Rally ’round

I’ve been debating whether to post anything even remotely associated with 9/11 today. Seeing the fireworks and hearts swelling and people coming together over something that killed fewer people in the US than COVID did on Thursday alone fills me with… I don’t know what.

It was a terrible day. But we’re having terrible day after terrible day right now and because a human face isn’t attached to it, a great number of people seem to be either shrugging it off or denying it’s even happening. I read Nancy comics from the ’40s and The Plague by Camus and wonder if it’s always been this way.

I don’t want to diminish anyone’s experience from 20 years ago. But I also worry about our ability to band together against something bigger than a cartoon villain that we can simply throw in prison or bomb the hell out of to be done with the problem. Maybe we can all make a better effort?

Published in: on September 11, 2021 at 9:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hot beef injection

I don’t know how successful this vaccine incentive is going to be. Maybe with chili?

large smiling hot dog in front of pharmacy
Published in: on August 11, 2021 at 5:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Last year’s frames, this year’s frames

Before the pandemic, you may recall that I had a recurring worry about an impending war between humans and apes for general control of the planet. And you know, I stopped worrying about that as soon as the pandemic hit. Not only did I have bigger things to worry about, but it felt like the apes relaxed a bit. Maybe they figured we could exterminate ourselves and they could just relax until such time that happened. Maybe it was something else.

However, without the apes to worry about, I noticed other things seemingly conspiring against Benny and me while we were stuck in lockdown. Namely, a lot of our water-based appliances broke down. Faucets. Tubs, both of the bathing and hot category. Washing machine. Dishwasher. I’m not sure what that meant, if it meant anything at all. Eventually we fixed and/or replaced them and whatever that was settled down.

This year, it’s sharp things that are causing problems. Garbage disposal. Food processor. Knife tips breaking off. Also lots of broken glassware and crockery. Hopefully this will settle down as well.

In the meantime, the apes still seem calm. They aren’t using axes. They aren’t stealing kids’ motorbikes. They aren’t hiding in suburban tract housing developments. The worst they seem to be doing is rudely critiquing women’s eyewear. Does this mean anything?


So I’m down a pair of sunglasses but up a very good story #monke

♬ original sound – Lola Testu
(sound adds nothing to this video; you might as well mute it)

Etiquette & superstition: return of the nose

This day was bound to come sooner or later. The CDC has just announced that vaccinated folks should no longer have to wear masks in most indoor or outdoor environments. Whether this announcement was influenced by the makers of Dayquil or the foundation makeup lobby, we’ll never know.

ETIQUETTE: We’ve touched upon this topic a bit before, but we’re all a little rusty these days, aren’t we? If you’re seated at a restaurant and need to blow your nose, it is recommended that you excuse yourself from the table to do so. If you need to get up so often that it is becoming disruptive to your meal, you probably should have stayed home. Let’s all start being more considerate in terms of that, yes?

If you only need to wipe your nose or can be discreet, however, Miss Manners says you can stay put. If you’ve done your business with a disposable tissue (or, only in an emergency please, a paper napkin), don’t put that germ bomb anywhere on the table. Tuck it away. Your tablemates and your busser thank you.

SUPERSTITION: If your nose itches, you’re either going to get: some bad news, a visit from a stranger, a slap in the face, a kiss from a fool, or a glass of wine. Welcome back to socializing.

Leave Gome alone

Alan Wagner lives in a much more interesting neighborhood than I do.

I’m so glad I’m getting my first vaccine shot tomorrow, and I’m so glad I don’t have a lawn.

Published in: on March 31, 2021 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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You’re so pusillanimous, oh yeah

I had another dream the other night that I was surrounded by unvaccinated unmasked people who were hooting and hollering and having a gay old time. It was a terrifying dream.

I have a feeling that when things open back up for real, we’re all going to have to retrain our flabby socializing muscles. Last year I thought it was just going to be something like remembering not to stare at people in public, like you might do after a long solitary camping trip. Now I think it’s going to be slightly more challenging than that.

I thought this cartoon might have some helpful tips, but I can say from experience that half of these strategies don’t work, especially with drunk people. Maybe I’ll try hanging out in a nice coffee house rather than a bar at first. Or will people be too wound up from the caffeine? How about a yoga studio? I’m sure the first person who farts in class will be pulverized by everyone else. And I’m sure that person will be me. Ugh. Well, I still have some time to think about this. Continue to stay safe, everyone.

Etiquette & superstition: horseshoes

If I want to retain my sanity for the next month or so, I might have to severely curtail my activity on a particular social media site, the one where all my friends are talking about how they’ve somehow already gotten their vaccinations. I get it with some of them – teachers, frontline workers, immuno-compromised, open tier locations. But some are just lucky, and I have to admit on bad days I’m envious. I’m trying to feel happy for everyone, and I know that it’s good that so many people are getting their shots. I’m also trying to remember that this feeling of not getting something when other people are getting something is a feeling that a lot of people have to live with every day of their lives. Anyway.

For my essential worker friends, I give you my gratitude for all you do. For my high-risk friends, I share in your utter relief. For my lucky friends, I ask you to lend me your secret charm so that I may join your ranks.

ETIQUETTE: Horseshoes is a game that may conjure up an idea of a beer-drenched rowdy time, but for anybody who plays seriously or anybody who wants to avoid a concussion, quiet and stillness is key. Distracting your opponent in any way is frowned upon, and trash-talking is really a bad idea when your opponent is about to throw two and a half pounds of steel in whatever direction their attention pulls them. This goes for the spectators too.

If the player pitching first in an inning pitches a foul, they should offer to remove the shoe from the pit before the second pitcher goes for their turn. The second pitcher can decide if the shoe is a distraction or not.

SUPERSTITION: Ah, horseshoe superstitions. This is the Lord God King category of superstitions, is it not? Horseshoe superstitions have been around since Roman times, and as such, they’ve gotten a little muddled. Some say a horseshoe should have its ends pointed up, either to hold the luck in or to confuse the Devil, who likes to move in circles and will get confounded when he tries to move up and finds a dead end. Others say that the ends should be pointed down, as when it is hung that way it is a symbol of the moon’s North Node representing prestige and reputation (the South Node symbolizing loss and misfortune). I guess you could make your decision by seeing how many nails you have to hang it up with.

Speaking of nails, the number of nails still embedded in a horseshoe indicate how many years of good luck it will bring the finder. And the number of holes in the shoe missing a nail indicate the number of years it will be before the finder gets married.

The people will survive in their environment

Maybe every year is like this.


Continue to stay safe, everyone.

Published in: on March 16, 2021 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Something much more serious

One year ago today, my colleagues and I were packing up our offices for a short period of working from home after the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. One guy was wearing a face mask and carting away his large desk monitor. I really thought that guy was overreacting. Nobody should ever ask me for stock tips.

For your consideration

Just got back from one of the most beautiful buildings in downtown Los Angeles, where I had another appointment to cough several times and give a sucked-on lollipop stick to a Hazmat-suited guy in a kiosk. I can’t wait for the day when that general rundown feeling doesn’t lead to thoughts of impending doom. Stay safe and continue to stay home if you can, everyone.

Published in: on January 16, 2021 at 10:39 am  Comments (3)  
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