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: 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: 25th Amendment Edition

7 Quick Takes

Let me put this as politely as I can…

I am about to lay a truth bomb down on all of you who voted for Trump, and you are probably not going to like what I am about to say. If you are feeling especially sensitive, go read something else because I’m not going to apologize for saying any of this.

— 1 —

First things first… I have to tell people this monthly:

ANTIFA IS NOT AN ORGANIZED GROUP, NOR DO THEY OFFICIALLY EXIST. IT’S A SLUR USED TO DENOTE PEOPLE WHO SPEAK OUT AGAINST FASCIST BEHAVOR.

There are idiots on Facebook who accuse me of being part of it because I speak out nonviolently against racist, homophobic, bigoted, fascist things. (What I do is called “treating people the way I would like to be treated”. I recommend it.) It has come to be a rallying cry against anyone protesting some injustice committed by Trump or his supporters.

Also, I will NEVER use the title “President” for Donald. He will never rise from the depths of his own depravity to deserve the title. NEVER.

— 2 —

Calling people out. If you voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and especially if you voted for him in 2020…

YOU ARE COMPLICIT IN THE INSURRECTION THAT TOOK PLACE AT THE U.S. CAPITOL BUILDING YESTERDAY.

Let me repeat…

YOU ARE COMPLICIT IN THE INSURRECTION THAT TOOK PLACE AT THE U.S. CAPITOL BUILDING YESTERDAY, EVERY TREASONOUS ACT CAUSED BY EVERY SEDITIOUS WORD OUT OF TRUMP’S MOUTH.

You heard and saw the horrible things he did and said during the 2016 election. You watched him discriminate against people, make racist statements that would have cost any other person their office, support people committing legitimate crimes, pardon his cronies to keep them from testifying against him in the Russia probe, pay off Stormy Daniels, and do all manner of horrible things. The country is worse off four years later because of his election in 2016, and you voted for him in 2020 knowing all of this.

THE MAN COMMITTED SEDITION, WHICH LED TO THIS INSURRECTION AND CAUSED MASSIVE PROPERTY DAMAGE TO A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING BECAUSE HE WAS BUTTHURT OVER LOSING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

Shame on all of you who enabled him to enter the White House four years ago. You should all be stripped of your voting rights.

— 3 —

Words have consequences. I fail to understand how anyone is surprised at what happened yesterday. Trump has egged these losers on from Day 1, called them “fine people” even as they menaced Charlottesville in 2017, put racist advisors close to him, told the Proud Boys to standby at one of the debates, supported their violent protest in DC in December, and *INVITED* them to DC for this.

HOW THE [INSERT STRING OF EXPLETIVES] CAN ANYONE BE SURPRISED THAT THIS HAPPENED?!?!?!?!

— 4 —

Some of the more interesting bull feces I’ve seen online. I had some deluded person tell me on Facebook yesterday that all the damage was caused by Antifa and BLM.

Yeah, no. Every horrible excuse for life who invaded the U.S. Capitol yesterday was as pale if not paler than my Irish self. BLM’s complaint is also with the police, not the lawmakers.

Also, you wanna see a picture of what Antifa *ACTUALLY* looks like? This is a VERY clear video of “Antifa”.

Why yes, that is footage from D-Day. They are fighting against fascism, so they’d be under the banner of Antifa.

Most of the people who commit property damage during protests that the alt-right calls Antifa is actually the alt-right themselves.

— 5 —

Some of the heroes yesterday. You want to know who the heroes are from yesterday?

[+] The parliamentarian assistants who safeguarded the electoral votes when the U.S. Capitol had to be evacuated so that the Hosuse and Senate could convene late last night to certify everything.
[+] Representative Andy Kim from New Jersey who helped the ATF and others clean up some of the damage
[+] Mike Pence who showed that he had *ACTUAL LEADERSHIP SKILLS* and told the horde of treasonist Trump supporters to leave long before Trump himself had the jones to say a word.

— 6 —

The certification process. I did actually watch the certification process last night (mostly because I wanted to make sure it happened), and it was pretty boring. The only cool part for me was that Zoe Lofgren, one of my House members when I was in high school and college, was one of the four tellers.

