To all my readers outside the U.S.: Happy Thursday!
My fellow Americans, if you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you’re having a happy one. The point of this holiday is supposed to be to remember the things in our lives for which we are thankful. For most of my life I have been all over that idea, because I’ve had a pretty good life. Even though ever since puberty, when I first realized that I was gay, I have lived under one existential threat or another, I still could see the many good things and good people in my life. The last four years have represented a far worse series of threats to the life and well-being of everyone who isn’t part of the 1% and/or white, cis, male, straight, conservative, and well-off enough to stockpile assault weapons.
And while the recent election is ousting the wingnut-in-chief, I think it’s a little early to celebrate. Because the angry white nationalists and their allies have been feeling emboldened for the last few years, and now many of them think they’ve been cheated. So the single worst overt threat to the future of the Republic may have been technically beaten, but the war goes on.
Knowing what is hanging over us makes it so easy to get on the anxiety treadmill and just keep running in place.
Which isn’t what today is supposed to be about. For our mental health, it isn’t what we can spend all of our time on.
So, here are things I’m thankful for:
- my smart, sweet, sexy, super capable, long-suffering husband
- cocktails (it’s 2020 everywhere, drink when you want!)
- sci fi books that tell of hopeful futures
- people who help other people
- recipe blogs
- videos about haw to make cocktails
- people who make art, music, and other creative things
- the cute birds that visit my bird feeder every day
- people who take care of us when we’re sick
- my eccentric, sometimes infuriating relatives who probably find me even more bewildering than I ever do them
- not having to spend any holidays with (especially) the most infuriating relatives this year
- audio and video conferencing services that let me spend time with friends despite quarantine
- people who work retail
- people who write fanfic
- people who love
- my kind, clever, cheerful, hard-working husband (who definitely deserves to be on this list twice!)
- online friends
- people who vote
- radio and wireless technologies
- people who fill the world with joy
- kittens and puppies and tigers and otters
- teddy bears and mousies
- people who review and recommend books
- have I mentioned my handsome, good-natured, patient, shrewd, funny husband (who definitely deserves to be on this list three times!)?
- friends who will group text with me while we’re all yelling at the same football game on the TV
- virtual events
- the many almost magical computing devices that I can now wear on my wrist, carry in my pocket, and otherwise use to bring a wealth of information and possibilities that were barely imaginable when I was a kid
- all my wonderful friends—who are talented, kind, giving, and clearly the most patient people in the world, because they put up with me
Thank you, each and every one. Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today or not, I hope you have a wonderful day full of blessings, because you deserve it.
I need to change topics.
How about a bit of a laugh at my expense?
So, last Friday after I updated my NaNoWriMo word count I told myself I could take a break to watch the new episode of Baby Yoda and His Space Dad. Wait. What? You’re telling me that isn’t the title of the show? Are you certain?
Anyway, afterward I didn’t quite feel like writing after all, and the next thing I know I was binge watching season 2 of Umbrella Academy. And I stayed up far too late doing it, which means I slept in later than I meant Saturday, which means that I didn’t get started on finalizing the grocery list until late, and then I had to run to the store later than I meant. And it being the last Saturday before Thanksgiving, the store was quite crowded, and there were all sorts of weird things they were out of.
Three different times as I was trying to maneuver through the crowded store while maintaining social distance, I found myself feeling very judgmental of people with carts overflowing with things that looking like the ingredients of an enormous Thanksgiving feast. And the third time I had that thought, it was as I was putting a can of cranberry sauce into my nearly overflowing cart. And since I was just buying stuff for a Thanksgiving dinner with just my husband and I, maybe I shouldn’t assume other people weren’t also planning just to cook for the immediate family that already lives together, right?
I eventually got into the checkout line and my huge cart of groceries turned into about three dozen smallish plastic bags of groceries. Which took a few minutes to transfer to the car. I got home, carried the first bunch of bags up, told Michael I was there, and went to haul more up. The third or fourth trip down I got to the car just as Michael was pulling a bunch of bags out and saying, “I think that’s everything.” I did a quick check, then locked to car and followed him upstairs.
