Hello, One Post Wonderers!

This will be my inaugural post, and also my first episode of vertigo -- hopefully my last episode of vertigo.  It happened last week, rather suddenly.  I have been suffering the usual dizziness and nausea.  Thankfully the nausea has been kept under control by medication.  Finding an able medical practicioner available to treat the problem has been challenging especially one without a COVID soup of a waiting room.  It's been four full days of dizziness and drowsiness.  Brian inquired how I was feeling this morning, and I replied that I had been upgraded from "drunken sailor" to "just drunken".  Brian wondered whether that was better, since sailors have more practice being drunken and thus might walk better.  I was under the impression that they would have a harder time walking on land, as well as being especially drunk after the deprivations of sea.  This discussion initiated a further contemplative session about the proper term to describe my condition -- "upgrade" or "downgrade"?  One is upgraded from coach to first class, which is better, but a hurricane is downgraded to a tropical storm, which indicates conditions are improving.  So the question remains, was I upgraded or downgraded?  Should I have described my unsteady toddle as improving to "just drunken" or should I have claimed "drunken sailor" status?  I'm getting better at weaving in a purposeful direction.  On the upside, I didn't have to spend any money on beer this week, and I do have an appointment, even if it is forty minutes away.

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10h
 

My nephew is a 13 year old Latino boy living in Chicago.

I walked away from the internet at the appropriate time today. I already knew that the video would show police had lied about the encounter. I also knew that I'd not be able to avoid a great deal of analysis and commentary from people I work with in the coming weeks. (It's our job)

But I just can't. How are we supposed to live in a world where adults meet children with lethal force? And even more when they have the color of law?


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5d
 

The covid response in Ontario is nearly as much of a cluster-fuck as if they were intentionally trying to kill people.  For all I know, they are, but they are not as good at it as I'd expect competent mass-murderers to be. So, it's probably not malice, just the standard intentional incompetence of big-c Conservative/Republicans trying to ruin faith in government.

Anyway, the vax rollout has been just a god damn circus with a tidal wave of clown cars. Multiple appointment systems, different vaxxines with different providers, different eligibility criteria, changing literally by the day. 

I'd signed up to be notified when appointments were available for the "less desirable" AZ vax at my local pharmacies, but since these computer-based systems can't make instantaneous appointments when people who are supposed to be there simply don't show up, and given that a lot of low-information people are simply refusing their opportunities to get the AZ poke, I figured I'd just walk over to a pharmacy and just camp for a while and if someone didn't show up I could take their shot instead.

This turned out to be a winning strategy; in fact for the half hour I was at the pharmacy filling out forms and post-poke waiting to see if I had an allergic reaction, no one else came in for vax at all, which is appalling. 

People's risk-assessment for the blood clots a few folks people have got from AZ is really off-kilter. Undoubtedly due to the relentless hunger for media to have something, anything to talk about. Oh noes, danger! Danger!

The way I saw someone on the twitters talk about it, a Black man is 1000x more likely to be killed by a cop than anyone is of getting a blood clot from AZ, but I don't see them pulling cops off the streets.

I WISH THEY WOULD THOUGH.

Anyway, I was not expecting to get poked anytime soon but, there we go!

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Yay for you!

Yeah, the issues with blood clots or with stopping vaccine roll-out or people being freaked out... It's kind of a no-win situation. If officials *don't* publicize/halt/react to the harm data, it will come back and bite everyone in the ass HARD, cause worse hesitancy (and thus death). But acknowledging it has equally bad drawbacks... for basically the same reasons.

I, like so many women, hear about the blood clot risk and a few things go through my mind:

1. "Yeah well, if they'd use more women in study groups..."
2. "Are you serious?? Have you SEEN the warning labels on birth control?! This is NOTHING!"
3. It's easy for me to scoff; I'm getting the Pfizer shot. I might (irrationally) feel different if it were AZ or JJ...

But mostly what I think is I've been cooped up and isolated from other people for way too long.
 

There's some events unfolding in my regular D&D group which mean that my character may soon be 'kidnapped' (sorta) and removed from the story. I'm in cahoots with my DM and I'm helping to build a pretty intriquing storyline with him. My character is... a major element, and I'm all in.

So with my character being away, my DM said I could play a new character, or an old character - whatever I like. I elected to bring back the first character I played with my current game group (and really, the first character I've played in 5e).

He's a half orc barbarian berserker named Wulfric. The character type (right down to his half orc-ness) is nothing shy of a cliche and I'm fully okay with that. I chose him in order to 'simplify' things for my first time learning 5e.

But here's the thing - he kinda grew on me.

What's more, I kept encountering moments when I felt like I could play Wulfric to the hilt, and it felt goooood.

Moments like when our group was fighting a collection of enemies and one of them had an imp as a familiar. It kept vanishing, attacking us, and then vanishing again. Wulfric reached out and grabbed it by the leg when it appeared (I rolled a nat 20, if memory serves) and he proceeded to beat the Imp's master with his own familiar!

I'm reworking an image I did of Wulfric back when I was first playing him. I'll add it to this post when it's done, but in the meantime, here's the original version (up top).

