Experimental Cooking Exploits

So, I’ve been having a very fun week cooking and such. I have learned to make muffins, which I now like, apparently. I made chocolate chip coffee cake muffins and peanut butter muffins with peanut butter chips, both delicious. I made mint chocolate chip ice cream yesterday, came out pretty good and I know what I’ll do differently next time so, I’m counting it a win. This morning I got up and made donuts for the first time. I made cinnamon & sugar, vanilla glazed, and chocolate glazed. All good! My husband has declared them preferable to commercial donuts.

After eating some fresh, warm donuts this morning he said; “Wow, it will be so much easier to stock up for the next shut down. You’ll just need a bunch of basic supplies and you can make whatever you want from them.” He then compared me to the astronauts on the space station somehow, which I think is something of an exaggeration….

I am attempting to propagate my peppermint plants into more peppermint plants. My goal is a vast, unstoppable supply of fresh mint. Normal people could just toss a mint leaf in their yard and it would be overrun with mint in a month. For me this is not so. I must work at it, try, fail, try again. Eventually I got 2 types of mint to take hold in my yard. It took me 3 years. I could still easily wipe it out making tea so I’m trying to get some real, strong patches of it developed. We’ll see.

Peppermint on the left, spearmint on the right.

There exists a real chance that we demolished the mint ice cream without getting proper pics, something I will remedy with batch 2, coming soon to a goofy blog near you!

Making Ice Cream

I found a recipe online for mint chocolate chip ice cream that uses fresh mint and does not require an ice cream maker! (I don’t have one and I prefer gadgets that are multi-purpose) So this morning I went out and harvested a bunch of peppermint from the yard and attempted the recipe for the first time. I was so excited I forgot to take many pics but here’s what I’ve got:

Now the ice cream is all put together but I rather suspect the chocolate chips all sank to the bottom. I think I will try mini-chocolate chips, if I can get any, and whipping the cream a little stiffer next time. I will post tomorrow and let you know if this worked and how it came out. So Exciting!

If I can make ice cream… I have the Power! The means of production are in my hands! MUAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Try a Little Something New

When I was a kid iced tea was this sugary stuff in a canister that we weren’t allowed to have. I went through a phase where I drank a fair bit of it in my 20s but as it is basically non carbonated soda with only one redeeming value: caffeine, I gave it up even before I gave up soda. It’s like an optional level of growing up to give up food that isn’t really food, to start wanting to eat things that actually make you feel good and are full of nutrition and not just sugar, fat & salt. I still indulge in food that doesn’t have much to recommend it, I just try to choose it consciously and not by default.

At some point after giving up sugary, canister iced tea, I found myself needing an ice cold drink on hot days that wasn’t just water. I started making mint tea sweetened with a little maple syrup and it was a hit with my family and with people wherever I brought it. Then I started making an unsweetened mint tea using half spearmint and half peppermint and my family absolutely loves it. This year I am making iced teas with various mint leaves, dried citrus peels and/or dried citrus slices, dried roses, dried apple slices w/cinnamon and so on. I feel 100% free to experiment, to try and succeed or fail, to make mistakes and discover wonderful new things I want to keep in my life. A few years ago I decided, and I’m quoting here: “Fuck it. I am not getting any younger, my life is rolling on by at a steady pace, and I am tired of being afraid to fail. I am tired of talking myself out of things without even trying. I am tired of feel so very STUCK. So this year I am just going to go for it, just whatever I feel like I might want to try, I am just going to try and not listen to my brain telling me it won’t work.”