I also absolutely called it on which states would have objections. The only ones that had any bite to them were the ones for Arizona and Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania one was incredibly boring, at least in watching the House debating it. It was mostly Republican reps from there complaining about losing the election because of vote-by-mail (which the Republicans in the state staunchly supported originally) along with a handful of Republicans from other states speaking out of their rear sphincter openings. Those speaking in rebuttal on the Democrat side actually cited laws and statutes to back up their words instead of going on endlessly with their opinions on Act 77. The best speakers by far were Chrissy Houlihan and Conor Lamb. (Lamb actually caused several of the Republican reps from Pennsylvania to be escorted from the chamber for violating the House rules by yelling at him and behaving like toddlers.)

Seditionist senator Josh Hawley, the one who signed the objection to the Pennsylvania votes, just had his book deal cancelled by Simon & Schuster because of his conduct, so that actually made the freaking 2+ hour delay in certification for Pennsylvania’s votes worth it.

— 7 —

A parting quote… A friend of mine posted this quote from the end of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I feel it describes Trump very accurately.

I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.

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

7 Quick Takes: Thankful Edition

7 Quick Takes

I decided to come back from my hiatus early and let you all know the things for which I am giving thanks this year.

Blah blah blah Amazon links are affiliate ones blah blah blah.

— 1 —

I’m thankful the election is over. Holy polarization, Batman! This election season was functionally 8 years long. The 2012 election bled into the 2016 one… which then bled into this one. I’m also so thankful that the election went in my favor! I have a good governor who has worked tirelessly to protect the people of Washington, and the idiot running against him would have been horrible for the state. I get my amazing Congresscritter again, and let’s not even go into how happy I am that Joe Biden won the election.

You know what’s making me even happier? Not having to deal with the “rolling Trump rally” idiots driving around, creating traffic hazards, and giving me a headache from their honking. I wonder if they even know how much they made people want to vote for Biden instead!

— 2 —

I’m thankful for teachers. Homeschoolng Daniel is my idea of hell, so I’m grateful that someone else is doing the planning while I just have to make sure he stays on task. His teacher, therapists, and aide love him, and they make an absolute effort to try and reach him. I can’t wait until he can go back to school, but I’m happy that we can at least keep his education moving until the vaccine is ready.

— 3 —

I’m thankful that I have a job right now. One of the good things about my job is that it can be done online. Because of this, I was able to work this summer for the first time since Daniel was a baby. Winter Quarter will also be online, so I have job security for the time being.

— 4 —

I’m thankful for businesses that are trying to keep their employees and customers safe. I don’t have the luxury of ignoring the pandemic where I live, so I appreciate that my grocery store is limiting the number of people inside, that my favorite restaurants are on DoorDash or Munchie Dude so food can be delivered, and that other places have curbside pick up for food and retail goods. People in my area have been patient with the restrictions that we currently have, and that made it easier to deal with the line to get in the store on Thanksgiving Eve to pick up Daniel’s meds and a few last-minute things.

— 5 —

I’m thankful for my family. I’ve been stuck in the house with them for eight months, and we haven’t managed to kill each other yet. The grown-ups are also eating together every night, so I think my parents have a better idea of what I do for a living and what I have on my figurative plate because we talk about our days at dinner.

We also were able to have some socially distant porch visits this summer with some extended family. For Thanksgiving, we made dinner-to-go for my bachelor uncle, and he was able to come over and pick it up. (He brought us a pumpkin spice cheesecake from 5b’s Bakery in exchange.)

— 6 —

I’m thankful for my church. We haven’t been able to have in-person worship for eight months, so we’ve done worship over Facebook Live and then Zoom. Granted, I’m the one doing all the tech and web work for it, but people are being patient with tech malfunctions for the most part, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. Our Vestry is also trying to make sure people get called every week and checked on because it can be lonely and we have an older congregation. Our choir has put together virtual anthems, and we’re working on finding ways to do worship without being allowed to sing. (This is why we can’t sing.) We did a survey of people this summer, and nobody wants to go back to in-person worship until the county hits Phase 4 and there is a vaccine available. We obviously didn’t get to do Easter in-person, and we are making plans for Midnight Mass over Zoom.

— 7 —

I’m thankful for my NOOK. I’ve re-read and gotten caught up on one series of murder mysteries, and I am almost done with the “Witchnapped in Westerham” books.

