Archive from November, 2020
Nov 20, 2020 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

Pandemic Behavior

sublimated-pullover-hoodie-mockup-featuring-a-man-with-short-hair-31386So, it appears that Chicago is back on a lockdown due to a LOT of egregious spreading of the ‘Rona.  Apparently, people? Sharing is NOT caring.

I’ve been moving around quite a bit since the beginning of the pandemic because I’m a caretaker and I can’t avoid it.  Also, my natural germaphobic nature has shifted from being described as “kind of weird” to being appropriately self-protective.  And while I can control myself, I can’t direct anyone else’s behavior.  The least  I can do is share my guidelines based on what I’ve witnessed.

Strap on a mask. 

I know there’s someone who’s reading this and thinking that masks don’t work, or perhaps he/she has concocted a lot of crap in their heads about how masks are muzzles or other such nonsense.

So . . . real talk?  A mask is a form of basic hygiene during a pandemic.  I don’t really understand the resistance.  It’s as if people don’t realize how germs are spread and have no appreciation for the nastiness of human beings.  Aside from preventing you from breathing on others, they keep you from being breathed upon.  Realistically, masks are saving you from yourself.

If you don’t believe me (or anyone else with common sense), let me dazzle you with a few medical statistics (no, I’m not a doctor . . . but I read).  So, here goes:

The average person touches his/her face a minimum of 16 times per hour, with about half of those touches making contact with the nose and mouth, which are mucus membranes and the very points of entry for the disease.  While wearing a mask, your nose and mouth are covered (if you’re wearing it correctly, and not around your chin, Chad!).  Casual nose-picking and/or licking your fingers to open a thin plastic bag in the produce department are not possibilities while wearing a mask.  If you can manage to avoid rubbing your eyes, you might just avoid catching colds, the flu, hoof and mouth disease, and ‘the Rona.

This is NOT the time to be handsy

If you have the occasion and/or good fortune to meet new people, now is NOT the time to taint the experience by going in for an unnecessary handshake.  During COVID, all formalities of professionalism that require physical contact are not necessary.  I wasn’t a fan of shaking hands before the pandemic, and I’m definitely not making direct contact with any virus-infested grubby paws during a pandemic, nor am I spreading my germs to others.

Because I’m a fan of digression, I’m forced to wonder why we have that tradition in the first place?  There is nothing gratifying about a handshake.  It’s not an enjoyable experience.  The grip is either too firm, too light, or disturbingly clammy.  You spend lots of time afterward wondering where that person’s hand has been and setting a mental reminder to scrub your mitts before your next meal. (Just me?)  I would prefer to greet people with a smile and a nod, thereby saving myself the anxiety and potentially avoid contracting an illness.

And don’t even THINK about a hug.  While I’m not a classic hugger, I get that, as people, we are in a place where we crave human contact and haven’t seen many of our friends.  Don’t be so happy to see people that you risk killing them, or being killed by them.

Bag your own groceries

I always use self-service grocery lanes because scanning and bagging my own order reduces the number of people who handle my items.  The other day, I read the frightening statistic that one in four grocery workers have COVID, with many being asymptomatic.  Also?  I’m faster than any grocery store worker than I’ve ever encountered AND I know how to separate food from detergent.  #winning  :-)

Stay the hell away from your family

To refer to 2020 as a “dumpster fire” is a gross understatement.  Everything this year has been a colossal shit-show, and the holidays are NOT going to be amazing. Has anyone seen the 2020Rockefeller Christmas tree?  It’s rising to the occasion of the year and appears to be dry and lackluster.  It makes the Charlie Brown Christmas tree appear majestic!

If you were to have a family gathering for the holidays, you KNOW the food won’t be tasty (because, 2020), and most of us have already been eating too much this year.  Do we NEED another 3000 calorie meal?  A feast is clearly overkill.   You might as well stay home and avoid killing your grandparents.

I get it, though . . .  you might want to feel some semblance of normalcy this year since everything else has been turned upside down.  Family traditions are nostalgic and attending family gatherings evokes feelings of childhood and safety.

