Chapter 117: COVID Chronicles

August 10, 2020

By Karen

Day 152

Tony Has a Couch Breakthrough & “Resign or Hang” Has a Nice Ring

Max lies forlornly on the end table whenever he doesn’t feel the couch is safe, so I made him a special “spot” there. Now it’s his favorite spot…

I probably should move that figurine which looks like Adele. The kitty fountain is right below it, and Max looks like he could be plotting a drowning.

CATS WORKING SCOOP: While I was doing my daily 7,500 steps, for the first time EVER, Tony took my spot on the couch…

He jumped down soon after this pic when he realized he’d been seen…

NOW, TO INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Lebanon’s government and Hezbollah apparently ignored a massive 6-year-old stockpile of explosives sitting at Beirut’s port until it detonated last week, blowing a huge hole in the capital city that killed 160 (so far), wounded 6,000+ and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

The understandably furious people are protesting to force out the entire government, rallying around the theme, “Resign of Hang.”

This is suffering on an epic scale, made even more tragic because it wasn’t caused by war, but probably self-inflicted through government corruption or ineptitude.

The Washington Post talked to people there. See if anything they say rings familiar…

“These thugs in power don’t represent us.”

“They stole from us, they looted us, they made us go hungry, they made us poor.”

“They are stealing everyone’s money, stealing people’s rights.”

“We lost everything, so hope is all we have left.”

A member of Lebanon’s Parliament who just resigned, Paula Yacoubian, said, “I cannot stay within the mafia. They stole everything, they destroyed the country and they want to continue doing business as usual.”

Here in the U.S., Trump’s stupidity and pathological sadism has sickened more than 5.1 million Americans and killed 165,000 (so far). Also, nearly 18 million people have lost their jobs and mass evictions are about to start because Congress can’t get its shit together to deliver more aid.

As of that weren’t enough, after decimating most government agencies using hand-picked toadies, Trump’s now trying to dismantle the U.S. Postal Service in a last-ditch effort to sabotage mail-in voting and stay in power, ending mail delivery as we know it.

And he wants to abolish the payroll tax, which does NOTHING to help the unemployed. No paycheck, no payroll tax deducted. But it will soon leave seniors with no income and no health care, because Social Security and Medicare are funded through payroll taxes.

Instead of squabbling over the irrelevant Confederacy, I’d like to see American protesters put their muscle behind “Resign or Hang” rallies around the White House, Capitol, and anywhere else congressional vermin burrow. There shouldn’t be a fence or wall high enough — anywhere in the country — for Trump and his enablers to hide behind. They need to see that consequences as direct and personally devastating as the physical harm they’re inflicting in some way on every American will be their fate if they don’t stop sabotaging the county or, even better, resign NOW.

Lebanon’s got it right. When your government is crawling with murderous thugs who are literally blowing up the country and its people, the punishment should fit the crime.

Chapter 109: COVID Chronicles

July 15, 2020

By Karen

Day 126

Trump Threatens Suburb Extinction & Tries to Unplug the CDC

On lunch breaks, I check what’s going on with Twitter. Today, “Abolish Suburbs” was trending (for non-Twits, that means “very popular, lots of tweets”). Since I live in a ‘burb, I had to know why. Here it is…

It’s past time someone confiscated Trump’s phone. His tweets win over no one who isn’t already brainwashed. Instead, he shows us how an already-deranged person behaves when dementia sets in.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s governor tested positive. He was at Trump’s Tulsa rally, but doesn’t think that was it. Oklahoma has been breaking its daily records for new cases since then, so he could have caught it anywhere.

It’s also increasing in Virginia. Roughly half of new cases are on the coast, where people have been merrily romping at Virginia Beach.

But back to Trump. Yesterday afternoon, reporters roasted in the Rose Garden for a “press conference” I didn’t watch. It was supposedly about China (why?), but was actually a scripted anti-Biden rant.

Every time Trump opens his mouth, he blurts panic. His poll numbers are tanking everywhere — even Texas — and prison looms.

In addition to abolishing suburbs, Trump also says Biden will eliminate windows.

I’m not going to decipher this nonsense; here’s a good article debunking the bullshit.

The most important thing, which Trump apparently omitted, and which should scare the living shit out of everybody, is that Trump is trying to unplug the CDC from COVID. He’s ordered hospitals to report their case stats not to the CDC, but to some database he’s cooking up. Probably an Excel spreadsheet Jared created.

