Thursday, February 25, 2021

Vaccines: Truth or Dare

Although the day before yesterday I grudgingly bared my upper arm for a shot of Moderna's Covid vaccine, I was never fully on board. Still, knowing that if I didn't get it most people would consider me a conspiracy theorist and danger to society hindering the herd immunity that will save us all, for the good of mankind I did it. (You're welcome.)

The following day was a throwaway. My arm hurt, of course, but besides that I was unable to do much of anything but sleep and weep. My head throbbed. Yes, I did not die and yes, it passed. But then today I read in the news that variants from abroad are showing up here in the US -- like in New York City, for example, which is only 90 minutes away from where I live as the crow flies. (If the crow drives it's six hours.)

Representatives for Moderna Inc. assert they are working on a new vaccine to fight the incoming variants from South Africa and other "emerging strains," since the current vaccine doesn't cut it. So why would I show up for the second dose (which reportedly has worse side effects than the first) of an ineffective vaccine a month from now?

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Post-Vaccine Willies

So I get there and first thing some lady takes my temperature at the door, then directs me inside to a woman behind a computer. She takes my driver's license and looks at the photo to make sure it's really me. I am wearing two masks, a wool cap and sunglasses. She decides it's me, God knows how (see photo). She hands me several pages of reading material and forms to fill out. I go on to the form-filling-out room.

First thing I read is that the Covid-19 vaccine may cause severe reactions, possibly resulting in my death. I must admit I was nervous going in, but that really put me at ease. It went on to say that the vaccine was not really FDA-approved, that it might work and it might not, and that I could still get Covid even if it does work, so I need to keep masking, washing, and blah blah blahing. So now why am I doing this? My husband says just do it. I sign everything, agreeing to the fact that if I die it won't be anyone's fault but my own. And Mitch's. (Mostly Mitch's.)

Since I had checked off the box saying I do have severe reactions to certain things (bee stings, spider bites, mosquito bites) I had to stay an extra 15 minutes to be monitored, making it 30 minutes in all. But no worries since I wasn't even out of there in 45 minutes. That's how long it took to wait on a long line to make my appointment for the second dose.

Anyway, I got the shot. It was fine. A nice lady gave it to me, and oddly enough my arm felt sore almost immediately, like within five seconds. This was unusual, I thought, but then it seemed to feel better after about ten more minutes. On the drive home I got very sleepy --luckily Mitch was driving -- and once home I was exhausted. 

I'd say the most severe reaction is that suddenly I don't think Nancy Pelosi is a bad person after all. And Chuck Schumer, what a doll -- how have I misjudged both of them all these years? And Maxine Waters is such a sweet old lady, why did I ever dislike her? As for Joe Biden, what a mensch!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Pre-Vaccine Jitters

Tomorrow I am scheduled to get the coronavirus vaccine. I am not happy about it. I am not excited. I won't  be sending out a picture of me holding up my vaccine registration card and giving a thumbs up, like the one I got from a friend a few weeks ago. I envy him; he was so happy! While I am not.

I fear negative reactions to whatever the heck it is they inject into me. Hey, I get drunk from two sips of wine, and that's not an exaggeration. (In high school my nickname was Cheap Date.) I heard about one guy I know who fainted after his first dose. (Listen, I faint on a regular basis, and apparently for no reason anyone can figure out.) I fear getting a dose of something to make me more compliant and less of a pain in the ass. (I recently re-read 1984 and Brave New World and my paranoia where government is concerned is heightened.) And just who are the people who made it, anyway? And why do some "experts" say it might work, while others say it might not?

Whatever the reason, I don't want the damn shot. But I'm getting it because my husband wants me to, and supposedly my doing so will benefit everyone else in the world because it will help develop herd immunity. At least that's the official story. 

Bottom line: I'm getting it for you. (You can thank me later.) If I can, I'll report back post-vaccination. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Film Review: NOMADLAND

Sad Fern and one of her cigarettes. Who knows what she's thinking.

After months of hype about how great it is, yesterday Nomadland was finally available for viewing by the general public via Hulu. Being hard-core fans of the actress Frances McDormand, my husband and I were pumped up and ready to be blown away, since all the advertising and promotional articles have called it a "cinematic masterpiece" that would likely dominate this year's Oscars. Here are a few highlights:

1. We get to watch a sad, middle-aged woman named Fern (Frances McDormand) live a meager life inside her beat-up van. In one scene she sits on the toilet and has a rather noisome bowel movement, after which she pulls out a roll of toilet paper and wipes her butt. (That was a cinema first for me.) 

2. Regular people, meaning non-actors, portray themselves as nomads living in vans, cooking over fire pits and living frugally on the edges of society. They are a shaggy, craggy bunch who all look like they could use a good scrubbing.  

3. There are many, many -- too many? -- full-screen, National Geographic-worthy shots of the mountains, rivers, deserts, clouds and mostly barren landscapes of Nevada, South Dakota, Arizona, Nebraska and California. If seeing the American West is your thing, you'll love it.

4. There is virtually no plot beyond this: Fern is a recent widow whose town dried up after the local sheetrock plant closed and everyone moved away. Mourning her dead husband, she heads out to see America and comes upon a community of other van-dwellers in the desert. Grieving the loss of all she had, Fern is mostly non-communicative throughout, although once in awhile she smiles. She manages to forge friendships with two other women, and is seen actually sharing laughs with both. But they each eventually drive off in their own vans. (Life is a river.)

