Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, March 30-Tuesday, April 5. 2022: Steve Gunn & Jeff Parker | Good Morning | The Go-Go's | July Talk | Charli XCX | Bob Mould | Quartyard Anniversary | Pinegrove |

Wet Leg at Music Box (Taken 3.24.22)

San Diego has long had a venue problem. Obviously we have an incredible small venue network for up-and-coming touring acts -- Casbah, Soda Bar, Merrow, Pour House -- that feed into midsize venues like the Belly Up and Music Box. But then we get a little grim. We have the Observatory, House of Blues, SOMA, Open Air Theatre, Viejas Arena, Pechanga Arena, and North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre. All of those venues are run by one corporation. Balboa Theatre and Humphrey's by another. I thought The Shell being built on a PUBLIC park would mean accessibility for the average person but free yoga on Sundays isn't what I had in mind for that and it is not enough.  And while we can love the venues -- I love seeing shows at The Observatory and Open Air Theatre -- and a lot of people I know and respect work for these venues and the conglomerate, but it doesn't mean that I don't look back on 'the good ol' days' when tours were more grassroots, concert routing would seek out the local promoters to make rad shit happen, and when service charges and fees didn't exceed the value of the baseline ticket prices, and when the resale markets and bots didn't artificially inflate ticket prices and lock actual fans out of the market entirely. Add in $6 plus gasoline in California, and we shouldn't be so surprised when the big tours just skip San Diego or Southern California altogether. If you object, please watch "Tickets: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)"

All of that said, let's be grateful for those artists who do route through town and support them when we can. 

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Additional Booster Approved For 50+, Immunocompromised | Grocery Workers Fight For Fair Pay | Ukraine & Russia Hold Talks For Ceasefire |


Eye Contact with An Orca, Possibly Orkid (Taken 3.28.22)

I told you my posts would be infrequent this week as Nova's on Spring Break and life in general just feels a little bit busier. This week, Sea World San Diego is open until 7pm daily, so we took advantage of the rain on Monday and took our chances at the park and it was pretty incredible because it was so empty. Nova went on Emperor like five times just walking on, then on Manta a bunch, too. Some of the other coasters were "down for maintenance" but it's pretty obvious the park is struggling to hire enough people while also trying to skimp on working staff. On a day with no people, four Coke machines in one single kiosk shouldn't be out of order, but this seems to be happening more and more. 

No matter, we only went for a couple hours and I watched the Orca Experience and then spent some time with the dolphins, with several of them coming to the glass to say hi even with a more permanent rope creating about an 8 foot distance from the glass. Because anything they can charge extra for, they will. They also replaced a fence by the orcas with plexiglass which I'm not super stoked about, but I'm sure people behaving badly were throwing things into the pool or something to necessitate the changes. Our passes expire in June and I don't know if we'll reup, but we'll take advantage while we have them . 

The week ahead is full of stuff: on Wednesday we're going to the Van Gogh Experience for a Van Gogh birthday celebration at the Wyland Center at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, on Thursday I'll be selling merch for Good Morning (go see them!!) while Darren works security at Casbah for Nebula Drag, and then I'll be doing merch again on Saturday for Bob Mould at the Casbah. Hoping to get some Zoo time in, too, and don't forget to stock up on groceries at your local store before they go on strike, or just plan on hitting Costco, Grocery Outlet, Pancho Villa and other stores not affected by the union talks. 

Be safe out there. 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Deputy Press Sec Tests Positive For COVID After EU Travel | Far-UVC Cleans The Air Safely, Study Claims | Oscars Go Bizzaro With Will Smith Smacking Chris Rock | Idiot Convoy Coming Back To California |


Another Golden Takin Kid at San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.25.22)

I wanted to wrap up the weekend with all the loose ends from my inbox while I watched the Oscars. I've never been a Will Smith fan, so the fact that he smacked Chris Rock didn't really come off to me as any more of an ass than I've always thought him to be. Chris' joke wasn't funny; he hasn't really been funny in years, and it was a bit of punching down considering Jada's alopecia, but there as no reason for this escalation and embarrassment on a live telecast. 

Nova is on spring break this week so my posts may be more infrequent. I have to go help my dad but I'm sure you'll hear from me soon enough. Not to beat a dead horse, but the Deputy Press Secretary tested positive for COVID-19. Big surprise. Look at all those meetings and the photos of all those unmasked people, Biden hugging refugees and their children, even after the White House blogged about aerosol transmission just last week. It truly boggles the mind. 

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Music News: Courtney Barnett Here And There Festival | Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins Dies | Wonderfront Announces Dates & Preliminary Lineup | SD County Fair Concert Series |

Wet Leg at Music Box (Taken 3.24.22)

There has been a lot of music news this week so I thought I'd bust out another post instead of tacking it all on the listings. Wonderfront is back, Courtney Barnett has a new traveling festival, San Diego County Fair announced their summer concert series, and sadly, we all learned yesterday of the death of Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters. It's a lot to take in. 

Stay safe out there.