So that’s what I did. I started small. I watched shows I thought I might not like, I tried recipes I wasn’t sure I could manage, I read books I thought might go over my head, and I tried making things I thought I might not be able to successfully make. I failed to push past my fear of doing a craft show, twice, maybe more than twice, it’s hard to recall. I still haven’t done that, but now I haven’t been producing crafts like I used to so… I DID open an Etsy shop and sold some things for a little while. Definitely didn’t make any money but it was still something of a learning experience. I saw a job for a library assistant and ignored the fact that I wasn’t qualified and actually sent in a resume’. I got an interview and I got the job! About 1 1/2 years later I saw a job posting for a teen librarian, something I did not get the schooling for and librarian schooling is serious, wow, major degrees for it and often for very good reason. But, this was a small, rural library and the expansive and detailed knowledge that might be very necessary in a populated city isn’t as critical. So I applied, sent in a resume’ and cover letter telling myself the worst that could happen would be no reply. I got an interview and I got that job too!

The lesson in this ramble is: GO FOR IT! You might get a wonderful surprise! But, having gained my dream job, I now experiment mostly on a smaller scale, with recipes, art, and that sort of thing. So, Iced tea: Play with it! Have fun! Use your favorite fruits and herbs to create your own signature blends! BE YOU. Put something you thought up out into the world. Anyway, here’s some pics of my “process.”

That was yesterday’s tea and below is today’s still in progress. I opted to pick mint fresh from the yard for today and skip the dried apple I used yesterday. I also made the blend a lot stronger with more dried orange slices and roses.

Book Bonanza Almost Summer Ed.

I’m a librarian, I read a lot, well, I read as much as I can in between all the other things I need to do, have to do, and like to do. I finished a book last night and looked around to see which one I want to pick up next and found that I am reading quite a few at once right now. Typical, I switch books as my mood changes unless one really grabs me. That used to happen all the time, now it’s rare, but it’s such a delight when it happens.

I just finished Vagabonding; by Rolf Potts and Mark of the Demon; by Diana Rowland and I enjoyed them both. Vagabonding is a sort of travel book that encourages you to wander on a more long-term basis. It’s well written, full of tips, hints, and encouragement for would be vagabonders. I sincerely hope to be able to follow its advice one day. Mark of the Demon is one of those rare books that grabbed me and made me read it. I read the first few chapters a while ago and had to put it aside, I think it was the pandemic that distracted me, I picked it up again a few days ago and just flew through it. It is part detective story, part urban fantasy, with a dash of sex/romance. It is a terrific read and, happily for me, the start of a series. I loved it enough that I ordered the next 3 books in the series before I’d quite finished the 1st. Diana Rowland is a treasure! And to think I only discovered her because of the dragons in her yard. https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2018/12/19/neighbor-anonymously-called-christmas-dragons-her-yard-demonic-so-she-put-more-up/

I’m currently just barely started on The Color of Law; by Richard Rothstein and very excited to read So You Want to Talk About Race; by Ijeoma Oluo which arrived in the mail yesterday. I’m doing my best to educate myself about racism and what we can all do to end it and build a better world. If anyone has any suggestions of helpful books on the subject, especially those by people of color, I would love to hear about them. Please leave a comment!

These 3 books ^ are all relating to the Summer Reading theme for 2020 which includes fairy tales and folk tales. I had really hoped I’d be done reading them ages ago but even with the lockdown I didn’t get them read. How to Fracture a Fairy Tale; by Jane Yolen is, unfortunately, not a how-to book. It is a collection of fractured tales that is perfectly wonderful, I had just hoped it was a ton of advice and examples of how to actually fracture a fairy tale. I’m running a writing contest for the teens at my library this summer and I did not examine this book before buying it. I’m a little bit impulsive and quite whimsical at times. The Witch Must Die; by Sheldon Cashdan is a book that examines and dissects the meaning behind fairy tales. So far it is interesting and I am learning that there is practically no end to the number of fairy tales I hadn’t heard of before picking up this book. Fairy House; How to Make Amazing Fairy Furniture, Miniatures, and More From Natural Materials; by Mike and Debbie Schramer is exactly what it sounds like. Filled with tons of colorful pictures it is a delight to the eye. Though some examples can be very specific, and might use materials not everyone can find, they still function very well as inspiration for one’s own creations. I am hoping to make great use of this book for my own projects this Summer and, hopefully, with the teens for a Fall workshop, pandemic permitting.

