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: 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: 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: NYE 2020 Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Saint for 2021. As I have for most of the last decade, I clicked on Jennifer Fulwiler’s Saint’s Name Generator to get my saint for next year. (Last year was St. Issac Jogues.) The saint chosen for me was…

St. Rose of Lima
Feast:August 23
Patronage: Against Vanity; Embroiderers; Florists; Gardeners; Needle Workers; People Ridiculed for Their Piety

— 2 —

Word for 2021. I also did Jen’s “Word of the Year” Generator, and the word chosen for this year is…

COMFORT

Given that my word for 2020 was “build” and I ended up building a lot of web things for my parish and for my job, I am a bit nervous to see why “comfort” was chosen for me.

— 3 —

Daniel update. We’ve been home from Seattle Children’s for over two weeks now, and kiddo is eating like a horse. His formula for his tube feeds got changed to a lower calorie formulation, and we are hoping that it is less constipating for him. He has been sleeping in until 8:30 or 9 this week, which is making his mama happy.

— 4 —

Bullet journal. I may or may not have glued the spare pages of my second bullet journal for 2020 together before writing “adios 2020!” on the last page.

The new 2021 bullet journal is this one from Archer and Olive.

— 5 —

Thomas Lauer. Please keep Thomas Lauer, on of Katherine at Gloria in Excelsis Deo in prayer as he is still having complications while recovering from cancer surgery in November. Tonight’s fun was having drains placed in Interventional Radiology. Please pray for pain relief for this sweet boy.

Please also lift up some prayers for Katherine as she stays with him and advocates for him.

— 6 —

Beast of the Year. Kelly, our Quick Takes hostess with the mostest, has introduced the Beast of the Year generator so you can pick your beast of the year as she does. I got…

Sasquatch

I think it’s fitting, given that I live in the Pacific Northwest.

— 7 —

Resolutions. I think I’m going to try my 2020 resolutions again and clean up my diet as well as try to get up early to pray.

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: 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: Jen Is Not (Really) Cranky Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Owie. I did have to have a tooth extracted last Friday–one of my back molars. I’m on Day 6 since extraction and it’s still achy. I probably have a dry socket, so I’ll have to go soak a black tea bag when I’m done and stuff it back into that spot.

— 2 —

New addiction. There’s a game called Word Collect available on Google Play and it’s pretty addictive. I started playing less than a week ago, and I’m already up to Level 505! I even have a word unscrambler open on my laptop in case I get stuck.

— 3 —

Stormy. We had decent wind and downpours yesterday, which was fun to watch as I was sitting and working at my desk. We are supposed to have a high wind warning tonight, so I’ll probably close the window after my room cools down a bit. There’s weather to the east of us on the Olympic Peninsula and in the San Juan’s, so we might have some decent weather around the time I fall asleep.

— 4 —

Update on the virtual choir piece. We just got the mixed version back, and it turned out incredibly well. It’s not perfect or like it would be in real life, but it’s pretty darn good considering that we’re recording it in 9 different places, one of the people doing so from across the state. It should go over well this weekend when we have the bishop with us for worship. (He will be doing his episcopal visit on Sunday.) There are a few baptisms, two girls being confirmed, the reception of some new members, and the commissioning of a parish health worker for Resurrección. (For those who are new to my blog, my church shares a priest and facilities with La Iglesia Episcopal de la Resurrección, a Spanish-speaking mission congregation. We do bilingual worship together on the 5th Sunday of the month, and we have a big to-do together when the bishop comes to hang out.) It’s going to be the first time the Eucharist has been celebrated inside the sanctuary in months and the number of people allowed to attend in person will be severely restricted. I’m trying to sort out how to do certain things for the live stream because we’ll have the virtual choir anthem as well as the Offertory being played on both Zoom and in the sanctuary simultaneously. I need to have a discussion with our video and sound people and perhaps give out passwords and permissions to be allowed to access the church’s Google Drive. It should be… interesting.

— 5 —

Back to work. Classes started this week. I’m kind of a strange tutor because I can really tutor any humanities class, most human services classes, a lot of social science classes, some basic math classes, and (of course) all the accounting/Microsoft classes in my department. This means I’ve been getting texts from my new boss asking if I can tutor certain niche classes like Business Law because I do a lot of tutoring in the business classes. (My answer, by the way, was “no” because it would require purchasing the book and having to do a lot of unpaid learning in my spare time.) Still, it’s nice to be useful in strange ways.

— 6 —

Remote learning update. We’re continuing with Zoom school for Daniel. His paraprofessional has found some YouTube videos that he likes, including one where a Pete the Cat story is being read. His teacher, therapists, and paraprofessional adore him. After watching what they do, I’m standing pretty firm in the belief that they don’t get paid nearly enough for what they do.

— 7 —

Birthday! Kelly, our hostess with the mostest, has a birthday this weekend. Go wish her a happy birthday and read her list of 42 things about her!

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