week of Thanksgiving and here we are. It wasn't really prognosticating; if you pay enough attention to what Jen Psaki says and what she doesn't say, it was kinda obvious. I wouldn't be surprised if a full battle is waged with the Dept of the Interior to start pulling permits fro drillers not using them (or something similar within the law) and not maximizing their capacity back to pre-pandemic levels. Obviously energy corporations hate when Dems are the party in charge and they're, along with OPEC+ nations, trying to sabotage any progress in this country to reap maximum profits and subsidies while paying no taxes and not employing union workers to maximum capacity. It's gross if you think about it too hard. 

But you'll remember I also said there would be a Christmas tree shortage, and here we are. It's not necessarily a shortage so much as likely price spikes because of a combination of supply-chain transporting of the trees (or importing of fake ones) and the record fires and droughts and floods across the US. I'm still not sure what we'll do; maybe go retro and buy a tinsel tree. So I have other predicitons. I'm estimating that right around New Year, though if we're lucky not till mid-January, California will have counted 5,000,000 cases of COVID. Numbers are going up across the country quick, and if we look at Europe, and consider about 15 Million Californians still aren't vaccinated AND hardly anybody is wearing masks anywhere AND international and cross border travel both recently opened AND antigen tests are still too expensive AND vaccine and mask mandates are still being litigated all over the country with courts ruling strictly across political lines, we are still kinda fucked. 

Today I had to go to my mom's because a mechanical sling lift was being delivered in case my dad is ever released home. I had a couple of hours to kill before the guy was gonna get there, so I went to the San Diego Zoo, and it was PACKED. I'm gonna be super general here and say almost all Asian tourists are not only wearing masks, but good KN95s. Among everyone else, maybe 10% masked. And I know we're outside, but every exhibit had masses of people hovering around. (Except for my secret ones and I'm not gonna share those hiding places to the masses.) What I don't understand even more is we sure do hear an awful lot about how red-staters hate us, but they sure do love our tourist attractions and our city in general. They're identifiable because they almost always have some identifying shirt or hat on that tells you exactly where they're from. 

I'll stop being mean about tourists. But the point remains. Cases are up and rising. Be even more cautious because it seems nobody else is.

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

CoVID-19: Thanksgiving In The Time Of COVID, Take Two | UCSD Trolley Extension Opens | Water Main Breaks Flood San Diego | Retail Crime Flash Mobs | US Urges Evacuations Of Ethiopia | Psaki Ups Desantis Disses |

Family Time (Taken 11.20.21)

I think I've had about enough of Dr. Walensky. Today she was asked a question about the wedge being driven through families over vaccines and she does this thing where it's almost like she throws all her medical knowledge out the window like a toddler begging their parents not to fight. Be. Real. If people aren't yet vaccinated, it's too late for Thanksgiving. That ship sailed before Halloween. If vaccinated people don't want unvaccinated around, that's their call, and we need to stop giving this obnoxious loud minority so much time and attention. Shots are accessible, free, and safe. Who wants to share a table with an ignoramus who puts everyone else at risk? Because if they won't get vaccines, you know they're also not following any of the other non-pharmaceutical interventions, like masking, and are more likely to partake in high-risk activities. It's not worth it. Yes, get vaccinated. And if you're 6 months past your mRNA series or more than 2 months after J&J, you should get boosted as soon as possible. But for the holdouts? Most of us stopped giving a shit about them months ago anyway. 

This goes to something else that irritated me this weekend. The new blue line extension of the San Diego Trolley to UCSD opened over the weekend. In a news interview, a spokesman was asked about COVID safety mitigations, and they said that besides masks being required, the cars are sanitized nightly. It would seem to me that SDMTS-- especially since it is now going to UCSD, arguably one of the premiere medical and science schools in the country-- could've advised that they should be talking about ventilation and air exchange on public transit, not on sanitization, which should just be standard always, even pre-pandemic. So as long as we keep asking the wrong questions, centering on the wrong issues, we're going to keep seeing shit like this:

    U.S. COVID update: Daily cases rise for 16 days in a row:
        New cases: 157,959
        Average: 94,428 (+1,584)
        In hospital: 49,531 (+303)
        In ICU: 12,435 (+209)
        New deaths: 1,405
        Average: 1,140 (+10) 
            more data from NewsNodes.com

Fortunately, I'm happy to report my family is all vaccinated, my niece still needs her 2nd shot, but everyone else is fully vaxxed and those of us who can be boosted are. On Saturday morning, Darren took Nova and her aunt to the airport to go to St. Louis. We lazed around the house and watched too much Netflix. My cousin came down from LA so we all met for dinner at Filippis IB where we sat on the patio and had a nice dinner then hung out at my mom's for a couple hours. We talked about Thanksgiving plans and found out my god-sister's boyfriend is Snoop Dogg's nephew so they're going to the Doggpound for Thanksgiving. WHAT?!!? Obviously that was a fun conversation. After getting home, Darren and I enjoyed a few too many cocktails, which left for a very, very lazy Sunday. You've gotta do it once when the kid goes away but can't make it a habit, you know? 

I hope everyone gets to enjoy the holiday week amongst loved ones and friends and gets a chance to catch up on sleep. I think we all really need it. 

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, November 20, 2021

CoViD-19: Boosters Approved For All Adults| Mayor Holds Ground On Anti-Vaxxers | BBB Passes House | Another Racist Murderer Acquitted | Biden Gets A Physical |

Me, Darren, Nova, and Aunt Barb (Taken 11.19.21)

On Friday morning I woke up to the news, as many people did, that the racist Kenosha vigilante murderer was found not guilty on all accounts. And like many people, I was not at all surprised. But also, like most people, I was angry. This country is super fucked and when the Supreme Court no doubt allows concealed carry for anyone, anywhere, we're going to be even more fucked. In fact, I was so enraged that I just had to kinda dip away from news and social media for the day. 

It wasn't super hard to do on the Friday before a holiday week and because I've been busting my ass all week. Plus, Nova's Great-Aunt arrived in the afternoon, so we were mostly entertaining for the night before I finally gave in and watched the 11 o'clock news. 