These 3 ^ are books I’m reading in a determined, not to say desperate, attempt to overcome my longstanding status as a blight Druid who tragically loves plants and wants to be a regular Druid. I love books on urban farming and small space gardening even though I live in a rural area because I am almost completely hopeless at growing food. Books on urban farming tend to be much more cheerleader-y and encouraging to people who don’t think they have the space or talent to grow anything so, obviously, they are my go-to.

And these are books involving a spiritual path that I find fascinating and compelling but that is not my own specific path. I find myself in the awkward position of being a solitary Norse Pagan, a path not best suited to being solitary. So I find comfort in books about Wicca which is much more commonly pursued alone. The Earth Path; by Starhawk is, so far, quite good. I find much of value in her writings in general and when I started reading this one there were fires devouring parts of Australia and California and the book opens dealing with fire season in CA so it felt ridiculously relevant. The other 2 deal with herbs, plants and place and are part of my frustrated Druid recovery issues.

I read Silent Hall; by N.S. Dolkart some time ago. I absolutely loved it. Somehow I managed to miss that 2 more books were released in the series, which I think is a trilogy and therefore complete now, and now I have these 2 on my teetering TBR pile. (To Be Read) The special thing about these 3 books is that the author held a drawing to give away a few sets of his books to celebrate Father’s Day and his 11th wedding anniversary and I won one! They are all signed and I couldn’t be more excited to find out what happens to the little band of heroes I grew to love. I can only speak to book one which was very much a coming of age fantasy adventure with an interesting cast of characters who set out to save the world or the kingdom against pretty impossible odds. It’s been a couple of years and the details escape me but my enthusiasm remains high. I may actually re-read book to catch hold of the thread again. N.S. Dolkart is an author I expect great things from.

So, that ought to keep me out of trouble this summer! Plus I’ll be fitting in the ‘Demon’ books I’ve got coming in the mail … somehow. That may involve losing some sleep to reading time but I expect it will be well worth it. What are you reading this Summer? Let me know!

What am I doing w/ Roses?

I keep mentioning drying roses for tea and it probably sounds a little weird. Flowers aren’t much used for food around these parts but many are edible. Roses, all types that I know of, are safe to eat or make tea with. That doesn’t mean you want to use the ones from the florist though, those are likely to have been sprayed with pesticide. But if you have roses growing in your yard and you don’t use poison on your lawn or other plants, those are probably fine. I have a mad, rambling little rosebush/vine that is producing like crazy and it is looking like I will have more roses than I need this year. *happy dance*

Say you want to gather some roses for tea and you have access in your yard, or through a lovely friend with some in their yard, what do you do? What is the process? It’s simple!

  • Pluck as many nice, full blossoms as you need. (open flowers, leave all partly open blossoms and all buds)
  • Gently rise each blossom under cool water.
  • Shake the water off each blossom and place in a bowl.
  • Line a baking tray w/parchment paper.
  • Set the oven to 170F. (or lower, that’s as low as mine goes.)
  • Again, shake each blossom and place face down on the lined baking tray.
  • Place tray in oven and gently dry for 20 minutes.
  • Check every 15-20 minutes until they are thoroughly dried out. This can take a while depending on humidity and other factors. Mine have been taking up to 90 minutes with the humidity we’ve had lately.
  • Alternatively, you can dry them on bamboo trays in the sun. (if it isn’t humid or rainy) Do everything the same but place the flowers face down directly on the bamboo trays, cover loosely and lightly with cheese cloth, and place in direct sunlight. (I dry mine on our deck when I can.) It might take a couple of days depending on your climate, bring them in at night and put them back out in the morning.
  • When roses are dry, gently remove them from the paper or tray, they may stick a little, and pop the dried blossoms into dry, air-tight bags or jars.

