7 Quick Takes: Stoned Cats, Murder Mysteries, and Strange YouTube Finds Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

My current earworm. I was downstairs prepping a bolus for Daniel one evening when this was playing on one of the music channels on TV.

— 2 —

Cats! My parents’ elderly tomcat Jethro had to have his teeth cleaned on Monday, and they decided to remove some lipomas from his sides while he was under anesthesia. Jet did fine, but the incisions on his sides were large enough that he has some decent stitches, so he was the proud recipient of an Elizabethan collar (a.k.a. the cone). Minion had apparently never seen another cat in a cone because he puffed up… which is impressive when you consider that he’s a 15 lb kitty cat. His puffed tail is probably the best part. He also got hissy and started growling, so he was exiled from my parents’ room that night. Meanwhile, Jet was really stoned to the point that he was standing there watching TV. (He then started bumping into walls.)

— 3 —

Alpine, Washington. My literary catnip at the moment is Mary Daheim’s series of murder mysteries involving the fictitious town of Alpine, Washington in the Cascade Mountains. I was first acquainted with them 10 years ago and read them out of order over the last decade. I’m finally buying the e-book versions and putting them on my e-reader, and I am finding that I am enjoying them now that I am reading them in order, especially as I now am acquainted with the location of some of the places. The protagonist is a newspaper editor named Emma Lord, and I find that I can actually picture a lot of the events after living in a bunch of small towns.

— 4 —

Fauci ouchies, round 2. My parents get their second doses of COVID vaccine this weekend. I’m hoping that I hit the top of the list sooner than later. I will also be curious to know if I can get my shot at the local vaccine clinic or if I’ll have to go elsewhere given that I’m at risk for side effects. (I have an egg allergy, so they’ve always made me hang out after getting any vaccines or my flu shot even at my local pharmacy. I’ve also gotten allergy shots, so waiting for 20 minutes afterward is normal for me.)

— 5 —

What’s in a mortician’s purse? Caitlin does a riff on the “what’s in my purse?” thing that people were doing 6-7 years ago. And yes, she’s being sarcastic, especially about the fetal human skull made of white chocolate.

— 6 —

More of “Ask a Mortician”! So what’s the oldest mummy in the world?

— 7 —

Speaking of old things… Benjamin of bald and bankrupt explores an old caravanserai in Armenia.

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

7 Quick Takes: Internet Rabbit Hole Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Fauci spills the tea. Dr. Anthony Fauci did an interview with the New York Times over the past weekend on what it was like to work with Donald Trump, and it explains why a lot of misinformation (especially the fallacy about hydroxychloroquine being effective) was spread.

If you can’t get behind the paywall for the New York Times, the Seattle Times has it here.

— 2 —

Media bias. As we are still in a very polarized country, I wanted to share the media bias chart as it’s helpful in evaluating the media you consume. When I saw it a few years ago, I stopped sharing articles from the Huffington Post because they skew left. When I read an article online that sounds too good to be true, I check it against Reuters, NPR, or the Associated Press as they tend to be closer to bias-free.

— 3 —

Holy Internet rabbit hole, Batman! YouTube recommended this video to me…

Which led to others…

And then to this…

This is a bad site for me to know about!

— 4 —

Richard III reburial documentary. This documentary was last night’s rabbit hole. The music for the service is amazing.

— 5 —

COVID vaccine. A lot of people in my church are getting their “Fauci ouchies” this week and next. My parents will get theirs on Sunday. They are already allowing the tier before mine to start getting their vaccines this week, so I’m hoping to get mine sooner or later.

The side effects I’m hearing about from those who have received theirs is arm pain for 24-36 hours after, and only one person has had fever or chills. (Those went away after 24 hours.) I’m absolutely used to arm pain after flu shots, so I’m not worrying too much. I’m also fine being watched for 20 minutes after my shot because that’s absolutely normal for me anyway. (I have weird allergies and sensitivities.)

— 6 —

Double-masking. I’m seeing people on Twitter complaining about double-masking meaning that masks aren’t effective, and I’m kind of wanting smack people. The reason this is called “novel” coronavirus is because it’s “NEW”. We are learning more and more about it daily, and the new information means that recommendations change from time to time. Also, if we’re being advised to double-mask, doesn’t that underscore the importance of wearing a mask in the first place???