Trump has already muzzled Dr. Fauci. They don’t speak anymore and Fauci is forbidden to appear on national TV. Instead, Fauci does interviews with entities like Stanford University, which then allow the media to rebroadcast them.

As if anyone sane still needs it, Trump proves every day that he doesn’t care how many Americans this pandemic kills.

Mary Trump’s book describes Trump’s parents as self-absorbed in different ways. They wouldn’t bother to acknowledge their kids’ feelings. This led twisted little Donald to create a persona of not having feelings. It’s become a core inability to empathize or care about others’ suffering.

Now that Trump’s losing what little ability he ever had to reason, he doesn’t care that his current behavior kills the voters he needs to stay out of prison until 2024. Every action is motivated by greed, revenge or self-preservation, no matter how many deaths he causes.

I’m reading about John Adams’ fight to free America from British rule, which ironically seemed sane and benign compared to Trump’s dystopian hellscape of a government.

It’s depressing to know that what was once considered the greatest democracy on Earth granted this ignorant, corrupt inhuman creature the power to literally destroy the entire country, economically and physically.

The other two-thirds of our government, supposedly in place to counteract a murderous despot, do nothing and leave it up to us to overcome all Trump’s schemes to cheat again and take him out in November.

I’ll admit, my heart rejoices every time I see a GOP voter or politician test positive. I wish the worst for all of them. They have to go, or be deprogrammed to rejoin decent society, before we’ll be able to scrub away the orange stain of Trump from the U.S.

Chapter 107: COVID Chronicles

July 13, 2020

By Karen

Day 124

Max, My Guinea Pig & Trump v. John Adams

He keeps topping himself, but in Trump’s most ridiculous assertion to date, he predicts that all media (social, print and TV) will wither and die under Joe Biden because Biden would get “low ratings.”

After three+ years of whining and screaming about wanting “the enemy of the people,” The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN, out of business, Trump in his dementia has the nerve to claim credit for their markets. Like we all want All-Trump-24/7. The narcissism and madness have reached another galaxy.

Trump played golf this past weekend and had a big white van parked near the course to block photographers’ view. But someone managed to capture this priceless little clip of Lard-Ass’s steadily advancing meltdown. Watch his left leg as he walks away (hope this works, I just figured out how to embed tweets)…

There’s NO WAY to rationalize that leg splay as anything but involuntary lack of muscle control (or a twisted diaper). Now, if only COVID would catch up with him. Even #MoscowMitch McConnell is getting cold feet about breathing COVID fumes in Jacksonville during the GOP convention, with Florida smashing through all records for new daily COVID cases, surpassing 15,000 on July 12.

NOW, TO THE CAT BEAT: Yesterday I washed the purple blankie that has been Max and Roc’s battleground at the end of the couch. To figure out what Max is really fixated on — the couch or the blankie — I switched it with the pink blankie from the rocker. Max has never had a problem with it. In fact, it was his favorite spot last Christmas…

My hypothesis: Max would either prove that what covers the couch is irrelevant and it’s a turf war, or he’d go to the rocker because his real love is the purple blankie.

So, I invited Max to sit beside me on the couch. When he noticed that his end looked different, he not only refused to touch the pink blanket, but seemed a bit agitated. After I swapped things back, Max went right over to his spot and plopped down.

Bottom line: It’s the couch AND the purple blankie.

ANOTHER SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH: I’ve discovered how not to have Trump be my last thought at night (leading to nightmares), or my first shriek of despair in the morning.

While I was watching the musical 1776 last week, I had an urge to learn everything about John Adams. We were born roughly 42 miles apart in Massachusetts, so he’s my people. I ordered a used but pristine copy of David McCullough’s mammoth Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, John Adams, for $7, including shipping.

Last night I started reading it before bed, and I’m already hooked. Adams was only about 5’7” or 8” and many found him mouthy and obnoxious. He was considered a conservative, but had many liberal positions like anti-slavery. As a person, he was virtually Trump’s opposite. For example, only one wife, Abigail, and their voluminous correspondence is hard evidence that they had a strong, loving 54-year marriage.

Anyway, I went to sleep trying to picture the Adams farm in Braintree, and woke up still thinking about Adams.

Just as in 2001, after I heard George W. Bush refer to the 9/11 terrorists “the folks who did this” and immediately drove to Charlottesville to visit Monticello and be near  Thomas Jefferson, I think Adams will take the edge off Trump through the election.

