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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Just another day

Trump continues to fail upwardly. People continue to die. I know I should be more concerned but it's hard to accept the reality.

Today my sister took me to a doctor appointment. Then we went to the pet store to get cat food (and looked at the little Roborovski dwarf hamster that was living there. So cute!) ...

Then we went to one grocery store looking for paper products - no luck. Then we went to Whole Foods - none there either. Then we went to another grocery store - still no toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex. I guess we'll have to try really early in the morning again.

Just another day, aside from the looming apocalypse. I feel worried and guilty all the time we're out and about, but how else can we get food and necessities, go to the doc, pick up prescriptions, mail stuff, etc.?

Monday, March 30, 2020

Trump & the virus

Today on Morning Joe they were almost worshipful towards Trump because he extended the social distancing until the end of April (instead of demanding full churches on Easter). They also mentioned how Trump's approval ratings are going up.

This baffles me. Just because Trump has made one sensible decision (doubtless for his own political survival) does not change that he has done a terrible job of dealing with the virus. In his recent press briefings he has accused state governors of lying about how many ventilators they need, has accused health care workers of hoarding (or worse) personal protective equipment, and has lied about virtually everything important, from the availability of testing to his own negligent response to the virus.

Trump has been a horrible president. If we think he is suddenly going to mutate into a responsible, caring, honest, dependable leader, we'd better think again.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

In the yard

There was a break in the weekend rain so I was out with the cats.

Here are some toadstools ...

Hansel among the dandelions ...

Gretel looks anxious - I think she's wondering where Timmy the Terrible is ...

Mouse taking a break ...

The mini-forest. It's where my stepfather planted plum and apricot trees long ago, but now it's gone wild ...

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Throwback Thursday

Me and the college boyfriend. That's my mom and sister (upper R) and his mom and brother (upper L), his roommate on the far R, and his dog, Frodo :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Bill Gates

From yesterday, an interview with Bill Gates on how we should respond to the present viral pandemic ...

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Money over people

Nothing so illustrates the core values of Trump and the Republicans as their recent argument that the economic problems caused by working against the coronavirus are more awful than all the physical/emotional suffering and death that will ensue if nothing is done. To put their theory simply: money is more important than (other) people.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: ‘Lots of Grandparents’ Willing to Die to Save Economy for Grandchildren

Really? The same people who won't do sh*t to save the effing planet itself for their grandchildren would give up their lives to save their grandchildren's bank accounts? What a pile of poop. This is all about wealthy conservatives throwing others to the wolves in order to keep all their own wealth intact.

In the news

Watching the news is pretty depressing and scary.

Trump is still giving his rambling lie-infested virus briefings. I think he misses his rallies. Today, Dr. Fauci was notably missing from that briefing. Trump told us that in a few days everything will go back to normal and we can stop this peaky social distancing. And behind this he and other right-wingers are pushing the idea that the economy is much more important than the lives (and deaths) or individual Americans ...

And just so we can keep in mind that real people are getting very sick and sometimes dying, here is Senator Amy Klobuchar describing what's happening with her hospitalized husband ...

Saturday, March 21, 2020

In search of

Today I finally found toilet paper, but it wasn't easy.

My sister and I got up early to get in line at Raley's grocery store at 6 am. Sadly, they didn't have any of the stuff we were looking for - toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, rubbing alcohol. So next we went to Bel Air market - nothing there either. Then we went to Safeway. There we found some paper towells and some rubbing alcohol. Next we went to another Raley's and there found some kleenex boxes. Finally we went to Whole Foods. They had set aside an hour ... 8 am to 9 am ... for people over 60 to shop first before the store officially opened. We were a bit early so got to be near the front of what became a very long line. And they had toilet paper! We were able to get two items each, so mission accomplished.