Saturday night we were hosting our monthly Writers’ Night (virtually), and I had just enough time to put all the groceries away and start dinner cooking before I needed to log into the Discord server.
We had a good meeting. Three of us had things to read and there was a lot of fun talk about Thanksgiving recipes. Then we shut down early as several of us wanted to do more NaNoWriMo writing.
An hour or so later, when I was getting out a fresh can of La Croix, I realized that I didn’t remember putting my prescription away. So I looked around the kitchen, assuming I had left the little brown paper bag with the paperwork and one bottle of pills in it somewhere in there. I couldn’t find it. I double checked in the bathroom to make sure that I hadn’t put it away and simply forget.
I search around the kitchen, dining room, living room and so forth for a number of minutes. I check in the fridge because it would be totally in character for me to pull the prescription and a bottle of milk out of a grocery bag at the same time and put them both in the fridge.
I’m starting to panic. This particular medicine only has a $5 co-pay, but the non-insurance prices is about $1200 for a month’s supply. Not something you want to lose. So reluctantly I go tell my husband that I’ve lost the prescription, and he comes out of the computer room and spends a while looking.
Now I am very certain that I saw the pharmacy bag inside one of the plastic bags we carried in from the car, but Michael decides to go check the car. He didn’t find anything. We’re both still looking underneath things and so forth. I gather three older pharmacy bags that I should have recycled weeks ago, carefully shake them before wading them up, and comment that I shouldn’t leave those laying around.
Michael then asks, “Oh? Is it a brown paper bag we’re looking for? I thought it was white…”
This prompts me to go outside to check the car. While I’m peering in the back compartment, feeling around among the reusable grocery bags that we can’t use anymore because of the pandemic, I think that it would be better if I had a flashlight. But I didn’t, so I looked in the dimly lit car for another couple of minutes before going back upstairs.
We’ve looked pretty much every possible place. I woke up my computer and started researching if there is a way to pay the medication cheaper [That answer by the way is, technically yes. With a coupon I found a place I could get a month’s supply for merely $580… which is still prohibitive].
Michael says that he’s going to check the car again. I open my mouth to suggest a flashlight, but he already has one in his hand.
A few minutes later he comes up and cheerfully announces he found it. In face, he found an entire small plastic bag which contains the pharmacy bag plus three other items: two cans of a cold brew coffee latte I like, and a jar of Tillen Farms Fire and Spice Marschino-style Cherries.
He explains even with the flashlight he almost didn’t see it. The bag and fallen behind suff and one of the plastic handles was sticking up with he could see it.
Now, the laugh. Several hours earlier (in the middle of the Writers’ Night call) I had been suddenly struck with the realization that I didn’t remember putting away the Fire and Spice Cherries (a vital ingredient for my official Thanksgiving Cocktail: the Spicy Manhattan), and I had even spend a couple minutes looking at the places where it ought to be.
And even before than, just as I was turning on the oven and firing up Discord, I had been annoyed that I couldn’t find the can of cold brew Double Espresso I had bought because I didn’t feel as if I’d had enough caffeine.
But I didn’t remember either of those missing things once I noticed the prescription wasn’t where I expected it. If I had, I might of realized that we were looking for more than just the one pharmacy bag and its contents from the grocery run.
I had apologized to Michael several times for being the absent-minding misplacer yet again. He countered by saying it was his fault. “I was the one who said Ive got the last of the groceries, after all.”
To circle back to the opening topic:
And I’m going to give the last word to Rachel Maddow…
Maddow: We Feared Susan’s Covid Would Kill Her. Your Risks Could Hurt Those You Love Most:
(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)
The state criminal cases are proceeding regardless of what Biden or his Department of Justice decide to do. It infuriates me that we got four years of Bengazhi hearings that never turned up any wrongdoing, but people argue that Congress should just ignore the violations of the emolluments clause of the Constitution, the bribery and corruption, the multiple violations of the Federal Anti-Nepotism Act, the multiple violations of the Hatch Act, ignoring when Russia put bounties on our own soldiers (and then lying and trying to cover up when it was uncovered), withholding medical supplies from states whose governors he was angry with, illegally sending troops into cities whose local government policies annoyed him, the crimes against humanity including children being left to die in cages…
I think at the very least Biden should call for the appointment of an independent counsel to look into some subset of the many treasonous things Trump and his cronies did.