BA.2 91% Of New Global Cases; Uptick In San Diego | Stone Beats Molsen Coors In Lawsuit | Biden Concludes Europe Trip Dissing Putin |


A New Golden Takin Kid at San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.26.22) 

It's a beautifully perfect day in San Diego so I'm gonna keep it short since I didn't get a chance to post yesterday. On Friday, Darren and I spent the afternoon at the San Diego Zoo and I was stunned to see a new Golden Takin kid!! Mei Ling was born last year and was the first Golden Takin born in the western hemisphere, so this new baby is another amazing addition to the herd. I don't know the sex of the kid, but it is so cute and must be under two weeks old since I always stop by to see them whenever I visit the zoo. 

It was a really good week though I guess you can tell how I spend my time is getting assessed. While it's not "pandemic over" for our household, it seems the rest of the world has moved on, which puts different demands on my time and attention. Posts may come more infrequently. I may spend Saturdays reading all 500 of Friday's emails. Or, like right now, I may catch up while watching this week's episode of The Dropout on HULU. I hope everyone has a great weekend and you'll hear from me again later in a fully devoted music post. 

Stay safe out there.  

Friday, March 25, 2022

Biden Meets With NATO, EU | COVID-19 BA.2 Rises In Some States | Yosemite Reservations Open | Governor Newsom Proposes $400 Gas Cards | IG Determines LA Sheriff Ranks Rife With Gangs |


Jose Gonzalez at Balboa Theatre (Taken 3.17.22)

I don't know if there is a correlation between allergies and anxiety or if the two just come from each side and knock you out when caught in the crossfire, but everything has been a little off this week, so I haven't had my daily trips to the San Diego Zoo to clear my brain, and I'm behind on posts, so a lot of what's here isn't exactly breaking news, but that's not why I'm here anyway. 

It was fun working for WWPJ on Tuesday, I busted ass to do listings on Wednesday before going to see Geese at the Casbah that night, and being able to take Nova with Darren and I to see Wet Leg on Thursday at Music Box. I'll get some posts up about those when I can. And for Jose Gonzalez, since I still owe that one, too. All of this has meant not having a data post in a couple days, so I tried to catch up with that, even though the data that is being reported is more limited. Like I don't know what is going on at the CDC's site, but I couldn't access any of their data today and San Diego has changed some of its reporting, too. I guess that's where we are now in this pandemic. At least for now. 

Stay safe out there.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, March 23-Tuesday, March 29, 2022 + Music News | Geese | Ours | Wet Leg | G. Love | Alt-J | surfbort | Punk In Drublic | The Districts | Thievery Corporation |

Jose Gonzalez at Balboa Theatre (Taken 3.17.22)

I had such a good night working for We Were Promised Jetpacks, but didn't really get a chance to work on listings, but they're finally done. Hooray! I guess I'm getting back in a show-going groove this week, as I'll be at the Casbah tonight for Geese, at Music Box on Thursday for Wet Leg, and am a maybe on alt-J at Pechanga on Friday and Punk In Drublic at Petco on Saturday. I'm kinda already tired just thinking about it. Maybe I'll see you at a show. 

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Press Sec Psaki Tests Positive For COVID For 2nd Time | Federal Funding For COVID Runs Out | Republicans Make Asses Of Themselves During SCOTUS Hearings |


Slinging Merch For We Were Promised Jetpacks (Taken 3.22.22)

I'm presently selling merch for a sold out WWPJ show at Casbah and it's surprisingly mellow enough that I can do a little laptopping, though it's a little harder to do listings here, so I'm not sure when I'll get those done. I'll do my best to have them before Wednesday night kicks in. 

Today was a little more chaotic than I anticipated because I wasn't confirmed to work until late in the afternoon and you gotta give an old lady enough time to nap if she's gonna be up working late.

I watched hours of the Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Senate Judiciary Committee hearings and we should all be so embarrassed by some of these *almost always* old white men asking the most fucked up questions and blowing the most obvious Qanon bullshit conspiracy dogwhistles. Yes, Cornyn, we theoretically can vote out legislators when we don't agree with them, but not when they have minority rule and have stacked the cards against voters. It was full on ugliness in a parade of horribles. 

I was also disappointed to hear that Press Secretary Jen Psaki tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time. I watch all the press briefings and I don't understand how with a 79 year old president, they don't go above CDC guidance. They should be testing daily. They should be masking in N95s. They shouldn't be meeting in close quarters without anyone who hasn't tested that day. They should have crazy air filtration in the old ass White House. Especially Jen, who has unvaccinated children under 5 who are obviously in preschool or some sort of care situation since their mom is one of the most important people to this administration. We don't expect the White House to act like they're just like us, because they're not. There are at least two reporters in the media pool who are pregnant at the moment, and to be told they're not close contacts after sitting in that briefing room with Jen for nearly an hour, even if masked, should be really concerned and also really pissed that their colleagues don't care enough to wear a fucking mask around them. This is a total failure that didn't need to happen if they just treated COVID-19 like the airborne virus that it is. And now federal funding is dry, so testing and treatments for the common person are no longer covered (though it isn't clear if this is true in San Diego County or the State of California, as our allocations may last a little longer. I'll see what I can find out.)

Be safe out there.  

