Friday, May 06, 2022

COVID Cases Rising Again | WHO Estimates 14.9Million Excess Deaths Worldwide During Pandemic; US Approaches or Surpasses 1M Deaths, Depends Who's Counting | Karine Jean-Pierre Named Successor To Press Secretary Psaki |

Nova, Jo, Mom, Christy, Me, Nadia (Taken 4.17.22)

I forgot to share this funny story, so since I'm up late and am tired of doomscrolling and am suffering major outrage fatigue like every other pro-choice American, I'll share it with you now. 

If you read here often, you know my dad is technically in hospice at home. He still takes a ton of medication, but there are no real medical interventions that will help him at this point, so he's in full palliative care mode, which means beyond his medicines, my mom and the support aides try everything - lotions and potions, stuff for itching and pain, things to help him sleep, anything to make him as comfortable as he can be for as long as his heart still chooses to beat. A while back, a friend was working at a CBD distributor, so we had some drops and topical stuff, then we suggested THC remedies...cookies, gummies, tinctures. A relative sent him some cherry gummy strips that seemed to help in small quantities, but they ran out and so we've been on the hunt to find replacements. 

So last Friday, I went to help transfer him from his bed to his chair in the afternoon, and when we were done, my mom said she needed to go to a dispensary and wanted me to go with her. She had one in mind, but a friend recommended March & Ash, which was closer and had a better reputation. 

I should rewind and say I've never purchased weed before. When you're in experimental phases, it just always seemed to be around, and I never much liked the effects, so even when legal, I had no cause to partake. I was a marijuana dispensary virgin. 

Mom and I drove separately to Telegraph Canyon Road, but it wasn't where we thought, so we parker her car in a strip mall, she got in the van with me, and we found March & Ash further up the road. As we walked in, it occurred to me that it was probably cash only, but I had some money on me so I wasn't too worried when this was confirmed by the front desk, who scanned our IDs and told us we'd get a 10% discount for being first-timers. 

We enter the immaculate shop, with it's cases and cases of everything. A guy immediately becomes our concierge, so we tell him about our hunt for gummies. He shows us a few but they're not the potency we're looking for; he says 100mg THC is the California limit. (I later found out our previous ones came from Oregon, another story for another time.) 

We're flustered and overwhelmed and my mom is telling the dude all about my dad's conditions...way too much information for anyone's benefit...but she can't stop herself as she rattles off everything she and he go through in a day. Like everything. He repeatedly suggests tinctures while she wants to make sure she can get his veteran discount (even though it was the exact same as our first-timers discount) before she says, "What about drops?" 

"MOM! Those are tinctures. That's what he's been trying to tell us for the last five minutes!"

So we go to the tincture fridge and there's flavored drops and pure THC and pure CBD and then a million varying combos of THC + CBD and some are for sleep and some are for pain and some are for clarity and some are for general wellness and we must've made the guy read us 15 packages before she settled on two. One ran about $110 and the other about $60. Cool, I think I have enough cash to cover that. 

So we get to the counter and the concierge got the Veteran's discount approved even though my dad wasn't present, and even though it was the same as the first-time discount and he rings us up and it's $180.32. We hadn't accounted for the steep State and City taxes.


Now of course, they have ATMs on premises, but my mom and I are the same in that we will NEVER use an out of network ATM. Like, not ever. Her car was parked at her credit union and we could've just left and come back, but instead, we start counting out our money. I had $173 and some change, which I must've nervously recounted at least four times. She found a $1 bill in her bag. And then another $5 bill in her wallet.  

$179. We're sweating. She starts pulling out change, a couple nickels, dimes. I dump my coin purse into my hand. By some miracle, I had a $1 coin, some quarters and others, to pull off the final $3.32 of the transaction. And if I didn't, I think he just wanted us to get out of there. 

We laughed all the way to the van, then I took her to her bank, where the teller must've thought I was elder abusing my mom and making her pull out cash to give to me. "You're not Christy. You're not on this account. Mrs. Bystrak, am I free to discuss your account in front of her?" "Yes, of course, this is my other daughter Rosemary," as she handed the money over to me on the spot. I'm sure I'm now on some watchlist. 

Anyway, my crazy mom can now make my dad sleepy smoothies again, and maybe get some sleep herself every once in awhile. Happy Mother's Day to her and all the mom's who are batshit crazy but we love all the same. 

Nova has a doctor's appointment on Friday, then a piano recital in the afternoon, then I'm working for Yumi Zouma at the Casbah, and the weekend is full of stuff to do and Mother's Day, so have a great weekend and I'll catch up next week. 

COVID is back on the rise. Stay safe out there.  

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