They are now ready to use to make your own tea blends. I make a blend of roses, mint, dried apple, and a bit of dried citrus peel, usually orange or clementine. Delicious, but you can play around and try other flavors. I’m allergic, but I know a lot of people like roses with dried strawberries and a bit of black tea. You can make your hot teas into iced teas for hot weather too. I like to make an iced blend of peppermint and spearmint, (1/2 & 1/2) by making a really strong pot of it hot, steeping at least 20 minutes, and then pouring it into a 2 quart pitcher filled to the brim with ice. It is utterly refreshing on a hot day. Maybe this year I’ll add some roses.

I also crumble the petals of some of the dried blossoms and run them through my coffee grinder to make rose powder. You can use it to color and flavor breads and cookies and things. I haven’t used it yet but I plan to experiment with it as soon as I can. I am expecting great things! ^_^

Dream of a Colorful Life

Cooler weather means baking and more cooking in general. I made chocolate chip coffee cake muffins for breakfast this morning. Muffins for motivation! The boy needs to start getting the computers processed for his dad this morning. My poor husband, he just cannot do it all, there is too much. Thankfully the school agreed to pay our lad to clean them up and process them through. Gives the boy something to do, some structure for his days for a while , and gives him the boost of earning some money. I think I will make the weird bean soup for lunch again. I made it last week and it was a hit so maybe it will be again.

Yesterday I got a fair bit accomplished despite spending the day waiting for the doctor to call which they never did. I did a ton of cooking and prep, did laundry, dishes, got the groceries and such, cleaned the yard and told the lad that I am bloody tired of cleaning up dog droppings in all the places I have repeatedly told him Not to walk her. Basically, anywhere we are likely to walk is not a great spot, especially as we walk in our own yard in the dark sometimes. I picked and dried a ton of roses, made rose powder which is basically dry, pink food coloring with a sweet, floral flavor. I’m hoping for a big crop of mint too, but we’ll see.

Been trying to bolster my husband’s morale. Trying to get him to see that, in my opinion, he doesn’t have to be trapped by his job. He can embrace the idea of “fuck it” and go for what he wants. I know he’s right that we need insurance and that we wouldn’t last long without him having a steady income, I know, it’s 100% practical. But, he shouldn’t hate his life, you know? I’m not saying he just yell; “I QUIT!” and storm off, fun as that would be, I’m saying work on a real escape plan. He’s applying to places and that’s awesome, but if we drop one of our games he could use that time to work on a creative project that could be an outlet for him, that might or might not become anything in the future… but it might, and he will never know if he doesn’t try. What if he kept this job and was able to make a little money on a side project? What if that side project lead to another and another? Even if completely breaking free of regular work doesn’t happen, being able to make some money at fulfilling, creative work would shift the dynamic for him. He might feel freer to pursue a job with less hours, for less pay, maybe we could still get employer insurance until the broken health system gets fixed.

Even though it’s probably a silly dream, I think about us living a smaller, more flexible life. What if we could get our expenses down and our savings up to the point where we could live on a very small income? What if I could sell paintings and handicrafts, work at the library part time. Maybe he could work part time sell some of his creative projects? What if we could grow a lot of our own food? I know there would be a lot to think about, I get how impractical I am. But if we just stay on the well-worn path… where the hell does that get us? I’m tired of being fenced in, stifled, trapped on a crazy hamster wheel of boredom and frustration. I think my husband is WAY more tired of it than I am, I think I’m more tired of watching him deal with it. The craziness of modern life, the hurry, hurry, hurry, the full to bursting schedules, the lack of community, it’s all awful and soul-deadening. There is a way, or there are a million ways, to break free and I am going to find one that works for us.