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I've always found that attacking enemies with their own comrades is a fine way to break their morale. Go get 'em, Wulfric!
Rob 4/12
Indeed. If there's one thing Wulfric is good for, it's breaking the morale of your enemies. He just kinda has a way about him.
 

Ingredients

In the pan

2 14 oz bricks extra firm tofu, chopped into 1/2" cubes or so

8 white button mushrooms, quartered

1 medium tomato, cut in eighths

Dressing

2 carrots, peeled and chopped in chunks

1 stalk celery, chopped in chunks

1/4 cup almonds

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup chopped cilantro and basil

1 cup water, or so

1 tablespoon curry powder or paprika


Place the tofu, mushrooms and tomato in a broiling pan. Don't use pyrex. It'll go BOOM. Maybe not the first time, but eventually. Ask me how I know.

Start preheating the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.

Puree the dressing in a food processor or vitamix blender. I use the smoothie setting on the vitamix.

Pour the dressing evenly over the contents of the pan, taking care not to spill over the edges. You might wind up setting some dressing aside for salad purposes.

Shake a little more curry powder or paprika on top.

Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees, then broil on high for 20 minutes, or until the tops of the tofu have a bit of yummy black char. Be prepared to placate your smoke detector.

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YOU ARE MY HERO WHO GOES BOOM
Has no one actually instantiated the million-dollar invention of a voice-deactivated smoke detector? Too much liability? "I'M JUST COOKING!"
Brilliant idea! Although the regulatory hurdles might be ... hurdles.
Curry powder and paprika ... have very different flavor profiles.
 

Scrolled past some random bit of internet "news" I am neither interested in nor have any background for about actress Margot Robie and had the idle "ugh, I hate Margot Robie" thought and came to a screeching internal halt.

I've never actually seen a movie with Margot Robie in it; never read an interview with Margot Robie; or watched a clip in a pop culture something or other. Never had a conversation with anyone about a movie she's in, or what they think of her performances. I know exactly one thing about her:

how heterosexual cisgender white men talk about Margot Robie. 

So in actuality, I have no opinion of Margot Robie, but I absolutely hate everything heterosexual cisgender white men think, say or do with their idea of Margot Robie.

How fucking tedious.

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4/2
 
 

In which our heroine is still up at 5:51am (good morning, Jenn!) reading (and now posting) an artcle from Wired about what it thinks I am doing right this second: Revenge Bedtime Procrastination.

Here's the article if you'd like to read about it. 

(For the record, I agree with maybe 75-80% of the article... or, rather, 75-80% applies to me.  But the 25%, not so much.)


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Yep! Yep yep yep! Hallo! That’s me and my mom and Vince! I’ve had to work so hard to convince myself that sleep is something good that I do for myself.
That article is paywalled for me, so I googled the phrase and found a LOT A LOT. I think this would resonate for Shelle too.

Medical News Today describes this as a "relatively new phenomenon," but I call bullshit. Or, I'd ask what they mean by "new." My mom used to stay up all night reading when we were little.

You might find this interesting: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-16964783
Good article - thanks for sharing!

>"lack of self-regulation—associated with personality traits such as being impulsive or easily distracted"
For me? That's the 80/20 right there.

Interestingly, I think that I do the 'revenge procrastination' more in the _mornings_ these days. I don't know how/when it happened, but I wake up at a reasonable hour (say 8 or 9) and find myself not leaving my apartment until *cough* 11 *cough*. If I focus, I can get ready and out the door in like 15 minutes. 30 with a relaxed shower.

But "I'm just going to check IG real quick..."
 

My mom has reached the age which is the average life span for an American woman. She's white, been financially secure since her 30s, still married to my father, has not smoked since 1986. So her life expectancy is probably 7-8 years higher than her current age.

Seven or eight years is nothing. And she's just lost an entire one of them to this bullshit pandemic. She's vaccinated now, as is my Dad, but we've been talking about the lost time. What it means for her, as she's keenly aware of how little she has left. What it means for her only grandchild who spent the first year as a teen like this. What it means for me, a person who's 50, who lost an ordinary year. Not one of the easily-numbered ones I have left. Not one of the exciting new ones.

But mostly she talks at angles about what it's like to have lost one of so few remaining years. What it's like to know all her accumulated things are of limited utility to me and my sister, no matter how much we love her or how fondly we remember them. 

When my first grandmother died, I was sitting through finals my last year of law school. There was little value in postponing them, so I did not go home. My mother and my sister cleaned out her house rather quickly, my sister looking carefully for the one thing we both wanted: a pendant she'd worn in the 70's. A large crystal fishbowl, studded with tiny goldfish. She'd hold it up to the light, pull the chain along behind it, showing us how the fish would swim.

They did not find the pendant. 


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3/23
 

It's Rancho Gordo time!

In the background: dehydrated sweet potatoes and collards.

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As in the Rancho Gordo heirloom beans people? I'd love to give them a try sometime. Which variety do you favor?
All of them? The above are Buckeye and White Navy. The Ayocote Morado are good, too, but they're out now. Of the ones available now, i recommend the Pinquito, Alubia Blanca, and Flageolet. https://www.ranchogordo.com/collections/heirloom-beans
rone 3/23
Eep.
rone 3/24
Looks lovely.