She took us to dinner, so we opted for Ponce's, which luckily wasn't super crowded when we arrived. Obviously I love the food there and I've been going since I first moved to Kensington in 1998, but eating out just isn't really in my budget anymore, so it was nice to be treated. After dinner, we went to the Michelangelo: Sistine Chapel Exhibition that's in the former Robinson's-May building at Westfield Mission Valley. I hadn't been to a media party in ages so it was great timing being able to take everyone before Barb and Nova leave for St. Louis in the morning. Nova's Great-Aunt Barb is my favorite of Nova's extended family and she's got fascinating stories. And she lives in South Carolina, so we talked all about the Murdaugh Murders. The exhibition was pretty cool to get the history of the frescoes and see the details up close, and a hosted bar for the event is never a bad thing. 

I did eventually watch the news and Jen Psaki's media briefing and worked through my emails, which is why it's 3am and I'm still on my laptop. I was just going to skip a post, but I figured I'd rather do it now while everyone is asleep and leave the rest of my weekend wide open since we don't get any data updates on the weekends anyway. So you might hear from me over the weekend, but most likely not. Don't send the search party. 

Oh, and Jen Psaki is always amazing but Friday she was full on heroic as the asshole from Catholic News or whatever was trying to yell out his question -- as he always does -- and Jen just kept on ignoring him, moving on, and calling him out for talking over other reporters. Today his burning question was about how Catholic bishops are concerned the BBB reconciliation bill will prevent faith-based preschools from getting federal funding. I say GOOD. Churches shouldn't get a single dollar if they can't follow the rules everyone else has to play by. And since I was so hard on Mayor Todd Gloria yesterday with regard to Balboa Park, today I must give a shout out on him holding his ground on vaccinations for city employees. Cops and others who can't follow the rules clearly have no regard for the public and shouldn't be in those jobs in the first place. Don't give in, Toddio.  

Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

CoViD-19: Unvaxxed Have COVID + Flu Co-Infections To Look Forward To | Masking Still Works | CA Budget Surplus | Mayor Gloria Touts Balboa Park (Hopes Nobody Remembers Jacobs Plan) | $2B Astroworld Lawsuit Filed |

Sunset Over Balboa Park from San Diego Zoo Skyfari (Taken 11.18.21)

Today I saw a handful of news articles about Mayor Todd Gloria giving tours of several projects either completed, underway, or slated for renovations in Balboa Park. We all love the park, so how could that be bad, right? Well, while I generally like Todd, he would very much like for us to forget that he supported the Jacobs Plan to cut into the Cabrillo Bridge with a freeway offramp to a parking garage. As it stands, the City can't get their shit together for our parks, so a new initiative launched yesterday to add a tax to the November ballot that would fund our parks and libraries. I don't understand how this keeps coming up as an issue. We don't ask about profitability from our police or fire departments. Our streets and sidewalks are all money pits, but the City still fixes them (to an extent, I mean, so long as Ortiz does all the work, they'll just continue crumbling, but you catch my drift.) 

Our City also just gave acres of Balboa Park to San Diego Unified in an illegal deal that is flying under the radar because who is gonna stick their neck out and say that the one entity that benefits the City should have to move even though that's exactly what they were supposed to do decades ago?? So, sure. Balboa Park has improved, but it has a long way to go, and everyone should be watching closely so it doesn't get turned into a profit-generating private space limited to those who can afford it. It's bad enough they close the park to the public for Maker's Faire, that the Prado restaurant tried to put in a dining Ferris wheel, that the last guy wanted to allow a hotel and other concessionaires, and that most of the organizations pay no rent in the first place. I assure you, it's not gonna be great when every piece of the restored Botanical Garden and surrounding grass and plantings have a plaque or naming rights from rich donors, or when you'll try to go visit and it's closed for a wedding or private event. But yes, for now, our park is a pretty alright place to go. (If you want to take family photos, the Grinch tree is up and decorated and can be pretty empty during weeknights during showtimes.)

In my world, things are looking up. Nova realized that her mental state hugely affected her physical state and postponing her trip would just make things worse, so while she did skip her flu shot appointment this morning, she's feeling better and is planning on going on her trip. St. Louis has a mandatory indoor mask mandate regardless of vax status, so she was at least feeling more comfortable about things like that, especially if her mom drags her to church. Her Great Aunt will be arriving tomorrow and flying back with her on Saturday, so we don't have to worry should any cancellations or things come up. Then she'll be escorted back on a flight with Darren's cousin, so that should be nice, too. Besides all that, I went to the San Diego Zoo by myself for the afternoon and though I'm behind in work, it was totally worth it. Truly, truly, my happy place. 

Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Thursday, November 18-Wednesday, November 24, 2021 | 100 Gecs | Little Hurricane | Slow Pulp | Julieta Venegas | Beabadoobee | Wavves | Jordy | Dawes | Havnauts | Lagwagon |

Beabadoobee Returns To San Diego (Taken 10.18.19)

It's funny after a nearly two year global pandemic-- where some of us had nothing but downtime-- so many people can still be feeling totally burnt out. 
But that is totally normal. 
Downtime filled with financial and health and political and mental unease wasn't truly downtime at all. And for the millions of people who never got that break, the burnout can feel even worse. 
So all we can do is take a breath. The holidays are upon us and while often a stressful time, we can choose to not make them so. We can choose to forego the hard parts and focus on the easy parts. We can skip the big box Black Friday rush for televisions and grab takeout instead. We can go to a show. We can take advantage of San Diego's almost-always perfect weather and the dozens, if not hundreds, of free holiday events. We can reach out to family, friends, people we haven't seen or talked to in ages. You don't have to make excuses, everyone was on the same boat. 

There are a ton of events leading up to Thanksgiving. I probably won't do listings for actual Thanksgiving Thursday, but I'll get something rolling for at least the rest of that weekend. I'm also trying to resurrect my holiday event guide, so while there are a lot of tree lightings and craft fairs, if I can get to all of those, they'll be on their own page so as not to bog down the music listings. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

CoViD-19: Boost Now, Celebrate Later | Creep Congressman Censured | (Blood) Diamonds Last Forever | NatGeo Kids Africa Launches |


Kamaria will be 3 months old in 5 days (Taken 11.17.22)

I had an interesting morning. I don't usually get much feedback about this website, but every once in a while I'll get a comment or email on an older post and wonder what search someone even did to land there. 