Omicron BA.2 On Track To Become Dominant | Hearings Begin For SCOTUS Seat | WH Warns To Shore Up Cyber Security |

I didn't mean to skip a Monday post but I had the rare chance of getting to spend some time from my mom outside of my parents' house, so when she said she could escape to the San Diego Zoo for a few hours, of course we jumped into action. That, and having stayed up pretty late because I worked at Music Box on Sunday for Bahamas and then met Darren after at the Casbah where he was working for Gang of Four, and I just couldn't motivate to sit on my laptop all night. So this post is mostly just to catch up with yesterday's stuff and I'll likely do another post tonight with all the new data and whatnot. 

Stay safe out there.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

COVID-19: J&J Held Up In Delta Surge; mRNAs Held Up For Omicron | A Surge Is A'Comin | Butterflies Return To San Diego Zoo Safari Park | War Crimes Abound In Ukraine Invasion |


Polynesian Dancers at Sea World San Diego (Taken 3.19.22)

It's been a mostly great weekend, which is why I never got around to a Friday/Saturday post. Darren worked at the Casbah on Friday for Emo Nite, so I was left to my own devices and binged the rest of Life and Beth on Hulu. I had kinda lost my love for Amy Schumer over the years -- maybe I aged out of the crass sex jokes and constant weight self-depracation -- but during the pandemic we enjoyed watching her cooking show with her husband, and as a married mom she's evolved, and this scripted show feels really personal and definitely has it's laugh out loud moments. 

On Saturday I napped a lot because I'd been up so late and the plumber had turned our water off again for like the 4th time in a few weeks. My sister called and said she had no kids for the day, so we made afternoon plans to go to Sea World for the Seven Seas Food Festival, mostly because I wanted to see the Polynesian dance revue. As it happened, she had free tickets to San Diego Seals La Crosse at Pechanga, so we hit Sea World for a couple hours, watched the show, then zipped over to catch the 2nd half of what was a very exciting and close game that was full of action, some interesting power plays, a fight, and ultimately a win for the home team. 

I ended up staying up late again, but not for any real fun reason. I did watch The Adam Project on Netflix and had a few drinks, but mostly I was keeping an eye on the pets because Ficus was sick and I detected worms on Jacaranda, which is SO.FUCKING.GAG. but fortunately there's an inexpensive over the counter single use pill that comes in a three-pack that I was able to order online at Petco which Darren picked up and administered today. Fingers crossed because, again, GAG. And of course Jacaranda is the lover of the bunch who wants to come and snuggle on the bed in the mornings, so it will be a big full laundry day on Monday. 

Right now I'm at the Music Box selling merch for Bahamas and the opener, Cece Coakley is on right now but the crowd is super loud at the bar. Hopefully it doesn't carry so much to the stage. It's nice though, my merch gigs have been so busy that I don't usually have time to sit on my laptop. I'm looking forward to a full week, hopefully Darren hears from Safari Park, I'll possibly be doing merch for We Were Promised Jetpacks, and a friend wants to go see Geese, so that's a possibility, too. 

I know it's hard to watch this war on the news, the numerous mass shootings over the weekend, so much bad and sad in the world, but life is for living while we can so I hope we all can find the joy around us. 

Stays safe out there. 

Friday, March 18, 2022

St. Patrick's Day | Dr. Ashish Jha Replaces Zients For COVID Chief | Brain Fog In 70% of UK COVID Survivors | Drivers of SUVs & Big Ass Trucks Responsible For Most Ped Deaths |

Darren, Me, and Tim Pyles at Balboa Theatre for Jose Gonzalez (Taken 3.18.22)

I understand that there is no longer a requirement to wear masks in public spaces, but I was kind of shocked to see that more people wear masks at the San Diego Zoo -- which is 95% outdoors but can get crowded in certain areas -- than sitting for 3 hours at an indoor concert for Jose Gonzalez. It actually kinda bummed me out that Darren and I were the only ones in our area wearing them besides the staff and security. I mean, when you watch the little fog machine dance in the air, illuminated by stage lighting, you can literally watch how aerosols move and don't clear, even in a vast space with balconies and a maybe five story high ceiling. Granted, the concert required vaccination or negative test, but as we know, that doesn't mean that nobody in the room is positive. I guess it just means I'm gonna have to watch among ourselves with testing and maybe reconsider some of the events in which I participate. 

It is very much on my brain when we had to drive directly from the concert to go aid my dad in his daily move from the chair back to bed. They have a day nurse and my God-sister covering days and some nights, but we're still going there 3-4 times a week. We ordered our second rounds of COVID-19 tests from USPS, and this time they sent a 5 pack, so we're at least in good shape for a little stockpile for now. I'm actually just a few days away from when the County says I tested positive (even though they didn't actually tell me until nearly two weeks later) so I may start PCR testing again with the County while it's still available. I know we're all getting confident, but there were 860 new cases yesterday, so that is a big jump from the 200-300 we started seeing in the recent declines that were enough to drop all caution. 

