The Newsletter: Issue #7

So…

Does anyone know just what the fuck is going on in the world? I sure don’t.

In any event, let’s try to dissect it.

Around the World

So admittedly, I was really busy in January and February looking to secure housing for myself and my family. I mentioned in Newsletter #6 that we had been served a termination of tenancy (let’s call it what it was: an eviction without cause). And so I had to really get that all sorted and was a little busy to pay much attention to the two things in the world that went completely sideways whilst I was largely occupied.

First, COVID has gone even more bananas than around Thanksgiving, when Lord Omicron took the reigns and unleashed unprecedented and largely unmitigated fury through out the United States (and the better part of the world). Now, Omi is still everywhere, but even more toxic and deadly are the pollsters advising the Democrats and Republicans alike that COVID can’t just be controlled… it has to be forgotten, or it’s goodbye Midterms.

So now, when community transmission levels are largely at the same level they were when my husband contracted COVID back in December 2020, as well as at the peak of the Delta surge over the summer, the CDC and Biden folks have decided that they now have the power to redefine what words and figures mean, and what was high before is now low. The economy is public health, actually… didn’t you know? Take off your masks folks! Get back to work! Get back into the restaurants and spend, spend, spend!

But it didn’t end there. On the same day that the CDC released their updated guidance and community transmission levels, it was reported that hundreds of children actually died of COVID during the last two months, and that the efficacy of the vaccine for ages 5-11 comes in after only a few months at an abysmal 12%. Moreover, kids under 5 still do not have a vaccine, and while the Biden Administration’s forward-going plans include a massive effort to vaccinate that age group when it’s approved, no such timeline has been offered for it. (Oh yeah, and there’s that pesky little detail that they’re out of money, all this depends on them getting more money from Congress, and they haven’t even ordered more than 10% of the planned Paxlovid treatments yet.) Still…

Also, the CDC Director in a very purposeful statement correlated masks not just to an object of sound and proven public health mitigation that acts as an astoundingly effective Non Pharmaceutical Intervention when done properly, but to one that was at the same time a mark of shame. This lady – who, along with all of her other colleagues at the CDC continue to work remotely at least until April (according to the internal memo released just last week) – branded masks a mark of shame, calling them publicly “a Scarlet Letter.”

For those unfamiliar with the book, The Scarlet Letter is about a woman back centuries ago in New England who had an affair with a priest, got pregnant with his baby, but kept the secret so was branded as the town ho, forced to wear a red letter A on her clothing for the rest of her life to make clear that she was a woman of ill-repute, an Adulterer who should be scorned and shamed.

Masks. A scarlet letter.

Second, of course, is the Ukraine situation, which is just a fucking nightmare and so evident to me about a bigger plan by Putin to restore the Soviet Union and – I don’t know – destroy the world. More on that next time I suppose, maybe I’ll be calm enough to talk more about it when my Potassium Iodine is delivered.

Around My World

So I did end up securing housing for my family of six, and what a wild adventure it has been.

And by adventure, I naturally mean I’m surprised I lived to tell the story.

We did have to relocate to a neighboring city, which is unfortunate and pretty overwhelming still for my kids. But, as all moms do, I’m figuring out how to completely change my own life – yet again – to make it work out so they can spend a large bulk of their time every week still back in the community from whence we came with their social groups and friends and such.

Otherwise, the house is pretty nice. We have it all set up. I’ll share a post about it later, actually – the house itself; and the strange parts about the neighborhood… but what’s big is that I’ve decided to use our own experience as a catalyst for another blog series, in which I share my own story, as well as interviews with other renters, experts, and advocates in the housing apocalypse that is going on in California right now. You won’t want to miss this, it’s coming April 1st – and both I and many of my interviewees are naming names on this one.

So consider this your official announcement, and if you still haven’t signed up to get these babies in your email box, now’s the time!

You Can’t Unsee This

I just love this new feature of the newsletter because it’s deliciously horrid and hilarious – all wrapped up into one.

Admittedly, I did not watch the State of the Union earlier in the week. For one, those are historically boring speeches loaded with lies and propaganda; and I knew I would get the highlights from my dad and Twitter.