Today a woman was asking me about Tom Delonge, suggesting that he was human trafficked in the late 1990s and the Tom we think we know isn't really Tom, or something like that? And also that my boyfriend looks an awful lot like him so am I sure he's not actually Tom? And then she called me a "lier" because she somehow thinks I was withholding information that would lead to busting the human trafficking case wide open. I tried to explain that while I went to many Blink-182 shows (and Blink, for that matter) back in the day, I don't know Tom and have never met him. So yeah, that was a fun exchange. 

It was a beautiful day in San Diego, so after Darren did a quick bike ride, we went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We only did the lower half of the park today but it was still nice. We had skipped the tram the last few trips because it was so crowded but gave it an effort today. We actually seated on the tram but got off because this woman was wearing the strongest, most hideous perfume that gave me an instant headache. If that isn't science on aerosols, I don't know what it. So we disembarked and were able to get on a later tram after spending some time with the cheetah and watching Kianga and baby Kamaria run around the giraffes. I always like getting a new and super enthusiastic driver and we actually got to see a bunch of the rhinos in the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center which we almost never get to see. After our tram ride, we spent about an hour at Kilima Point where Kacey and Alice and Kianga and Kamaria and a few other of the girl rhinos were all browsing or sleeping and it always feels so powerful to be so close to them with not one single other person around. 

I definitely wanted to go to the Casbah for the Color Forty Nine and The Dodos, but I couldn't get my work done in time and Nova is sicker than she'd been letting on. She tested negative again with her PCR test at school, so we are fairly certain it is just a cold, but now it might cause her to miss her trip altogether. She has a flu shot scheduled in the morning and will have to find out from the nurse practitioner if she should fly at all. It feels like a hard no to me, but it's not really my call, unfortunately. 

The news was interesting today...I didn't bother posting about the Jan 6 asshole getting sentenced because we already know there is no justice in our justice system. The creep congressman was censured which essentially means nothing. The US participated in some summit called the Kimberley Process Plenery about blood diamonds and couldn't get the group to expand the definition of conflict diamonds, so maybe think about that before you flash your bling. Everything else is sorta par for the course. COVID-19 numbers are all over the place depending on the source, so all you can do is know that even for vaccinated people in San Diego, the case rate is higher than what would've kept us in the most restrictive tier this time last year. Not saying you shouldn't live your life, but I recommend maximum precautions, limiting indoor time among people whose vax status is unknown, wear a mask when appropriate, and as I keep telling the kid, keep that air circulating at all times.  

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

CoViD-19:Pfizer Seeks EUA For Oral Antiviral | More Evidence Supports SSRI As Anti-Inflammatory | Deputy Press Sec Gives No Fucks About NRCC | Racist POS Chicago Cop Retires To Avoid Discipline |


Another of Otis at San Diego Zoo, RIP (Taken 10.27.21)

Today was a pretty uneventful day for me. I feel like I got control of my workload and thus was able to have more intense sleep. I was looking forward to watching a movie screener only to realize I didn't have the right password. I tried watching the news but it is really hard sometimes. I will say I far more appreciate giving airtime to people who are actively getting boosters or cute little kids who want to do the right thing and get their shots instead of what they've been serving us for 18 months of anti-vax and anti-mask rhetoric. 

It is a little nicer around the house because my little Magnolia is obviously feeling much better so sometimes just working and watching them have the zoomies all over the house is enough entertainment for me. We're also laying low because Nova has this gross cough. We'll get her PCR results in the morning and now have a few antigen tests on hand just in case, and she has a flu shot appointment and checkup on Thursday, so hopefully she gets cleared for travel. I can't even imagine the hysterics her mom would throw if we don't put her on a plane. I also kinda think any illness she's got is a little psychosomatic or triggered by her deep-down not really wanting to go. I can't imagine how hard that is for a 14 year old. It also complicates things by having someone with a cough in the household, so we're kinda stuck not visiting my dad until she's better or she's gone. 

Anyway, looks like that movie password came through, so I'm gonna get down with some egg nog and a road trip film. 

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

CoViD-19: Increases In Cases Before Thanksgiving | San Diego Zoo Beloved Hippo Otis Euthanized | Biden SIgns The BIB | Talks With China | Russia Blows Up Satellite |


RIP Otis the Hippo, b. 3.10,1976 (Taken 10.4.21)

I was devastated to learn today that Otis the Hippo from the San Diego Zoo was euthanized over the weekend after suffering from a degenerative joint and spinal disease. He had been so cute lately, swimming all the way over to the far side of the pool to say hi to onlookers, or just taking up residence in the sleeping corner while the cleaner fish did their work. He was six months older than me, so I guess I felt a bond with the fact that we are both bicentennial babies. As far as I know, he sired something like 7 or 8 calves, and I think he killed one of them when he was trying to mate, which I've heard is why the San Diego Zoo moved to having alternating days in the pool, sometimes Otis by himself, and sometimes Funani and baby Amahle. 

I mentioned I was at the Zoo on Sunday afternoon and went again today, but only for about an hour because work is a little hectic at the moment. Apparently every concert in 2022 that has been booked but not announced wants to make sure they do so immediately so you spend your money on tickets instead of wasteful junk for Christmas. 

Today I was asked when I think places should stop having to ask for proof of vaccines or negative tests or what the offramp would be to get there. As I wrote last week, our cases are actually higher now than a year ago. Our case rate among the vaccinated is almost the same as the case rate was last year when nobody was vaccinated, and about three times as much for the unvaccinated. And we were moving into the purple tier. So maybe we can talk about benchmarks for rolling back policies, but to be honest, I don't know why we aren't doing MORE: requiring vaccination with no opportunity for testing as an alternative, mandating masks indoors for unvaccinated, pushing for a third shot of the mRNA vaccines as normal course for vaccines instead of calling them "boosters" at all, having businesses post their safety plans, including any ventilation or lack thereof. It's not gonna happen but I wish it would. Instead, the news gives the anti-vax and anti-maskers massive segments, perpetuating this insanity. In the meantime, Nova is about to fly out to St. Louis for a week which I am NOT pleased about at all, and now she has this gross cough that as far as we know is not COVID but she'll be tested again at school tomorrow. Sometimes being really careful still isn't careful enough. COVID isn't the only gross illness going around this time of year. 

Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

CoViD-19: UK Kids' Surges Are Warning To US, CA | Why Thieves Are After Your Catalytic Converter | Fans Come Through For Rick Lyons | Acknowledging Mortality |


African Gray Parrot at San Diego Zoo (Taken 11.14.21)

For the greater part of the past two years, we've all been confronted with death in one way or another. Some of us lost people to COVID-19, some of us lost loved ones or friends to other causes and couldn't attend in-person funerals, the music scene certainly lost some giants, or maybe you've just seen or heard or read a story that hit you especially hard, besides all the coverage in our average news cycle. At the moment, my dad is in hospice, but also had a long stint of non-COVID illness leading to this moment when we couldn't visit at all. I currently have three acquaintances with terminal cancer. Death sometimes feels like it's all around us. 

And so yesterday when I read that Petra Mayer- the books editor of NPR- died, it just hit me. I mean, I don't have a radio anywhere in my house and we have SiriusXM in the car so we almost never even listen to terrestrial radio. I was not familiar with her work or writing, at least not by name. But here's this woman -- my age or close -- who three days before dying was geeking out on Twitter about Doctor Who; two weeks before, she's out at a Monkees concert; a month and a half she's celebrating a new union contract, a new podcast, pictures of her cat. And now, she's dead.

Whenever I stumble across a death, I'm a doom scroller. I want to know how or why someone died, particularly for what can be considered a premature death. According to NPR, her death was due to a pulmonary embolism. Causes can include birth control, smoking, high blood pressure, surgery, heart disease, but are actually pretty common. As many as 1-2/1,000 people a year develop blood clots. And can they happen from vaccines? 

Dr. DeSancho stresses that your risk of developing a vaccine-related blood clot is no greater than the general population’s overall blood clot risk. “The risk of getting a blood clot either venous or arterial from the COVID-19 vaccines is very minimal compared to the risk in the general population,” she says...among the more than 7 million recipients of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, there were just six possible cases of blood clots in the brain, she explains. “The risk of complication is extremely low,” she says. - Weill Cornell Medicine (7.14.21)

So it's sad, and we have to look ourselves in the mirror. We truly never know when we're living our last day. But I'm certainly not going to waste the time I have on some jackhole calling me a fat ugly hoe on Facebook as much as he was trying to antagonize and bait me. 

Instead, I'll tell you that Darren and I had a lovely afternoon. One of our kittens had a little cyst or something that we could tell was bothering her for about a week and it was growing and she was at the point of crying if we touched her at all, so we had to take her to B Street Veterinary Hospital. They were super busy and took her in (we called first), but told us it would be more than an hour before seeing her. To kill time, he and I picked up lunch at Giorgino's, pulled out our beach mat and had a picnic at 28th Street Park. When we finished and still hadn't heard from the vets, we decided to go to the San Diego Zoo to kill time. Shortly after we arrived (scoring the very first space in the very closest row to the entrance), we got a call from the doctor. We had to talk her through where the abscess was, she told me the treatment protocol, quoted me a price. The Zoo closed at 5, and right about then she called us for pickup, saying that she found the problem, drained it, gave Magnolia some light anesthesia, an antibiotic to clear up any residual infection, and $234 later, our kitty is clearly feeling much better and sleeping off her drugs, and we can rest easy knowing that she's no longer in pain. 

I know that vets are affected by the pandemic; if you just count the sheer amounts of pandemic adoptions, business is busier than ever, but the all women's practice at B Street has now come through for us twice this summer. I never mentioned it, but shortly after we put Kiwi down, we got a condolence card from their office with her paw prints on it. They have signs on the door asking people to be patient and think about the kind of vibes they bring into the office and I really hope people take heed. We have been so pleased with the care our furry babies have been given. Appointments are backlogged for weeks, but they leave flexibility in their schedules for emergent care. And I appreciate there are no surprises after treatment. Another expense we hadn't planned for but our babies are well worth it. 

Stay safe out there. 

Friday, November 12, 2021

CoViD-19: California Says Boosters For Everyone | Britney Is Free | San Diego is #1 Most Fun Nationally | At-Home Antigen Testing |


Birdtalker at Casbah (Taken 11.11.21)

It was almost 20 months to the day. Darren and I went to see Birdtalker at the Casbah on Thursday night and it was my first show at the Casbah since March 13, 2020. It had to happen, it probably should've happened sooner for me, but I had to really weigh every factor: we're fully vaxxed and boosted, my dad's situation isn't any better but it isn't any worse, either, we wore N-95s, it wasn't sold out, the music pulled an older and very chill crowd, and it was on a weeknight. It's funny because I had just laid out how our cases and numbers are worse now than last year, but the is primarily among the unvaxxed. The Casbah requires everyone to be fully vaccinated or have a negative test within 72 hours of the show. 

I'm not gonna lie, I was still pretty uneasy, trying to stay away from everyone, sticking to the perimeter of the room, watching part of the show from the patio. I would feel better if Tim had put a few Corsi-Rosenthal boxes around the room and I should probably just suck it up and buy my own CO2 monitor, but I know I'll be back soon, though I'm pretty certain my life of 4-8 shows a week are behind me. 

Which leads me to today...Nova wasn't feeling great after school. I figured it was partially the change in weather, partially that she's a teenager who wore a hoodie and jeans to school when it was 90 degrees and knew most of the 'mental health day' would be spent outside. We were going to go to Sea World and visit my dad after, so Darren and I stuck to the plan and left her at home to chill. But then we got home and she was complaining about a headache, an itchy throat and a very slight fever --- again, she's wearing jeans and a hoodie and had the a/c off and all the windows closed so I should've taken it with a grain of salt, but I was kind of panicked. So I called CVS -- which is lame because they have a central, outsourced operator for all their stores -- but the guy was able to tell me that my local CVS had Binax Now Rapid Antigen Tests in stock. I've been meaning to have some on hand, even though I think they should be free or under $5 a test as they are in Europe, but that's a fight for another day. 