5. A fellow nomad (David Strathairn) likes Fern well enough to ask her to come live with him, in a house owned by his son and daughter-in-law who are new parents. She visits him but ultimately rejects family life, and is shown being uncomfortable even holding the new baby for five minutes. She also refuses the offer of shelter from her loving sister (Melissa Smith) who loans her money when the van needs repair. Fern prefers to remain, as she puts it, "houseless." 

5. The film does not address the elephant in the room, which is that Fern is deeply depressed and cut off from her own feelings and those of the people around her. We are never shown what the heck happened to make her this way. What she needs, besides a spa day, a haircut and a pair of jeans that fit -- hers are like two sizes too big -- is several sessions with a good shrink. Also she should quit smoking, something she does constantly.

6. The musical score is beautiful and outshines everything else.

Friday, February 19, 2021

I Always Wanted a Big Brother, and Now I Have One!

Growing up with an older sister who, despite her best intentions, made my life hell from day one, I dreamed of having a big brother instead. He would protect me from bullies, make jokes and help me navigate the world. Now I do have a big brother, only he's a Big Brother, and his name is Mark Zuckerberg and he hasn't helped me in any way.

This morning he sent me a message saying I could not go on Facebook for the next 24 hours because I had used "hate speech" in one of my blog posts back in December. (Called someone a bitch, who clearly was one.) 

Honestly, the punishment hurt me not a whit. I have often gone days without posting anything, so big whoop. Besides, I have two Facebook accounts with different names, so now I'm using the other one. (Shhh, don't tell anyone.)

Not sure if this will post since Mark's note said I could not "go live" on the platform, and he might be smart enough to figure out I'm the same person as that bad girl. We'll find out just how up-to-speed they are over at Big Brother's place.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Truth About Rush Limbaugh

Yesterday a bright light was extinguished: Rush Limbaugh died. I won't bother saying who he was or what he accomplished in his 70 years here on earth since you can read that anywhere today. Instead, I'd like to debunk some of the lies that are out there, spun by lefties who likely never once heard his daily three-hour radio broadcast, only edited clips taken out of context by the likes of Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon and played on their nightly Republican hatefests on CNN and MSNBC.

Rush was not a racist. Not at all, in fact quite the opposite, he loved every single American regardless of who they were or their station in life. 

Rush was not a politician. He had no desire to run for office, thus had no need to lie about anything. He was an entertainer through and through, and his "shtick" was current affairs, history, Congress, the Constitution, and the foibles of those in power.

Rush was really, really funny. He was a great mimic, often doing impressions of people as he talked about them. Some of his best were Bill Clinton, Andrea Mitchell and Barack Obama. (The fact that Rush always called him Barack Hussein Obama made people think he was a racist, as if saying someone's whole name could be construed as a putdown.) He had nicknames for people; and his name for Joe Biden was "Plugs," dating back many years when Biden started going bald and got hair plugs. Even after Biden won the election, Rush still called him Plugs.

Rush was extremely kind. He was never rude to anyone who called his show, even if they were rude to him or represented opposing political views. His staff loved him and considered him a member of their family.

Rush loved kids. Whenever a child or a parent with young children called the show, Rush would have them give their address to his staff so he could send them gifts, like copies of his five best-selling children's books about American history (The Rush Revere series) or a laptop or iPhone if they didn't have one.

Rush was brutally honest, even about himself. He neither stretched the truth nor hid it. Knowing how loyal and caring his listeners were, he openly shared news about his cancer diagnosis beginning in February of 2020. In recent weeks we knew the end was near.

Rush was charismatic. Approximately 27 million listeners tuned in to hear his energetic, upbeat voice for three hours a day, five days a week. They came away with a deeper understanding of complicated issues regarding our government, our leaders and our foreign policies.

Rush made people smarter. As a conservative, he explained his beliefs thoroughly and clearly, at the same time clarifying the inherent problems with progressive idealism and anti-capitalism.

Rush was a bright spot during this pandemic. Now he's gone and all is dark.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Trigger Happy

Okay, are you ready for this? Math is now deemed "racist" so they might stop teaching it in elementary schools. And there's more: Suddenly a period at the end of a sentence is triggering to that generation known as "snowflakes", who are also triggered by the term snowflakes. 
Even though for the last 2,200 years the little dot has been used to end a sentence, to certain grown adults weaned on text messages it is a sign of suppressed aggression. Recently British writer Rhiannon Cosslett tweeted: "Older people – do you realize that ending a sentence with a full stop comes across as sort of abrupt and unfriendly to younger people in an email/chat?" 

As a baby boomer, periods at the ends of sentences do not offend me. Go ahead, send me lots of short sentences ending with periods, I won't care, I can handle it. In fact, there is no bit of punctuation that I find upsetting. Instead, I am triggered by other things that I can't handle, like the following:

Smile Train ads showing kids with no upper lip

TV commercials showing animal abuse

Joe Biden's holier-than-thou WASPiness

Kamala Harris wearing sneakers on the cover of Vogue

Nancy Pelosi's matchy-matchy face masks

rappers with gold front teeth

childen with cancer

fatties eating piles of French fries in public with their fat kids

Rachel Maddow's smug smirk

bad weather predictions that don't materialize

people without face masks shopping in the grocery store

phone recordings that say "Our menu options have changed" when they haven't, ever

power outages

when someone says, "It is what it is"

food that arrives cold even after you stressed that you want it EXTRA HOT

Anderson Cooper trashing Trump mercilessly even though his own brother committed suicide so you'd think he'd lay off 

Chris Cuomo having a TV show, or even a job

Vaccines: Truth or Dare

Although the day before yesterday I grudgingly bared my upper arm for a shot of Moderna's Covid vaccine, I was never fully on board. Sti...