Of note, I was disturbed to see that weird clip of tipsy Pelosi standing and rubbing her knuckles together like some fucking weirdo; and I was confused to hear the president refer to the Ukrainians as “Iranians” (like is reading from a teleprompter that difficult?). And naturally, all the bragging and praising of the maskless crowd infuriated me. Why? Because all the praise by Op Ed pundits at the Washington Post failed to be clear with average Americans that the only thing that actually made that safe was that PCR testing was required, and had identified a number of cases in advance. Quick and convenient PCR tests are still – after all this time – not readily available to all Americans.

What really got me was hearing about, and later seeing this photo from Reuters make the rounds, of Boebert and the other one heckling the president. Now look, I’m not always a fan of him, and I think his COVID response in the end was a total fucking joke… but heckling the President of the United States at the State of the Union? Just trash. Take it to the junk yard, ladies.

This meme I saw perfectly encapsulates that moment though, and is now all I think about when I hear someone mention those two:

STFU Fridays

So as I said, we’re in a new home and it’s a duplex. I kind of figured that it would come with the territory that we would hear some of what goes on over there, and they’d hear some of what goes on over here.

The first day we were moving stuff over, the neighbor came over and introduced herself. Her name is Christine and the first words out of her mouth were “are you generally quiet people?”

Depends on what you mean by quiet.

In reality, we are generally quiet people, but I do have kids and – you know – some things that just have to be done. Like dishes; which I assume most people do. But lo and behold, last night Christine came over at 11:15 at night to complain about noise she heard. The only thing I can think is that we were doing dishes… but honestly also, who comes over at 11:15 in the evening and rings another person’s doorbell?

The bottom line, of course, is that when evaluating whether or not you should actually say something, to anyone about anything actually, is that you should first shut your fucking mouth, open your fucking brain, and consider whether or not you should shut the fuck up about the topic permanently. It would have been one thing if we were blaring music, having parties, screaming and slamming furniture into the walls in the middle of the night – all things, ironically, we have heard Christine do repeatedly (in particular on nights when her gentleman friend that drives a Tesla comes over).

But just asking “are you quiet people”? Or having the audacity to come over to a person’s house in the middle of the night to demand they stop doing chores?

I mean… shut your fucking mouth, open your fucking brain, and consider whether not you should just…

The Newsletter: Issue #6

Oh hey there; let’s just pretend I didn’t bail on the weekly newsletter for something like four months. A lot was going on, and while I posted and was working and writing a lot, I was just a little … well, you guys know, overwhelmed. Delta then Omicron, now Omicron’s cousin. Well, it’s a bit much. I’ve heard so many people, doctors, psychologists, and the like say that no one is OK right now. I would heartily agree. For several reasons.

Nevertheless, here we are and here you are. I’m sure you noticed the new newsletter banner. A lot of new stuff coming at you soon from your girl here. And, as always, I really do hope you and yours are staying safe in these turbulent and, well, fucked up times.

So let’s get to it.

Around the World

Fuckin’ yikes, right?

So it’s looking like Lord Omicron has completely taken over the chat, and even introduced his cousin BA.2. I know these numbers and titles get a little silly and confusing at times, but it’s the overarching theme of “this ain’t over ’til it’s over” is hopefully now abundantly clear to us all.

Perhaps the worst time to go to a war is in the middle of a pandemic. If my history serves me correct, the Spanish Flu weakened the United States military in WWI, at least for a time; so the fact that Biden is now sending troops into Eastern Europe is simply terrifying. I’m wishing I had gone ahead and let my kids do that pandemic project of building us a bomb shelter in the backyard after all.

Secretary Blinken made a statement yesterday that I’d like to hone in on, and I only caught a clip of it on Twitter, which I will paraphrase here: this isn’t about whether or not Putin or Russia trusts us; it’s if our allies trust us. That was when the existential dread and the hope that the paint in our walls is actually lead really sunk in for me, because if I were allies… I wouldn’t be so sure.

