7 Quick Takes: Prayer Requests and Stuff Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Prayer request #1. Thomas, the 5 year old son of Katherine of Gloria in Excelsis Deo has a bowel stricture, and they’ll be doing bowel resection surgery tomorrow afternoon Eastern time. Please pray hard. This is the 13th surgery in FOUR MONTHS and doesn’t include things done through interventional radiology. (Don’t believe me? Details are here.)

— 2 —

Prayer request #2. I was working with one of my students on Tuesday when I learned that my friend Ellen’s sister Jenny had been killed in a car accident on Sunday. Ellen and I met through our blogs 19 years ago, and Jenny eventually started blogging as well. I remember when she got her Ph.D at Cornell, hearing about her job hunt for a professor position, and hearing about what she was doing with her students on her blog and on Facebook. (Her pastor wrote a beautiful piece about her here.) Please pray for her sisters Ellen and Karen, her parents Charles and Barbara, her colleagues and students at Hope College (where she was chair of the Physics Department), and all those who knew and loved her as they mourn her passing.

— 3 —

OMGOMGOMG!!!!! Kelly (our Quick Takes hostess with the mostest) has announced that her book will be released on October 8th!!!!! (It’s also the saint’s day of one of my favorite saints, St. Pelagia the Harlot. Her conversion story was mentioned in my Medieval Europe class 20 years ago and has stuck with me.) I must make sure I clear Mount TBR (a.k.a. my e-reader) so that I can be ready to read it the second it appears!

— 4 —

COVID vaccine update. Shortly after I published my Quick Takes, I got an email from Debby, one of my readers, telling me that I was ALREADY ELIGIBLE(!!!!!) because of Daniel and his health issues. Once I was done with the quarter (a.k.a. TODAY!!!!), I looked into it… and she was right! I went to this site to see if I could find somewhere local that had appointments next week, and I was able to get one for Monday afternoon at my local grocery store pharmacy!!! They’ve done my flu shot for the last three years now. They have always kept an eye on me for 15-20 minutes after to make sure I don’t have an anaphylactic reaction due to my weird egg allergy, so I trust them as much as I trust my local health system’s vaccine clinic. (One of their pharmacists is actually a Blessed is She member!)

My deepest thanks go to Debby for giving me step-by-step instructions for how to do all of this.

— 5 —

Really?!?!?!? Cpt. Jay Baker made a completely stupid comment about the Atlanta massage parlor shooter “having a bad day” and is thankfully being removed from the case over it. (He also may lose his job, which I’m hoping happens because that was an inexcusable gaffe, coupled with some racist posts on his Facebook page.) I also don’t believe for one second that the shootings were not racially-motivated. There are plenty of massage places in Atlanta, and not all of them are Asian-owned.

Please also know that I am judging the daylights out of you if you make asinine comments about how coronavirus is the “China flu” or the “kung flu”. Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have skyrocketed since last year because of hateful comments like those made by Donald Trump and his despicable followers, and there is no excuse for that behavior. NONE.

— 6 —

Getting all Samuel L. Jackson up in here. One of my current relaxation things is the web game Taonga: the Island Farm, and it’s kind of like Farmtown or Farmville from the 2010’s. One big difference is that you have quests you can go on, and one of mine has me searching for items and battling these possessed plants called “malignant sundews” which are guarding the items I need to get. After battling 2 (!!!) of them while trying to get to an item, I started having thoughts about being “tired of these mofo sundews in this mofo game!”

— 7 —

Biden’s COVID vaccine goal. He is meeting his goal of 100 million people vaccinated 42 days ahead of schedule despite the previous administration leaving him no vaccine rollout plan. Everyone making stupid comments about “Sleepy Joe” can shut their stupid mouths because he is actually *DOING* something about the pandemic instead of ignoring it, ignoring scientists, and throwing press conferences to prop up his ego like Trump did.

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: 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: What I Did This Week Edition

7 Quick Takes

Answer: Doing laundry.

Question: Why is Jen creeping through the halls of Seattle Children’s Hospital at 2:15 a.m.?

— 1 —

Hauled butt to Seattle. Daniel was pukey last Thursday and hadn’t pooped, so we headed to his gastroenterologist in Everett… who proceeded to blow me off and give me instructions for some enemas. I’m sure nobody will be surprised that the enemas did nothing except make my kid afraid of me, and I finally hit my breaking point on Monday when he was puking and nothing was happening. I knew it was ER time (having gone through this last year) and decided to drive down to Seattle Children’s Hospital for their ER, figuring that they would have all the necessary tools (i.e. feeding extensions) and knowledge to deal with Daniel. (They do, and they know how to use them.) I also figured they were probably taking good COVID precautions. (They are.)

— 2 —

Helped give enemas. I made nurses to the actual enema part while I held him in position. Fun fun fun.

— 3 —

Slept. For some reason I sleep like I’m dead in the hospital when I’m on one of the pull-out couches.

— 4 —

Watched construction taking place outside my window. They are building something outside my room, and our room is full of construction noise during the day. They offered to move us if the noise was going to bother Daniel’s autistic sensitivities. (My kid couldn’t care less.)

— 5 —

Prayed for Thomas Lauer. Thomas is the 5 year old son of Katherine at Gloria in Excelsis Deo. If you’re not praying for him, start doing it NOW. Kiddo has survived 7(!!!!!) surgeries in the last three weeks since they removed a 13 oz. tumor from his tummy. He had a SIRS response to the surgery and has dealt with internal bleeding, necrotic organs, and a whole host of issues… and he is still alive.

Pray for him and for his mama Katherine. She has been by his side for the last 3+ weeks, and she needs prayers for continued strength. I’ve watched my kid code and almost not come back from it. She has watched far more than that in the last three weeks, and she is incredibly strong.

— 6 —

Take mask selfies. Did you expect anything less of me? 🙂 My glasses are off because they were reflecting my computer screen, and my hair is in ringlets at the ends because I just washed it.

Mask selfie!

— 7 —

Played Bubble Pop Origins on my phone.. It’s brainless, and I needed something brainless this week because I’m being given a boatload of information.

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