— 7 —

Choir get-together. One of the altos hosted a Zoom meeting for all of us in choir to get a chance to socialize this evening. We can’t have choir practice over Zoom, but it was good to get together and talk to people, especially as one of our members is hospitalized with COVID and we’re all worried about her.

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

7 Quick Takes: Inauguration Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Much better situation on Inauguration Day 2021 than Inauguration Day 2017. I’m not even talking about the person being inaugurated. In 2017, I was dealing with a kid who had a stomach bug that landed him in the E.R. because he couldn’t even keep water in his system. (It’s not like I would have watched the Inauguration that day anyway.)

In 2021, I do still have 10 loads of his laundry to do (not even kidding), but at least he isn’t on an E.R. gurney sobbing because he wants apple juice.

— 2 —

Inauguration thoughts. So much hope. So much class. So much emotion. Stephen Colbert sums up my feelings beautifully:

— 3 —

“The Hill We Climb”. If anyone missed Amanda Gorman’s amazing poem yesterday, here it is again:

— 4 —

Andrew Lloyed Webber vs. sea shanties. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, the genius behind CATS and Phantom of the Opera, decided to do a duet with Nathan Evanss on “Wellerman”. Nathan was quite chuffed.

@officialalw

##duet with @nathanevanss Anyone for Fisherman’s Friend? – Team ALW ##seashanty

? original sound – N A T H A N E V A N S S

— 5 —

Explanation of the mRNA COVID vaccine. One of my favorite YouTubers, Violin M.D., made a wonderful video on how the COVID vaccine works.

— 6 —

Another vaccine take. My parents were able to make appointments to get their first COVID vaccine. They get their shots on the 31st, as Washington will be at Tier 1b starting on January 26th. I am Tier 1d, so I’m thinking my first vaccine appointment won’t be until late March/early April.

— 7 —

Bliss. My precious panther has decided to sleep next to my pillow. I am honored.

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

7 Quick Takes: Sea Shanty Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Duuuuude… “Wellerman” is addictive, and I am greatly amused that sea shanties are giving people joy. They are fun to sing, and it’s definitely not the worst thing we could all be binging now. There’s also an emphasis on harmonies, so yay part singing!

I have definitely gotten into Nathan Evanss on TikTok, and I even downloaded TikTok on my phone so I could listen to his stuff while working on my laptop.

— 2 —

Ummm… wow. My latest YouTube binge is “My 600-lb Life”, and it is rather… shocking. My Coca-Cola habit pales in comparison to people who eat multiple pizzas at a meal!!! Still, you see the really massive pain that drives people to eat compulsively, and I can definitely understand drowning your sorrows in food. Then again, you also see spouses and family members who are enabling the patients for some unhealthy reasons, and you want to shake some of them and ask them how they could be so stupid or selfish.

— 3 —

Another sea shanty take. I had no idea that “Awesome God” works for harmony with “Wellerman”. Like, seriously, mind blown!

— 4 —

Jim Jordan. I’m repulsed that House member Jim Jordan got the Presidential Medal of Freedom after Bill Belicheck declined it. (Not quite as repulsed as I was at Rush Limbaugh receiving it, but close.) Jordan hasn’t done anything noteworthy other than covering up Richard Strauss’s sexual abuse of wrestlers at Ohio State and being Trump’s yes man. His House district is the dictionary definition of “gerrymandered” too.

Ugh.

— 5 —

Work take. My boss added another student to my tutoring load today, so I have officially maxed the numbers I can work during the week. 6 hours of it is drop-in tutoring, and the other 9 hours is split between a few different students.

— 6 —

Yet another shanty take. I love Nathan Evanss’s cover of “Bully in the Alley” but this one led by John Bromley of the Kimber Men is also pretty lovely and very addicting. The chorus works well for group singing.

— 7 —

Pizza for troops at the Capitol. There’s a pizza place in DC called We The Pizza that will let you donate toward feeding the National Guard troops at the Capitol. Order here, select “Curbside”, choose the donation option under “Pies” and put a note in your order about it being for the National Guard troops.

This Twitter thread, by the way, makes me simultaneously proud of all those “kids” (young soldiers) guarding the Capitol and sad that they have to be there in the first place.