The virus outbreak is getting worse and will get even more worse. Governor Newsome said we will make it through because we will come together and help each other. I've got to say that I don't see a whole lot of evidence of people selflessly helping others. I see scavengers buying way more than they need, sometimes selling that at a profit (just look on Amazon), and making little old ladies get up a 5 am to scour the town for something as basic as toilet paper.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Blood money

Republican senators on the intelligence committee, Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler (whose husband owns the New York Stock Exchange), with secret information from an early coronavirus briefing, sold millions of dollars in stocks before the market tanked (Loeffler also buying stock that would be profitable during the outbreak). Instead of warning the public, they chose to prosper on from suffering of others.


Mental health break from the San Diego Zoo ...

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Grocery store

Today we went grocery shopping and it was surreal. The shelves were completely devoid of toilet paper, tissues, napkins, and paper towels. This was true of the two other grocery stores we went to and the two drug stores as well. The stores were also low on Advil, which I take for arthritis, and rubbing alcohol is nonexistant. Some people are buying a lot because they are worried about shortages, but I think others are buying to sell at a higher price. World War Z, here we come :(

Friday, March 13, 2020

I'm ok

Sorry about that last post. I was in the pit of despair. But today i had an appointment with the doctor and he made me feel a lot better. He said these are early days and the scars will change a lot, but that anyway, I had cancer and this is what it took to get rid of it, and that's nothing to be ashamed of. So now I only have to worry about running out of toilet paper before the end of the coronavirus apocalypse.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

I don't believe

I finally looked under my bandage and what I saw was way worse than I had expected. I was just thinking about my life - how if anyone had told me when I was young and hopeful that I would never find true love, that this person who wanted to be an artist would be diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease, that I would end up poor, that I would have a host of health issues, that I would still be living in my mom's rotting house, caring for 16 stray cats - I would have just wanted to die.

That's not to say I don't have good things in my life, and of course things could always be worse, but this is probably my biggest challenge to believing in God. Jesus says ...

Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:11-13)

I just can't believe anymore that there's a God who cares about me like a good parent would.

Bernie speaks

Bernie addresses the the present state of his campaign. I've heard a lot of moderate pundits opine that he should drop out. That is quitter talk ....

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

In the yard

Out in the yard today.. There's a big bird nest in one of the oak trees ...

Here is Prince Wendell, trying to nap on a dead tree ...

And here is Hansel playing around :) ...

Monday, March 09, 2020

RIP: von Sydow

In the news - Max von Sydow, star of films from 'The Seventh Seal' to 'The Exorcist,' dead at 90

The first film I saw with Max von Sydow was the Ingmar Bergman movie The Seventh Seal when I was in college. It seems a really appropriate film for these times, as it was about the medieval scourge of the Black Death (the plague).

In the film, von Sydow plays a knight returning from the Crusades to his home in Denmark, only to find the plague having taken hold there. He comes upon Death and plays a continuing game of chess with him throughout the movie. The knight tries in many different ways to understand why the plague and its attendant suffering is being visited by God on the world, but he has no luck.

That movie asks the question that has bothered me my whole religious life - why does God let terrible things happen to us? I've not ever found a convincing answer to that question. As the fallout from COVID-19 gets worse in the US, it's a question that continues to dog me.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

The operation

Last Monday I had Mohs surgery at the dermatology clinic to remove my skin cancer. They bandaged me up and sent me home and then the next day I went to the hospital to have the more rigorous reconstructive surgery to fix the hole the earlier procedure left. Now I have a big bandage on one side of my face and under it is a bunch of stitches which are supposed to come out in a week. It doesn't hurt much, but it's stiff and swollen. It's daunting how such a small area of badness can turn into such a larger area of scaring. The doc says it will be about a year before the scar is fully healed. I'm trying to be philosophical about it, but it's a challenge.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

On Rachel Maddow

Bernie was on Rachel Maddow's show last night. I'm glad she gave his some air time. I feel Bernie has been miscast by the other candidates as some kind of communist threat to Democracy. The truth is that he stands for the the poor - he is the only candidate to even mention the homeless - and for marginalized groups. I would think Christians would remember that their religion began as a "commie" organization that shared their resources and tried to help the poor.

Here's a bit of the interview from her show ...