Omicron comes to town


The other day was National Crossword puzzle day!

Omicron is on everyone’s mind but I am starting with something light. I was so excited to blog about this important holiday and you may not think I am serious but I am all too serious. Don’t believe me? If you were around me on any day that the NY Times has a rebus puzzle, you would not think I am not serious.

“What is a rebus puzzle?” Good question! That’s where they put MORE THAN ONE LETTER OR A DIGIT in a square and it MAKES ME CRAZY! Well, crazier than I normally am. The first time I saw one of these, I thought my head was going to explode. Seriously. And you don’t want to be around me when they get their facts wrong!

The first thing I do every day is the Times’ crossword. I LOVE IT! There is even a movie, Wordplay, about people who do and love crossword puzzles. If you are like me and love them, check it out!

Omicron is not a transformer, though it is transforming life

This week, New York City is once again the epicenter of covid activity thanks to the omicron variety. Not only that but the part of town where I hang out the most is the epicenter of the epicenter. That’s right! Greenwich Village is one of the hottest spots (for omicron) in the city.

Over the last seven days, for every 100,000 Manhattan residents, about 1,672 have been infected, the city said in a transmission chart on its COVID data site.

Source: NYC Health

And that’s just an average – in some Manhattan neighborhoods, the numbers are astronomically higher. In Greenwich Village and SoHo, it’s 2,927 cases per 100,000; in Chelsea, 2,513 per 100,000.

Source: NBC4 NY

This matters to me because when I go into the city, my number one destination is MacDougal Street, which is in the heart of the Village. Great. I thought I was getting my booster shot yesterday but had the date wrong. D’Oh!

Why I am still working to end genocide

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. This will mark Paul Rusesabagin’s second Christmas behind bars. Please check out the piece I wrote for Medium.

And yes, I am still angry about Annie.

Cat foam and other randomness

Cat foam

I never thought I would want cat foam on my coffee but now I can think of little else

Cat foam cappuccino, who knew such a thing existed? I didn’t but I am glad I learned about it because it kicked what I had been obsessed with out of my brain, if only for a few minutes. Last week, I learned about another product. Someone created a vibrator with Pete Davidson on it. It turns on when he is on TV, like when he is in a sketch on Saturday Night Live. When the iPhone was invented, no one knew they needed it but then no one could live without it. I have to wonder if one day we will say that about the Pete Davidson vibrator. I can’t see you but I can sense you are skeptical. Time will tell.

Now I am a Pete Davidson fan. The parody of Walking in Memphis Walking in Staten is amazing. I keep trying to watch the King of Staten Island but I am working up to it.

Karma and travel

I have an Airbnb in my house and, for the most part, the people have been great. I just had a couple stay for five days and I think they had a good time in the place. They told me they liked it and asked for some things that I was able to get for them. Over the past 18 months, I have hosted people from all over the world. I have been thinking lately that when someone complains about my space or my house, it may be karma from when I was traveling all the time and may not have been the nicest person.

Why I hate Annie

Truth be told, I am not sure why I have always hated the musical Annie. Maybe because the original girl was a redhead and I am a redhead and was compared to her a lot as a child. I have no real reason but the story is kind of annoying. A rich guy, who may or may not have made his money as a war monger (Daddy “Warbucks?”), goes to an orphanage and is like, “Hey, I need an orphan for the holiday, which one can I have?” And they’re all, “Sure, take one!” That’s how orphanages work? It’s harder to adopt a cat.

NBC is showing Annie Live in a few days with Harry Connick, Jr. as the character, Oliver Warbucks (his real name, it’s an homage to Oliver Twist, which is the one part of the play that doesn’t make me want to rip out my own eyes). I am a fan of the singer/actor but with a bald cap on, he looks like a pedophile, which means he really shouldn’t be able to borrow an orphan.

PS. When Warbucks learns Annie has never visited Manhattan, he takes her there but they walk 45 blocks. WTF?

This cat knows what’s what.

Goodbye, American democracy. You had a good run

Please note: This appeared on Addicting Info on January 20, 2018. That site is no longer working but thanks to the wonderful people at The Way Back Machine, I found it.

n 1838, Abraham Lincoln spoke to the Young Men’s Lyceum. In it, he warned that the United States’ fall would not come from abroad, as many feared, but from within. He said,

“Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.”

The actions this week, taken by President Trump, Congressman Devon Nunes (R-CA), Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and others may be just the latest indication of how right Lincoln was and how close we are to the end of the American experiment.