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

7 Quick Takes: Schadenfreude, Politics, and Fun Read-Alouds Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Schadenfreude. One of my Facebook friends posted this, and I felt like it described how a lot of us are feeling right now. We’ve had to deal with months of quarantining ourselves to protect our families, wearing masks to protect ourselves and others, and doing what we were told only to be called sheep, have people mock us, and have to watch people having screaming hissy fits about their “rights” (which are not actually rights enshrined in the Constitution) at Costco. Then, we’re told to “have compassion” when we point out (politely, of course) that actions have consequences.

Yeah, we’re not the ones with the compassion problem, y’all.

Schadenfreude is a bitch.

— 2 —

Mocking Trump. I had a migraine on Friday, so I didn’t get on Facebook that night. When I did finally look at it, it seemed like all my super conservative friends were complaining about people rejoicing over Trump testing positive for COVID. OK… I scrolled through Facebook for an hour and a half and saw a grand total of THREE memes even having to do with Trump and COVID. Only one person on my Facebook is celebrating this at all, and the vast majority are talking about how weird this feels because they’ve been bullied by Trump and his more vocal followers about taking steps to protect themselves, and then they’re told to be nice when Trump, Melania, multiple senators, and multiple high-profile White House staff test positive.

Y’all, this is what I saw:

[+] Joe Biden pulling his attack ads the second Trump’s positive test was announced, expressing healing wishes for him and Melania, and forbidding his staff to post on social media about Trump’s illness… right after Trump’s campaign sent out some pretty foul statements about him, which people screenshotted.. (Biden’s actions are what we call “leadership”.)

[+] Barack Obama expressing his desire for healing for Trump, Melania, and all who were sick.

[+] Faith leaders of mainline (translation: “liberal”) Christian denominations instructing their followers to pray for Trump and Melania on Sunday regardless of our political stance because it’s what Christians do. (Michael Curry, my fabulous Presiding Bishop, was among them.)

[+] Conspiracy theories in the comments sections on the Facebook walls of my super conservative friends about how this was a plot to get Amy Coney Barrett, Trump, and others sick at the ceremony for her so that she can’t be confirmed. Never mind the fact that Amy has already had it, and the people who got sick were the ones not wearing masks. (Honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.)

I’m sure there were people being vitriolic on Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t keep people like that around me.

— 3 —

Vice-presidential debate. I didn’t watch the debate–I loathe Mike Pence, and Kamala Harris was my attorney general in California for five years. She’s probably a bit more liberal than I am, but she knows her stuff and would be an excellent vice-president.

Having said that, I understand from my friends on Facebook and Twitter that the winner of the debate last night was the fly that landed on Mike Pence’s head while he was mansplaining racial relations to Harris (who happens to be of Jamaican and Indian descent).

— 4 —

Virtual debate. Even if I didn’t support Joe Biden, I would be in full agreement with his decision not to take part in an in-person debate until Trump’s COVID-19 is gone. I mean, it’s common sense that you don’t share a stage with someone who has a disease that is incredibly communicable.

I’m also pretty aghast at Trump’s joyride this weekend that put his Secret Service detail at risk as well as the doctors at Walter Reed letting him out. I’m seriously prone to bronchitis and pneumonia, so I can tell you that even with steroids, he’s not feeling that great. He’s probably having coughing spasms hard enough to make him vomit, and he’s at risk for complications due to age and obesity.

— 5 —

Remote learning update. Our local school district is allowing a few new groups of students to be in-person at school, but we’re still keeping my kiddo home. School has been pretty boring this week as we’ve been keeping a pretty consistent schedule, so nothing new to report there.

— 6 —

Bobcats! The Wildcat Sanctuary is rescuing two bobcats from a rehabber in California, so their media person and a caretaker are currently on the way back to Minnesota with them. They’re live-posting at various intervals on the drive back to Minnesota, and it has been interesting to see their route as I’ve driven a lot of that route before. (The difference is that they’re taking I-70 instead of I-80, which is the route Jon and I took 16 years ago.)

— 7 —

Fun read-aloud video. Nope. Totally not dancing along to the music. Never. I also love that Pete is a cat walking along with Chucks on all four paws!