It was a busy day. After doing some work, Darren and I went to the San Diego Zoo for a couple hours. In that time, I found out the Jose Gonzalez show was earlier than I expected and that Tim Pyles had an extra ticket for Darren. So we raced home after closing, picking up Roberto's on the way, slammed some dinner, fed the pets, changed clothes, and were on our way to the show then my parents'. But now I deserve an adult beverage, even if in real life it's almost closing time. If there's anything I missed in sharing today, I'll make it up in my Friday/Saturday post. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

San Diego County Redesigns COVID Dashboard | BA.2 Rising Overseas; US 'Everything Is Fine' | Ukraine Pleads For Additional Support "We May Already Be In WWIII" | Incels Get New Scrutiny |


Squirrel Monkey at Wildlife Explorers Basecamp at San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.15.22)

I am trying to take full advantage of the perfect weather San Diego has been having to get out to the San Diego Zoo as often as possible before it gets too insanely crowded to tolerate and before we potentially see COVID cases rise back up. I'm hoping it doesn't happen, but the US went from about 10% of cases being the "stealth variant" to about 25% of cases in one week, we still have far too many people who are unvaccinated altogether or others who are not boosted, too many unvaccinated kids, and schools are all dropping mask requirements in a matter of weeks, if they haven't already. Feels like 4th of July all over again. It's also important to consider that while vaccination rates are actually pretty high in San Diego, more people are testing at home, if at all, so those cases go unreported, and if people can't miss work or stay home and isolate, you don't know if that checker at the grocery with a cough or that server at your favorite restaurant's sore throat is just normal allergy stuff, or if they've got COVID and are powering through. Like I said in my other post, I have a lot of shows I'm looking forward to, but I'm not committed to anything -- if it's too risky and the local situation deteriorates, I'll go right back to being a hermit at home. 

That said, I did make it back to the Zoo today, but only for about an hour, which was long enough to see the mandrills, get the turacos to sing, and then wander again through a couple of the insect houses and climb the rope structures to see the squirrel monkeys and coati before they closed. I don't know if I'll make it back on Thursday, but I'm sure I'll be back in no time at all. 

Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, March 16-Tuesday, March 22, 2022: Liily | Jose Gonzalez | Geographer | Slothrust | The Pixies Cancel | Nation of Language | Rolando Street Fair | Dorothy | We Were Promised Jetpacks |

Jose Gonzalez (Taken 10.15.2015)

I'm kind of enjoying this week. I think all the publicists are at SXSW so my volume of email is significantly lower this week. On top of that, Casbah's got a bunch of sold out shows this week which always alleviates a lot of pressure. I fully intended to go to the Devotchka show last night but it was a little too early for it to be really feasible. I'm going to see Jose Gonzalez on Thursday and possibly working for We Were Promised Jetpacks on Tuesday, and considering a couple other shows on the docket, too, but I'm not quite ready to fully dive back in to shows as I'm keeping an eye on how things shake out with full mask requirements gone while BA.2 is on the rise. It also complicates things a little that I've written off rideshare companies and haven't used an Uber or a Lyft in over two years, and ideally never will again after they showed their true colors with Prop 22. 

Stay safe out there. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

| COVID-19: Get Ready For More Chinese-Supply Shortages | BA.2 Continues Growth | Russia Continues Savage Invasion of Ukraine |

Praying Mantis at Wildlife Explorers Basecamp at San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.15.22) 

 I thought that I was going to skip a Tuesday post but once I open my laptop it's hard not to just do what I've been doing. Creature of habit. Plus, I was too lazy to drag my ass to the Casbah for Devotchka so what else am I gonna do but watch murder shows and read through my inboxes?

Tuesday was a pretty spectacular afternoon, as Darren and I met a friend and his 2 year old niece at the San Diego Zoo. It seemed a little less crowded than Monday and the animals weren't super active, but we spent more time in the Wildlife Explorers Basecamp and were so in awe in the remaining houses and animal habitats that we missed on Monday. Honestly, you could probably go to the Zoo and spend all day in there discovering new things or watching the naked mole rats or the orb weavers' webs. I'm hoping to get listings done quickly on Wednesday so I can go back for more. The only thing I would say is that I think the San Diego Zoo is making a mistake by not requiring, or at least increasing signage recommending masks. The rising numbers around the globe should be raising some red flags, especially because most of us who got boosters are over four months past having them available for everyone. China is locking down millions of people and the resulting work stoppages are certainly going to bring back supply issues and shortages of goods once again. Plan for the worst and hope for the best, I guess. 

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Stealth Omicron Cases Rising In Europe & China As US Abandons Mitigations | Russian Invasion Continues In Spite of Talks | Pearl-Clutching Over Turning Red |


The Only Thing Offensive About Turning Red Is Their Scary Portrayal of Red Pandas
(Taken 3.2.22)

I guess I could say I had a pretty good weekend. I sold merch for three artists who couldn't be more differend: Lido Pimienta on Friday at the Casbah, Dave Hause on Saturday, and Liza Anne on Sunday, both at Soda Bar. I still enjoy doing merch, but I stay up long after I get home and so my days end up a bit wasted. Like Friday morning, I skipped the media opening of the Wildflife Explorers Basecamp at the San Diego Zoo because I knew I'd get there eventually. That eventually ended up being today and I guess some people are already on spring break, because it was super crowded when we got there around 3:30. We did our usual loop of the regular Zoo then spent about a half hour in the Spineless Marvels section of Basecamp before jumping on the Skyfari and doing the long walk back to the exit. If you're planning on taking small kids: don't try to see everything in one day, bring loads of hand sanitizer and wet wipes, and don't let your kids on the play structures until you're ready for them to spend the rest of their time there. I'll definitely be back at least a couple times this week to see more -- I'm looking forward to seeing the spiders and the tamandua when it's a little more active, plus any other critters they moved into the Basecamp that were not on exhibit before. 