Well, after I hit “Pause” tomorrow to read Mary Trump’s damning book about Uncle Donald, Too Much and Never Enough.


Chapter 94: COVID Chronicles

June 30, 2020

By Karen

Day 111

Are the Cats Plotting a Coup? & Trump’s Toadies Outing Him as a Moron

I just went downstairs to get some lunch, and when the cats heard me coming, they froze (sorry, I didn’t have the camera). I found them sitting in an informal circle around the big beige perch. Was it my imagination, or did they all look guilty? Their looks seemed to say, “Did you happen to hear any of the shit we were just saying about you?”

My birthday’s not for months, so what could they be up to? Earlier today, Tony did say “Hello”…

The brouhaha over Trump’s complicity in Putin’s Kill-Americans-for-Fun-and-Profit scheme continues. The only silver lining we’ve seen so far is that the White House is finally cornered into admitting what most of us have known all along.

Trump doesn’t have a freaking clue — nor an ounce of curiosity or concern — about what goes on, nor how to deal with it.

That latest blonde bimbo calling herself his press secretary insists Trump STILL hasn’t been “briefed” about Russia offering bounties on our soldiers.

We know Trump doesn’t or can’t read. We know he sees and hears only what he wants to, and only if it includes his face or his name, and it preferably appears on Fox “News.”

So, what does it take to enlighten the so-called leader of the free world about ANYTHING? Must the FBI and CIA duct-tape him face-down on a table and ram the intelligence so far up his flabby orange ass that it pushes the Adderall crumbs out of his nose? Would THAT get his attention?

Sadly, in the end it won’t matter. You’d think Trump’s steadfast intent on remaining totally ignorant about EVERYTHING — even when he’s killing people — should cause Pence, the cabinet and Congress to do what it takes to remove him immediately. Instead, they’re getting ready to celebrate July 4 with a two-week vacay while the rest of us try not to die. They’re determined to let Trump rampage until whoever’s still alive in November votes the bastard out.

Carl Bernstein just wrote an article for CNN that’s long but well worth a read about Trump’s phone calls with world leaders. The information is gleaned from series of interviews with people in the White House who heard the calls or read transcripts and notes, which are much more plentiful than we’ve been led to believe. Trump demeans female leaders like a chauvinist pig, calling Angela Merkel “stupid” and Theresa May “a fool.” He dismisses Obama and George W. Bush as “imbeciles” and “weaklings.”

Trump will drop everything 24/7, even golf, to take calls from Erdogan of Turkey, who calls him often (why?). Putin treats Trump like a stooge. There’s much, much more.

In a word, every country Trump had spoken to by phone has recordings proving he’s a mentally deficient and inept moron — as if our own news media’s warehouses full of video footage isn’t proof enough.

Meanwhile, I applaud the European Union for putting the U.S. on its list of banned countries, along with Russia and Brazil, because of our COVID-19 containment failures. It means I can’t make a transatlantic crossing anytime soon to or from cities I love, like Dublin, Paris or Lisbon. But if it delivers another crushing blow to Trump to make innocent American travelers pariahs thanks to his incompetence, so be it.

Hmm… Max and Roc are now hanging out in my office, supposedly napping. Should I be worried?…

BONUS: Democratic strategist and truly funny guy, James Carville, has written my favorite kind of satire, Trump’s Farewell Address.

DOUBLE BONUS: Randy Rainbow channeled Bye Bye Birdie to write this delightful anthem for the COVID-19 age…

Chapter 91: COVID Chronicles

June 27, 2020

By Karen

Day 108

Now 3 Things We Can Count On: Taxes, Death & COVID

While COVID was ravaging New York and New Jersey, remember how Trump’s red states seemed smug and complacent, like it could never touch them? Republican governors across the South and Midwest rejected even the most basic precautions, such as masks and social distancing.

Now COVID is on their doorsteps and any idiot could have predicted the results.

Doctors and nurses doing videos in Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas talk about how their hospitals are overwhelmed and people are dying horrible deaths with no end in sight. They’re like reruns of the videos out of New York that other states’ leaders laughed at.

Meanwhile, Trump and Pence refuse to set up the national response and testing we desperately need because they simply don’t care how many people die. I personally believe Trump pleasures himself every evening while looking at the rising numbers of sick and dead. To him, they’re ratings of his success as a dictator. Yes, he really is that sick.