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

7 Quick Takes: Politics, Tigers, and Gordon Lightfoot Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Amy Coney Barrett. I oppose having confirmation hearings for Judge Barrett before the election takes place. If Mitch McConnell refused to allow hearings for Merrick Garland 8-9 months before the 2016 election, it is hypocritical as heck to try and shoehorn this into the 6 weeks before the election this year.

I oppose her nomination for several reasons. She has been a judge for less than three years (she was elevated by Trump in 2017), and I disagree with her record regarding the Affordable Care Act among other decisions.

You see what I wrote above? THAT is how you disagree faithfully. No name-calling involved and any criticism was focused on people’s ACTIONS and their record instead of their personal life.

— 2 —

The debate on Monday. I’ve known who I would be voting for since the day after the 2016 election, so I skipped the debate on Monday. According to people I know who watched it, it was brutal, and Chuck Wallace did a horrible job of keeping order. The most interesting commentary came from some of my stalwart Republican friends on Facebook… who had nothing good to say about Trump’s performance and are thinking of voting for Biden.

I’m currently reading the fact-check on the debate from the New York Times (which doesn’t go easy on either candidate) and it is convincing me that I’m better off not watching next Wednesday’s debate, given how much of a dumpster fire this one was!

**UPDATE** Trump and Melania have tested positive for COVID, so I don’t think there will be a debate on Wednesday unless it can be done over Zoom or something.

— 3 —

Tiger-Thon! The Wildcat Sanctuary (my favorite charity) is having a Tiger-Thon to raise money for the care of their cats. For the last week, they’ve had a triple match for their fundraising, and it all culminated today with lots of live Facebook posts with all of their tigers. The videos are here in case you have any kids who have a deep and abiding need to watch tiger videos. 🙂 (I recommend checking out Daisy, a.k.a. Crazy Daisy.)

— 4 —

An educational opportunity. Daniel had an ADHD appointment of yesterday, and we opted to do it in person in case they could do his flu shot while we were there. (They don’t have their supply in yet, so we’re on a waiting list.) Our medical system in town is a site for medical school rotations at an osteopathix medical school in Yakima, so Daniel’s pediatrician asked if I’d be OK with her student sitting in. My answer is always “yes!” so we had a sweet young lady hanging out with us. My little flirt kept his mask on without a problem from the time we were about to walk in the building until we were back in the car, and he also sat down calmly and looked at his pediatrician sweetly to let her know he was ready for her to check him over. (We have her take a listen to him and also check ears, mouth, and tummy whenever we’re there for ADHD appointments because Daniel can’t articulate pain.)

Other than Daniel being extra cute and happy to see his pediatrician, I had the blessing of being able to educate the medical student on Daniel’s g-tube and how that works in terms of getting the formula for it, what the process was like to get it, how Daniel does with it, how we change it out, and also what Daniel’s genetic issues are that contribute. I think the student had just taken her boards this summer, so it was kind of cool for her to actually see a few conditions that are not super common.

— 5 —

Remote learning update. We’re still chugging along with Zoom school. Daniel’s paraprofessional is using songs from Laurie Berkner to keep him engaged, so I now have We Are the Dinosaurs, Drive My Car, and her version of The Cat Came Back stuck in my head. (That last one is wonderful because we do school downstairs where my dad watches TV… and my dad hates that song with a passion. :))

— 6 —

The bishop’s visit. Despite Zoom cutting out recording and Facebook being pissy about streaming, worship on Sunday with the bishop went well. There were maybe 30 people total in the sanctuary between everyone at the altar, the families of those being baptized/comfirmed/received, and we managed to broadcast the special music in the sanctuary as well as on Zoom. The bishop even joined us for coffee hour, which was cool because we were able to have actual conversations with him.

— 7 —

Because Gordon Lightfoot! I grew up listening to Gordon Lightfoot and my mom recently found a documentary on him on YouTube. As a result, a lot of his less known (to me) songs have been playing in her room lately, and this is one that I am now addicted to.

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

7 Quick Takes: Morning Tube Feed Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’ve been really busy this week, so I’m grabbing some time this morning while Daniel has his hour-long tube feed this morning before Zoom school There may or may not be Amazon affiliate links because that’s how I roll.