The United States government – on several levels – has been exposed for all its weaknesses, and more so insidious underbelly, through out the last two years of this pandemic; and the lying and untrustworthiness is at the forefront, at least as a resident. Can our allies trust us if we have lied repeatedly in the name of things like whether COVID is airborne (it is), where we got our data on masks (many times they made policy without any), and the decision making process of agencies like the FDA and CDC (it’s a clusterfuck)? It’s important to remember that the United States – for better or for worse, and even in spite of Trump – remains a leader in the world, in many ways. Public health being one of them, in spite of the fact that our healthcare system is not nationalized as many countries are; so when other countries have looked to the US for pandemic response, and we just fuck it up with lies and bullshit for two straight years, it’s hard to see us as an agent of utmost integrity on anything.

Couple that with the fact that our president wants to slow dance and sing kumbaya with the GOP that literally does not even believe in the government they are elected to be a part of; while the Democratic legislature has yet to hold anyone accountable for a number of egregious and traitorous acts by high level officials related to the Insurrection… well, you just have to wonder.

So I don’t know y’all. I’m not sleeping too well at night right now, especially since we live nestled between a naval base and a naval air station, and just around 100 miles south of Vandenburg Air Force base (translation: nukes).

Around My World

What isn’t going on around my world these days?

On ultra personal notes: we are moving in April, and if you follow me on Twitter you know this has been an utter gut punch to me and my family. I’ll spare you all the pathetic details, but long story short the owners of the home we’ve treated as our own for years and years and years have booted us out on our asses, in the middle of the worst part of the pandemic, at an inflection point in California’s housing crisis, because… well, there are several theories, but the prevailing one from my biggest supporters back when I ran for city council is: political retaliation.

Perhaps this is the denouement to this city trying to run me out on a rail; just a few months ago we still vividly recall when my son and I were attacked by a maniac running into my car, then following us in his.

But whether the termination of our tenancy was an act of political malice, or simply just a scumbag slum lord with no soul wanting to turn the house for a bigger profit, I continue to ride on.

If you haven’t heard yet, next Tuesday, February 1st my 5 Part Series on running for city council in the middle of said pandemic drops, and I could not be more excited. If you haven’t read the announcement you can do so HERE, or watch the brief trailer down there:

And if you haven’t done so yet, hop on over to Instagram and get in on the Giveaways that I have going next week to celebrate the release!

Other than that I’m just plugging along around here. My daughter turns 18 in less than 3 months, so I’ve been stocking up on brown paper bags to hyperventilate into. My 5 year old’s new thing is to stick things up his butt and then moon everyone in the house; and my 14 year old …well, you know middle children.

You Can’t Unsee This

New feature of our weekly newsletter – and I promise, I’m getting back to doing it weekly again – is something you just can’t unsee. Because if I have to, y’all do too.

This week’s, courtesy of the escalating relationship between the Republicans and Democratic Senators Manchin and Sinema in the Senate (I have my own opinions on whether or not Biden’s Supreme Court pick will become a reality; more on that later…), I present you with The Notebook meme that will scar you for life:

STFU Fridays

I again hate to harp on about the pandemic, but I’m starting to get a real negative vibe on how things are going now that Lord Omi is on the downswing. It’s like the very second that things started to even remotely give the appearance of turning for the better, tons of people called it a win and started popping bottles of champagne in the streets.

There is a profound problem with doing this. Actually several.

First of all, a slow decline in cases, that may even plateau at an alarmingly high level (again, as happened with the Delta surge) is nothing to write home about. It also indicates that an even larger number of people will get infected during the downswing than on the up, just over a lengthier period of time. Some could argue this is positive as it stretches out hospitalizations, but that isn’t guaranteed; especially if y’all start poppin’ bottles and makin’ out in the streets again.

The thing to also remember that in this period of the surge is when the fatalities really start to stack up. We’ve been down this road several times now, all over the world. We know that the fatalities lag; the tragedy is only starting to be felt by the families and loved ones that have and will continue to die in the coming weeks. To be as celebratory and pat-on-the-back about this moment is – in an inevitable phrase – really fucked up.