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

7 Quick Takes: Things I’m Doing Instead of Watching the Debate Edition

7 Quick Takes

There’s a presidential debate tonight, and I’m going to continue my tradition of *NOT* watching them. Instead, here are some things I’ll be doing tonight instead of watching it. 🙂

Any Amazon.Com links are associate ones. Woo.

— 1 —

Having dinner with my parents. Leftover chicken piccata, tortellini, and salad. Yum!

— 2 —

Reading. I finished Witch Heist in Westerham (book #11 in the Paranormal Investigation Bureau series) a bit ago. (It’s why my Quick Takes are a bit late.) I’ll start Witch Burglar in Westerham once I’m done with the Quick Takes.

— 3 —

Petting Minion I mean, OBVIOUSLY!

— 4 —

Feeding Daniel. The little booger was screwing with his feeding tube earlier, so I’m going to see if I can’t get it restarted now that he is (hopefully) asleep.

— 5 —

Folding laundry. I usually have at least one load to fold.

— 6 —

Watching YouTube. This video is quite lovely.

— 7 —

Buying Kelly coffee. Because I love Kelly!

— Bonus —

Praying for a special intention. I’d love it if you could join me in praying for it. Please and thank you!

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

7 Quick Takes: Vote-by-Mail Edition

7 Quick Takes

I live in a state that votes completely by mail and just got my ballot in the mail, so I figured I’d talk a little bit about it today.

Oh yeah, links to books and stuff are Amazon associate links. Just a head’s up!

— 1 —

Not a Democratic plot to steal the election. Washington’s Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, has written articles on voting by mail… and she is a staunch REPUBLICAN. This is her story.

— 2 —

Why I do it. In the 22 years I’ve been old enough to vote, I’ve voted in person only a handful of times. I wasn’t registered in the county where I went to school because someone from my church was running for mayor during my first year of college, and I never bothered to change my registration. I’ve voted in five different states, and the only time I had a problem voting was when I lived in Montana and they screwed up my registration, so I wasn’t allowed to vote when I showed up at my polling place. I became a staunch absentee ballot person at that point, and I haven’t had any problems in the 14 years since!

— 3 —

It’s incredibly convenient. I can do it on my time schedule, and I don’t have to wait in line to do it. I can sit down with my voter guide, look at who my county’s political party organization endorses, and then I just have to throw it in the mailbox or put it in one of the dropboxes placed by my County Auditor.

A word of warning if you plan to use a dropbox: unofficial dropboxes are appearing in some states, so you should always go to an official dropbox run by your county’s auditor or whoever handles elections for your county. My county sends a list of official ones with the ballot, and they range from libraries to police stations to the county courthouse.

My County Auditor also recommends mailing ballots no later than October 27th to ensure they arrive by Election Day.

— 4 —

You need to read the instructions. There are stories of ballots being rejected already because people aren’t signing envelopes or putting things in secrecy sleeves. Your vote-by-mail ballot comes with instructions. (Mine are printed on the secrecy sleeve inside.) Read them carefully and follow them to the letter.

— 5 —

Ink color. Most ballots that ask you to fill in a bubble will require you to fill it out in blue or black ink. (It’s like a gigantic scantron sheet.) I stick with black to be safe. We are also told to cross out the name of the item if we fill in the wrong spot for a person or ballot measure.

— 6 —

Book recommendation. If you’ve stayed with me through all the blathering I’ve done regarding voting by mail, I have a book recommendation for you: the Paranormal Investigation Bureau mysteries by Dionne Lister are my current book addiction. They’re kind of like a cross between Harry Potter and chick lit. In the first book, Lily Bianchi, an Australian photographer finds out she is a witch on her 24th birthday when a strange woman turns up to tell her that her brother is missing. She ends up flying to England to find him, and she ends up staying and working for the Paranormal Investigation Bureau. Like in Harry Potter, there’s an evil organization doing nefarious stuff and trying to kill the main character, but it’s a little bit of a lighter read than J.K. Rowling’s books.

— 7 —

Interesting article. The Washington Post did a pretty cool article comparing our handling of coronavirus with medieval Europeans handling the plague. I’m a history junkie, so I found it pretty fascinating.

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