You can’t let such blatant disregard for the law go.
Which we were on Monday when I went to Costco. I arrived close to opening, I was masked up, had a list, and was hopeful to get through the trip quickly. By the time I got to the front of the line, the guy managing the line said: “I feel like a bouncer at a rock concert!” The woman in front of me said something along the lines of “You’re the guy to know!” and then something else I couldn’t quite make out from 6 feet away and over the sounds of the rain. The guy managing the line then said, “Everyone’s being cool about it, even those that were caught by surprise.”
I got in. The store didn’t seem deserted, but it wasn’t super crowded, either. Most people were being good about trying to observe social distancing. I found the items on my list, got in line, and felt the need to tweet about the fact that I was in line with the only things in my cart being items on our list. The cashier who checked me out opined that the lines outside would vanish completely as soon as word got out that they were out of toilet paper and paper towels.
When I got out of the store it was raining a lot harder than it had been while I was waiting to get in. I particularly noticed that the cardboard boxes my purchases were in were beginning to get noticeably wet in that short time. I quickly loaded the back of the car and closed the tailgate.
As I had been transferring my stuff, another Subaru of similar vintage as ours pulled into the empty spot next to me. I was just turning the cart to roll it to one of the cart return racks when the guy from the other car said, “I’ll take your cart!” He was fumbling to get his mask on.
I replied. “If you want, though it might be awkward in the line.”
He looked at me like I’d grown two extra heads. I shrugged and stepped back to let him take the cart, and he rolled off, grumbling.
I got in the car and before I had taken my masks off my glasses completely fogged over. I started the car and turn up the defrosters. After a minute or two or so I realized that the windshield seemed clear but my glasses were still completely fogged. So I held my glasses in front of one of the defroster vents and waited for everything to clear up so I could drive.
I was just putting the glasses back on when the guy reappeared in the spot between our two cars, empty handed. As he climbed into his car his gaze met mine, and his unhappy expression got more angry (he’d already taken off his mask). He exclaimed, “They’re out of toilet paper!” As if it was my fault, and slammed his door.
I decided to wait another minute, and as I expected he started his vehicle right away and backed out fast.
I drove home at my usual pace. While unloading the goods, I had a little issue with the case of diced tomatoes almost falling apart in my arms as I dashed inside. It was raining really hard. Amongst the bounty I brought home was a 10-pound turkey for Thanksgiving (small enough for just the two of us) and a 10-pound bag of sweet potatoes (there will be several dishes those go into, not just for the holiday). The pantry is also once again well stocked with canned vegetables and related things.
Even though my husband has to go to work each day, I try to limit my trips out of the house. So a trip where I get us enough food to last a couple weeks again if we have to is all right.
On the other hand, I just got a notice from the pharmacy of a refill being ready, and that means over the next week or so most of the rest of my prescriptions will come up. I try to just make one trip for all of them, but sometimes (as happened a couple months ago), when I do that I get a call from the pharmacy saying that they’re going put it back one the shelf if I don’t come get it that day–or assure them that I am coming in soon.
Completely unrelated, I need to finish putting away the Halloween decorations. Should have happened earlier, but, well, time has become a fog.
I’m still spending most of my energy on NaNoWriMo, so you get another news link post:
‘I have never seen this before’: Legal expert stunned by argument in latest Trump voter fraud lawsuit. And not because it’s brilliant.
Taking a short break from NaNoWriMo to share some more news links.
At least 40 in Trump inner circle have contracted Covid – who are the newest cases? – Another cluster was identified this week – and several infected people had attended the White House’s election night party.
Roy Den Hollander was entrenched in ‘anti-feminist’ male supremacy movement – The suspect in an ambush on a judge’s family was a member of Men Going Their Own Way, who seek to avoid “the negative influence of women entirely.”.