7 Quick Takes: COVID-Related Stuff Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Illiterate adults deserve respect. I really recommend watching this. I deal with adults who fall below the functional literacy level a lot in my work, and there is a lot of stigma attached to not being able to read or write well.

— 2 —

Dolly Parton’s COVID vaccine. Not only did she help fund research toward a COVID vaccine, but she even got hers on camera and repurposed one of her songs to encourage people to get the COVID vaccine.

— 3 —

Greg Abbott fustercluck. It’s actually kind of amusing when *ALL* the Texans I know (who span the spectrum politically, several of whom have had COVID) agree that Greg Abbott is a special kind of stupid and announce that they are going to keep masking up and socially distancing. Why? Because they understand that there are some things you do to protect OTHERS because the world does not revolve around them.

I’ve also seen this picture more than a few times in my Facebook feed.

Greg Abbott is stupid.

Also, the last time I checked, a virus doesn’t give a rat’s butt if it inconveniences you… because having to wear a mask and socially distance is really just an inconvenience to most people.

Selfish people hate masks.

— 4 —

Yeah, that’s still a “no”. I just got the news that my local school district is bringing middle schoolers back in a hybrid learning model starting April 19th. Given that we’re an immunocompromised family, that’s not going to be a reality for Daniel because I need to have both doses of my COVID vaccine before we even think about letting him out in public because he touches everything and touches his face. (In other words, he’s a COVID vector.) He also likes to cough, sneeze, fake-cough, and fake-sneeze without covering his mouth. And yes, we’ve been trying to impress on him for two years (since he gave me a pissy little children’s cold virus that went from zero to pneumonia with sepsis in three days by fake-sneezing on me) that he needs to COVER HIS DAMN MOUTH. He thinks it’s hysterically funny and doesn’t care. (Parenting an autistic kid sucks at times as they don’t listen to reason or logic… or really anything else.)

Believe me, I hate remote learning and doing school with him at home, and he hates it too. (I can’t think of anyone in my real life or on Facebook who is doing school on Zoom or at home for COVID reasons who wants to continue it after this year. It is not a viable option for most of us, especially for those of us who have to work to support our families.) However, we aren’t among the idiots who believe that COVID is “just a cold” or “just flu”, so we’re doing what we need to do to protect ourselves and our families. It’s a sure thing that if I get COVID, I *WILL* end up on a ventilator because that’s how my body works. (And yes, I don’t leave the house unless absolutely necessary and I have been masking up when I go anywhere since last March.)

— 5 —

Just a head’s up… COVID-19 has killed 518,000 people in the USA as of yesterday. Below is a chart showing the number of people who die from the flu yearly.

Infographic: How Many Americans Die From The Flu Each Year? | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Yeah… this isn’t just “the flu”.

— 6 —

Fauci ouchie update. My parents got their second COVID vaccine shots on Sunday. They reported feeling fatigued on Monday, but things were normal for them by Tuesday. Of the 100+ people I know who have had both shots, maybe 5% have reported any negative side effects from dose #2, which is the one where you’re going to have a bad reaction. Nobody has had an anaphylactic reaction, and the people at risk of having one have had to get theirs at a special clinic.

— 7 —

Trump inauguration today. So, how did everyone enjoy the Trump coronation inauguration today?

Wait… it didn’t happen???

Oh… it has been moved to March 20th?

So, is that the day that Donald Trump and President Biden are going to switch their faces back???

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

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: TED Talk Edition

7 Quick Takes

While I was editing my parish’s devotional book and trying not to play Taonga, I listened to a lot of TEDx talks as I needed some background noise. Here are some of the ones I enjoyed.

— 1 —

Caitlin Doughty. Caitlin is the person behind the “Ask a Mortician” YouTube channel. I decided to check out her channel more thoroughly after watching this talk.

— 2 —

Christian Picciolini. It’s unnerving to me that Christian was recruited to the White Power movement by someone seemingly expressing concern for him. He also admits that some of his music helped to radicalize Dylan Roof, the shooter in the attack on Mother Emmanuel church in South Carolina.

— 3 —

Darryl Davis. How many people would meet with someone who hates them to try and understand the reason behind that hatred?

— 4 —

Eric Hodgdon. He had a really positive message on how to get through after the death of a loved one.

— 5 —

Lucy Hone. This was helpful in seeing behaviors in my life that are beneficial in dealing with adversity. Lucy’s daughter was killed in a car accident, and all of her psych training had to ber sifted through to help her cope.

— 6 —

Greg Boyle, S.J. Because kinship.

— 7 —

Sue Kleibold. How do you heal from your son and a friend killing 13 people before killing themselves. Sue explains.

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

7 Quick Takes: Interesting YouTube Finds Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Witness to history. The man died a few months after this was filmed, but holy cow… the last witness alive to Lincoln’s assassination.

— 2 —

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead… This has some creepy elements to it (like what happens with the bodies), but it is pretty interesting in terms of history. (I already knew about the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald because I’m the daughter of Gordon Lightfoot fans.)

— 3 —

Stupid onion-cutting ninjas! I got a bit teary watching this one where an airline pilot got to fly his dad’s remains home after his father was shot down during the Vietnam War 52 years earlier.

— 4 —

Looks are deceiving. A serious math teacher turns out to be the baby cuddler at Children’s Hospital. (It’s an old story, but it’s one that is dear to my heart as a preemie mom as someone who has been at a few children’s hospitals.)

— 5 —

A supermarket in the coldest city in Russia. I’m a fan of Maria’s channel Life in Yakutia and this is a chance to see a grocery store at the other end of the world. (Her channel was recommended to me a few months ago, and it’s worth checking out if you like to see how other people live.)

— 6 —

Putting your money where your mouth is. A reporter makes a flippant comment about where “the absolute worst place to live in America” is (Red Lake County, Minnesota)… and ends up moving his family there after visiting.

(I used to live in rural Minnesota and was happy there. I see that there’s now even a Starbucks within an hour’s drive of where I used to live!)

— 7 —

Burial places of presidents. Apparently, YouTube has guessed that I’m a history junkie, so I probably want to see where presidents are buried, right? (The answer is “sure!”) I didn’t realize how many burial sites have been within 2-3 hours of driving distance during the last 20 years.

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.