Catching Up: August 7, 2022 Edition

It’s 12:39 a.m. on August 7th, and I have very little to tell you about my life because I’m eating, drinking, working with students, watching too much YouTube, and not sleeping near enough. All the student stuff is kinda sorta protected by FERPA (and I’m not feeling like getting into the Come to Jesus conversations I’m having to have with a few of them), so here is the stuff I’ve been watching for the last week or so on YouTube. There’s A LOT of them, so I’m putting a cut in this post. Click on “Continue reading” to see the whole shebang. (And yes, I have a weird YouTube algorithm.)

Continue reading

Catching Up: July 29, 2022 Edition


[+] This week, I discovered Steel Magnificat, the blog of Mary Pezzulo. I had seen friends link up stories from her blog before, but I wish I had taken the time to read her blog before now. She is an amazing writer and an even more incredible person.

[+] We’re having a church picnic at a member’s farm on the 7th, and I spent this week arranging to *NOT* have to figure out how to put worship online that Sunday. I’ve been out there before and the part of the farm we’ll be at is kinda primitive. I would probably have to record worship and upload it later… and I don’t have the space on my phone to record a 90-minute service. Broadcasting it off of my laptop would require really dedicated Internet access, and I really don’t think they have it in that part of the property. Also… I haven’t had a service off from running things and doing Zoom (we’re talking Sundays, Holy Week, and funerals) since April 25, 2021. I think I (and everyone else on the committee who switches around from Sunday to Sunday) can use a Sunday off.

[+] Daniel had an ADHD appointment scheduled for Wednesday morning at 8. My alarm didn’t go off and Daniel woke me up at 8:22. I called them apologetically and rescheduled it. They were cold to me on the phone, and I don’t blame them one bit because I know how much of a headache it is from working in a clinic when people are no-shows.

[+] One of my new guilty pleasures is Code Blue Cam. It is videos from police body cams, and it’s interesting to see the job from that perspective. I am not an ACAB person by any stretch (as I have relatives in law enforcement), and I am absolutely in favor of police having body cams that are not allowed to be turned off. (A lot of jurisdictions have civil and criminal penalties for officers who do so.) The department that seems to have the majority of videos right now is the La Crosse Police Department, and one fo the things that surprised me is that they have to put their guns in a lockbox when they head into the station.

Catching Up: June 10, 2022 Edition

Last week, I was a little too scattered to post, so I guess we’ll resume tonight.

[+] I’m done with one-on-one tutoring until the summer unless one of my students needs to reschedule with me. I have two drop-in shifts next week, and then I will be done until July. As much as I love my students, I’m pretty burned out. I’ve been sick almost all quarter, and I’ve had some harder students.

[+] I’m really loving the Discworld series by Sir Terry Pratchett. I’m on Wyrd Sisters (the 6th one), and it is a Macbeth paraphrase. Reading them reminds me of a dear friend from college.

[+] I’m kind of seriously addicted to Snake Discovery videos on YouTube. I think my favorite video of theirs is when they fed rodents named after people’s exes to their reptiles.

Catching Up: May 20, 2022 Edition

Let’s go!

[+] For those who want to know about life in Russia these days, Youtuber Eli from Russia has posted a bit. YouTube will give you other suggestions based on her.

[+] I finished Legends & Lattes on Monday and the book ended up growing on me. I started Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, and I finished the first book as well on Monday. It should be interesting to see how the series shapes up.

[+] WIth the USA hitting the milestone of 1 million COVID deaths, the New York Times asked for people to submit last texts from their loved ones who died. The results are here.

[+] The formula shortage is unnerving to those of us who couldn’t breastfeed. I was simply too sick. They were concerned about the toll the PTSD and PPD took on my recovery from the HELLP Syndrome, and the lack of sleep from having to wake up to pump was messing with me pretty badly. My kid survived on Neosure for 9 months and then Similac Advance. He went into failure to thrive when an idiot WIC nutritionist made me take him off of formula. He ended up on medical grade Pediasure when we moved up to northern California.

The other issue? Women that couldn’t breastfeed are catching fire from people who don’t quite get that there are legitimate reasons not to and that our bodies don’t just spontaneously start lactating on demand.

[+] My 42nd birthday was yesterday. My twin brother was up for some hangout time (and also 24 hours free of parenting and potty-training), so that was cool. The coughing spasm that night that caused me to lose my entire dinner on my bed was NOT cool. Thankfully, I do have spare sheets, so I got my bed remade after showering. (It took a few tries to get the smell of the puke out of my sheets today though)

Catching Up: May 6, 2022 Edition

So here we are again after less than a week. Woo.