Besides all that, I watched Turning Red today. I felt like I had to after Nova watched it at a sleepover with my nieces and then I read scathing reviews about it from some the White Christian Women Pearl Clutching Society of America (tm) and an old acquaintance from high school. The funny thing was this high school friend was saying how uncomfortable it was -- I'm sure it was because it wasn't centered on a white boy like 95% of kids movies, they weren't Christian, and because it addressed female puberty. It deals with Asian parents, much in the spirit of Joy Luck Club or Crying in H Mart, and the pressure of living up to immigrant parents' standards. Should be relatable but apparently the WCWPCS is all up in arms about it. Fuck them. It was cute. 

BA.2 is spreading. Keep those masks on even if you don't have to. 

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

2 Years of COVID-19 Pandemic | 1 Year of American Rescue Plan | US Expands Russia Sanctions | SPLC Report: The Year In Hate & Extremism |

LIdo Pimienta at the Casbah (Taken 3.11.22)

I thought I would have a lot to say on the two year anniversary of the pandemic, but I think that all I've been doing for two years is talking about it. The virus has changed, what we know about the virus has changed, and I think it is fair to say that after two years, we all have changed, too. I can say I'm grateful that we survived. I know it's not over, but if we learned anything the past two years, it's to be ready for anything and roll right along with it. In many ways the world feels like it is spinning out of control and at the same time, we're here in beautiful San Diego living with perfect weather and living our little lives the best we can. Onward and upward.  

Stay safe out there. 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Two Years Of COVID-19 | TSA Mask Mandate Extended | More US Aid Approved For Ukraine In Omnibus Bill | Wordle Variants | Friday: San Diego Zoo WIldlife Explorers Basecamp Grand Opening |

A Peek At Wildlife Explorers Basecamp at San Diego Zoo
Opens to the Public on Friday at 10am (Photo Taken 1.29.22)

I'm both angry and concerned that congress dropped COVID-19 funding out of the omnibus package they passed this week. I'm concerned that with numbers declining locally that County officials will start to roll back testing, too. To me this is a terrible idea. From the beginning of the pandemic through December 1st, the county had experienced a total of 385,396 cases confirmed by PCR testing. By January 29th, that number was 686,003, meaning 300,607 people tested positive in TWO MONTHS. Why does it matter? Because once you've tested positive on a PCR test, the county tells you that you can do antigen/rapid tests, but not to take a PCR test for 90 days because sometimes the virus can linger and still be detected even if it is long dead and no longer replicating. Today is March 10, which means many of those who previously tested positive are eligible or will become eligible to take PCR tests again. We can't pull back on free testing. Meanwhile, across the country, states are already dropping to weekly reporting on cases, so CDC numbers are going to be much less reliable moving forward, and that, I think, is bad for everyone. Potentially waiting for hospitalizations to rise is too late to reinstate simple mitigations. 

I'll keep posting so long as the information is available, though life will certainly get a little more hectic with Darren starting his job next week and things pretty much back to normal at the Casbah. As I mentioned, I'll be doing merch on Friday at Casbah and Soda Bar on Saturday, plus Nova has derby, my parents still demand our help which means multiple trips back and forth to Chula Vista throughout the week, and I'm still trying to keep up my needed time at the San Diego Zoo. Today Darren and I went for a couple hours before having to get Nova to piano, took Ficus to Grape Street, then back home in time to make dinner, and then off to my parents' house. It's a lot, but we're keeping masks on and doing our best to manage. I hope you all are managing, too. It's been a long, exhausting two years. 

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

COVID Positive? Get Therapeutics | Coastal Commission Approves Cap On Short Term Rentals | EPA Reinstates "California Waiver" Allowing State To Set Emissions Standards | Senate Passed Ukraine Aid Bill; Drops COVID Funds |

A Neighborhood Lot Before They Took Out The Trees For Five-Apartment Construction (Taken 1.26.21)

Yesterday, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria announced a 'Bridge To Home' program that will fund 662 new homes across seven locations in San Diego. I was thinking about this as I watched a man setting up his new camp in our alley, and it got me thinking about how much I hate short-term rentals. Because it is all connected. According to this report from 2017, there were over 11,000 short term rentals in San Diego. The Union Tribune places the current number at 12,300. That's why San Diego's short term ordinance rules can't be implemented fast enough, though I'm with Joe LaCava and don't think they should be legalized at all. I'm happy to hear that the California Coastal Commission today voted unanimously in support of the City ordinance to cap STRs. And after I wrote all this, I was pleased to see NBC covered two stories, one on the CCC decision and another on a proposal from Assemblyman Chris Ward to tax house flippers at 25%. Do it all. I'd still love to see a legislative bill for a vacancy tax, too, to tax people who neither live in nor rent out their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th homes that sit empty, usually as some scheme to avoid taxes. 

Besides news-watching, I didn't do a whole lot today. I have absolutely no sign of a cold anymore, so either my favorite cold medicine knocked it out, or going balls to the wall with Bulleit did the trick. Nova had her second lacrosse game today and they lost 18-1 to OLP. Watching Hoover High Lacrosse is a lesson in patience and also educational disparity and inequity, but the girls do the best they can and seem to be having fun learning a new sport. 

