Catching Up: COVID Edition

It was a nice 3 1/2 years avoiding COVID…

[+] After masking up, quarantining, and getting vaccinated, my turn for COVID finally came. I likely got it from Dad, who got it at a small family gathering. I knew I’d probably get it if someone in the house got it–my immune system is crappy. The test showed the COVID line almost immediately, and was brilliant red.

[+] We’ve been partaking of DoorDash and a local food delivery service since Dad got sick because quarantining while cooking is hard. Parishioners have promised food and chicken soup. I don’t really have an appetite though.

[+] What is this variant like? Well, it’s like a head cold, post-nasal drip, and a chest cold went speed-dating. I’m having to write down when I take meds so I don’t take anything that interacts. I’ve gotta say… if this is the mild version that vaxxed people get, I’d hate to have gotten the variant that was out there before the vaccines were developed!

[+] Just pray for me, y’all. I can’t sleep and it feels like I just tried to run through a brick wall.

Catching Up: August 7, 2022 Edition

It’s 12:39 a.m. on August 7th, and I have very little to tell you about my life because I’m eating, drinking, working with students, watching too much YouTube, and not sleeping near enough. All the student stuff is kinda sorta protected by FERPA (and I’m not feeling like getting into the Come to Jesus conversations I’m having to have with a few of them), so here is the stuff I’ve been watching for the last week or so on YouTube. There’s A LOT of them, so I’m putting a cut in this post. Click on “Continue reading” to see the whole shebang. (And yes, I have a weird YouTube algorithm.)

Continue reading

Catching Up: July 23, 2022 Edition

Oh mercy…

[+] I’ve been asked how people can pray for me job-wise, and the best way currently is to pray for clarity because there is still a lot of vagueness about what will happen.

[+] I’ve heard ALLLLLLL about “beaver nuggets” from my Texan friends and Emily of Snake Discovery is obsessed with Buc-ee’s, so I found a site where you can order food from them and ordered myself some of their gummy bears and some beaver nuggets. The gummy bears were forgettable, but the beaver nuggets are brown sugar covered pieces of puffed cornmeal that are ADDICTIVE. However, the owners of Buc-ee’s are huge supporters of Greg Abbott and Ted Cruz, so I won’t be ordering any more of their food… at least, I won’t order any more of it without making a donation to Beto.

[+] My schedule for the summer is still in flux, and I got four new students this week. I’m doing LOTS of Interpersonal Communication classes, Business Math, Business Computers, an Ethnic Studies class, and a Sociology class.

7 Quick Takes: Bye Bye Nick Rolovich Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Update on the Nick Rolovich debacle. There has been debate in the local media on whether Nick Rolovich (the head coach of the WSU football team) was going to be granted a religious exemption from being vaccinated because he claims to be Catholic.

Well…

Seattle Times: WSU football coach Nick Rolovich fired for refusing COVID vaccine; defensive coordinator is acting head coach

Adding to Rolovich’s pain is the fact that because he was fired “for cause”, he is not entitled to have his contract bought out. His anti-vaccination stance cost him upwards of $3.6 million. Rolovich can appeal his termination to the president of the university, but I doubt that’s going to be successful because the president likely approved the athletic director’s decision to terminate him.

He is suing for “unlawful and unjust” termination because they wouldn’t grant him a religious exemption. (The process, by the way, is completely blind. They don’t look at the name of the person asking for the exemption–just the argument.) The various employment lawyers on the news have said that his case is weak because he would have to prove that the COVID vaccine is against Catholic teaching… and the Pope has encouraged people to get vaccinated. (The first statement on the subject was issued back in December 2020.) The Diocese of Spokane has even had priests who have appeared in videos encouraging Washingtonians to get vaccinated.

I’m having a massive bout of schadenfreude over this because my parents are UW alums and this shows that not even the highest-paid state employee (Rolovich) is immune from the consequences of not being in compliance with Governor Inslee’s mandate. If I have to be vaccinated for work, so does he!

— 2 —

Regarding religious exemptions… Some of my clergy friends have had strangers contact them to sign religious exemption forms for them because they don’t want the COVID vaccine for their jobs. (All of my friends have said a pretty emphatic “NO!” to those requests.) They’re pretty stunned at the chutzpah of these strangers because they can’t be bothered to join a church but think nothing of using a random clergy person to get out of facing the consequences for not doing someting required for their jobs.

Seriously… get vaccinated or don’t get vaccinated, but own the consequences of your decision. It’s cowardly to try to use someone else to get out of facing consequences.

— 3 —

Who else got fired? There have been people like state patrol troopers, ferry workers, and others who tried to challenge the mandate on the grounds that “it violates their Constitutional rights” (spoiler alert: IT DOESN’T), but they lost on Monday. Inslee is a lawyer, y’all. Do people really think he isn’t familiar with both the Constitution and the Supreme Court rulings on the subject, including Jacobson v. Massachusetts and Prince v. Massachusetts?

I'm totes not a fan girl of Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Nooooooo...

Also, fact check: the Supreme Court has NOT ruled against COVID vaccines. (There are some anti-vaccination people out there claiming this.)

— 4 —

Empathy. This quote from Kelly resonates with me in a huge way.

I’m also sharing it because I hear almost daily “I don’t know how you do all you do!” Surprise folks – I don’t know either! All I know is whatever system I’m currently using is making me tired, irritable, and leaves lots of dog hair everywhere that isn’t getting cleaned up on a regular basis. I would not recommend my current system to anyone even if it makes me look “productive”.

This is totally me… except that it’s cat fur instead of dog hair.

— 5 —

Words with Friends. If any of you play Words with Friends, feel free to challenge me. I’m “skagitcatherder”.

— 6 —

How I’m coping with life at the moment. YouTube has a bunch of “Live PD” videos, and I’m watching those while working on various things and to fall asleep at night. I have no idea why car chases and police officers tasing people is relaxing for me. It just is.

— 7 —

Breakfast. I need to get up, throw real clothes on, and go to the vet to pick up Jethro’s box. This means that I need to eat breakfast, and I hate most breakfast foods. If I’m being honest, I want an eggless Egg McMuffin (yes, McDonald’s will make it for me if I’m willing to pay extra) and hash browns, but that’s not doable for financial reasons so… it will probably be chicken and cheese taquitos from the freezer section of the local grocery store. (They’re not even artisan or organically made–they’re the cheapie kind that are full of preservatives.)

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

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: 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: 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.