Reality bites, so I will create a new one. It will be more beautiful and creative and fulfilling. A life worth living, where we make memories and have experiences worth talking about. I want us to both have the time and freedom to learn new skills as we want and need to. I want my sweet, hardworking husband to have enough free time that he isn’t paralyzed by choice anymore. He was working full-time (40-60 hours/week) while going to school 1/2-time (10-20 hours of work/week) for over 6 years. During that time he lost the ability to … know what he wants to do at any given time. He had so little time to call his own, he never made a choice, he’d end up scrolling FB, staring at TV or spending hours on a video game only to regret it later. I think any of those things has their place but he was falling into them by default and feeling like he wasted what little time he had. When school ended he was unable to figure out what to do with his free time for quite a while. We eventually settled into tabletop gaming, a little reading and such, but these are sort of default settings for us. With the extra workload the pandemic has forced on him he’s overwhelmed again. I just want him to have the ability to relax, unwind, let go of the stress and do something that makes him happy. I’d love it if he could be rewarded, get that insane morale boost of having his creativity valued by others.

Isolation Interlude

How crazy is the world right now? It’s almost a sincere question because I am trying to keep my head down and not look at the news because I’m trying to preserve my sanity. Some stuff still gets through and a lot of it is depressing and enraging and horrifying in the extreme. I don’t hide from the news all the time, just when I need a break.

I’ve been reading a book called Mark of the Demon; by Diana Rowland and I’m really enjoying it. I ordered the next couple of paperbacks in the series because I had a Barnes & Noble gift card. I’m reading tons of other stuff, The Color of Law; by Richard Rothstein, The Witch must Die; by Sheldon Cashdan, plus many more and I’m still waiting for my copy of So You Want to Talk About Race; by Ijeoma Oluo. But Mark of the Demon is my escape read at the moment so it’s getting gobbled up in a hurry.

The other ways I’m distracting myself from reality are working on a project that may or may not be anything at all, work and the Summer reading preparation that is swallowing me whole, replacing instacart shopping because gods, does instacart SUCK. We had good luck with them for a few months but when they fail they fail BIG. Wasted my entire day dealing with it and I’m DONE. We did the curbside pick-up at Hannaford’s for the first time today, it went well so I’m hopeful. It was also way cheaper! We grabbed the farmshare on the way home so the fridge is full to bursting and I will be committing acts of vegetable preparation and loads of cooking in the next few days.

My roses have gone ballistic! I harvested at least 150 blossoms this morning. At this rate I will have enough for tea all year long. I just need another couple of harvests like that. Since we finally have rain, the mint should start going crazy too. Yay! I need a lot of mint to keep me in tea through the winter. I still possess exactly zero apple trees though and that is sad. I bet they take forever to get established and get going too. I’ll have to look into it. I am not good at growing plants for food. I do okay with house plants but I’ve been frustrated for decades at my inability to get even the hardiest herbs to grow. But I DO have mint now. It’s a ray of hope that I am determined to capitalize on. The golden raspberries look like they will do well this year, as do the wild blackberries. What can I say? Little dreams keep me going through the dark times.

Everything else is continuing on as normal. We’ve got 4 or 5 RPGs going at the moment so that keeps us busy. The kids are all staggering along doing their best to keep occupied and sane too. I look forward to a day when we can do regular stuff like run out and get yummy soft-serve ice cream, or stop by a store to pick up that one thing we forgot, or maybe get haircuts or something. It’s so weird right now and it seems even weirder with people rushing to get back to normal. I hope things will start truly improving soon but I don’t know. I keep dreaming of tornadoes.

Suicide Cult

We’ve become a suicide cult.

First our alleged leadership ignored the warnings of a growing threat from the virus and did nothing. They had months to prepare but they did nothing. Then they delayed asking people to isolate and spouted absolute bullshit about how the virus would magically disappear in the Spring. When things finally were shut down they chomped at the bit wanting to open things up again immediately. The gasbag in chief started stating it was time to open up and some fool states did it.

We had one governor literally saying older Americans should be willing to die gasping for air to preserve the economy. Same governor now has his state devolving into an absolute medical hellscape but won’t ask people to stay at home again until it gets, much, much worse.