[+] I’m still having coughing spasms and asthma issues. It worsened after I had to clean out the exhaust fan in my bathroom. Great of me to have a dust allergy. My lungs are hopefully done yelling with me over that one…

[+] Bed, Bath and Beyond is also low on items, and I’m hearing whispers of bankruptcy. It’s too bad because I could see myself going there for a lot of stuff if I ever have the opportunity to move out of my parents’ house. (What was supposed to be temporary has now stretched to 6 1/2 years.)

[+] Speaking of such things, the secret to making a multiple generation household work is treating the adults like adults and each one doing their share. My parents own the house, but my mom and I have the same brain, which makes running the household easier. I’m having a lot of G-I issues, so food is not fun for me, and I’m having to cook or deal with my own food. It means that I’m not eating the same thing as my parents (or eating at the same time these days), and I have the right to make that call. If we have company and I can’t eat whatever my parents are making, I’ve earned the right not to eat it at age 41… but my parents are also not making me something else. It’s not a huge deal because I plan for those meals with things I can eat.

[+] I saw something a few months ago on the subject of trans athletes. It was an article in which Lia Thomas and her current times were compared to her pre-transition times. She has gotten slower since transitioning, and it was interesting to see how she (yes, SHE) compared to the top times for each gender. The conclusion was that the reason she was at the top time-wise (good, but not Katie Ledecky good) is that she was a top swimmer pre-transition competing with the guys. It has been interesting to see that trans women athletes are not infinitely better post-transition across other sports (I’ve looked), which kinda defeats the argument that they transition in order to beat all the women when they compete.

[+} Also… PRONOUNS MATTER. There was a fire fight on my Facebook last year on the subject, and it was exhausting. Here’s the thing: using ‘they/them” is not a huge freaking deal if it means that my students or coworkers feel respected. There are a lot of gender-related chromosome things that don’t manifest in visible ways, and it’s none of my business to ask, so I just honor people’s requests regarding their pronouns. Mine are in my work email signature, and I can promise that I haven’t been hit by lightning yet. Calling people by their preferred pronouns sends the message that I see them and I care enough to listen.

[+] This video cracked me up…

7 Quick Takes: Late August Miscellanea Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Holy buckets! Clarissa Ward spoke with Brian Stelter of CNN about getting out of Afghanistan. It’s… intense.

— 2 —

The sound of COVID. Not gonna lie. This video unnerved me because I’ve lived in a PICU with Daniel for days and spent time in the NICU. Those alarms start going off when bad things are happening. I remember being in the ER with pneumonia and sepsis two years ago, and a low oxygen alarm went off for someone (I think a baby or young child) a few bays down. My mom saw the look on my face (which I had think had even lost the small amount of color it had), and she had to convince me that Daniel was home asleep with my dad because I was about to have another panic attack from my brain going to all the times that those alarms had sounded for Daniel.

Y’all, stop putting doctors and nurses through this foolishness. GET YOURSELF VACCINATED.


Alarm fatigue is high these days. ##icu ##icurn ##criticalcare ##rn ##nurse ##covid ##covid19 ##vaccinessavelives

? original sound – Sugi ?

— 3 —

Thankful for my Snuggie. My parents are having a new roof put on the house, so I’ve had to be up and dressed earlier than usual. For some odd reason, I’m having a really hard time staying warm, so I have been really appreciating the Snuggie I got for myself a few years ago after my former mother-in-law gave my old one to Goodwill.

I’ve also learned that I can nap through anything if I’m tired enough because I’ve had people outside my (second floor) window and on the roof above me pounding, and I’ve slept through it.

— 4 —

Changing my perspective. I saw this story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and I’m having to confront my feelings on the subject.

Basically, there are a bunch of bells along a route called the “El Camino Real” that stretches from northern California down to San Diego. Franciscan missions were built along that route in the 18th century, and it was a big freaking deal to learn about them in 4th grade, build one, and visit one. History is a passion of mine, so having a piece of history removed is kind of painful.

However, the indigenous people in California had their culture, language, and land removed when the Spanish Franciscans and settlers arrived. They forced them to build the missions under the guise of Christianizing them. Probably 1/3 of the people died during that time, and seeing those bells is like making a black person look at statues of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate heroes while being told of how glorious the antebellum South was.

As someone who cheered when the Confederate statues came down in town squares and were removed from government buildings (including the U.S. Capitol), I need to remember that the history of the missions is just as problematic. The bells can go. The mission buildings are still there (many of them still are used as churches and chapels), and there are amazing things called “books” that tell their various histories.