Because I had to knock out listings today, I missed out on going to the Zoo, but today I got a media invite to the opening of Wildlife Explorers Basecamp on Friday morning and I'll probably do an afternoon trip on Thursday, too, now that I'm feeling so much better. We'll probably also work in a trip to Sea World over the weekend so Nova can check out the new rollercoaster, Emperor. If you have pets, be warned that Sea World will be doing fireworks on Saturday night to celebrate the opening of the coaster. 

Today was COVID-19 data dump day and there are some things to note: after today, San Diego will no longer be doing general contact tracing/investigating except for seniors 65+ and in congregate settings. Also, there were 75!!! new community outbreaks, including 39 in TK-12 schools, but sure, let's drop all masking. These will no longer get counted since contact tracing/investigations are how they are identified. Last, the case rate for vaccinated + boosted is actually higher than for people who are only vaccinated, but it is important to note that older populations, including those in congregate settings, are most likely to be boosted, so there's a bit of missing context in that data. I did update vaccination information for the county, but I'm gonna just drop it from the CDC and state because it's pretty moot at this point when everyone who wants to be vaccinated can be so. 

Stay safe out there. 

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, March 9-Tuesday, March 15, 2022: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong | Still Woozy | Lido Pimienta | Ghost of Paul Revere | Chuck Ragan | Dave Hause | MØ | Devotchka | K. Flay |

I don't really have anything to say other than listings are done, I'm late for Nova's lacrosse game, and I'll be working merch for Lido Pimienta on Friday and Dave Hause on Saturday, so say hi if you see me out. My cold is completely gone - whiskey seemed to do the trick. 

Stay safe out there. 

Order More Free COVID Tests Now | Data Supports mRNA Vaccines | Governor Newsom Delivers State of the State | Biden Bans Russian Oil Imports; Corporations Continue To Exploit Crises |


San Diego Zoo Safari Park Rhinos (Either Casey & Alice or Holly & Mwezi; Taken 3.8.22)

I guess I was a little premature in announcing Darren's new hiring at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. He still had to go in for an in-person medical evaluation, drug test, and other assessments. Seems like it all went well, though, because they also fitted him for his uniforms. He had to go in early this morning so I got up with him and cruised the park while he was doing his thing. I'm still a little sick, but it was pretty empty and I steered clear of people, wore an N95, and really just needed the fresh air and sunshine. I've got a couple merch gigs this weekend so hopefully I'm all better by then, but I'll still mask up and do another COVID test before just to be certain.

Obviously there's a lot in the news right now, but I hope everyone takes some time for self-care, in whatever that means for you and bringing joy.

Stay safe out there. 

Monday, March 07, 2022

CoVID-19:Public Health Experts Pitch 'Next Normal' | WHO Warns Of Sars-CoV-2 In Mammals | Senate (Finally) Passes Anti-Lynching Bill | SDUSD Names New Superintendent Dr. Jackson | San Diego City & County Promote Housing Opportunities |

Jacaranda and Magnolia. The Sleeping Beauties Got New Collars (Taken 3.5.22)

Well, I got the sick. Darren got a cold at some point last week, and even with spending lots of time outside, leaving him home alone to rest while doing stuff with Nova, windows open in the daytime, and the air purifier constantly on in the bedroom, last night I caught my first of the sniffles and then my nose was like a runny faucet. I took a COVID test today just in case, just as Darren had a couple times over the weekend, and it was negative, so I just have to let this have its run on me. I am loading up with fluids, last night I took nighttime Tylenol Cold + Flu and slept an indulgent 15 hours, Darren got me caldo de res from Super Cocina, I've loaded up on my Immune+ gummies, oranges, avocados, bananas, and DayQuil, which all seem to be doing the trick in making me knock this out as quickly as possible, because I already feel better. 

Because I'm kinda just focusing on me today, I'll keep it short and just more of a link share today, but I do want to give a shout out to NBC San Diego for connecting the dots in their gas-price story today: that gas prices were already going up as the economy recovered from the pandemic and demand has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, that the action in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia translate to tighter markets BUT ALSO highlighting that last year, gas companies made record profits and are exploiting any political and economic bumps to their benefit. Popular Info's Jeff Legum really dove in today, too. I would love for any news channel now to look at SAFE/CAFE Rules and where they stand now and the lobbies that have pushed so hard to rescind fuel efficiency standards. 

As for COVID-19 stuff...I'm still posting case data, but I'm taking out daily updates on vaccinations in the national and state sections. I don't think they're super accurate or updated, and at this point everyone has had access to getting shots and boosters and it's just extra time I'd like to start reclaiming for my life. I'll maybe just include it on data-dump Wednesdays.  

Off to sleepy time. Hoping to knock out for at least 12 hours tonight. Tylenol PM, take me away!

Stay safe out there. 