People are becoming infected at a faster and faster rate, the number of new cases is just exploding and the death toll keeps rising while these monsters tell their followers not to wear masks. I don’t think these “leaders” are stupid. I think they want us all to die. I think they are actively trying to destroy this country. They’ve turned their followers into a suicide cult of massive proportions. I do not understand how anyone can keep following them, keep listening to their patently bad advice. But I know that bad advice is spreading.

Remember the advice? Stay home if at all possible, wear a mask whenever you must go out, stay at least 6 feet away from others… that advice? They are dialing that back while this virus keeps spreading!!!! It is by no means contained at all and the CDC is saying those precautions might not be necessary!!! WTF?!?! They think the only answer now is herd immunity. Because we did such and absolutely shitty job and failed to prevent or contain the spread, and because a vaccine is probably a year or more away, they must have decided that herd immunity is the only card they can play. That is going to mean catastrophic rates of infection and a tidal wave of death. The number of cases is going to overwhelm and crush our medical system. The number of deaths is going to break our capacity to deal with the bodies. Remember NewYork? The unrefrigerated truck parked in the street filled with bodies? Remember Ecuador? https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/03/americas/guayaquil-ecuador-overwhelmed-coronavirus-intl/index.html That will be us.

And do you really think the economy won’t tank when this all goes down? Are you thinking; “Oh sure, lots of people will die but the economy will be ok.” Think again. This is going to get so ugly. When more and more people get sick our industries are going to come to a crashing halt. I can’t even imagine how bad this is going to get, and I’ve got a good imagination.

How Not to Customer Service

The hottest day so far this Summer was a few days back. We tried to order some box fans from our local Home Despot for curbside pickup. Their website claimed to have 70 of the model we wanted in stock, yay! We carefully placed our order, making SURE to pick curbside pickup for that day, and immediately got an email that the fans would be delivered to us July 1st. No, no, no. My husband called customer service and cancelled the order, explaining about the website claiming there were 70 fans in the store and asking if we could pick them up that day. Nope! The website was inaccurate. Fine, we don’t want the fans then, we will get them somewhere else, cancel the whole thing. That should be the end of that!

Actually, no. The day before yesterday we found this on our porch:

Oh good, here’s the giant box of fans we don’t want…

So, my husband called customer service and lets them know we cancelled this order and we need it picked back up. Despot: Oh, well we have to send you a return shipping label for that… Husband: Good, send us the return label, great. ….. This morning:

???? wtf? Seriously, wtf? Why? Why are there 2 giant boxes now???

They won’t take either of these boxes back without return shipping labels, which they have to send to us, which we have to affix, and then we have to call and request they get picked up and taken away. The level of disorganization over at Home Despot must be incredible. How does a request for a shipping label result in a second giant box of fans? I can only assume it’s a second box of fans because we didn’t order anything else and this is clearly the last time we will ever order anything from this company. So, this is one example of how not to customer service unless they are expecting us to keep two boxes of fans for free, because I would be ok with that. LMAO.

Daily Slice of Dystopia

May you live in interesting times. That statement is allegedly a Chinese curse and I have to say that times have gotten well past “interesting.” The Covid-19 pandemic is coming under control in many places but it is still raging across the US. A few states seem to currently be experiencing less new case but others are seeing rates skyrocket. Things are supposedly getting better in my state so the governor is saying certain places can open up in certain ways but these phases of reopening are much too short. We aren’t giving each phase enough time to see the actual impact on number of cases before starting the next phase. I think we are headed for disaster. We may get there more slowly than some places, but disaster is the destination.

I have 3 grown children living at home unable to go out and look for jobs because of the risk of exposure to the virus. They are all on the Autism spectrum and the older 2 have always had trouble finding work, my middle child has literally never been employed except for work-study at the local community college, the oldest has been hired in restaurant and by a pharmacy chain in the past. At this point neither has worked since March. I came up with an idea so they could do some work over the summer that would save us money and gain them a useful skill: they can scrape and paint our house, or at least most of it. They are going to watch youtube videos to learn how and start at the back of the house for practice. We’ll get all the supplies, of course, and pay them a small stipend because it just wouldn’t be at all fair otherwise. I’m hoping that learning the skills and having the experience will give them both a boost in the confidence dept. and that having an income of some sort again will lift their spirits. It would be epic if either of them could go on to get work as a house painter. Anyway, that’s my scheme for the girls.