Although, what I find to be the MOST baffling is that, any other year, by now there would have multitudes of depressing FB posts lamenting upcoming family visits.  “My family is going to make me feel inadequate for being single.”  “My mother is going to make me feel like I’m not enough.”  “Everyone’s going to ask us why we don’t have children.” “My grandmother is going to talk about my weight.” “My siblings are mean to me.”  “I’m going to need years of therapy to recover.”

Well . . . you know what?  You get a pass this year!

Because realistically, how many of us are so enamored with our family?  Let’s face it . . . lots of your family members get on your nerves.  Maybe your sister-in-law can’t cook, yet insists on tackling the mac and cheese (and screwing it up) EVERY SINGLE GODDAMNED YEAR.  Your nieces and nephews might be insufferable brats who are only concerned about their own gifts.  Maybe grandpa is grumpy and senile.  If you REALLY think about it, you might realize that you probably wouldn’t even speak to most of your extended (or immediate) family, unless there was a bloodline.

Truth be told, you could be surprised at how refreshing it will be to stay home and eat whatever the hell you want on Thanksgiving (and probably Christmas, at the rate we’re going).  How many more opportunities will you get to have an entire year without green bean casserole??

Order yourself a big pizza – with turkey sausage, if you must — and sprawl on your couch, snuggling your pets or quarantine bae while consuming large quantities of wine (or edibles), and relax!  Who knows? You might even start a new tradition of eliminating holiday emotional abuse!

Still pining for your family?  Okay, we’re back to statistics . . .  whenever someone justifies a gathering by saying “it’s ONLY 10 people,” bear in mind that it’s not the quantity of your group.  It’s the quality!  If only two members of your family of 10 have been exposed to COVID, that’s 20% of your group, and more than you need to put the entire family on ventilators by New Year’s Eve.  And we all desperately want to escape 2020 alive, right?  (Unless you’re secretly trying to infect your family, in which case we didn’t have this conversation.)

That sums up the advice that you didn’t ask for!  I wish everyone a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.  :-)

Nov 8, 2020 - 2020    1 Comment

Hoist with his own petard

Screenshot_20201109-001659This entire election has been a shit-show — much like the last four years.  But, as usual, we can find a LOT of things to laugh about, as we examine the circumstances.  Or maybe I should speak for myself.

I guess I should explain the title for the majority of people who are reading this thing and aren’t Shakespeare buffs (for the record, I wouldn’t dare refer to myself as a legit “Shakespeare buff.”  I merely have a few favorite phrases across a number of plays — mostly Hamlet.).  In layman’s terms, the phrase means to be blown up by your own bomb.  It’s the ultimate form of ironic justice, IMO.

That said, let’s dig under the covers of the humor . . .

So . . . a reality TV star named Donald Trump – a thrice-married alleged mogul who has had six businesses file for bankruptcy in less than 20 years, surprised everyone when he entered the primary race for the Presidential election of 2016.

I’m non-partisan, but when I heard he was running, I thought “certainly the Republicans won’t let him be THE candidate.”  To the point where, when a former colleague whom I refer to as CRC (crazy racist co-worker) entered my office and said, “That Trump makes a lot of sense,” I threatened to hit her in the head with one of my boots if she didn’t evacuate my space while spewing that crazy shit.  I recall telling her that he would have us back in Nazi Germany which she poo-pooed before going back into her little lonely world of lunacy across the hall.

Realistically, he won that year because people didn’t fight all that hard against him.  I voted sans inspiration. Hilary Clinton was a polarizing candidate and didn’t inspire a lot of voters.  When Trump was elected, we were bewildered.  Like, how in the HELL did that happen??  If we knew then what we know now.

Anyhoo . . . while I’ve done well financially over the last 3.8 years, they’ve probably been the most morally bankrupt years that we’ve lived through in the last century.  Trump has managed to alienate every racial entity, he has openly mocked the disabled, displayed every misogynistic tendency, “delighted” us with his stupidity on social media, and given a voice to and emboldened racists and violent people who were previously underrepresented in leadership. At least out in the open.  He is directly linked to every deplorable degenerate, including Jeffrey Epstein (who didn’t kill himself). Somehow the overturning of Roe v Wade co-exists with children put in cages.  And, along those lines, let’s please not forget the thick, chalky irony of the FLOTUS.   If anyone brings up dear Melania and her widely-distributed nudes, the rebuttal is “her body, her choice.” I’m guessing that sentiment doesn’t apply to my uterus?   He has made us the laughingstock of the world.  Then we have COVID – or should we call it the “Chinese Flu” -  and how his ridiculous decision to politicize a pandemic, of all things, has effectively killed hundreds of thousands of people.