That pair gloat over their nonexistent leadership and prance (at taxpayer expense) from one hot spot to the next like a couple of Typhoid Marys. It seems a matter of when, not if, they will both end up on ventilators — or worse, if we’re lucky. They must pay a price for preening in front of chanting mobs that undoubtedly include infected morons spewing virus. I’m counting the days.

The MAGA set thinks COVID is just one more reality whose existence they can deny. If they pretend it’s gone, it’s gone. But that’s not how viruses work.

I sincerely hope the European Union slams the door to all Americans — including Trump. Countries that did the right things shouldn’t let our potentially infected people anywhere near their citizens. They see Trump gleefully breeding a subset of Americans who will kill without mercy or remorse, with or without a gun. To that bunch (you can easily spot them by the masks they DON’T wear), nobody’s life matters, not even their own. Yes, they’re really that stupid.

My head was exploding as cases rose and yet states started relaxing restrictions and reopening, including Virginia, whose physician-Governor Northam KNEW better. Then the inevitable new wave of illness and death — especially in red states — was reported like nobody saw it coming.

Soon we’ll be seeing figures on the people who attended Trump rallies and ended up in the hospital fighting for their lives. I wonder if that will also be covered as some crazy new twist in the COVID story, or the disgusting inevitability of having an increasingly irrational monster in the White House who feeds on death. He must be stopped before November.

Chapter 89: COVID Chronicles

June 25, 2020

By Karen

Day 106

#BourdainDay News from the Home Front

Were Anthony Bourdain still with us, today would have been his 64th birthday. In 2019, his chef friends Eric Ripert and José Andrés began celebrating by designating June 25 #BourdainDay. All that’s required in recognition is to raise a glass or have a great meal that Tony might have loved — which is to say, do whatever makes you happy.

Restaurants all over are featuring specials in his memory. For example, Tojo’s in Vancouver is recreating the seven-course menu served when Bourdain visited in 2008, with a portion of proceeds going to Mind the Bar, a fund for local restaurant workers dealing with depression. Even in death, Bourdain still champions worthy causes.

GoTraveler posted a tribute consisting of early Bourdain TV clips that left me smiling. He was so exuberant when he and his earring embarked his globe-trotting adventure…

I met Anthony Bourdain’s wife Ottavia in November 2009 when several Cats Working readers and I gathered in Washington D.C. to attend the annual Capital Food Fight, which Tony was hosting with José Andrés…

Since then, Ottavia and I have occasionally touched base, and she graciously provided an update on how she and daughter Ariane are doing.

Ottavia’s parents live in Italy’s Lombardy region, which was the epicenter for COVID-19 there. Bourdain once filmed an episode of No Reservations featuring them and other members of Ottavia’s family. Fortunately, they have been able to stay healthy.

But Ottavia wasn’t so lucky. She’s gone back to school to study neurobiology (she had once studied dentistry in Italy before emigrating to the U.S.). In February, she got her EMT (emergency medical technician) license.

She told me she caught COVID-19 in mid-March, probably in school or on the bus, so her plans to begin volunteering as an EMT had to get scratched. Here’s what she told me about coronavirus:

“It was AWFUL. I wasn’t one of the worst cases and I managed to stay out of the hospital, mostly because I have a stethoscope and a pulse oximeter at home and I could check my lungs’ sounds and my oxygen concentration. It took me over three weeks to recover. I still have lingering issues.”

Ottavia is in her early 40s (her 1965 birthdate repeated all over the internet is wildly inaccurate). She describes this lingering aftereffect of COVID that I haven’t seen reported anywhere:

“I had completely lost my sense of smell and could barely taste anything. But things were getting much better until last week, when I started smelling a sinister scent. Like rotten carcass. I was sure there was a dead mouse in the apartment, although Eddie and Ariane couldn’t smell anything. I went on a hunt for hours. But then I realized that I could smell that scent in meat, tuna, coffee, body wash.

“I emailed my doctor, and turns out that many people who recovered from COVID-19, and had lost their sense of smell, are now, weeks later, suffering from parosmia, a distorted sense of smell. For some it’s so bad they can’t even eat because everything tastes like rotten meat.

“I’m sure this too will pass, but it’s a scary virus because there are still so many unknowns. It’s maddening to see how many people are nonchalant about it.”

Ariane and Eddie haven’t gotten sick, and Ariane even tested negative for antibodies, so somehow Ottavia managed to successfully quarantine while they were all living in the same apartment.

