Chapter 78: COVID Chronicles

June 14, 2020

By Karen

Day 95

Trump’s Self-Inflicted Birthday-Eve Fiasco & Roc Meets His Match

Today is Trump’s 74th birthday. He celebrated at his golf club in New Jersey to elude protesters swarming around the White House.

Yesterday, he gave his first and last commencement speech at West Point, where he bumbled references in the prepared test to “Ulyssius S. Grant” and “General Douglas MaGarther” (the latter several times, even though he’s said to be a big MacArthur fan). When he ad libbed that today is his birthday, he got almost no reaction.

He was also seen again using two hands to drink from a water glass and he crept down the ramp (video) from the podium post-speech in baby steps, with a soldier spotting him, lest he face-plant.

Of course, he was all “it was the ramp’s fault,” tweeting…

We know the truth. We have the video. His only honest observation was no handrail.

Over 1,000 socially distanced cadets were forced into two weeks of quarantine before they could sit in the hot sun and listen to Trump bloviate. The setting greatly muted whatever applause or laughter he got, which must have pissed Trump off no end.

But I know you’re really dying to hear how it went with Max last night. When I settled down for some TV, Max was still on the couch in Roc’s spot. Roc checked it out from all angles, seeming genuinely perplexed by this new development…

Max ignored him, and Roc finally gave up. He wrapped himself in the blankie and sat with me…

When I went to bed, Max went upstairs to the Man Cave. But this morning he promptly came down for breakfast, and then went straight back to the couch. When Max picks a new spot to hang out, he can stay there for months. So far, Roc accepts this arrangement, but he’s not pleased. (Max is the black blob with white whiskers)…

What impresses me most is how Max quietly asserted himself without lifting a paw. It’s more than I can say for the Richmond police. Last night, protesters were again rallying peacefully around the Lee monument when a police SUV inexplicably drove up onto the sidewalk to cut through them “like a knife through butter,” as Trump would describe it. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt…

Tonight I’m making a new turkey meatloaf recipe that uses mushrooms to keep it moist. I’ve never tried this. Here’s a 3-minute video that shows the recipe far better than I can…

The recipe calls for 92% lean turkey and mine is only 85% lean. The meatloaf in the video doesn’t look very firm. That’s my problem with meatloaf; it always falls apart. I’ll let you know how it goes.

PS: After checking my remaining shopping list and finding no “must have now” items on it, I skipped my Aldi trip today. I’m so predictable.


Chapter 74: COVID Chronicles

June 10, 2020

By Karen

Day 91

Protesters Try to Drown Columbus & Tony’s New Hangout

Protesters in Richmond branched out from the Confederacy last night, leaving Monument Avenue for Byrd Park, where they took down an 8-foot statue of Christopher Columbus. When they couldn’t burn it, they threw it into nearby Fountain Lake…

Photo James H. Wallace, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Italian-Americans gave the statue to the city in 1927, where it has apparently been standing on Powhatan ground. It became a target because indigenous peoples are joining African Americans in solidarity against white supremacy and oppression.

In early 2002, I used to drive from my last office cubicle past that statue to Fountain Lake every lunchtime to eat my sandwich alone and plot my freelance escape from corporate America.

Columbus has been fished out of the water and is stored in a secret location.

HBO Max has pulled Gone with the Wind from its library. This might just finish off 103-year-old Olivia de Havilland, the only living cast member. It certainly must have Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh — not to forget Margaret Mitchell, who created it — spinning in their graves.

I got the book in paperback for Christmas when I was 10 (the same year I got Little Women) and I remember reading it straight through TWICE. In 1965, Scarlett O’Hara and Jo March were my paradoxical role models. This still hangs upstairs…

And this is on the landing…

This in no way means I endorse Gone with the Wind. I’ve actually been wanting to replace them both with relaxing seascapes. I’ve had them for at least 40 years and need a change; Gable is custom-framed.

Speaking of movies, last night I needed comedy, so I watched The Onion Movie from 2008. It was stupid, gross, lewd and sometimes funny. Really a series of skits hanging around a loose fantasy about The Onion being a respected news network. Its lead anchorman revolts at the network’s acquisition and commercialization by a huge corporation that’s using his news broadcast to promote a movie franchise called Cockpuncher.

This tells you all you need to know about that.

So next I watched What We Do In the Shadows, the movie from New Zealand that morphed into the FX TV series I love. In the movie, four male vampires share a house who range in age from 183 to 8,000. Their familiar is a housewife with a husband and kids who comes by to clean up their victims’ blood and run errands in hopes of being given immortal life.

It had many good moments, especially when the vampires faced off against a gang of werewolves. But the TV show is 100% funnier.

They share the same theme music, and the houses are baroque and creepy. But the show added a female vampire and a human-looking energy vampire. Their familiar is an overweight nerd with no life beyond serving them. These changes open up so many more plot possibilities, I better appreciate how brilliant the TV adaptation is.

Tony has a new hidy hole. Well, he’s been hanging out here for a few weeks, but with his camera savvy, it’s been hard to capture.

I often don’t realize he spends hours in the corner under my desk until I quit at dinnertime and he comes out. He’s there right now and has been all afternoon. But I did manage to catch a few shots…

BONUS: Here’s Sarah Cooper channeling Trump on “How to Bunker”…


Chapter 67: COVID Chronicles

June 3, 2020

By Karen

Day 84

Trump’s End One Day Closer & Women’s Ugly Pants

The tree guys next door didn’t leave until nearly 7 p.m. One large tree between our houses is gone. Now I have a clear view into their kitchen and my car’s rear end gets sun all day. I think at least one other tree came down on the other side, and maybe one in back. Their backyard’s still such a shithole, it’s hard to tell.