So Darren was off, armed with a $5 off any $20 purchase coupon we got from when we got our vaccinations, and a 40% off any single item purchase on my Extracare card. After the discounts, he paid $37.99 and returned with 2 boxes for a total of 4 tests. This was our first time doing an at home test, so you definitely have to read through all the instructions before you start touching and opening all the pieces. It also helps to have been tested before by actual nurses so you know by example what the proper and correct nose-swabbing feels like. It was pretty easy and she tested negative. She still tests weekly at school, so we weren't too concerned, but certainly enough to have been cautious and enough to be relieved. We chalked it up to the weather, had her take an allergy pill, and hopefully she's fine by morning. CVS does a lot of those 40% off any single item discounts, so it won't hurt to keep extra test kits on hand, especially during the holidays. 

As for earlier, Sea World is fully decked out for Christmas which I like, in spite of the horrible Christmas music piped throughout the park. Afterward we visited Dad, who is in a different bed so he can try building his strength to do transfers to chairs and upright positions, but it's not going great and he seems frustrated. I don't think the hospital will release him to just my mom's care unless he can show some ability to carry some of his own weight.

As for me, it's well beyond 2am so I should wrap up (though I'll backdate it to count as a Friday night post). I don't have any big weekend plans, my bff Ben Bridwell didn't invite me to his show (hahaha), and the County is following the State in no longer updating weekend numbers, so you may hear from me or maybe I'll skip out till Monday. Whatever the case, have a great weekend. 

Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

CoViD-19: California Preps For Holiday Surge | Right Back To 2020 | Unvaxxed Still Drive Infections | County Adopts New Procedures For Public Meetings | Pacific Gives Thumbs Up To Bridges |

Funani and Amahle Making A Floaty Lap (Taken 11.4.21)

I know I said I wasn't going to post today, but I can't help myself. Yesterday Governor Newsom talked about preparations for a winter surge and Dr. Ghaly recommended boosters for everyone over 18, though I guess he rolled that back today to adhere to CDC guidance, but I still maintain that allows for a large majority of the population anyway...tell me a job that isn't high risk, there are more Americans with CDC determined comorbidities than not. 

I didn't expect to have so much actual work today but I guess nobody counts Veterans Day as a holiday unless you're actually a Vet. Still, I was able to segment it enough to go to the San Diego Zoo for a couple hours while Nova and Darren went dirt biking. With my schedule the way it is, that 5pm close makes it a challenge to get there, but Jungle Bells will kick off soon so it's not that bad in the interim. I will survive. Oh, and yesterday I was talking about Sea World passes and their Blue Friday special is actually better than I thought, with Buy One Pass, Get A Second For 55% Off, but with three of us, it still begs the question if we buy 3 Silver Passes, 2 Silver Passes and 1 Fun Pass, or 1 Silver Pass and 2 Fun Passes. Or can I wrangle my sister or mom or a friend into the deal? And either way, that pretty much takes care of Christmas gives among us. 

But I did want to get back to COVID-19 a little. Depending what you read and who you watch, the pandemic is over and also ramping back up and also never went away. So I thought I would share a link from one year ago yesterday, when San Diego rolled back into the purple tier, and bars and restaurants that had opened had to close again. Our case rate at the time was 8.9 cases/100k population. Just yesterday, our county reported 14.6 cases/100k population, with a breakdown of 8.4/100k for fully vaccinated and 24.8 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans. You can say this is due to more testing or whatever, I never really kept those stats, but to me, this is clear evidence that we need to keep being diligent, that we still need to mask up, that we still shouldn't really be hanging out indoors among unvaccinated people, that everyone should be vaccinated as soon as possible including the 5-11 year olds, that the CDC REALLY fucked up with their summer mask recommendation rollback fiasco, that we should get boosted after 2 months for J&J and 6 months for Pfizer and Moderna no matter what (if not sooner), that we should be testing frequently if we are traveling, working in high-contact places, or just living life among the unvaxxed. And incidentally, today California is reporting 4,757 new cases. A year ago that number was 3,716, and we know how November and December and January turned out. Yesterday California surpasses 25 Million people fully vaccinated, but that means there are still 15 Million who aren't. It ain't good. This virus will find vulnerable people to attack. Across the country, there are still about 10,000 people a week who are dying from COVID-19 complications, and that's with shoddy and weaselly reporting from red states. It doesn't have to be this way. 

Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, November 10-Wednesday, November 17, 2021 | Elvis Costello | Birdtalker | Band of Horses | Patton Oswalt | Harry Styles | Lucero | The Black Angels |

Listings took me forever this week. I think I missed a couple things but I'll update as the week goes along. There are some great shows coming up and I might make my way out of the house at some point. In the meantime, enjoy the music. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

CoViD-19: SD Administered More Than 7k Shots To 5-11yo | CA Reaches 25M Fully Vaccinated | Mayorkas Renews Heightened Threat From Domestic Extremists |


Penguins At Sea World (Taken 11.7.21)

Today was the first real time we got any kind of reporting on child vaccinations for COVID-19, and it was quite promising, with nearly a million kids nationwide getting their first doses since they rolled out, "a conservative undercount," according to Jeff Zients. Over the past week, more than 7,000 San Diego kids got their first shots, of a population of 310,643 kids in that age group. My niece turned 12 at the beginning of October and she's supposedly finally getting her first dose tomorrow. Better late than never, I guess, but if she'd gotten it right away, she could be visiting my dad in the hospital by now. Still, I imagine this rollout will be much like the initial vaccine rollout- a rush at the beginning of people who have been waiting for a vaccine, a longer delay for the vaccine-curious or those who want to "see what happens" to all the other kids first, and then it will fall flat to the people who will never vaccinate their kids under any circumstances ever, or until it gets full FDA approval and becomes mandated by schools. My guess it that a requirement wouldn't come until the 2022-2023 school year, at least not for this age group. 