Sunday, March 06, 2022

CoVID-19: Grim Milestone: 6 Million* Global Deaths | SDUSD District Announces Mask Policy Update (Again) | Some Thoughts About Gas Prices |

I told you on Friday that I had no weekend plans and then ended up having a busy weekend after all. Since Darren was sick, we all ended up asleep early on Friday night, which meant we were all up in time for Nova's roller derby scrimmage. It was frigid then hot then cold all over again, but we had delicious breakfast burritos and the sun popped out long enough for them to do an hour of flat track scrimmage and nearly an hour of banked track until the rain came and cut them off about 10 minutes early. After, Nova and I ran some errands while Darren rested, and then we watched murder shows until it was time to go to help my parents. By the time we were done, we were all zonked and again, I was in bed before midnight. WHO EVEN AM I?

Of course, early to bed, early to rise, so Nova and I decided to go watch my niece play soccer in the morning, did some shopping after, and then we hung in the house for awhile until our neighbor grabbed Nova for another lesson on circus school. If I didn't mention it, she's a teacher at Fern Street Circus and San Diego Circus School, and also works at various events...if you've seen stilt walkers at concerts, festivals, or San Diego Zoo & Safari Park, you've probably seen her. Nova picked it up pretty quickly and was walking all over the yard for about an hour and had a great time. The rest of Sunday was me going to my parents to get my dad out of the bed and then returning a few hours later to get him back in. Not the party weekend I had in mind exactly, but sometimes life happens how it happens and we just gotta roll with it while we have it to roll with. 

If you're looking for some comedic relief from all the horror of the news, watch The Standups on Netflix Season 3, Episode 2 with Naomi Ekperigin. I don't want to spoil it, but she has some hilarious bits about San Diego and specifically, the San Diego Zoo. 

Stay safe out there. 

Saturday, March 05, 2022

CoViD-19: SDUSD Drops Mask Requirement After Spring Break | Russian Censoring Of Socials Has Also Reduced Bots | Another Positive Jobs Report |


Henry The Black Rhino at San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.4.22)

I half expected to skip a Friday post, but Darren has a cold and went to bed early (tested negative on a COVID test, just in case) and so I figured I might as well get it out of the way and then put my laptop away for the weekend as much as possible. I don't particularly have anything on my mind to talk about. The rain this morning was pretty insane, right as Nova was about to walk to her bus, it started coming down in sheets, so Darren drove her and of course the downpour only lasted a few minutes before a more normal, constant rain. I went to the San Diego Zoo alone this afternoon while Darren ran some errands for his new job, and I caught the bus home. Nova and I started watching "Worst Roommate Ever" on Netflix and the two episodes we watched so far were so crazy that if they were scripted, you'd say how dumb the writers were. Perhaps it's just the way the murders are so obvious in the presentation and exposition of the episodes. Of course, I'm also watching "The Dropout" on Hulu, because I was all about the podcast and the book about Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scandal.

We have no real plans this weekend at all. With Darren getting mildly sick, we'll keep testing him daily, but assuming he's clear, he'll be working at the Casbah on Sunday and I'll probably spend the whole weekend trying to find things to do besides putting away laundry, because that's how I roll.  

I'm finding that I really have to compartmentalize a lot; finding joy in my own personal life while also being horrified by the savage news in Ukraine and elsewhere. At least COVID-19 news seems to be mildly optimistic, though I am surprised SDUSD has decided to remove mandatory masking immediately after spring break instead of waiting a couple weeks, especially with TK-6 and their very low vaccination status, but I suppose it was to be expected that our transmission would dramatically drop to low with the new metrics. I think they're not saying the quiet part out loud that so long as you're not in a prison or in senior care, you're probably gonna be okay. I can tell you, you still won't see me eating in a restaurant or pulling my mask off in Costco. I hope Nova continues masking, but I guess we'll get there when we get there. Anything can happen in a month.   

Stay safe out there. 

Friday, March 04, 2022

CoViD-19: San Diego Transmission "Low" By New Metrics | California Proposes New Plan For Mental & Behavioral Health of People Experiencing Homelessness | Voters Choose Energy Costs Over Climate Future |


Kangaroo Joey Takes A Peek at San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Taken 2.22.22)

My eyes are so heavy right now and all I want to do is sleep, but I still have work to do before that can happen and it pains me. Today we got the good news that San Diego has been lowered to the "low" community transmission level, even though the threshold now is double what it used to be. Basically it means by CDC standards, the county can drop all masking. This will be super awkward since SDUSD will maintain them because of fear of spring break cases, so I'm sure the news is going to just nail us with parents on the anti-masking side of things day after day after day.

The other good news we got today was that Darren got the job! He was interviewed on Wednesday by San Diego Zoo Safari Park and got a next day callback that they're hiring him!! He's been a taxi driver, a limo van driver, a pedicab driver, but most recently was full time doing Uber until the pandemic happened, and now he'll be a shuttle driver at the park. It's obviously one of my favorite places in the world, so I couldn't be happier about it. He'll start training in a couple weeks. It feels pretty good to get good news when everything else in the world feels so terrible right now.  

Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

CoViD-19: White House Outlines COVID-19 Preparedness Plan | SD County 'Highly Recommends' Indoor Masks | J6 Committee Alleges Criminal Conspiracy For TFG | Attack On Ukraine Continues


Guam Kingfisher at San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.2.22)

When you walk around the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park, each animal has a placard with the animal name, sometimes the scientific name, some factoid about it, and then a little bar on the bottom that tells you their status: stable, threatened, endangered. 

