Monday, August 31, 2020

The Year Can't End Soon Enough!

Last night on the 11 o'clock news in my area, an anchor said that 2020 can't end soon enough, that is has been going by slow but fast. Totally agree on that. How did it get to be the end of August already?

I came across this on my Facebook memories today:

Well, little did they know what they were going to see. ...

And this morning I came across this article from the beginning of this year. Note this paragraph:

... Its (sic) almost science fiction writing that. For instance, I’m going into my 34th year writing this column and so much has changed. It seems spacey, that I was writing this piece 20 years ago and I was talking about something called Y2K. 20 years later, I’m sure there are some of you who don’t know what that is. Needless to say, typing the year 2020, seems Orwellian. Time keeps marching on. ...
It has seemed more sci-fi-like than what the story above, or anyone for that matter, may have predicted. Now read the last line in the story linked above. That certainly hasn't happened, and there are still four months left in the year, but it still isn't going to happen from the looks of things.

Many were looking forward to Cinco de Mayo falling on a (Taco) Tuesday and and found it ironic that the holiday was threatened by a virus that has the same name as a Mexican beer:

And as I have pointed out, Halloween--a day focused on mask-wearing--now seems threatened by mask-wearing being mandatory. And many were looking forward to the fact that the holiday is on a Saturday this year. Such irony!

It has been 20 years since many people worried about Y2K. I entered the new year expecting people to remember this. But little, if anything, was said, even before the outbreak began. And concerns over the pandemic have superseded most other news stories, except the protests and the upcoming election. This year also marked 50 years since the first Earth Day, 40 years since the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and 75 years since World War II ended. These might have been celebrated more if not for the pandemic, and most barely got  a passing mention, if anything at all. It was also 40 years since CNN debuted, something the channel itself barely acknowledged. The centennial of women getting the right to vote has been recognized this past week. 

As always, I'm doing my best to stay safe in this difficult time and reminding others to do the same.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Readers Imbibing Peril XV

I went looking around for this annual reading event and saw that the blog that hosted it it last year (it's been at different blogs since it began) is now defunct. Today on Facebook, I saw that the RIP challenge is now hosted is now on  Instagram and Twitter. As always, I will be joining and getting as many books as possible between September 1 and October 31.

My books:

  1.  Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined--Stephenie Meyer
  2. The Portrait of a Lady--Henry James
  3. Thad, the Ghost and Me--Margaret Peterson Haddix
  4. Creepy Carrots!--Aaron Reynolds
  5. We Sold Our Souls--Grady Hendrix
  6. Pumpkinheads--Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks
  7. Beep and Bob: Take Us to Your Sugar--Jonathan Roth
  8. The Blithedale Romance--Nathaniel Hawthorne
  9. The Witches of Worm--Zilpha Keatly Snyder
  10. The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove--Christopher Moore
  11. Dark and Deepest Red--Anna-Marie McLemore
  12. Zombies vs. Unicorns--Holly Black and others
  13. Something Wicked This Way Comes--Ray Bradbury
  14. Neferet's Curse--P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
  15. Kalona's Fall--P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
  16. The Skeleton in the Closet--M.C. Beaton
  17. In the Shadow of Blackbirds--Cat Winters
  18. A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting--Joe Ballarini
  19. Stitches in Time--Barbara Michaels
  20. The Bonesetter's Daughter--Amy Tan
  21. Come Along With Me--Shirley Jackson
  22. Ghost Boys--Jewell Parker Rhodes
  23. Beep and Bob: Double Trouble--Jonathan Roth
Challenge completed on October 27

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Still Don't Know About Celebrating This Year

from Imgflip Meme Generator

Does this seem weird to anyone? It also seems weird that the horror that has been occurring this year seems about to cancel the one holiday focused on horror.

I know it's still more than two months away, but I'm still wondering about celebrating Halloween this year. Dollar Tree has had stuff since July out and Target won't be far behind. I'm guessing in September. Halloween candy has been at Safeway for a while now. Kmart often had Halloween out in September, but now they are closed. I will miss seeing theor holiday items. They were still selling the leftover holiday stuff when they closed earlier this year. I was expecting to see leftover costumes from Kmart at Goodwill, but I have not been at the Goodwill since March. They were closed during the beginning of the lockdown, but have since reopened, following social-distancing protocol. I have not gone, though. No need to. On normal days, I would often go just to go to look. 

Right now, I still can't believe it is almost fall. Then again, it's been hard to tell what day, month, or season it really is, as it has felt like one blurred month.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Mask Humor

I definitely won't be bronzing my masks! I'm certainly more used to putting on a bra than a mask everyday. And I'd be more eager to burn my mask than I would a bra! The reactions to the bronzing post on Facebook were largely about burning masks. For now, I'll plan on just throwing mine into the garbage. Not much for starting fires. But I will not be saving my masks in any way.

Had to share and laugh at the flag one. Customize it to match your own masks, if you so choose! (I don't).

