Category Archives: Musings

Random thoughts about COVID-19

Listen to Tony

Listen to whatever Anthony Fauci says. He’s likely the leading expert in this right now. He is the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Over the past couple of weeks we’ve had friends and family ask my husband, (who works at NIAID) what he thinks about COVID-19, what he advised them to do. His response has been, “listen to Tony”. As of this afternoon, Dr. Fauci is saying don’t go to restaurants or bars or other crowded places, and of course wash your hands and don’t touch your face.

Also:

“You know, I would prefer as much as we possibly could,” Fauci responded. “I think we should really be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, March 15, 2020

Our next crisis might be clogged sewers

Update:UK’s sewage system in danger of gridlock from toilet paper substitutes

With all the panicked toilet paper hording, many people have resorted to buying facial tissues and at least one Facebook friend posted a photo of dinner napkins she bought when she could find no toilet paper. I even heard that one newspaper printed 8 blank pages for emergency toilet paper. Other Facebook friends are discussing what to do when all the paper in the house is used up (take a shower for #2 was one response). My immediate thought is don’t flush those facial tissues or napkins or paper towels. Hell, don’t even flush “flushable personal wipes”.

King Arthur Flour is out of flour

Of course. The hoarders bought up all the flour in stores, but I never would expect the king of flour to run out of flour! But it has. I can deal with no TP but I really need to bake bread. If not for eating, to deal with anxiety.

I deleted my Facebook app

I had a meltdown Friday night after spending the past couple days and several hours on Friday reading articles people posted on Facebook. I was convinced I was going to die and not live to see my retirement date or sit on the brand new deck or in the brand new “lodge” in warm weather. I would tell you what the articles were, but I don’t want you to have a meltdown too. Listen to Tony…

Facebook is not all bad

I did see some amusing things on Facebook today after I recovered from Friday’s meltdown*. My favorite was someone who’d just cleaned out their deep freezer after 20 years: “Threw out old frozen foods, the freeze dried remains of two budgies and ten betta fish, and found where the good glass containers were hiding.” I told them that they should use this as the first line in a short story or novel.


*just because I deleted my app does not mean I am not reading Facebook sometimes…

Hotel towel reuse policies

Red towel hanging on towel rack in front of a yellow wall
Photo by Mason Bryant under CC BY-SA 2.0

For several years I have noticed that hotels have signs instructing guests that if they want to reuse their towels to hang them up but if they want them washed to leave them on the floor. This is in the name of environmentalism and being a tree-hugger, of course I want to save the world. I mean, I don’t wash my towels after each use at home, so not having my towels washed daily at a hotel is perfectly fine with me. I always dutifully hang my towels up on a hook or a rack and never leave them on the floor (I mean, who would do that?)

The trouble is, not once in the years since I have seen that sign have hotels not given me fresh towels every day unless I keep the do not disturb sign up all day (like the days I stay at hotels and work in the room while my husband is at conferences or meetings).

We stay at a variety of hotels over the course of a year and it is the same with each one, from Best Western to Hilton to Sheraton. None honor the towel reuse policy.

Have you found this to be the case? What should I do about it?

Barn building, the Costco way

This morning while seeing what toilet paper Costco sold, I clicked a link on Costco’s page called “Shop Unexpected Finds” and was taken to a list of odd things you can buy at Costco.

What can this be?

What caught my eye was the barn kit. You can buy a barn kit from Costco. Like a Sears Home, but bigger, and for livestock. Or horses. Or alpacas.

There’s even a video of an alleged barn kit purchaser who loved the barn kit so much he also bought a shop kit (actually it is a garage). From Costco.

I wonder if, decades from now, someone will write books about Costco barns. I kind of doubt it.

I’m in Good Company shirt

 

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At least 28 years ago my friend Rosanne gave me a shirt that, while huge on me, I loved. I think I was supposed to wear it with leggings (which were “in” 28 years ago, along with big hair) or maybe she meant to wear it when I was pregnant.

The front of the shirt has dozens of women’s names on it in an inverted triangle, with I’m in good company in lilac in the middle of the names. The bottom of the triangle (the tip) reads “Me!”

The back of the shirt has an image of a man who resembles the Fallout Shelter guy fishing and the caption reads, “Good Catch!” which I assumed was the name of the company that made the shirt.

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I wore the shirt with pride for many years, until it started getting ragged at the neckline and holes showed up in spots, then I wore it as a night shirt.

At some point I figured out that many, if not all, of the women named on the shirt fell somewhere in the LGBTQ+ community and I wondered if I was telling a lie by wearing it, or could even be accused of appropriation. Nevertheless, I still loved it and wore it with pride.

Sure enough, this shirt can still be bought at the Good Catch website and is called the Famous Lesbians Shirt.

I wonder if Rosanne realized that about the shirt. It doesn’t matter. I still love it, even though it is even too ragged to be worn as a nightshirt.

Reading and Empathy

I heard a quote by George R. R. Martin this morning that got me thinking about a certain person I know who never reads.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”

I wonder if people who don’t read have less empathy for people who are not a part of their circle then people who read a lot. It seems reasonable to think that if you are exposed to others, even with only words you develop more empathy with people you don’t know, people who are not like you.

I know for a fact that after reading Five Smooth Stones I became a different person. I’d not known anything about the civil rights movement other than what family members had to say.

End of the year wrap-up 2017

2017 has not been a very good year for me. Nothing outrageous has happened. Work’s fine. No one close to me has died ((Well, not counting Leo)). The kids are doing well.

But I have been smoldering all year long and I have been getting angry or hurt about small things. Of course I know why I am angry. I am angry that I don’t feel like I know the country I live in any more. It has become ugly. It is one huge Ugly American.

I’ve fought the ugly American label for so long, but now it doesn’t seem to matter what I do or how I act. I am from the United States, therefore an ugly American. I am from the country that voted a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic reality TV actor as our leader. I live in a country whose leaders are turning back progressive laws. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t vote for this man, it only matters that I have a U. S. passport.

I’ve spent this year eating too much, drinking too much and sleeping too much. Buying too much crap. I have likely been depressed since November 2016. I have let myself “go” in a number of ways and this has got to stop.

That’s why 2018 is going to be the year of hope for me. The year of setting priorities. The year of not being angry anymore.

I still have lots to do, so the Declutter series will continue.

Also, there is a new 365 challenge beginning on January 1. Follow along here.