By the way, if you’ve read the above paragraph, and you’re violently shaking your head in rebuttal to my points (while internally – or maybe externally – calling me a racial slur [which, even in your head, is misspelled]), please do yourself a favor and stop reading right now.  You’re not going to like where this is going.  I censor the comments here.  I’m sorry, but I don’t really care how you feel, and thank you for playing. However, if you’re interested in a potentially different viewpoint or enlightened humor, read on.  It’s a free country. :-)  

Alrighty . . . moving on.  So . . . when at long last the 2020 election was like a bright light at the end of a dismal tunnel, we knew we had work to do.  For the record, by ‘we,’ I’m not talking strictly Dems.  I mean any person who has decency and wanted to see unification rather than destruction, going forward.  That said, WE had to get behind whichever candidate was running against Trump, and motivate every single person to get their asses to the polls.

And, to be clear, we weren’t working with a perfect candidate in Uncle Joe.  There were things to overlook, and there was a LOT of dissension within the Democratic party and among the Republicans who decided to defect.  But what Biden DOES do is speak of unity, which is what our divided, cracked, and brittle country so desperately needs.  If he can be the soothing lotion of the damaged and distressed dermis that is the United States, then let’s bring him on.  It wouldn’t happen with any of us alone, but all of us together. (Because real talk?  These motherfuckers?  Needed saving from themselves!!)  Let’s motivate millennials and Gen Z to vote and teach them that their vote DOES matter. (They stepped up, FYI!) Let’s rally the seniors.  Let’s get behind this candidate because this truly was THE most important election that I’ve ever witnessed or studied in history class.

But in the meantime, the devil was busy.  (I know . . .  I sound like an old aunt who never misses a sermon, but it’s the best analogy that I can give, here.)

Trump knew good and GOTdamned well that the majority of the country hated him.  He KNEW it.  So, he arranged to have 21,000 polling places closed.  He actively ordered the removal of mailboxes to deter mail-in voting and turned the postal service into even MORE of a goat rodeo than it was before.  This went on until the Postmaster General effectively said “Dude . . . Fuck you!”  Oh, and he did absolutely nothing to legitimately stop the spread of COVID, and actively tried to downplay it as the numbers of infections and senseless deaths soared.

There were reports of long lines for the primaries, and tales of some waiting for hours, only not to be able to cast their votes.  In specific neighborhoods, mind you.

In anticipation of election shenanigans, what did we do?  Well, we did whatever we could to make sure that our votes would be counted.  Mail-in ballots were used, egregiously, by seniors and those whose immune systems can’t tolerate exposure to serious diseases.  Our votes — ALL of them — were going to count.  To be clear . . . the process wasn’t smooth, far from perfect, and we’re still dealing with the aftermath, but the votes were GOING TO COUNT.

And count they did, President Biden.

So now we have the next few months to look forward to as Trump is dragged from the Oval by his one strand of hair that’s approximately 8,000 feet long and wrapped delicately around his hollow dome, as he tries to issue more ridiculous executive orders while clinging to the Presidency like shit in a toilet bowl.  While it will be interesting, his removal will be as easy as yanking a spoiled, determined (320 lb) toddler – with transition issues – from a candy store.

Oh, wait, I promised comedy, right?  Well . . . it’s a comedy in the Shakespearean way.  With lots of ironies and unfortunate demise.  Most immediately, it’s hilarious that, with all of his effort to be deceitful, he LOST.  He was hoist with his own petard!  Also, keep in mind that comedy is tragedy plus time.  Re-read this in a year, and I promise you’ll laugh.  My hope is that we’re at least done crying for a while.

Realistically, it hasn’t been all bad.  The good news about this is that I think everyone has shown their true colors, and I, personally, have emerged from this ridiculousness with a much better idea of how to proceed, and with whom.  I did get engaged this year, so I consider 2020 to be a true new beginning.  Cheers to it.