This isn’t me trying to appear “woke”. This is me being honest about something that has been on my mind today.

— 5 —

Oops! I was going through this site to see how I had classified my current blog header, and I saw that I was still listing my age as 39 and Daniel’s age as 12. Oops! I’m now 41 years old, and Daniel turned 12 in April. I think I’ll go audit the rest of my pages when I finish these takes…

— 6 —

Vaccine discernment from a fellow blogger. I want to call out Bonnie Engstrom and thank her for being very transparent about the discernment she has gone through on the subject of getting her COVID vaccination. The series from her Instagram stories from a few days ago isn’t archived yet, but she was asking about who people trust regarding media sources and politicians because it’s really super hard to figure these things out if you don’t have a science background. (Science also evolves over time, so information and recommendations for safety precautions have changed as we have learned more about the virus and its variants.)

Throw some prayers her way because her kids have hand, foot, and mouth disease and their air-conditioning isn’t working. It was 100+ F where she lives a few days ago, and it was 92F in the house. 🙁

— 7 —

Some updates on a previous post. I blogged about dealing with mask and vaccine mandates on campus a few weeks ago, and I wanted to let you know where things stand.

We found out two weeks ago that there would indeed be a mask and vaccine mandate on campus, and both staff and students would have to sign attestations about being vaccinated before the first day of Fall Quarter on September 20th. Last week, Washington’s governor (Jay Inslee) announced that all health workers and pretty much every person working in education in the state of Washington are required to be vaccinated and submit proof of it to their employers by October 18th. (Not an attestation. ACTUAL PROOF. There are exemptions for medical and religious reasons, but no philosophical ones.) There is also an indoor mask requirement for the entire state again that went into effect on Monday.

I am positively *GIDDY* and am waiting to find out how to submit my proof of vaccination so that I can get that out of the way. I’m thankful to have a governor who cares about the safety of the people in his state, and I’m thankful to work for a college that takes all of this seriously.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Hot! Hot! Hot! Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Hot! Hot! Hot! We are looking at temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s up here this weekend… and possibly triple digits! We get some days in the summer that are in the 80’s this year, but it is really rare for us to get into the 90’s. I’m not even sure if we’ve had triple digits in my part of Washington while I’ve lived here! The county is setting up cooling stations for those who don’t have A/C this weekend.

We were talking about the weather last weekend during the call with my brother’s family, and his father-in-law (who is up visiting from Arizona) snarked that it will be mildly warm. It was a 108F when he left Arizona. (Yeah… that’s why I don’t live down there.)

— 2 —

COVID deaths now mostly among unvaccinated. I saw this story on Facebook, and I’m sharing it because the Associated Press tends to be one of the most middle-of-the-road and unbiased media sources. I also looked to see if there was anything from the CDC or National Institutes of Health (a.k.a. REPUTABLE sources for medical information) on vaccine efficacy for those who have already had it, and they are saying that it looks like only one dose of the two-dose series is needed to achieve immunity comparable to those who got the series but did not have COVID.

Get vaccinated, y’all.

— 3 —

Daniel and COVID shot #2. Kiddo got his second vaccine on the 18th and did very well again. Skagit Regional Health’s Vaccine Clinic was really focused on making this a positive situation, and we had a shot giver who was touching everything to Daniel before putting it on the site. I thought she was going too slowly because he was anticipating it, but it worked out well. He has one week to go before he can start doing errands with me (wearing a mask of course).

— 4 —

Phone games redux. Since my post on them last week, I removed Klondike Adventures from my phone and finished all the puzzles on Cross Logic. I’ve since gotten into a new game called Einstein’s Riddle Puzzle, which is the logic games on steroids. I kind of wish it had the format of the boxes like Cross Logic does (so you can figure out the main parts of it), but it has kept my attention.

— 5 —

The Far Side. If you are a fan of Gary Larson’s comic, The Far Side, there is a Facebook community for you! It’s a highlight of my day to find all of my favorites on there.

— 6 —

Volcanic eruption videos. Given that I was born the day after Mt. St. Helens erupted, it isn’t surprising that I have a fascination with them. I came across this video a few nights ago, and it’s fabulous. My favorite part is when you can actually see the shockwave from the first eruption propagating in the clouds.

— 7 —

Supervolcanoes. My family jokes that the Discovery Channel has documentaries for the purpose of scaring the public. Stuff on Yellowstone’s supervolcano falls into that category. It’s the first one mentioned in this video.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.