I don't really have any interesting going on. I've been feeling a little run down so I haven't been to the Zoo which then keeps a cycle of feeling run down. We did go to SeaWorld on Sunday and they were decorating for the holidays, for which I'm always a sucker. The penguins, who've been under dark, red lights to match the Southern Hemisphere, are finally lit and super active. It's also the time of year where I have to evaluate whether I want to buy passes again. I got a decent deal in June 2021 for our current Silver passes that included Aquatica and parking, but I don't think I'd recommend the Fun Passes to anyone because parking is not included, which can be $25-$40 per visit. SeaWorld always offers "Blue Friday" specials, which this year they're starting early, but again, the regular annual passes aren't generally included. And then it's like, do I just buy one Silver for the family and everyone else gets Fun Passes? Or do we skip it altogether? We used our passes far more than I expected this year, but part of that was the reservation system was ideal, limiting the number of people in the park. Then they opened wide up, stopped requiring masks for unvaccinated, which until a week ago was ALL CHILDREN, let in as many people as they can cram in the park, and I'm back to my push-pull feelings that I always have about the Park. Conundrum. 

Lots of interesting links today. I'm gonna get to listings and probably skip tomorrow because nobody will be updating numbers on Veterans Day anyway. California surpassed 25 Million people fully vaccinated today, and Dr. Ghaly must've read my post yesterday because he basically says just about everyone qualifies under the current booster recommendations. But it's also worth noting that means about 15 Million people in our state are still not fully vaccinated. The maskless rebels who won't be told what to do among them, and those are the ones who want to live like everything is normal, breathing in your face when you're at the grocery store or going to a bar or restaurant or when you think you're safe in a gym, a mall, a movie theatre. Don't let your guard down...our numbers are ticking up already.

Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, November 10, 2021 : Nick Waterhouse | Jesse Dayton | Video Game Metal Shredventure | Baby Keem |

I feel like I'm running on a hamster wheel while also playing whack-a-mole. Apparently the music industry does not give one fuck that Thursday is a Federal Holiday. They're also clearly not trying to do the great Facebook Log Out that I thought was planned for Thursday and Friday. So that said, I'm busting my ass over here, but in the meantime, I did just Wednesday listings for your perusal. If you're going to the Casbah tonight, be kind to Darren who will be selling merch for Nick Waterhouse.   

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

CoViD-19: California Seeing COVID Spikes; Get Boosted | Judge Declines TFG Request To Block Jan 6 Docs | Governor Newsom Speaks At CA Economic Summit |

Snow Leopard (Taken 11.4.21)

Over the weekend, Governor Newsom was trending on Twitter. If you took the trip down the rabbit hole, Qs and conservative pundits and MAGAts were going crazy, speculating that the Governor had no public appearances since he got his booster on camera and then two days later, canceled his planned trip to COP26. There's an article about it in the LA Times, but the writing is so bad and the premise so garbage that I'm not gonna bother linking it, but basically their take is that even if he really was fine and really stayed because his kids were upset that he and Jen were going to miss Halloween, that he owed it to the public, particularly his critics, to explain where he's been and what he's been doing. 

I feel like he did everything right. Let the critics go crazy with their theories and outright lies and then make them look like the fucking morons they are who are never to be believed about anything, ever. And of course what happens when he did appear? Crickets. 

I spent the day at my mom's house being smothered by my sister's dog. She's super cute and I love her so much but she made working from home a nearly impossible endeavor. Our kittens get the zoomies for sure, but it lasts like 10 minutes and then they pass out. 

And speaking of passing out, I know my listings are coming later and later every week, but I'm wiped out so I'm gonna have to do them tomorrow. Or maybe like last week I'll just do the day and then get them done on Veterans Day. We'll see. 

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, November 08, 2021

CoViD-19: What Happened With Delta? | Biden Admin Will Defend OSHA Rules; Requests Case Consolidation | Skimpflation |

Crescent Moon and Venus (Taken 11.7.21)

I had a lot to say today so check that after the jump. But tonight I just want to say that I'm looking forward the holidays. They're going to be different, no doubt. My dad is still in the same position and they may release him home this week, but it is hard to say if that is just what they're saying to keep his spirits up. Hospice care is still hospice care, whether he has a doctor and team of nurses looking after him or just my mom. Nova will be visiting her mom and grandparents for Thanksgiving, which is a little anxiety-provoking because she'll be flying to and from Missouri, where the pandemic is treated as completely over. She's fully vaccinated and ideally will continue to mask up, but we can't control what we can't see. 

Still, in spite of all that, I am ready for a long Veterans Day weekend, a long Thanksgiving, and a long break for Christmas and New Year's. We went to Sea World on Sunday and I bought my first new ornament for this year, though we'll be watching the cost of trees closely. I didn't really find a meaningful alternative to a real tree that suits my family and my taste and our minimal space. I know I've been saying for months that Christmas Is Canceled, but it was very firmly tongue in cheek. I've already watched my first Christmas movie. And obviously we're all just hoping dad can hang on to experience it. Everything else is just not really that important.  

Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, November 07, 2021

CoVID-19: Vax For Kids - Parents Just Want Return To Normal | Astroworld Catastrophe: Time To End Festivals? | Kaiser Sets Strike Date |


Sea World Dolphins at Dinnertime (Taken 11.7.21)

I'm not a festival person. 

The other day I was answering a survey and with my latest birthday, I've moved into a different age box, so that probably signifies my age as a reason, but that's only one. I've just not really been a festival person. 

I've been to my share. I've done two Coachellas, one Outside Lands, a bunch of Street Scenes (including the one where people were trampled during Tool), and an assortment of others including Wonderfront, Crssd, and some scattered radio station specific festivals. 

And I guess when I was younger they were more fun, but it wasn't just my youth. I liked when festivals were genre specific. I liked when they were run by independent promotors before corporations vacuumed them all up and sucked all the life out of them. I liked when "festival chic" wasn't a thing. I like when you could go to a festival liking three bands and leaving loving a dozen more. Nowadays, they want to be everything to everyone and end up being nothing to anyone except as thirst traps and bragging rights and a scene to be seen on Insta and TikTok. 