Our son has had a short gig as a paid intern for a few weeks the last 2 summers that has been amazing for him. My husband had been asking for an intern to take care of the returned student laptops each Spring. It is low-level work that includes physical cleaning, sticker removal, etc, checking them in, sorting out and shipping the ones that need to be repaired, and cleaning them out of all user information. It’s something that can be learned with maybe an hour of training and not something the Director of IT should be doing, especially when his workload is through the roof. So 2 years ago his immediate boss was suddenly on board and suggested our son could do it as he had just turned 16 and wouldn’t it be a cool experience for him? Heck, yeah! Our lad enjoyed it very much and has been shockingly good at not spending the money he’s earned. Unfortunately, they are balking at hiring anyone to do it this year. It’s insane, my husband is drowning in work, his assistant is drowning in work, and the internship is minimum wage. Further, we have all the stuff here already and having the lad do the work keeps us safe as much as is possible. Hopefully they will decide to let the kid do the work.

Meanwhile, I am back to work, and my husband is basically being told that he will have to work on campus when they reopen in the Fall. That right there is assuming a lot. It’s assumes we won’t be back in lockdown by the Fall, that there won’t be massive travel restrictions to and from the US, etc etc. It sucks that they are asking to come back to campus. He is seriously at risk for the virus, it is an international school, and he has proven conclusively that over 90% of his job can be handled remotely… except during certain brief spans of time that require him to accept of return physical objects on a frequent basis. I am furious that they told him “even if there were positive cases of Covid-19 on campus” he “should definitely still be on campus.” It is lovely that have agreed to go ahead and install all the protections he has asked for in his office, and agreed to all the procedures he has insisted on for no direct contact with staff or students, but then they tell him he will still have to go to offices and classrooms to fix projectors, printers, and other things. !!! So, he’s protected in his office (which is right by a direct entry/exit point to outside) but then he’s supposed to just walk through halls to rooms with staff and students in them? What sense does that make??? He suggested they hire a temporary IT intern to handle these things because they are very low-level anyway and he will be going nuts in the Fall trying to finish the database conversion on top of all the usual stuff (WAY too much stuff) he has to do. They suggested they could buy him a HAZMAT suit. Utter insanity.

Everyone is tired of the restrictions, everyone is tired of face masks, handwashing, social distancing, and all of it. It sucks. But is all very necessary to try to stop what is shaping up to be a horrifying tidal wave of horrific illness and utterly miserable Death. Everywhere I go I see people without masks, not that I am out and about, I’m talking about driving to work, the drive thru at the pharmacy, dropping off our household trash, and gassing the car. There are way too many people not taking this seriously. And my state is one of the better ones for this sort of thing! We are going to see number of infections rising in the next few weeks and I am going to stay home again no matter what the governor recommends even if it means I lose my job. I am not bringing this damned thing home.

Dystopia is here. This is where we are. We have a virus on the rampage and even though we are tired, bored and completely over it, the virus isn’t. It is not tired at all and it is spreading at every chance it gets. Even people with very mild cases of it are at risk for some extreme complications for a long time after the infection has faded. This thing is no joke and if you think herd immunity is some kind of answer I suggest you research the ‘black death,’ the Bubonic Plague that ravaged Europe all those centuries ago, that is what herd immunity looks like. Relying on herd immunity without a vaccine is UGLY and it reflects the utter and abject failure of the leadership of this nation to protect its citizens. They knew for months this was coming and did nothing. Now they are literally asking and expecting the American people to die for their mistakes to save the economy, to make economic numbers look better so the monster in chief can get re-elected. It’s all a fucking game to him and to his ultra-rich cronies and they view the rest of us as disposable pawns.