There are also the calls for the immediate removal of restrictions, even some now from a coordinated terrorist group of physicians that call themselves scholars and experts, some of whom have even talked their way into high positions at otherwise prestigious academic and medical institutions. And look, I’m not a fan of masks; especially the ones needed to protect yourself and others from Omicron (N95, KN95, P100, or the like). But also, it’s really not the end of the world. And to call for kids to not wear them in school when so many children remain unprotected, and thousands of teachers are still at high risk is… well… a bit sociopsycotic.

I understand that we were all promised normalcy back in the summer of 2021. I understand that we were even promised it back in the 2020 election. We were lied to. It’s that plain and simple. So we’re in this DIY pandemic together, and whereas there are still a lot of people that are choosing not to protect themselves, there are even more so that have absolutely no choice to – for a variety of reasons. So we can take one of two paths:

We can err on the side of caution. We can be respectful of the dead and their families, and not go popping bottles of champagne just yet to hold space for them to grieve. We can do our own individual risk assessments, take precautions, and at the same time respect others. As mask mandates lift, maybe keep one in your car and ask the people you are with if they feel uncomfortable unmasked, and respect them if they say “let’s mask up.” We can stay home if we’re sick…

Or we could just throw all the lessons we’ve learned in the last two years out the window, and fuck around so that we can again find out. We can pop bottles in the streets, make out with strangers, go everywhere and anywhere sick, maskless, and refuse to even get tested. We can let our local leaders, state leaders, and federal government continue to slide on managing this like an estimated 6 year pandemic should be managed (with massive surveillance). We could terrorize the public by demanding not only an end to measures for ourselves, but turn it into a culture war where people still taking measures are bullied…

Ultimately, I can already see which way it’s going; maybe you can too. Maybe you don’t mind. But to the people that are calling it over before it’s over, for my part I have to respectfully request that you… wait for it…

The Infection Was Initially Mild

This post is short, and sweet. I’m thrilled to announce that just over a year after running for city council (and losing – dodged a bullet, I’m learning), I’ve finished my 5 part series on the experience.

Titled ‘The Infection Was Initially Mild: My Small Town City Council Run, the Toxic American Pandemic Response, and What Both Mean For the Future of the Country,’ will be available wherever you prefer on February 1st, 2022.

In this post we’ve got:

  1. Details on how you can read, listen, or watch it
  2. Giveaways (there’s more than one!)
  3. The trailer!

The best part is that it’s entirely free. While there is a Pay What It’s Worth PayPal link, you can get all of the content entirely free to you. Why? Because I think it’s a critical story to tell, and also don’t want people to think that writing about it was the only reason I did it.

You’ll be able to read each part here on the website, download a PDF version, listen to it on Audiocast, or watch me read it on YouTube.

I’ll also be sending each part out weekly as a blog post. To sign up to just have them directly sent to your email box, go ahead and do so here:

Giveaways!

But wait, there’s more!

To celebrate the release of this, I’m hosting a Giveaway, and this one you won’t want to miss. One winner will be selected at random on Instagram LIVE on February 2nd. The winner will receive: a vintage political button puzzle, a box of Barnett’s chocolate covered gourmet cookies, a PURE personal air filter (I have one of these, they’re amazing), and a YEAR of Disney+ streaming services. Hit me up on Instagram and LIKE AND SHARE the heck out of this to be entered!

I’m also mailing out “THIS PANDEMIC SUCKS!” bookmarks! I have SO MANY still to give out. Just click this LINK to put in your information and get your bookmark today!

The Trailer!

Don’t leave without taking exactly 30 seconds to get in the mood for this new release!

Now go sign up for those Giveaways!

Photo Caption Contest: Day 1

Hey guys!

I’m hosting a photo caption contest over on Facebook. At the end of the contest, two winners will be selected at random to win a swag bag and a free copy of my new book.

Here’s the linkie to get in on the action; you MUST play along at least THREE DAYS over the next two weeks. (Don’t worry, I’ll be sending a lot of reminders.) Winners will not be selected by the merit of their caption, just for playing along and having some fun.