People often conflate politics, government, and campaigning. That is understandable. The differences seem to become more without distinction every day. Here’s the thing: the agencies in the Executive Branch exist to promote the policy agenda of whatever administration is in power. Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has different policy objectives than Obama’s. For example, the federal government’s thoughts on legalized pot have changed completely.

These agencies are not there to promote candidates or the political objectives of any administrations, as they seem to expected to do now. Trump has openly asked, why “the Trump DOJ” can’t do what he wants in terms of the investigation into any Russia connection. The reason is that they have a job to protect the Constitution and the rule of law, not Donald J. Trump.

This last year has seen unprecedented attacks on the American rule of law. So many times have people had to use “unprecedented” that its meaning has all been lost. By firing James Comey, forcing out Andrew McCabe and launching an endless attack on the FBI and DOJ, our president is effectively dismantling one of the things that is so special about our country. Our belief in the rule of law.Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Now it appears, the Legislative Branch has become complicit. In years past, the Intelligence Committees in the U.S. House and Senate were considered to be “bastions of bipartisanship.” In both, no investigations were to be started without both sides weighing in. Nunes, who had recused himself from the Russian investigation last spring, ended that fine tradition by starting an investigation into how the FBI handled their Russian investigation without consulting Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA). Once again, that move was unprecedented, but does that mean anything today?

Apparently not because Ryan has said he is “letting the process play out.” No, this is not doing that at all. Now, Nunes’ committee will release a memo, he wrote about the Russian investigation (you know, the one he “recused” himself from) without putting out the other side of the story. PS. It is worth noting that Russian bots have been pushing for the Nunes’ memo to be released. It is also worth noting that changing the rules for how the committee conducts investigations without input from the minority should get Nunes booted from his chairmanship. Ryan is abdicating his main responsibilities as Speaker of the House.

Many believe that the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, will be the next to go (he was hired by Trump but ok’d the extension of the Carson Page FISA warrant). His replacement may either fire Robert Mueller or just make it impossible for him to do his job.

When we start destroying the foundations of our government (the DOJ is not alone, the State Department is also being decimated from within), we are participating in a kind of cannibalism. When our government acts only to get one side ahead of the other politically and we live in a time when each side lives by a different reality, how can anything positive come from that?

For decades, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union sought to weaken, if not destroy, the United States. Lincoln was right. They should have saved their money. We are going to do it for them.

Some thoughts about June Osborne

June Osborne

June Osborne is my hero

I am obsessed with The Handmaid’s Tale and its angry protagonist, June Osborne. This is one show I would happily binge but the meanies over at Hulu are only releasing one episode a week so I have to wait. I seriously hate that.

If you have not watched the show, read the book, or seen the original film, and have lived in a cave under a rock, you may not have heard the story. It takes place after a second civil war where the nation of the United States is mostly taken over by right-wing nut job Christians. Fertile women are made into handmaids and sent to live with high-ranking commanders and their wives. They have no freedom and are raped once a month by the commander with the wife taking part. It’s just all sorts of messed up. When a handmaid gets pregnant (praise be!) they have to give up the child to the mistress of the household.

Meanwhile, June, now a handmaid, saw her daughter, Hannah, taken from her, and Hannah is then sent to new parents (a commander and his wife). June is also placed into the home of Fred and Serena Joy Waterford. In the “before” Serena Joy was an architect of what would become the new, religious state of Gilead. She’s not just another wife hell-bent on having a child through her handmaid, she’s a big driving force in the creation of this dystopian hell.

If you have watched that, I am sorry for wasting your time.

I love June. I love that she makes mistakes and is human. I love how far she is willing to go to save Hannah. Most of all, I love her anger. It is so rare for female characters to express fury. They can be sad, hurt, disappointed, depressed, etc. but they never seem to be truly angry. June Osborne is nothing if not furious. And she has every right.

Spoiler alert. Don’t read any more if you have not seen Season Four episodes 6 and 7.

Having said that, June can also be infuriating. Watching her fight with Moira about getting on a boat to Canada made me want to throw something at the TV. We get it. She feels guilty about Hannah but she was going to be tortured and killed by Aunt Lydia if she stays in Gilead. She’s no help to Hannah dead.

Serious question for other fans of this show… Is Janine dead? Please leave your answer in the comments or email me.

For no reason other than it helps with SEO, I am putting a link to reasons you should avoid squirrels.