Ottavia has had a relationship with Eddie Cummings for several years. They met at Renzo Gracie’s Academy while practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I don’t know how much of a role, if any, BJJ still plays in their lives. Eddie is completing his master’s degree in applied mathematics and plans to go on to Ph.D. studies.

Ottavia is keeping busy with a lot of summer school classes. Last year she told me she wanted to study neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and would love to earn a Ph.D. in biomedical science.

Daughter Ariane is 13 now and studying for high school admission tests she’ll be taking in the fall. Can you believe how time flies?

It sounds like Ariane has some strong Bourdain genes. She’s already taller than Ottavia. She’s a straight A student. For hobbies, she’s into playing music and painting. Ottavia also reports that Ariane is a great writer.

Ariane is certainly old enough to surf the ‘net, and she does. And what she sometimes finds about her father is disturbing.

In case Ariane’s surfing ever brings her to Cats Working, I want to say that none of us know the full story after 2016. Only after Tony was gone did we learn he’d become deeply entangled in an explosive mess created by that woman he was dating. Had it come out while he was alive, it would have damaged his reputation and possibly ended his relationship with CNN. So, anything he did to keep that woman happy and quiet may have been to protect his own family, not because he preferred her.

Since this woman has never shown the slightest regard or respect for Tony’s family before or after his death, anything she puts online about him can only be construed as self-serving and possibly cruel by intent. She’s firmly established that’s how she rolls. Our only reasonable response is to ignore it and her.

I think I’ll be celebrating #BourdainDay later with a dirty martini. Cheers!

BONUS: has a series of links to amazing tattoos of Bourdain people have posted. Check them out.

Chapter 54: COVID Chronicles

May 21, 2020

By Karen

Day 71

Virginia Vote by Mail PSA & Tony Scares the Crap Out of Me

Entering week 11 of my lockdown, I applied for an absentee ballot in Virginia’s Democratic primary on June 23. Senator Mark Warner’s up for reelection and so is my representative, Abigail Spanberger. Neither have Democratic challengers, but I believe strong numbers out of the gate will put every Trump-loving Republican dip-shit who runs on notice that a Big Blue Wave will drown them in November.

Virginia traditionally makes it hard to vote by mail. You must have one of the limited reasons the state accepts or furnish a doctor’s excuse. At least this time the website turned down the gas on the flaming hoops by telling you which boxes to check if avoiding death by pandemic is your reason. You also need to give your Social Security and driver’s license numbers (they say they need your signature off your license). The deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot is June 5.

I’m giving all this detail and providing the link to absentee ballots twice so anyone reading this in Virginia will JUST DO IT. (I’m looking at my parents.)

I just finished Season 9 of Call the Midwife. I love this series, although I was a bit late to the party because, as with Single Parents, the subject matter didn’t seem to interest me in the slightest. I was wrong.

Admittedly, my least favorite scenes are the births. If you’ve see one pregnant woman sweating, screaming, panting and pushing until a slimy, bloody baby oozes out in a gush of — pee? amniotic fluid? — you’ve seen them all. And they always go close up on the hand cutting the umbilical cord, which grosses me out.

They use real babies, and some are genuine newborns. Where do they come from? I wonder if parents volunteer them so they can show the kids the episodes later, how they got to do an instant replay of their own birth by being pulled out of some strange woman’s crotch.

But I do find the stories a heartwarming and welcome break from all the ugliness we live with. Nonnatus House is like Downton Abbey filled with nuns. The last episode was set in 1965, so it’s also fun to see how their lives and fashions evolve.

This morning I managed to catch Tony doing his daily perch workout, although he didn’t do as many reps as usual because he probably knew he was on camera…

As I was typing this, I heard a picture on the wall moving and found Tony at the bottom of the stairs on the Kitty Condo struggling with his collar in his mouth, blood on his paws and the wall. He wasn’t choking, but panicked at feeling trapped.

His flailing claws hooked my hands in a few places, but I managed to yank the collar apart and free him. The collar that was in his mouth was stained, so he must have bit or scratched his tongue.

I’m still shaking, but right now he’s having a nosh in the Man Cave Café as if nothing happened. He must be feeling pretty smug, knowing he’s convinced me to let him be a teenage nudist.

“You saw the whole thing, you pink dummy! Why didn’t you fly down and rescue me?”