And I just had to laugh at the pumpkin spice. Are masks really going to get into the yearly pumpkin spice craze? And it just seems ironic that mandatory mask-wearing seems about to ruin the one holiday that includes wearing masks. As well as the months-long horror that seems about to threaten the one night of the year focused on horror.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Haze and Ash, Heatwave and Debates Amid the Pandemic

I failed to to mention that along with the heatwave those in my area have been experiencing, there have been several wildfires in nearby towns. The sky has been hazy as a result of the ash. It seems weird to be feeling temperatures in the 90s to 100s with a hazy sky. Just another way the days, months, and seasons have been confusing this past year. I'm beginning to feel for thsoe being forced to evacuate the areas affected. I now want the heat to go down and the fires to be contained.

Already having to shelter in place has been hard enough the last six months (still can't believe it's been that long), but the current heatwave is just adding to to the difficulty of staying at home. Going to the store this week is going to be as anxiety-producing as it has been during these trying times, but I am now suspecting wearing a mask in public in the heat is going to seem even more suffocating than it already has.

I want to say right off that I have not been following the Democratic Convention on CNN, though I do plan to vote for Biden and Harris. You may have seen that I have not made one political post on my blog. It's just not a topic I like to get into. I can tell you right now I won't be watching TV on elction night (I never have done so). Rather, I just wait to hear the results following day.

And even though it's still more than two months away, I am wondering about celebrating Halloween this year. Having seen the Halloween items already at Dollar Tree in July, I got to thinking about the holiday. Some events, like those at various theme parks across the country have been cancelled. Just decorating the porch as I always do just doesn't seem enough. It seems a bit ironic that the one holiday focused on horror and wearing masks is being threatened by what has been a year of horror and by mask-wearing becoming mandatory. No party at work, that's for sure, and probably none at the bars in town. This isas far as I can see.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Autumn Reading Challenge 2020

This one is hosted here.

The challenge will be informal and laidback, running from September 1st to November 30th.

There will be no pressure from me in doing ALL the categories. You can even combine them, if a book fits into more than one category if you want or read several books for one or more categories. Also, feel free to do some interpretation(s) on the prompt(s), as they are fairly open.

The categories are:

  1. A spooky novel: The Witches of Worm--Zilpha Keatly Snyder
  2. A book with an autumn-inspired cover (autumnal colors, leaves, pumpkins, apples, etc): Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined--Stephenie Meyer (apple on the cover)
  3. A book about a monster: The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove--Christopher Moore
  4. A book that takes place during the autumn: Pumpkinheads--Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks
  5. A book that has autumn or an autumn month in the title: September Fair--Jess Lourey
  6. A book about nature: The Story of More--Hope Jahren
  7. A book set at school/college/university/academia: You Should See Me in a Crown--Leah Johnson
  8. A non-fiction book: Veil--Bob Woodward
Challenge completed on October 8

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Starting to Feel More Like Summer Now

Hot! Hot! Hot! That is how it has been in my hometown since last Friday. Temperatures in the 90s to 100s. It still feels like one long month blurred together, but at least it now feels like summer, this late in August. Temps had been lower than 80 for most of this season.

On a side note, I just ordered the shirt below from Lane Bryant as the summer sale closes down this week. The message on this shirt has felt very truw the last six months.

Hoping this and two other tanks shirts I ordered for $15 each will feel cool as long as the hot weather persists. Don't know when they are going to arrive, but  It's expected for around another week. But one can never tell about fall weather in California. And the shirts will still be here for next year. 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Fifth Year

It is now been five years since I began on Prozac. I can still remember the days leading up to the appointment, needing a physical exam and a blood draw before seeing the psychiatrist. All this surrounded by an unexpected construction on the road of the trailer park where I living at the time (I left in April 2016). No advance notice of this road repair; just an unexpected knock that very morning. The doctor's appointment was that very afternoon and I was already anxious about that. Parking for the next few days was going to be awkward for a while, at least until the cement being poured on the road dried. I believe it took until the following Sunday. It blocked off my driveway so I had to park in front of a neighbor's trailer until then. This added more ot my anxiety at the time. And not knowing about fasting for 12 hours before a blood draw, I had to wait the the following morning. This meant no breakfast util the draw was done. The psychiatrist visit was that Friday afternoon. I picked up the prescription later that day, to be started the following morning.

Still going and not ashamed of it.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Remote Learning

School is starting back in my hometown this week. For years now, they have been starting in mid-August, a change from when I was in school myself. In my day, school started after Labor Day in September, sometimes a week before. 

I am glad not have to worry about kids in school or teaching. I cannot imagine how I would be handling it. My cousin lives next door and her son is going back to high school this week. In my town, kids are picking up schedules, books and other supplies, including school-provided Chromebooks. They have to use those provided by the schools, not one of their own.

Or as I've said before, how it would have been handled when I was in school myself, having grown up in the pre-Internet world. But even though there was no Internet, there was a form of distance learning that existed then. 