Today it was a busy Thursday and since we planned on Nova's game at 4:30 and Darren had his Safari Park interview at 3:15, I wandered around by myself for a couple hours before catching the bus to Hoover High. 

I never noticed this beautiful guy -- the Guam Kingfisher -- as he called out his captivating sequence of whistles, and his placard said "EXTINCT. This bird was native to Guam and after non-native brown tree snakes made it to the island, wiped out their population entirely, except for where they exist in zoos. I kind of became obsessed with it. Extinct means a whole new thing when you can see something that quite practically no longer exists. 

By sheer coincidence, I was whistling with my favorite gray parrot and a zoo ornithologist came by and let me ask him a million questions. He said there are breeding and reintroduction programs but the pandemic has made transporting animals nearly impossible. He also answered my questions about the turaco, his specialty, and the gray birds with the flamingos, which he called "the screamers." Yes, they lay eggs often he said, but the female is too old so they're never viable. 

But back to that little Guam Kingfisher. It was pretty powerful how thinking about this one little bird's extinction had me spiral thinking about mortality and climate change and this attack on Ukraine and well, I think we all know we're pretty well fucked. But on the bright side, maybe this little guy's plight can also give us a ray of hope. 

(In case you're wondering, Nova's team was short of a full squad, and got spanked by their opponents, though they played hard and were all smiles after their game.)

Stay safe out there.    

Things To Do In San Diego: Wednesday, March 2-Tuesday, March 8, 2022: Godspeed You! Black Emperor | The Bones of J.R. Jones | Buddy Guy | Warish | Bad Suns | CRSSD Fest | Garth Brooks | + New Show Announcements

Glass Animals Appear on Sunday at CRSSD Festival (Taken 5.19.2015)

Doing listings last night made me feel like everything is normal again. And while San DIego was looking pretty hopeful after we got our weekend cases rundown, with under 200 on Sunday, the data always catches up and so I know lots of people are going to shows and I encourage it if you're vaccinated and boosted and doing smart things to protect yourself, but I'd still suggest wearing a high quality mask at shows. A friend of mine thought travel to Las Vegas was safe and is now sick and isolating, a bit of a high risk because he's immunocompromised, so the virus is still out there, it's still "sticky", and you can still get and transmit it. 

Still, there's lots to be optimistic about and there were a ton of great new show announcements over the past week. CRSSD Festival is happening this weekend, but be warned that we are expecting some rain, so plan accordingly. Consider using public transit to get there to avoid parking and rideshare nightmares that plague the event. 

New concert announcements and event listings through Tuesday are after the jump. 

Be safe out there. 

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

CoViD-19: CDC Data Defend Vax Effectiveness on Kids | Biden Delivers Inspiring SOTU | Gas Companies Exploitation Never Stops | San Diego Approves Vendor Ordinance | SDUSD Explains Continued Mask Requirement |


Papa Mandrill at San Diego Zoo (Taken 3.1.22)

On Monday I was up all shiny and early and by the afternoon, hit a wall, and then took too long of a nap, which cycled into me just staying up all night. Not to waste the day, after doing some work and stuff around the house, Darren and I called in takeout sandwiches from Big Front Door and took our little picnic to the San Diego Zoo. 

Now you know I'm not usually there in the middle of the day and today was reminded why. Not only is it far too crowded for my personal comfort, but the animals are not super active. Or they eat and then they go straight back to sleep. Maybe I'm adopting their lifestyle. Who could say? There are also the dozens of field trips and apparently the Kelly Clarkson Show was doing some kind of shoot or something, too. Regardless, we ate our amazing sandwiches in the treehouse and walked around for a couple hours before we had to head home, expecting the plumber to fix the now broken fill valve. That has now been postponed until Thursday so we have to trigger the valve manually. But at least it meant I finally went to sleep and that's where I'm back with you now, to catch up on the day's work and all that. 

I won't get into the SOTU, since they're all kinda the same 'America is great, Americans are strong, we'll defend democracy, we'll help the American people, fight companies that exploit people, blah-blah, rah-rah!' but it just brings me joy in my heart that THIS is our president and I don't feel like I'm going to vomit or punch a wall like with TFG. One thing he did say is that starting next week, even if you already ordered your free COVID tests, you'll be able to order another batch. 

On Wednesday, Nova has her first lacrosse game which is awesome, but unfortunately I don't think it will count because they haven't filled their roster. I don't know how you can't get 13 girls in a school of over 2,000 students, but so it is. Darren has an interview with San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is amazing. He has kept his search pretty local, places he can bike or walk or take public transit, but he's taking this one on a whim and it would be an amazing opportunity for him, even if the commute is harsh. Fingers tightly crossed. If anyone is hiring, he's looking for steady work, outdoor work is ideal, like San Diego Canyonlands, Park & Rec type stuff, San Diego River Foundation, but he's also worked decades in hospitality, transportation, security, and customer facing jobs. 

I'm gonna get back to watching the SOTU, full text is linked below. I don't know when I'll get listings up but I'll try to get them as early as possible. Even though it's 3am, I'm back-posting this because I need it to reflect March 1st information and data. 

Stay safe out there.