7 Quick Takes: Family, Mask Shaming, and Death Planning with the Kardashians Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Family gathering. Ohmigoshohmigoshohmigosh! I GOT TO SEE MY TWIN BROTHER, SISTER-IN-LAW, AND THEIR SPAWN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 15 MONTHS!!!!!!! It was so worth having to quarantine, do Zoom/Facebook messenger calls, and mask up for a year to stay safe so that I could see them this past weekend. Braden was a few months away from turning 2 when I saw him in February 2020, and he is now almost 3 years old. In the time between visits, he developed a personality.

We’ll see them up here this weekend.

— 2 —

Really?!?!? When I arrived at my local grocery store, this is what I saw…

Haggen sells out.

Apparently, the corporate people at Haggen are dumbkopfs because we’re *STILL* having double-digit case counts daily here (which is an increase) and they made masks optional for those who are unvaccinated. Yeah… those are the people who are at-risk for contracting COVID because they’re not protected. The CDC did not say that everyone could unmask (just those who are fully vaccinated and only outside and in certain other situations), and I can guarantee that it’s going to be the unvaccinated people that are not masking in public here because the vaccinated people are still wearing them! (Close to 90% of shoppers were, but I live in a blue pocket of my indigo county, so that was to be expected.) There are a lot of really irritated Haggen customers because we’re not out of the woods yet in terms of COVID risk here. The handful of friends I have who are not fully vaccinated due to pregnancy or anaphylaxis with the first shot are really hesitant to shop there due to this decision. (They’re all masking of course, but they’re investing in KN95 masks because they are aware of their risk.)

— 3 —

Mistakes in mask-wearing. When you wear your mask, COVER YOUR FREAKING NOSE. It defeats the purpose of a mask if you leave your nose hanging out. (COVID is primarily spread through the air.) If you want to complain about fabric next to your skin, either invest in a KN95 mask or a singer’s/speaker’s mask. Also… AN OXYGEN MOLECULE IS 1,500 TIMES SMALLER THAN THE COVID DROPLET THAT YOU ARE CLAIMING YOUR CLOTH MASK IS KEEPING OUT, SO DON’T EVEN TELL ME THAT YOUR CLOTH MASK IS PREVENTING OXYGEN FROM GETTING IN!!!!

This PSA is brought to you by the Karen who was behind me in the pharmacy line at Haggen who was wearing a “Trump 2020” mask with her nose sticking out and speaking LOUDLY to the jerk next to her (who wasn’t wearing a mask before people were allowed to stop) about some conspiracy theories that made QAnon’s trash look intelligent. (Why yes, I did ask him why he wasn’t wearing a mask, and I have no regrets. An employee thanked me.)

— 4 —

Church in-person. My parish and the Spanish mission congregation attached to us had an outside service for Pentecost on Sunday. I’m bummed that I couldn’t go because I really miss being with people, but someone had to be home dealing with Zoom. The Holy Spirit made a cameo as a very enthusiastic woodpecker, there were missed parts in the service that had to be reinserted, and our virtual choir anthem couldn’t be heard over the speakers. We *WILL* be going back to in-person worship in the sanctuary on June 6th, but people will be required to mask up (because we’re not unconcerned with the safety of others), the wine will be reserved for our priest only, and the picnic afterward will be a “bring your own food and drink and camping chair to socially distance” affair. We’ll also be continuing to stream worship on Zoom until further notice because there will be people who choose to stay home for health reasons.

— 5 —

Funeral planning with the Kardashians. Caitlin Doughty of Ask a Mortician takes on the episode of the TV show about the Kardashians that deals with funeral planning. She is entertaining as usual.

— 6 —

Prayer request #1. I’ve got a kiddo who has the beginnings of a bowel blockage, and I’d really love it if you’d pray that it clears. Please and thank you.

— 7 —

Prayer request #2. Please pray that Daniel’s SSI mess gets resolved soon. Thanks!