Chapter 48: COVID Chronicles

May 15, 2020

By Karen

Day 65

Can We Schedule Trump for His Straitjacket Fitting Now?

This week, after the Braskem PPE factory in Pennsylvania spurned Trump’s offer of a mask-free visit and a worthless photo op, Trump got another Pennsylvania plant, run by (I’m sorry to say) Virginia-based PPE distributor Owens & Minor, to play the sap for him.

Braskem workers, at the beginning of the lockdown in March, lived in the factory for 28 days to keep it and their materials from being contaminated. They deserve kudos for not letting a publicity-addicted, disease-carrying orange ass-clown anywhere near them.

At O&M, Trump did his usual ill-prepared reading of a self-congratulatory speech. But when certain phrases would penetrate his rotting brain, he went off on stream-of-consciousness ad libbing that had to be embarrassing for everyone who had to listen to him. Here’s a snippet…

Somehow these gems failed to get him big, mocking guffaws from the audience:

“Nobody ever said they died” of the flu.

“We’ve been doing testing at a level that nobody’s ever done it before.”

“We’ve done more testing than all other countries in the world added up together.”

The numbers change by the second, but I just fact-checked him a bit.

Using Worldometers for world population (which I froze at 7,784,682,600), I calculated the U.S. (330,753,490) portion at 4.2%.

He half-lies (about speaking with anybody), then blurts a fact:

“I’ve spoken with many presidents and prime ministers. They can’t believe what we’ve been able to do with testing…. They can’t believe the job we’re doing.”

Let’s see how we really stack up against 214 other countries

COVID World U.S. U.S. %
Total Cases 4,595,718 1,471,967 32%
Total Deaths 306,789 87,825 29%
Cases/1M Pop. 590 4,450 754%
Avg. Deaths/
1M Pop.
39.4 266 675%
Rank #13*
Total Tests 10,874,018
Tests/1M Pop 32,877 Rank #36*

*Ranking indicates how many other countries have higher figures than the U.S., by my own count.

Just today, 913 Americans have died so far, which is 238% of the country ranking #2, the U.K., at 384.

Trumpers are screaming to end all precautions so they can get fake nails, tats and go out drinking.

Another bit of truth unconsciously dribbled out of Trump’s mouth. Speaking about tests, he said, “We came up with things that nobody even believes.”

Then this, which should be as oft-quoted as his idea to inject people with disinfectants. After bragging at length about our fictional testing prowess, Trump claimed:

“We have more cases than anybody in the world. But why? Because we do more testing. When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases. They don’t want to write that. It’s common sense.”

Trump is clearly referencing his own dementia. He’s been tested and his doctors know the truth. He’s saying if they hadn’t tested him, he’d be just fine.

Now for some comic relief, here’s brilliant Sarah Cooper doing Trump talking about creepy Stephen Miller’s wife, Katie (Pence’s spokesperson) testing positive…

And talking about our “strong” death totals…

And my favorite, Trump launching his loony “Obamagate.” I haven’t seen where anybody knows yet what he’s talking about…

BONUS: American Idiot has maintained a running list of Trump’s stupidest statements about the COVID-19 pandemic, right up to yesterday. Check it out.

Chapter 44: COVID Chronicles

May 11, 2020

By Karen

Day 61

The Great Chives Experiment & Let’s Get Real About Reopening

This morning I made some leisurely scrambled eggs with fresh chives and sour cream…

Anthony Bourdain used to advise lightly mixing the eggs so they still have white running through them. Gordon Ramsay and Eric Ripert are thorough mixers, and I side with them.

Yesterday after the tuna melt experiment I was ready to grow my own chives. I’m putting what I’ve got on everything now to use them up before the crop comes in. I cut off the greens and put the roots in water, which needs to be changed daily. Now we wait…

My only sunny windows are on the front in the afternoon, so these are on the kitchen windowsill, where Roc and Tony hang out a lot. They both sniffed but didn’t try to taste. They seem to be aware they shouldn’t knock over the glass, too. Onions are extremely toxic to cats, so if/when the chives begin to sprout and anyone takes even a single chomp, we’ll have to abort.

OK, this morning’s news set me up for a little rant:

When I turned on the TV, a British reporter on Morning Joe was talking about how they’re reopening England. He said, “It’s complex, it’s a jigsaw.”

Then the Richmond Times-Dispatch ran a story about reopening Virginia that sounded like there’s some deadline we need to meet.