I was surprised by the cats’ sang-froid during the tree massacre. Max stayed downstairs, and the chainsaws didn’t cut into Roc and Tony’s nap time. It’s disturbing that they’ve become that used to the sound of deforestation.

Meanwhile, I couldn’t do transcription because of the noise, and I wanted to scream and punch somebody every time the house shook as a trunk hit the ground.

Today’s in the mid-90s. Our cold, rainy spring is over — and I completely missed it. I’m glad I opened the windows while I could. It may be a long time before the kitties get a good breeze on their whiskers again.

Richmonders are still protesting, but more peacefully. I was glad tens of thousands of protesters across the country, particularly in D.C., defied curfews last night. Trump’s “total domination” threats — on top of killing 107,000 people with COVID — may have FINALLY gone too far.

Governor Ralph Northam refused to send Virginia National Guard troops to D.C. to help Trump swing his dick around.

Commentator Rachel Maddow thinks Trump summoned National Guard to D.C. from all over the country because D.C. is a district with no governor. By law, he can only send active troops into a state if its governor requests them. His threat Monday to override “weak” governors is pure bullshit.

It’s one thing for Trump to strut around pretending he’s supreme leader of some banana republic, but entirely something else for him to line American streets with armed troops under orders to shoot and gas civilians “as needed.”

Our 2nd Amendment reads:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

It would be fitting to see Trump’s love of the 2nd Amendment backfire on him spectacularly. His supporters are supposed to bear arms to “secure a FREE State,” not to help a dictator impose martial law and revoke all their other freedoms.

If the MAGA morons ever manage to connect the dots, they could turn out in force — shooting AT Trump, not FOR Trump.

Yesterday, good old conservative Iowa may have fired a shot across Trump’s bow. Their nine-term misogynist, racist, Trump-enabling congressional representative, Steve King, LOST his primary election. They may still give another Republican his seat in November, but at least King is done. One GOP toady down.

To end on a fashion note, here’s a dumb photo from Monday of Trump with some henchmen and his latest bimbo spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany…

Are her cropped pants the epitome of fugly or what? Cropped pants are as heinous as capris. Neither style flatters ANY woman. OK, one. Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, wearing cropped skinny pants and flats. But Audrey would look gorgeous in a grocery bag…

Next to men in suits and sensible shoes, Kayleigh in cutesy cutoffs with her ankles hanging out and heels not made for streetwear reveal her as another inept blonde ditz aspiring to be Ivanka’s Mini-Me.

Try to imagine Hillary or Angela Merkel in such a feckless getup. You can’t. They wouldn’t be caught dead.


Chapter 66: COVID Chronicles

June 2, 2020

By Karen

Day 83

Trees Dropping Like Flies & Ashamed to Be an American

Whenever Roc decides none of the 589 cat beds in this house cut it, he goes into my bathroom and makes his own bed by yanking down MY towel…

And Tony says “Howdy!” from his kitty favorite perch…

My street is full of trucks today because a crew next door is doing more bad things to trees. And now I just noticed a huge dead limb on one of my trees hanging over my Saturn. Yikes!

Next door is a rental house. Several years ago a huge tree uprooted in their backyard during a storm, smashing their fence and a neighbor’s fence, and the landlord ignored it. The neighbors immediately removed their portion of the tree and repaired their fence, but the rest rots on the ground next door like a termite paradise and this tree crew isn’t touching it.

Whatever these tree guys are doing, they’ve been at it since early this morning. They could have learned something from the guys who took down that major tree across the street last week in about an hour.

Richmond had more protests last night. After Trump gave his little speech to make things worse, Richmond police shot tear gas at one peaceful gathering before the 8 p.m. curfew. The mayor of Richmond is apologizing today in front of City Hall before a crowd of several thousand, by the looks of it.

Last night Trump, obviously emboldened by his success at passive-aggressively killing 105,000 Americans with COVID, launched his most direct physical assault on us yet by using mounted police, flash bangs and tear gas to disperse protesters near the White House.

Then he strutted out to the Rose Garden and issued threats, vowing to turn the U.S. military on Americans across the country and “dominate” anyone who dares to protest his regime.

Here’s a complete transcript of a phone call Trump had earlier with the country’s governors, preaching his new catchphrase, “Total Domination,” since his “Transition to Greatness” was a dud. It’s long, but read some of Trump’s part to see how bat-shit incapable of coherent thought he is. Here’s just one bite…

“I saw what happened in Dallas where they kicked a guy to death. I don’t know if he died or not but if he didn’t, it’s a miracle, what they did to him, they were kicking him like I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

As if all this weren’t bad enough, after his Rose Garden babble, he walked across the street where protesters had just been run off by horses to stand in front an historic church like an idiot, holding up some random (by Trump’s own admission) bible…

It was a pointless spectacle, but gave him a rationale for attacking citizens who were lawfully in his path.

To end on a positive note, I just learned that my favorite nearby takeout, China Taste, has reopened. They seemed to be doing great business, but shut down in mid-March when Trump started ranting about “China virus.” I’m so glad they’re back. Maybe Chinese for dinner tonight?

Oh, god, the house keeping shaking with loud booms from next door. I’m afraid to look.

 


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