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

7 Quick Takes: Thursday Night Musings Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Some levity. I was reading The Alpine Pursuit (the book before the one I’m currently reading in Mary Daheim’s books about Emma Lord, a publisher in rural Washington) and I came upon a funny quote where Emma is talking to her brother Ben, a priest in Arizona.

Ben: “Can’t those people find something better to do than murder each other?”

Emma: “It’s winter. They’re bored.”

— 2 —

COVID vaccine update. Of the now 200+ people I know who have had at least one dose, one person has gone into anaphylaxis. She was at a vaccine clinic for our local health system, so they just took her across the street to the ER. It was a scary few hours for her but she’s OK now.

Does this make me afraid to get the vaccine? Not at all. You have people who are medical professionals (nurses and pharmacists) administering them, and they all know how to handle someone going anaphylactic. My pharmacist has done my flu shot for the last three years… and I have an egg allergy. The deal is that I get to occupy a chair by the pharmacy door for 20 minutes post-shot, and they know that I have absolutely no problem getting their attention if something starts happening. The current shot location at my local grocery store pharmacy is across from Starbucks, so I can get my coffee and my shot at the same time (if I get my shot at the local pharmacy).

6 weeks until I’m eligible…

— 3 —

Anniversaries. This week has brought a lot of one-year anniversaries from the day the college went to remote learning to the day I was sitting in Daniel’s IEP meeting when Governor Inslee announced that schools were shutting down for 6 weeks… and then eventually kids went on remote learning for the rest of the year. My church also shut down all in-person things, and it felt like everything life-giving was taken away from me.

A year later, I feel like I’ve gotten some of those things back, but there are still things like attending church in-person that I really miss.

— 4 —

Welcome to Plathville. I had seen some clips of the show on YouTube, so I decided to watch it on-demand and see what the actual show was like because all the clips online paint Kim (the mom) as a bad person. I’m on episode 2 and the jury is still out. I’ll let you know my impressions next week.

— 5 —

Why can’t he just go away??? As former presidents and first ladies got together to encourage people to get their COVID vaccine, the previous occupant of the White House issued a statement taking credit for the vaccine, claiming we wouldn’t get it for 5 years at best if not for him.

Bless his heart.

1.) Nobody but you and your merry band of bigots and freaks call it the “China virus”. In fact, calling it that is increasing violence toward Asian-Americans. Knock it off.

2.) Any president worth their time would have done *SOMETHING* toward fast-tracking a vaccine. Obama did it with H1N1. A pandemic was declared on April 24, 2009 and the first vaccines were given on October 5, 2009. I know this because Jon, Daniel, and I were among the first in our county to get them that October due to Daniel’s prematurity. If you don’t believe me, click here for the pandemic timeline from the CDC website. If Trump had been doing anything other than sitting on his butt tweeting, playing golf, and holding press conferences to boost his ego, the pandemic wouldn’t have been nearly as severe here in the US.

3.) Dolly Parton put $1 million of her own money toward the research to develop the Moderna vaccine. Trump spouted fake cures and unproven claims based on his minion’s economic interests. (Case in point: hydroxychloroquine.) Dolly did more toward “this beautiful vaccine” than Trump did.

4.) Biden and Kamala got vaccinated on live TV as did the former presidents and former first ladies when their turns came up. (Jimmy Carter even took a selfie with his vaccine card.) Trump and Melania got vaccinated secretly at the White House. Way to boost public confidence, Donnie.

5.) Any president who was following the science would have instituted a mask mandate nationwide, especially as the virus spreads through the air. Joe appeared in public masked-up the whole time except for the debates. Trump refused to mask up and gave COVID to those prepping him for the first debate and those who were working at the venue.

— 6 —

Interesting… Caitlin of Ask a Mortician talks about how they keep Lenin’s corpse perpetually young on display. I remember one of my seminary professor telling us about seeing Lenin’s body in Moscow, so this is fascinating to me.

— 7 —

Stop looking at me that way! I’m not obsessively surfing the Archer & Olive website after seeing Plant Based Bride unbox her A&O subscription box! I’m not! I’m not! I’m not!

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: 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.