CLICK HERE FOR THE CAPTION CONTEST

Behold, today’s photo:

You can also still apply to receive a free copy of my book and other free stuff by reading and Amazon reviewing my book. Here’s the link for that: REVIEWER LINK

So there’s a lot of really fun stuff going on over here. Make sure you follow my blog and/or my social media channels to keep your finger on the pulse of it all. My book comes out April 15th…and I haven’t even told you the name! Well that’s coming soon…

Life was so much simpler back in 2011…

I don’t know, you guys. I’ve been going through my comments from the entire lifetime of my blog, and I’m getting so nostalgic for my posts of yore. Life was so much simpler then, you know?

I used to tackle some really important topics. Like whether or not there was a prostitution ring going on in my local nail salon. Honestly, I thought there was. This chick would come out of the back room and deep throat a banana like you have never seen.

Or whether or not my sister in law was really as dumb as I thought for saying that some vegetables aren’t healthy.

Or on the types and acceptability levels of the different types of hugs, Facebook profile photos, and number of pictures posted of babies in a given period of time. The list goes on… you get my point. My posts were way better back then.

Somewhere between then and now, things got so much more complicated. I no longer felt comfortable sharing simple anecdotes. Like the time this lady bent down and blew the proverbial butt bugle – if you know what I’m saying – at the post office.

People seemed to get offended every time I let out an expletive, or straight up wrote post after post after post wherein I just told – in the most offensive way possible – specific groups of people to shut the fuck up.

I guess life came to a point that was just incredibly complicated.

It seemed like every single thing I said offended someone. Isn’t that how life is now?

I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods a few weeks ago, picking up my monthly supply of sweat socks. I have two athletes (tennis players) in the house, and it’s like they are constantly running out of sweat socks. Or sweating through their socks. Or wearing multiple pairs to prevent blisters, dirtying all the pairs in the house in record time. I don’t really know what’s going on, I just know I had to eventually build sweat socks into the monthly budget.

So I was at Dick’s picking up the month’s supply, and there was a stocky woman in culotts with a very short A-line haircut, and something akin to a full beard, standing at the cash register, demanding to speak to the manager. She introduced herself as “Susan” (does a stocky woman in culotts with a very short A-line haircut, and something akin to a full beard, EVER have a name other than Susan?), and she wanted to complain because her expired coupon was not being honored.

Her. EXPIRED. Coupon. Was not. Being. Honored.

I didn’t hear her entire rant because another employee – Greg, also with a full beard, lives at home with his parents, and refers to himself as a “hobby computer engineer” – came over and checked me out. 

My interactions with Susan, however, were yet to come, because in the parking lot I was just putting my car in reverse when she came stalking out of the store (no merchandise had been purchased), huffing past my car. I had not even moved my car when she starting screaming at me to not back into her. I rolled my window down and said “oh sorry, I’m staying put.”

She told me to blow myself!

Hello 1995, someone is stuck in you.

I was so shocked, I told her she didn’t have to be so angry. I’m normally not that confrontational, but I was speaking from a place of being totally stunned. I mean this lady told me to blow myself – who even talks like that anymore?

My immediate response was to come home and write a blog about it. But as with most times I’ve run home to fire up a scathing post, I’ve stopped short of the publish button, simply for fear of offending someone, or eliciting a nasty response.

Who knows? I’m sure I have many women named Susan that follow my blog. Or women that are stocky and wear culottes. Certainly people with beards would take what I’m saying the wrong away, especially ones that are women. And what if I said something weird about the sweat socks? Surely there are children in need somewhere that could better benefit from those socks than my children…

Life was so much simpler back in 2011…

… really, I think it isn’t just that it was simpler, but I had a tougher skin back then. I could be told by commenters that they hoped I was mauled to death by a herd of wild cats in the street, and just shrug it off.

That is why I’ve decided to start a weekly video blog series to help return to my simpler, more offensive and less intimidated, self as a writer. Together we will get through this pansy ass state I have found myself.

Every Thursday I will post a v-log on my YouTube channel (and on here), where we will explore the nastiest of the nasty comments I get. My inaugural episode will drop next Thursday – Thursday, November 22nd (Thanksgiving!)… and I promise it contains some of the worst of the worst.