Maybe it is that I'm just old because that sounded a whole lot like "back in my day..."

So I spent Friday night reading and watching every video and account of what happened in Astroworld that I could find across socials and it was horrifying. I will say that I appreciate media who understand these incidents, here and at other concerts, are almost never due to mosh pits. They have everything to do with crowd surges. The headliner comes out, everyone pushes forward. A certain song plays, they push more. Bring out Drake as a guest performer, the crowd can't control themselves and push push push, not knowing they are crushing people instead of people simple displacing to make room. 

But I've also seen videos. The security seemed to ignore crowd pleas. The railing wasn't secure. The artist encouraged the crowd to rage. The videos techs ignored direct concerns and threatened the girl who was telling them what was going on. It should have been a warning, or called off altogether when the VIP section fences were breached and hundreds of kids flooded in earlier in the day. At the very least, when you start seeing ambulances driving into the crowd, the lights need to come up and the show is over. 

The investigation could be really long or really quick. Livenation could settle fast or fight cases until people have no will or money to fight back. But after this pandemic, we have learned some really gross truths about Americans, if we weren't already aware before. We are selfish. We are greedy. We want pleasure at all costs. We don't know how to act in public (Just look at all the airline fights). I don't know the festival's COVID protocols, but certainly going to a festival of more than 50,000 attendees during a pandemic says something, too? It's ugly and gross. You definitely won't find me at one anytime soon, and if that changes, I'm always aware of my exits, always stay on a perimeter, and my fight or flight switches are always turned on. 

Stay safe out there. 

Friday, November 05, 2021

CoViD-19: More Information Supporting Youth Vaccination | Anti-Vax Protests Bring Outbreaks in EU | House Passes Infrastructure Bill | SDUSD Scraps Districtwide Mental Health Day |


Feeding Time For Amur Leopard (Taken 11.3.21)

Today was a long, slow day. I had a bajillion emails by the time I even woke up, and didn't even finish getting through them until well into Stephen Colbert's monologue. I did take a break with Darren so we could grab groceries at Vons. It occurred to me that if you've started to notice shortages -- I've not seen anything drastic but some things are harder to get, like pet food, for example -- I would recommend planning ahead a little before the border opens up for non-essential travel again on Monday, particularly at big box and warehouse stores. We'll probably do a big Costco run at some point this weekend just to make sure we've got our freezer and pantry stocked. China actually sent a warning to their citizens to stock up, which led to some speculating an attack on Taiwan or something nefarious, which they quickly denied and said it was because COVID-19 restrictions could be reimposed if cases continued to rise.   

And speaking of rising cases...it is interesting to watch or read the news these days, because depending on the source and depending on the spin, the pandemic is completely over and also going to get worse and spin back out of control. If you look at the CDC's map, you'll see that gulf states from Texas to Florida are all doing better than the rest of the country but the story isn't clear if COVID just already burned through the vulnerable populations, if the states have slowed testing and/or reporting, or if their anti-vax rhetoric is all bullshit and the majority of people are really getting vaccinated. The CDC data for California is so out of date, so it would stand to reason the same is true for other states as well. Whatever the case may be, I'm living like we're still in a pandemic and will continue until cases drop significantly. 75,000+ a day is hardly a waning pandemic.

Besides all that, I'm looking forward to the weekend. I was in a pretty chill mode because Pavement had me all panicked from a marketing standpoint and the show sold out super-quick so I felt like I got a free pass to be stress-free the rest of the day, kinda adopting an I'll-get-to-it-when-I-can-get-to-it attitude. So here we are. 

The San Diego weather is going to be perfect this weekend, so be sure to find some fun in this fine city.

Stay safe out there.   

Thursday, November 04, 2021

CoViD-19: US Announces OSHA & ETS For Vaccines | UK Approves Merck's COVID Pill | Unemployment Claims Drop | End-Of-Life Suspension Overturned | Kids Aren't Getting Adequate Sex-Ed |

Amahle Comes Over To Say Hi at San Diego Zoo (Taken 11.4.21)

 I'll keep away from the ugly political stuff today because there was far more interesting news, though in a way I guess that's political, too, because conservatives have gutted sex ed in schools, such that only about half of kids get sex-ed that meets the minimum federal standard, and in California, where we had voted to allow for end-of-life options for terminally ill patients, an appeals court finally overturned a ruling that had suspended that right, another thing conservatives hate, though it's funny because they don't want to provide health coverage for anyone, either. So hard to keep their insanity straight. 

And speaking of, we visited my dad today. There's this funny reaction at the nurses station when they ask who we're visiting. I guess one side isn't palliative care so they only get one visitor at a time, but on the palliative care side, we could probably roll in with a cooler of beers and whiskey and takeout pizzas and they'd be like, "well, okay, I mean...try to keep your masks on as much as possible though?" My dad was in a cheery mood though, so that was nice, and I think he's optimistic because they are telling him if he keeps doing some of the therapies they're teaching him, he can maybe go home next week, and my sister finally made an appointment for my niece (his favorite, even though he's not supposed to have favorites.)

So I was in a generally good mood today and that feels really good. I went to the San Diego Zoo for a couple hours to get my walk in, and a few dozen people lamented that the hippos were sleeping by their beach and then they all left and I went up to the glass and waved a couple times in my jazz hands kinda way, and Funani and Amahle came right over and it was adorable and I swear I'm not imagining it.  

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

CoViD-19: Child Vaccinations Begin | Keeping An Eye On The UK | "Shoppers Broke The Supply Chain" | Senate Blocks Voting Rights...Again |

Runway Walk of the Pygmy Hippo (Taken 11.3.21)

I'm learning to be better about turning off the news. The punditry on the election was so awful leading up to Tuesday's elections and even worse after the fact. We have a ritual around the house of watching all the late night host monologues on YouTube when they publish between about 8-10pm PST and really sometimes that's all I can take, and even that is sometimes painful. I thought with TFG gone we'd be done with it, but it's like freaking whack-a-mole with who can be most outrageous, most absurd, the worst hot take, the most abhorrent. Today the Senate once again wouldn't even have discussions on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and that tells you everything you need to know about the racists who are fighting all progress at any cost, appealing to the most ignorant and basest and racist among us. And with gerrymandering, party politics, infighting, voter disinformation and suppression, it works. And don't think for one second that OPEC isn't intentionally trying to fuck Biden in the ass to get their puppet back in office in three years. It sucks. So we just have to forge ahead and I guess rise above, even when it is really, really hard. 