After hearing about how kids today have to learn remotely, I got to thinking about those things known as telecourses. Many of these existed beginning in the early 70s, though they were mostly for community colleges. Such programs often aired on PBS stations (I remember seeing those on the PBS stations in San Francisco and its neighboring cities). The community college I attended didn't offer telecourses until the mid-1990s. As much as I would have liked to have done one they had on poetry, I was unable to do so. Accessing the videos at the campus media center would have been hard because my transportation was limited then. And even though my house had cable then, our VCR wouldn't tape some channels. The telecourses were carried over the local public channel (which also carried the city council mettings). The poetry class was based on the PBS series Voices & Visions

I got wondering if telecourses were still a thing, what with online learning now the most popular form of distance learning. Such things would certainly come in handy under the current circumstances. Though people do watch videos online, so telecourses could still work today.

I have tried Zoom for the writers lab I have been going to, but it isn't quite to my liking. I'm not sure how I would be handling going to school this way now. When I finished college in the late 1990s, the Internet was just coming into vogue and online classes had not yet been developed, but television classes were still a thing then. I don't know how popular they were up to that point, though.

And recently this cartoon has been going around on Facebook:

Jane is watching an workout video, something that was popular in the 1980s before the Internet. And I can recall several yoga shows airing on PBS around that same time. So remote learning and instruction has been around quite a long time now.

And on a side note, my telepsychiatry sesssions have been even more remote, with the psychiatrist calling me at home. I have had two such appointments (With another scheduled next month) since the shelter-in-place began in March, my first one occuring the very week of the shutdown. I have not had to visit any other doctors since lockdown began.

If I had to deal with distance learning right now, I would adjust as necessary. 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Grocery Store Music

Just last week on Facebook I wrote, "Songs you never hear on the radio anymore now get played at the grocery store." This seems to be a scenario these days while navigating the grocery store aisles, checking for the lowest priced items, trying to remember that you need butter and making sure you have all the ingredients needed for a recipe you want to try. Then suddenly on the overhead speaker at the store there is a song playing that you haven't heard on the radio in years or it's something you have on  one of the CDs that you still have but don't listen to much anymore. I msut admit I don't listen to the radio as much as I used to, but a lot of the songs that seem to come up at stores seem unlikely to be played by most stations today. And when I did last have the radio on, I can not recall when any station did last play that songs I am unexpectedly hearing.

Every time I hear such music at the store, I begin to remember what I was doing when the song playing was current--almost like being transported back. A lot of the stuff that comes up this way is often stuff I have not heard--or even thought about!--in such a long time. And it's not just at food stores either. Such unexpected music also plays at Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Target as well. And at  Kmart when they were still around. And even at fast food joints (which have only been drive-thru lately).

It would be impossible to try to name unexpected every song I have heard at stores recently but there are some I'd like to note. 

When this came up one day at a local grocery store, I realized how often I had heard it when it was first released, then how long it had been since I'd last heard it.  

I don't recall hearing this song at a store, but somehow it came to my mind recently and when I looked it up on Youtube, someone remarked about having heard it at a grocery store. So I won't be surprised if it I ever do hear it while food shopping one day:

And last year just after Christmas when I needed milk one day, when I went to one of the grocers I don't usually go to (I got to Safeway the most), I heard this ong below. I have the CD it's on, but it has been so long since I've played any of the CDs I still have, most bought in the early 1990s. This came on just as I got in line to check out. I managed to hear it all before I was done paying, and it was stuck in my head for many days and weeks that followed (thought I like this one, so I didn't mind that):

And this is just scratching the surface. I'd also like to note how last September at Kmart when I went in to look at the Halloween stuff one Sunday afternoon. Hearing Britney Spears was annoying enough (and I always dread hearing something I can't stand before I'm done shopping) and at the end of the song playing, I went to use the restroom, and when I got out, something else started playing. It sounded familiar, like something from 30 years earlier. And it was. I never liked Milli Vanilli and thought everyone hated them once they were exposed for lip-synching. It was so weird to be hearing them at Kmart this one day. And once Kmart announced it was closing, the unexpected music just kept coming, with all Christmas tunes in December. Several Prince songs came up in the days and weeks before the closing in February. Someone remarked that a dead musician was playing in a dead store! 

This is where I'll end. I could go on all day with this. I bet this happens to everyone these days.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Chapter Break Bingo – August 2020

The new card is up now.

August Bookish Bingo

My books:
  1. His Bright Light--Danielle Steel (5 squares): EBook, Tragedy, Loyalty, Siblings or Children, Take a Flight
  2. You Are a Bada**--Jen Sincero (2 squares): Audiobook, Self Discovery
  3. Roomies--Sara Zarr (6 squares): Free Book, First Love, Young Adult/NewAdult, Not In a Series, Door on Cover, Physical Book
  4. Acts of Violets--Kate Collins (3 squares): In a Series, Shelf Love, Mystery
  5. Christmas Cake Murder--Joanne Fluke (2 squares): A Favorite Author, Free Space
  6. Nothing to See Here--Kevin Wilson (2 squares): Library Book, Book Club Read
  7. Midnight Sun--Stephenie Meyer (5 squares): Same Story Different POV, Vampire/Werewolf/Demon, Fruit or Veg on the Cover, Over 400 Pages Long, Natural Disaster/Storm
25 squares completed on August 17