There’s nothing “complex” about it, and deadlines for doing it are bullshit.

Virginia has 25,070 cases, with 850 deaths. Virginia ranks about 48th of the 50 states for testing. This is our situation right now…

Does this look like Virginia’s on a trajectory to consider reopening ANYTHING?

The way forward couldn’t be simpler: NATIONWIDE, as long as large numbers of people are sick and dying, we all stay on lockdown. Period.

We’ve already shrunk the economy by 80,000+ consumers in two months. Without testing everybody every time they’re in public (which we’ll never do), half-ass patchwork reopenings without prohibiting all out-of-town travel CANNOT work.

Businesses will pay the same overhead for a fraction of customers while having no clue as to who’s spreading COVID. This accelerates long-term economic shrinkage by causing more mass death.

That’s no “recovery” by any measure, even if it makes the brain-dead, gun-toting protesters with tiny penises happy.

I suggest that idiots who follow Trump’s example and flout the rules for masks and distancing get legally binding tickets with huge fines for reckless endangerment. The essential businesses now open who have to serve these people should be empowered by the states to issue those tickets.

The airlines are showing the folly of premature reopening. Instead of taking the quick route to bankruptcy by flying their full fleets with an average on domestic flights of 17 passengers per plane, they’re canceling most flights and cramming more people onto a few planes.

So they save money and get a trickle of income today, but probably kill off some of tomorrow’s repeat customers.

The argument that people “have to get back to work” is equally specious. Bringing home a paycheck today won’t seem so wonderful to your family when they frame it as a memento of the last dollar you ever earned because you’re dead.

I hate being stuck at home. But if we fuck this up — and it looks like we certainly ARE — we’re back to Square One. All these weeks in quarantine will be for nothing.

If staying alive means pissing off Trumpers, let’s go for it! Let them protest en masse, infect each other, and fine them bigly for the pleasure. Once they cull their own herd, they’ll leave the world a kinder, less racist, more intelligent place.

BONUS: This essay keeps making the rounds because it’s a brilliant take on Trump from a British perspective. If you haven’t seen it, check it out.

Chapter 41: COVID Chronicles

May 8, 2020

By Karen

Day 58

Twenty-Six 9/11s So Far & Romping with Roc and Tony

When it comes to COVID deaths, talking heads are saying, “We’ve lost more people than during the Vietnam War.” Horribly true, but too abstract.

As of the today’s figures, the U.S. has had 78,098 deaths. That’s roughly equivalent to 9/11 happening TWENTY-SIX times.

The World Trade Center blown up about EVERY THREE DAYS since this coronavirus nightmare began.

While we stay home fearing for our lives, thanks to 24/7 news, we essentially relive the trauma of 9/11 at least twice a week.

But it’s even worse now. Back in 2001, the last Republican idiot in the White House, George W. Bush, didn’t lack empathy. Remember him at Ground Zero with the bullhorn saying all the right things? He was at least able to grasp the enormity of the disaster.

Now we’ve got this bloated orange clown-face verbally abusing and gaslighting us every time he gets in front of a camera. Prancing, preening, lying, boasting about the “fantastic” job he’s doing to achieve the highest numbers of sickness and death on the planet. And Pence, the fawning, phony enabler, has done everything but roll in a tub full of blood so Trump can publicly take a victory bath in it.

As the virus insidiously spreads into states comprising Trump’s base, he insists businesses open so the racist zombies who worship him can come out to play. They will, and many more will die because they listened to Trump.

While his supporters sop up deadly virus, Trump is vowing to destroy the Obamacare they may depend on to avoid bankruptcy when they get sick. But they might go broke AND die, because they believed Trump is looking out for them.

In contrast to Hitler, who marched Jews to their deaths because he hated them, Trump is so stupid he’s marching his voters, the people who LOVE him, to their deaths.

Trump really seems to believe he can lie, cheat, steal and bully his way out of death itself. Come November, we’d better show him what a big mistake that was.

OK, now I feel better.

To end the week on a lighter note, last night as I was wrapping up, I went into the Man Cave Café and found Tony’s blue sparkle ball…

(Water dish is full of food because Max likes to drink with his mouth full.)

In addition to water sports, Tony’s fascinated by shadows. This morning, the trees whipping around in the skylight caught his attention…

A bit later, he joined Roc at the Kitty Condo for some fun and games with one-legged Froggy, and Roc found out just how strong he is (no kitties were hurt during filming)…

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