— 1 —

Remote learning update #1. Let me just say that I wish with every fiber of my being that Daniel could go to school and be in a normal classroom environment because that is where he thrives. I wish that coronavirus wasn’t a death sentence for everyone in this house, and I envy all of you who live in a place where COVID is either not deadly, doesn’t exist, or where you can be willfully in denial of its existence. In-person school is an option for Daniel if we want it due to his special needs, but we’ve had cases of COVID spreading in schools in Washington, so we’re having to keep him quarantined. Kiddo is sensory-seeking at the moment, which means he wants to hit me and will make the effort to reach over and do it while working. (Autism is an [expletive] joy.) He’s also in a fake sneezing/coughing and spitting phase at the moment, so I don’t want to be within 10 feet of him, given that I landed in the hospital with pneumonia and sepsis last year from him fake sneezing on me. (Fake sneezing or coughing releases droplets and causes me to douse myself in Germ-X because my isolation room was pretty sucky.) It was so bad yesterday that his paraprofessional told me to move away out of his reach and just let him do what he needed to do. She blessedly sang silly songs and read a story to him so I could get out of arms reach and try to hold myself together so I wouldn’t cry.

Let’s just say that anyone who tells me how wonderful homeschooling is or attempts to tell me how to “fix” things will be dealt with harshly, especially if it’s coming from a parent who has neurotypical kids. My kid is not like yours, and you have no freaking clue what you are talking about. (Comments about an autism/ MMR vaccine link will get you banned because we believe in actual *SCIENCE* on this blog, and we don’t support idiots like Andrew Wakefield or Bob Sears who falsify results or commit gross malfeasance resulting in their medical licenses being pulled.)

— 2 —

Really? I got a survey from the “Trump Make America Great Campaign” yesterday. (I’d like to extend both of my middle fingers to whoever put me on that mailing list. Most people aren’t heinous enough to put someone’s name and address on a political mailing list like that.)

Fear not, y’all! I filled out the survey and gave him lots of “constructive criticism” and suggestions for improvement before letting him and his campaign know that I was making a nice donation to Joe Biden in their honor. I even decorated the envelope! (I usually just recycle the mailings like this that I get from the Democratic campaigns because I get them in email form as well… which I delete because I write enough letters to my Congresscritters.) I even repurposed Trump’s fundraising letter and the outer envelope as charcoal starter. 😀

Envelope 1

Envelope 2

Moral of the story: don’t send me junk mail on a day that is making me want to take up cobra-kissing.

— 3 —

Virtual choir. Our bishop is making an Episcopal visit to us on September 27th for baptisms, confirmations, and stuff like that. We’re putting together a virtual choir video of the anthem below, and I got my video portion of it done last night… after 20 takes because I’m unnerved about singing acapella by myself and I’m a severe perfectionist.

— 4 —

Mammogram. I hit the big 4-0 in May and I’m on birth control pills to help with my menopause, so I had to get my first mammogram this year. (I was going to go on my birthday, but COVID happened.) I’ve had people tell me how horrifically painful they are, so I was a little nervous before they started. Yeah, it was seriously a 1 or 2 on the 1-10 pain scale. (I realize that everyone has a different body and a different pain threshold.) My chest was a little tender afterward, but it was *NOTHING* compared to the pain of a pelvic exam/pap smear/pelvic ultrasound for me. (Those are easily a 7 out of 10 for me for reasons I’d prefer not to share for me, and I am incredibly thankful to be done with them permanently.)

Y’all, do your preventative screenings, even if it’s painful. I still did my well-woman exam at all the appropriate intervals, even though it was excruciating. It beats having cancer for sure!

— 5 —

Remote learning update #2. The little monster came up to me when his feed was done and said “school”. That’s progress, I guess?

— 6 —

Smoke. We’re getting smoke from all the fires in the Pacific Northwest. It’s not as bad today as it has been, but I’m not allowed to be outside for more than a few minutes without a respirator. I did a porch visit with family members on Saturday, and I won a few days of breathing treatments because I’m special like that. Woo. We’re supposed to get some thunderstorms today, and I’m hoping that the lightning doesn’t spark any fires.

— 7 —

Argh. I’m on the phone with Social Security currently (a necessary evil), and I have a dentist appointment today where they’ll likely be removing a tooth. Gotta love inhaler and ice-chewing damage!

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