We went to the San Diego Zoo today and it was nice and empty, but they'll start closing at 5pm next week after Daylight Saving Time comes to an end, so I'll have to get used to that. Beyond that, life around the abode is good so I'm gonna wrap and spend some time with my people.  

Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, November 3-Tuesday, November 9, 2021: Cloud Nothings | Metalachi | Ryan Bingham | Plosivs | Khruangbin | Tokyo Police Club | Matt Costa and more...

Marujah at the Casbah (Taken 10.11.2017)

I did it. Listings for another week are done and man, there are some really amazing shows rolling through town. I may even bust out to one or a couple if I can rearrange my work and sleep patterns to work it back into my lifestyle. I ran into a couple Casbah coworkers at the San Diego Zoo today and I had little pangs in my heart because it's been so long since I've really seen anyone. We'll see how the week unfolds. 

I didn't see any major music news this week, so I'm gonna get back to my other post. 
Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, November 3, 2021 | No Joy | Snarky Puppy | Mustard Service | Heartless Bastards and more!

I have too much going on today and haven't made a trip to San Diego Zoo in too long and I'm going stir crazy and need to get out of the house, so I'm just gonna give you Wednesday listings and then probably do an all-nighter to get the rest of the week done in a separate post. 

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

CoViD-19: Pfizer Vax Approved For 5-11yo; Shots Can Start Wednesday | Nora Vargas & Chair Fletcher Clap Back At Racists | Covered California Opens Enrollment |

HHS Alumni Rock & Gio Play The Old Globe Dia De Muertos (11.3.21)

I had a rough day. I saw this tweet from someone earlier and it kinda made me feel better, even though it didn't get me through my work any faster and I still have mountains to get to. 
Hi today has been a peel myself off the floor to get anything done kinda day, but tonight I want to say hello to you and also may i remind you to treat yourself with the same kindness, understanding & care that you reserve for your friends. You deserve at least that. - @nataliemorales 

I just couldn't get anything done. I still can't get anything done. Just writing this tonight is excruciating when normally my fingers can't type fast enough for my thoughts. We went to the Old Globe earlier for their Dia de Muertos celebration which was cool, but I wish we'd gotten out at Sherman Heights instead of just doing a drive by. Old Town looked pretty cool, too. I didn't get through my email until very late which super sucks because I didn't know that I had been approved for tickets and a photo pass for Julien Baker until the show was long over. I maybe need a new method for my initial email screenings because it isn't quite working. I also didn't attend Louie's memorial at the Casbah. I guess I wasn't ready for a memorial to be my big foray back into club life. 

So tomorrow is a new day and hopefully I can do better. I'm even backdating this post by 2 hours so I can keep my head straight when I try to do the Wednesday data dump. I obviously didn't do listings, hopefully I can get those up before Wednesday night events start.

No pressure. 

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, November 01, 2021

CoViD-19: Official Global Deaths Surpass 5 Million | Biden at COP26 | 'Skimpflation' Is Real | Overwintering Monarchs Population Increase |

Mei Ling, the Golden Takin (Taken 10.4.21)

Someone posted a super mansplainy comment to me about a post I wrote in 2007. Can you imagine being someone who probably googled a band and somehow found my post from 2007 and you felt the need to put me down about it? What would you do with that much time on your hands? I can't decide if I should publish it and reply or just delete and move on. The internet is so tempting that way. I

 went to bed at 11pm last night, but then Darren got home from work, sprung all the animals to life, and I was wide awake by 3am. After doom-scrolling and reading for a couple hours, I realized sleep wouldn't come back so easy, so I just decided to get to work for a few hours before knocking out a couple more hours of sleep. It was a pretty chill day anyway, maybe everyone was recovering from Halloween. I still have a bunch of work but we visited my dad tonight so I'm gonna have to get to it tomorrow.  

Last week, I read the NPR article where the author coins the word "skimpflation", where goods are shrinking and service is deteriorating in addition to rising costs and I didn't want to give it too much power, but I realized that is another reason we've been eating at home so much. It's nice to get tacos from Pancho Villa or Roberto's or El Panson, and I don't actually mind their prices going up, but when we try to eat other places, prices feel doubled or tripled, service is meh because the poor workers have to deal with assholes all day, and by the time we get it home the thrill is kinda gone and we know we just blew a ton of money on something we not only could make, but make better at home. So naturally I'll be rearranging the freezers so we have room for a fall Costco stock-up. 

Oh, and unlike the article, I'm not mad about it, because I can work around it. And while pundits are blaming this administration, the reality is that this is a global problem with inequity and slave wages and exploitation by billionaires and corporations and climate destruction and demanding and entitled consumers like me all contributing to this situation. I know I was trivializing the situation by saying we should all just stop buying shit, but the reality is that the Rao's Italian Wedding Soup that I love so much comes in a jar with a lid and those have to come from somewhere. And the schools offering free lunches don't have the luxury of requiring kids to bring their own silverware so all that plastic single-use packaging has to come from somewhere. And you can't get a job without a functioning computer and wifi and all that equipment has to come from somewhere, too. The global supply chain isn't just a train that we can step off of. But we can be conscientious and do our best with the economy we have and the things offered to us as consumers. Ideally our TV and microwave and fridges will last several more years and we won't have to think about their replacement, but that's not the situation everyone is in so excuse me for being so smug about the whole thing.

I can't get into COP26 or the BBB and BIB stuff because it pisses me off too much, but in good news I was happy to see that early counts of western migratory monarch butterflies are looking good this year, and on top of that, that little bomb cyclone that hit California very positively impacted our reservoirs. A long way to go, but good news nonetheless. 

Stay safe out there.